The Cemetery Club (1993)

PG-13 | 107 mins | Comedy-drama | 3 February 1993

Director:

Bill Duke

Writer:

Ivan Menchell

Cinematographer:

Steven Poster

Editor:

John Carter

Production Designer:

Maher Ahmad
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HISTORY

According to the 25 May 1990 NYT, film rights for Ivan Menchell’s stage play, The Cemetery Club, were acquired for $850,000 by The Walt Disney Company for Touchstone Pictures. Additionally, Menchell was hired to adapt the screenplay for a reported fee of $250,000. Menchell’s play debuted in 1990 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., before opening on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson theater in New York City.
       The 10 Jul 1992 DV announced that principal photography would begin the following week in Pittsburgh, PA. Filming completed on 10 Sep 1992, according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Locations included the Pittsburgh suburbs of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Etna, and Brentwood. Additional locations included the Allegheny Cemetery in Bloomfield, PA; the historic Summit Inn in Farmington, PA; and the Westin William Penn Hotel, a National Historic Landmark.
       End credits state: “The Producers Wish to Thank: The City of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh Film Office, Robert Curran, Director; Port Authority of Allegheny County, Gerald Gawaldo, Supervisor of Operations,” and "I Love Lucy, courtesy of CBS, ... More Less

According to the 25 May 1990 NYT, film rights for Ivan Menchell’s stage play, The Cemetery Club, were acquired for $850,000 by The Walt Disney Company for Touchstone Pictures. Additionally, Menchell was hired to adapt the screenplay for a reported fee of $250,000. Menchell’s play debuted in 1990 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., before opening on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson theater in New York City.
       The 10 Jul 1992 DV announced that principal photography would begin the following week in Pittsburgh, PA. Filming completed on 10 Sep 1992, according to production notes in AMPAS library files. Locations included the Pittsburgh suburbs of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Etna, and Brentwood. Additional locations included the Allegheny Cemetery in Bloomfield, PA; the historic Summit Inn in Farmington, PA; and the Westin William Penn Hotel, a National Historic Landmark.
       End credits state: “The Producers Wish to Thank: The City of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh Film Office, Robert Curran, Director; Port Authority of Allegheny County, Gerald Gawaldo, Supervisor of Operations,” and "I Love Lucy, courtesy of CBS, Inc.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Jul 1992
p. 1, 20.
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1993
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1993
p. 8, 36.
Los Angeles Times
3 Feb 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
New York Times
25 May 1990.
---
New York Times
3 Feb 1993
Section C, p. 14.
Variety
8 Feb 1993
pp. 74-75.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Touchstone Pictures Presents
A David Brown, Sophie Hurst, and Bonnie Palef Production
In Association with a David Mason Production
A Bill Duke Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Steadicam® op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Rigging gaffer
Rigging elec
Best boy
Dolly grip
Rigging grip
Company grip
Stills photog
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
2d cam op
2d cam op
2d cam 1st asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des/Draftsman
On-set dresser
Key scenic
Standby painter
Prop master
Asst props
Const coord
Const coord
Const foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus prod coord
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd supv
Sd eff supv
Foley & ADR supv
Dial supv
Dial & ADR ed
New York ADR rec
New York ADR supv
New York ADR
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Post-prod sd services by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles & opticals
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Ms. Burstyn's hair by
Ms. Kazan's hair by
