Cadence (1991)

PG-13 | 98 mins | Drama | 15 March 1991

Director:

Martin Sheen

Writer:

Dennis Shyrack

Producer:

Richard Davis

Cinematographer:

Richard Leiterman

Editor:

Martin Hunter

Production Designer:

Ian Thomas

Production Company:

Republic Pictures
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HISTORY

The 30 Dec 1968 HR announced the purchase of motion picture rights for the Gordon Weaver novel, Count a Lonely Cadence, by writer-producers Ronald M. Cohen and Dennis Shryack. The team intended to collaborate on the screenplay, and begin production in 1969. More than a year later, the 1 Feb 1970 NYT reported that Shryack’s screenplay inspired actor Robert Blake to make it his first directorial effort. Mirisch Companypany was considered the likely distributor, according to the article. Ronald M. Cohen received no further mention. The 12 Mar 1970 Var stated that Blake would also star in the picture.
       The project remained in limbo until eighteen years later, when the 16 May 1988 LAHExam announced that actor Charlie Sheen would star in the film, with father Martin Sheen making his directorial debut. The elder Sheen planned to scout European locations the following month, and start production in Sep 1988. According to the 18 Aug 1988 HR, actors Gary Busey, Brian Dennehy, and Harry Dean Stanton were under consideration for the role of “Sgt. McKinney.” On 3 Sep 1988, the Long Beach Press-Telegram announced that production was postponed, but was expected to resume the following year in Vancouver, Canada, where the U.S. dollar had greater purchasing power.
       Principal photography began in Jun 1989, as stated in the 8 Nov 1989 Var, which incorrectly listed Ramon Estevez as co-screenwriter. Actor F. Murray Abraham was included in the cast, and although he appeared in the picture, he was not credited on screen. The ... More Less

