Greetings (1968)

X | 88 mins | Comedy | 15 December 1968

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HISTORY

Greetings was director and co-writer Brian De Palma’s second feature film, after Murder a la Mod (1968, see entry). It also marked the motion picture acting debuts of Robert De Niro and Gerrit Graham, although De Niro may have previously appeared in uncredited roles in the French films Trois chambres a Manhattan (1965) and Les jeunes loups (1968).
       Filming took place in New York City and Secaucus, NJ. As noted in the 27 Nov 1968 Var, the entire cast and crew were under thirty years old.
       On 13 Nov 1968, Var reported that distribution rights had been acquired by Sigma III Corp. Later that month, the film received an “X” rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Sigma was set to appeal the rating, which was reportedly based on a scene “involving a stag film.”
       The X-rating was retained, and Greetings opened on 15 Dec 1968 in New York City. Critical reception was mixed. In a positive review published on 13 Dec 1968, DV praised the film’s “freshness” and cited the many devices used by De Palma, including “title cards setting the action, films-within-the-film, asides to the audience, [and] jump double-exposures.” DV predicted the X-rating would not hurt ticket sales, and noted that certain nude scenes and an erotic monologue, while gratuitous, were in keeping with the “context of how life is for today’s new generation.”
       The 2 Feb 1969 NYT announced that producer and co-writer Charles Hirsch and De Palma had co-written a sequel titled Son of Greetings, to be produced by Filmways ... More Less

Greetings was director and co-writer Brian De Palma’s second feature film, after Murder a la Mod (1968, see entry). It also marked the motion picture acting debuts of Robert De Niro and Gerrit Graham, although De Niro may have previously appeared in uncredited roles in the French films Trois chambres a Manhattan (1965) and Les jeunes loups (1968).
       Filming took place in New York City and Secaucus, NJ. As noted in the 27 Nov 1968 Var, the entire cast and crew were under thirty years old.
       On 13 Nov 1968, Var reported that distribution rights had been acquired by Sigma III Corp. Later that month, the film received an “X” rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Sigma was set to appeal the rating, which was reportedly based on a scene “involving a stag film.”
       The X-rating was retained, and Greetings opened on 15 Dec 1968 in New York City. Critical reception was mixed. In a positive review published on 13 Dec 1968, DV praised the film’s “freshness” and cited the many devices used by De Palma, including “title cards setting the action, films-within-the-film, asides to the audience, [and] jump double-exposures.” DV predicted the X-rating would not hurt ticket sales, and noted that certain nude scenes and an erotic monologue, while gratuitous, were in keeping with the “context of how life is for today’s new generation.”
       The 2 Feb 1969 NYT announced that producer and co-writer Charles Hirsch and De Palma had co-written a sequel titled Son of Greetings, to be produced by Filmways Pictures. The sequel was released in 1970 under the title Hi, Mom! (see entry), with De Niro reprising the role of “Jon Rubin.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Dec 1968
p. 3, 13.
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1969
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
16 Dec 1968
p. 61.
New York Times
2 Feb 1969
Section D, p. 13.
Variety
13 Nov 1968
p. 25.
Variety
27 Nov 1968
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Titles
SOURCES
SONGS
Selected songs, words and music by The Children of Paradise, sung by The Children of Paradise.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 December 1968
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 Dec 1968; Los Angeles opening: week of 21 May 1969
Copyright Claimant:
West End Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 December 1968
Copyright Number:
PA385829
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
X
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Three young New Yorkers--Paul Shaw, Lloyd Clay, and Jon Rubin--try to cope with contemporary society. Paul, who is obsessed with sex, gets called for a preinduction Army physical and agrees with Jon and Lloyd that the best way to beat the draft is to pose as either a homosexual or a right-wing militant or both. Lloyd, who is obsessed with various theories discrediting the Warren Commission Report on the Kennedy assassination, spends his time tracing bullet trajectories on the naked bodies of accommodating girls. Jon, a peeping tom, goes around persuading young women to disrobe under conditions ideally suited to his fixation. Awaiting his draft call, Paul goes on a series of computer dates and then makes a stag movie. Lloyd takes a brief respite from his Warren Report investigation only to get shot down while boarding a Statue of Liberty ferryboat. Eventually, it is Jon who ends up in Vietnam. As he is being interviewed in a rice paddy by a newsman, he spots a female member of the Viet Cong and cuts the interview short in an attempt to persuade the girl to remove her clothing. Back in the U.S., President Johnson appears on television, to assure Americans: "We've never had it so ... +


Three young New Yorkers--Paul Shaw, Lloyd Clay, and Jon Rubin--try to cope with contemporary society. Paul, who is obsessed with sex, gets called for a preinduction Army physical and agrees with Jon and Lloyd that the best way to beat the draft is to pose as either a homosexual or a right-wing militant or both. Lloyd, who is obsessed with various theories discrediting the Warren Commission Report on the Kennedy assassination, spends his time tracing bullet trajectories on the naked bodies of accommodating girls. Jon, a peeping tom, goes around persuading young women to disrobe under conditions ideally suited to his fixation. Awaiting his draft call, Paul goes on a series of computer dates and then makes a stag movie. Lloyd takes a brief respite from his Warren Report investigation only to get shot down while boarding a Statue of Liberty ferryboat. Eventually, it is Jon who ends up in Vietnam. As he is being interviewed in a rice paddy by a newsman, he spots a female member of the Viet Cong and cuts the interview short in an attempt to persuade the girl to remove her clothing. Back in the U.S., President Johnson appears on television, to assure Americans: "We've never had it so good." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.