Fathers & Sons (1992)

R | 99 mins | Drama | 6 November 1992

Director:

Paul Mones

Writer:

Paul Mones

Producer:

Jon Kilik

Cinematographer:

Ron Fortunato

Production Designer:

Eve Cauley

Production Company:

Addis/Wechsler and Associates
Full page view
HISTORY

       Casting was said to be underway in late May 1989, although financing for the $1.5-million picture was still being sought. Nearly two years later, the 10 Feb 1991 LAT announced that Jeff Goldblum and Rosanna Arquette would star in the film, to be shot in Atlantic City, NJ, with partial funding from RCA/Columbia. A 25 Mar 1991 Var brief stated that John Leguizamo was previously attached to star, but pulled out at the advice of his manager, Martin Bregman. Mambo Mouth, Leguizamo’s one-man, off-Broadway show, had recently boosted the actor’s popularity, and Bregman did not want him to “extend himself” before weighing bigger opportunities.
       Principal photography began 4 Mar 1991 on location in Belmar and Asbury Park, NJ, and New York City, as stated in the 26 Feb 1991 HR production chart.
       According to the 30 Jan 1992 DV, Jeff Goldblum was considering reteaming with Paul Mones on another feature film, following the “hefty response” from distributors at Sundance Film Festival, where Fathers & Sons screened on 18 Jan 1992. However, a 19 Oct 1992 Var brief stated that, in the absence of distributor interest, producer Marc Toberoff and Mones set up Pacific Pictures Distribution Corp. to self-release Fathers & Sons. A 6 Nov 1992 opening was planned in New York City, Los Angeles, CA, and Seattle, WA. Former Miramax employees Adam Rogers and Mark Lipsky were hired to consult Pacific Pictures during the film’s release.
       Fathers & Sons was poorly received by critics, although Jeff Goldblum’s performance received consistent praise.
       The 8 Nov 1992 ... More Less

       Casting was said to be underway in late May 1989, although financing for the $1.5-million picture was still being sought. Nearly two years later, the 10 Feb 1991 LAT announced that Jeff Goldblum and Rosanna Arquette would star in the film, to be shot in Atlantic City, NJ, with partial funding from RCA/Columbia. A 25 Mar 1991 Var brief stated that John Leguizamo was previously attached to star, but pulled out at the advice of his manager, Martin Bregman. Mambo Mouth, Leguizamo’s one-man, off-Broadway show, had recently boosted the actor’s popularity, and Bregman did not want him to “extend himself” before weighing bigger opportunities.
       Principal photography began 4 Mar 1991 on location in Belmar and Asbury Park, NJ, and New York City, as stated in the 26 Feb 1991 HR production chart.
       According to the 30 Jan 1992 DV, Jeff Goldblum was considering reteaming with Paul Mones on another feature film, following the “hefty response” from distributors at Sundance Film Festival, where Fathers & Sons screened on 18 Jan 1992. However, a 19 Oct 1992 Var brief stated that, in the absence of distributor interest, producer Marc Toberoff and Mones set up Pacific Pictures Distribution Corp. to self-release Fathers & Sons. A 6 Nov 1992 opening was planned in New York City, Los Angeles, CA, and Seattle, WA. Former Miramax employees Adam Rogers and Mark Lipsky were hired to consult Pacific Pictures during the film’s release.
       Fathers & Sons was poorly received by critics, although Jeff Goldblum’s performance received consistent praise.
       The 8 Nov 1992 LAT noted that a soundtrack featuring previously unreleased songs from Chris Whitley and Susannah Hoffs would be in stores on 17 Nov 1992.
       Onscreen credits were partially illegible on the print viewed for this record; thus, song credits and various production credits are not reflected. Actress Margaret Barker's name is misspelled "Margret T. Barker" onscreen. End credits include the statements: “The producers wish to thank: The residents of the borough of Belmar; Mayor Ken Pringle; Borough of Belmar Recreation Department, Brian Magovern, Director; Borough of Belmar Police Department, Chief Harold Allen; Belmar First Aid Squad; Belmar Volunteer Fire Department; Sister Dorothy of St. Rose Elementary School; John H. McGlaughlin; New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, Joe Friedman, Executive Director, Steve Gorelick, Executive Assistant; Chemical Bank of New Jersey, N.A., Austin Caldwell, V.P.; The Completion Bond Company, Bettie Smith, Alan Wilson, JoAnn May-Pavey; First Interstate Bank of California, Steve Fayne & Larry DaSilva; Budget Rent a Car of Monmouth County, George Wall; Albert G. Ruben & Co., New York, George Walden & Steve Carroll; Sound One Corp., New York, Bill Nisselson; Technicolor Labs, New York [ill.]; Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Michael DiCosimo; Michelle Anthony; [ill.]…Louis D’Agostino; Jim Dunbar; Kathy Erbe; Larry Estes; Scotty Fleischer ;[ill.]…Richard Heller; [ill.]; Jennifer Lynne; [ill.]; Harris Miller; John C. McGinley; Liza Mones; Robert Nickson; Thomas O’Donnell; Lynn Pickwell; Tony & Paul Repetti; Gina Resnick; Ned Richardson; Susan Rose; John Sickle; Ronald S. Taft; Nancy Tenenbaum; Bryan Unger; Malcolm Wiseman; Dave Wirtschafter; Jeffrey H. Wolf; The residents of Spring Lake, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Manasquan; Antique Boutique; Apple Computers; Arenson Office Furnishings, Inc.; [ill.]; Blumenthal Wall Coverings, Inc.; [ill.]; Norton Blumenthal, Inc.; [ill.] by Constance Van Flandern; Calvin Klein; Chock Full O’Nuts; Chrome Hearts; Design Impressions; Dickies; Dixie Products of James River Corp.; Marithé et Francois Girbaud; Guiness Import Company; K’s Uomo; Lisa Jenks; Pepsi-Cola; Phoenix Games; Randolph Duke; Shady Character; Sansone Plaza Nissan-Ford; Schneider & Nelson Range Rover; Sea Coast Chevrolet; Lou [ill.] – TKR Cable; Union [ill.]; Young’s Interiors; Up-tite Fastner, Inc.; Well-Bred Loaf; Trek Bicycles; Lee Jeans; Power Bars; Nick & John of Belmar Golf”; and, “Filmed entirely on location at the Jersey Shore.”

