The Rapture (1991)

R | 100 mins | Drama, Mystery | 4 October 1991

Director:

Michael Tolkin

Writer:

Michael Tolkin

Cinematographer:

Bojan Bazelli

Editor:

Suzanne Fenn

Production Designer:

Robin Standefer

Production Company:

Nicholas Entertainment
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HISTORY

In an 8 Oct 1991 Village Voice interview, writer-director Michael Tolkin recalled the year following the publication of his 1988 novel, The Player, as a time of disenchantment with the film industry. However, inspired by an irreverent bumper sticker, he wrote a twenty-two-page version of The Rapture and showed it to producer Nick Wechsler, who encouraged him to turn the condensed script into a feature. On 31 May 1989, Var announced that Wechsler, along with Nancy Tenenbaum, would produce the picture, “with funding still sought.” One year later, an 11 May 1990 HR news brief indicated that actress Jennifer Jason Leigh had agreed to star in Tolkin’s movie for New Line Cinema. However, her name was not listed in a 17 Jul 1990 HR production chart that, instead, gave top billing to actress Mimi Rogers. Although a 21 Jul 1990 Screen International news item suggested that Jennifer Jason Leigh might still be cast, barring “pending scheduling conflicts,” she does not appear in the film.
       Principal photography began 31 Aug 1990, according to a Sep 1990 HR production chart. In a 6 Oct 1991 LAT article, Mimi Rogers described the six-week shoot as “exhilarating and terrifying.” The actress, who appears in “all but one of the film’s 102 scenes,” spent several months preparing for her role as the born-again Christian, “Sharon.” In addition to reading various biblical texts, she attended “church services of different denominations” with director Michael Tolkin. Critics later praised her performance for its commitment and intensity.
       The 13 Nov 1990 HR acknowledged that filming had ended, ... More Less

