A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

PG | 89 mins | Comedy | 16 July 1982

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen

Producer:

Robert Greenhut

Cinematographer:

Gordon Willis

Editor:

Susan E. Morse

Production Designer:

Mel Bourne
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HISTORY

As noted in DV on 15 Dec 1981 the working title of the film for Orion was Summer Nights . A 27 Jun 1981 LAHExam news item referred to the picture as Summer Romance .       According to a 3 Jun 1981 DV news item, writer-director Woody Allen said that he planned to start shooting the following week “despite the pending directors’ strike” and he would shoot for at least two weeks.
       On 14 Oct 1981, DV reported that the crew filmed for four months at a Victorian-Edwardian house built for the film in Tarrytown, NY, on an estate owned by the Rockefeller family. In a Sep/Oct 1982 edition of American Classic Screen, Allen said that the film was shot in upper New York State in the Catskills.
       On 6 Jul 1982, the LAT reported that the Los Angeles, CA, premiere for the film at the Mann Regent and Fine Arts theaters doubled as a fund-raiser for a healthcare non-profit. Following the screening, a dessert reception was held at Cedar Sinai’s Thalians Mental Heath Center on Alden Drive. The money raised went towards the “ ‘Warm Line,’ a free telephone consultation service for parents who need information and/or advice about the problems of their children,” part of the Preschool and Infant Parenting Service (PIPS).
       A LAHExam article reported on 12 Jul 1982 that the film opened wide in 510 theaters, as opposed to the usual release pattern for Allen’s films of “platforming” in a few selected theaters until word-of-mouth increased the demand for screens. Executives at Orion and Warner Bros. expressed ... More Less

As noted in DV on 15 Dec 1981 the working title of the film for Orion was Summer Nights . A 27 Jun 1981 LAHExam news item referred to the picture as Summer Romance .       According to a 3 Jun 1981 DV news item, writer-director Woody Allen said that he planned to start shooting the following week “despite the pending directors’ strike” and he would shoot for at least two weeks.
       On 14 Oct 1981, DV reported that the crew filmed for four months at a Victorian-Edwardian house built for the film in Tarrytown, NY, on an estate owned by the Rockefeller family. In a Sep/Oct 1982 edition of American Classic Screen, Allen said that the film was shot in upper New York State in the Catskills.
       On 6 Jul 1982, the LAT reported that the Los Angeles, CA, premiere for the film at the Mann Regent and Fine Arts theaters doubled as a fund-raiser for a healthcare non-profit. Following the screening, a dessert reception was held at Cedar Sinai’s Thalians Mental Heath Center on Alden Drive. The money raised went towards the “ ‘Warm Line,’ a free telephone consultation service for parents who need information and/or advice about the problems of their children,” part of the Preschool and Infant Parenting Service (PIPS).
       A LAHExam article reported on 12 Jul 1982 that the film opened wide in 510 theaters, as opposed to the usual release pattern for Allen’s films of “platforming” in a few selected theaters until word-of-mouth increased the demand for screens. Executives at Orion and Warner Bros. expressed confidence in the film, saying, “there seems to be a little breathing room in mid-July for a movie without sound effects, without robots, without hardware.”
       Although most of the critical response to the film was positive, there were a few pointed observations such as in a 14 Jul 1982 review, HR stated that part of the fun of the film was “derive[d] from the fact that [the characters] are late 20th-century people with late 20th-century hang-ups, presumably living in Teddy Roosevelt’s populist times.”
The 23-29 July 1982 LA Weekly review likened Allen’s film to an example of a Greek “Satyr” play, “with wild, brief farces full of punning speeches, sexual innuendos and much running around in the woods” that the Greeks used to watch after a heavy tragedy. In a12 Aug 1982 LAT article, critic Charles Champlin remarked that the film suffered due to certain actors who didn’t time travel well. “You can’t imagine them in an earlier decade, let alone an earlier century or half-century,” he said. While in a Sep/Oct 1982 interview for American Classic Screen, writer John Tibbetts compared Allen’s movie to “a cross between Ingmar Bergman and Washington Irving.” Allen responded that he preferred a comparison to Chekov and Shakespeare.
       In end credits, the producers acknowledge: The New York State Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, Elizabeth Forsling Harris, Executive Director; Mayor’s Office for Motion Pictures and Television, Nancy Littlefield, Executive Director.


