September (1987)

PG | 82 mins | Drama | 18 December 1987

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen

Producer:

Robert Greenhut

Cinematographer:

Carlo Di Palma

Editor:

Susan E. Morse

Production Designer:

Santo Loquasto
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HISTORY

September was the sixteenth film written and directed by Woody Allen. It was Allen’s seventh film collaboration with actress Mia Farrow, his fourth film with actress Dianne Wiest, and his third film with actor Sam Waterston.
       Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986 with the working title listed as “Woody Allen Untitled ‘86” in the 26 Nov 1986 DV production chart. The 23 Feb 1987 issue of New York magazine said the film’s working title was “Woody Allen’s Winter Project.” The film shot entirely on a set built on soundstages at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria, Queens, New York.
       After filming was completed, Allen began editing and decided he was unhappy with the film. He opted to rewrite portions of the script and reshoot. Allen told the 6 Dec 1987 NYT that it was no different than a play opening out of town, and the playwright rewriting major portions after seeing it performed, saying: “When I saw the first version, I saw many mistakes and character things I could do better.”
       The 13 Feb 1987 HR reported principal photography would begin again on 19 Feb or 23 Feb 1987 with a nine-week production schedule. The NYT noted that Allen routinely reshot major portions of his films, and extra production time was worked into both the budget and the shooting schedule of each of Allen’s films. However, Allen had never before reshot an entire film, and it pushed the final cost to $10 million, some 20% over budget, the 4 Jan 1988 Newsweek reported. Allen told the NYT that the cost overrun would ... More Less

