Grand Canyon (1991)

R | 135 mins | Drama | 25 December 1991

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan

Cinematographer:

Owen Roizman

Editor:

Carol Littleton

Production Designer:

Bo Welch

Production Company:

Twentieth Century Fox
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HISTORY

       According to the 11 Jan 1991 DV, principal photography was set to begin 4 Mar 1991. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the picture with his wife, Meg Kasdan, had reportedly been working on the script at Twentieth Century Fox for over a year, and was keeping the subject matter under wraps. The picture was his fourth collaboration with actor Kevin Kline. The 4 Mar 1991 Var announced the picture would begin shooting 11 Mar 1991 in Los Angeles, CA.
       The production moved to Long Beach, CA, for five days, according to the 27 Jun 1991 People. Principal photography was completed in Arizona on 3 Jul 1991, as reported by the 9 Jul 1991 DV. Production notes in AMPAS library files report that over sixty locations were used around Los Angeles, including the neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Brentwood, St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, the port city of Wilmington, suburban Conga Park, and the canyons at Griffith Park and Will Rogers State Park.
       The 11 Oct 1991 DV announced a wide release in 850 theatres on Christmas Day of 1991. However, the 6 Dec 1991 HR reported filmmakers moved back the wide release date until 10 Jan 1992, citing an overabundance of Christmas Day openings. In order to ensure Academy Award consideration, the film opened exclusively on 25 Dec 1991, in two theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. The last minute decision adversely impacted Twentieth Century Fox’s relationship with theater owners who were left with only two weeks to fill the Christmas screens that were reserved ... More Less

