A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988)

R | 93 mins | Comedy, Romantic comedy | 26 February 1988

Director:

William Richert

Writer:

William Richert

Producer:

Russell Schwartz

Cinematographer:

John J. Connor

Editor:

Suzanne Fenn

Production Designer:

Norman Newberry

Production Company:

Island Pictures
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HISTORY

The film features intermittent voice-over narration by River Phoenix as his character, “Jimmy Reardon,” and opens with the following Aldous Huxley quote: “Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.”
       On 28 Apr 1970, Var announced that Playboy Productions purchased film rights to William Richert’s autobiographical novel, Aren’t You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?, which he wrote in 1963 at age nineteen. The 19 May 1970 Var claimed Joseph Connelly was attached as producer and Phil Mishkin was set to write the screenplay, but the project did not come to fruition.
       More than a decade later, the 16 Oct 1986 DV reported that Island Pictures had begun production on a new adaptation of the story, now titled Jimmy Reardon, written and directed by Richert himself. The 14 Nov 1986 DV listed a start date of 6 Oct 1986, and an Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. memo dated 31 Dec 1987 stated that filming took place in the North Chicago suburb of Evanston, IL, where the story is set. The budget was estimated at $4 million. The document also listed Cary Brokaw as an executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen.
       The following year, a 14 Aug 1987 DV article indicated that Island Pictures originally planned to release Jimmy Reardon in 200-300 theaters on 28 Aug 1987. However, as the date approached, the company felt the picture deserved a more ambitious exhibition scheme and decided to sell theatrical distribution rights to Twentieth Century Fox. Under its new ... More Less

