Miles from Home (1988)

R | 113 mins | Drama | 16 September 1988

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HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the 4 Sep 1987 DV, and the 9 Aug 1987 Omaha World-Herald, principal photography for Farm of the Year began 1 Sep 1987 in Worthington, IA, where Sam Schnier’s “old-fashioned, cozy” farm was used as the “Roberts" farm. After two weeks, production moved to Cedar Rapids, IA, for another six weeks of filming. A lengthy “Great Jones County Fair” scene was shot in Monticello, IA, with 700 local background actors. Production ended at the end of October, and post-production lasted another six months. Lead actors Richard Gere and Kevin Anderson prepared for their roles by spending a few days at a farm in East Dubuque, IA, and another two months on Schnier’s Worthington farm used in the film. The 5 Jul 1987 Omaha World-Herald reported that Harvest Films originally considered shooting in Nebraska, whose film office vied for the production because Farm of the Year was expected to inject over $2 million into the local economy. When Richard Gere was hired to star, the expected economic boost increased to $3 million, the 2 Aug 1987 Omaha World-Herald noted.
       The opening scene, which takes place in 1959, is in slow-motion black and white, without dialogue. It was based on a real visit that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made on 23 Sep 1959 to Roswell Garst’s family farm in Coon Rapids, IA.
       As soon as filming ended, costumes and props were auctioned off to collectors at a Marion, IA, warehouse on 18 Oct 1987, according to that day’s Omaha World-Herald.
       The title was changed to Miles ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the 4 Sep 1987 DV, and the 9 Aug 1987 Omaha World-Herald, principal photography for Farm of the Year began 1 Sep 1987 in Worthington, IA, where Sam Schnier’s “old-fashioned, cozy” farm was used as the “Roberts" farm. After two weeks, production moved to Cedar Rapids, IA, for another six weeks of filming. A lengthy “Great Jones County Fair” scene was shot in Monticello, IA, with 700 local background actors. Production ended at the end of October, and post-production lasted another six months. Lead actors Richard Gere and Kevin Anderson prepared for their roles by spending a few days at a farm in East Dubuque, IA, and another two months on Schnier’s Worthington farm used in the film. The 5 Jul 1987 Omaha World-Herald reported that Harvest Films originally considered shooting in Nebraska, whose film office vied for the production because Farm of the Year was expected to inject over $2 million into the local economy. When Richard Gere was hired to star, the expected economic boost increased to $3 million, the 2 Aug 1987 Omaha World-Herald noted.
       The opening scene, which takes place in 1959, is in slow-motion black and white, without dialogue. It was based on a real visit that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made on 23 Sep 1959 to Roswell Garst’s family farm in Coon Rapids, IA.
       As soon as filming ended, costumes and props were auctioned off to collectors at a Marion, IA, warehouse on 18 Oct 1987, according to that day’s Omaha World-Herald.
       The title was changed to Miles from Home, as noted by the 16 Jan 1988 Omaha World-Herald, because Cinecom International Films’ marketing department felt that “movies with the word ‘farm’ don’t sell."
       Miles from Home was an official selection on 18 May 1988 at the Cannes Film Festival, the 20 May 1988 HR and 23 May 1988 DV reported.
       Reviews were mixed, but most critics found the film slow. It opened on only thirty-two screens and made less than $73,000, the Nov 1988 Box reported.
       End credits contain the following information: "Rolling Stone used by permission of Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.,” and, ”Miles from Home was filmed entirely on location in Iowa with the cooperation of the Iowa State Patrol.”
       End credits contain the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks Representative Nicholas Paleologos; Rob Scheidlinger; Karen O’Hara; R&H Financial Services; Bob Conte; Iowa State Film Commission/Wendol Jarvis; Cedar Rapids Convention Bureau/Jim Garret & Alice Anderson; City of Cedar Rapids, IA/Mayor Don Canney; Town of Worthington, IA/Mayor Eldon Trumm; City of Monticello, IA/Mayor Bernie Barker, Jr.; Scott Byers—Byers & Happel/Cedar Rapids, IA; Systems Design Group/Cedar Rapids, IA; Video Company Metro/Cedar Rapids, IA; Bob Zimmerman Ford and BMW/Cedar Rapids, IA; Keylite Production Services/Burbank, CA; Film Surgeons/Hollywood, CA; Rolling Stone cover photo by Rod Bradley; the Steppenwolf Theater Company of Chicago.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Nov 1988
Section R, p. 97.