      A 31 May 1989 DV article stated that after the recent success of Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies & videotape (1989, see entry), the film’s executive producers, Nancy Tenenbaum and Nick Wechsler, had several new projects in the works, including writer-director Paul Mones’s Fathers & Sons. However, while Wechsler is credited onscreen as an executive producer, Tenenbaum only receives “Special Thanks.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 May 1989
p. 2, 17.
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1992.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1992
p. 9, 142.
Los Angeles Times
10 Feb 1991
Calendar, p. 37.
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1992
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1992
Calendar, p. 59.
New York Times
6 Nov 1992
p. 17.
Variety
25 Mar 1991.
---
Variety
2 Feb 1992
p. 81.
Variety
19 Oct 1992.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Addis/Wechsler Presents
A Jon Kilik Production
A Paul Mones Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Best boy elec
Louma crane tech
Louma crane, grip and elec equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst picture ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Head scenic artist
Painter
Leadperson
On set dresser
Swing gang
Const coord
Gen foreman
Carpenter
Prop master
Asst props
Theater metal sculptures by
Quixote poster and metal sculpture by
Mousetrap sculpture by
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Cost asst
MUSIC
Orig mus score
Mus supv
Asst mus ed
Orch by
Mus eng by
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd mixer
Re-rec eng
Dial ed
Foley ed
ADR ed
ADR eng
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley eng
Addl sd eff
C-5, Inc.
Addl sd eff
Addl ADR ed
Loop group
Loop group
Loop group
Loop group
Mixed at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Main and end titles des and prod by
MAKEUP
Make-up/Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod auditor
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Unit loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst auditor
Prod office coord
Asst office coord
Prod secy
Casting asst
Extra casting
Scr supv
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Film runner
Projectionist
Craft services
Loc liaison
Publicity
Insurance
N.Y.
Cast doctor
Contact lens eff
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod chef
Prod chef
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Loc catering by
Crew and cast housing provided by
Loc projection equip by
Mr. Goldblum's training facilities provided by
Wall, New Jersey
Running equip provided by
STAND INS
Doogy stunt double
Lisa stunt double
Natalie photo
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Dailies adv
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 November 1992
Premiere Information:
Sundance Film Festival screening: 18 January 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 6 November 1992
Production Date:
began 4 March 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Asbury Park Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 February 1994
Copyright Number:
PA576852
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Arriflex cam and lenses provided by General Camera, New York
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Widower Max Fish lives on the New Jersey shore with his teenage son, Ed. Their relationship is strained, partly because Max is still mourning the loss of his wife, Natalie, who died from cancer. Ed spends his days riding bicycles and playing pinball with his new friend, “Smiley,” whose older brother, “Flo,” is a drug dealer. When Max gets an offer from Gary, a movie producer, to direct a film he wrote years ago, he turns it down. Gary protests, arguing that Max is better equipped to handle the pressures of the movie business now that he is sober. Max reminds Gary that he was insufferable as a movie director, and nearly destroyed his marriage. He would rather stay in town, where he owns a bookstore and performs in community theater, than return to his old life in New York City. Meanwhile, a serial killer known as the “Shore Killer” has been murdering locals. Max gets spooked during play rehearsal when he sees a strange man wander into the theater, and rushes home to check on Ed. Later, at Fish Books, he receives a box of self-published books, titled Cats & Dogs, by a man named Isaac. Ed comes across Cats & Dogs when he stops by the store, and takes a copy. He becomes engrossed in the book, in which the author claims to be transcribing alien knowledge, and insists that humans must learn to communicate through telepathy. Ed experiments with a hallucinogenic drug called “chew,” and flirts ... +


