A Beautiful Mind (2002)

PG-13 | 134-135 mins | Biography | 4 January 2002

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Director:

Ron Howard

Writer:

Akiva Goldsman

Producers:

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard

Cinematographer:

Roger Deakins

Editors:

Mike Hill, Dan Hanley

Production Designer:

Wynn Thomas

Production Companies:

Universal Pictures , DreamWorks Pictures, Imagine Entertainment
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HISTORY

The film’s opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. The picture ends with the following statement: "Nash's theories have influenced global trade negotiations, national labor relations, and even breakthroughs in evolutionary biology. John and Alicia Nash live in Princeton, New Jersey. John keeps regular office hours in the Mathematics Department. He still walks to campus every day." In the closing credits, the producers express thanks to many individuals and institutions, including Princeton University, Apple Computers and Graydon Carter. The closing credits include the following rights statements: "The work 'Oval with Points' has been reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation" and "'Autoportrait with 7 Fingers' by Marc Chagall copyright 2001, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris." According to a Jul 2001 NYT item, sportscaster Warner Wolf appears in the film during the scene in which Nash wins the Nobel Prize.
       In 1998, Sylvia Nasar published her book about schizophrenic mathematics genius John Forbes Nash, Jr., A Beautiful Mind . According to a 31 Aug 1998 DV article, many studios expressed interest in the story, which bears similarities to the hit 1998 film Australian film Shine , but the book’s agent, Robert Bookman of CAA, refused to sell the story without the approval of Nash. Although Universal Pictures first wanted the property for Martin Brest to direct, by the time Nash agreed to the story’s sale, Imagine Entertainment had teamed with Universal to buy the rights for $1 million. In Sep 2000, HR stated that DreamWorks had entered into “a 50-50 co-financing and co-production agreement” with Imagine and Universal and would handle the film’s international distribution, with ... More Less