The 30 Dec 1968 HR announced the purchase of motion picture rights for the Gordon Weaver novel, Count a Lonely Cadence, by writer-producers Ronald M. Cohen and Dennis Shryack. The team intended to collaborate on the screenplay, and begin production in 1969. More than a year later, the 1 Feb 1970 NYT reported that Shryack’s screenplay inspired actor Robert Blake to make it his first directorial effort. Mirisch Companypany was considered the likely distributor, according to the article. Ronald M. Cohen received no further mention. The 12 Mar 1970 Var stated that Blake would also star in the picture.
       The project remained in limbo until eighteen years later, when the 16 May 1988 LAHExam announced that actor Charlie Sheen would star in the film, with father Martin Sheen making his directorial debut. The elder Sheen planned to scout European locations the following month, and start production in Sep 1988. According to the 18 Aug 1988 HR, actors Gary Busey, Brian Dennehy, and Harry Dean Stanton were under consideration for the role of “Sgt. McKinney.” On 3 Sep 1988, the Long Beach Press-Telegram announced that production was postponed, but was expected to resume the following year in Vancouver, Canada, where the U.S. dollar had greater purchasing power.
       Principal photography began in Jun 1989, as stated in the 8 Nov 1989 Var, which incorrectly listed Ramon Estevez as co-screenwriter. Actor F. Murray Abraham was included in the cast, and although he appeared in the picture, he was not credited on screen. The 14 May 1989 LAT confirmed Gary Busey as “Sgt. McKinney,” but on 3 Jul 1989, DV reported that the actor left the project only weeks into production. The 1 Apr 1991 People revealed that Busey was “out of control and difficult from the moment he got there.” At Charlie Sheen’s insistence, Busey was fired, and replaced by Martin Sheen. A spokesman for Busey attributed the actor’s behavior to a head injury he sustained in a 1988 motorcycle accident. On 16 Oct 1989, an advertisement in DV announced the completion of principal photography.
       The 27 Jul 1990 DV reported Republic Pictures’ acquisition of theatrical and home-video rights to the $8.5 million production, officially titled Cadence. Distributor New Line Cinema planned to open the film in six cities with thirty-five to forty prints, and gradually go into wide release with no more than 300 prints. Martin Sheen traveled to France for the film’s premiere at the 1990 Deauville American Film Festival. The picture debuted in London, England, on 23 Nov 1990, under the title, Stockade, as advertised in the 21 Nov 1990 Time Out (London).
       Cadence opened 15 Mar 1991 in Los Angeles, CA, to mixed reviews. Although the 5 Nov 1990 Var expressed disappointment in Martin Sheen’s skill as a director, the 13 Mar 1991 HR predicted success for the picture, based on its “quality and content,” and Charlie Sheen’s popularity.
       End credits include the following statements: "Thanks to Bob Dylan"; "Filmed on location in British Columbia, Canada"; and, "With the participation of: IATSE 891, IATSE 667, Teamsters, D.G.C." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Jul 1989.
---
Daily Variety
16 Oct 1989.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1990
p. 3, 29.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1968.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1991
p. 8, 26.
LAHExam
16 May 1988.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
3 Sep 1988.
---
Los Angeles Reader
15 Mar 1991
p. 33.
Los Angeles Times
14 May 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Mar 1991
p. 20.
New York Times
1 Feb 1970.
---
New York Times
15 Mar 1991
p. 18.
People
1 Apr 1991.
---
Time Out (London)
21 Nov 1990.
---
Variety
12 Mar 1970.
---
Variety
8 Nov 1989.
---
Variety
5 Nov 1990
p. 76.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Movie Group in association with
Northern Lights Media Corp. presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
Trainee asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Line prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit D.O.P./B cam op
B cam asst
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Genny/Lamp op
Lamp op
Stills photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
Draughtsperson
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dec buyer
Set dresser
Asst set dresser
Props master
Asst props
Greensman
Const coord
Lead hand
Scenic carpenter
Scenic carpenter
Scenic carpenter
Lead painter
Lead hand painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Asst costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Supv mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus rec at
Mus rec
Harmonica soloist
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Rec and sd eff ed by
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Asst sd ed
Feature film liaison
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff asst
Title des
DANCE
Stockade Shuffle created by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Charlie Sheen's make-up
Martin Sheen's hair dresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod exec
Scr ed
Loc
Loc asst
Loc prod asst
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod coord trainee
Scr supv
Scr supv
Asst to Richard Davis
Accountant
Asst accountant
Casting-Vancouver
Asst casting-Vancouver
Casting-Los Angeles
Extras casting
Craft service/First aid
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Const driver
Set dec driver
Set dec driver
Film driver
Film driver
Film driver
Security
Security
Security
Security
Caterer
Chef
Personal asst to Martin Sheen and tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
Local liaison
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntperson
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Lab
(U.S.)
Lab
(Canada)
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Count a Lonely Cadence by Gordon Weaver (Chicago, 1968).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Chain Gang," written by Sam Cooke, published by ABKCO Music, Inc.
"Subterranean Homesick Blues," written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, published by Warner Bros., Inc.
"End Of My Journey," written and performed by Harry Stewart
+
SONGS
"Chain Gang," written by Sam Cooke, published by ABKCO Music, Inc.
"Subterranean Homesick Blues," written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department, published by Warner Bros., Inc.
"End Of My Journey," written and performed by Harry Stewart
"In The Sweet By And By," by Rick Gibson, © MCMLXXXV by Sunshine Productions, a division of the Lorenz Corporation. Used by permission: Permit #P00650.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Count a Lonely Cadence
Stockade
Release Date:
15 March 1991
Premiere Information:
Deauville American Film Festival premiere: early September 1990
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 March 1991
Production Date:
June--early October 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Lonely Cadence Corporation
Copyright Date:
22 June 1992
Copyright Number:
PA579498
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® camera and lenses
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1965 Montana, army private Franklin Fairchild Bean visits his family home following the death of his father, and saves a gold cigarette lighter from his father’s personal effects. At the funeral, Franklin offers a belated apology for his transgressions, and recalls his high school principal advising Mr. Bean that military service would tame the undisciplined youngster. Returning to service in Wittsburg, Germany, Franklin has an eight-ball tattooed on the back of each hand during a drunken stupor, and is arrested following an altercation with a military policeman. Attorney Captain Ramon Garcia recommends that Franklin submit to a ninety-day sentence in the stockade, with a reduction in pay, and a commitment to one year of sobriety. Although Franklin would rather leave the army, he accepts the sentence. Upon arriving at the stockade, Franklin is briefed by Master Sergeant Otis McKinney, who promises fair treatment in exchange for cooperation. However, Franklin resists the sergeant’s authority and as punishment, he is assigned to a barracks occupied exclusively by African Americans. While escorting Franklin to the barracks, Corporal Lamar asks him to obey McKinney, hinting that the sergeant’s wrath effects prisoners and guards alike. Although the inmates are unpleasantly surprised to find a white man among them, Compound Leader Corporal Roosevelt Stokes introduces himself and the other convicts, Eugene “Spoonman” Bryce, Andrew Lawrence, former boxer Edward James Webb, and the simpleminded Harry “Sweetbread” Crane, whose tenor singing voice is the highlight of Sunday worship services. Cpl. Stokes reminds Franklin that he is expected to perform the same duties as the others, and should not expect special treatment because of his race. During ... +


