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HISTORY

The opening title is preceded by lengthy shots of characters “Zack Elliot,” “Claire Elliot,” and “Bart McGuire.” Although there are no opening credits, Making Love begins with footage, shot after the events in the story, featuring Claire and Bart individually speaking to the camera about how they began their relationships with Zack. The remainder of the film is periodically intercut with additional footage of the characters discussing their lives both before and after Zack.
       End credits include the acknowledgment: “With thanks to Michael Bléger.”
       Actress Anne Haney is credited onscreen as “Ann Harvey,” while Alan J. Adler is credited onscreen as "Alan Adler" in his motion picture producing debut. The name of transportation captain Andy DeNicholas is listed as "Andy De Nicholas."
       Although not credited onscreen, the film includes scenes from the following motion pictures: An Affair to Remember (1957, see entry), Raintree County (1957, see entry), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, see entry).
       According to a 24 Apr 1983 LAT article, story writer A. Scott Berg first conceived Making Love as one of three feature film ideas in 1978, after observing multiple married friends struggle to come to terms with their sexuality. In 1979, he took the concept to Barry Sandler, who was initially reluctant to write a script dealing with the subject of homosexuality. Six months later, however, Sandler agreed to join the project, and submitted a 125-page rough draft to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. executives Sherry Lansing and Claire Townsend in fall of 1980. Following the hiring of producers Daniel Melnick and Allen Adler and director Arthur Hiller, the 2 Feb ... More Less

