AFI Movie Club: MOONSTRUCK – American Film Institute
Moonstruck Film Still - Nicolas Cage and Cher



MOONSTRUCK appears at #17 on AFI’s list of the most beautiful love stories and #41 on AFI’s list of the funniest comedies in American film history. Cher’s iconic line ­ “Snap out of it!” ranks #96 on AFI’s list of the best movie quotes. Director Norman Jewison said that he was inspired by the American Film Institute when he created the Canadian Film Center in 1988. He was also the recipient of an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2008. 

Watch Jessica Chastain announce the film:


Movie Trivia about MOONSTRUCK

DID YOU KNOW that the original title of MOONSTRUCK was THE BRIDE AND THE WOLF? However, director Norman Jewison thought it sounded like a horror film, much to writer John Patrick Shanley’s chagrin.  

DID YOU KNOW that Cher urged Norman Jewison to cast Nicolas Cage after seeing his performance in PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED?  

DID YOU KNOW that Nicolas Cage’s memorable performance during the “I lost my hand” speech was inspired by watching Rudolf Klein-Rogge in Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS?  

DID YOU KNOW that Olympia Dukakis was mostly known for theater and television roles before she was cast as Rose Castorini in MOONSTRUCK?  

DID YOU KNOW that a real, working bakery was used in the filming of MOONSTRUCK? During production, the owner insisted on keeping his business open so he could continue to fill orders and bake 5,000 loaves of bread a day. 

DID YOU KNOW that the production included a prop moon – dubbed “Wendy” – which was made out of 196 fey lights attached to a giant cherry picker? The prop, invented by British cinematographer David Watkin, depicted the moon rising at night and was also perched over the set, illuminating cast members.   

DID YOU KNOW that principal photography on MOONSTRUCK concluded on February 13, 1987 – coincidentally the night of a full moon?  

DID YOU KNOW that MOONSTRUCK won three Academy Awards® — Best Actress in a Leading Role (Cher), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Olympia Dukakis) and Best Screenplay (John Patrick Shanley)?  

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions 

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below. 

-What did you think of the film’s representation of a New York Italian family?  

-How is MOONSTRUCK an unconventional romantic comedy? How does Loretta (Cher) diverge from the normal archetype for a leading lady in a romcom?  

-What are the moments that made you laugh out loud the hardest?  

-Why do you think Loretta (Cher) and Johnny (Nicolas Cage) are so attracted to one another?  

-How does the film use music both in its iconic opening and in the opera scene?  

-What is your favorite line in the movie?   

-How would you rate MOONSTRUCK? 


Watch this exclusive AFI Archive clip of Cher speaking about winning the Oscar® for MOONSTRUCK:


New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.


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