Key makeup
Ms. Ladd's makeup by
Ms. Dukakis' makeup by
Mr. Aiello's makeup by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Prod supv
Asst prod coord
Dialect coach
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Prod consultant
Scr supv
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Duke
Asst to Mr. Duke
Asst to Mr. Brown
Asst to Ms. Palef
Asst to Mr. Manson
Asst to Mr. Manson
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
ADR voice casting
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Casting - Pittsburgh
Extras casting
Casting coord
Craft service
2d cam op
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based upon the stage play The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchell (1990).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“For Sentimental Reasons,” written by Deek Watson and William Best, performed by Cle Thompson
“Shadow Dance,” written and performed by Tony Kinsey
“Let the Dancing Begin,” written and performed by Eric Copley
+
SONGS
“For Sentimental Reasons,” written by Deek Watson and William Best, performed by Cle Thompson
“Shadow Dance,” written and performed by Tony Kinsey
“Let the Dancing Begin,” written and performed by Eric Copley
“There Will Never Be Another You,” written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, performed by Etta Cox
“Puerto Rico,” written and performed by Renato Pegado
“Fiesta Criolla,” written and performed by Marco Pinia
“Kiss Of Fire,” written by Lester Allen and Robert Hill, performed by Diane Ladd
“A Night In Valencia,” written and performed by D. Guiot, T. Lipton and R. Tambin
“Boccherini ‘Minuet No. 5’,” arranged and performed by Bob Holroyd and Martin Litchfield
“Haydn ‘Quartet No. 15’,” arranged and performed by Bob Holroyd and Martin Litchfield
“A Tribute To Miller,” written and performed by Eric Swann
“Soliloquy,” written and performed by Tony Hyman
“T’aint Nobody’s Biz-Ness If I Do,” written by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins
“Small Talk,” written and performed by Marian McPartland
“Cha Cha Tijuana,” written and performed by Dennis Farnon
“The Tango Dancer,” written and performed by Howard Shaw.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 February 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 3 Feb 1993
Production Date:
mid Jul--10 Sep 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA603818
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Prints
Produced and distributed on Eastman Film
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32272
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Three middle-aged married couples attend the wedding of their friend, Selma, making fun of her many failed marriages. In time, Esther Moskowitz, Doris Silverman, and Lucille Rubin become widows, as their husbands die in succession. Esther’s adult daughter worries about her mother, while her granddaughter, Jessica, provides comfort. Doris and Lucille promise to look after their friend. A year later, the headstone of Esther’s husband, Murry Moskowitz, is unveiled, marking the end her yearlong Jewish tradition of mourning. Flamboyant Lucille declares that Esther is now an eligible, single woman, and she should expect men to ask her out. However, conservative Doris tells Esther to ignore Lucille. On the fourth anniversary of Abe Silverman’s death, Doris visits her husband’s gravesite, and her girl friends accompany her. At the cemetery, they see a man named Ben Katz fighting with the groundskeeper about taking better care of his wife Myrna’s tombstone. Lucille takes an interest in him, and argues with Doris over her refusal to move on with her life. Sometime later, Ben Katz’s friend warns that he will not find satisfaction in his series of short-term relationships, and from quitting his much loved job as a police officer to drive a taxicab. Lucille tricks Esther into going with her to an “over-fifty" singles weekend retreat. There, they meet two goofballs named Bill and Morty, and Esther insists on going home after one day. She apologizes to Lucille for her reluctance to date again. In time, Esther takes her granddaughter, Jessica, to the music store owned by her late husband, and sees Ben Katz. He offers to ... +