Widower Max Fish lives on the New Jersey shore with his teenage son, Ed. Their relationship is strained, partly because Max is still mourning the loss of his wife, Natalie, who died from cancer. Ed spends his days riding bicycles and playing pinball with his new friend, “Smiley,” whose older brother, “Flo,” is a drug dealer. When Max gets an offer from Gary, a movie producer, to direct a film he wrote years ago, he turns it down. Gary protests, arguing that Max is better equipped to handle the pressures of the movie business now that he is sober. Max reminds Gary that he was insufferable as a movie director, and nearly destroyed his marriage. He would rather stay in town, where he owns a bookstore and performs in community theater, than return to his old life in New York City. Meanwhile, a serial killer known as the “Shore Killer” has been murdering locals. Max gets spooked during play rehearsal when he sees a strange man wander into the theater, and rushes home to check on Ed. Later, at Fish Books, he receives a box of self-published books, titled Cats & Dogs, by a man named Isaac. Ed comes across Cats & Dogs when he stops by the store, and takes a copy. He becomes engrossed in the book, in which the author claims to be transcribing alien knowledge, and insists that humans must learn to communicate through telepathy. Ed experiments with a hallucinogenic drug called “chew,” and flirts with Lisa, who dates Flo’s friend, “Doogy.” At the same time, Max relapses and drinks with his actor friends, Marshall and Judy, after a rehearsal. Judy, who is married, confesses her attraction to Max, and they kiss in her car. He returns home and waits up for Ed, who is obviously inebriated when he stumbles in. Ed only admits to smoking marijuana, but Max suspects he took something more potent, and slaps his son. The next morning, while running on the boardwalk, Max is approached by a psychic, “Miss Athena,” who warns him to “beware of false prophets.” Back at home, Max informs Ed that Smiley is in the hospital. Although people believe the Shore Killer is responsible, Smiley confides to Ed that a thug named Johnny beat him. Smiley did not identify Johnny as his attacker, since Flo might kill him in retaliation. Max runs in a road race, and meets a beautiful woman named Kyle, who is also sober. Although Max has never liked Alcohol Anonymous meetings, she offers to bring him to her group. Max wants to take her to dinner, instead, but Kyle is in the midst of a separation from her live-in boyfriend. Later, Ed waits for Lisa after school and takes her to the beach. Under the boardwalk, he tries to guess the girl’s thoughts. They kiss, and she persuades him to have sex without a condom. Later, Max questions Ed about his love life, and gets frustrated with his son for withholding information. The strange man Max noticed at play rehearsal wanders into Fish Books and asks about Cats & Dogs, but Kyle shows up for a surprise visit, causing the man to flee. On the opening night of Max’s play, Ed neglects to make dinner as his father requested. Max flies into a rage and forbids his son from coming to the play. He orders him to stay at home and clean. Instead, Ed goes to a party thrown by Doogy. Flo finds Ed and Doogy, who was having sex with Lisa to Ed’s dismay, and enlists their help in going after his brother’s attacker, Johnny. As the three drive to Johnny’s house, Ed frets in the backseat. He stays behind in the car when Flo and Doogy stalk outside Johnny’s apartment building. Just then, Johnny arrives in a car. Ed stops him from going inside, and urges him to flee. Johnny speeds away. Flo produces a gun, shoots at Johnny’s car, then points the gun at Ed. The boy escapes to the beach, and takes a dose of “chew.” Meanwhile, after a successful opening night, Max walks on the boardwalk with Kyle. The two kiss, but Max stops short when he senses something is wrong with Ed. At the same time, the strange man from the bookstore approaches Ed on the beach and preaches to him about telepathy. He claims that his mission is to free young people from their bodies, then attacks Ed with a knife. Max sprints to the beach just in time to save his son. He asks the man about Cats & Dogs, realizing he must be the one who wrote it, then overpowers him and pummels his face. Days later, Ed confides to Max that he cannot stop thinking about the telepathy message in Cats & Dogs. He worries he is going crazy. Max assures him that they will be okay after they have time to recover from the ordeal. He embraces Ed and apologizes for not being there for him. He admits he misses Natalie so much he can hardly endure the grief. He regrets the time he drunkenly attacked her, and separated her shoulder. Ed recalls the incident, but also remembers that his mother forgave Max. Although Max blames himself for her death, Ed insists that he could not have given her lung cancer. Brightening, Max remembers the other night on the beach, when he experienced telepathy with Ed, and suggests they might be closer than they think. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.