Matinee (1993)

PG | 107 mins | Comedy | 29 January 1993

Director:

Joe Dante

Producer:

Michael Finnell

Cinematographer:

John Hora

Editor:

Marshall Harvey

Production Designer:

Steven Legler

Production Companies:

Renfield Productions, Matinee, Inc.
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HISTORY

A 2 Aug 1991 DV article listed the $13 million Matinee as one of several projects to be fully funded by the European-based investment company, Falcon Film Finance Ltd. However, almost two months later, the 30 Sep 1991 DV stated that the film was in turnaround at Warner Bros. Pictures, with possible distribution deals in the works at both Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures. The property ultimately moved to Universal Pictures, where director Joe Dante had recently signed a two-year first-look production deal. According to the 17 Jan 1992 Screen International, Pandora Productions saved the project after funding from Sovereign Pictures fell through in Dec 1991. A 3 Mar 1994 HR article also named Woolsey International Pictures as a production company, but Falcon, Sovereign, and Woolsey are not credited onscreen.
       Photography was expected to begin in Mar 1992 on locations in Florida and Los Angeles, CA. The 2 Apr 1992 DV announced the casting of John Goodman, who would film his role between the season wrap of the television series, Roseanne (ABC, 18 Oct 1988—20 May 1997), and production of Born Yesterday (1993, see entry), which was set to begin 15 Jun 1992.
       The 21 Apr 1992 HR indicated that principal photography began 13 Apr 1992. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, most interior scenes were filmed on two sound stages at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, which included a 10,000 square-foot recreation of the Strand Theatre. Due to heavy tourism at the actual Strand location, the Cocoa Village Playhouse doubled as the venue exterior. An additional week ... More Less