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1987
p. 10.
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1987.
---
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1987
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1988
p. 34.
Daily Variety
23 May 1988
pp. 16-17.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1988
p. 3, 17.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
29 Aug 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1987
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
16 Sep 1988
Calendar, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1988
Calendar, p. 46.
New York Times
16 Sep 1988
p. 8.
Omaha World-Herald
5 Jul 1987
News, p. 1.
Omaha World-Herald
2 Aug 1987
News, p. 1.
Omaha World-Herald
9 Aug 1987
News, p. 1.
Omaha World-Herald
20 Sep 1987
News, p. 1.
Omaha World-Herald
18 Oct 1987
News, p. 1.
Omaha World-Herald
16 Jan 1988
News, p. 1.
People
31 Aug 1987.
---
Variety
9 Mar 1988
p. 17.
Variety
25 May 1988
p. 18.
Wall Street Journal
15 Sep 1988.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Cinecom Entertainment Group Presents
In association with J & M Entertainment
A Frederick Zollo Production
A Cinecom Pictures Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Elec best boy
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Addl best boy
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Addl photog by, 2d unit
Addl photog by, 2d unit
Addl photog by, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Scenic artist
Prop master
Const coord
Asst prop master
3d asst props
Painter
Set dec leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Asst to cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Mus rec by, Evergreen Studios
Mus rec by
Mus rec by, Sunset Sound
Mus rec by
Orig score cond by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Re-rec Todd AO/Glenn Glen
Re-rec Todd AO/Glenn Glen
Re-rec Todd AO/Glenn Glen
Rec, Re-rec Todd AO/Glenn Glen
Re-rec Buena Vista Sound Studios
Re-rec Buena Vista Sound Studios
Re-rec Buena Vista Sound Studios
Rec, Re-rec Buena Vista Sound Studios
ADR/Foley mixer, Lion's Gate Studios
ADR/Foley mixer
Spec vocal eff
Foley walker
Foley walker
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Group voices
Boom op
Sd cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Make-up and hair supv
Hair asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod coord
Loc supv
Prod auditor
Voice casting
Unit pub
Prod attorney
Prod attorney
Certified public accountants
Transportation coord
Asst prod coord
Key prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Asst auditor
Casting asst
Casting asst
Loc casting
Extras casting by
Extras casting by
Extras casting by
Craft service
Loc scout
Promotional events coord
Wrangler
Tech farm adv
Transportation co-capt
Asst to Frederick Zollo
Asst to Gary Sinise
Asst to Richard Gere
Projectionist
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Insert vehicle driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Black oxen team trainer
Prod veterinarian
Catering
Catering, U.S. Catering
Foreign film sales
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lady In A Cage," written by Maggie Mayall & Duane Sciscqua, performed by The Maggie Mayall Band
"Hit And Run," written by Maggie Mayall, performed by The Maggie Mayall Band
"Overture To The Impresario Mozart," performed by The Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Heilbronn, conductor, Jörg Faerber, courtesy of Moss Music Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Lady In A Cage," written by Maggie Mayall & Duane Sciscqua, performed by The Maggie Mayall Band
"Hit And Run," written by Maggie Mayall, performed by The Maggie Mayall Band
"Overture To The Impresario Mozart," performed by The Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Heilbronn, conductor, Jörg Faerber, courtesy of Moss Music Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Take It Like A Man," written by Jon Tiven, performed by The Sally Tiven Orchestra, featuring Alan Merrill, produced by Jon Tiven
"Rhythms Of Hope," composed and performed by Jean-Luc Ponty, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Appalachian Spring," performed by Aaron Copland and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Victor Redseal, a label of BMG Classics
"The Promise Of Living," performed by Aaron Copland and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Victor Redseal, a label of BMG Classics
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Farm of the Year
Release Date:
16 September 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 16 September 1988
Production Date:
1 September--late October 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Cinecom Partners I, L.P.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1990
