Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

PG-13 | 103 mins | Comedy-drama, Romance, Fantasy | 8 October 1986

Producer:

Paul R. Gurian

Cinematographer:

Jordan Cronenweth

Editor:

Barry Malkin

Production Designer:

Dean Tavoularis

Production Company:

Rastar
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HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Peggy Sue Got Married marked the debut effort of husband-and-wife writing team Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner. The couple gained interest in the project after meeting producer Paul R. Gurian through mutual friends in Jul 1983. Gurian, who was a consultant at Rastar, helped the couple develop their fifty-page treatment and presented the first draft of the script to executives at Rastar and Tri-Star Pictures. Nearly two months after meeting Gurian, a 12 Sep 1984 Var article announced that Leichtling and Sarner’s Peggy Sue Got Married was in preproduction at Tri-Star Pictures with financing from Rastar, and Jonathan Demme was set to direct. At that time, Rastar’s founder, Ray Stark, was listed as executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen. On 10 Oct 1984, Var reported that Debra Winger was cast as “Peggy Sue,” and actress Penny Marshall was hired to replace Jonathan Demme as director. The film was set to mark Marshall’s directorial debut.
       Just two weeks later, however, a 24 Oct 1984 DV article announced the departure of both Marshall and Winger due to an impasse with the screenwriters over script changes. Winger, who originally took issue with Demme’s approach to the project, advocated for Marshall to replace the director, but the two-woman team continued to conflict with Gurian and his writers. By 14 Dec 1984, Winger was back in the production without Marshall, according to a DV brief published that day, and Francis Coppola was confirmed to take over as director, although a 26 Dec ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Peggy Sue Got Married marked the debut effort of husband-and-wife writing team Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner. The couple gained interest in the project after meeting producer Paul R. Gurian through mutual friends in Jul 1983. Gurian, who was a consultant at Rastar, helped the couple develop their fifty-page treatment and presented the first draft of the script to executives at Rastar and Tri-Star Pictures. Nearly two months after meeting Gurian, a 12 Sep 1984 Var article announced that Leichtling and Sarner’s Peggy Sue Got Married was in preproduction at Tri-Star Pictures with financing from Rastar, and Jonathan Demme was set to direct. At that time, Rastar’s founder, Ray Stark, was listed as executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen. On 10 Oct 1984, Var reported that Debra Winger was cast as “Peggy Sue,” and actress Penny Marshall was hired to replace Jonathan Demme as director. The film was set to mark Marshall’s directorial debut.
       Just two weeks later, however, a 24 Oct 1984 DV article announced the departure of both Marshall and Winger due to an impasse with the screenwriters over script changes. Winger, who originally took issue with Demme’s approach to the project, advocated for Marshall to replace the director, but the two-woman team continued to conflict with Gurian and his writers. By 14 Dec 1984, Winger was back in the production without Marshall, according to a DV brief published that day, and Francis Coppola was confirmed to take over as director, although a 26 Dec 1984 Var column stated that Coppola was still undecided. On 22 Feb 1985, DV reported that principal photography was delayed due to Winger’s poor health, and the May 1985 edition of Moviegoer announced the casting of Kathleen Turner as Winger’s replacement. Production notes added that Coppola personally offered the role to Turner, and he agreed to postpone the shooting schedule so the actress could fulfill her commitment on The Jewel of the Nile (1985, see entry), which finished shooting on 25 Jul 1985.
       Principal photography began on 19 Aug 1985 in Sonoma County, CA. Locations included the towns of Petaluma and Santa Rosa, CA. Santa Rosa High School stood in for Buchanan High, and a Santa Rosa soundstage housed the set of a mountaintop. There, the home of “Peggy Sue’s” grandparents was filmed, as well as the Masonic Lodge and greenhouse sequences. The stage also included sets for Peggy Sue’s bedroom, basement, and the hospital room in the final scene of the film. The Apr 1987 edition of AmCin reported that most of the picture was shot on a Panaflex Gold camera. Interiors and exteriors were filmed on Eastman medium-speed 5247 emulsion film. Production ended the week of 14 Oct 1985.
       Although the picture was scheduled for summer release in May 1986, the opening was pushed back to 8 Oct 1986. According to a 6 Mar 1986 HR article, Coppola convinced Tri-Star to finance a re-shoot of the ending because test screenings did not have the emotional impact he intended. In addition, Tri-Star discovered that Peggy Sue Got Married was not as popular with teen audiences as it hoped, and the studio revised its plan to market Peggy Sue Got Married as a follow-up to the similarly-themed summer blockbuster, Back to the Future (1985, see entry).
       Peggy Sue Got Married was received with positive reviews, and many critics noted the film marked a strong comeback for Coppola, who had experienced several recent box-office failures. Peggy Sue Got Married was Coppola’s first feature film release after the May 1986 accidental death of his son, Gian-Carlo.
