Barefoot in the Park (1967)

105 mins | Romantic comedy | 25 May 1967

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HISTORY

Although the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s stage play Barefoot in the Park was not set to debut until the fall of 1963, a 30 Jan 1963 Var brief announced that Warner Bros. Pictures had already negotiated a deal with Simon’s agent, Irving Paul Lazar, to obtain screen rights for an adaptation starring Natalie Wood. Before formal documents were drawn, Simon entered discussions with Paramount Pictures, leading Warner Bros. to file suit against the competing studio, Simon, and his production company, Ellen Enterprises. According to the 18 Apr 1964 DV, Warner Bros. alleged that Paramount had “wrongfully induced” Simon into breaking his existing agreement, and sought to stop any sale of film rights until the case could be reviewed in court. A 5 Feb 1964 LAT release schedule indicated that Paramount kept the property on its list of upcoming projects, but did not move ahead with development until the legal dispute had been resolved. On 12 Feb 1965, DV reported that the New York Court of Appeals upheld a prior Supreme Court ruling to dismiss Warner Bros.’ claim, due to insufficient evidence that Simon and Lazar’s deal with the studio had ever been finalized.
       Shortly after the decision, the 28 Apr 1965 DV confirmed Hal B. Wallis as producer through his company, Hal Wallis Productions. Items in the 19 Oct 1966 Var and 28 Nov 1966 DV suggested that Wallis’s producing partner, Joseph H. Hazen, was also involved with creative development. The 29 Dec 1965 edition reported that the show’s Broadway director, Mike Nichols, was in talks to helm the screen version ... More Less

