Okay, Bill (1971)

R | 87 or 91 mins | Comedy-drama | February 1971

Director:

John G. Avildsen

Producer:

David Jay Disick

Cinematographer:

John G. Avildsen

Production Company:

The Cake Company
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HISTORY

The film was originally titled Sweet Dreams , when, according to a Mar 1971 Var news item, it was first offered for distribution in 1969. It was not picked up or released at that time, and still carried that title when it had its premiere at the 1970 Atlanta Film Festival, where it won the Silver Phoenix Award. A May 1970 HR news item reported that Four Star-Excelsior then acquired the rights. Although several Box charts listed Sep and Dec 1970 as release dates for Okay, Bill , reviews of the film were dated in Feb 1971, the date listed by Box as the film's national release date.
       The May 1970 HR news item reported that the film was shot in and around New York. In the LAT review, filmmaker John G. Avildsen is quoted as saying that he shot the picture in two weeks and edited it for two years. The Var review reported that Avildsen wrote the storyline, which was then improvised by the cast. During the 1960s and 1970s, Fire Island had a reputation for being the locale for sexual exploits.
       According to Var review, the film contained an unsynchronized soundtrack that was described as a collage of speeches by President Richard M. Nixon, poetry readings from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet , news reports and dialogue. The HR review reported that Avildsen used an "unlimited" amount of "photographic tricks” to tell the story. The Var review compared the film to "Dadaish cinematics, the [Federico] Fellini-like pageants of contemporary urban" ... More Less

The film was originally titled Sweet Dreams , when, according to a Mar 1971 Var news item, it was first offered for distribution in 1969. It was not picked up or released at that time, and still carried that title when it had its premiere at the 1970 Atlanta Film Festival, where it won the Silver Phoenix Award. A May 1970 HR news item reported that Four Star-Excelsior then acquired the rights. Although several Box charts listed Sep and Dec 1970 as release dates for Okay, Bill , reviews of the film were dated in Feb 1971, the date listed by Box as the film's national release date.
       The May 1970 HR news item reported that the film was shot in and around New York. In the LAT review, filmmaker John G. Avildsen is quoted as saying that he shot the picture in two weeks and edited it for two years. The Var review reported that Avildsen wrote the storyline, which was then improvised by the cast. During the 1960s and 1970s, Fire Island had a reputation for being the locale for sexual exploits.
       According to Var review, the film contained an unsynchronized soundtrack that was described as a collage of speeches by President Richard M. Nixon, poetry readings from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet , news reports and dialogue. The HR review reported that Avildsen used an "unlimited" amount of "photographic tricks” to tell the story. The Var review compared the film to "Dadaish cinematics, the [Federico] Fellini-like pageants of contemporary urban" characters and described actress Roz Kelly's character as an [Andy] "Warhol-type." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Jul 1969
Section E, p. 3.
Box Office
6 Jul 1970
Section E, p. 1.
Box Office
11 Jan 1971.
---
Box Office
1 Mar 1971.
---
Daily Variety
18 Feb 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1970.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 1971.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
27 Feb 1971.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Feb 1971.
---
Playboy
Jun 1971.
---
Screen World
1972
p. 91.
Variety
24 Feb 1971
p. 18.
Variety
17 Mar 1971.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
SOURCES
SONGS
"Mirrors," music and lyrics by Charles G. Morrow, sung by The Dickens.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sweet Dreams
Release Date:
February 1971
Premiere Information:
Opening at Atlanta Film Festival: 22 June 1970
Production Date:
completed July 1969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathe Color
Duration(in mins):
87 or 91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the well-to-do suburb of Westchester, New York, Bill and Nancy Thornberry's early morning lovemaking is interrupted by the awakening of their infant son. Bill commutes to the Wall Street commodities trading firm he inherited from his father, while Nancy, a liberated woman, spends her day working for ecological and political causes. When Bill's college friend and fashion photographer Zachary Armstrong Lynn invites Bill to accompany him on a weekend photo session on Fire Island, Bill goes along without Nancy, who must attend a local ecology meeting. However, Bill soon finds companionship in Roz, a brazen blonde who offends him with her habit of making shocking statements. After an eventful day on Fire Island, which includes a food orgy, Bill realizes that he is happy with the life he shares with Nancy. When Nancy arrives unexpectedly at Fire Island later that day, she and Bill walk off together into the sunset. ... +


In the well-to-do suburb of Westchester, New York, Bill and Nancy Thornberry's early morning lovemaking is interrupted by the awakening of their infant son. Bill commutes to the Wall Street commodities trading firm he inherited from his father, while Nancy, a liberated woman, spends her day working for ecological and political causes. When Bill's college friend and fashion photographer Zachary Armstrong Lynn invites Bill to accompany him on a weekend photo session on Fire Island, Bill goes along without Nancy, who must attend a local ecology meeting. However, Bill soon finds companionship in Roz, a brazen blonde who offends him with her habit of making shocking statements. After an eventful day on Fire Island, which includes a food orgy, Bill realizes that he is happy with the life he shares with Nancy. When Nancy arrives unexpectedly at Fire Island later that day, she and Bill walk off together into the sunset.
+

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.