I Love You to Death (1990)

R | 96 mins | Comedy | 6 April 1990

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan

Writer:

John Kostmayer

Producers:

Jeffrey Lurie, Ron Moler

Cinematographer:

Owen Roizman

Editor:

Anne V. Coates

Production Designer:

Lilly Kilvert
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HISTORY

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 10 Apr 1989 in Tacoma, WA. “Joey’s Pizzeria” and “The Villa Rosalie” apartments were located in Tacoma’s triangular Bostwick Building. Other locations included Holy Rosary Church, the Stadium High School Bowl, the Java Jive restaurant, and a “large, old house on Tacoma’s northside, with a panoramic view of Commencement Bay,” that was used for the exterior of the Boca house. The interiors of the house were shot at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA.
       The 6 Apr 1990 WSJ reported that “Joey Boca" and "Rosalie Boca” were based on a real couple, Tony and Frances Toto, who ran a pizzeria in Allentown, PA. In 1983, Frances hired several would-be killers to punish her husband for infidelity, but Tony survived their murder attempts, forgave his wife, and reunited with her at the end of Frances’s four-year prison term. Allentown police detectives Barry Giacobbe and Arthur Beers came up with the movie idea and worked as advisors on the film, according to the 5 Jan 1989 Allentown Morning Call, but neither is listed in onscreen credits. Though Pennsylvania state law did not allow convicted felons like Frances Toto to profit from their crimes, her husband was under no restriction to “receive an undisclosed share of the proceeds” for being represented in the film. Both Tony and Frances were guests at the film’s premiere in Westwood, CA, in early Apr 1990, and they appeared on the television talk show circuit to promote I Love You to Death.
       Actor Joe Lando, who once worked in a pizza restaurant, was hired to teach Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, ... More Less

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 10 Apr 1989 in Tacoma, WA. “Joey’s Pizzeria” and “The Villa Rosalie” apartments were located in Tacoma’s triangular Bostwick Building. Other locations included Holy Rosary Church, the Stadium High School Bowl, the Java Jive restaurant, and a “large, old house on Tacoma’s northside, with a panoramic view of Commencement Bay,” that was used for the exterior of the Boca house. The interiors of the house were shot at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA.
       The 6 Apr 1990 WSJ reported that “Joey Boca" and "Rosalie Boca” were based on a real couple, Tony and Frances Toto, who ran a pizzeria in Allentown, PA. In 1983, Frances hired several would-be killers to punish her husband for infidelity, but Tony survived their murder attempts, forgave his wife, and reunited with her at the end of Frances’s four-year prison term. Allentown police detectives Barry Giacobbe and Arthur Beers came up with the movie idea and worked as advisors on the film, according to the 5 Jan 1989 Allentown Morning Call, but neither is listed in onscreen credits. Though Pennsylvania state law did not allow convicted felons like Frances Toto to profit from their crimes, her husband was under no restriction to “receive an undisclosed share of the proceeds” for being represented in the film. Both Tony and Frances were guests at the film’s premiere in Westwood, CA, in early Apr 1990, and they appeared on the television talk show circuit to promote I Love You to Death.
       Actor Joe Lando, who once worked in a pizza restaurant, was hired to teach Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, and River Phoenix to make and flip pizzas,” the 16 Aug 1993 People noted. Lando was credited as “pizza consultant.”
       The film shows a segment from The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, see entry).
       In 1988, Mel Brooks had planned to direct the film as a project for his wife, Anne Bancroft, the 21 Sep 1988 Orange County Register and 8 Jan 1989 LAT reported, but “the casting didn’t come together to his liking.”