The opening title is preceded by lengthy shots of characters “Zack Elliot,” “Claire Elliot,” and “Bart McGuire.” Although there are no opening credits, Making Love begins with footage, shot after the events in the story, featuring Claire and Bart individually speaking to the camera about how they began their relationships with Zack. The remainder of the film is periodically intercut with additional footage of the characters discussing their lives both before and after Zack.
       End credits include the acknowledgment: “With thanks to Michael Bléger.”
       Actress Anne Haney is credited onscreen as “Ann Harvey,” while Alan J. Adler is credited onscreen as "Alan Adler" in his motion picture producing debut. The name of transportation captain Andy DeNicholas is listed as "Andy De Nicholas."
       Although not credited onscreen, the film includes scenes from the following motion pictures: An Affair to Remember (1957, see entry), Raintree County (1957, see entry), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, see entry).
       According to a 24 Apr 1983 LAT article, story writer A. Scott Berg first conceived Making Love as one of three feature film ideas in 1978, after observing multiple married friends struggle to come to terms with their sexuality. In 1979, he took the concept to Barry Sandler, who was initially reluctant to write a script dealing with the subject of homosexuality. Six months later, however, Sandler agreed to join the project, and submitted a 125-page rough draft to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. executives Sherry Lansing and Claire Townsend in fall of 1980. Following the hiring of producers Daniel Melnick and Allen Adler and director Arthur Hiller, the 2 Feb 1981 DV stated that Hiller and director of photography David M. Walsh retreated to Maui, HI, to block the film prior to the start of production in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, CA, later that month.
       Production call sheets in AMPAS library files indicated that rehearsals began 11 Feb 1981, while 27 Feb 1981 HR production charts listed 23 Feb 1981 as the first day of principal photography. Additional call sheets stated that the final, fifty-fifth day of filming took place 8 May 1981 at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park and on Santa Monica Blvd. Two additional days of re-shooting concluded 13 May 1981. The Sep 1981 issue of GQ indicated that interior scenes in Bart’s apartment were shot on a Fox sound stage. Despite the earlier 14 Oct 1981 LAT story indicating a $14 million budget, a 25 Jan 1982 DV article listed the final cost at $8 million.
       GQ also stated that fifteen actors turned down the role of Zack Elliot before Melnick convinced Michael Ontkean to play the part. Prior to production, Sandler took the cast to gay bars to research their roles and scout for background actors. Hiller reportedly disapproved of one of the men chosen to appear onscreen opposite Ontkean, and, hoping to find someone more attractive, hired an out-of-town stranger he encountered on the street. Although the writer expanded the role to include a line of dialogue, the unnamed man did not show up for work the next day, and Hiller was forced to once again recast the role. A 20 Feb 1981 DV brief also indicated that Matt Collins had been cast in the film, but he is not credited onscreen.
       The 4 Feb 1982 LAHExam reported that Making Love was positively received at a 2 Feb 1982 benefit for the Van Ness Recovery House supporting the gay community in Los Angeles. According to the 23 Feb 1982 LAHExam, preview screenings contained an unintentionally humorous line of dialogue which was removed prior to the film’s national release. The 25 Jan 1982 DV stated that Fox spent $5.5 million on print and advertising campaigns in women’s magazines and national homosexual publications, including a 21 Jan 1982 issue of The Advisor. In addition, a paperback novelization of the screenplay was published by Ballantine Books on 5 Feb 1982, and press junkets were scheduled to take place in Los Angeles and New York City. The story credited Richard Avedon for a promotional photograph of the film’s three stars, which was used in the majority of publicity materials. Fox planned a sixty-city release in 350 theaters beginning 12 Feb 1982, with the intention of expanding to more locations after two or three weeks.
       After the completion of principal photography, the 15 Jul 1981 DV announced that author Gordon Glasco had filed a $3 million lawsuit against the filmmakers for allegedly plagiarizing his 1981 novel, Second Nature. The 14 Oct 1981 LAT indicated that Glasco also sought claim to a portion of the film’s profits. A 24 Apr 1983 LAT article published over a year after the picture’s release stated that Glasco met with Claire Townsend at Fox in Mar 1978, and submitted his completed novel in Apr 1980. In Jun 1980, Glasco’s materials were returned to him with a rejection letter, noting the studio’s involvement with a similar project since Jan 1980. Townsend, who was a story editor when she first met Glasco, claimed she hardly remembered Glasco or his story. Following the film’s mixed reviews and poor $6.1 million in box office returns, however, Glasco decided to settle the suit for an “undisclosed sum.”
       The film's title song, "Making Love," was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Feb 1981.
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1981.
---
Daily Variety
15 Jul 1981.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jan 1982
p. 1, 28.
GQ
Sep 1981
p. 46, 48, 56.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1982
p. 3.
LAHExam
4 Feb 1982
Section C, p. 1, 6.
LAHExam
23 Feb 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Oct 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Feb 1982
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1983
pp. 25-26.
New York Times
12 Feb 1982
p. 18.
Variety
10 Feb 1982
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Arthur Hiller Film
A Production of the IndieProd Company
Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Key grip
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Crab dolly op
Best boy elec
Best boy
Best boy
Still photog
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const coord
Leadman
Prop gang boss
Prop swing
Prop swing
Painter
Stand-by painter
COSTUMES
Ladies' costumer
Men's costumer
SOUND
Prod mixer
Sd ed
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Boom op
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles des by
New York
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
and Associates
Scr supv
Casting assoc
Loc mgr
Transportation capt
Prod coord
Asst to Mr. Adler
Asst to Mr. Hiller
Prod asst
Prod secy
Timekeeper
Prod accountant
Craft service
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Making Love," by Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Bruce Roberts, performed by Roberta Flack, available on Atlantic Records, copyright ©1981 by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
"Take Me Higher," words and music by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby, copyright ©1981 by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
"It's Your Love," words and music by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby, copyright ©1981 by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 February 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 February 1982
Production Date:
23 February--13 May 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
4 March 1982
Copyright Number:
PA131510
Physical Properties:
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
112
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26267
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One afternoon in Los Angeles, California, doctor Zack Elliot and his wife, ambitious television executive Claire Elliot, view a potential new house, but Zack convinces Claire they cannot afford it. Back at his office, Zack consoles a possible cancer patient named Arlene Powers before getting into his car and staring at a homosexual couple beside him on the street. Upon returning home, he announces that he has changed his mind and decided to purchase the house. Moments later, the Elliots receive a visit from their friendly elderly neighbor, Winnie Bates, who causes them to feel guilty for moving. That evening, after making love to Claire on the living room floor, Zack lies awake thinking about Arlene’s diagnosis. The next day, he plays basketball with his friends, then meets Claire to attend a talent competition at a country-western bar. In order to keep one of the untalented but earnest singers from feeling bad about her poorly-received performance, Zack and Claire decide to play piano onstage while singing egregiously off-key, soliciting boos from the crowd. Late at night, Zack receives a telephone message from Arlene announcing that her husband recently left her. Zack visits her house, but she becomes angry because he convinced her that the diagnosis would strengthen her marital relationship. On his way home, Zack picks up a male prostitute in an alleyway, but immediately changes his mind and continues driving. One night, the Elliots watch An Affair to Remember while reciting the dialogue from memory. Meanwhile, a health-conscious novelist named Bart McGuire exercises in his living room before going to a gay club. After having sex with another ... +