In 1965 Montana, army private Franklin Fairchild Bean visits his family home following the death of his father, and saves a gold cigarette lighter from his father’s personal effects. At the funeral, Franklin offers a belated apology for his transgressions, and recalls his high school principal advising Mr. Bean that military service would tame the undisciplined youngster. Returning to service in Wittsburg, Germany, Franklin has an eight-ball tattooed on the back of each hand during a drunken stupor, and is arrested following an altercation with a military policeman. Attorney Captain Ramon Garcia recommends that Franklin submit to a ninety-day sentence in the stockade, with a reduction in pay, and a commitment to one year of sobriety. Although Franklin would rather leave the army, he accepts the sentence. Upon arriving at the stockade, Franklin is briefed by Master Sergeant Otis McKinney, who promises fair treatment in exchange for cooperation. However, Franklin resists the sergeant’s authority and as punishment, he is assigned to a barracks occupied exclusively by African Americans. While escorting Franklin to the barracks, Corporal Lamar asks him to obey McKinney, hinting that the sergeant’s wrath effects prisoners and guards alike. Although the inmates are unpleasantly surprised to find a white man among them, Compound Leader Corporal Roosevelt Stokes introduces himself and the other convicts, Eugene “Spoonman” Bryce, Andrew Lawrence, former boxer Edward James Webb, and the simpleminded Harry “Sweetbread” Crane, whose tenor singing voice is the highlight of Sunday worship services. Cpl. Stokes reminds Franklin that he is expected to perform the same duties as the others, and should not expect special treatment because of his race. During morning inspection, Sgt. McKinney criticizes the men’s appearance, arbitrarily issuing “gigs,” or demerits. Franklin refuses to address his superior as “sergeant,” but McKinney asserts that the prisoner will be rehabilitated by the end of his term. On their way to the mess hall, the black inmates perform the “Stockade Shuffle,” a choreographed march accompanied by the song “Chain Gang.” After breakfast, the men are transported to a farm to repair an irrigation ditch. During lunch, Franklin examines a damaged windmill, and later asks Cpl. Lamar to request permission from Sgt. McKinney to repair the it. Franklin returns to the barracks to find his father’s cigarette lighter missing and he suspects Edward Webb of taking it. Franklin is knocked unconscious in the ensuing fight and receives a cut over his left eye. At the next inspection, Franklin attributes the injury to an accident, although McKinney suspects otherwise. The sergeant forces the men to do pushups as punishment for Franklin’s dishonesty, and admonishes the prisoner for allying himself with a killer, a rapist, an extortionist, and a thug. When McKinney refuses permission to repair the windmill, Franklin appeals to the base commander and obtains approval. After defeating Edward Webb in a game of one-on-one basketball, Franklin enlists the boxer’s help in repairing the windmill, and a friendship develops between them. That evening, Sgt. McKinney celebrates his birthday by telephoning his wife and son in the U.S. Following a heated argument with his family, the sergeant tries to console himself by drinking heavily and engaging his colleague, Cecil Haig, in games of pool. In the barracks, “Spoonman” Bryce describes the sergeant as someone who only finds pleasure in making others miserable, similar to the person Spoonman killed in self-defense. However, authorities refuse to believe his story, and he will likely be hanged. The drunken McKinney staggers toward the barracks, demanding a fight with Franklin, but Cpl. Lamar intervenes. As Franklin gains the acceptance of the inmates, they teach him the Stockade Shuffle and offer assistance with the windmill project. During a visit from by his friend, Sam Sager, Franklin learns that he will likely be deployed to Vietnam upon his release from the stockade. Haunted by memories of his estranged son, Sgt. McKinney summons Franklin to his office, hoping to repair their relationship. However, Franklin dismisses the sergeant’s efforts, and denounces him for bullying the inmates. Sgt. McKinney retaliates by halting work on the windmill, but the prisoners complete the project the following day. Enraged by the prisoners’ defiance, Sgt. McKinney wakes them in the middle of the night, denies them a chance to dress, and orders Corporal Gerald Gessner to drive them to the farm. Once they arrive, McKinney orders Gessner and the truck back to camp, and punches the corporal for questioning him. After marching the men through a muddy field, the sergeant removes the bullets from his rifle and offers them the opportunity to escape. McKinney approaches Franklin, asking where they went wrong, addressing him as “John,” the name of the sergeant’s son. Sweetbread wanders absentmindedly toward the windmill, and as he begins climbing the structure, McKinney reloads his rifle. When Sgt. McKinney opens fire, Sweetbread retreats from the windmill and runs toward his assailant. A bullet strikes him in the head before the prisoners can tackle the sergeant and render him unconscious. Afterward, Franklin’s sentence is commuted, and he returns to the farm to place a marker where his comrade died. At McKinney’s court martial, Capt. Ramon Garcia argues that the victim was endangering the defendant, evidenced by Franklin’s admission to overhearing the sergeant mutter the word, “help,” while reloading his rifle. Cpl. Stokes berates Franklin for his testimony, but the private believes he was partially responsible for Sgt. McKinney’s mental state, and was compelled to tell the truth. Although Franklin is ostracized by his former cellmates, he takes a bag of supplies to the stockade, then visits the hospital psychiatric ward to find Sgt. McKinney in his underwear, painting a picture of the windmill. As Franklin leaves for Vietnam, the prisoners file past, pretending not to see him. Edward Webb breaks formation and returns Franklin’s lighter, advising him that he will find loyal comrades among the African American soldiers in his unit. When the men perform the Stockade Shuffle, Cpl. Stokes orders Franklin to “fall in on the cadence.” Franklin complies, then salutes and leaves the base. +

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

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