       I Love You To Death begins with a title card that reads: “This film is based on a true story.” End credits contain the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks to Alaska Airlines; NBA Entertainment; U.S. Hot Rod Association. Filmed on location in Tacoma, Washington and at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood, California. The producers wish to thank the Tacoma Film Commission; the Washington Film Commission; and the People of Tacoma for their help in the making of this film.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
13 Apr 1990.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1989
p. 12, 16
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1990
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 1990
p. 4, 67
Long Beach Press-Telegram
8 Apr 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Jan 1989
p. 22
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1990
Section F, p. 4
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
5 Jan 1989
Section A, p. 1
New York Times
6 Apr 1990
p. 8
Orange County Register
21 Sep 1988
p. 4
People
16 Aug 1993.
---
PM (Journal)
16 Aug 1993.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1990
pp. 24-25
Wall Street Journal
6 Apr 1990.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures Presents
A Chestnut Hill Production
A Lawrence Kasdan Film
A Tri-Star Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
1st asst dir, Addl photog
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Cranes & dollys by
Dir of photog, Addl photog
Cam op, Addl photog
1st asst cam, Addl photog
2d asst cam, Addl photog
Chief lighting tech, Addl photog
Best boy elec, Addl photog
Key grip, Addl photog
Best boy grip, Addl photog
Dolly grip, Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept researcher
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
1st asst film ed
2d asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Greensman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Standby painter
General foreman
Paint foreman
Plaster foreman
Gangboss propmaker
Set des
Set des
Drapery
Landscaping courtesy of
Prop master, Addl photog
Asst prop master, Addl photog
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Utility sd tech
Sd mixer, Addl photog
Boom op, Addl photog
Utility sd tech, Addl photog
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff-Tacoma
Spec visual eff prod by
Title des by
Titles & opticals by
Spec eff, Addl photog
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hairstylist
Make-up artist, Addl photog
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord-Tacoma
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant-Tacoma
Accounting asst
Asst to Mr. Kasdan
Asst to Mr. Kasdan
Asst to Mr. Lurie
Asst to Mr. Kline
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Food consultant
Loc foreman
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt-Tacoma
Unit pub
Studio teacher
Dial coach
Dial coach
Casting assoc
Casting coord
Loc casting
Extras casting
Extras casting
Loc extras casting
Loc extras casting
AFI intern
First aid
Craft service
Craft service
Loc projectionist
Pizza consultant
Hospital tech adv
Prod office asst
Prod asst-Tacoma
Prod asst-Tacoma
Prod asst-Tacoma
Prod asst-Tacoma
Product placement services
Scr supv, Addl photog
Prod accountant, Addl photog
Asst prod coord, Addl photog
Asst prod coord, Addl photog
Extras casting (L.A.), Cenex
Extras casting (Tacoma), White Light Casting
Caterer, For Star's Catering
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Colonel Bogey," written by K. J. Alford
"Could You Be Loved," written by Bob Marley, performed by Bob Marley & The Wailers, courtesy of Island Records
"Crazy Daisy," written and performed by Donovan, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records company
+
SONGS
"Colonel Bogey," written by K. J. Alford
"Could You Be Loved," written by Bob Marley, performed by Bob Marley & The Wailers, courtesy of Island Records
"Crazy Daisy," written and performed by Donovan, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records company
"Croatian Songs And Dances," courtesy of Smithsonian/Folkways
"Felicia," written by Warren Wiegratz & Peter Safir, performed by Oceans, courtesy of Pro Jazz
"Futura," written and performed by Lucio Dalla, courtesy of BMG Ariola B.p.A.
"If They Could They Would," written and performed by Foundation, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records company
"Non Dimenticar [T'ho Voluto Bene]," written by P. G. Redi, M. Galdieri & S. Dobbins
"You Make My Dreams," written by Daryl Hall, John Oates & Sara Allen, performed by Hall & Oates, courtesy of RCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 April 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 6 April 1990
New York opening: week of 6 April 1990
Production Date:
began 10 April 1989
Copyright Claimant:
ORIX Film Enterprises Number 2
Copyright Date:
22 May 1990
Copyright Number:
PA477421
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
96
Length(in feet):
8,746
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30156
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Joey Boca, owner of Joey’s Pizzeria in Tacoma, Washington, confesses his many marital infidelities to a dismayed Roman Catholic priest. Later, Joey gets a telephone call at the pizzeria from a lover, but he cuts her off because his wife, Rosalie Boca, is working beside him. At closing time, Joey grabs his plumber’s tool kit and goes next door to the Villa Rosalie apartments, which he also owns. Joey’s assistant, Devo Nod, mentions to Rosalie that she should be more vigilant because Lacey, the pretty tenant who called about a plumbing problem, has an eye for Joey. Rosalie tells Devo that Joey cannot help it if women find him attractive. Besides, Joey is Italian and has a right to look. Devo counters that some men do more than look. That evening, Devo, who secretly loves Rosalie, “throws rune stones” to divine her future, and tells Rosalie the stones say she needs a change. Rosalie’s Yugoslavian mother, Nadja, lives with the Boca family and helps care for their two children, Dominic and Carla. Nadja, who does not approve of Joey, reads in The Sun tabloid newspaper that a woman stabbed her husband twenty-seven times for not putting the lid back on a jar of mustard. Though Rosalie wants Joey to stay home and help with the pizzeria bookkeeping, he insists on going out. At a disco, Joey sweet-talks a young woman and goes home with her. The next day, he asks Devo why he spends so much time with Rosalie, and Devo asks Joey why he treats Rosalie so badly. Later, Rosalie meets Bridget, a young woman looking for an apartment. Bridget tells Rosalie ... +


