The Heavenly Kid (1985)

PG-13 | 91 mins | Comedy, Fantasy | 26 July 1985

Director:

Cary Medoway

Producer:

Mort Engelberg

Cinematographer:

Steven Poster

Production Designer:

Ron Hobbs
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HISTORY

The film begins with the following title card: “The Ridge...Early 1960’s.”
       The 15 Oct 1984 DV announced that the picture, then titled Teen Angel, would begin principal photography on 22 Oct 1984 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Atlanta, GA. The 24 Oct 1984 DV reported the title change to The Heavenly Kid.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files noted locations in the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and North Miami High School. Production occurred while classes were in session, and film and drama students were reportedly assigned to watch the proceedings as a learning experience.
       An advertisement in the 14 Dec 1984 HR announced that filming was completed.
       According to the 17 Apr 1985 DV, filmmakers challenged the R-rating conferred by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). However, in a hearing with the MPAA’s Classification & Rating Appeals Board, the R-rating was upheld.
       The Oct 1985 Box reported $3.9 million in box-office grosses after seventeen ... More Less

The film begins with the following title card: “The Ridge...Early 1960’s.”
       The 15 Oct 1984 DV announced that the picture, then titled Teen Angel, would begin principal photography on 22 Oct 1984 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Atlanta, GA. The 24 Oct 1984 DV reported the title change to The Heavenly Kid.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files noted locations in the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and North Miami High School. Production occurred while classes were in session, and film and drama students were reportedly assigned to watch the proceedings as a learning experience.
       An advertisement in the 14 Dec 1984 HR announced that filming was completed.
       According to the 17 Apr 1985 DV, filmmakers challenged the R-rating conferred by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). However, in a hearing with the MPAA’s Classification & Rating Appeals Board, the R-rating was upheld.
       The Oct 1985 Box reported $3.9 million in box-office grosses after seventeen days. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Oct 1985.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1984.
---
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1984.
---
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1985
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jul 1985
p. 14.
New York Times
26 Jul 1985
p. 14.
Variety
24 Jul 1985
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Engelberg-Sumner-Cheikes production
An Orion Pictures release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Best boy, Elec
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed, Florida
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Const coord
Scenic artist
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Carpenter foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus supv
Songs prod by
Supv mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff supv
Sd eff supv
ADR ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley stepper
Foley stepper
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
Spec eff
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Craft service
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Extras casting
Casting asst
Florida casting
Atlanta casting
Police coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Post prod auditor
Completion services by
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“The Heavenly Kid (Out On The Edge),” written by Randy Goodrum and George Duke, performed by Jon Fiore
“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” written by D. Williams and S. David, performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Hamburgers,” written and performed by George Duke
+
SONGS
“The Heavenly Kid (Out On The Edge),” written by Randy Goodrum and George Duke, performed by Jon Fiore
“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” written by D. Williams and S. David, performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Hamburgers,” written and performed by George Duke
“Obsession,” written by Greg Guidry and David Martin, performed by Howard Hewett (of Shalimar), courtesy of Solar Records
“I Need The Touch,” written by Stefan Shmitt and Steve Humphreys, performed by Stuffy Shmitt, produced by Rob Stevens
“When The Children Make The Mighty Fall,” written and produced by Mick Muhlfriedel, recorded by Earl Makey, performed by Neko-Meka, executive producer George Duke
“Animal Attraction,” written by Gloria Sklerov and Lenny Macaluso, performed by Jamie Bond
“Dream Machine,” written by Randy Goodrum, performed by Chris Farren
“Cruisin’ Tonight,” written by Randy Goodrum and George Duke, performed by Debra Lewis
“Two Minute Love,” written by Danny Sembello and Jim McKeever, performed by Mickey Thomas (of Jefferson Starship), courtesy of RCA Records
“Mean To Me,” written by George Duke, performed by The George Duke Band
“So Far Away,” written by Shandi Sinnamon, performed by Shandi
“Heartless,” written by Lisa Sennett and Bruce Gaitsch, performed by Joe Lynn Turner
“Climbing To The Heart Of Love,” written by Marcy Levy, Roxanne Seeman, and Billie Hughes, performed by Jamie Bond.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Teen Angel
Release Date:
26 July 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 26 July 1985
Production Date:
22 October--December 1984 in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Atlanta, GA
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
16 October 1985
Copyright Number:
PA266699
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Cameras and lenses by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27766
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1960s, a high school student named Bobby Fontana challenges Joe Barnes to a “chicken” race after Joe attempts to seduce Bobby’s girl friend, Emily. As they race towards the edge of a quarry, Joe jumps out of his automobile before it careens over a cliff, but Bobby’s bracelet gets caught on the gear shift knob, and he plummets to his death. Sometime later, Bobby awakens on a subway train, and is greeted at a station by a motorcycle-riding spirit named Rafferty, who informs him that he is dead. Bobby is in limbo between heaven and hell, and must perform an assignment to be deemed worthy of heaven. In the meantime, he must ride on the subway until further notice. Twenty years later, a high school student named Lenny works at a diner in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with his friend, Melissa. Outside the diner, Rafferty arrives with Bobby on his motorcycle. Rafferty escorts him into this new era, and instructs Bobby to only reveal himself to his assignment, and remain invisible to everyone else. They watch as Lenny is picked on and tripped by a bully named McIntyre, which causes him to spill a tray of food on Sharon, the girl of his dreams, and then get terminated from his job. Bobby learns that the awkward Lenny is his assignment. Later, while reading on a cliff side, Lenny stumbles and falls over the edge, and Bobby catches him, saving his life. Believing he has completed his mission, Bobby prepares to leave, but Rafferty instructs him to befriend Lenny, and help the young man believe in himself. ... +


