Say Anything... (1989)

PG-13 | 100 mins | Comedy, Romance | 14 April 1989

Director:

Cameron Crowe

Writer:

Cameron Crowe

Producer:

Polly Platt

Cinematographer:

Laszlo Kovacs

Editor:

Richard Marks

Production Designer:

Mark Mansbridge
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HISTORY

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Say Anything... was originally conceived by executive producer James L. Brooks, when he observed a young woman and her father walking in New York City. The man attentively guided the girl across the street, and Brooks wondered what might happen if the man was concealing a villainous secret life. Brooks had met writer-director Cameron Crowe in the mid-1980s, and after following the young man’s journalism career, as well as his screenwriting debuts Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, see entry) and its follow-up, The Wild Life (1984, see entry), he had Crowe write a ninety-page novella before outlining the screenplay, conducting interviews with young people, spending time with his grandmother at a nursing home, and meeting Brooks weekly to develop the character “James Court.” However, Crowe had more difficulty creating a strong female lead, so based “Diane Court” on his own mother, who was an over-achiever in high school and graduated early. Production notes stated that the character “Lloyd Dobler” was also modeled after a real person named Lowell, who lived “down the street” from Crowe and interrupted his writing at night to talk about kickboxing. The young man regaled Crowe with stories about his father, who was reportedly under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, and Crowe was impressed by the boy’s earnest optimism. The character “Corey Flood” and her estranged boyfriend, “Joe,” were also inspired by Crowe’s real-life associates.
       8 Mar 1988 HR production charts reported that principal photography began 29 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, and a 17 Jul 1988 HR ... More Less

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Say Anything... was originally conceived by executive producer James L. Brooks, when he observed a young woman and her father walking in New York City. The man attentively guided the girl across the street, and Brooks wondered what might happen if the man was concealing a villainous secret life. Brooks had met writer-director Cameron Crowe in the mid-1980s, and after following the young man’s journalism career, as well as his screenwriting debuts Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, see entry) and its follow-up, The Wild Life (1984, see entry), he had Crowe write a ninety-page novella before outlining the screenplay, conducting interviews with young people, spending time with his grandmother at a nursing home, and meeting Brooks weekly to develop the character “James Court.” However, Crowe had more difficulty creating a strong female lead, so based “Diane Court” on his own mother, who was an over-achiever in high school and graduated early. Production notes stated that the character “Lloyd Dobler” was also modeled after a real person named Lowell, who lived “down the street” from Crowe and interrupted his writing at night to talk about kickboxing. The young man regaled Crowe with stories about his father, who was reportedly under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, and Crowe was impressed by the boy’s earnest optimism. The character “Corey Flood” and her estranged boyfriend, “Joe,” were also inspired by Crowe’s real-life associates.
       8 Mar 1988 HR production charts reported that principal photography began 29 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, and a 17 Jul 1988 HR news item announced that production had “recently” ended. Locations included Seattle, WA.
       In a 21 Apr 1989 BAM interview, Crowe stated that the scene in which Lloyd raises a portable stereo “ghettoblaster” over his head to serenade Diane was particularly difficult to film, because actor John Cusak was opposed to the action, deeming it “too passive.” Since Cusak was a fan of the band Fishbone, Crowe determined that the song “Question Of Life” would be a focal point of the scene. After reviewing the footage, however, Crowe realized the music did not match the mood he wished to capture, and determined to use Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” instead. He sent Gabriel a “rough cut” of the incomplete film on videotape, but the musician confused Say Anything... with a biography about actor John Belushi called Wired (1989, see entry), and deemed the picture too depressing for a song that was “incredibly personal.” Crowe corrected Gabriel and won the rights to “In Your Eyes,” even though three other filmmakers were competing for Gabriel’s favor at the time.
       As noted in a 30 Apr 1989 LAT brief, the picture’s cast featured several familial connections to the music and film industries. While John Cusak’s sister, Joan Cusak, performed the uncredited role of Lloyd’s sister, “Constance;” while Amy Brooks, the daughter of James L. Brooks, was cast as “D. C.” In addition, Ione Skye, Chynna Phillips, and Jason Gould were all children of celebrity parents.
       The film marked Crowe’s feature film directorial debut.

