Magnolia (1999)

 ●  English ● Running Time: TBA

Where did you watch this movie?

24 hours in L.A.; it's raining cats and dogs. Two parallel and intercut stories dramatize men about to die: both are estranged from a grown child, both want to make contact, and neither child wants anything to do with dad. Earl Partridge's son is a charismatic misogynist; Jimmy Gator's daughter is a cokehead and waif. A mild and caring nurse intercedes for Earl, reaching the son; a prayerful and upright beat cop meets the daughter, is attracted to her, and leads her toward a new calm. Meanwhile, guilt consumes Earl's young wife, while two whiz kids, one grown and a loser and the other young and pressured, face their situations. The weather, too, is quirky.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: John C Reilly, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, William H Macy

Crew: Paul Thomas Anderson (Director), Robert Elswit (Director of Photography), Jon Brion (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 07 Jan 1999 (India)

Tagline: Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.

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Did you know? When Paul Thomas Anderson approached George C. Scott about playing the role of Earl Partridge, Scott threw the script across the room, saying "This is the worst fucking thing I've ever read. The language is terrible." Read More
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as Officer Jim Kurring
as Linda Partridge
as Frank T.J. Mackey
as Donnie Smith
as Solomon Solomon
as Gwenovier
as Craig Hansen
as Marcie
as Dr. Landon
as Mary
as Cynthia
as Thurston Howell
as Earl Partridge
as Stanley Spector
as Forensic Scientist
as Police Captain
as Luis
as Rose Gator
as Claudia Wilson Gator
as Rick Spector
as Alan Kligman Esq.
as Stanley Berry
as Sir Edmund William Godfrey
as Delmer Darion
as Jimmy Gator
as Phil Parma
as Burt Ramsey / Narrator
as Daniel Hill


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Executive Producer
Associate Producer


Story Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Designer
Foley Artist
Sound Mixer
Sound Re-recording Mixer


Production Designer
Set Decorator

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist


Stunt Coordinator

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Producer
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, DTS, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.
Character Error
At one point Quiz Kid Donnie says: "Samuel Johnson never had his life shit on... and taken from him, and his money stolen! Who took his life and his money? His parents? His mommy, and daddy? Make him live this life like this... A man of genius who gets shit on as a child!... " Actually all of those things happened to Samuel Johnson. He was a child prodigy who was exploited by his parents. His parents also stole of the money he made as a child prodigy.

Character Error
Neil Flynn is credited as Stanley Berry, but in the film, Flynn is seen when the narrator says, "Daniel Hill."

In the "Wise Up" sequence, Claudia is dressed for her date, she's wearing black and her hair is up. When she opens the door to Jim, she's wearing red, her hair is down. On the way to the car, she is again wearing black etc, and at the restaurant she is back wearing red.

Two lights on the back of the ambulance are on and off in consecutive shots.

As Officer Jim drives in his patrol car, he has the windshield wipers on full blast because he can't see through the downpour. As the camera angle changes and we view the oncoming traffic, the oncoming vehicle's windshield wipers are not moving and the downpour seems no more than a mist.

When Linda Partridge is swallowing pills in her car, it's raining outside. A few minutes later, when she's passed out, the car is bone dry.

Crew/Equipment Visible
Approximately 13 minutes into the film, Officer Jim Kurring is wearing sunglasses while driving that reflect the camera mounted on the hood.

Crew/Equipment Visible
Shadow moving on the wall behind Frank Mackey as he sits down beside Earl's deathbed.
Almost every location contains at least one picture or painting of a magnolia flower.

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote the bulk of the script during two weeks he spent at William H. Macy's Vermont cabin - afraid to go outside because he'd seen a snake.

The telephone number (877) TAME-HER is shown on the "Seduce and Destroy" infomercials within the movie. Dialing this number used to give a recording of Tom Cruise giving the Seduce and Destroy pitch.

Claudia was the first character created, and the other characters were branched off from her.

Exodus 8:2 is alluded to over a hundred times throughout the movie.

According to Philip Baker Hall, the scene where Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) visits Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) on his deathbed is loosely based on Paul Thomas Anderson's experiences of watching his father, the late WABC-TV announcer Ernie Anderson, die of cancer.

The story about the man being killed by a gunshot while falling off a building has for years been used as a hypothetical case in criminal law classes to illustrate causation.

When Paul Thomas Anderson approached George C. Scott about playing the role of Earl Partridge, Scott threw the script across the room, saying "This is the worst fucking thing I've ever read. The language is terrible."

Exodus 8:2 reads, "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs."

Paul Thomas Anderson's favorite film of his own.

Paul Thomas Anderson wanted to cast Burt Reynolds for an unspecified role. But Reynolds became angry with Anderson during the promotional tour for Boogie Nights (1997) and turned the role down.

Musician Fiona Apple is responsible for many of the paintings seen throughout.

There were reported walkouts when Magnolia (1999) was first released into cinemas.

Everytime we see Donnie (William H. Macy) in his car, the same song is playing on the radio ("Dreams" by UK artist Gabrielle).

Paul Thomas Anderson made a visit to the set of Eyes Wide Shut (1999), where he offered the role of Frank T.J. Mackey to Tom Cruise.

The title "Magnolia" not only refers to Magnolia Blvd in LA, where much of the movie takes place, but is also similar to the term Charles Fort (who is referenced many places in this movie) coined for a hypothetical region where things that fall from the sky come from - "Magonia".

Fiona Apple is also uncredited as the voice of the wrong number that Phil Parma calls in an attempt to find Frank T.J. Mackey.

Jason Robards' last feature film.

Paul Thomas Anderson screened the film Network (1976) to his production team before filming began.