The film features intermittent voice-over narration by River Phoenix as his character, “Jimmy Reardon,” and opens with the following Aldous Huxley quote: “Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.”
       On 28 Apr 1970, Var announced that Playboy Productions purchased film rights to William Richert’s autobiographical novel, Aren’t You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?, which he wrote in 1963 at age nineteen. The 19 May 1970 Var claimed Joseph Connelly was attached as producer and Phil Mishkin was set to write the screenplay, but the project did not come to fruition.
       More than a decade later, the 16 Oct 1986 DV reported that Island Pictures had begun production on a new adaptation of the story, now titled Jimmy Reardon, written and directed by Richert himself. The 14 Nov 1986 DV listed a start date of 6 Oct 1986, and an Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. memo dated 31 Dec 1987 stated that filming took place in the North Chicago suburb of Evanston, IL, where the story is set. The budget was estimated at $4 million. The document also listed Cary Brokaw as an executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen.
       The following year, a 14 Aug 1987 DV article indicated that Island Pictures originally planned to release Jimmy Reardon in 200-300 theaters on 28 Aug 1987. However, as the date approached, the company felt the picture deserved a more ambitious exhibition scheme and decided to sell theatrical distribution rights to Twentieth Century Fox. Under its new title, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, Fox structured a “mainstream” marking campaign leading up to its 26 Feb 1988 release in 600-700 theaters. Despite the studio’s efforts, the May 1988 issue of Box reported that the film opened without press screenings, and had grossed only $5.5 million after three weeks in theaters.
       Although not confirmed by contemporary documents, modern sources indicate that director William Richert bemoaned the modifications made by the studio in an attempt to rebrand the somber coming-of-age story to suit actor River Phoenix’s young teenage fans. Changes reportedly included the replacement of Elmer Bernstein’s moody, melancholy score with a lighter, pop-inspired soundtrack by Bill Conti, and the removal of a provocative line spoken by Ann Magnuson’s character, “Joyce Fickett.” A “director’s cut” featuring Bernstein’s score is available for purchase on Richert’s personal website, and also includes an original song written and performed by Phoenix over end credits. In the late 2000s, Richert sent copies of the cut to the Chicago Film Critics Association, appealing for them to re-review the film as he had originally intended it to be released. Many online critics agreed that Richert’s version was superior to the theatrical cut.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: The City of Chicago; The Chicago Film Office; The Illinois Film Office, Suzy Kellet, Rich Moskal; Chicago Transit Authority, Robert Janz; Sunray Corvette; Lou Maglia; Danny Holloway; Island Visual Arts, Richard Manners; Keith Grant; Christopher Palmer; John Altman; Barry Dresner; Charted Courses Productions”; and, “The Adventures of Robin Hood film clip courtesy of Turner Entertainment Co.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
May 1988.
---
Daily Variety
16 Oct 1986.
---
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1987
p. 1, 32.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 1988
p. 3, 119.
Los Angeles Times
26 Feb 1988
p. 1.
New York Times
27 Feb 1988
Section I, p. 20.
Variety
28 Apr 1970.
---
Variety
19 May 1970.
---
Variety
2 Mar 1988
p. 112.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Island Pictures Presents
A William Richert Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Best boy
Generator op
Key grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Spec photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Dailies ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst props
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Const coord
Paint foreman
Sign painter
Carpenter foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Labor foreman
Laborer
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Asst cost des
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus coord
Mus research
Orch
Scoring mixer
Spec mus consultant
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd tech
Supv sd ed
Co-supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst spec eff
Asst spec eff
Title des
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Post prod coord
Prod assoc
Prod coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Casting (Chicago)
Extras casting
Asst to Mr. Richert
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Craft service
Teacher/Welfare worker
Teacher/Welfare worker
First aid
Completion guarantee provided by
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Aren't You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye? by William Richert (New York, 1966).
SONGS
"Shop Around," written by William Robinson and Berry Gordy, published by Jobete Music Co., performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
"I Know," written by Barbara George, published by Marzique Music/SBK Unart Catalog Inc., performed by Barbara George, courtesy of Celebrity Licensing Inc.
"Just One Look," written by Doris Payne and Gregory Carroll, published by Loca Music Publishing Company/Troy Music Company/Premier Music, performed by Doris Troy, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Shop Around," written by William Robinson and Berry Gordy, published by Jobete Music Co., performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
"I Know," written by Barbara George, published by Marzique Music/SBK Unart Catalog Inc., performed by Barbara George, courtesy of Celebrity Licensing Inc.
"Just One Look," written by Doris Payne and Gregory Carroll, published by Loca Music Publishing Company/Troy Music Company/Premier Music, performed by Doris Troy, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Goodnight, It's Time To Go," written by James "Pookie" Hudson & Calvin Carter, published by Arc Music, performed by The Spaniels, courtesy of Vee Jay Records
"Theme From 'A Summer Place'," written by Max Steiner, published by Warner Bros. Inc., performed by Percy Faith and his Orchestra, courtesy of CBS Records
"You're The One (That I Adore)," written by Deadric Malone, published by Duchess Music Corp., performed by Bobby Bland, courtesy of MCA Records
"He's So Fine," written by Ronald Mack, published by Legs Music, Inc., performed by The Chiffons, courtesy of Laurie Records
"The Adventures Of Robin Hood," composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, published by Warner Bros. Inc., performed by Utah Symphony Orchestra, courtesy of Varese Sarabande Records, Inc.
"Wiggle Wobble," written and performed by Les Cooper, published by Demain Music, a division of MAJ Music, courtesy of Phoenix Ent.
"Saved," written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, published by Quintet Music/Intersong-USA ASCAP, performed by LaVern Baker, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Aren't You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?
Jimmy Reardon
Release Date:
26 February 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 26 February 1988
Production Date:
began 6 October 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Island Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 June 1989
Copyright Number:
PA421273
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by De Luxe®
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28723
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Despite being raised in a working class family, seventeen-year-old womanizer Jimmy Reardon socializes within the wealthier circles of his North Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. After his high school graduation in 1962, Jimmy is forced to dip into his college savings when a former lover fakes pregnancy and swindles him out of money for an imaginary abortion. Upon discovering what happened, Jimmy’s temperamental father, Al Reardon, refuses to help cover tuition costs unless Jimmy can recoup the money. Jimmy begs his friend, Fred Roberts, for a loan. Although Fred has a steady girl friend, Denise Hunter, he is inexperienced with women, and Jimmy promises to help him lose his virginity. Fred reluctantly agrees, and the two boys drive around town searching for girls. They approach a Northwestern University student reading alone in a diner, and Jimmy convinces her to accompany them to a nearby coffeehouse, hoping she will connect with Fred. However, she mistakes Jimmy’s approach for romantic interest, and he spoils the plan by kissing her. Fred storms off, abandoning Jimmy somewhere outside Evanston. The next morning, Jimmy’s mother suggests Al might be more willing to pay for college if Jimmy attends his father’s alma mater, the little-known, all-boys business school, McKinley College. He agrees to consider it, even though it would require him to forego his plans to study poetry at a co-ed state school. Jimmy spends the afternoon with his chaste, blueblood girl friend, Lisa Bentwright, who is soon leaving to attend college in Hawaii. Although she refuses to consummate their relationship, Jimmy cannot bear the thought of losing Lisa, and sets out to raise the $88 airplane fare to go with her. After failed attempts ... +


