Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)

R | 106 mins | Comedy | 12 August 1970

Director:

Cy Howard

Producer:

David Susskind

Cinematographer:

Andrew Laszlo

Production Designer:

Ben Edwards

Production Company:

ABC Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to a 20 Sep 1970 LAT interview with director Cy Howard, ABC Pictures Corp. president Martin Baum first saw Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna’s play Lovers and Other Strangers during its pre-Broadway run in Detroit, MI. Interested in making a feature film, Baum optioned the rights in a deal that was officially announced in the 20 Sep 1968 NYT, just two days after the show’s New York City bow at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Along with an upfront figure of $250,000, ABC agreed to pay an additional ten percent for every profitable week the show enjoyed on Broadway and in other post-Broadway engagements until reaching a maximum “ceiling price” of $500,000. Among the ninety-five backers was actor Dick Van Patten, who was set to appear in the Broadway stage production alongside Kay Michaels and Mary Louise Wilson, but their parts were ultimately cut. Although relatively successful, the show closed after just seventy performances in order to relinquish the theater space to another production. The final sum paid for the property was estimated somewhere around $300,000 or $325,000, according to the 20 Sep 1970 and 8 Nov 1970 LAT.
       Development of the film began in earnest the following year, when the 9 Aug 1969 LAT announced that Baum and producer David Susskind were in negotiations to hire Dyan Cannon for a starring role. On 27 Aug 1969, an LAT casting announcement listed comedienne Kaye Ballard for the role of “Bea Vecchio,” but she was replaced by Bea Arthur around the time production began.
       According to a 26 Sep 1969 DV production chart, principal photography ... More Less