      End credits include: “Special thanks to The Carl People for ‘Cigs At The Beach,” and, “Special thanks to David Davis.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BAM
21 Apr 1989
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1989
p. 4, 7.
Los Angeles Times
14 Apr 1989
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
30 Apr 1989.
---
New York Times
14 Apr 1989
p. 11.
Variety
12 Apr 1989
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Gracie Films production
A Cameron Crowe film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Unit prod mgr/1st asst dir, Seattle
2d asst dir, Seattle
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cableman
Key grip
Best boy
Best boy
Dolly grip
Company grip
Best boy -- Elec
Best boy -- Elec
Still photog
Best boy/Grip, Seattle
Best boy/Elec, Seattle
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Assoc film ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop
Lead person
Const foreman
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Propmaker
COSTUMES
Cost des
Women's ward
Men`s ward
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
Addl mus
Mus supv
Asst mus ed
Addl asst ed
Mus coord
Mus coord
Scoring mixer
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Foley ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley walker
Foley walker
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opticals
Titles
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod for Gracie Films
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Asst loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod secy
Voice casting
Exec asst to Mr. Brooks
Asst to Ms. Platt
Exec asst to Mr. Crowe
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Auditor
Asst auditor
Asst auditor
Casting consultant
Casting consultant
Research
Loc mgr, Seattle
Casting, Seattle
Auditor, Seattle
Craft service, Seattle
Transportation capt, Seattle
Caterer, Seattle
Shotmaker driver, Seattle
Prod asst, Seattle
Prod asst, Seattle
Prod asst, Seattle
Prod asst, Seattle
Prod asst, Seattle
Sculptor "Waiting for the Interurban," Seattle
Army materials courtesy of, Seattle
COLOR PERSONNEL
Timer
Col by
SOURCES
MUSIC
“Take Five, written by Paul Desmond, performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet, courtesy of Derry Music Co. and Desmond Music Co.
SONGS
"All For Love," written by John Bettis and Martin Page, produced by Richie Zito, performed by Nancy Wilson, courtesy of Capitol Records
“Cult Of Personality,” written by Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings and William Calhoun, produced by Ed Stasium, performed by Living Colour, courtesy of Epic Records
“One Big Rush,” written, produced and performed by Joe Satriani, courtesy of Relativity Records
+
SONGS
"All For Love," written by John Bettis and Martin Page, produced by Richie Zito, performed by Nancy Wilson, courtesy of Capitol Records
“Cult Of Personality,” written by Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings and William Calhoun, produced by Ed Stasium, performed by Living Colour, courtesy of Epic Records
“One Big Rush,” written, produced and performed by Joe Satriani, courtesy of Relativity Records
“You Want It,” written by Robin Zander and Tom Petersson, produced by Richie Zito, performed by Cheap Trick, courtesy of Epic Records
"Taste The Pain,” written by Anthony Kiedis, Mike Balzary and John Frusciante, produced by Michael Beinhorn, performed by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, courtesy of EMI Records
“In Your Eyes,” written by Peter Gabriel, produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel, performed by Peter Gabriel, courtesy of Geffen Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products and Virgin Records
“Stripped,” written by Martin Gore, produced and performed by Depeche Mode, courtesy of Sire Records/Mute Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Skankin’ To The Beat,” written by K. R. Jones and W. A. Kibby II, produced by David Kahne, performed by Fishbone, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Within Your Reach,” written by Paul Westerberg, produced by Paul Stark, Peter Jesperson and The Replacements, performed by The Replacements, courtesy of Twin/Tone Records
“Keeping The Dream Alive,” written by Stefan Zauner, Aron Strobel, Timothy Touchton and Curtis Briggs, produced by Armand Volker
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, produced by Gary Katz, performed by Steely Dan, courtesy of MCA Records
“Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns,” written by Andrew Wood and Mother Love Bone, produced by Mark Dearnley, performed by Mother Love Bone, courtesy of Polygram Records
“Tox Box,” written by Chris Cornell, Kim Thayl, Matt Cameron and Hiro Yamamoto, produced and performed by Soundgarden
“Flower,” written by Chris Cornell, Kim Thayl, Matt Cameron and Hiro Yamamoto, produced by Soundgarden and Drew Canulette, performed by Soundgarden, courtesy of SST Records
“Brandy,” written by Elliot Lurie, performed by Looking Glass, courtesy of Epic Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 April 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 14 April 1989
Production Date:
29 February--early July 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
20 April 1989
Copyright Number:
PA408203
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29400
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1988 Seattle, Washington, Lakewood High School valedictorian Diane Court tells her indifferent classmates that the future is optimistic, but frightening. Diane’s intelligence has alienated her from her peers, and her wealthy, divorced father, James Court, is her only friend. Unknown to Diane, her classmate, Lloyd Dobler, is smitten with her. Lloyd and his sister, a single mother named Constance, live without parents in a modest apartment where Lloyd aspires to be a kickboxer rather than a college student. Lloyd’s confidantes, Corey Flood and D. C., insist that Diane will never be interested in dating him, but Lloyd summons the courage to telephone her, and leaves a message with her father. However, James is distracted by another call reporting that Diane has received an exclusive fellowship to study in England. James rushes to his business, a retirement home called “Golden Seasons,” to share the news with Diane, who works in the kitchen. The girl is pleased, but fearful of flying abroad on an airplane. Sometime later, Diane returns Lloyd’s call and reluctantly agrees to join him for a graduation party that evening. There, Lloyd is elected “keymaster”; he must remain sober and hold on to the partygoers’ car keys until he deems them safe to drive. As Lloyd collects keys and keeps an eye on Diane from afar, his friend Corey sings sixty-five lovesick tunes about the betrayal of her former boyfriend, Joe. At the end of the night, Corey has resolved to rid herself of Joe once and for all, and Lloyd is forced to escort an intoxicated classmate home; however, the boy forgets where he lives, ... +


