Da (1988)

PG | 102 mins | Drama | 29 April 1988

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HISTORY

Hugh Leonard’s play, Da, debuted at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1973, followed by successful runs in London, England, and New York City. According to an article in the 17 Jun 1988 Reader, Leonard decided to sell film rights to earn some money, after discovering his personal accountant had embezzled $250,000. The 8 Oct 1980 HR stated that Ernest Chambers originally optioned the property and hired Art Carney for the leading role. However, Chambers struggled to garner interest from major studios, and was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts to sell the project to British companies abroad.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor Martin Sheen saw the play during its national tour in Los Angeles, CA, and acquired film rights through his company, Sheen/Greenblatt Productions. With actor Barnard Hughes committed to reprise his stage role as “Da,” Hugh Leonard completed the screenplay in 1985. The following year, Sheen/Greenblatt Productions secured funding from FilmDallas Pictures, a joint-venture owned in part by New World Pictures. The 13 Jun 1988 HR stated that Julie Corman of Trinity Films also signed on as producer because she was interested in shooting a picture in her ancestral home of Ireland.
       A 16 Sep 1987 Var production chart indicated that principal photography began 9 Sep 1987 in Ireland. Locations included Dalkey, Dún Laoghaire, and the MTM Ardmore Studios in Bray, as reported by the 8 Sep 1987 HR. The film’s budget was close to $4 million. Costs were kept low in part by hiring a first-time director, cinematographer, and editor.
       The 24 Apr 1988 NYT announced that the world premiere ... More Less

Hugh Leonard’s play, Da, debuted at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1973, followed by successful runs in London, England, and New York City. According to an article in the 17 Jun 1988 Reader, Leonard decided to sell film rights to earn some money, after discovering his personal accountant had embezzled $250,000. The 8 Oct 1980 HR stated that Ernest Chambers originally optioned the property and hired Art Carney for the leading role. However, Chambers struggled to garner interest from major studios, and was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts to sell the project to British companies abroad.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor Martin Sheen saw the play during its national tour in Los Angeles, CA, and acquired film rights through his company, Sheen/Greenblatt Productions. With actor Barnard Hughes committed to reprise his stage role as “Da,” Hugh Leonard completed the screenplay in 1985. The following year, Sheen/Greenblatt Productions secured funding from FilmDallas Pictures, a joint-venture owned in part by New World Pictures. The 13 Jun 1988 HR stated that Julie Corman of Trinity Films also signed on as producer because she was interested in shooting a picture in her ancestral home of Ireland.
       A 16 Sep 1987 Var production chart indicated that principal photography began 9 Sep 1987 in Ireland. Locations included Dalkey, Dún Laoghaire, and the MTM Ardmore Studios in Bray, as reported by the 8 Sep 1987 HR. The film’s budget was close to $4 million. Costs were kept low in part by hiring a first-time director, cinematographer, and editor.
       The 24 Apr 1988 NYT announced that the world premiere was scheduled to take place the following day as a benefit for the Hudson Guild Theater in New York City, where the Broadway production was staged in 1978.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: "Filmed on natural locations and at MTM Ardmore Studios Ltd. in Ireland. Production and post-production services provided by Clarnhill, Ltd. and Trinity Pictures, Inc."; "The Hudson Guild Theater Production of Da was originally produced on Broadway by Lester Osterman, Marilyn Strauss and Marc Howard."; "The producers wish to thank the good people of Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire and Bray, Ireland and the Dun Laoghaire Corporation for their extraordinary cooperation." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 1980
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 1987
p. 1, 34.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 1988
p. 51.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 1988
p. 1, 12.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1988
Calendar, p. 1.
New York Times
24 Apr 1988.
---
New York Times
29 Apr 1988
Section C, p. 10.
Reader
17 Jun 1988.
---
Variety
16 Sep 1987.
---
Variety
27 Apr 1988
pp. 12-13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
FilmDallas Pictures presents
A J. Corman production
a Sheen/Greenblatt/Auerbach production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
Assoc dir
Trainee asst dir
Trainee asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
Clapper loader
Cam grip
Chargehand elec
Still photog
Still photog
Still photog
Lighting cam, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Sketch artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Post prod supv
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Props
Props
Const mgr
Stand-by carpenter
Stand-by painter
Stand-by rigger
Stagehand
Stand-by stagehand
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost (U.S.)
Ward
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd, 2d unit
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Supv ADR ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Prod sd laboratory
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
Makeup artist, 2d unit
Hairdresser, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
FilmDallas exec in charge of prod
Producer's assoc
Casting dir
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Accountant asst
Accountant (U.S.)
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Asst to prod
Asst to exec prods
Generator driver
Unit driver
Dog handler
Dog handler
Unit mgr, 2d unit
Cont, 2d unit
FilmDallas tech liaison
Adv to the dir
Financial consultant
Legal consultant
Prod film laboratory
Prod film laboratory
Post prod film laboratory
Transportation
Public relations
Completion guarantor
STAND INS
Stunt arr
Stuntman
Mr. Hughes' double
Miss Hepburn's stand-in
ADR voices
ADR voices
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Da (New York, 1 May 1978) and the book Home Before Night (New York, 1979), both by Hugh Leonard.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 April 1988
Premiere Information:
New York City world premiere: 25 April 1988
New York opening: 29 April 1988
Los Angeles opening: 1 July 1988
Production Date:
began 9 September 1987
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29095
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The day before the opening of his play in New York City, Irish-born playwright Charlie Tynan learns that his father, Nick, has passed away, and immediately catches a flight to his hometown in Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin. Although he plans a swift return to the U.S. after the funeral, Charlie begins seeing visions of his father’s ghost moving throughout his childhood house. He commands the apparition to disappear, but soon becomes consumed watching his father, whom he affectionately called “Da”; his mother, Maggie; and his younger self reenact the memories of his youth. As a teenager, Charlie discovered he was born to an unmarried mother and adopted by Da and Maggie during infancy, which caused him to harbor complicated feelings toward them. Despite the sacrifices they made for his education, Charlie was embarrassed by Da’s ignorance and lack of ambition, and developed a father-son relationship with a civil servant named Drumm, who gave him his first job as a desk clerk. Although the position was intended to be temporary, Charlie stayed for more than ten years as a close confidant to Mr. Drumm, but eventually severed the relationship after growing fed up with the ornery old man’s negativity. In retrospect, Charlie realizes that Mr. Drumm turned him away from his father by insisting Da would hold him back from achieving a better life. He apologizes to Da’s ghost, and soon the conversation turns to the night Da ruined Charlie’s chance to lose his virginity to Mary Tate, known by the local boys as “The Yellow Peril.” Despite her poor reputation, teenage Charlie attempted to seduce Mary on a park bench, but was interrupted by his passing father. Da ... +


