December 25th, 1996



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Still of Robert Pastorelli in MichaelStill of John Travolta, William Hurt, Andie MacDowell and Robert Pastorelli in MichaelAnne Archer at event of MichaelMichaelStill of John Travolta in MichaelStill of Andie MacDowell in Michael

Two tabloid reporters checking out a report of the Archangel Michael living with an old woman find that it's true. But that's not the only surprise.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 5.5/10 (20,088 voted)

Critic's Score: 38/100

Director: Nora Ephron

Stars: John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt

Frank Quinlan and Huey Driscoll, two reporters from a Chicago-based tabloid, along with Dorothy Winters, an 'angel expert', are asked to travel to rural Iowa to investigate a claim from an old woman that she shares her house with a real, live archangel named Michael. Upon arrival, they see that her claims are true - but Michael is not what they expected: he smokes, drinks beer, has a very active libido and has a rather colourful vocabulary. In fact, they would never believe it were it not for the two feathery wings protruding from his back. Michael agrees to travel to Chicago with the threesome, but what they don't realise is that the journey they are about to undertake will change their lives forever.

Writers: Peter Dexter, Jim Quinlan

John Travolta - Michael
Andie MacDowell - Dorothy Winters
William Hurt - Frank Quinlan
Bob Hoskins - Vartan Malt
Robert Pastorelli - Huey Driscoll
Jean Stapleton - Pansy Milbank
Teri Garr - Judge Esther Newberg
Wallace Langham - Bruce Craddock
Joey Lauren Adams - Anita
Carla Gugino - Bride
Tom Hodges - Groom
Catherine Lloyd Burns - Evie
Richard Schiff - Italian Waiter
Calvin Trillin - Sheriff
Donald J. Lee Jr. - Court Bailiff

Taglines: He's an angel... Not a saint.

Release Date: 25 December 1996

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Opening Weekend: $27,629,196 (USA) (29 December 1996) (2141 Screens)

Gross: $95,345,070 (USA) (11 May 1997)

Technical Specs


Continuity: After the bullfight, the reporter is shown with his tie over his left shoulder, when shot form the front. From behind, the tie is not over his shoulder.

Michael: The miles will fly and your children won't cry, if you play car bingo.

User Review

Lovely Capraesque Comedy Drama


It has been quite some time since I last saw this film. However, the amazingly low IMDB score has prompted me to jot down a few thoughts and memories I have regarding this under-appreciated masterpiece.

I find it appalling that this film would score so poorly in this arena. It is a wonderful, life affirming story with a positive message. Perhaps this is what we have come to. The comedy is not gross enough, the message too sentimental and the meaning too simple for modern "sophisticated" audiences. Well, I for one, absolutely loved every minute of it. It is easily Andie MacDowell's best performance. William Hurt is fantastic as the cynic who comes around in the end and the whole supporting cast does a wonderful job. Of course, John Travolta is superb. This is one of my favorite roles Travolta has played and it is simply resplendent. I would have to say this is in my top twenty of comedy-dramas ever. I just happen to love the way the film unapologetically illustrates how wonderful life is. How even the little things that we take for granted, like pie, are fantastic and how we should enjoy every minute like it was our last.

For a much more detailed and well written review see the fine work of jhclues who echoes my feelings about the movie so much that I feel it would be redundant of me to restate, probably poorly, all that they have already committed to page.

It is also interesting that so many people really hated it. I wonder if they weren't just put off by the "less than traditional" view of a religious subject.


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