More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Classic Screen
Sep/Oct 1982.
---
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1981.
---
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1982.
p. 3, 20.
LA Weekly
23-29 Jul 1982.
---
LAHExam
27 Jun 1981.
---
LAHExam
12 Jul 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Jul 1982.
Section V, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jul 1982.
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1982.
Section VI, p. 1, 4.
New York Times
16 Jul 1982.
p. 4.
Variety
14 Oct 1981.
---
Variety
14 Jul 1982.
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
Asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Dolly grip
Const grip
Const grip
Const grip
Chapman crane op
Gaffer
Best boy
Location projectionist
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Master scenic artist
Standby scenic artist
Chief set dresser
Set dresser
Flying machines & inventions
Prop master
Prop man
Shop craftsman
Shop craftsman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst to Mr. Loquasto
Men's ward supv
Woman's ward supv
MUSIC
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom man
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Make-up des
Hair des
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting asst
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Allen
Loc auditor
Asst loc auditor
Loc scout
Loc scout
Loc scout
Unit pub
Animals provided by
Transportation capt
DGA trainee
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Registered nurse
STAND INS
Stunt double for Mr. Allen
Stunt double for Mr. Roberts
ANIMATION
Anim eff
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Symphony No. 3 (Scottish) in A Minor," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, courtesy of CBS Records
"Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Vassil Stefanov and the TVR Symphony Orchestra, Stoika Milanova, soloist, courtesy of Monitor Records
"Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Opus 40," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, courtesy of CBS Records
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MUSIC
"Symphony No. 3 (Scottish) in A Minor," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, courtesy of CBS Records
"Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Vassil Stefanov and the TVR Symphony Orchestra, Stoika Milanova, soloist, courtesy of Monitor Records
"Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Opus 40," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, courtesy of CBS Records
"A Midsummer Night's Dream," written by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Records.
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DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Summer Nights
Summer Romance
Release Date:
16 July 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 16 July 1982
Production Date:
began early June 1981 in New York
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Camera and Lenses by Panavision ®; Prints by Technicolor ®
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Professor Leopold’s early 1900s classroom, there is only room for rational thought, not for ghosts or spirits. After class, he is congratulated by several of his colleagues on his upcoming wedding. The event is to take place at the country home of Leopold’s cousin, Adrian, and her husband, Andrew, a stockbroker and part-time inventor. In the barn, Adrian expresses some sadness but Andrew reassures her they’ll have a fun and relaxing vacation. She asks about one of his inventions, a spirit ball, that is supposed to capture the future and the past, then changes the subject to tell Andrew about the sleeping arrangements for the wedding guests. She expects that their lecherous doctor friend, Maxwell, will bring one of his latest conquests. Maxwell invites Dulcy, a new nurse on staff, to accompany him to the wedding when one of his patients, also a lover, declines his invitation. As the wedding approaches, Andrew sets about rekindling his love life with Adrian. Neither can understand why their passion has cooled. Their thoughts turn back to the upcoming wedding. Adrian mentions Ariel Weymouth, Leopold’s fiancée, by name, and Andrew drops a glass in shock because he knows her. With the full moon out, Andrew is wide-awake, thinking about Ariel while Adrian sleeps, and the spirit ball sounds like a wind chime in the night air. In the morning, Maxwell and Dulcy arrive in a bright orange 1920s roadster, and Andrew waves hello from his flying bicycle. Adrian and Dulcy bond immediately. She notices that Dulcy is very experienced sexually, while Andrew confesses to Maxwell that his sex life is in trouble. Settled in their guest room, Maxwell and Dulcy lock ... +