September was the sixteenth film written and directed by Woody Allen. It was Allen’s seventh film collaboration with actress Mia Farrow, his fourth film with actress Dianne Wiest, and his third film with actor Sam Waterston.
       Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986 with the working title listed as “Woody Allen Untitled ‘86” in the 26 Nov 1986 DV production chart. The 23 Feb 1987 issue of New York magazine said the film’s working title was “Woody Allen’s Winter Project.” The film shot entirely on a set built on soundstages at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria, Queens, New York.
       After filming was completed, Allen began editing and decided he was unhappy with the film. He opted to rewrite portions of the script and reshoot. Allen told the 6 Dec 1987 NYT that it was no different than a play opening out of town, and the playwright rewriting major portions after seeing it performed, saying: “When I saw the first version, I saw many mistakes and character things I could do better.”
       The 13 Feb 1987 HR reported principal photography would begin again on 19 Feb or 23 Feb 1987 with a nine-week production schedule. The NYT noted that Allen routinely reshot major portions of his films, and extra production time was worked into both the budget and the shooting schedule of each of Allen’s films. However, Allen had never before reshot an entire film, and it pushed the final cost to $10 million, some 20% over budget, the 4 Jan 1988 Newsweek reported. Allen told the NYT that the cost overrun would come out of his fee.
       With the reshoot, some of the actors were no longer available, and their parts had to be recast. Mia Farrow and Dianne Wiest stayed with the project throughout. However, the part of “Lane’s” mother, feisty actress “Diane Frasier,” was initially played by Mia Farrow’s real-life mother, Maureen O’Sullivan. She was ill with pneumonia when production resumed. Allen approached Gena Rowlands as a replacement, but ultimately cast Elaine Stritch as Diane.
       The part of writer “Peter” was initially played by Christopher Walken, but he and Allen clashed on the set, and Walken was replaced after a few weeks by Sam Shepard. When Shepard was unavailable for the reshoot, Allen cast Sam Waterston.
       The part of Diane’s husband, physicist “Lloyd,” was played by Denholm Elliot the first time, while Charles Durning played the French professor neighbor, “Howard.” When Durning was committed to another project during the reshoot, Allen decided to have Denholm Elliot play Howard, and brought in Jack Warden to play Lloyd.
       September opened on fifteen screens on 18 Dec 1987, earning a total of $203,775 in its first ten days of release, according to the 29 Dec 1987 DV box-office report.
       The 23 Dec 1987 DV noted that it was out of the ordinary to release a Woody Allen film during the competitive Christmas holiday season. Orion Pictures typically opened its films in January or February.
       End credits state: “Filmed Entirely at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York” and “The Producers wish to thank the following for their assistance: The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting; Albert G. Ruben Insurance Co., Inc.; General Cinema Corp.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Nov 1986.
---
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1987.
---
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 1987
p. 6, 19.
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 1987
p. 1.
New York
23 Feb 1987.
---
New York Times
6 Dec 1987.
---
New York Times
18 Dec 1987
p. 3.
Newsweek
4 Jan 1988
p. 52.
Variety
16 Dec 1987
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production
An Orion Pictures Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept res
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Master scenic artist
Standby scenic artist
Const coord
Chief const grip
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Men's ward supv
Women's ward supv
MUSIC
Mus rec eng
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Allen
Prod auditor
Projectionist
Casting assoc
Asst prod auditor
Transportation capt
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
“On A Slow Boat To China,” by Frank Loesser, performed by Bernie Leighton
“Out Of Nowhere,” by John Green & Edward Heyman, performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd./Capitol Records, Inc.
“Just One More Chance,” by Sam Coslow & Arthur Johnston, performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd./Capitol Records, Inc.
+
SONGS
“On A Slow Boat To China,” by Frank Loesser, performed by Bernie Leighton
“Out Of Nowhere,” by John Green & Edward Heyman, performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd./Capitol Records, Inc.
“Just One More Chance,” by Sam Coslow & Arthur Johnston, performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd./Capitol Records, Inc.
“My Ideal,” by Leo Robin, Richard A. Whiting, & Newell Chase, performed by Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Red Callender, & Bill Douglass, courtesy of Pablo Records
“What’ll I Do,” by Irving Berlin, performed by Bernie Leighton
“Who,” by Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach, & Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, performed by Bernie Leighton
“I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You),” by Al J. Neiburg, Doc Daugherty, & Ellis Reynolds, performed by Bernie Leighton
“Moonglow,” by Will Hudson, Eddie De Lange, & Irving Mills, performed by Bernie Leighton
“When Day Is Done,” by Robert Katscher & B. G. De Sylva, performed by Bernie Leighton
“Night And Day,” by Cole Porter, performed by Art Tatum, Ben Webster, Red Callender, & Bill Douglass, courtesy of Pablo Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 December 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 December 1987
Production Date:
began 27 October 1986
reshooting began on 19 February or 23 February 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
21 March 1988
Copyright Number:
PA360375
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
82
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28704
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a summer house in Vermont during the last week of August, Lane Gibson and some of her friends gather. Lane has been living at the cottage for the past eight months, since her failed suicide attempt following the break-up of her affair with a married man. Lane’s friend, Stephanie, has been staying with her for the summer, needing some time away from her radiologist husband. Lane’s brassy mother, Diane Frasier, an acclaimed actress, is also visiting for the week, along with her husband, Lloyd, a physicist. Joining them this evening are neighbors Peter, an advertising executive who is taking the summer off to write a novel about his father, and Howard, a professor of French at a nearby university. Howard has fallen in love with Lane since she came to the cottage to recover, but Lane has fallen in love with Peter. Lane and Peter slept together once earlier in the summer, but Peter now only has eyes for Stephanie. Lane’s mother, Diane Frasier, has led an exciting life, but also has a checkered past, having left Lane’s father for a gangster who was physically abusive. As a fourteen-year-old, Lane shot and killed the gangster. Police never prosecuted her for the crime, but the incident scarred her. Diane invites Peter to write her biography, but Lane discourages the idea. Lane has been reading chapters of Peter’s novel and encourages him to continue with it. However, Peter believes Diane’s story of survival would be much more compelling. Lane reports she has gotten an offer to sell the house, which would provide enough money for her to put a down payment on an apartment in New York City, where she ... +


