Dad (1989)

PG | 118 mins | Drama | 27 October 1989

Cinematographer:

Jan Kiesser

Editor:

Eric Sears

Production Designer:

Jackson DeGovia

Production Companies:

Universal Pictures , Amblin Entertainment
Full page view
HISTORY

A 23 Oct 1981 Publishers Weekly item reported that actor Jon Voight had optioned the film rights for William Wharton’s 1981 novel Dad, for $25,000 up front, with a pickup price of $250,000, plus 5% of the profits. The option was good for one year with the chance to renew for one more year at the original price.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Family Ties (NBC, 22 Sep 1982—14 May 1989) creator Gary David Goldberg attempted to acquire the rights for the film early on, but had to wait until they were available in 1983. Although the 17 Aug 1984 HR stated that executive producer Steven Spielberg was also rumored to direct, the film marked Goldberg’s theatrical feature debut.
       A 3 Feb 1988 HR production chart announced principal photography was scheduled to begin 13 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, with James Caan playing “John Tremont.” However, a 13 Feb 1988 DV news item announced that Caan was leaving the project due to “creative differences.” Following his departure, production was delayed due to a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. Although the protest ended 7 Aug 1988, a 2 Sep 1988 DV brief reported hopes that filming would commence before the end of 1988.
       However, it was not until the following spring that a 14 Mar 1989 HR production chart listed a start date of 8 May 1989. According to production notes, a full sized “Tremont” house and backyard set were built on Stage 5 at the Paramount studios in Los Angeles, CA. ... More Less

