T. R. Baskin (1971)

GP | 89-90 mins | Drama | October 1971

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Peter Hyams

Producer:

Peter Hyams

Cinematographer:

Gerald Hirschfeld

Editor:

Maury Winetrobe

Production Designer:

Albert Brenner

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Onscreen credits contain the following written acknowledgment: "Paramount Pictures gratefully acknowledges the help extended to us by the citizens and officials of the City of Chicago. Our special thanks to the Yellow Cab Company of Chicago." Peter Hyams' onscreen credit reads "written and produced by." T. R. Baskin marked the motion picture debut of Hyams, a former CBS news anchorman. As noted in Filmfacts and publicity material contained in the film's file at the AMPAS Library, the picture was filmed entirely on location in Chicago, IL. Filming was done at the Sherman House Hotel, the First National Bank Building, O'Connell's Coffee Shop on Rush St., and at the Carson Pirie Scott department store.
       At one point in the film, when "Jack Mitchell" asks what T. R. stands for, she replies, "Thelma Ritter." Thelma Ritter is the name of a famous character actress, but within the context of the film, it was unclear whether T. R. was joking about the meaning of her initials. Director Herbert Ross was married to Nora Kaye, the film's assistant to the producer. Kaye was a former ballerina who was instrumental in convincing Ross to make the 1977 film The Turning Point , for which she served as executive ... More Less

Onscreen credits contain the following written acknowledgment: "Paramount Pictures gratefully acknowledges the help extended to us by the citizens and officials of the City of Chicago. Our special thanks to the Yellow Cab Company of Chicago." Peter Hyams' onscreen credit reads "written and produced by." T. R. Baskin marked the motion picture debut of Hyams, a former CBS news anchorman. As noted in Filmfacts and publicity material contained in the film's file at the AMPAS Library, the picture was filmed entirely on location in Chicago, IL. Filming was done at the Sherman House Hotel, the First National Bank Building, O'Connell's Coffee Shop on Rush St., and at the Carson Pirie Scott department store.
       At one point in the film, when "Jack Mitchell" asks what T. R. stands for, she replies, "Thelma Ritter." Thelma Ritter is the name of a famous character actress, but within the context of the film, it was unclear whether T. R. was joking about the meaning of her initials. Director Herbert Ross was married to Nora Kaye, the film's assistant to the producer. Kaye was a former ballerina who was instrumental in convincing Ross to make the 1977 film The Turning Point , for which she served as executive producer. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Filmfacts
1971
pp. 562-64.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1971
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1971
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 1971.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Oct 1971.
---
New York Times
21 Oct 1971
p. 56.
Variety
13 Oct 1971
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Herbert Ross-Peter Hyams Production
A Herbert Ross-Peter Hyams Producton
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Cam op
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Prop man
COSTUMES
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus score and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Casting
Asst to the prod
Scr cont
Auditor
Unit pub
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1971
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles openings: 20 October 1971
Production Date:
mid February--early April 1971 in Chicago, IL
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
4 October 1971
Copyright Number:
LP39959
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
89-90
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Jack Mitchell, a middle-aged auto parts salesman from Utica, New York, is in Chicago on business when he spots an old fraternity brother, Larry Moore, walking down the street. Lonely, Jack asks Larry if he knows any girls and Larry gives him the phone number of T. R. Baskin. T. R., a respectable young woman from the Midwest, is puzzled by Jack’s call, but nevertheless accepts his invitation to join him at his hotel room. Jack, a shy and decent man, is tongue-tied around the beautiful, young T. R., and an awkward silence ensues. When T. R., who possesses a dry, sarcastic humor, flippantly answers Jack’s innocuous questions, he accuses her of making fun of him, prompting her to strip off her clothes and promising not to “give him a hard time.” Disappearing into the bathroom, Jack emerges dressed in his robe and underwear and climbs into bed with T. R. She then recalls arriving in Chicago from Findley, a small town in Ohio: After sending a telegram to her parents, informing them that she has come to Chicago to seek her “fame and fortune,” T. R. begins to look for an apartment to rent, and is reduced to renting a run-down one-room studio in a marginal area of the city. T. R.’s search for a “challenging career” results in her being hired as one of the army of typists in a vast, impersonal company. At the office, T. R. is befriended by Dayle Wigoda, who works in the accounting department handling all the files of clients with last names beginning with the letter “B.” Pestered by Dayle ... +


Jack Mitchell, a middle-aged auto parts salesman from Utica, New York, is in Chicago on business when he spots an old fraternity brother, Larry Moore, walking down the street. Lonely, Jack asks Larry if he knows any girls and Larry gives him the phone number of T. R. Baskin. T. R., a respectable young woman from the Midwest, is puzzled by Jack’s call, but nevertheless accepts his invitation to join him at his hotel room. Jack, a shy and decent man, is tongue-tied around the beautiful, young T. R., and an awkward silence ensues. When T. R., who possesses a dry, sarcastic humor, flippantly answers Jack’s innocuous questions, he accuses her of making fun of him, prompting her to strip off her clothes and promising not to “give him a hard time.” Disappearing into the bathroom, Jack emerges dressed in his robe and underwear and climbs into bed with T. R. She then recalls arriving in Chicago from Findley, a small town in Ohio: After sending a telegram to her parents, informing them that she has come to Chicago to seek her “fame and fortune,” T. R. begins to look for an apartment to rent, and is reduced to renting a run-down one-room studio in a marginal area of the city. T. R.’s search for a “challenging career” results in her being hired as one of the army of typists in a vast, impersonal company. At the office, T. R. is befriended by Dayle Wigoda, who works in the accounting department handling all the files of clients with last names beginning with the letter “B.” Pestered by Dayle to go out on a blind date with her boyfriend’s wealthy, eligible friend Arthur, T. R. finally consents. After listening all evening to the obnoxious, over-privileged Arthur ridiculing people of color, welfare cheats and women’s rights, T. R. becomes fed up and calls him a “schmuck.” One day T. R. returns to her desolate apartment after work, turns on the television and glumly prepares a TV dinner, kept company only by the background chattering coming from the television set and the wail of sirens from the street. Back in the present, after Jack discovers that he is impotent, T. R. draws him out by musing that both she and Jack are outsiders in the big city. Jack then confides that he dreams of being able to retire in thirteen years to inland Florida, where he will be free to spend his time as he pleases, rather than follow the dictates of an employer. T. R. then remembers the night she met Larry: After leaving a crowded, noisy bar, she walks down the sidewalk and sees Larry seated at the window of a café, reading a book. Intrigued, she joins him, and after telling her that he edits and publishes children’s books for the school system, he invites her to his apartment. After discussing the disappointments they have experienced in their lives--Larry, his divorce from his wife and his estrangement from his children; T. R., her feeling of never fitting in--they have sex. The next morning, T. R., thinking that she has finally established an intimate relationship with someone, is crushed when she reaches into her coat pocket and finds a twenty dollar bill that Larry put there. Feeling betrayed, she runs out, but finds she has nowhere to go but her deserted office. After walking the empty hallways, she returns home and on the verge of tears, calls her parents, who rather than comforting her, offer recriminations about her life in the city. Back in the present, T. R. and Jack, having spent the afternoon confiding their dreams and fears, get dressed and warmly acknowledge that they are glad they met each other. After hugging Jack goodbye, T. R. walks out of the hotel and back onto the streets of Chicago. +

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.