       The film received three Academy Award nominations in the following categories: Actress in a Leading Role (Kathleen Turner), Cinematography, and Costume Design.
       End credits include: “Special thanks to: The cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma, California; The Sonoma County Film Commission; The California State Film Commission.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Apr 1987.
---
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1984
p. 1, 12.
Daily Variety
14 Dec 1984.
---
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 1986
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1986
p. 3, 22.
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1986
Section K, p. 1, 8.
Moviegoer
May 1985.
---
New York Times
5 Oct 1986
p. 66.
Variety
12 Sep 1984.
---
Variety
10 Oct 1984.
---
Variety
26 Dec 1984.
---
Variety
24 Sep 1986
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures and Rastar present
A Paul R. Gurian/Zoetrope Studios Production
From Tri-Star-Delphi IV and V Productions
A Tri-Star Release
From Rastar
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Elec best boy
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Automated lighting
Vari-Lite op
Vari-Lite tech
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Loc asst ed
Negative cutter
Laboratory consultant
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Leadman
Set artist
COSTUMES
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond by
Mus ed
Marshall Crenshaw Band equip provided by
Marshall Crenshaw Band equip provided by
Underscore recorded at
Live reunion and club mus prod
Live reunion and club mus prod
SOUND
Supv sd ed
ADR ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Dial coach
Vocal coach
Engineered by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff cood
Title des and prod by
Spec video eff by
DANCE
Spec choreog by
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Loc mgr
Local loc asst
Local casting
Transportation coord
Post prod supv
Asst to Mr. Coppola
Asst to Mr. Gurian
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod asst
Zoetrope librarian
Reunion photos
Staged by
Catering by
Dick Clark footage courtesy of
Electronic Cinema in cooperation with
Electronic cinema tech
Electronic cinema tech
Electronic cinema tech
STAND INS
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Peggy Sue Got Married, performed by Buddy Holly, courtesy of MCA Records
“Tequila,” performed by The Champs, courtesy of 4 Star Records, Inc
“Teenager In Love,” performed by Dion & The Belmonts, courtesy of 3C Records
+
SONGS
“Peggy Sue Got Married, performed by Buddy Holly, courtesy of MCA Records
“Tequila,” performed by The Champs, courtesy of 4 Star Records, Inc
“Teenager In Love,” performed by Dion & The Belmonts, courtesy of 3C Records
“Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop,” performed by Little Anthony & The Imperials, courtesy of Roulette Records, Inc
“I Wonder Why,” performed by Dion & The Belmonts, courtesy of 3C Records
“The Stroll,” performed by The Diamonds, courtesy of PolyGram Special Projects, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc
“Just Because,” performed by Lloyd Price, courtesy of MCA Records
“Just A Dream,” performed by Jimmy Clanton, courtesy of Ace Records
“You Can’t Sit Down,” performed by Phil Upchurch Combo, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc
“Dance By The Light Of The Moon,” performed by The Olympics, courtesy of The Everest Group
“You Belong To Me,” performed by The Duprees, courtesy of Post Records, Inc
“Finger Poppin Time,” performed by Hank Ballard, courtesy of Gusta Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 October 1986
Premiere Information:
New York Film Festival screening: 5 October 1986
Los Angeles and New York openings: 8 October 1986
Production Date:
19 August--week of 14 October 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 December 1986
Copyright Number:
PA313404
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Peggy Sue prepares to divorce her high school sweetheart, Charlie Bodell, and is reluctant to attend their twenty-fifth class reunion. However, she delights her girlhood companions by arriving at the ceremony dressed in a vintage prom dress and wearing an antique locket that contains baby pictures of her two grown children. Catching up with an old friend, Peggy Sue confides that Charlie’s infidelity was a result of their decision to marry young, and, in retrospect, she would have made different choices if she was able to go back in time. When Peggy Sue is voted “queen” of the reunion, she faints onstage and regains consciousness in the year 1960, at a Buchanan High School blood drive. There, Peggy Sue’s odd behavior is ignored by her friends, who believe the girl fainted from loss of blood. However, Peggy Sue knows she is trapped in a time warp, and is astonished to revisit her past. At home, Peggy Sue has new appreciation for her mother’s domestic servitude, and is eager to establish a closer relationship with her younger sister, but remains antagonistic toward her father. Stepping back into her role as Charlie’s girl friend, Peggy Sue surprises the boy by agreeing to date other people. However, Peggy Sue’s newfound independence prompts Charlie to experience jealousy for the first time, and he is unhappy when she becomes close friends with Richard Norvik, an awkward genius who is ridiculed by his fellow students. Unknown to Charlie, Peggy Sue believes Richard’s mastery of physics can help her return to 1985, and she convinces Richard that she has experienced time travel by explaining future technology. ... +


