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HISTORY

According to a 7 Dec 1964 LAT article, Evelyn Waugh was inspired to write The Loved One (1948) after becoming disillusioned with Hollywood amid failed negotiations over the rights to Brideshead Revisited. Despite his reluctance to return to the film industry, Waugh eventually lost control of his works when they were transferred to his estate, and Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel acquired rights to The Loved One in the mid-1950s. Alec Guinness was attached to star, and DV items in Apr 1957 confirmed the involvement of Hollywood agent-turned-producer Ingo Preminger, co-producer Manuel Barbachano, and writer Phillip Roll. Several years passed without development, however, and the option was dropped until 1961, when Filmways, Inc. producer John Calley and cameraman Haskell Wexler heard about the property while on location in Italy and offered to purchase it from Buñuel. A 14 Feb 1962 DV article reported news of Filmways’ upcoming announcement through founder and producer Martin Ransohoff.
       Although a 28 Feb 1962 LAT article suggested that Buñuel and Roll were still involved with the screenwriting process, one month later, the 27 Mar 1962 DV announced that Elaine May had joined the project for her first motion picture writing assignment. A 24 Apr 1962 DV news brief indicated that filmmakers were in discussions with Laurence Olivier to direct, and Ransohoff told the 2 Aug 1962 LAT that he hoped to hire Richard Burton for the leading role. The 7 Dec 1964 LAT article claimed that the property attracted both Burton and wife Elizabeth Taylor, much to the displeasure of director Terry ... More Less

According to a 7 Dec 1964 LAT article, Evelyn Waugh was inspired to write The Loved One (1948) after becoming disillusioned with Hollywood amid failed negotiations over the rights to Brideshead Revisited. Despite his reluctance to return to the film industry, Waugh eventually lost control of his works when they were transferred to his estate, and Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel acquired rights to The Loved One in the mid-1950s. Alec Guinness was attached to star, and DV items in Apr 1957 confirmed the involvement of Hollywood agent-turned-producer Ingo Preminger, co-producer Manuel Barbachano, and writer Phillip Roll. Several years passed without development, however, and the option was dropped until 1961, when Filmways, Inc. producer John Calley and cameraman Haskell Wexler heard about the property while on location in Italy and offered to purchase it from Buñuel. A 14 Feb 1962 DV article reported news of Filmways’ upcoming announcement through founder and producer Martin Ransohoff.
       Although a 28 Feb 1962 LAT article suggested that Buñuel and Roll were still involved with the screenwriting process, one month later, the 27 Mar 1962 DV announced that Elaine May had joined the project for her first motion picture writing assignment. A 24 Apr 1962 DV news brief indicated that filmmakers were in discussions with Laurence Olivier to direct, and Ransohoff told the 2 Aug 1962 LAT that he hoped to hire Richard Burton for the leading role. The 7 Dec 1964 LAT article claimed that the property attracted both Burton and wife Elizabeth Taylor, much to the displeasure of director Terry Richardson. Believing they were inappropriate for the film, Richardson temporarily dropped out until it was decided that Filmways would be unable to accommodate the couple’s request to shoot in Spain for tax purposes.
       Now in full artistic control, Richardson proceeded with casting. A 14 Oct 1963 DV news brief indicated that both Shirley MacLaine and Zero Mostel were eager to work with the director following the success of Tom Jones (1963), while an LAT article published eleven days later indicated that Richardson would likely team with Tom Jones star Albert Finney. Earlier items in the 9 Aug 1963 and 5 Sep 1963 DV stated that Carroll Baker and Peter Sellers were in consideration to star before Robert Morse landed the leading role later that year.