One afternoon in Los Angeles, California, doctor Zack Elliot and his wife, ambitious television executive Claire Elliot, view a potential new house, but Zack convinces Claire they cannot afford it. Back at his office, Zack consoles a possible cancer patient named Arlene Powers before getting into his car and staring at a homosexual couple beside him on the street. Upon returning home, he announces that he has changed his mind and decided to purchase the house. Moments later, the Elliots receive a visit from their friendly elderly neighbor, Winnie Bates, who causes them to feel guilty for moving. That evening, after making love to Claire on the living room floor, Zack lies awake thinking about Arlene’s diagnosis. The next day, he plays basketball with his friends, then meets Claire to attend a talent competition at a country-western bar. In order to keep one of the untalented but earnest singers from feeling bad about her poorly-received performance, Zack and Claire decide to play piano onstage while singing egregiously off-key, soliciting boos from the crowd. Late at night, Zack receives a telephone message from Arlene announcing that her husband recently left her. Zack visits her house, but she becomes angry because he convinced her that the diagnosis would strengthen her marital relationship. On his way home, Zack picks up a male prostitute in an alleyway, but immediately changes his mind and continues driving. One night, the Elliots watch An Affair to Remember while reciting the dialogue from memory. Meanwhile, a health-conscious novelist named Bart McGuire exercises in his living room before going to a gay club. After having sex with another man from the bar, Bart falsely promises to telephone him to arrange another date, and continues his solitary routine as a bachelor. One day, Bart schedules a doctor’s appointment, but discovers that Zack is filling in for his regular physician. During the exam, Zack compliments Bart on his novels, prompting the patient to ask the doctor to lunch at the end of his shift. After the meal, Bart takes Zack to a bookstore, where Zack purchases his most recent novel. At the television station, Claire passionately argues with co-workers about the educational merits of broadcasting theatrical plays. Claire attempts to telephone Zack from her office, but is unable to reach him because he is at a gay bar. However, when he returns home, he presents her with a bouquet of flowers. Sometime later, Zack arranges to meet Bart and telephones Claire to make an excuse for his absence that evening. While drinking beers in his living room, Bart questions Zack’s happiness in his marriage, and Zack fails to understand why Bart avoids long-term relationships. Revealing his homosexuality, Bart urges Zack to admit his own sexual curiosity. Although Zack insists he loves Claire, the two men kiss and move to the bedroom, where they make love. Afterward, Bart urges Zack to leave, prompting him to become annoyed. As Zack returns to his routine, his sexual relationship with Claire begins to suffer. One day, Zack visits Bart’s home and yells at him about his promiscuous lifestyle. Every night, Zack and Claire viciously argue about trivial subjects, and Claire requests a year off work to repair their relationship. Instead, her boss promotes her, forcing Claire to ask her husband to reaffirm their plans to have a child in the near future. While Claire is in New York City for a meeting, Bart invites Zack to spend the weekend together. Sitting on the porch, Bart admits that he first came to terms with his homosexuality to rebel against his oppressive father. When Zack critiques Bart’s most recent novel outline by claiming the work lacks “honesty,” Bart becomes angry for Zack’s hypocrisy and inability to own up to his sexuality. A few minutes later, he apologizes, and Zack admits that he is seeking a stable relationship. In bed that night, Zack admits his love for Bart, and the next day, Bart becomes evasive. When Claire returns from New York City, she confronts Zack about his growing reclusiveness, and he leaves. The next day, Zack returns and admits his homosexual urges and his infidelity with Bart. Believing that their entire eight-year marriage has been a deception, Claire refuses to accept his confession and calls him a fraud. Zack asks Bart if he can stay at his house, but Bart invents excuses to refuse, and Zack checks into a motel. Meanwhile, Claire finds a matchbook containing a man’s address hidden in one of her husband’s coat pockets. She goes to the house and confronts the man, who hardly remembers his encounter with Zack. Afterward, she speaks with Winnie about the issue, and the elderly lady encourages her to stay with her husband. Zack enters his motel room to find Claire sitting on the bed, and they return home to discuss their marriage. Although she suggests he see a psychologist, he insists that he is not ill and refuses to lead a double life by staying together. He reveals he has been considering taking an oncology job in New York City, believing that the distance may help heal their relationship. Many years later, Zack lives in a New York City apartment with his partner, David, and one day receives a telephone call from his brother informing him that Winnie has died. David encourages him to fly to Los Angeles for the funeral, despite Zack’s reservations at seeing Claire with her new husband and son. After the eulogy, Zack and Claire warmly embrace, and she invites him to stop by her house before going to the airport. That evening, Zack meets Claire’s husband and is surprised to learn that she named her son Rupert, which was the name she had always reserved for their potential child. They both proclaim that they are happy with their new lives, and Zack drives away, leaving Claire to return to her family. +

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

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