Prelude to a Kiss (1992)

PG-13 | 105 mins | Comedy-drama, Fantasy, Romance | 10 July 1992

Director:

Norman René

Writer:

Craig Lucas

Cinematographer:

Stefan Czapsky

Production Designer:

Andrew Jackness

Production Company:

Twentieth Century Fox
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HISTORY

According to the 26 Mar 1990 HR, Twentieth Century Fox and producer Michael Gruskoff acquired film rights to the broadway play Prelude to a Kiss, written by Craig Lucas. Fox reportedly won out over several major production companies with a $1 million bid, after a week-long bidding war. Gruskoff became interested in the play a year earlier, and reportedly was granted the rights because he had believed in the project before anyone else. The 3 May 1990 WSJ reported that the play had opened in Southern California in 1988, but was turned down by “every major studio.” However, a bidding war for film rights began soon after it received a positive review from influential theater critic Frank Rich, upon its opening in New York City.
       The play starred Alec Baldwin and Mary Louise Parker, and Baldwin was cast to reprise his character onscreen, as announced in the 21 Dec 1990 NYT. Meg Ryan and Alec Guinness had also been signed. However, Sydney Walker ultimately won the role of the “old man.” According to the 13 Jul 1992 Var film review, Walker had played the part onstage in San Francisco, CA. Filming was expected to begin 8 Apr 1991.
       The 26 Apr 1991 Screen International reported that production was underway for an eleven-week shoot in Chicago, IL, and Jamaica. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filming had been planned to take place in New York City, where the story was set, but East Coast labor strikes caused filmmakers to relocate to Chicago, where locations included the Green Mill Tavern, the neighborhood of Highland Park, and ... More Less