In Professor Leopold’s early 1900s classroom, there is only room for rational thought, not for ghosts or spirits. After class, he is congratulated by several of his colleagues on his upcoming wedding. The event is to take place at the country home of Leopold’s cousin, Adrian, and her husband, Andrew, a stockbroker and part-time inventor. In the barn, Adrian expresses some sadness but Andrew reassures her they’ll have a fun and relaxing vacation. She asks about one of his inventions, a spirit ball, that is supposed to capture the future and the past, then changes the subject to tell Andrew about the sleeping arrangements for the wedding guests. She expects that their lecherous doctor friend, Maxwell, will bring one of his latest conquests. Maxwell invites Dulcy, a new nurse on staff, to accompany him to the wedding when one of his patients, also a lover, declines his invitation. As the wedding approaches, Andrew sets about rekindling his love life with Adrian. Neither can understand why their passion has cooled. Their thoughts turn back to the upcoming wedding. Adrian mentions Ariel Weymouth, Leopold’s fiancée, by name, and Andrew drops a glass in shock because he knows her. With the full moon out, Andrew is wide-awake, thinking about Ariel while Adrian sleeps, and the spirit ball sounds like a wind chime in the night air. In the morning, Maxwell and Dulcy arrive in a bright orange 1920s roadster, and Andrew waves hello from his flying bicycle. Adrian and Dulcy bond immediately. She notices that Dulcy is very experienced sexually, while Andrew confesses to Maxwell that his sex life is in trouble. Settled in their guest room, Maxwell and Dulcy lock in passionate embrace. When Leopold and Ariel arrive in a Model T, Andrew downplays his past with Ariel. Maxwell guesses the perfume Ariel wears and she guesses Maxwell’s aftershave. Sensing their attraction for one another, Leopold pans a book authored by Maxwell and a rivalry develops between the two men. Inside the house, Adrian confronts Andrew about his attraction to Ariel, and she’s not placated when he explains that he didn’t want to antagonize her since they were having problems. In the countryside, Ariel snaps a few photographs of Andrew as they walk through the fields. He confesses that he lusted after her when they first met but regretted that he never did anything about it. When Ariel says she wanted him too, he realizes that he missed an opportunity. Back then she had a reputation for being promiscuous, but the reality is that tomorrow she’ll be married to Leopold although Andrew doesn’t believe she is really in love. She says she is, but she also doesn’t want to be an old maid. Yet, if Andrew had acted on his feelings they might well be a couple. Andrew is shocked by her admission and immediately mulls over the new possibilities. Walking through the woods after a picnic, Adrian accuses Andrew of spending too much time with Ariel. He wants the weekend to be over because he is weary of his wife’s suspicions. Ariel sprains her ankle when the group runs after a rare bird, and Leopold is jealous as Maxwell tends to her injury. Next, Maxwell eats a mushroom and goes into convulsions, pretending it’s poisonous. When Ariel runs after him with some medicine, he grabs her and steals a kiss. She pulls away. Later, as the two friends practice archery, Maxwell confesses his love for Ariel. When Andrew cannot talk him out of it, he agrees to arrange a secret meeting in the woods between his friend and Ariel. On the porch, Dulcy learns chess moves from Leopold and he propositions her. She’s flattered and they plan to sneak out to the woods as well. Before Dulcy can meet him, Adrian asks her for advice on how to spice up her sex life. While Maxwell and Leopold wait for Ariel and Dulcy to arrive, the two men spy each other at the pond and lie about their reasons for being there. Maxwell suggests that he and Leopold take a stroll. As they walk, Leopold makes it clear that despite Maxwell’s deep affection for Ariel, she’s not interested in him. Ariel never arrives because Andrew’s flying bicycle collapses from the weight when he tries to deliver her to Maxwell. Dulcy is stuck back at the house with Adrian. Ariel and Andrew, soggy from falling in the pond, walk home. Andrew alternately praises and maligns Maxwell and makes a move on Ariel for the first time since her arrival. As the wedding party eats dinner on the lawn, Maxwell leaves the table suddenly when the talk about the upcoming wedding overwhelms him. A few minutes later, everybody runs when the sound of gunfire is heard. In the barn, they find Maxwell accidentally shot but alive. Andrew tells him how obsessive he has become over Ariel. While talking, the men discover that Andrew is also infatuated with Ariel. After dinner, the wedding party listens to Leopold sing in the living room while Adrian plays the piano and Maxwell turns up at the window behind the couch where Ariel sits. He tells Ariel that her marriage is a mistake and threatens to kill himself so she agrees to meet him secretly. In the kitchen, Adrian gropes Andrew but is too nervous to consummate the act. When Andrew gives a demonstration of his spirit ball, the group thinks that they see the ghosts of two lovers meeting secretly, but then the ball explodes and the vision is gone. While most of the guests retire for the night, Maxwell goes for a walk. Andrew doesn’t understand why his friend is so chipper, and wants to walk along with him, but Maxwell says he plans to meet Ariel and leaves alone. At the pond, Andrew shows up and confesses to Maxwell that he’s never gotten over Ariel, wondering at the same time what he’s going to tell his wife. When Ariel arrives, the two friends fight for her attention: Andrew tells her he’s in love with her, while Maxwell tries to discourage her interest in Andrew. With the turmoil around her, Ariel realizes she can’t go through with her marriage. When she spurns Maxwell’s advances, he leaves Ariel and Andrew together and they walk through the woods reminiscing. In bed, Leopold discovers Ariel missing and goes to the living room where he finds Dulcy reading the “Katzenjammer Kids” comics. He tells her about his dream in which she was reading the same comics and they make love. She explains she is downstairs because Maxwell is out walking. With Ariel gone as well, Leopold flies in to a jealous rage and imagines the two together. He is interrupted by the spirit ball, which casts shadows of Ariel and Andrew kissing. He runs out looking for them with Dulcy close behind. At the same time, Ariel and Andrew’s spontaneous lovemaking has ended in disappointment. Leopold, wielding a bow and arrow, soon arrives hoping to shoot Andrew. He accidentally shoots Maxwell instead and wanders off wondering what he’s done. Leopold returns to the house, and, in a sexual frenzy, grabs Dulcy, ripping her clothes off. Andrew finds Maxwell lying in the woods bleeding. Wanting to die with a clean conscience, Maxwell confesses to Andrew that he slept with Adrian the previous summer. Andrew doesn’t accept his apology and wanders off in a daze. Later back at the barn, Adrian interrupts Andrew while he is in the midst of loading a gun to shoot himself. When Adrian admits to adultery, her guilt is lifted. Suddenly aroused, she seduces Andrew in the barn. Meanwhile in the woods, Ariel patches up Maxwell’s wounds, and he begins his seduction all over again. She tells him that she’s not good “wife material,” but they recognize that they are two of a kind. In the barn, Adrian’s boldness has broken the spell of apathy in her marriage to Andrew and they get back together. When Dulcy cries out that Leopold is dead, everybody runs to the scene. Dulcy describes that frisky Leopold dropped dead in the midst of their passionate sex. The spirit ball begins to glow and explodes. Leopold’s voice, encased in a flickering light, leaps out of the machine and talks about being a spirit now, saying his spirit has joined all the other spirits in the woods that have died while lovemaking. “Remember to look for me,” he tells Ariel. The group follows Leopold’s spirit outside and sees other spirits dancing in the night.

      


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

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