       Meanwhile, DV and Var reported that May’s script went through revisions by Arthur Ross, Charles Eastman, Christopher Isherwood, and Terry Southern. An article in the 19 Jul 1964 NYT alleged that there were “at least seven” versions to date, all intended to “update and expand” the satire of Waugh’s novel to comment on other elements of Southern California lifestyles beyond the Hollywood industry. This also allowed several opportunities for cameo roles, with DV items throughout the late summer and fall of 1964 naming Viven Leigh, Julie Harris, Laurence Olivier, Kim Stanley, Claire Bloom, Peter Finch, Diane Cilento, Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, and Simone Signoret among those who were in talks to participate. The 3 Sep 1964 and 27 Nov 1964 DV referred to appearances by Gail Gilmore and Jayne Mansfield, while the 29 Jul 1964 DV stated that Ransohoff also made his onscreen debut as a studio art director in a scene opposite John Gielgud. Casting announcements included Keenan Wynn, Nina Shipman, Joy Harmon, Todd Mason, Barbara Latell, and Renee Paul in the cast, but their involvement could not be confirmed.
       Principal photography began 28 Jul 1964, as stated in a DV production chart published on 14 Aug 1964. According to a 23 Jul 1964 DV news story, scenes of the fictional “Metropolitan Studios” were shot at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios in Culver City, CA. A 25 Sep 1964 DV story indicated that area locations included the Beverly Hills Health Club, Greystone mansion, Pet Haven Pet Cemetery in Gardena, a private home on West 20th Street in Los Angeles, the Fish Shanty restaurant, Gaslight Club, and the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. studio commissary. The 24 Nov 1964 DV stated that James Coburn’s scenes were shot at the Pan American and Trans World Airlines satellite offices at Los Angeles International Airport. Problems arose at the Greystone mansion, as a 24 Sep 1964 LAT news story reported vandalism on the property, and the 23 Oct 1964 DV indicated that the city of Beverly Hills rejected the unit’s plans to film a helicopter landing on the premises. By 28 Oct 1964, Var announced that the $1.9 million budget had inflated to nearly $3 million, and the production was currently two months over schedule. The 9 Dec 1964 Var reported an anticipated wrap date of 12 Dec 1964, with a final negative cost around $4 million.
       During principal photography, the 3 Sep 1964 DV announced that Agnes Moorehead was forced to relinquish a role when she was recalled to the set of Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964, see entry) after Joan Crawford was replaced by Olivia de Havilland. Two months later, the 19 Nov 1964 DV stated that Kim Stanley also dropped out of the picture due to an injury. Although she was immediately replaced by Barbara Nichols, the 13 Oct 1965 Var reported that Nichols’s scenes had been cut following multiple test screenings.
       Despite built-in popularity of Richardson’s Tom Jones, a 1 Sep 1965 DV news item indicated that MGM was “worried” about how to develop a marketing strategy for The Loved One. As reported by the 24 Aug 1965 DV, Venice Film Festival director Luigi Chiarini had pursued The Loved One as an entry for that year’s festival taking place 24 Aug—6 Sep 1965, but it was allegedly not finished in time to participate. The picture opened publicly on 11 Oct 1965 at New York City’s Cinema I, and 10 Nov 1965 at the Fine Arts Theatre in Los Angeles. A 4 Jan 1967 Var list of “Big Rental Pictures of 1966” calculated total domestic rentals at $1.9 million, with $2 million of anticipated revenue.
       The Loved One marked the feature film debut of actor-composer Paul Williams (1940--), who was billed as Paul H. Williams until the early 1970s. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1957
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1957
p. 10.
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1962
p. 6.
Daily Variety
13 Dec 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Sep 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1964
p. 14.
Daily Variety
10 Mar 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 May 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1964
p. 3.
Daily Variety
23 Jul 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
23 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1964
p. 3.
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1964
p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1964
p. 15.
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1964
p. 3.
Daily Variety
13 Oct 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1964
p. 3.
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1964
p. 14.
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
24 Nov 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Nov 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Nov 1964
p. 14.
