The Humbling

Synopsis: An aged and addled actor has his world turned upside down after he embarks upon an affair with a lesbian, in this acidulous adaptation of the Philip Roth novel.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Barry Levinson
Production: Millennium Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

Ten minutes to curtain. Ten minutes.

All the world...

all the world is a stage.

And all the men and women...

merely players.

They have exits.

And they have their entrances.

And they have their exits.

And they have their entrances.

And one man in his time

plays many parts.

His acts being seven ages.

Do you believe that?

Was that real for you?

No, be honest.

Was it honest?

Yes, it was, wasn't it?

No, it wasn't.

It wasn't honest?

Well, what was it then?

No, not very good, no.

I don't believe it.

Should I try it again?

The world is a stage

and all men and women merely players.

How about that? Any better?

They have their exits

and their entrances.

Were you affecting it

or were you really saying it?

And one, a man in his life

plays many parts.

Did that mean anything to you or anyone

that ever existed in the world?

Are you fooling yourself?

Were you not committing

to your own instincts?

What are you supposed to do?

Jump up and down?

You know, do a jig?

Just say your words.

Shakespeare will do the rest.

- You know that.

- Five minutes.

Five minutes. Five minutes.

My face of masks.

My tragedy and my comedy.

Let's put these together tonight, buddy.

I love you both.

Seven ages.

There are seven ages.


his acts being seven ages.

Then the... the whining school boy.

And the whining...

Sighing like an, oh, sighing...

like a furnace.

What is a man? No, that's Hamlet.


Oh, no.

- Open! Oh!

- Yeah?

Thank God.

I just was... I was just in here.

- I was... I got locked out.

- I didn't see you come out.

- I'm Simon Axler.

- No, you're not.

I'm Simon Axler.

- I have the dressing room upstairs.

- Do you need a dollar or something?

I'm in the play!

- I got to be on stage.

- Whoa, whoa, whoa.

- You got to let me through.

- No, no, no.

I'm in there.

I'm supposed to be on stage.

The play has already started.

You're going to have to...

- I'm in the play!

- Keep your voice down.

I'm Simon Axler. I'm on the marquee.

I'm in the lobby. The picture...

like this. Dressed like this.

I'm in the show.

Why would I be dressed like this?

- Please.

- No, no, no. Outside.

I'm Simon Axler. I'm Simon Axler.

I'm in the play.

All men... all men...

And all women... are players.

All men... they're... they are players.

They... they... they have...

I'm Simon Axler. I'm on the marquee.

I play the lead.

I'm Simon Axler. I'm Simon Axler.

Three minutes.

Did I miss my cue?

I missed my cue.

There is not one so young

and so villainous this day living.

I am heartily glad I came hither to you.

I'll give him his payment.

God take your worship.

- 30 seconds.

- I hope I shall see an end of him.

For my soul, yet I know not why,

hates nothing more...

The last scene of all...

that ends this...

strange eventful history...


second childishness...

and mere...


sans teeth...

sans eyes...



sans everything.

The famous pianist, sometimes actor,

and brilliant raconteur

Oscar Levant once said,

"There is a thin line

between genius and insanity."

And he had erased that line.

In a few minutes,

we'll get you something for the pain.

Did you believe that,

that moan I just did,

about my pain? Did you believe that?

I did.

I didn't. Can I try that again?

I think it can be a little more subtle.


No, that's too much.

I can bring it down a little bit.

As an actor...

I've come the realization that...

I'm having trouble separating

a scene from a play

with the realities in real life.

I was out one day. I was out, I think.

Did you believe that, what I just did?

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Buck Henry

Henry Zuckerman, credited as Buck Henry (born December 9, 1930), is an American actor, writer, film director, and television director. He has been nominated for an Academy Award twice, in 1968 for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Graduate and in 1979 for Best Director for Heaven Can Wait. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Humbling" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Sep. 2021. <>.

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