The film’s opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. The picture ends with the following statement: "Nash's theories have influenced global trade negotiations, national labor relations, and even breakthroughs in evolutionary biology. John and Alicia Nash live in Princeton, New Jersey. John keeps regular office hours in the Mathematics Department. He still walks to campus every day." In the closing credits, the producers express thanks to many individuals and institutions, including Princeton University, Apple Computers and Graydon Carter. The closing credits include the following rights statements: "The work 'Oval with Points' has been reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation" and "'Autoportrait with 7 Fingers' by Marc Chagall copyright 2001, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris." According to a Jul 2001 NYT item, sportscaster Warner Wolf appears in the film during the scene in which Nash wins the Nobel Prize.
       In 1998, Sylvia Nasar published her book about schizophrenic mathematics genius John Forbes Nash, Jr., A Beautiful Mind . According to a 31 Aug 1998 DV article, many studios expressed interest in the story, which bears similarities to the hit 1998 film Australian film Shine , but the book’s agent, Robert Bookman of CAA, refused to sell the story without the approval of Nash. Although Universal Pictures first wanted the property for Martin Brest to direct, by the time Nash agreed to the story’s sale, Imagine Entertainment had teamed with Universal to buy the rights for $1 million. In Sep 2000, HR stated that DreamWorks had entered into “a 50-50 co-financing and co-production agreement” with Imagine and Universal and would handle the film’s international distribution, with Universal managing domestic distribution. Although HR reported in Feb 2000 that Robert Redford wanted to direct and Tom Cruise was considering starring in the film, by Apr 2000, a DV item announced that Imagine Entertainment partner Ron Howard would direct.
       As depicted in the film, Nash, who was born in 1928, entered Princeton University's graduate school of mathematics in 1947, and two years later wrote a paper originating the mathematical principles of game theory, which eventually led to his winning the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics. From 1951 through 1959, he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he developed a number of important theorems and met graduate student Alicia Larde, who became his wife in 1957. In 1959, his lifelong struggle with schizophrenia began, haunting him with paranoid hallucinations and precipitating repeated hospitalizations. As Nash wrote in Les Prix Nobel in 1994, "In the later 60's I became a person of delusionally influenced thinking but of relatively moderate behavior and thus tended to avoid hospitalization." According to an 11 Mar 2002 Newsweek article, "Like fewer than one in 10 individuals who suffer from chronic schizophrenia," the hormonal changes of aging helped alleviate Nash's illness. In many sources, the filmmakers asserted that A Beautiful Mind is not a biography but, according to an interview given by Howard to countingdown.com, "a synthesis of many aspects of Nash's life." Other sources noted that the film does not cover some of the less flattering details about Nash's life, including an arrest early in his career, rumored homosexuality and anti-Semitism, and his 1963 divorce from Alicia, whom he remarried on 1 Jun 2001. The criticism, much of which was leveled at the film during the Academy Awards voting period, prompted supporters at that time to decry what they consdiered unethical competitive tactics. Nasar published a 13 Mar 2002 LAT article to "correct the record," in which she stated that Nash "is not gay," lived with Alicia throughout most of the years during which they were divorced, and made anti-Semitic comments only while experiencing extreme paranoid delusions.
       Although a Jun 2001 Entertainment Weekly item noted that Crowe limited his real-life interaction with Nash, in the countingdown.com interview, Howard stated that he videotaped Nash teaching his theorems and used some of his formulae in the film. According to the countingdown.com interview with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, Crowe contributed to the development of the character of “John Forbes Nash, Jr.” and to the story in general, and John and Alicia Nash approved of the script, stating that it was "really true to the spirit of our lives." On the same website, director of photography Roger Deakins described using a different film stock in the beginning of the film than in the end, in order to lend the scenes at Princeton a "more golden feel" that became grittier as Nash's mental illness developed. In addition, editor Mike Hill noted that Howard shot the film in continuity, an unusual choice made "because of the makeup and the aging process." A Dec 2001 Entertainment Weekly news item reported that a brief love scene between Crowe and Jennifer Connelly ("Alicia Nash") was deleted from the final film.
       According to several news items and the HR production charts, the film was shot at several locations in New York and New Jersey, including Princeton University and the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne. An Oct 2001 HR item announced that although Universal had planned to release the film nationally on 25 Dec 2001, the studio now planned for a limited Christmas debut and a wide release on 4 Jan 2002. The New York and Los Angeles release was subsequently moved up to 21 Dec 2001.
       Reviews of A Beautiful Mind consistently praised Crowe's performance. Connelly was selected by AFI as Featured Female Actor of the Year. In addition, the film received the following AFI nominations: film of the year, Male Actor of the Year in a motion picture for Crowe and Screenwriter of the Year for Goldman. Although Deakins was selected as AFI's Cinematographer of the Year, it was for his work on the film The Man Who Wasn't There (see below). Screenwriter Akiva Goldman and writer Sylvia Nash were awarded USC's Scripter Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. A Beautiful Mind won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Connelly), Best Actor (Crowe), and received the following Golden Globe nominations: Best Director and Best Original Score. The film won an Academy Award for Best Film, Best Screenplay based on material previously produced or published, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress (Connelly) and was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Actor (Crowe), Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Best Original Score. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1998
p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety
13 Apr 2000
p. 1, 16.
Entertainment Weekly
15 Jun 2001
p. 12.
Entertainment Weekly
24-31 Aug 2001
p. 73.
Entertainment Weekly
14 Dec 2001.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 2000
