Simon 1980 PG CC

Amazon Instant Video

(12) IMDb 6.2/10

When a group of scientists decide to create an alien, they choose Simon, a psychology professor, for the experiment. They brainwash him into believing he's an alien.

Starring:
Alan Arkin, Austin Pendleton
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes

Simon

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Comedy
Director Marshall Brickman
Starring Alan Arkin, Austin Pendleton
Supporting actors Austin Pendleton, Judy Graubart, William Finley, Jayant, Wallace Shawn, Max Wright, Fred Gwynne, Adolph Green, Keith Szarabajka, Ann Risley, Pierre Epstein, Roy Cooper, Rex Robbins, David Warrilow, Hetty Galen, David Gideon, David Susskind, Dick Cavett
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
An amusing, intelligent comic premise, with Arkin in his element as a manic professor.
rg61
Alan Arkin plays Simon, an underfunded, ignored, neurotic psychologist at a university who is absolutely desperate for recognition, funding, and a breakthrough.
A. Simon
There's a bit of sexually explicit material involving Madeline Kahn; other than that, you could show the movie to a child.
Neurasthenic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rogerfigby on January 18, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Brought to you by many of the same folks who make the films of Woody Allen, this cinematic delight stars many great comic character actors who rarely are given the opportunity to strut their stuff. Austin Pendleton, (Who originated the role of Motel the tailor in "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway),Fred Gwynne (from TV's "The Munsters"), Wallace Shawn, Max Wright, and Adolph Green, are led by Alan Arkin in this romp which lampoons the influence of Television on contemporary culture, as well as poking fun at the world of unchecked secret government projects. A great film to watch with a group of people and a bowl of popcorn.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Alan Arkin delivers a hilarious performance in this crackpot tale of popular culture. The themes explored in this film range from psychology, to belief in aliens, to the media and pop culture. The cult of TV worshippers in truly hilarious and Simon's fultile attempt to get them to admire "real art" is a brillant comment on post-modern American advertising and brainwashing. Make no mistake, this is humor with a brain and a message, and I only wish more contemporary film could be as clever.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a wonderful, imaginative satire on American society and its counterculture, brilliantly written and directed by Marshall Brickman and acted by Alan Arkin. It is not very well known, which is unfortunate, because it should be. Its style is somewhat like Monty Python meets Woody Allen and Dr. Strangelove. The story of a self-styled genius who is convinced by a think tank that he is the offspring of a space ship and then tries to reform American culture via illicit TV broadcasts is hilarious and incisive. Madeline Kahn is also fabulous.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Harnick on August 30, 2009
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I remember 'Simon' fondly for two reasons. First, it was simply a wonderful comedy with a deeper message. Second, I knew many people in the cast personally. For example, the head of the Church of Television was played by Adolf Green who lived in the same elevator line in the building where I grew up. And this is the same man who co-wrote 'Singin' In The Rain'. Everyone of a certain age remembers Judi Grobart from 'The Electric Company'. Among other characters, she was Jennifer of the Jungle ("OYOYOYOYOYOYO!).

The film itself is about a man named Simon who is doing sensory deprivation research. An exclusive think-tank of the four most brilliant minds in the world invite him to become one of them, but with a sinister motive. They leave him in the tank for a full week and he emerges with a mind regressed to that of "a bacterium". Alan Arkin re[evolving to the human level is one of the funniest sequences ever filmed. While his mind is still maleable, the think-tank members brainwash Simon into believing that he is actually the child of extraterrestrial parents who are machines. After waking up from hypnosis, Simon tearfully declares "I'm a toaster!!". Simon is then used to start a kind of peace movement which gets way out of hand. His wife eventually breaks him out and things get really interesting. There is so much more to this film but I don't want to ruin it for you. The last thing I will say is Austin Pendleton stroking a computer shaped like a gigantic Princess phone with a sexy voice.

It has been a real disappointment to me that this film has yet to be released on DVD. Maybe if we all ask nicely? Or do we have to imitate Simon doing an impression of a jungle cat? Either way, this gem really ought to be transferred. And with as many extras as possible!!!

Pretty please with sugar, whipped cream, ten cherries and a pile of gummi bears!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Simon on April 8, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
A group of scientists from various disciplines are assembled in a think tank with an unlimited budget in order to solve the world's problems, like pollution, overpopulation, war, famine, poverty, etc. They get bored with those subjects and move on to more whimsical, fun, projects wherein the manipulate society in perverse means. One day, when reading an article in a newspaper, they read that most people believe that there is extraterrestrial life, so they decide to give the public what it wants.

Alan Arkin plays Simon, an underfunded, ignored, neurotic psychologist at a university who is absolutely desperate for recognition, funding, and a breakthrough. The think tank staff choose him and recruit him as supposedly one of them, an unappreciated genius. In truth, he is going to be their guinea pig. They brainwash him to think that he is an ET and they also alter his biochemistry to make the claim more believable, whereupon they announce their findings to the world. At this point, he starts to make proclamations on how society should change for the better. At this point, I won't give any more of the plot.

The weird, understated score attached to the institute is great for establishing the mood of the film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rg61 on January 1, 2011
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A criminally overlooked film.

An amusing, intelligent comic premise, with Arkin in his element
as a manic professor.

The supporting cast alone is worth the price of admission --
Wallace Shawn, Austin Pendleton, Madeline Kahn, Fred Gwynne
and Max Wright.

I do hope this film is released on DVD, but I've hedged
my bets by getting the VHS.
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