Simon (1980 film)

Simon-alan arkin.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarshall Brickman
Screenplay byMarshall Brickman
Story byMarshall Brickman
Thomas Baum
Produced byMartin Bregman
StarringAlan Arkin
Madeline Kahn
Austin Pendleton
Judy Graubart
William Finley
Wallace Shawn
Max Wright
CinematographyAdam Holender
Edited byNina Feinberg
Music byStanley Silverman
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 1980 (1980-02)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$6 million

Simon is a 1980 American comedy film written and directed by Marshall Brickman and starring Alan Arkin.

Plot summary[]

The Institute for Advanced Concepts, a group of scientists with an unlimited budget and a propensity for elaborate pranks, brainwash a psychology professor named Simon Mendelssohn who was abandoned at birth and manage to convince him, and the rest of the world, that he is of extraterrestrial origin. Simon escapes and attempts to reform American culture by overriding TV signals with a high-powered TV transmitter, becoming a national celebrity in the process.



Simon received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 60% from 20 reviews.[1]

Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, saying that the film is “neither a funny nor insightful film. In fact, "Simon" is a scattershot mess.”[2] Both he and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two “no” votes on their show Sneak Previews.


Alan Arkin was nominated for Best Actor in the 1981 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.[3]

Home video availability[]

In 1981 and 1990, the film was released on VHS format by Warner Home Video and is now out of print. A remastered copy of the film was released via Warner Archives' Made To Order DVD-R service in 2011 in its original full-frame 16x9 (1.85:1) format.


  1. ^ "Simon". Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. ^ "Chicago Tribune Simon review*". Chicago Tribune. 1980-03-14. p. 45. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  3. ^ Alan Arkin's Awards page at the Internet Movie Database

External links[]