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1965
p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
28 Feb 1962
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1962
Section C, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
25 Oct 1963
Section F, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
24 Sep 1964
Section C, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
7 Dec 1964
Section B, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
21 Oct 1965
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
7 Nov 1965
Section B, p. 17.
New York Times
19 Jul 1964
Section X, p. 5.
New York Times
12 Oct 1965
p. 57.
Variety
27 Feb 1963
p. 3.
Variety
28 Oct 1964
p. 5.
Variety
9 Dec 1964
p. 24.
Variety
1 Sep 1965
p. 5.
Variety
13 Oct 1965
p. 26.
Variety
4 Jan 1967
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
1st & 2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec consultant
COSTUMES
Men's cost
Women's cost
Cost coordinator
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
Sd mix
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Body makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Asst to prod
Asst to prod
Asst to director
Asst to director
Asst to executive prod
Prod secy
Scr supv
Location research
Casting supv
Gaffer
Head grip
Prop master
Prop master
Constr coordinator
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh (Boston, 1948).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 October 1965
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 October 1965
Los Angeles opening: 10 November 1965
Production Date:
28 July--12 December 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Filmways, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 October 1965
Copyright Number:
LP32175
Duration(in mins):
116
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dennis Barlow, an English poet whose speciality is plagiarism, arrives in Hollywood to stay with his uncle, Sir Francis Hinsley. Sir Francis, a long-time art director for motion picture productions is fired by his studio in an economy move and commits suicide by hanging himself. Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, leader of the British film colony, asks Dennis to arrange Sir Francis' funeral at Whispering Glades Memorial Park, the most exclusive Hollywood Cemetery. Whispering Glades is run by the Blessed Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy. Dennis gets a job with Wilbur's twin brother, Harry, as a preacher at The Happier Hunting Grounds, a pet cemetery; and he falls in love with Aimee Thanatogenos, a Whispering Glades cosmetologist who is wooed also by Mr. Joyboy, the chief embalmer. Aimee spurns both of them because of her dismay in learning that Dennis steals his poems and her disgust for Joyboy's gluttonous mother. She is still confused about what to do after consulting the Guru Brahmin and asks the Reverend Glenworthy for advice, but she is driven to suicide by embalming herself when Glenworthy makes advances to her. He has been plotting to disinter the caskets and launch them into space, thus freeing the cemetery for valuable land use as a senior citizen's home. He had planned to initiate this program with the cooperation of Air Force General Brinkman by using the body of an astronaut. Aimee's body is substituted for the dead astronaut and lifted into space on a rocket developed by a child prodigy. Dennis goes back to ... +


Dennis Barlow, an English poet whose speciality is plagiarism, arrives in Hollywood to stay with his uncle, Sir Francis Hinsley. Sir Francis, a long-time art director for motion picture productions is fired by his studio in an economy move and commits suicide by hanging himself. Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, leader of the British film colony, asks Dennis to arrange Sir Francis' funeral at Whispering Glades Memorial Park, the most exclusive Hollywood Cemetery. Whispering Glades is run by the Blessed Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy. Dennis gets a job with Wilbur's twin brother, Harry, as a preacher at The Happier Hunting Grounds, a pet cemetery; and he falls in love with Aimee Thanatogenos, a Whispering Glades cosmetologist who is wooed also by Mr. Joyboy, the chief embalmer. Aimee spurns both of them because of her dismay in learning that Dennis steals his poems and her disgust for Joyboy's gluttonous mother. She is still confused about what to do after consulting the Guru Brahmin and asks the Reverend Glenworthy for advice, but she is driven to suicide by embalming herself when Glenworthy makes advances to her. He has been plotting to disinter the caskets and launch them into space, thus freeing the cemetery for valuable land use as a senior citizen's home. He had planned to initiate this program with the cooperation of Air Force General Brinkman by using the body of an astronaut. Aimee's body is substituted for the dead astronaut and lifted into space on a rocket developed by a child prodigy. Dennis goes back to England. +

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.