Copyright Number:
PA473949
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Black and White
Prints
Release prints by DuArt Film Lab
Duration(in mins):
113
Length(in feet):
9,735
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28801
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During a 1959 American tour, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visits Frank Roberts, Sr.’s farm near Independence, Iowa. Hundreds of neighbors and the national press gather, as Roberts and his two sons, Frank, Jr. and Terry, greet the Russian leader. Nearly thirty years later, a storm hits the farm, the cornfield is flooded, and the two sons are not sure it will survive. Terry informs farmhand Mark they can no longer afford to hire him, but Mark claims he will remain nonetheless. At a yard sale of house furniture, two young strangers, Sally and Jennifer, stop by. Innocently musing that it must be sad for the farm family to sell everything, Sally realizes it is Terry’s yard sale, and apologizes. She buys an old icebox and gives her telephone number so she can come back with another vehicle to pick it up. Frank Roberts later looks at the awards his late father won for being a “Master Farmer,” hanging next to a photograph of Khrushchev. Tommy Malin, the local banker’s son who now runs the Central Trust of Independence, arrives to announce that he has "called the note," taken ownership of the farm, and sold it to satisfy the bank’s board of directors. Threatening to beat Tommy Malin, Frank insists the farm has not failed, but rather the bank failed on its promise. When Sally returns to pick up the icebox, she notices that something is bothering Terry. He tries to rebuff her, but suddenly grabs and kisses her, and Sally admits to an immediate attraction. Brooding over the loss of the farm, Frank later convinces his Terry that they must burn down the farm to prevent any “fat cat” ... +


During a 1959 American tour, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visits Frank Roberts, Sr.’s farm near Independence, Iowa. Hundreds of neighbors and the national press gather, as Roberts and his two sons, Frank, Jr. and Terry, greet the Russian leader. Nearly thirty years later, a storm hits the farm, the cornfield is flooded, and the two sons are not sure it will survive. Terry informs farmhand Mark they can no longer afford to hire him, but Mark claims he will remain nonetheless. At a yard sale of house furniture, two young strangers, Sally and Jennifer, stop by. Innocently musing that it must be sad for the farm family to sell everything, Sally realizes it is Terry’s yard sale, and apologizes. She buys an old icebox and gives her telephone number so she can come back with another vehicle to pick it up. Frank Roberts later looks at the awards his late father won for being a “Master Farmer,” hanging next to a photograph of Khrushchev. Tommy Malin, the local banker’s son who now runs the Central Trust of Independence, arrives to announce that he has "called the note," taken ownership of the farm, and sold it to satisfy the bank’s board of directors. Threatening to beat Tommy Malin, Frank insists the farm has not failed, but rather the bank failed on its promise. When Sally returns to pick up the icebox, she notices that something is bothering Terry. He tries to rebuff her, but suddenly grabs and kisses her, and Sally admits to an immediate attraction. Brooding over the loss of the farm, Frank later convinces his Terry that they must burn down the farm to prevent any “fat cat” from taking it. Torching the house, the barn, and the cornfield, they drive away in a pickup truck and park by a remote lake to spend the night. The next morning, as they stop at a town to buy groceries, Terry sees a newspaper headline with his and Frank’s high school photographs under the headline: “Historic Farm Burned in Protest.” Seeing a sheriff’s car, they duck into a trailer park, and Frances, a young divorcée, invites them inside. Frank reads her newspaper aloud. The article points out that the Roberts farm has been a source of local pride since 1959, but its financial decline began when Frank, Sr., died in 1972 and his son, Frank, Jr., took it over. Despite the sheriff’s accusation of arson, the article calls the brothers’ act an “eloquent protest” against “the rising tide of foreclosures and bankruptcies.” Frances, whose ex-husband lost his farm, treats the brothers as heroes and offers them beers. While she and Frank make love, Terry goes outside, where a neighbor grows suspicious and telephones the sheriff. Before Terry can get Frank out of the trailer, a deputy arrives. Frank, armed with a rifle, takes