Despite being raised in a working class family, seventeen-year-old womanizer Jimmy Reardon socializes within the wealthier circles of his North Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. After his high school graduation in 1962, Jimmy is forced to dip into his college savings when a former lover fakes pregnancy and swindles him out of money for an imaginary abortion. Upon discovering what happened, Jimmy’s temperamental father, Al Reardon, refuses to help cover tuition costs unless Jimmy can recoup the money. Jimmy begs his friend, Fred Roberts, for a loan. Although Fred has a steady girl friend, Denise Hunter, he is inexperienced with women, and Jimmy promises to help him lose his virginity. Fred reluctantly agrees, and the two boys drive around town searching for girls. They approach a Northwestern University student reading alone in a diner, and Jimmy convinces her to accompany them to a nearby coffeehouse, hoping she will connect with Fred. However, she mistakes Jimmy’s approach for romantic interest, and he spoils the plan by kissing her. Fred storms off, abandoning Jimmy somewhere outside Evanston. The next morning, Jimmy’s mother suggests Al might be more willing to pay for college if Jimmy attends his father’s alma mater, the little-known, all-boys business school, McKinley College. He agrees to consider it, even though it would require him to forego his plans to study poetry at a co-ed state school. Jimmy spends the afternoon with his chaste, blueblood girl friend, Lisa Bentwright, who is soon leaving to attend college in Hawaii. Although she refuses to consummate their relationship, Jimmy cannot bear the thought of losing Lisa, and sets out to raise the $88 airplane fare to go with her. After failed attempts to get the money from his boss, Linus Spaulding, Jimmy asks Fred’s girl friend, Denise Hunter, with whom he has been having a secret affair, but she refuses. Desperate, he strikes a deal with Mr. Spaulding’s meddlesome mother, spilling secrets about her son’s mysterious new girlfriend in exchange for cash. Later, Jimmy packs his bags and writes a goodbye letter to his parents. Before leaving, he meets his mother’s long-time friend, Joyce Fickett, and an instant attraction develops between them. Al Reardon is angered to find unexpected company in his house, prompting Joyce to leave. Borrowing his father’s car, Jimmy drives her home and accepts her invitation to stay for a drink. His dalliance with Joyce makes him two hours late for a date with Lisa at a country club. When he arrives to pick up Lisa, he disapproving mother tells him that she left for the dance with a more “respectable” suitor. Jimmy rushes to the country club to win her back, but Lisa refuses to listen to his excuses. Outside, he pins her to the ground claiming he was late because his car ran out of gas. Lisa is disappointed that he ruined the evening because she had planned on finally having sex with him. She ignores Jimmy’s apology and returns to find her date, star athlete Mathew Hollander. As security guards arrive to escort Jimmy off the property, his acerbic friend, Suzie Middleberg, invites him out to eat. Over dinner, she fills him in on the salacious dating gossip of their graduating class and reveals that Mathew Hollander is not as wholesome as everyone thinks. Jimmy is most annoyed to learn that Mathew wooed Lisa by writing her poetry. He returns to the country club, storms the stage, and improvises a cruel poem insulting Lisa and her upper-class peers. When Lisa and Mathew leave, Jimmy follows them outside and goads Mathew into a fistfight. Mathew punches Jimmy in the face, leaving him sprawled in the middle of the road with a bloody nose. Afterward, Jimmy drives aimlessly through the city and crashes his father’s car. He calls Joyce Fickett from a payphone, but when she mistakes him for his father, Jimmy realizes that his strict, morally upstanding parent has been having an affair with her. He telephones his father, who arrives to pick him up. After years of misunderstanding one other, Jimmy finally feels that he and his father have something in common. When Jimmy declares his intent to attend McKinley College after all, Al puts an arm around his son’s shoulder and smiles. +

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

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