At a summer house in Vermont during the last week of August, Lane Gibson and some of her friends gather. Lane has been living at the cottage for the past eight months, since her failed suicide attempt following the break-up of her affair with a married man. Lane’s friend, Stephanie, has been staying with her for the summer, needing some time away from her radiologist husband. Lane’s brassy mother, Diane Frasier, an acclaimed actress, is also visiting for the week, along with her husband, Lloyd, a physicist. Joining them this evening are neighbors Peter, an advertising executive who is taking the summer off to write a novel about his father, and Howard, a professor of French at a nearby university. Howard has fallen in love with Lane since she came to the cottage to recover, but Lane has fallen in love with Peter. Lane and Peter slept together once earlier in the summer, but Peter now only has eyes for Stephanie. Lane’s mother, Diane Frasier, has led an exciting life, but also has a checkered past, having left Lane’s father for a gangster who was physically abusive. As a fourteen-year-old, Lane shot and killed the gangster. Police never prosecuted her for the crime, but the incident scarred her. Diane invites Peter to write her biography, but Lane discourages the idea. Lane has been reading chapters of Peter’s novel and encourages him to continue with it. However, Peter believes Diane’s story of survival would be much more compelling. Lane reports she has gotten an offer to sell the house, which would provide enough money for her to put a down payment on an apartment in New York City, where she hopes to revive her photography career. Howard offers to lend her money for an apartment so she won’t have to sell the cottage, but Lane cannot accept. During a thunderstorm, the electricity goes out, so they use candles to light the house while Stephanie plays piano. Howard gets drunk enough to find the courage to confess his love to Lane, who rejects him. Lane questions Peter, asking if she misread the romantic signals between them. Peter advises her to get on with her life as he is not in a position to get involved with anyone. When Peter gets Stephanie alone, he caresses her face and confesses his love for her. Stephanie reminds Peter that she has a husband and children, but Peter points out that she has been flirting with him since she arrived. When the power comes back on, Stephanie’s husband telephones and the two get into an argument. Afterward, Stephanie follows Peter to his cottage. The next morning, the realtor shows Mr. and Mrs. Raines around. They love the house and make a $175,000 offer, which is lower than the $200,000 asking price. Lane says she ran up a lot of debt while she was recovering, and needs the money. Peter comes to the house and invites Stephanie to go to Paris with him. As they kiss passionately, Lane walks in on them, but they are initially oblivious to her. Lane is devastated and Stephanie tries to apologize. Diane Frasier comes downstairs, announcing that she and Lloyd love Vermont and have decided to live in the house full time. Lane tells her mother she is about to sell the house, but Diane says the house still belongs to her and tells the realtor it is not for sale. She and Lane’s father bought the house before Lane was born, and it is the closest thing to roots that she has. As Lane cries, Diane says she should not blame her, if her life did not turn out the way she wanted it to. Lane exclaims, “You’re the one who pulled the trigger. I only said what the lawyers told me to say,” referring to the shooting of Diane’s gangster boyfriend. Diane says that Lane is being spiteful, but adds that she would have done things differently if she could. Lane goes to her bedroom, devastated. Stephanie apologizes for what happened with Peter, and confesses that she flirted with him because he seemed like a challenge, and she needed to know if she could still be wanted. Lane vaguely talks of suicide again. Stephanie demands to know where the sleeping pills are, telling Lane that she has a lot to live for, and that if she really wanted to die, she would have done it right the first time. Diane apologizes to her daughter and declares that the house is hers. Diane and Lloyd pack up and leave for Palm Beach, Florida. Howard tells Lane that she has come to mean so much to him, but he knows that when she leaves the cottage, they will not see each other again. Peter decides to return to New York City, telling Stephanie that he feels empty knowing they cannot be together. Stephanie says he will forget about her in time. Peter thanks Lane for the encouragement and faith she had in him. She cries as he walks out the door. Stephanie plans to stay with Lane for a few more days, then return home to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to help her children start the new school year. In the meantime, she reminds Lane to keep busy, as she must prepare the house for sale before moving back to New York City.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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