       According to the 11 Jan 1991 DV, principal photography was set to begin 4 Mar 1991. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the picture with his wife, Meg Kasdan, had reportedly been working on the script at Twentieth Century Fox for over a year, and was keeping the subject matter under wraps. The picture was his fourth collaboration with actor Kevin Kline. The 4 Mar 1991 Var announced the picture would begin shooting 11 Mar 1991 in Los Angeles, CA.
       The production moved to Long Beach, CA, for five days, according to the 27 Jun 1991 People. Principal photography was completed in Arizona on 3 Jul 1991, as reported by the 9 Jul 1991 DV. Production notes in AMPAS library files report that over sixty locations were used around Los Angeles, including the neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Brentwood, St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, the port city of Wilmington, suburban Conga Park, and the canyons at Griffith Park and Will Rogers State Park.
       The 11 Oct 1991 DV announced a wide release in 850 theatres on Christmas Day of 1991. However, the 6 Dec 1991 HR reported filmmakers moved back the wide release date until 10 Jan 1992, citing an overabundance of Christmas Day openings. In order to ensure Academy Award consideration, the film opened exclusively on 25 Dec 1991, in two theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. The last minute decision adversely impacted Twentieth Century Fox’s relationship with theater owners who were left with only two weeks to fill the Christmas screens that were reserved for Grand Canyon. Fox was sympathetic but stated, “It’s not something we did without thinking it through.”
       A benefit premiere was held 15 Dec 1991, at the Cineplex Odeon in Century City, CA, to support Tripod, a nonprofit organization that works with hearing impaired children, according to the 18 Dec 1991 LAT. The organization, chaired by writer Meg Kasdan, raised $350,000 from the event.
       According to the 14 Feb 1992 LAT, city officials in Inglewood, CA, were angered by the portrayal of their city as a “crime-torn ghetto.” The City Council drafted a four-page letter that was sent to the media, defending their city. Another letter was sent to Lawrence Kasdan, requesting an apology, which received no response from either Kasdan or Twentieth Century Fox. The City Council was debating banning future movie productions from taking place in Inglewood if their request for an apology was denied.
       Artist Robert Yarber sued filmmakers over copyright infringement, claiming his painting, “Desire and Pursuit of the Whole World,” was the inspiration for a dream sequence in the film. Kasdan had reportedly negotiated the use of the painting, but then opted not to use it in the film.
       Grand Canyon was a much talked about hit with audiences and critics. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay, as well as a nomination for Best Original Screenplay from The Writers Guild of America. The film was awarded a Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
      End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Permission to film NBA game granted by NBA Entertainment, Inc. and the Los Angeles Lakers; Game action photos courtesy of NBA Properties, Inc.; Prerecorded videotape supplied by CNN Cable News Network, Inc. 1991, All Rights Reserved; Scenes from 'Cheers' courtesy of Paramount Picture; Kitchen products supplied by Thermador®, A Division of Masco Corporation.” Additional acknowledgements include: “Filming over the Havasupai Indian Reservation was arranged with and approved by The Havasupai Tribal Council; The Producers wish to thank: Walter Hill, The Arizona State Film Commission, Department of The Interior and The National Park Service, Grand Canyon National Park, Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, The California Film Commission, The City of Long Beach, City of Los Angeles Motion Picture Coordination Office, City of Los Angeles Department of Airports.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1991
p 1, 8.
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1991.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1991.
---
Daily Variety
11 Oct 1991
p. 1, 27.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1991
p. 3, 72.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1991
p. 7, 23.
Los Angeles Times
15 Dec 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1991
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
14 Feb 1992
Section B, p. 1, 8.
New York
30 Mar 1992.
---
New York Times
25 Dec 1991
p. 1, 18.
People
27 Jun 1991.
---
Variety
4 Mar 1991.
---
Variety
23 Dec 1991
pp. 43-44.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Twentieth Century Fox Presents
A Lawrence Kasdan Film
Produced and Released by Twentieth Century Fox
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d unit prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Fox asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Fox best boy
Still photog
Spacecam systems
Spacecam asst
Video op
Video op
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept researcher
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc film ed
1st asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Standby painter
Const foreman
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Paint supv
Paint foreman
Plasterer
Plasterer
Const estimator
Set des
Set des
Greensman
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Key costumer
Addl costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Score rec & mixed by
Score rec & mixed by
Score rec & mixed by
Orch cond by
Scoring coord
Copyist
Choral cond
Scoring contractor
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
Utility sd tech
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR supv
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Spec sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Machine op
Machine op
Stage eng
Post prod and re-rec facilities
A division of LucasArts Entertainment Company
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst spec eff
Spec visual eff by
Visual eff supv
Exec prod
Dir of eff photog
Prod mgr
Art dir
Plate cam op
Plate cam asst
Motion control cam tech
Motion control cam tech
Pinblock op
Rotoscope supv
Model shop supv
Spec physical eff
Asst visual eff ed
Opt cam op
Opt cam op
Opt line-up tech
Opt line-up tech
Prod asst
Title des by
Title des by
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Mr. Martin's makeup artist
Hairstylist
Mr. Martin's hairstylist
Spec makeup eff by
Spec makeup eff by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Helicopter pilot
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Kasdan
Asst to Mr. Kasdan
Accounting clerk
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Fox transportation capt
Unit pub
Studio teacher
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Extras casting, Central Casting
ADR voice casting
First aid
First aid
Medical adv
Animal trainer
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Basketball adv
LAPD coord
Babies by
Babies by
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Process compositing by
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Lawyers, Guns And Money,” written and performed by Warren Zevon, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“She’s Leaving Home,” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
“It’s Only A Paper Moon,” written by Billy Rose, E. Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen
+
SONGS
“Lawyers, Guns And Money,” written and performed by Warren Zevon, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“She’s Leaving Home,” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
“It’s Only A Paper Moon,” written by Billy Rose, E. Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen
“Quiet On The Set,” written by M. C. Ren and Dr. Dre, performed by N.W.A., courtesy of Priority Records
“F*** The Police,” written by Ice Cube, M. C. Ren, and Dr. Dre, performed by N.W.A., courtesy of Priority Records
“Searching For A Heart,” written and performed by Warren Zevon, courtesy of Giant Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Only In America,” written, produced, and performed by Gardner Cole
“Am I Late,” written by Adam Spira, produced by Konan Kelly, performed by Souled Out.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 15 December 1991
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1991 at the Odeon Cinema
New York opening: week of 25 December 1991
Production Date:
11 March--3 July 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
18 December 1991
Copyright Number:
PA545981
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Sound
Lucas Film Ltd THX Sound System, THX Film recorded in a THX Sound System Theater
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision
Duration(in mins):
135
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31390
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Mack, an immigration lawyer, attends a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game with his film producer friend, Davis. Afterward, they have a philosophical discussion, and Davis asserts that life is chaos. Taking a shortcut home, Mack becomes lost in the poverty stricken African-American neighborhood of Inglewood, and his automobile breaks down. Mack telephones a tow company at a payphone, and nervously waits in his car. Five gang members approach and threaten him with a gun, ordering him to get out of his car. Just as Mack gets out, the tow truck arrives. Simon, the African-American driver, ignores the thugs and helps Mack with his vehicle. The gang members curse at him, but Simon respectfully asks them to let him do his job and allow them to leave without incident. The gang leader considers his request, and lets the men leave. Mack thanks Simon for saving him, and Simon concludes they were both fortunate, and shares his worries for his sister, Deborah, who lives in the dangerous neighborhood. At the repair shop, the men talk about their families, and Simon tells Mack about a life-changing visit he made to the Grand Canyon. Sometime later, Davis argues the need for including a gratuitous shot in the violent film he is producing. Mack and his wife, Claire, send their fifteen-year-old son, Roberto, off to summer camp to work as a camp counselor. Claire remembers with sadness when Roberto was still a child. Later, Davis is robbed on the street, and the gunman shoots him in the leg. He is rushed to the hospital suffering extensive damage, and nearly ... +