According to the 26 Mar 1990 HR, Twentieth Century Fox and producer Michael Gruskoff acquired film rights to the broadway play Prelude to a Kiss, written by Craig Lucas. Fox reportedly won out over several major production companies with a $1 million bid, after a week-long bidding war. Gruskoff became interested in the play a year earlier, and reportedly was granted the rights because he had believed in the project before anyone else. The 3 May 1990 WSJ reported that the play had opened in Southern California in 1988, but was turned down by “every major studio.” However, a bidding war for film rights began soon after it received a positive review from influential theater critic Frank Rich, upon its opening in New York City.
       The play starred Alec Baldwin and Mary Louise Parker, and Baldwin was cast to reprise his character onscreen, as announced in the 21 Dec 1990 NYT. Meg Ryan and Alec Guinness had also been signed. However, Sydney Walker ultimately won the role of the “old man.” According to the 13 Jul 1992 Var film review, Walker had played the part onstage in San Francisco, CA. Filming was expected to begin 8 Apr 1991.
       The 26 Apr 1991 Screen International reported that production was underway for an eleven-week shoot in Chicago, IL, and Jamaica. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filming had been planned to take place in New York City, where the story was set, but East Coast labor strikes caused filmmakers to relocate to Chicago, where locations included the Green Mill Tavern, the neighborhood of Highland Park, and the suburb of Berwyn. Sets were built at Metropolitan Studios in Chicago, and filming concluded in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where, according to the 19 Jul 1991 DV, shooting occurred for a week. Principal photography was completed on 5 Jul 1991, as announced in the 23 Jul 1991 HR.
       Actor Sydney Walker reported in the 3 Aug 1992 issue of People magazine that his “chaste” kissing scene with Alec Baldwin took “six or seven takes” to get right.
       The 24 Jun 1991 Var announced a lawsuit had been filed by investor Christopher Gould against playwright Craig Lucas. Gould had invested in Lucas’s play while it was staged at the non-profit Circle Repertory Co. in NY, and claimed that he was forced to take a 30% profit share of future rights, instead of his contractual 50%, when the play moved to Broadway. However, Gould and his financial partners reportedly earned $300,000 from the sale of film rights.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The Producers Wish to Thank: The City of Chicago; The Chicago Film Office & Charlie Geocaris; The Illinois Film Office & Ron Ver Kuilen; The Jamaican Film Office; JAMPRO Corp., and Jackie Neath; The City of Berwyn, Illinois; The City of Highland Park, Illinois; Chicago Sun Times and John Unbock; Plantation Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Wig design by Bobby Grayson, New York; Wedding gown by Diana Venegas, Beverly Hills; The Newberry Library.” Also noted: “Scrabble® is a registered trademark”; and, “The Major League Baseball trademarks depicted in this motion picture were licensed by Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.” Additional acknowledgements include: “Commissioned and originally produced by South Coast Repertory with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Original New York City production by the Circle Repertory Company. Produced on Broadway by Christopher Gould, Susan Golden and Dodger Productions.”; and, “Filmed on location in Chicago, Illinois, Ocho Rios and St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, West Indies.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1991
p.32.
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 1990
p. 3, 43.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1992
p. 5, 14.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1992
Calendar, p. 14.
New York Times
21 Dec 1990.
---
New York Times
10 Jul 1992
Section C, p. 10.
People
3 Aug 1992.
---
Screen International
26 Apr 1991.
---
Variety
24 Jun 1991
p. 53, 70.
Variety
13 Jul 1992
p. 41.
Wall Street Journal
3 May 1990.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Gruskoff/Levy Company Production
A Norman René Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Prod mgr, Jamaica unit
1st asst dir, New York unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Video playback
Gaffer
Best boy/Elec
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Best boy/Grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Best boy/Elec, Jamaica unit
Elec, Jamaica unit
Elec, Jamaica unit
Dolly grip, Jamaica unit
Best boy/Grip, Jamaica unit
Best boy/Grip, Jamaica unit
Grip, Jamaica unit
Cam op, New York unit
1st asst cam, New York unit
Gaffer, New York unit
Key grip, New York unit
Film loader
Elec
Grip
Rigging gaffer
Rigging best boy
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Generator op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Storyboard artist
Art dept asst
Art dir, Jamaica unit
Art dir, New York unit
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Leadperson
Leadman
Asst props
Const coord
Carpenter foreman
Paint foreman
Scenic artist
Set dresser, Jamaica unit
Set dresser, Jamaica unit
Props, Jamaica unit
Const coord, New York unit
Set dec, New York unit
Lead person, New York unit
Prop master, New York unit
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
On-set dresser
Buyer
Asst props
Const secy
Standby painter
Labor foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer to Alec Baldwin
Costumer
Stitcher
Ward dept asst
Costumer, Jamaica unit
Key costumer, New York unit
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus cond by
Mus rec and mixed by
Mus contractor
Harmonica solo by
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable man
Cable man
Sd ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Asst ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