p. 1, 78.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 2000.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 2001.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 2001.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 2001.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 2001.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 2001
Calendar, p. 1, 12.
New York Times
7 Jun 2001.
---
New York Times
10 Jun 2001.
---
New York Times
5 Jul 2001.
---
New York Times
21 Dec 2001.
---
The Times (London)
5 Apr 2001.
---
US Weekly
31 Dec 2001.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Brian Grazer Production; A Ron Howard Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d unit 1st asst dir
2d unit 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d unit 1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit 2d asst cam
B cam op
1st asst B cam
Cam loader
2d unit gaffer
Best boy electric
2d unit best boy electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
2d unit electric
2d unit electric
Rigging gaffer
Rigging best boy electric
Rigging electric
Rigging electric
Rigging electric
Rigging electric
Key grip
2d unit key grip
Best boy grip
2d unit best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
2d unit dolly grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
Key rigging grip
Best boy rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Still photog
Arriflex 535 cam by
Video asst
Video asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept admin
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Graphic artist
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Prop master
2d unit prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
2d unit asst props
Leadman
Const coord
Key carpenter foreman
Key const grip
Charge scenic
Standby set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
2d unit cost supv
2d unit cost supv
Mr. Crowe's cost
Ward asst
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Exec in charge of film mus for Universal Studios
Mus supv
Mus scoring mixer
Mus prep
Mus contractor
Mus rec and mixed at
Score vocals performed by
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
2d unit sd mixer
2d unit boom op
Cableman
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR supv
ADR asst ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
ADR rec
ADR rec
ADR rec
Loop group coord
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley rec studio
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Titles and opticals by
Spec visual eff and digital anim
Visual eff supv
Visual eff prod
Digital eff supv
Compositing supv
3D integration lead
3D integration artist
3D integration artist
3D integration artist
3D integration artist
3D eff anim
3D eff anim
Tech developer
Tech development
3D digital modeler
3D digital modeler
Digital compositor
Digital compositor
Digital compositor
Digital compositor
Digital compositor
Digital compositor
Digital paint artist
Digital rotoscope artist
Digital rotoscope artist
Digital rotoscope artist
Digital imaging supv
Digital eff coord
Visual eff coord
Visual eff ed
Asst visual eff ed
Visual eff accountant
Visual eff exec prod
[Spec eff] prod supv
Sculptor
Sculptor
Sculptor
Mold shop supv
Eff tech
Eff tech
Eff tech
Eff tech
Eff tech
Silicone tech
Silicone tech
[Spec eff] op mgr
[Spec eff] prod asst
[Spec eff] prod asst
MAKEUP
Key hair stylist
2d unit key hair stylist
Hairstylist
Makeup dept head
Key makeup
2d unit key makeup
Ms. Connelly's makeup
Makeup artist
Spec makeup created by
Prosthetic eff supv
Prosthetic eff supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting assoc
Unit prod mgr
Asst unit prod mgr
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Post prod supv
Post prod asst
Scr supv
2d unit scr supv
Dial coach
Loc mgr
2d unit loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
DGA trainee
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Const accountant
Accounting clerk
Unit pub
Asst to Mr. Hallowell
Asst to Mr. Grazer
Asst to Mr. Crowe
Asst to Mr. Crowe
Mr. Crowe's trainer
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
Projectionist
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
2d unit transportation capt
Craft service
Dermatologist
Set medic
Set medic
Psychology consultant
Math consultant
Catering
STAND INS
Stunt coord/stunts
Addl stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994 by Sylvia Nasar (New York, 1998).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"All Love Can Be," music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings, performed by Charlotte Church, courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Limited
"Columbia Aspexit," written by Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Emma Kirby, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page, courtesy of Hyperion Records Limited, London, England.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 January 2002
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles opening: 21 December 2001
Production Date:
27 March--28 June 2001
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc. and DreamWorks, LLC
Copyright Date:
28 December 2001
Copyright Number:
PA0001069545
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital, SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound); DTS Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
DeLuxe
Lenses/Prints
Kodak
Duration(in mins):
134-135
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
38595
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1947, mathematics graduate students at Princeton University are reminded that mathematics built the atomic bomb and won the war, and now needs brave, publishable advances. Entering student John Forbes Nash, Jr. takes the admonition to heart and immediately alienates his competitive classmates, Martin Hansen, Ainsely, Bender and Richard Sol, by declaring that they have yet to produce any innovative ideas. Throughout the term, John sequesters himself with his studies, often scribbling formulae on his dorm window. One day, John’s personable British roommate, Charles Herman, convinces him to take a break, and John admits that work is all he has in life. Weeks later, after John spends forty-eight hours straight in the library tracing the algorithms of pigeons and footballers on the windows, Charles encourages him to visit the local bar. There the other students challenge John to approach a blonde co-ed, but she responds to his disconcertingly direct proposition by slapping him. Soon after, Professor Helinger warns John that his lack of progress and refusal to attend classes are jeopardizing his future placement, and points out a professor in the faculty room receiving pens from fellow teachers, an honor bestowed for “the achievement of a lifetime.” John’s dismay is tempered only after Charles throws his desk out the window, and they both break down in laughter. Later at the bar, while analyzing the most expedient way to win over a blonde, John formulates an idea that leads to a breakthrough paper on game theory, and Helinger awards him a position at the Wheeler Laboratories at "MIT," the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, Bender and Sol work as his assistants while John gains fame as one of the most ... +