Joey Boca, owner of Joey’s Pizzeria in Tacoma, Washington, confesses his many marital infidelities to a dismayed Roman Catholic priest. Later, Joey gets a telephone call at the pizzeria from a lover, but he cuts her off because his wife, Rosalie Boca, is working beside him. At closing time, Joey grabs his plumber’s tool kit and goes next door to the Villa Rosalie apartments, which he also owns. Joey’s assistant, Devo Nod, mentions to Rosalie that she should be more vigilant because Lacey, the pretty tenant who called about a plumbing problem, has an eye for Joey. Rosalie tells Devo that Joey cannot help it if women find him attractive. Besides, Joey is Italian and has a right to look. Devo counters that some men do more than look. That evening, Devo, who secretly loves Rosalie, “throws rune stones” to divine her future, and tells Rosalie the stones say she needs a change. Rosalie’s Yugoslavian mother, Nadja, lives with the Boca family and helps care for their two children, Dominic and Carla. Nadja, who does not approve of Joey, reads in The Sun tabloid newspaper that a woman stabbed her husband twenty-seven times for not putting the lid back on a jar of mustard. Though Rosalie wants Joey to stay home and help with the pizzeria bookkeeping, he insists on going out. At a disco, Joey sweet-talks a young woman and goes home with her. The next day, he asks Devo why he spends so much time with Rosalie, and Devo asks Joey why he treats Rosalie so badly. Later, Rosalie meets Bridget, a young woman looking for an apartment. Bridget tells Rosalie that when she met Joey last night, he told her he had a place to rent. However, as Rosalie walks Bridget next door to Villa Rosalie, Joey appears and tells Bridget to return tomorrow. At that moment, another pretty tenant, Dewey Brown, shouts to Joey from an upstairs window and throws down his pizzeria cap, which he left in her apartment. Rosalie wonders aloud if Dewey has “eyes” for Joey. At dinner, Nadja and Joey argue. She yells in a Slavic language and he yells back in Italian. The next day, during a visit to the library, Rosalie accidentally witnesses Joey picking up Donna Joy, a young woman, on the other side of a bookshelf. Joey grips Donna Joy’s buttocks as they kiss, brushes off her concern about his wife, then hurries her back to her apartment for quick sex before returning to work. Shocked and betrayed, Rosalie cries in a park, then goes home to share her hatred of Joey with her mother. Rosalie wails that she will never divorce him because he would move in with other women. She would rather kill him. Nadja agrees, and suggest that if Rosalie cannot kill Joey, the least she can do is kill herself. Nadja knows a fellow Yugoslavian immigrant who will kill Joey for money. She reasons from her steady diet of tabloid newspapers that murder is an acceptable American pastime. She visits her Yugoslavian friend at his trailer near the river. That night, as Joey returns home, the would-be assassin, wearing an Abraham Lincoln mask, attacks him with a baseball bat, but misses. Joey chases him out of the yard and reports the attack to police detective Lt. Larry Schooner, a regular customer at Joey’s Pizzeria. Since Joey often carries large amounts of money, he buys a .22 pistol. Meanwhile, Nadja, who worked as a vehicle mechanic in Yugoslavia, wires a bomb in Joey’s automobile, but tries to stop him from turning the key when Rosalie gets in the car. Immediately Rosalie realizes what her mother has done, and both she and Nadja brace for the explosion. Nothing happens when Joey turns the key, but he is perplexed by their reaction. That night, Nadja and Rosalie cook a spicy spaghetti sauce dosed with sleeping pills, but Joey becomes happy and flatulent. Eating