The day before the opening of his play in New York City, Irish-born playwright Charlie Tynan learns that his father, Nick, has passed away, and immediately catches a flight to his hometown in Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin. Although he plans a swift return to the U.S. after the funeral, Charlie begins seeing visions of his father’s ghost moving throughout his childhood house. He commands the apparition to disappear, but soon becomes consumed watching his father, whom he affectionately called “Da”; his mother, Maggie; and his younger self reenact the memories of his youth. As a teenager, Charlie discovered he was born to an unmarried mother and adopted by Da and Maggie during infancy, which caused him to harbor complicated feelings toward them. Despite the sacrifices they made for his education, Charlie was embarrassed by Da’s ignorance and lack of ambition, and developed a father-son relationship with a civil servant named Drumm, who gave him his first job as a desk clerk. Although the position was intended to be temporary, Charlie stayed for more than ten years as a close confidant to Mr. Drumm, but eventually severed the relationship after growing fed up with the ornery old man’s negativity. In retrospect, Charlie realizes that Mr. Drumm turned him away from his father by insisting Da would hold him back from achieving a better life. He apologizes to Da’s ghost, and soon the conversation turns to the night Da ruined Charlie’s chance to lose his virginity to Mary Tate, known by the local boys as “The Yellow Peril.” Despite her poor reputation, teenage Charlie attempted to seduce Mary on a park bench, but was interrupted by his passing father. Da engaged Mary in conversation about her complicated family history, and in doing so, reminded his son that she was more than just a sexual conquest. Feeling the moment lost, young Charlie rudely said goodnight and left Mary alone in the street. Around midday, Charlie leaves the house for lunch accompanied by Da’s ghost and Blackie, the family dog. As they approach the seashore, Charlie bitterly recalls how Da attempted to drown Blackie after the animal attacked a clergyman. Back at the house, Charlie looks at Da’s old belongings and remembers the day when Da’s wealthy employer, Mrs. Prynne, decided to sell her house, leaving a pension for Da and entrusting him with her father’s most valuable keepsake. In the 1950s, Charlie flew to the U.S. to get married, and his mother died two years later. While Charlie considered having his increasingly senile father move to New York City, Da repeatedly refused, breaking Charlie’s heart. As Charlie prepares to leave for the airport, Mr. Drumm stops by and informs him that Da bequeathed him his entire legacy: Mrs. Prynne’s figurine and a surprisingly large sum of money. Opening the envelope, Charlie realizes the inheritance is actually his own money, which he sent to support Da after he refused to move to New York. Furious that his father never spent the money, Charlie is forced to accept that despite all the negative memories, Da was unrelentingly selfless. On the flight home, Charlie fights back tears as he realizes he can never repay his father for his love. The next evening, Charlie prepares for the premiere of his play and sees Da’s ghost follow him out of the house. He smiles, knowing his father will always be with him. +

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

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