The Telephone

Watch The Telephone

  • R
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 21 min
  • 4.1  (1,133)

The movie The Telephone, released in 1988, is a comedy-drama film directed by Rip Torn and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Severn Darden, and Amy Wright. The story begins with a woman named Vashti Blue (played by Goldberg), a struggling actress and singer from New York City, who is attending her friend's wedding. Vashti is feeling down on her luck and is contemplating her life choices when she stumbles onto a working payphone. While attempting to make a call, she is interrupted by a mysterious and neurotic stranger named Harry (played by Darden) who won't let her hang up the phone.

As they are connected by the phone line, Vashti and Harry begin an unexpected and bizarre conversation, where they reveal intimate details about their lives and personalities. Harry desperately needs someone to talk to, and Vashti, out of boredom and curiosity, agrees to listen. What follows is a hilarious and touching conversation between two individuals who are arguably at opposite ends of the spectrum.

The entire movie takes place within the confines of the payphone booth, making it a claustrophobic and intense viewing experience. The story alternates between flashbacks of Vashti's life, including her failed relationships, and the present-day conversation she is having with Harry. The two unlikely strangers slowly open up to each other, baring their souls and exposing their deepest fears and innermost desires, as they cling onto each other through the phone line.

Although the movie is a comedy, it touches on serious themes such as the struggle of finding purpose and happiness, the loneliness of urban life, and the power of human connection. The Telephone is a movie about two people who seek to understand and be understood, and the moments of laughter and insight they share throughout the course of their conversation are both touching and entertaining. The chemistry between Goldberg and Darden is undeniable, and their performances carry the weight of the entire movie.

In addition to the main characters, the supporting cast of The Telephone is also excellent. Amy Wright plays Joan, Vashti's loyal friend who listens to her trials and tribulations, and who serves as the voice of reason throughout the movie. Also, Roseanna Arquette makes a brief appearance as a homeless woman who injects a moment of levity and pathos into the story.

The film's soundtrack is a standout feature as well, featuring some classic Motown hits from artists such as the Four Tops and the Supremes, that add an element of nostalgia and authenticity to the film's setting.

Overall, The Telephone is a quirky and charming movie that is well worth watching. Although released over thirty years ago, the themes and characters in the movie are still relevant today. It offers a witty and insightful look at the human experience, and a reminder that sometimes, the most profound connections can be made with total strangers.

The Telephone is a 1988 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 21 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.1.

The Telephone
Where to Watch The Telephone
The Telephone is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Pluto TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Telephone for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 21 min
  • IMDB Rating
    4.1  (1,133)