In the early 1960s, a high school student named Bobby Fontana challenges Joe Barnes to a “chicken” race after Joe attempts to seduce Bobby’s girl friend, Emily. As they race towards the edge of a quarry, Joe jumps out of his automobile before it careens over a cliff, but Bobby’s bracelet gets caught on the gear shift knob, and he plummets to his death. Sometime later, Bobby awakens on a subway train, and is greeted at a station by a motorcycle-riding spirit named Rafferty, who informs him that he is dead. Bobby is in limbo between heaven and hell, and must perform an assignment to be deemed worthy of heaven. In the meantime, he must ride on the subway until further notice. Twenty years later, a high school student named Lenny works at a diner in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with his friend, Melissa. Outside the diner, Rafferty arrives with Bobby on his motorcycle. Rafferty escorts him into this new era, and instructs Bobby to only reveal himself to his assignment, and remain invisible to everyone else. They watch as Lenny is picked on and tripped by a bully named McIntyre, which causes him to spill a tray of food on Sharon, the girl of his dreams, and then get terminated from his job. Bobby learns that the awkward Lenny is his assignment. Later, while reading on a cliff side, Lenny stumbles and falls over the edge, and Bobby catches him, saving his life. Believing he has completed his mission, Bobby prepares to leave, but Rafferty instructs him to befriend Lenny, and help the young man believe in himself. Bobby reluctantly accepts the assignment, feeling no connection to Lenny. Later, Bobby observes Lenny in his classroom, and sees that he is an excellent student, but socially awkward. Melissa praises Lenny on his writing abilities, but he dismisses her. When Lenny approaches Sharon in the lunchroom to apologize, McIntyre targets him, but Bobby steps in, knocking McIntyre into a food cart, and embarrassing him in front of his classmates. At the cliff side, Bobby reappears and introduces himself, telling Lenny he has returned from the dead to help him. To prove himself, Bobby attempts to use the powers Rafferty told him he possesses. After several failed attempts, Bobby pushes Lenny backwards while arguing his case, and before they realize it, they have walked off the edge of a cliff and are hovering mid-air. When Lenny questions why he was chosen, Bobby begins to boost his confidence by giving him a makeover, and replacing Lenny’s bicycle with a classic automobile he rebuilds with his powers. Lenny’s efforts to seduce women fail. However, when three girls ask him for a ride, Lenny is thrilled, and afterwards he returns to his home with Bobby. Bobby is stunned to discover that Lenny’s mother is his former girl friend, Emily, and his father is Bobby’s rival, Joe. Unsettled, Bobby contacts Rafferty and demands to be given a new assignment, revealing that he still has feelings for Emily. Lenny tells his parents about his mysterious, new friend who bought him his clothes and automobile. When Lenny uses a phrase that Bobby used to say, Emily is alarmed, but hides her reaction. That night, Bobby returns and watches Emily sleep. The next day, Lenny drives his automobile to school and impresses Sharon and his other classmates with his newfound style. Sharon’s