Post prod facilities
New York
Post prod facilities
Chicago
Sd mixer, Jamaica unit
Boom op, Jamaica unit
Cable man, Jamaica unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec visual eff prod by
Visual eff supv
Main and end titles des and prod by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist/Alec Baldwin
Hair stylist/Alec Baldwin
Makeup artist/Meg Ryan
Hair stylist/Meg Ryan
Makeup & hair
Makeup & hair, Jamaica unit
Makeup & hair, Jamaica unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst to UPM
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Caterer
Craft service
Craft service asst
First aid
Office mgr
Chicago casting assoc
Extras casting
Extras casting
Paymaster
Accounting asst
Loc asst
Asst to Norman René
Asst to Norman René
Asst to Michael Grunkoff
Asst to Michael Levy
Asst to Alec Baldwin
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Loc, Jamaica unit
Prod secy, Jamaica unit
Transportation coord, Jamaica unit
Asst accountant, Jamaica unit
Extras casting, Jamaica unit
First aid, Jamaica unit
Craft service, Jamaica unit
Prod asst, Jamaica unit
Prod asst, Jamaica unit
Prod asst, Jamaica unit
Prod supv, New York unit
Prod coord, New York unit
Prod accountant, New York unit
Teamster capt, New York unit
New York prod facilities, New York unit
Transportation co-capt
Office driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Security
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stuntman
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Prelude to a Kiss by Craig Lucas (New York, 1 May 1990).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Prelude To A Kiss,” written by Duke Ellington, Irving Gordon, Irving Mills, performed by Deborah Harry, Deborah Harry appears courtesy of Sire Records Company
“The In Crowd,” written by Billy Page, performed by Bryan Ferry, courtesy of Reprise Records/E. G. Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“I Touch Myself,” written by Bill Steinberg, Tom Kelly, Mark McEstes, Christine Amphlett, performed by The Divinyls, courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
+
SONGS
“Prelude To A Kiss,” written by Duke Ellington, Irving Gordon, Irving Mills, performed by Deborah Harry, Deborah Harry appears courtesy of Sire Records Company
“The In Crowd,” written by Billy Page, performed by Bryan Ferry, courtesy of Reprise Records/E. G. Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“I Touch Myself,” written by Bill Steinberg, Tom Kelly, Mark McEstes, Christine Amphlett, performed by The Divinyls, courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Waiting For Someone,” written and performed by Frank Carillo and Annie Golden
“Only The Blues Will Do,” written by Stu Woods, performed by Bubba’s Blues Band
“Stop, Look What You’re Doin,” written by Eddie Floyd and Albertis Isbell, performed by Carla Thomas, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Every Time We Say Goodbye,” written by Cole Porter, performed by Annie Lennox, courtesy of BMG Ariola Munchen GmbH/King Cole, Inc.
“Sweet Jane,” written by Lou Reed, performed by The Cowboy Junkies, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
“The More I See You,” written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
“I Had The Craziest Dream,” written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
“A Certain Smile,” written by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain
“Matilda Matilda,” written by Norman Span
“Again,” written by Dorcas Cochran and Lionel Newman
“Someone Like You,” written by Van Morrison, performed by Van Morrison, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of P.G.D., Inc.
“Jamaica Farewell,” written by Lord Burgess, performed by The Upbeaters, courtesy of Round Hill Hotel
“Sooner Or Later,” written by Bill Steinberg, Tim Kelly, Mark McEstes, and Christine Amphlett, performed by The Feebes, courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
“The Very Thought Of You,” written by Ray Noble.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 July 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 July 1992
Production Date:
8 April--5 July 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
6 July 1992
Copyright Number:
PA571157
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31375
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Chicago, Illinois, Peter Hoskins attends a house party, where his friend, Taylor, introduces him to Rita Boyle. As Rita dances to a suggestive song, Peter becomes infatuated with her. She tells Peter she crashed her neighbor’s party, and that she suffers from insomnia. Overwhelmed by his feelings for her, Peter abruptly leaves. However, the next day, he visits Rita at the Tin Market, where she works as a bartender. When Rita asks him about the ten years he lived in the Netherlands, Peter is impressed that she had asked his friend, Taylor, about him. In a daze, he blurts out a marriage proposal. Rita looks at him, starry-eyed, and says “ok.” Peter tells her that he moved to Europe to get away from his family, with whom he does not get along. After her shift, Rita takes Peter home with her, and he teaches her the Dutch phrase, “You have very white teeth,” promising to translate the proper Dutch response at another time. Rita shares that she was a socialist for two months, and Peter reveals that he manages a collection of scientific microfiche at a publishing company. The smitten couple soon becomes inseparable. After six weeks, they move in together. When Rita asks Peter to meet her parents, he again proposes marriage, and she accepts. Peter meets Mary and Dr. Marshall Boyle, and is accepted into the family. Before their wedding ceremony in her parents’ suburban backyard, Rita questions Peter’s devotion. He promises to love her even when she is old and gray. Elsewhere, an elderly man boards a train to Lake Forest, Illinois, and wanders into the Boyle’s backyard. He watches longingly as Peter and Rita ... +


