Packaging Back
Packaging Bookend Spine
Packaging Front


Catalog Number
Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
Release Year
VHS | N/A | Slipcase
N/A | N/A | N/A
N/A | N/A
Nuts (1987)

Additional Information

Additional Information
Mad As In Angry. Or Just Plain... NHigh-priced hooker Claudia Draper (Barbra Streisand) has been arrested for the murder of one of her clients. The attorney engaged by Claudia's parents hopes to cop an insanity plea so that she can avoid a trial and manslaughter conviction. But she refuses this, citing a proviso in New York law that may result in her spending the rest of her life in an institution. Against all odds, struggling lawyer Aaron Levinsky (Richard Dreyfuss) tries to prove that Claudia is not crazy and is capable of standing trial. He certainly has his work cut out for him; from what we've seen in the film thus far, the violently impulsive Claudia is not only "nuts," but certifiably so. Though she has plenty of opportunity in Nuts to give out with her usual bravura Streisandisms, Streisand (who also produced the film and wrote the songs) is surprisingly restrained through most of the proceedings. And then there's that extended-monologue climax. Nuts was adapted by Tom Topor, Darryl Ponicsan, and Alvin Sargent from Topor's stage play.

Nuts is a 1987 American drama film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss. The screenplay by Tom Topor, Darryl Ponicsan, and Alvin Sargent is based on Topor's 1979 play of the same title. This was Karl Malden's final film before his death in 2009, and was Leslie Nielsen's final non-comedic film.

The film was released in theaters along with the 1987 short, The Duxorcist, starring Daffy Duck. This short is exclusive to this film.

Nuts received mostly mixed reviews from critics and currently holds a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews.

Janet Maslin of the New York Times observed, "The film is almost entirely adrift. A group of three screenwriters … have not succeeded in giving it any momentum at all … The material is exceptionally talky and becalmed, the central question none too compelling, and the visual style distractingly cluttered … Still, Miss Streisand … manages to be every inch the star."[7]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated the film two out of four stars and noted that "the movie's revelations are told in such dreary, cliched, weather-beaten old movie terms that we hardly care … As the courtroom drama slogs its weary way home, Streisand's authentic performance as a madwoman seems harder and harder to sustain … Nuts is essentially just a futile exercise in courtroom cliches, surrounding a good performance that doesn't fit."[8]

Rita Kempley of the Washington Post called the film "a consistent character study, paced like a good thriller" and cited Barbra Streisand's "bravissimo performance." She added, "She is so dazzling, in fact, that she blinds us to the pat psychology of the facile script … There's heat in the moment, but there's nothing to chew on afterward … Nuts is less than the sum of its illustrious parts. Despite all its achievements, it's ultimately hollow inside, like a cake at a bachelor party. The filmmakers never quite succeed in their larger purpose: pitting inner truths against outward appearances to force us to decide who is and is not nuts. It wants to be a movie with a message, but in the end it's just a melodrama."[9]

Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader commented, "While the movie holds one's attention throughout, and its liberal message is compelling, we are clued in to certain facts about the heroine so early on that the audience is never really tested along with the characters. What might have been a sharper existential confrontation of our received ideas about sanity merely comes across as an effective courtroom drama, with strategically placed revelations and climaxes.

Release Date: November 20, 1987

Distrib: Warner Brothers

Boxoffice: $30,950,002 2014: $62,200,600


Login / Register to post comments