Only the Lonely (1991)

PG-13 | 102 mins | Romantic comedy, Drama | 24 May 1991

Director:

Chris Columbus

Writer:

Chris Columbus

Producers:

John Hughes, Hunt Lowry

Cinematographer:

Julio Macat

Editor:

Peter Teschner

Production Designer:

John Muto
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HISTORY

Throughout early 1990, various contemporary sources indicated that John Hughes was planning to produce Only The Lonely with Chris Columbus as director and John Candy in the lead role. In an 18 Oct 1990 DV news brief, veteran actress Maureen O’Hara recalled her hesitancy to join the cast, having not worked on a motion picture in twenty years. However, after reading Columbus’s script, she changed her mind and agreed to play the role of “Rose” opposite Candy.
       Principal photography began 1 Oct 1990 in Chicago, IL., according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Production lasted nearly three months, ending 22 Dec 1990. Filming took place in several notable Chicago locations, including North Avenue Beach, the Pump Room restaurant, St. John Cantius Church, the Brooks Brothers department store, “Greektown,” and Comiskey Park, former home of the Chicago White Sox. Cast and crew spent four days shooting scenes in a “very old" west side funeral home before moving to the city’s north side. There, a typical neighborhood residence served as both the “Muldoon” home and the house next door. The residence was chosen for its proximity to the elevated rapid transit system, whose passing trains provided a hallmark Chicago sound. However, only exteriors were shot at the residential location. Interiors were constructed on sound stages at Chicago Metropolitan Studios, where filmmakers also built the “O’Neill’s” pub, and the interior mockup of a 747 aircraft borrowed from Trans World Airlines (TWA). Production concluded in the town of Niles, Michigan, where the local train station served as a backdrop to the film’s final scene.
       Critical reception was largely positive, with several contemporary sources, including the 17 May 1991 ... More Less