Mack, an immigration lawyer, attends a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game with his film producer friend, Davis. Afterward, they have a philosophical discussion, and Davis asserts that life is chaos. Taking a shortcut home, Mack becomes lost in the poverty stricken African-American neighborhood of Inglewood, and his automobile breaks down. Mack telephones a tow company at a payphone, and nervously waits in his car. Five gang members approach and threaten him with a gun, ordering him to get out of his car. Just as Mack gets out, the tow truck arrives. Simon, the African-American driver, ignores the thugs and helps Mack with his vehicle. The gang members curse at him, but Simon respectfully asks them to let him do his job and allow them to leave without incident. The gang leader considers his request, and lets the men leave. Mack thanks Simon for saving him, and Simon concludes they were both fortunate, and shares his worries for his sister, Deborah, who lives in the dangerous neighborhood. At the repair shop, the men talk about their families, and Simon tells Mack about a life-changing visit he made to the Grand Canyon. Sometime later, Davis argues the need for including a gratuitous shot in the violent film he is producing. Mack and his wife, Claire, send their fifteen-year-old son, Roberto, off to summer camp to work as a camp counselor. Claire remembers with sadness when Roberto was still a child. Later, Davis is robbed on the street, and the gunman shoots him in the leg. He is rushed to the hospital suffering extensive damage, and nearly dies. While Claire is out jogging, she hears a baby crying and discovers the abandoned infant under some brush. She takes the child home and cares for it. At his law office, Mack’s co-worker, Dee, flirts with him and caresses his hand. Her friend Jane warns her that her flirtation will end in disaster. Mack arrives home from work and Claire surprises him with the baby girl. He chastises her for not reporting the baby to authorities as it may have been kidnapped, but Claire insists her instincts told her the child was abandoned. They take the infant to Child Protective Services. Simon returns to Inglewood to visit his sister, Deborah, his teenage nephew, Otis, and young niece, Kelley. Simon warns his well-mannered nephew to break free from his gang involvement, but Otis asserts that his fate is sealed, and he expects to die young. Late that night, the home is riddled with bullets from a drive-by shooting, and Kelley and Deborah are nearly killed. In time, Claire tells Mack that “the world doesn’t make any sense” to her. During their conversation, Mack cuts his finger while cooking, and as they are about to go to the hospital to get him stitches, they experience a minor earthquake. Their elderly neighbor, Louise Menken, screams for help, as her husband Byron is having a heart attack. Mack gives the man mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before an ambulance arrives. That night, Claire has a nightmare about all the tragedies that have occurred. Sometime later, Davis is released from the hospital wearing a leg cast. He reveals to Mack that he experienced an epiphany, but fails to share it. Mack tells him that Claire is trying to adopt the abandoned baby, and Davis questions why he would want to start over with an infant. Davis‘s girl friend Vanessa begins to cry because she wants a child of her own and knows that Davis has no interest in marriage or family, but he surprises her by considering it a possibility. In time, Mack visits Simon at his workplace and invites him to breakfast. He shares a story about a woman who saved his life years before, but he never thanked her properly, and wants to repay Simon for helping him. After hearing about the drive-by shooting, Mack offers to help Simon’s sister find a safer place to live. Simon rejects the offer, but Mack urges him to reconsider. Davis shares his epiphany with Claire that he needs to give up making violent films, and asserts that he wants to make a positive contribution to the world. Claire is proud of Davis, and shares her desire to adopt the baby, despite the hardships in her marriage. Mack greets Dee in the cafeteria and joins her and her friend, Jane, for lunch. He decides to fix Jane up on a blind date with Simon, whose wife left him years ago. In time, Simon moves his sister to the neighborhood Mack arranged. Roberto returns from his summer away, and Claire is surprised to learn of his new girl friend, Amanda. She shares the idea of adopting the baby with Roberto. Simon takes Jane out to dinner, and they fall for each other. Claire and Mack discuss meaning in their lives, and why things have happened. Claire believes several miracles have occurred with the baby coming into their lives, and Mack’s new friendship with Simon. At a red light, Dee sits crying in her automobile, and a vandal smashes her window. Police arrive seconds after, and an officer consoles her. She shares that her tears are over her failed relationship with Mack, not because of the shock from the vandalism. Dee learns that the handsome officer is unmarried, and notes their rapport. Simon’s nephew, Otis, is unhappy in their new neighborhood, and restlessly watches out for trouble. He runs down the sidewalk, and police assume, because he is African-American, that he is up to trouble, and order him to stop running. Otis ignores their command, and they draw their weapons on him, and put the innocent boy in handcuffs. The officers drive him home, and Otis expresses his anger to his mother, and later runs away. In time, Dee quits her job, expressing her frustration over their failed affair to Mack. He apologizes, and pleads with her not to leave. However, she takes a job working for a female lawyer. Simon makes plans with his deaf, college-age daughter, Annie, to meet Jane when she returns for Thanksgiving break from University in Washington, D.C. Annie is excited that her father is in love. Sometime later, Simon finds Otis covered in blood, but Otis says it is not his blood, and weeps on his uncle’s shoulder. Mack takes Roberto for a stressful driving lesson around Los Angeles, and they discuss adopting the baby. That night, Mack expresses his love to Claire, and they make love. Mack visits Davis at the movie studio where he works, and congratulates him on giving up producing violent films. Davis tells him the idea has passed, and asserts that violent stories are a way of recording the truth. Later, Mack plays basketball with Simon, who has an idea to repay him for introducing him to Jane. He drives a van with Jane, Otis, and Mack’s family, with their newly adopted baby, to visit the Grand Canyon. The group looks at the natural wonder in awe. +

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

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