In 1988 Seattle, Washington, Lakewood High School valedictorian Diane Court tells her indifferent classmates that the future is optimistic, but frightening. Diane’s intelligence has alienated her from her peers, and her wealthy, divorced father, James Court, is her only friend. Unknown to Diane, her classmate, Lloyd Dobler, is smitten with her. Lloyd and his sister, a single mother named Constance, live without parents in a modest apartment where Lloyd aspires to be a kickboxer rather than a college student. Lloyd’s confidantes, Corey Flood and D. C., insist that Diane will never be interested in dating him, but Lloyd summons the courage to telephone her, and leaves a message with her father. However, James is distracted by another call reporting that Diane has received an exclusive fellowship to study in England. James rushes to his business, a retirement home called “Golden Seasons,” to share the news with Diane, who works in the kitchen. The girl is pleased, but fearful of flying abroad on an airplane. Sometime later, Diane returns Lloyd’s call and reluctantly agrees to join him for a graduation party that evening. There, Lloyd is elected “keymaster”; he must remain sober and hold on to the partygoers’ car keys until he deems them safe to drive. As Lloyd collects keys and keeps an eye on Diane from afar, his friend Corey sings sixty-five lovesick tunes about the betrayal of her former boyfriend, Joe. At the end of the night, Corey has resolved to rid herself of Joe once and for all, and Lloyd is forced to escort an intoxicated classmate home; however, the boy forgets where he lives, and the friends are on the road past dawn. When Diane finally returns home, Lloyd declares his intention to see her as much as possible before she leaves for England. Their next date is a Court family dinner party. Lloyd is astonished by Diane’s bond with her father, and explains his dream of becoming a kickboxer. During the party, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrive at the door unexpectedly and announce that James is under criminal investigation for tax fraud. Diane later asks her estranged mother to defend James. When Lloyd visits Diane at work, he entertains the elderly residents with a presentation of the film Cocoon. Diane makes love with Lloyd, and in turn receives a letter in which he declares his love, but she abruptly ends their relationship, feeling obliged to spend more time with her jealous and troubled father. Following James’s advice, Diane gives Lloyd a pen as a parting gift. Devastated, Lloyd cruises the streets at night and seeks advice from bachelor friends who loiter in a convenience store parking lot. He leaves messages on Diane’s telephone answering machine, and when she overhears him ask her to destroy the love letter, she picks up the receiver. However, Lloyd has already hung up. On another occasion, Lloyd serenades Diane with the song they first made love to, holding a portable stereo above his head. Sometime later, James buys luggage for his daughter and flirts with the saleswoman, only to discover his credit cards have been cancelled. Diane appeals to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officer, who reports that James has been found guilty of defrauding residents in his retirement home by illicitly appropriating their life savings after they die. Returning to an empty house, Diane pries open a locked box to find stacks of $100 bills. She races to “Golden Harvest” and confronts James, who argues that he took the money to finance Diane’s future. He claims to be providing a service to the aged, taking better care of them than their own families, but Diane is enraged by the betrayal. She reflects that she can “say anything” to her father, and identifies James as a crook and a liar. She then goes to Lloyd’s kickboxing studio. The boy is so surprised to see Diane, he is knocked down by his opponent. As Lloyd nurses a bloody nose, Diane apologizes and admits her father’s deceit. She declares her love for Lloyd and takes up residence at his apartment. Sometime later, James is sent to prison and Lloyd insists that Diane visit her father before they leave together for England. However, Diane refuses to get out of the car, so Lloyd hand-delivers a letter. As visiting time ends and James loses hope of making amends with his daughter, Diane appears. She hesitantly admits that she still loves her father and gives him a pen as a parting gift, inviting him to write letters. On the airplane to England, Diane is petrified, but Lloyd assures her that the pending “ding” of the deactivated “non-smoking” sign will indicate their safety. The couple clutches each other through the turbulence of lift-off as the bell finally chimes. +

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

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