more spaghetti, he finally falls face first into his plate. Nadja telephones Devo and asks him to come help them carry Joey to bed. Devo reluctantly agrees to shoot Joey with the .22 pistol, but he turns away before pulling the trigger and is not certain he hit his target because Joey’s face is stained with spaghetti sauce. The victim awakens with a headache, and there is blood on his pillow. Devo insists he cannot bring himself to fire another shot, but he knows two cousins who might do it. At a pool hall, Devo offers $300 to junkies Harlan and Marlon James. When they object to the low price, Devo explains that Joey is already half-dead, so all they have to do is finish the job. The cousins finally settle on $500. Rosalie keeps Joey in bed, insisting that he feels bad because he suffers from a virus. The intoxicated James cousins arrive at the Boca house. Nadja gives them Joey’s .22, but they refuse to shoot unless there is loud music to cover up the noise. While the cousins discuss where Joey’s heart is located, Nadja searches for a Johnny Mathis record album to play, and will not accept any substitute. Finally, one of the cousins fires a shot into Joey’s chest. With the job done, Rosalie sobs, and the others celebrate over drinks in the kitchen. Realizing the finality of Joey’s death, Rosalie prays to God to bring her husband and the father of her children back to life. Suddenly, Joey appears behind her, muttering that a firecracker awakened him. With blood on the back of his head and bloodstains on the front and back of his shirt, the groggy Joey introduces himself to Harlan and Marlon. Devo pays the would-be killers only $200 because they botched the job, and sends them home. Later, at police headquarters, a recently arrested man bargains for better jail conditions by offering information about a murder for hire. He tells Lt. Schooner that two cousins, Harlan and Marlon, were buying drinks at a bar and bragging they had been paid $5,000 to kill Joey Boca. Lt. Schooner and detective Carlos Wiley go to the Boca house and, over the objections of Rosalie and Nadja, into Joey’s bedroom. Seeing Joey’s gunshot wounds, they telephone for an ambulance. Nadja explains that they found Joey in the yard and put him in bed, and Rosalie speculates that since Joey is Italian, he was the victim of a mob hit. The police arrest everyone. Harlan and Marlon claim that Devo fired the first shot. Rosalie and her mother each confess to shooting Joey and proclaim Devo’s innocence. Devo hints at firing a shot, but does not speak because his lawyer is present. Lacey, Joey’s amorous tenant, visits him in the hospital, hoping to be his main girl friend now that Rosalie is in jail, but Joey insists that from now on he will take his marriage vows seriously. When Joey’s Italian mother visits, she alternately hugs her boy and slaps him for being unfaithful. After his release from the hospital, he bails everyone out of jail, including Harlan and Marlon. When Lt. Schooner wonders if he is freeing Rosalie so that he can kill her, Joey exclaims that he is more in love now than ever before. He admires how Rosalie became a maniac because of her jealous passion. Joey hugs Devo and regrets not listening to his admonitions about infidelity. When Joey kneels before Rosalie and offers to renew their marriage vows, she hits him, but realizes that he really loves her. Joey thanks Rosalie for giving him the sleeping pills, because doctors told him the barbiturates prevented him from bleeding to death. Devo asks Nadja what they should do if Joey returns to cheating. Nadja jokes that they will have to shoot him again. +

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

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