boyfriend, Fred Gallo, is jealous, and challenges Lenny to a fight. Elsewhere, Bobby visits the crash site where he was killed. Rafferty arrives to reassign him, but Bobby changes his mind, and wants to continue working with Lenny. Back at school, Lenny successfully beats Gallo, and as McIntyre prepares to punch Lenny, Bobby steps in to help. After winning the fight, Sharon asks Lenny for a ride home, and he takes her for a date that evening. She suggests they skip dinner and have sex in his car instead. Bobby warns that Sharon may not be the best choice for a girl friend, but takes Lenny out to celebrate losing his virginity. When Lenny returns home intoxicated, his father punishes him. At school, Lenny enjoys his popularity and ignores his old friend, Melissa. Bobby overhears Gallo and McIntyre plotting their revenge, and alerts Lenny, but he dismisses the warning. Meanwhile, Emily looks at pictures of Bobby in her yearbook. Sometime later, Bobby worries about Lenny’s attitude when he ignores his father’s punishment and takes Sharon to the diner where Melissa works. Seeing Lenny, Melissa is distraught and runs away. Lenny follows her into the backroom and sees her crying, but says nothing, and leaves with Sharon to attend a party. While there, he watches as she dances with several other young men. That night, Bobby makes himself visible to Emily, who passes out in shock after seeing him. When she awakens, she and Bobby embrace, and spend the evening together, visiting places from their past. Emily tells Bobby that Joe has been a good husband to her, and reveals that Bobby is Lenny’s father. Bobby is grateful to Joe who agreed to marry her and raise Lenny as his own son. He tells Emily for the first time that he loves her, and then kisses her. After taking Emily home, he promises to look after Lenny. Rafferty appears and admonishes Bobby for breaking the rules by appearing to Emily, but Bobby believes it was worth the consequences to speak to her and learn that he has a son. Elsewhere, Lenny sees Melissa walking down the street, and asks for her forgiveness. Gallo drives up and challenges him to a “chicken” race. Meanwhile, Bobby looks through Rafferty’s book of “arriving passengers” and sees Lenny’s name. Rafferty informs Bobby about the automobile race, but warns that nothing can be done to save Lenny’s life. Bobby pleads to save him, realizing that he missed out on having a family after dying young, and he does not want Lenny to miss his chance. Bobby sacrifices his soul for Lenny’s life. At the race, Melissa begs Lenny not to race, but he cannot be persuaded. Emily arrives and also tries to stop her son, but she is too late. As the young men race, Gallo jumps to safety, but Lenny is trapped when his door will not open. Bobby appears beside him as the vehicle goes over the quarry and crashes in a fiery explosion. Lenny climbs over the cliff, to the relief of his friends, and kisses Melissa. He thanks Bobby for saving him, and is sad to hear that Bobby is leaving. Although he does not reveal himself as his father, Bobby promises to remain the best of friends with Lenny. Bobby departs with Rafferty, and prepares to go to hell for breaking the rules, but after sacrificing his soul for Lenny, Rafferty takes him to heaven. +

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.