A 23 Oct 1981 Publishers Weekly item reported that actor Jon Voight had optioned the film rights for William Wharton’s 1981 novel Dad, for $25,000 up front, with a pickup price of $250,000, plus 5% of the profits. The option was good for one year with the chance to renew for one more year at the original price.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Family Ties (NBC, 22 Sep 1982—14 May 1989) creator Gary David Goldberg attempted to acquire the rights for the film early on, but had to wait until they were available in 1983. Although the 17 Aug 1984 HR stated that executive producer Steven Spielberg was also rumored to direct, the film marked Goldberg’s theatrical feature debut.
       A 3 Feb 1988 HR production chart announced principal photography was scheduled to begin 13 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, with James Caan playing “John Tremont.” However, a 13 Feb 1988 DV news item announced that Caan was leaving the project due to “creative differences.” Following his departure, production was delayed due to a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. Although the protest ended 7 Aug 1988, a 2 Sep 1988 DV brief reported hopes that filming would commence before the end of 1988.
       However, it was not until the following spring that a 14 Mar 1989 HR production chart listed a start date of 8 May 1989. According to production notes, a full sized “Tremont” house and backyard set were built on Stage 5 at the Paramount studios in Los Angeles, CA. Locations included the CA cities of Venice, Century City, downtown Los Angeles, and Los Angeles International Airport. The farm sequences were shot outside of Boston, MA, from 27-28 Jun 1989, as reported in a 14 Jul 1989 HR. Actor John Lemmon’s son, Chris Lemmon, and his daughter-in-law, Gina Raymond, played the younger “Jake” and “Bette” Tremont. Jack Lemmon reportedly lost thirty pounds and shaved his head to age himself thirteen years. Both he and actress Olympia Dukakis spent two hours a day in the makeup chair.
       Before its release, the 25 Aug 1989 Long Beach Press-Telegram stated that film tested well in preview screenings, but required roughly ten minutes of cuts from its 126-minute running time.
       The film opened to mixed reviews, and the Dec 1989 Box reported earnings of $535,504 from 107 theaters. Lemmon received a specula award from the Film Advisory Board for his performance. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Dec 1989.
---
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1988.
---
Daily Variety
2 Sep 1988.
---
Hollywood Drama-Logue
11 Jan 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 May 1989
pp. 26-27.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1989.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
25 Aug 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 1989
p. 1.
New York Times
27 Oct 1989
p. 15.
Publishers Weekly
23 Oct 1981.
---
Variety
25 Oct 1989
p. 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Amblin Entertainment Presents
A Gary David Goldberg Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Prod mgr, The Boston crew
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by, Wrt for the scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Elec best boy
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Elec best boy, The Boston crew
Grip best boy, The Boston crew
Cam by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, The Boston crew
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Paint foreman
Standby painter
Greensman
Elec best boy
Leadman, The Boston crew
Leadman, The Boston crew
Set dresser, The Boston crew
Const coord, The Boston crew
Paint foreman, The Boston crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Men's costumer
Ward, The Boston crew
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Mus rec eng
Spec prod & arr by
Synthesizer programmer
Synthesizer programmer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Supv dial ed
Amblin post prod supv
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
ADR group coord
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main title des
Spec eff supv
Titles & opticals
MAKEUP
Mr. Lemmon's makeup des by
Makeup artist
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
Exec asst to Mr. Goldberg
Makeup artist, The Boston crew
Hairstylist, The Boston crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Amblin controller
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Casting assoc
Extra casting
Extra casting, Disc Extra Casting
First aid
Craft service
Craft service
Exec asst to Mr. Stern
Exec asst to Mr. Stern
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Chief medical tech adv
Medical tech adv
Dial coach to Mr. Danson
Prod coord, The Boston crew
Boston casting, The Boston crew
Prod asst, The Boston crew
Prod asst, The Boston crew
Teamster capt, The Boston crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Dad by William Wharton (New York, 1981).
SONGS
"Nice Dreams," written by John DuBay, Jeff Litke and Adrian Liberty, performed by Powermad, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc. by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 October 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 October 1989
Production Date:
8 March--late June 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 February 1990
Copyright Number:
PA503603
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
118
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30053
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Successful businessman John Tremont receives a telephone call from his sister, Annie, reporting that their elderly mother, Bette Tremont, has had a serious heart attack. When she asks him to return to his childhood home in Los Angeles, California, he is met at the airport by his brother-in-law, Mario, who informs him that Bette refuses to believe she is sick. At the hospital, Bette orders John to take care of his father, Jake Tremont, and to tell her husband that “something went wrong” with her insides. John returns home and is shocked to see how bad his father’s dementia has progressed. Since Annie and Mario work full time, they decide to hire a nurse. That night, John informs his father about Bette’s condition, and explains she cannot take care of him the way she used to. The next morning, John rises to find his father has fixed them breakfast, and Jake requests to sees Bette at the hospital, but John suggests they wait a few days. John installs signs around the house with detailed instructions on how to do the household chores. After a day of cleaning, John suggests they hit the town and Jake takes him to a Bingo hall, but Jake learns that five of his friends have died. The next day, they go to the hospital with Annie and Mario. When Annie announces she a nurse, John declares he has changed his schedule and is staying longer. John discovers Jake no longer drives although he once raced stock cars and insists Jake take a driver’s test. To Jake’s surprise, he passes, and they celebrate by ... +