In an 8 Oct 1991 Village Voice interview, writer-director Michael Tolkin recalled the year following the publication of his 1988 novel, The Player, as a time of disenchantment with the film industry. However, inspired by an irreverent bumper sticker, he wrote a twenty-two-page version of The Rapture and showed it to producer Nick Wechsler, who encouraged him to turn the condensed script into a feature. On 31 May 1989, Var announced that Wechsler, along with Nancy Tenenbaum, would produce the picture, “with funding still sought.” One year later, an 11 May 1990 HR news brief indicated that actress Jennifer Jason Leigh had agreed to star in Tolkin’s movie for New Line Cinema. However, her name was not listed in a 17 Jul 1990 HR production chart that, instead, gave top billing to actress Mimi Rogers. Although a 21 Jul 1990 Screen International news item suggested that Jennifer Jason Leigh might still be cast, barring “pending scheduling conflicts,” she does not appear in the film.
       Principal photography began 31 Aug 1990, according to a Sep 1990 HR production chart. In a 6 Oct 1991 LAT article, Mimi Rogers described the six-week shoot as “exhilarating and terrifying.” The actress, who appears in “all but one of the film’s 102 scenes,” spent several months preparing for her role as the born-again Christian, “Sharon.” In addition to reading various biblical texts, she attended “church services of different denominations” with director Michael Tolkin. Critics later praised her performance for its commitment and intensity.
       The 13 Nov 1990 HR acknowledged that filming had ended, with theatrical release tentatively scheduled for May 1991. However, when the picture screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, a 17 Jun 1991 Var review indicated that wide release would not occur until the fall. A 30 Aug 1991 LA Weekly article noted that Tolkin intended to show his $3 million directorial debut at the Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, after which, Fine Line Features would market the picture as “an intellectual horror film” in anticipation of a 4 Oct 1991 opening. On 15 Sep 1991, the LAT reported that research test screenings had elicited “love it or hate it” responses from Christians and non-Christians alike.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special thanks to: Keith Addis; Rick Dobbis; Sarah Gilkeson; Janet Grillo; Micheal [sic] Harpster; Intervideo; L.A. Permit Office; Marjorie Lewis; Wendy Mogel; Sara Risher; Rachel Rosenthal (D.B.D.); San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department; Davitt Sigerson; Susanna and Emma Tolkin; The Yonamine Pearl Company.” End credits conclude with the statement: “Filmed entirely on location in Los Angeles, California.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1991.
---
LA Weekly
30 Aug 1991.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
8 Oct 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Sep 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Sep 1991
pp. 23-24.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1991
Section F, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
6 Oct 1991
pp. 24, 30-32.
New York Times
30 Sep 1991
p. 14.
New York Times
13 Oct 1991
Section A, p. 13.
Screen International
21 Jul 1990.
---
Screen International
10 May 1991.
---
Variety
31 May 1989.
---
Variety
12 Nov 1990.
---
Variety
17 Jun 1991
pp. 67-68.
Village Voice
8 Oct 1991
p. 70.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Line Cinema presents
a New Line Cinema production
in association with Wechsler/Tenenbaum/Parker
a film by Michael Tolkin
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst
Addl 1st asst
Addl 1st asst
Addl 1st asst
2d asst cam
Addl 2d asst
Addl 2d asst
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Addl elec
Addl elec
Addl elec
Addl elec
Addl elec
Addl elec
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Addl grip
Addl grip
Addl grip
Addl grip
Addl grip
Stills photog
Cam and lenses by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
Prod illustrator
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Exec in charge of post-prod
Post-prod supv
Post-prod admin
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Addl ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst propmaster
Set dec
Set dec
Set dresser
Key set dresser
Key set dresser
Key swing
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Propmaker
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Scenic artist
Lead scenic painter
Lead scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Set painter
Set painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Addl boom op
Addl boom op
Post-sd supv
Digital sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR eng
ADR eng/Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Rerecording mixer
Rerecording mixer
Rerecording mixer asst
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Dolby eng
Digital audio post-prod by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Eff asst
Bluescreen tech
Main and end titles
Main title des
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Swing makeup/Hair
Makeup asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod exec
Prod coord
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod coord
Asst prod accountant
Casting assoc
Asst to prods
Asst to prods
Asst to Michael Tolkin
Asst to Mimi Rogers
Troubleshooting
Prod attorney
Prod controller
Contract supv
Legal asst
Tattoo artist
Tattoo artist/Application
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
ADR voice casting by
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver/Horse hauler
Wrangler
On-set prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Park ranger
Craft services
Craft services
Craft services
Craft services
Extras casting
On-set teacher
Exec in charge of prod
Loc equip by
Insurance provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord/Stunt double
Stunt coord/Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Aguas De Marco," performed by Elis Regina, written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, published by Corcovado Music Corp., courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Group Distribution, Inc.
"Astronaut Anthem," performed by Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, composed by Meredith Monk, published by Meredith Monk Music (ASCAP), from "Do Yo Be" (ECM New Series 1336), produced by Manfred Eicher, an ECM production
"Directly From My Heart To You," performed by Little Richard, words and music by Richard Penniman, published by Duchess Music Corporation, courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc./ACE Records Ltd./Blues Interactions, Inc.
+
SONGS
"Aguas De Marco," performed by Elis Regina, written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, published by Corcovado Music Corp., courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Group Distribution, Inc.
"Astronaut Anthem," performed by Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, composed by Meredith Monk, published by Meredith Monk Music (ASCAP), from "Do Yo Be" (ECM New Series 1336), produced by Manfred Eicher, an ECM production
"Directly From My Heart To You," performed by Little Richard, words and music by Richard Penniman, published by Duchess Music Corporation, courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc./ACE Records Ltd./Blues Interactions, Inc.
"I'll Be Your Mirror," performed by The Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed, used by permission of Screen Gems--EMI Music, Inc. on behalf of Oakfield Avenue Music, Ltd., courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Group Distribution, Inc.
"Ruler Of My Heart," performed by Irma Thomas, written by Naomi Neville, published by ARC Music Corporation, courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of Capitol Records, Inc. by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"Wave," performed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, published by Corcovado Music Corp., courtesy of A&M Records
"Well Enough," performed by Julie Christensen, produced by Scott Wilk, written by Scott Wilk and Julie Christensen, published by The Night Rainbow Music/Rhythm Cave Music/Stone Cupid Music, courtesy of Emerald Forest Entertainment.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 October 1991
Premiere Information:
New York Film Festival screening: 30 September 1991
Los Angeles opening: 4 October 1991
Production Date:
31 August--mid October 1990
Copyright Claimant:
New Line Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 April 1992
Copyright Number:
PA564321
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31037
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, Sharon, a disaffected telephone information operator, spends her days connecting callers to their requested numbers. In the evenings, she and her boyfriend, Vic, drive near Los Angeles International Airport looking for other couples to engage in sex. One night, they meet Randy and Diana, with whom they share an intimate encounter. The next day at work, Sharon overhears her coworkers talking about the spiritual quality of certain musical tones. Noticing her listening, they lower their voices. Later, Sharon meets Randy for sex. Afterward, she confesses that she feels empty about life, and Randy suggests she may be depressed. Another afternoon, Sharon is solicited at her door by two Christian evangelists, who encourage her to strengthen her belief in God. They offer her a Bible, and she asks about “the boy,” a phrase she heard her coworkers use. The wide-eyed men enthuse that “the boy” is a prophet. Sometime later, Vic calls and informs Sharon that a married couple would like to spend the evening with them. During the tryst, the woman, Angie, reveals an elaborate tattoo on her back. Sharon is fascinated and asks what it means. Uncomfortable at being questioned, Angie makes an elliptical reference to “the dream” and “the pearl.” The next day at work, Sharon approaches co-workers and tells them she dreamed about the pearl. However, they shun her for passing off second-hand knowledge as her own experience. Frustrated, Sharon returns home to find Vic in bed with another woman. He invites her to join them, but she turns and walks away. Later, she spends the night with Randy and announces her intention to start a new life founded on a belief ... +