Although the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s stage play Barefoot in the Park was not set to debut until the fall of 1963, a 30 Jan 1963 Var brief announced that Warner Bros. Pictures had already negotiated a deal with Simon’s agent, Irving Paul Lazar, to obtain screen rights for an adaptation starring Natalie Wood. Before formal documents were drawn, Simon entered discussions with Paramount Pictures, leading Warner Bros. to file suit against the competing studio, Simon, and his production company, Ellen Enterprises. According to the 18 Apr 1964 DV, Warner Bros. alleged that Paramount had “wrongfully induced” Simon into breaking his existing agreement, and sought to stop any sale of film rights until the case could be reviewed in court. A 5 Feb 1964 LAT release schedule indicated that Paramount kept the property on its list of upcoming projects, but did not move ahead with development until the legal dispute had been resolved. On 12 Feb 1965, DV reported that the New York Court of Appeals upheld a prior Supreme Court ruling to dismiss Warner Bros.’ claim, due to insufficient evidence that Simon and Lazar’s deal with the studio had ever been finalized.
       Shortly after the decision, the 28 Apr 1965 DV confirmed Hal B. Wallis as producer through his company, Hal Wallis Productions. Items in the 19 Oct 1966 Var and 28 Nov 1966 DV suggested that Wallis’s producing partner, Joseph H. Hazen, was also involved with creative development. The 29 Dec 1965 edition reported that the show’s Broadway director, Mike Nichols, was in talks to helm the screen version for Paramount, but Nichols was supposedly reluctant to repeat the same projects in a new medium. The following year, Gene Saks signed on to make his motion picture directorial debut.
       Meanwhile, Nichols’s original Broadway production continued its run at the Biltmore Theatre after opening on 23 Oct 1963, and its positive reception initiated several local and touring performances around the world. Robert Redford, who gained recognition for his turn as uptight husband “Paul Bratter” on the New York stage, agreed to reprise his role for the film by signing a three-picture deal with Paramount, as reported by the 1 Mar 1965 DV. Mildred Natwick and Herbert Edelman also carried over from the legitimate production.
       The 16 Aug 1965 DV and 4 Nov 1965 LAT indicated that Geraldine Chaplin was a longtime contender for the role of Redford’s onscreen wife, “Corie Bratter,” but casting continued well into the following year while Simon completed the script. Various DV casting items named Elizabeth Hartman, Susan Saint James, Faye Dunaway, Yvette Mimieux, Sandra Dee, Suzanne Pleshette, Samantha Eggar, and Marlo Thomas (who appeared briefly in the role in London, England) among those considered before a 12 Oct 1966 Var item announced the casting of Jane Fonda. An 18 Jul 1966 DV brief claimed Wallis’s close friend Earl Holliman assisted with some of the actresses’ screen tests.
       The “Movie Call Sheet” published in the 8 Dec 1966 LAT listed John C. Becher, Lisa Ackerman, Stephen Bernstein, Jack Garveck, and Judith Lowery among the cast.
       A week of rehearsals preceded principal photography, and a 4 Nov 1966 DV production chart confirmed a start date of 31 Oct 1966. Filming took place at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, CA, until late Nov, when the production moved to New York City for a week of exterior shooting. According to the 1 Jan 1967 LAT, locations included Washington Square Park, several avenues in Greenwich Village, Central Park, and the Plaza Hotel, where the unit occupied the lobby between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Some interiors scheduled to be shot on the Paramount backlot were completed inside a Greenwich Village bar and grocery store when rain disrupted original outdoor plans. The 28 Nov 1966 DV stated that the cast and crew returned to Los Angeles on 1 Dec 1966. Three weeks later, the 21 Dec 1966 Var indicated that photography was still underway.
       According to the 28 Apr 1967 NYT, New York City Mayor John Lindsay and his wife sponsored a 24 May 1967 preview screening of the film at the Victoria Theatre to benefit the Mayor’s Commission on Youth and Physical Fitness. The picture began its regular engagement the following day at Radio City Music Hall. A West Coast premiere took place 28 Jun 1967 as the inaugural event of the newly opened Plaza Theatre in Westwood, CA. The 9 May 1967 LAT stated that proceeds were intended to honor late Hollywood columnist Mike Connolly with the creation of a memorial fellowship at the University of Southern California (USC), but alternate arrangements were made shortly before the event, and the 26 Jun 1967 LAT reported that all funds were directed to the Foundation for the Junior Blind.
       Mildred Natwick’s performance as “Mrs. Ethel Banks” earned her an Academy Award nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Apr 1963
pp. 1-2.
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1965
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1965
p. 1.
Daily Variety
5 Aug 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 1966
p. 9.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
28 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
5 Feb 1964
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
4 Nov 1965
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
8 Dec 1966
Section D, p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jan 1967
Section C, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
9 May 1967
Section D, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jun 1967
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jun 1967
Section D, p. 1, 9.
New York Times
28 Apr 1967
p. 36.
New York Times
25 May 1967
p. 57.
New York Times
26 May 1967
p. 51.
Variety
30 Jan 1963
p. 3.
Variety
12 Oct 1966
p. 21.
Variety
19 Oct 1966
p. 16.
Variety
23 Nov 1966
p. 22.
Variety
21 Dec 1966
p. 18.
Variety
17 May 1967
p. 61.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon (New York, 23 Oct 1963).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Barefoot in the Park," words by Johnny Mercer, music by Neal Hefti.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 May 1967
Premiere Information:
New York benefit screening: 24 May 1967
New York opening: 25 May 1967
Los Angeles premiere: 28 June 1967
Los Angeles opening: 30 June 1967
Production Date:
began 31 October 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Nancy Enterprises
Copyright Date:
25 May 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34529
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
105
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After spending their entire 6-day honeymoon in a suite at New York's Plaza Hotel, Corie and Paul Bratter move into their Greenwich Village apartment. For the optimistic Corie, the whole adventure of making a home is pure enchantment; but Paul, a conservative lawyer, is dismayed by the inconvenience and general drabness. Their upstairs neighbor, Victor Velasco, is a self-admitted rake accustomed to using their bedroom window to reach his own quarters because he has been evicted by the landlord. Corie is fascinated by Victor's continental manner, and she decides that he would be the perfect companion for her widowed mother. When they all go to an Albanian restaurant on Staten Island, Corie's mother, Mrs. Banks, drinks and eats everything that is bad for her ulcer, falls down a flight of stairs, and ends up spending the night at Victor's. The evening also precipitates a quarrel between Corie and Paul, and Corie demands a divorce. Paul goes on a binge, gives his topcoat to a tramp in Washington Square, and starts running barefoot in the 30-degree weather to Central Park. After a talk with her mother, who admits to a pleasant but harmless evening with Victor, Corie realizes that marriage should be more than a lark. Repentant, she goes to find Paul and bring him home; but, drunkenly determined to live up to Corie's idea of fun, he crawls out on the roof through their skylight and teeters on the ledge. Corie climbs after him and assures him that she does not want him to change. A crowd of sidewalk spectators, including Mrs. Banks and Victor, break into spontaneous applause as the newlyweds ... +


After spending their entire 6-day honeymoon in a suite at New York's Plaza Hotel, Corie and Paul Bratter move into their Greenwich Village apartment. For the optimistic Corie, the whole adventure of making a home is pure enchantment; but Paul, a conservative lawyer, is dismayed by the inconvenience and general drabness. Their upstairs neighbor, Victor Velasco, is a self-admitted rake accustomed to using their bedroom window to reach his own quarters because he has been evicted by the landlord. Corie is fascinated by Victor's continental manner, and she decides that he would be the perfect companion for her widowed mother. When they all go to an Albanian restaurant on Staten Island, Corie's mother, Mrs. Banks, drinks and eats everything that is bad for her ulcer, falls down a flight of stairs, and ends up spending the night at Victor's. The evening also precipitates a quarrel between Corie and Paul, and Corie demands a divorce. Paul goes on a binge, gives his topcoat to a tramp in Washington Square, and starts running barefoot in the 30-degree weather to Central Park. After a talk with her mother, who admits to a pleasant but harmless evening with Victor, Corie realizes that marriage should be more than a lark. Repentant, she goes to find Paul and bring him home; but, drunkenly determined to live up to Corie's idea of fun, he crawls out on the roof through their skylight and teeters on the ledge. Corie climbs after him and assures him that she does not want him to change. A crowd of sidewalk spectators, including Mrs. Banks and Victor, break into spontaneous applause as the newlyweds reconcile. +

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

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