Successful businessman John Tremont receives a telephone call from his sister, Annie, reporting that their elderly mother, Bette Tremont, has had a serious heart attack. When she asks him to return to his childhood home in Los Angeles, California, he is met at the airport by his brother-in-law, Mario, who informs him that Bette refuses to believe she is sick. At the hospital, Bette orders John to take care of his father, Jake Tremont, and to tell her husband that “something went wrong” with her insides. John returns home and is shocked to see how bad his father’s dementia has progressed. Since Annie and Mario work full time, they decide to hire a nurse. That night, John informs his father about Bette’s condition, and explains she cannot take care of him the way she used to. The next morning, John rises to find his father has fixed them breakfast, and Jake requests to sees Bette at the hospital, but John suggests they wait a few days. John installs signs around the house with detailed instructions on how to do the household chores. After a day of cleaning, John suggests they hit the town and Jake takes him to a Bingo hall, but Jake learns that five of his friends have died. The next day, they go to the hospital with Annie and Mario. When Annie announces she a nurse, John declares he has changed his schedule and is staying longer. John discovers Jake no longer drives although he once raced stock cars and insists Jake take a driver’s test. To Jake’s surprise, he passes, and they celebrate by playing a game of catch. That evening, Billy Tremont, John’s nineteen-year-old son, arrives, stating he was traveling in Mexico when he got a telegram from Annie about Jake’s illness and rushed back to see if he could help. After expressing how much he has enjoyed spending time with his father, John suggests he and Billy share some “quality” time together, but Billy warns him not to get “carried away.” When Bette comes home, John makes plans to leave, but Jake suddenly announces he is urinating blood. Although the doctor, Dr. Santana, states Jake may have cancer, John insists it is a cyst and asks Jake not to tell Bette. Jake agrees, but quickly forgets his instructions and tells her as soon as they get home. When Jake has exploratory surgery, he regrets that he never hugged John as a child, and John embraces his father. Dr. Santana finds cancer, but John lies to his parents, declaring the growth was merely a cyst. Bette insists they take her to her husband’s bedside and finds Jake delusional. Santana believes Jake is suffering from the onset of senility, but John is convinced his father is terrified by his cancer diagnosis. Days pass, and Jake will not talk or stop crying. Even so, the doctors declare there is nothing medically wrong with him and want to send him home. Distraught at their heartlessness, John carries his father out of the hospital, and John arranges for Bette to stay at Annie’s until Jake is healed. He orders Billy to leave, despite the young man’s protests. Jake begins talking again, but does not recognize his home, and asks John why he is not at “the farm.” One night, John comes into Jake’s room to find him cowering under the bed. Not recognizing his own son, Jake slaps at him and slips into a coma. At the hospital, Jake is assigned a new physician, Dr. Chad, who refuses to accept Santana’s diagnosis of senility. Although it is against hospital rules, Chad allows John to move into Jake’s room. Weeks pass and Jake does not revive. When Annie asks John why he cannot accept that their father is dying, John explains that Jake worked a job he hated so he could raise them and set them up to have good lives. In return, he expected his children to be there in his old age. John regrets that he broke that deal by neglecting his parents for years, and admits that he was embarrassed by how his mother dominated Jake. Reflecting on his own family, John is sad about his divorce and his strained relationship with his son. He believes that being with his father when he dies will make up for some of these failures. Weeks go by, and one day John comes into Jake’s room to find Billy kneeling beside his grandfather’s bed. Billy admits he never left town and has been sneaking in to see Jake every day. John hugs his son, who hugs back. The next day, John awakens to see his father sitting up in bed, asking why he is in a hospital. Dr. Chad theorizes that when Jake heard he had cancer, he got so frightened that his brain stopped producing a necessary chemical. With the last infusion of medication, they somehow replaced it. He also credits John’s love for healing his father. Upon his release from the hospital, Jake decides to have fun and buys a wardrobe of flamboyant clothing, goes golfing, and spends time at the beach. Bette worries that he is overdoing it and will relapse into a coma. She confesses to John that he has been talking about people long dead as if they are alive, and that he says he must return to “the farm” to harvest the crops. A psychiatrist diagnoses Jake with “successful schizophrenia,” explaining that Jake has not gotten pleasure for so many years, so he has built a fantasy life. The psychiatrist fears that Jake’s real life is so dominated by Bette’s approval, he will slide back into senility if she does not join him in his newfound joy of life. Learning that Jake has been schizophrenic for over twenty years, Bette is insulted and refuses to believe it, but agrees to be more supportive. Meanwhile, Jake introduces himself to his neighbors and volunteers to babysit their children. Soon, his house is filled with toddlers. His sex drive also revives, much to Bette’s displeasure. Jake declares that they will dine on foreign food and learn that country’s language. One night, as the family eats Japanese cuisine, Bette screams and calls Jake a crazy man. Defending his father, John yells that being married to Bette brought on his father’s insanity. When she slaps her son, Jake hugs them both and begs them not to fight. Later, Bette finds Jake in his greenhouse and tells him she is hurt by his reversal of hteir lives together. Jake asks her to remember the life they had planned so many years ago, and to open her heart to life in their few remaining hours together. The next morning, John is surprised to see Bette wearing a kimono. A few days later, Dr. Chad announces that Jake’s cancer has returned and he does not have long to live. That night, John confesses his failures as a father to Billy, admitting he put work before family because work gave him a sense of power. He then advises Billy to be forgiving. Although Jake gets sicker, he does not slip into his fantasy world. He returns to the hospital and again bemoans that he did not hold John enough when he was a child. John crawls into bed and hugs him, causing Jake to say that of all the mistakes in his life, John was not one of them. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.