In Los Angeles, California, Sharon, a disaffected telephone information operator, spends her days connecting callers to their requested numbers. In the evenings, she and her boyfriend, Vic, drive near Los Angeles International Airport looking for other couples to engage in sex. One night, they meet Randy and Diana, with whom they share an intimate encounter. The next day at work, Sharon overhears her coworkers talking about the spiritual quality of certain musical tones. Noticing her listening, they lower their voices. Later, Sharon meets Randy for sex. Afterward, she confesses that she feels empty about life, and Randy suggests she may be depressed. Another afternoon, Sharon is solicited at her door by two Christian evangelists, who encourage her to strengthen her belief in God. They offer her a Bible, and she asks about “the boy,” a phrase she heard her coworkers use. The wide-eyed men enthuse that “the boy” is a prophet. Sometime later, Vic calls and informs Sharon that a married couple would like to spend the evening with them. During the tryst, the woman, Angie, reveals an elaborate tattoo on her back. Sharon is fascinated and asks what it means. Uncomfortable at being questioned, Angie makes an elliptical reference to “the dream” and “the pearl.” The next day at work, Sharon approaches co-workers and tells them she dreamed about the pearl. However, they shun her for passing off second-hand knowledge as her own experience. Frustrated, Sharon returns home to find Vic in bed with another woman. He invites her to join them, but she turns and walks away. Later, she spends the night with Randy and announces her intention to start a new life founded on a belief in God. Randy, an atheist, is bewildered by her newfound devotion. He tries to reason with her, but Sharon insists that faith will cure her of her disappointment in life. The next day, Sharon picks up a hitchhiker and drives him to a motel, where she takes his gun and demands that he leave. She gets drunk and puts the gun to her chin. Unable to go through with killing herself, she reads the Bible placed in the motel nightstand by the Gideons. A few days later, a radiant Sharon tells Vic that she has fallen in love with Jesus Christ. Vic is concerned that she has joined a cult, but Sharon tells him not to worry. At work, Sharon invites callers to follow the word of God, causing her boss, Henry, to summon her to his office. When Sharon defends her behavior by declaring that the second coming of Christ is imminent, Henry reveals that he, too, is a devout Christian. Sharon asks about “the boy,” and Henry invites her to a prayer meeting, where a child prophesies that the end will come in five or six years. Afterward, Sharon locates Randy and declares her love for him. Six years later, Randy, Sharon, and their five-year-old daughter, Mary, attend a church service. The next day, Sharon tells her friend, Paula, about “the rapture,” but the woman is skeptical about God’s plan to return for his followers. Meanwhile, Randy fires an employee. A short while later, the resentful man returns to the office and kills Randy with a shotgun. In the wake of her husband’s death, Sharon encourages Mary to pray for their deliverance to heaven. A few days later, Sharon discovers a series of photographs showing Randy in the desert. She describes the pictures to her prayer group, and the boy advises her it is a call from God. Paula is distraught when she learns that Sharon is taking Mary to the desert, but cannot talk her friend out of leaving. In the desert, days pass uneventfully. Mary declares she wants to go to heaven to see her daddy, and suggests they die in order to accelerate the reconciliation. However, Sharon tells her daughter they must wait. When a park ranger named Foster stops by the campsite to inquire about their well-being, Sharon remarks that he could only understand if he was a believer. Another day passes, and Mary pleads for food. Sharon comforts the girl, who continues to insist they go to heaven. The next day, Sharon drives into town for food, but Mary shows no interest in it. The two hike to a mountaintop, where Sharon shoots her daughter with a handgun. She turns the weapon on herself, but cannot pull the trigger. Sharon buries her child in the desert and returns to Los Angeles. En route, Foster, the park ranger, pulls her over for speeding. Sharon breaks down and confesses that she killed her daughter and intended to kill herself, but stopped, knowing she would be denied entrance to heaven. Angry, she declares she no longer loves God. Sharon is incarcerated in a women’s correctional facility, where she shares a cell with Angie, the woman with the tattoo. That night, Sharon dreams of Mary, who tries to convince her mother to love God. Just then, blaring trumpets alert the inmates to impending bedlam. Sharon watches, shocked, as prison bars fall to the concrete floor. Foster appears and invites her to show him what faith means. As they drive his motorcycle to the desert, Sharon fears cloaked horsemen are following them. They stop, and a gathering mist suddenly clears, revealing Mary, who invites them to cross the river into heaven. Sharon refuses to profess her love for anyone but Mary, and the girl tearfully says goodbye, knowing that her mother must forever remain in purgatory. +

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

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