Throughout early 1990, various contemporary sources indicated that John Hughes was planning to produce Only The Lonely with Chris Columbus as director and John Candy in the lead role. In an 18 Oct 1990 DV news brief, veteran actress Maureen O’Hara recalled her hesitancy to join the cast, having not worked on a motion picture in twenty years. However, after reading Columbus’s script, she changed her mind and agreed to play the role of “Rose” opposite Candy.
       Principal photography began 1 Oct 1990 in Chicago, IL., according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Production lasted nearly three months, ending 22 Dec 1990. Filming took place in several notable Chicago locations, including North Avenue Beach, the Pump Room restaurant, St. John Cantius Church, the Brooks Brothers department store, “Greektown,” and Comiskey Park, former home of the Chicago White Sox. Cast and crew spent four days shooting scenes in a “very old" west side funeral home before moving to the city’s north side. There, a typical neighborhood residence served as both the “Muldoon” home and the house next door. The residence was chosen for its proximity to the elevated rapid transit system, whose passing trains provided a hallmark Chicago sound. However, only exteriors were shot at the residential location. Interiors were constructed on sound stages at Chicago Metropolitan Studios, where filmmakers also built the “O’Neill’s” pub, and the interior mockup of a 747 aircraft borrowed from Trans World Airlines (TWA). Production concluded in the town of Niles, Michigan, where the local train station served as a backdrop to the film’s final scene.
       Critical reception was largely positive, with several contemporary sources, including the 17 May 1991 DV review, praising the performances of John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, and Ally Sheedy as “delightfully true.” Some critics noted the screenplay’s resemblance to Marty (1955, see entry), an Academy Award-winning film in which a middle-aged bachelor, goaded on by his mother, finds unexpected romance.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special thanks to: Chicago Film Office – Charlie Geocaris; Illinois Film Office – Suzy Kellett, James Leonis; Chicago Police Department – Thomas Manaher; Chicago Transit Authority – Robert Janz; City of Niles, Michigan; The Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1990.
---
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1990.
---
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1990.
---
Daily Variety
17 May 1991
p. 2, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 1991
p. 10, 20.
Los Angeles Times
24 May 1991
p. 6.
New York Times
24 May 1991
p. 10.
Variety
20 May 1991
p. 40.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
a Hughes Entertainment production
a Chris Columbus film
Produced and released by Twentieth Century Fox
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
"A" cam op
"B" cam op
"A" cam 1st asst
Addl 1st asst
2d asst
"B" cam asst
"B" cam asst
Loader
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Generator op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Rigging grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Crane op
Still photog
Video playback
Prod Asst - Cam
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Lighting equipment supplied by
Musco light tech
Musco light tech
Arriflex® cameras and lenses provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst to prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Leadman
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Const coord
Const coord
Carpenter foreman
Carpenter foreman
Labor foreman
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Standby painter
Prod asst set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer for Mr. Candy
Gen costumer
Asst costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond by
Supv mus ed
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl audio
Addl audio
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Sd ed by
ADR group
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff foreman
Effectsman (Hollywood)
Effectsman (Hollywood)
Effectsman (Hollywood)
Effectsman (Chicago)
Effectsman (Chicago)
Effectsman (Chicago)
Effectsman (Chicago)
Spec eff services provided by
Title des
Opticals by
Spec opticals by
DANCE
Dance supv
Ballet performed by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secretary
Asst to Mr. Hughes
Asst to Mr. Hughes
Asst to Mr. Gotch
Asst to Mr. Lowry
Asst to Mr. Columbus
Asst to Mr. Candy
Asst to Ms. O'Hara
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Extras casting
Addl scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Prod asst - Office
Prod asst - Office
Prod asst - Office
Prod asst - Set
Prod asst - Set
Prod asst - Set
Prod asst craft service
Paramedic
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunt coord/Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Only The Lonely,” written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, performed by Roy Orbison, courtesy of Sony Music Special Products, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.
“Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer
“My Wild Irish Rose,” written by Chauncey Olcott
+
SONGS
“Only The Lonely,” written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, performed by Roy Orbison, courtesy of Sony Music Special Products, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.
“Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer
“My Wild Irish Rose,” written by Chauncey Olcott
“Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” written by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, performed by Dean Martin, courtesy of Capitol Records by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“Someone Like You,” written and performed by Van Morrison, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“Marie’s Wedding,” written by Van Morrison and Paddy Moloney, performed by Van Morrison and The Chieftains, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“I’ve Got Dreams To Remember,” written by Otis Redding, Zelma Redding and Joe Rock, performed by Etta James, courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
“Umbriago,” written by Jimmy Durante and Irving Caesar, “Sorrento,” performed by Mario Lanza, courtesy of RCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 May 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 24 May 1991
Production Date:
1 October--22 December 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
21 May 1991
Copyright Number:
PA518463
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Arriflex® cameras and lenses
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30996
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On an autumn morning in Chicago, Illinois, thirty-eight-year-old policeman Danny Muldoon strolls through his neighborhood. He arrives home, where his mother, Rose, joins him for breakfast. Danny mentions his plans to attend a baseball game, but his mother frets that it is on the same night as the weekly Bingo game, which they always attend together. Danny has a vision of his mother walking alone to the Bingo game and meeting misfortune. Concerned, he agrees to cancel his plans and go to Bingo with her. Later that day, Danny and his partner, Sal, conduct routine police business. Over lunch, Sal describes his marital troubles, envious of Danny’s status as a bachelor. A few days later, Danny’s brother, Patrick, suggests that Danny and Rose move to Florida, but Danny insists he is happy in Chicago. Later, Danny and his mother go to O’Neill’s, a local Irish pub. They are surprised when three elderly drunks stumble in, demanding drinks. Moments later, a well-dressed man arrives, claiming that one of the men is a corpse, stolen from the funeral home by his two friends. Danny shows his police badge and helps resolve the argument. As the group leaves the bar, Danny notices an attractive young woman standing near the door. He learns that she is Theresa Luna, daughter of the funeral parlor director. The next day, Danny stops by the funeral home, startling Theresa, who is applying makeup to a corpse. Finding it difficult to ask her out on a date, the policeman presents a list of reasons why she would turn him down. Theresa is amused and agrees to go out with him. A few days later, Danny leaves the house ... +