In 1947, mathematics graduate students at Princeton University are reminded that mathematics built the atomic bomb and won the war, and now needs brave, publishable advances. Entering student John Forbes Nash, Jr. takes the admonition to heart and immediately alienates his competitive classmates, Martin Hansen, Ainsely, Bender and Richard Sol, by declaring that they have yet to produce any innovative ideas. Throughout the term, John sequesters himself with his studies, often scribbling formulae on his dorm window. One day, John’s personable British roommate, Charles Herman, convinces him to take a break, and John admits that work is all he has in life. Weeks later, after John spends forty-eight hours straight in the library tracing the algorithms of pigeons and footballers on the windows, Charles encourages him to visit the local bar. There the other students challenge John to approach a blonde co-ed, but she responds to his disconcertingly direct proposition by slapping him. Soon after, Professor Helinger warns John that his lack of progress and refusal to attend classes are jeopardizing his future placement, and points out a professor in the faculty room receiving pens from fellow teachers, an honor bestowed for “the achievement of a lifetime.” John’s dismay is tempered only after Charles throws his desk out the window, and they both break down in laughter. Later at the bar, while analyzing the most expedient way to win over a blonde, John formulates an idea that leads to a breakthrough paper on game theory, and Helinger awards him a position at the Wheeler Laboratories at "MIT," the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, Bender and Sol work as his assistants while John gains fame as one of the most promising scientists of his time. In 1953, Pentagon officials call on John to break a Russian code, and his brilliance attracts the attention of government agent William Parcher. Later, John reluctantly teaches a class at MIT, where student Alicia Larde impresses him with her resolve and intelligence. Parcher then visits John’s office and reveals a vast secret workforce defending America against Russian-held bombs. After implanting an identifying radium diode in John’s arm, Parcher engages him to scan American publications for embedded codes. Soon after, Alicia asks the shy professor on a date, and he brings her to a governor’s ball, where he charms her by showing her how to trace shapes against the stars. Over the next few weeks, he leaves envelopes of deciphered codes in a secret drop box for Parcher and dates Alicia, who responds favorably to his direct approach. John grows nervous about his secret work, seeing men in the shadows, but is cheered when one day Charles visits with his new charge, his orphaned niece Marcee. That night at dinner, John asks Alicia for empirical evidence of love, which she says takes the same kind of faith as does believing that the universe is infinite. They marry, and at the wedding, John spots Parcher watching from a parked car. One day in 1954, John drops off a package, and this time Parcher speeds up, commanding him to get into the car. They are chased by Russians, whom Parcher eventually kills, leaving John shaking in terror. He later tells Parcher that the work is too dangerous, especially as Alicia is now pregnant, but Parcher threatens that if he quits he will be killed, and John grows increasingly paranoid. At a conference, John is pleased to see Charles attending, but during his speech, he sees men in black suits and flees in panic, then is trapped outside and drugged. He awakens in a psychiatric hospital run by Dr. Rosen, but John believes the psychiatrist is a Russian interrogator and that Charles has turned him in. Rosen reveals to Alicia that John suffers from schizophrenia, a hallucinatory mental disorder, and that neither Charles, Marcee nor Parcher and his whole department exist. Uncertain, Alicia insists on gaining entry to John’s office, and is shocked to find it in chaos, with scribbled-on magazine pages tacked to every surface. Following a tip from Sol, she finds the drop site and discovers dozens of John’s envelopes sitting untouched in a mailbox. When she tries to inform John of his delusions, however, he turns away, afraid that she is part of the conspiracy against him. After John tears his arm apart looking for the implant, Rosen prescribes an intensive regimen of insulin shock therapy. A year later, the Nashes move to Princeton, where John’s medication reduces his ability to reason, care for their son or have sex. Alicia grows depressed and frustrated, and in response, John stops taking his pills. Soon Parcher reappears, urging John to continue his work in the barn, and when one day Alicia discovers the barn walls covered with paper, she realizes that John is sick again and barely saves the baby from drowning in the bath John is drawing for him. When she calls Rosen, Parcher, Charles and Marcee command John to stop her, and after he pushes her down, Alicia runs away in fear. A stricken John races out to Alicia’s car, but when she stops, he tells her that he has realized that Marcee never ages, and thus cannot be real. Although Rosen later advises them that schizophrenia is degenerative, John and Alicia agree to work together to find a solution not reliant upon medication. Hoping that a familiar community will help him chase away his delusions, he returns to Princeton, where Martin now heads the math department, and awkwardly asks his former rival to allow him access to the campus resources. Martin agrees, even after some minor stress causes John to have a breakdown outside the library, during which Parcher reviles him for his cowardice. Over the years, John continues to work and manages to ignore Parcher, Charles and Marcee, who nonetheless always remain nearby. Although most of the students ridicule John, one day in 1978, student Terry Kellum approaches him with a theory, and soon after, Alicia is proud to see John surrounded by students in the library. Martin agrees to allow him to lecture, and by 1994 he is a popular teacher. In March, Thomas King visits to inform John that he is being considered for the Nobel Prize in economics. King, who is there to ensure that John is competent enough to receive the award, insists on eating in the faculty room, and John reluctantly agrees. There John is shocked and pleased as, one-by-one, the other professors place pens at his table in honor of his achievements. In Stockholm, Sweden, John accepts the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics, and in his speech states he has discovered that “only the mysterious equations of love hold logic.” After crediting Alicia with his accomplishments, John escorts her home, with his demons accompanying them. +

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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.