Three middle-aged married couples attend the wedding of their friend, Selma, making fun of her many failed marriages. In time, Esther Moskowitz, Doris Silverman, and Lucille Rubin become widows, as their husbands die in succession. Esther’s adult daughter worries about her mother, while her granddaughter, Jessica, provides comfort. Doris and Lucille promise to look after their friend. A year later, the headstone of Esther’s husband, Murry Moskowitz, is unveiled, marking the end her yearlong Jewish tradition of mourning. Flamboyant Lucille declares that Esther is now an eligible, single woman, and she should expect men to ask her out. However, conservative Doris tells Esther to ignore Lucille. On the fourth anniversary of Abe Silverman’s death, Doris visits her husband’s gravesite, and her girl friends accompany her. At the cemetery, they see a man named Ben Katz fighting with the groundskeeper about taking better care of his wife Myrna’s tombstone. Lucille takes an interest in him, and argues with Doris over her refusal to move on with her life. Sometime later, Ben Katz’s friend warns that he will not find satisfaction in his series of short-term relationships, and from quitting his much loved job as a police officer to drive a taxicab. Lucille tricks Esther into going with her to an “over-fifty" singles weekend retreat. There, they meet two goofballs named Bill and Morty, and Esther insists on going home after one day. She apologizes to Lucille for her reluctance to date again. In time, Esther takes her granddaughter, Jessica, to the music store owned by her late husband, and sees Ben Katz. He offers to drive them home, but Esther declines. However, when Esther later hails a taxicab, Ben is the driver. After dropping Jessica off, Ben drives Esther home and invites himself inside for coffee. Esther is hesitant, but agrees. She learns that Ben’s wife died ten years before, and tells him about her husband, Murry. Meanwhile, Lucille and Doris mend fences over lunch. Afterward, they stop by Esther’s house and are surprised to see her with Ben Katz. Later, her friends voice their opinions about Ben, and Esther tells them to be quiet. Their friend, Selma, announces she is getting married yet again, and asks the three women to be her bridesmaids. Ben telephones Esther and invites her on a dinner date. At the restaurant, Esther has a panic attack and admits it is the place where Murry suffered his fatal heart attack. Ben quickly escorts her to a local diner, and puts her at ease by regaling her with stories of his days as a police officer. He shares that he quit the police force after his wife died, as a gesture to her because she never wanted him to be an officer. Afterward, Esther invites Ben inside to watch television, and they kiss. Sometime later, Esther asks Selma for romantic advice, and Selma explains that in her many marriages, she prefers comfort over love. Esther continues dating Ben, and he teaches her how to drive for the first time. He takes her dancing, and asks to spend the night with her. She takes him home, but they are both too uncomfortable to make love in her marriage bed, and instead, go to a hotel. In the morning, Ben gets dressed for work and Esther is upset, believing he was planning to leave without saying goodbye. When Esther fails to show up for Selma’s wedding rehearsal, Doris and Lucille search for her at the cemetery, and find her there in tears. She admits to sleeping with Ben Katz, prompting Doris and Lucille to track him down at home. They warn that Esther is fragile, and Ben tells them nicely to mind their own business. Later, he takes Esther to dinner, and she preemptively ends their relationship, saying they have nothing in common. Ben does not try to persuade her to stay. In time, Esther wonders if she made the right decision, and drives to Ben’s house. However, she finds him with another woman, and quickly leaves. At Selma’s wedding, Esther cries disruptively, and runs outside in the middle of the ceremony. Doris and Lucille follow and comfort her. After the wedding, the women leave the reception early, and get drunk together at home. However, Doris and Lucille resume their disagreement about how to conduct themselves as widows. As the argument escalates, they reveal to Esther that they visited Ben Katz behind her back. Esther is furious at their interference, and refuses to speak to them. Later that night, Esther receives an emergency telephone call from Doris, and she races to her friend’s home. Seeing that Doris is having a medical crisis, she calls an ambulance. While they wait, Doris apologizes to Esther, and moments later, dies from heart failure. A few days later, Lucille and Esther bury Doris, and friends gather at Esther’s home after her funeral. Ben Katz arrives to pay his condolences and apologize to Esther, but she remains silent, and shuts the door in his face. Lucille tells Esther that despite her flirtatious behavior, she has not slept with a man since her husband died. They weep over the loss of Doris. In time, Esther considers her life as a single woman, and begins working at her husband’s music store. One day, Ben comes to see her there, and admits to being afraid when they dated. Ben presumes Esther wants to get married again. However, she tells him she is in no rush, but would like to go dancing. Ben plays a tape recording in the store, and takes Esther into his arms. Sometime later, Lucille talks to Doris’s grave, and predicts that the couple will be married within a year. +

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

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