On an autumn morning in Chicago, Illinois, thirty-eight-year-old policeman Danny Muldoon strolls through his neighborhood. He arrives home, where his mother, Rose, joins him for breakfast. Danny mentions his plans to attend a baseball game, but his mother frets that it is on the same night as the weekly Bingo game, which they always attend together. Danny has a vision of his mother walking alone to the Bingo game and meeting misfortune. Concerned, he agrees to cancel his plans and go to Bingo with her. Later that day, Danny and his partner, Sal, conduct routine police business. Over lunch, Sal describes his marital troubles, envious of Danny’s status as a bachelor. A few days later, Danny’s brother, Patrick, suggests that Danny and Rose move to Florida, but Danny insists he is happy in Chicago. Later, Danny and his mother go to O’Neill’s, a local Irish pub. They are surprised when three elderly drunks stumble in, demanding drinks. Moments later, a well-dressed man arrives, claiming that one of the men is a corpse, stolen from the funeral home by his two friends. Danny shows his police badge and helps resolve the argument. As the group leaves the bar, Danny notices an attractive young woman standing near the door. He learns that she is Theresa Luna, daughter of the funeral parlor director. The next day, Danny stops by the funeral home, startling Theresa, who is applying makeup to a corpse. Finding it difficult to ask her out on a date, the policeman presents a list of reasons why she would turn him down. Theresa is amused and agrees to go out with him. A few days later, Danny leaves the house dressed for his date, which he has planned with the help of his police connections. He and Theresa picnic on the field of an empty baseball stadium, serenaded by ballpark organ music as fireworks erupt overhead. However, a nervous Theresa does not respond to Danny’s attempts at conversation. When he drops Theresa at her door, she explains that she is introverted and struggles to open up to people. Danny is thrilled when she asks for a second date. He returns home, where he learns that his brother has invested in Florida property, planning for Danny and Rose to move there together. Danny is upset, but Patrick, a lawyer, nullifies his brother’s objections. On Halloween night, Rose fusses at Danny when she realizes he is going to the ballet with Theresa instead of staying home with her. While at the ballet, Danny envisions his mother being attacked by a trick-or-treater. He calls to check on her, before returning to his romantic evening with Theresa. A few days later, hoping to flatter Theresa with a home cooked Italian dinner, Danny arranges for his mother to spend the evening with Patrick and his family. Danny proves to be a terrible cook, but Theresa laughs at the mess and asks to see the rest of the house. In Danny’s bedroom, the two begin kissing, and Theresa spends the night. In the morning, Danny surprises her with breakfast in bed. Just then, Rose returns home, and Danny is forced to deceive his mother. Theresa manages to leave the house undetected, but not before overhearing Rose insult her Italian upbringing. Later, Danny plans to formally introduce his mother to Theresa over dinner at a hotel restaurant. However, Theresa is put off by Rose’s prejudiced remarks and storms out of the restaurant. Danny follows, apologizing for his mother’s behavior. Theresa expresses anger at Danny’s reluctance to stand up to the rude woman. Back home, Danny criticizes his mother’s outspokenness and declares his intention to marry Theresa. He leaves the house and goes to Theresa’s bedroom window, waking her with a marriage proposal, which she accepts. Sometime later, Danny and Patrick get fitted for tuxedos. Patrick thinks his brother is rushing into marriage, and urges Danny to go to Florida with their mother. Outraged at the comments, Danny punches his brother in the jaw. Later, he visits Theresa at the funeral parlor and confesses his feelings of guilt over not being able to care for his family once he gets married. On the night before their wedding, Danny and Theresa’s friends and family gather at O’Neill’s to toast the couple. After the party, while walking down the snow-covered sidewalks with Theresa, Danny has visions of his mother getting into an accident on her way home. He calls to check on her, infuriating Theresa, who thinks Danny tries too hard to please her. They argue, unable to reconcile their differences. The next day, everyone gathers at the church, but neither Danny nor Theresa shows up for the wedding. In the week that follows, Danny refuses to explain why he did not go through with the marriage. One night, Rose and Danny stop at O’Neill’s, saddened to hear that one of their drinking friends died of a heart attack. They go to the funeral parlor to pay respects, and Danny glimpses Theresa working in the back room. He is overcome with emotion, but does not speak to her. The next day, boxes line the sidewalk in front of the Muldoon residence. Danny and Rose survey their empty home, and Danny tells his mother that he will not go to Florida. He loves Theresa and intends to win her back. Rose becomes angry and accuses her son of abandoning her. Moments later, she apologizes for her selfishness and wishes Danny the best, telling him to visit her in Florida with his grandchildren. However, when Danny returns to the funeral parlor, he discovers that Theresa has left Chicago for New York City. He borrows a police cruiser and speeds away, hoping to intercept Theresa’s train. When the train stops at a small-town station, Theresa disembarks to find Danny waiting on the platform. He presents a list of reasons why she might not want to get back together with him, causing Theresa to laugh, cry, and profess her love. They embrace, and Danny has a vision of his mother’s plane being overtaken by terrorists. However, the feisty woman defeats the perpetrators and addresses her daydreaming son, telling him not to worry; she can take care of herself. +

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

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