Whoopi Goldberg stars as an eccentric out-of-work actress, disconnected from reality, who ignores the threatening calls from her many creditors, choosing instead to amuse herself with the telephone. But her quiet and whimsical evening alone turns into a circus - one with a crazy grand finale.

 

Terry Southern and Harry Nilsson wrote the script with Robin Williams in mind. But they were not able to present the script to Williams - "Robin's scripts have to go through his wife, and she wouldn't give it to him" according to Southern.

 

Bruce Johnston wrote the song "Happy Endings" for The Telephone. Little Richard joined the Beach Boys to record the song.

 

"In her one-woman show, Whoopi Goldberg was a fresh and original hit on Broadway. But The Telephone, which is essentially a one-woman movie, fails to ring any bells. The screenplay by Terry Southern and Harry Nilsson is mostly a series of monologues, with Goldberg, cast as an out-of-work actress, talking on her zebra-striped telephone. They might as well have asked Goldberg to carry off reading the phone book. This is a cheap, labor-intensive idea for a movie, but no amount of manic invention could have saved it. The Telephone is as dull as it is exhausting to watch. When Elliott Gould and John Heard pay brief visits to Goldberg's apartment, they do little to relieve the film's claustrophobia, but they offer some needed relief from her racing, steamroller monologues." -- New York Times

 

Hawkeye Entertainment produced the film.