the officer’s gun, handcuffs him to his car, and rips out his radio. The brothers drive to the Farmers Home Administration in Des Moines, Iowa, where Frank steals a Mercedes-Benz from the parking lot and Terry leaves a note of thanks from “the Roberts Bros.” In a small town, they talk to an exotic dancer who recognizes Frank and Terry from the television news. Referring to their Mercedes-Benz as “the hottest car in the corn belt,” she assures them that she can set up an interview with a national magazine. Writer Barry Maxwell and a photographer from Rolling Stone magazine meet the brothers at an abandoned farmhouse. When Maxwell turns on his tape recorder, Frank confirms their “protest” against foreclosures and bankruptcies, but Maxwell focuses on why the farm went into foreclosure. He asks if Frank Roberts, Sr., would think of his boys as “losers,” and reminds Frank that he is $450,000 in debt to the bank. Becoming angry, Frank blames their failure on the fact that corn prices have barely risen over the last thirty years, while the cost of a combine harvester, necessary to modern farming, has increased twenty times. The photographer shoots Frank and Terry wearing sunglasses and dark cowboy hats, posing next to a sports car. The brothers leave with a suitcase full of money. They pay a farmer $3,000 for a pickup truck and drive to the Great Jones County Fair, where Terry telephones Sally and asks her to meet them with her friend, Jennifer. Frank buys beers for dozens of people. Joining Sally, Terry recalls how he and Frank used to go to fairs with their father, and everyone would gather to shake his hand. As a boy, Terry sometimes ran through the cornfield at night until he realized he did not know how to get back home. She asks him to leave with her so that her lawyer father can get him out of trouble. When Jessica asks Frank if he “robbed that liquor store,” he plays along, even though someone else committed the robbery. During an ox-pull demonstration in which a farmer urges the animal to pull a pile of cinderblocks, the ox struggles with the weight. When it falls down and the farmer whips it, Frank yells for him to stop and draws a pistol. He shoots the ox, bringing a hush over the crowd. As a siren approaches, fair-goers call Frank by name and urge him to leave before police arrive. Terry says farewell to Sally and flees with his brother. Frank drinks and drives, giddy with his newfound celebrity. Returning to the ashes of their farm, Frank remembers standing on the front porch with his father and Khrushchev. He drives to the Central Trust of Independence. There, he enters with his rifle, and tells the confused Terry to gather money from the tellers. Tommy Malin comes out of his office. When Mark, the Roberts brothers’ former hired hand, enters the bank, Frank tries to give him money, but Mark declines. Terry starts to leave, but stops when Frank aims his rifle at Tommy. Shoving the weapon aside, Terry causes the bullet to miss its target. As the brothers flee, Terry threatens to abandon Frank. They sleep that night in a cornfield and notice the corn is ripe. The next day, they offer to help the farmer, Cox, harvest his crop. After working all night with a combine harvester, they drive the corn to a grain co-op, where an employee recognizes Frank. Later, as police sirens approach the farm, Cox directs the brothers through the cornfield to their car and gives them the location of his brother’s farm in Saskatoon, Canada. That night, Frank leaves Terry at a motel and returns with another car. They continue driving as Frank drinks whiskey from a bottle. Terry wants to lie low for a few days, but Frank enjoys his notoriety. He shows Terry the latest Rolling Stone magazine, with their photograph on the cover. Frank complains that he hates their father for leaving him with all his current troubles, but Terry reminds him he could have sold the farm and walked away. Purposely sideswiping several cars, Frank claims he only stayed on the farm because Terry needed to be taken care of. They fight, so Frank drops him off at a motel and drives away. Terry telephones Sally, and she comes to spend the night. Meanwhile, Frank drives to his father’s grave, demands to know what he did wrong, and expresses his sorrow. Frank returns to the motel with a new car, but Terry refuses to leave, explaining that Sally’s father might be able to reduce his charges. Frank opts to drive to Canada, and they bid each other a tearful farewell. With Sally at his side, Terry surrenders to police. He remembers himself as a boy, walking with his big brother Frank down a country road.
+

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

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