In Chicago, Illinois, Peter Hoskins attends a house party, where his friend, Taylor, introduces him to Rita Boyle. As Rita dances to a suggestive song, Peter becomes infatuated with her. She tells Peter she crashed her neighbor’s party, and that she suffers from insomnia. Overwhelmed by his feelings for her, Peter abruptly leaves. However, the next day, he visits Rita at the Tin Market, where she works as a bartender. When Rita asks him about the ten years he lived in the Netherlands, Peter is impressed that she had asked his friend, Taylor, about him. In a daze, he blurts out a marriage proposal. Rita looks at him, starry-eyed, and says “ok.” Peter tells her that he moved to Europe to get away from his family, with whom he does not get along. After her shift, Rita takes Peter home with her, and he teaches her the Dutch phrase, “You have very white teeth,” promising to translate the proper Dutch response at another time. Rita shares that she was a socialist for two months, and Peter reveals that he manages a collection of scientific microfiche at a publishing company. The smitten couple soon becomes inseparable. After six weeks, they move in together. When Rita asks Peter to meet her parents, he again proposes marriage, and she accepts. Peter meets Mary and Dr. Marshall Boyle, and is accepted into the family. Before their wedding ceremony in her parents’ suburban backyard, Rita questions Peter’s devotion. He promises to love her even when she is old and gray. Elsewhere, an elderly man boards a train to Lake Forest, Illinois, and wanders into the Boyle’s backyard. He watches longingly as Peter and Rita take their vows. The family wonders who the elderly man is, and when they question him, he congratulates the couple, asking if he can kiss the bride before he leaves. Rita is touched, and accepts the gesture. As they kiss, the sky goes dark, and the souls of the old man and the young woman switch places. Rita, now inside the body of the old man, does not know what to do. Rita stares at her former self, and in a daze, wanders off. As Peter and Rita travel to Jamaica for their honeymoon, Peter wonders why the old man called him “honey.” He soon notices changes in Rita, unaware that the old man inhabits her body. She begins sleeping at night after years of insomnia, and cannot list the ingredients in a common cocktail, although she is a bartender. Worried Rita is not herself, Peter feeds her the Dutch line from their first date, but she does not know the correct response. When the couple returns home, Peter asks his friend, Taylor, if he believes souls can switch bodies. Meanwhile, outside their apartment, the old man hides behind a tree and watches the couple. Rita soon begins to act like herself again, and Peter relaxes. However, when she kisses him, Peter feels nothing. He begs to know where the real Rita is. He goes to a bar for a drink, where he sees the elderly man from the wedding. Peter realizes instantly that his wife’s soul is inside the man’s body, and asks him questions to which only Rita would know the answers. Peter embraces the man enthusiastically when he knows every answer. He takes the old man home with him, hoping to convince Rita to again switch bodies. However, he arrives to find Rita’s father, Dr. Boyle, packing his daughter’s belongings. He claims that Rita has moved back home after accusing Peter of “losing his mind.” Unsure of what to do, Peter and the elderly man go to the home of the man’s daughter, Leah Blier, where he lives with her and her husband, Jerry. Peter claims to have found the old man wandering around the city, and learns from Leah that her father has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and has less than a year to live. Meanwhile, the old man sneaks out a bedroom window, and rejoins Peter in a taxicab, where he learns the terrible news that he is dying. They return to Peter’s apartment and try to locate Rita, who has left town with her parents. Peter and the old man go to Rita’s parents’ empty home, where Peter watches his wedding video. He tells Rita how much he misses her face, and “Rita” proclaims they are lucky to have found each other, even if she will soon die. Peter again telephones his wife's relatives, and is relieved when her mother, Mary, answers. Mary reveals that Rita has not been acting like herself, and agrees to help Peter reunite with Rita with a ruse. Sometime later, Mary brings Rita to the home she shares with Peter to collect her things, claiming Peter is out of town. However, Peter appears, and Mary leaves the couple alone to reconcile. Peter ties Rita to a chair, and while holding her at knifepoint, demands she kiss the old man to switch bodies. After they kiss, the transformation does not occur, and Peter is distraught. The elderly man and the young woman are mesmerized to see their former bodies, and share stories about each other’s families. They discuss how the switch occurred when the man was drawn to their wedding. Seeing Rita, he wished to be young again. In that instant, Rita wished to be old for a moment, so that she might live without fear. As they long to return to their former selves, their mutual desire causes the transformation to occur again. They rejoice in their own bodies, and the old man bids them farewell. Rita is amazed that her constant fear is gone. When Peter recites the Dutch phrase, “You have very white teeth,” Rita asks him to translate the response, and he replies, “The better to eat you with.” After they kiss, Peter carries Rita to the bedroom. +

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

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