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Starting Over (1979)

Burt Reynolds , Jill Clayburgh , Alan J. Pakula  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen, Charles Durning, Frances Sternhagen
  • Directors: Alan J. Pakula
  • Writers: James L. Brooks, Dan Wakefield
  • Producers: Alan J. Pakula, Douglas Wick, Isabel Halliburton, James L. Brooks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008KLVBY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Starting Over" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Phil Potter (Reynolds) is a low-key, contented magazine writer who tries to put his life back together after his wife (Bergen) opts for independence as a singer-songwriter. Wacky nursery school teacher (Clayburgh) tries to help him surmount the emotional hurdles, but it's rough as he's still hung up on his ex-wife.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Burt Reynolds' personal favorite film role August 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw "Starting Over" in the theatre when it first came out in the fall of 1979 and then many years later on home video and I still find it enjoyable. It was directed by the late, great Alan J. Pakula("All The President's Men" from 1976,"Sophie's Choice" from 1982)and the screenplay was written by James L.Brooks(one of the writers on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the '70's,"Terms of Endearment" from 1983,"Broadcast News" from 1987, "As Good As It Gets" from 1997), and starred Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen and the underrated Burt Reynolds.Ms. Clayburgh was nominated for Best Actress for her role as the school teacher looking for love,(Sally Field won for "Norma Rae").Ms. Bergen was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in her role as the aspiring songwriter(Meryl Streep won for "Kramer vs. Kramer").Burt Reynolds wasn't even nominated for his role as Phil Potter.He was a superstar at the time and the No.1 box office attraction in America and it seems he was snubbed by the Academy.It was too bad because after all he was the lead role in the picture as the just divorced man who was starting over in a new life.The Academy did finally give him a nomination nearly 20 years later in 1997 for his fine performance in "Boogie Nights",(Robin Williams won for "Good Will Hunting").At least the Academy finally recognized his work.
"Starting Over" features funny supporting roles for Charles Durning as Phil Potter's older psychiatrist brother and Frances Sternhagen as his sister Marva Potter.The movie has many funny moments,like when Candice Bergen,as Phil's ex-wife breaks out in song and Phil's reaction to this musical moment.Burt Reynolds has said in interviews that Phil Potter in "Starting Over" was his personal favorite film role.I can see why.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cult classic August 12, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the great cult classic romantic comedies, right up there with "The Heartbreak Kid." The writing by James Brooks is, as always, smart, dry, and very funny; and Alan J. Pakula gets great performances from everyone in the amazing cast. (I've always thought Charles Durning is one America's best character actors.) I have to disagree with one of the other reviewers who thought Jill Clayburgh was miscast. Her performance is charming and droll, a perfect match for Burt Reynolds, who gives a great performance that works particularly well because he's playing against type -- a macho star who gets big laughs when, during a love scene with Clayburgh where she's groning happily, says "I'm not that good."

I have only one complaint about this film -- it's not available on DVD, and I can't figure out why. Wake up, Paramount!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favorite! November 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Starting Over is a romantically funny movie! Candace Bergen is hysterical as the wife who leaves Burt Reynolds to become a country western singer (what a voice!). Jill Clayburgh's first encounter with Burt Reynold's character is extremely funny. And wait until you see what happens when this Starting Over couple attempt to purhcase a couch at the mall! It's true this movie is well over twenty years old, but I still remember it with great fondness. This was Burt Reynolds at his very best. I'm glad I came across it on I hope it has stood up to time and that you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic September 28, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I wish there were more movies like this one. Three great performances from Bergen, Reynolds and Clayburgh, who show perfect comic timing and real chemistry. The humor comes from real, often poignant situations, and every scene, from the more intimate scenes between Reynolds and Clayburgh to those at the group therapy sessions, are the real thing. The supporting players are also terrific. It's got one of the best endings ever. Listen closely or you might not hear the last line uttered by Clayburgh because the credits are already rolling. It's a beauty.

It's great that they've brought this film out on DVD. Now if someone would just release another great Clayburgh film, An Unmarried Woman, on DVD, I would be first in line to buy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely funny romantic comedy February 27, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I didn't realize how young Burt Reynolds is in this movie....but I love all of his romantic comedies, and was happy that had this one. Jill Clayburgh is well cast as the love interest and Candace Bergen is hysterical as Reynolds' soon-to-be ex-wife. No wonder she was so great (later on) as "Murphy Brown." The story is hilarious and yet has its warm fuzzy moments. Great songs, too (when Bergen isn't trying to sing them herself)! Thoroughly enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candice Bergen should've been a singer . . . September 27, 2007
I'm kidding. Her singing is horrible in "Starting Over"--but intentionally so. Her wonderful self-centered character is supposed to be a rotten singer--and her scenes with Burt Reynolds are comic gems. As for Mr. Reynolds, he's never been better--not even in "Boogie Nights". This is his best performance. You really feel for his character in this film as he tries to start a new life after he and his wife (Ms. Bergen) break up. And then there's Jill Clayburgh, one of my favorite actresses of all time. She's delightful as an insecure woman looking for love. Both she and Candice Bergen were nominated for Oscars--and Mr. Reynolds should've been, too. And in effective supporting roles Charles Durning, Frances Sternhagen and Austin Pendleton add their talent to this terrific film. I cannot say enough great things about "Starting Over"--you need to see it for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Go watch it right now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
funny old time flick
Published 7 days ago by Joseph M. Pollock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Gary Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Unabashedly worthwhile
I am ashamed to admit that this is one of my favorite movies- it always has a nostalgic cheer for me and more than a few laughs! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Dann
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Can't help but laugh!
Published 3 months ago by Lydia Guerra
4.0 out of 5 stars definitely worth a look
Very charming, buoyed by the considerable talents of the three leads.
Runs out of steam a little in the third act, though. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David M
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more...
Especially with a lead cast with these actors, the movie is also populated by several great character actors. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Plant Waterer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Hadn't watched this movie in over 10 years, had forgottenI how funny Burt Reynolds is in it. Jill Clayburgh was superb, both funny and dramatic.
Published 5 months ago by JEANETTE CRUZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Still funny after all these years
Burt Reynolds has the best dead pan faces throughout this movie. Candice Bergen looks beautiful. I still get lots of laughs when I watch this movie. Oldie but a goodie.
Published 7 months ago by Carol Turick
5.0 out of 5 stars STARTING OVER
Published 8 months ago by Tab
4.0 out of 5 stars A laugh riot.
And absolutely endearing movie.
A Burt Reynolds sleeper. I wonder why it's never run on television or cable .Highly recommend it.
Published 9 months ago by Frank J. Miller
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