According to a 20 Sep 1970 LAT interview with director Cy Howard, ABC Pictures Corp. president Martin Baum first saw Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna’s play Lovers and Other Strangers during its pre-Broadway run in Detroit, MI. Interested in making a feature film, Baum optioned the rights in a deal that was officially announced in the 20 Sep 1968 NYT, just two days after the show’s New York City bow at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Along with an upfront figure of $250,000, ABC agreed to pay an additional ten percent for every profitable week the show enjoyed on Broadway and in other post-Broadway engagements until reaching a maximum “ceiling price” of $500,000. Among the ninety-five backers was actor Dick Van Patten, who was set to appear in the Broadway stage production alongside Kay Michaels and Mary Louise Wilson, but their parts were ultimately cut. Although relatively successful, the show closed after just seventy performances in order to relinquish the theater space to another production. The final sum paid for the property was estimated somewhere around $300,000 or $325,000, according to the 20 Sep 1970 and 8 Nov 1970 LAT.
       Development of the film began in earnest the following year, when the 9 Aug 1969 LAT announced that Baum and producer David Susskind were in negotiations to hire Dyan Cannon for a starring role. On 27 Aug 1969, an LAT casting announcement listed comedienne Kaye Ballard for the role of “Bea Vecchio,” but she was replaced by Bea Arthur around the time production began.
       According to a 26 Sep 1969 DV production chart, principal photography got underway 22 Sep 1969 in New York. A 30 Oct 1969 NYT article indicated that most location work was completed first, including a banquet scene shot in the Hendrick Hudson Ballroom of the Hilton hotel in Tarrytown, NY, which featured some seventy-seven extras hired by casting coordinator Sylvia Fay. The remainder of the twelve-week schedule took place at a studio facility in New York City. The 4 Feb 1970 Var listed a negative cost of $2.25 million.
       On 29 Apr 1970, Var announced that singer-songwriter Dion DiMucci (also known as “Dion”) was attached to sing a title theme, but the artist’s involvement was not mentioned in any later contemporary sources.
       A 26 May 1970 DV brief indicated that Lovers and Other Strangers was recently screened at a fundraising event for Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, CA, where it received an enthusiastic audience response. New York City engagements began 12 Aug 1970 at the Loew’s State II and Tower East theaters, and on the West Coast one week later at the Westwood Village Theater. Citywide screenings in Los Angeles began 30 Dec 1970.
       After the film was released with an R rating, ABC Pictures Corp. filed an appeal with the Motion Picture Association of America to have it changed to GP. However, the 3 Sep 1970 DV revealed that the motion was unsuccessful, as the appeals board voted to uphold the decision due to the story’s sexual themes.
       Richard Castellano was the only member of the legitimate cast to reprise his role for the screen, and his performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role. The film was also nominated for Writing (Screenplay—based on material from another medium), while the song “For All We Know” won in the category for Music (Song—Original for the Picture).
       Lovers and Other Strangers marked the feature film debut of actress Diane Keaton, who next went on to co-star with Castellano (her onscreen father-in-law) in The Godfather (1972, see entry). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1969
p. 10.
Daily Variety
26 May 1970
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1970
p. 3.
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1970
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
9 Aug 1969
Section B, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
27 Aug 1969
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
1 Aug 1970
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1970
Section E, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
20 Sep 1970
Section Q, p. 21, 29.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1970
Section T, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
24 Dec 1970
Section A, p. 10.
New York Times
20 Sep 1968
p. 39.
New York Times
30 Oct 1969
p. 56.
New York Times
13 Aug 1970
p. 29.
Variety
4 Feb 1970
p. 32.
Variety
29 Apr 1970
p. 214.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
DANCE
Dance seq
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Unit prod mgr
Casting
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Lovers and Other Strangers by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna (New York, 18 Sep 1968).
SONGS
"For All We Know," music and lyrics by Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson and Arthur James, sung by Lee Meredith
"Comin' Thru to Me" and "Keepin' Free," music and lyrics by Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson and Arthur James, sung by Country Coalition.
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 August 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 August 1970
Los Angeles opening: 19 August 1970
Production Date:
began 22 September 1969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Despite misgivings, Mike Vecchio and Susan Henderson, lovers for 18 months, decide to marry. Although their parents warmly applaud the decision, preparations for the wedding are punctuated by discord between married relatives. Frank Vecchio, Mike's blue-collar, Italian-American father, is shocked to learn that his childless older son, Richie, and daughter-in-law, Joan, are considering divorce. For years Hal Henderson, Susan's prosperous, Irish Catholic father, has maintained a liaison with Cathy, his wife's best friend, who now demands that he choose between them. Susan's sister, Wilma, continues to be disappointed by her husband Johnny's sexual performance and to be frustrated by his nightly absorption in television; and her constant complaining has endangered their marriage. The evening before the ceremony Mike and Susan arrange a blind date between Susan's cousin Brenda, a bridesmaid, and Mike's friend Jerry, an usher. The betrothed couple then retires to the hotel's bridal suite for a last night as lovers. Although the lecherous Jerry attempts to seduce the virginal Brenda by luring her to his apartment, her incessant chatter forestalls his lovemaking. The wedding itself catalyzes the emotions of the participants. Full of nostalgia, Frank confides in his son an early love affair; Cathy flees in tears to a rest room, where she is comforted by Hal; Brenda and Jerry make love, temporarily interrupting her prattle; Johnny performs to Wilma's satisfaction; and, the Vecchios' hopes for their reconciliation notwithstanding, Richie and Joan go their separate ways. Oblivious to the emotional chaos about them, Mike and Susan confidently begin their married ... +


Despite misgivings, Mike Vecchio and Susan Henderson, lovers for 18 months, decide to marry. Although their parents warmly applaud the decision, preparations for the wedding are punctuated by discord between married relatives. Frank Vecchio, Mike's blue-collar, Italian-American father, is shocked to learn that his childless older son, Richie, and daughter-in-law, Joan, are considering divorce. For years Hal Henderson, Susan's prosperous, Irish Catholic father, has maintained a liaison with Cathy, his wife's best friend, who now demands that he choose between them. Susan's sister, Wilma, continues to be disappointed by her husband Johnny's sexual performance and to be frustrated by his nightly absorption in television; and her constant complaining has endangered their marriage. The evening before the ceremony Mike and Susan arrange a blind date between Susan's cousin Brenda, a bridesmaid, and Mike's friend Jerry, an usher. The betrothed couple then retires to the hotel's bridal suite for a last night as lovers. Although the lecherous Jerry attempts to seduce the virginal Brenda by luring her to his apartment, her incessant chatter forestalls his lovemaking. The wedding itself catalyzes the emotions of the participants. Full of nostalgia, Frank confides in his son an early love affair; Cathy flees in tears to a rest room, where she is comforted by Hal; Brenda and Jerry make love, temporarily interrupting her prattle; Johnny performs to Wilma's satisfaction; and, the Vecchios' hopes for their reconciliation notwithstanding, Richie and Joan go their separate ways. Oblivious to the emotional chaos about them, Mike and Susan confidently begin their married life. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Domestic, with songs


Subject

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.