Peggy Sue prepares to divorce her high school sweetheart, Charlie Bodell, and is reluctant to attend their twenty-fifth class reunion. However, she delights her girlhood companions by arriving at the ceremony dressed in a vintage prom dress and wearing an antique locket that contains baby pictures of her two grown children. Catching up with an old friend, Peggy Sue confides that Charlie’s infidelity was a result of their decision to marry young, and, in retrospect, she would have made different choices if she was able to go back in time. When Peggy Sue is voted “queen” of the reunion, she faints onstage and regains consciousness in the year 1960, at a Buchanan High School blood drive. There, Peggy Sue’s odd behavior is ignored by her friends, who believe the girl fainted from loss of blood. However, Peggy Sue knows she is trapped in a time warp, and is astonished to revisit her past. At home, Peggy Sue has new appreciation for her mother’s domestic servitude, and is eager to establish a closer relationship with her younger sister, but remains antagonistic toward her father. Stepping back into her role as Charlie’s girl friend, Peggy Sue surprises the boy by agreeing to date other people. However, Peggy Sue’s newfound independence prompts Charlie to experience jealousy for the first time, and he is unhappy when she becomes close friends with Richard Norvik, an awkward genius who is ridiculed by his fellow students. Unknown to Charlie, Peggy Sue believes Richard’s mastery of physics can help her return to 1985, and she convinces Richard that she has experienced time travel by explaining future technology. Sometime later, Peggy Sue reunites with Charlie for a party, where he sings a cappella with his band. Peggy Sue remembers Charlie’s musical talent, and is seduced by his vows of eternal love. When they kiss in his car, Peggy Sue forgets that Charlie is still a teenager, while she has emotionally matured into adulthood, and he balks at her sudden desire for sex. Charlie is frustrated and humiliated by his girl friend’s erratic behavior, and reminds Peggy Sue of her promise to keep her virginity until they marry. After Charlie rushes Peggy Sue home, she wanders to a nearby café and flirts with an alluring outcast named Michael Fitzsimmons. Realizing she has a chance to revise her life story, Peggy Sue joins the boy on a motorcycle ride to the forest, where they smoke marijuana, star gaze, and make love. The next day, Peggy Sue visits Charlie at his father’s appliance shop and explains they are no longer compatible, but Charlie charms her and she realizes he will not be easily dissuaded. Charlie later hears rumors about Peggy Sue’s date with Michael Fitzsimmons and sneaks into her bedroom late at night. Overcome with rage, Charlie grabs Peggy Sue’s pillow to suffocate her, but she awakens and they creep downstairs to the basement to discuss their future. As Peggy Sue argues their marriage is doomed, Charlie is baffled by her accusations of betrayal and promises he will never break his vows of fidelity. Charlie declares he will never become a lecherous salesman like his father, but Peggy Sue knows otherwise and rejects Charlie’s pleas for reconciliation. When Charlie leaves, Peggy Sue joins Michael Fitzsimmons at a rhythm and blues club and turns down his proposal for a polygamous marriage in Utah. Although Michael argues their night of lovemaking is evidence of an eternal bond, Peggy Sue encourages the young man to filter his passion into poetry and suggests he write a book about their evening under the stars. Just then, Peggy Sue is surprised to see Charlie singing with the house band to a crowd of cheering fans, but she is unaware that Charlie is auditioning for a famous music producer, and leaves the club with Michael. The next morning, Peggy Sue apologizes to Charlie and he confides that the music producer dashed his hopes of becoming a famous singer. Crestfallen, Charlie reconsiders his desire for celebrity, and decides true love is more rewarding than social adulation. Peggy Sue is heartened by Charlie’s transformation, but continues to keep her distance. Back at Buchanan High, Peggy Sue bids farewell to Richard Norvik, who does not wish her to leave and proposes marriage. Explaining her disinterest in homemaking, Peggy Sue announces that tomorrow is her eighteenth birthday, and she must get away from Charlie because she got pregnant that day in 1960. Peggy Sue retreats to her grandparents’ country farm and they believe her story about time travel. On the evening of Peggy Sue’s eighteenth birthday, her grandfather escorts her to his Masonic Lodge and the secret society performs a ritual to send her back to 1985. As the old men chant, thunder strikes outside, lights dim, and Peggy Sue disappears. The gentlemen are convinced their mystic powers have transported Peggy Sue to the future. However, Peggy Sue is outside in a rainstorm with Charlie, who secretly followed her to the country. Although Peggy Sue protests her abduction, Charlie carries her to a nearby greenhouse and announces his decision to give up his music career. Believing Peggy Sue rejected him in fear that he would be an unsuitable provider, Charlie promises to take over his father’s business and proposes marriage, but Peggy Sue does not want history to repeat itself. Although Charlie is confounded by Peggy Sue’s unwarranted accusations of infidelity, he begs forgiveness anyway and hands her a birthday present: a locket with baby pictures of himself and Peggy Sue inside. Remembering that she wore the same locket to her class reunion, Peggy Sue mistakes the infants for her two children and realizes that ending her relationship with Charlie will sacrifice the lives of their offspring. As Peggy Sue embraces Charlie to make love, she travels into the future and awakens in a hospital room, where adult Charlie serenades her with a hushed rendition of “Peggy Sue Got Married.” Hoping to restore their love, Charlie vows to regain Peggy Sue’s trust and shows her the gifts she received while unconscious, including a book by Michael Fitzsimmons dedicated: “To Peggy Sue and a starry night.” Peggy Sue realizes her journey changed the events of her past, and invites Charlie home for dinner with his family. +

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

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