A 2 Aug 1991 DV article listed the $13 million Matinee as one of several projects to be fully funded by the European-based investment company, Falcon Film Finance Ltd. However, almost two months later, the 30 Sep 1991 DV stated that the film was in turnaround at Warner Bros. Pictures, with possible distribution deals in the works at both Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures. The property ultimately moved to Universal Pictures, where director Joe Dante had recently signed a two-year first-look production deal. According to the 17 Jan 1992 Screen International, Pandora Productions saved the project after funding from Sovereign Pictures fell through in Dec 1991. A 3 Mar 1994 HR article also named Woolsey International Pictures as a production company, but Falcon, Sovereign, and Woolsey are not credited onscreen.
       Photography was expected to begin in Mar 1992 on locations in Florida and Los Angeles, CA. The 2 Apr 1992 DV announced the casting of John Goodman, who would film his role between the season wrap of the television series, Roseanne (ABC, 18 Oct 1988—20 May 1997), and production of Born Yesterday (1993, see entry), which was set to begin 15 Jun 1992.
       The 21 Apr 1992 HR indicated that principal photography began 13 Apr 1992. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, most interior scenes were filmed on two sound stages at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, which included a 10,000 square-foot recreation of the Strand Theatre. Due to heavy tourism at the actual Strand location, the Cocoa Village Playhouse doubled as the venue exterior. An additional week of exterior shooting took place in Key West, FL, with the help of hundreds of background actors, military, and the Florida National Guard. The 10 Jul 1992 HR stated that production had recently been completed.
       Before the film’s release, Jerico Stone, listed onscreen as “Jerico,” disputed his onscreen “story by” credit with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), asserting he had been the original screenwriter during the project’s development at Warner Bros. Charlie Haas, who worked with director Joe Dante on Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, see entry), was hired for revisions, and Dante told the 28 Sep 1992 LAT that only one page of Stone’s first draft remained after Haas completed rewrites.
       According to the 3 Mar 1994 HR, Stone felt he was unfairly represented during the initial WGA arbitration in late 1992 because the panel accepted Haas’s revisions from the film’s production company, Matinee, Inc., which at the time was not a signatory to the WGA contract. Insisting these revisions should not have been used as evidence in the arbitration, Stone filed a $5 million fraud lawsuit against the WGA West, as reported by the 6 Jul 1994 HR. The 20 Jul 1995 HR announced that the U.S. District judge dismissed the case because Stone did not submit the complaint until 1994, long after the six-month appeals period allowed for WGA arbitrations. Stone’s attorneys claimed the judge was wrong in this action, and pursued the case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined.
       End credits include the acknowledgments: “JFK Address to Nation and UN Stevenson/Zorin Debate courtesy of NBC News”; “Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine courtesy of Harris Comics/Harris Publications”; “Footage from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and posters for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Confessions of an Opium Eater courtesy of Warner Bros.”; “The Producers wish to thank: Gov. Lawton Chiles and Entertainment Florida and Metro Orlando Film & Television Office; Florida Space Coast Film Commission; City of Cocoa, Florida and Cocoa Village Merchants; The Citizens of Key West & Monroe County, Florida; The Department of the Navy and The Department of Defense and Naval Air Station Key West; Fighter Squadron 45; Naval Air Station North Island; Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1; Navy Office of Information, West; Florida Army National Guard, 2nd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery (Hawk); Rick Baker”; and, “Filmed entirely on location in the state of Florida and at Universal Studios Florida.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Aug 1991.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1991
p. 1, 15.
Daily Variety
2 Apr 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 1993
p. 8, 60.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1994
p. 30, 40.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1994
p. 9, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 1995.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Sep 1992
Section F, pp. 1-2.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1993
Calendar, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1993.
---
New York Times
29 Jan 1993
Section C, p. 6.
Screen International
17 Jan 1992.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1993
p. 97.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal Pictures Presents
A Renfield Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Steadicam op
Best boy elec
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Key rigging grip
Video playback provided by
Video supv
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator/Graphic artist
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed (Los Angeles)
Asst ed (Florida)
Apprentice ed (Los Angeles)
2d asst ed (Florida)
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
Leadman
Buyer
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Mechanical coord
Asst mechanical coord
Const
President
Const coord
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus ed
Score rec and mixed by
Mus copyist
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Spec sd eff
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Sd transfer
Sd eff librarian
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Dubbing rec
ADR mixer
Group ADR coord
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
ADR and foley rec at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Process compositing by
Main and end titles des and prod by
Opticals
Visual eff supv
Visual eff dir of photog
Mant/Ant des by
Ant sculptor/Painter
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Mant creature crew
Miniature eff provided by
Supv, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Supv, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Chief modelmaker, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Key mechanical des, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Pyrotechnic supv, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Key modelmaker, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Key modelmaker, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Prod coord, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Prod coord, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Asst cam, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Gaffer, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Grip, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Grip, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Grip, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Prod asst, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Stages, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
Stages, Stetson Visual Services, Inc.
"Mant" trailer titles
Opt composites
"Cave Painting" anim
"Mant" electricity anim
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod assoc
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Joe Dante & Mike Finnell
Los Angeles casting asst
Florida casting
Florida casting asst
United Kingdom casting
Dialect coach
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Extras casting
Extras coord
Transportation coord
Transportation coord (Florida)
Asst loc mgr
Key West loc mgr
Military adv
U.S. Army, Ret.
Unit pub
Craft service
Caterer
First aid
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight," written by Hugh Peretti, Albert Stanton, George Weiss, Luigi Creatore, (Based on a song by Solomon Linda and Paul Campbell), performed by The Tokens, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Loco-Motion," written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, performed by Little Eva, courtesy of Rhino Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," written by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Gene Pitney, performed by Gene Pitney, courtesy of Rhino Records/Highland Music
+
SONGS
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight," written by Hugh Peretti, Albert Stanton, George Weiss, Luigi Creatore, (Based on a song by Solomon Linda and Paul Campbell), performed by The Tokens, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Loco-Motion," written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, performed by Little Eva, courtesy of Rhino Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," written by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Gene Pitney, performed by Gene Pitney, courtesy of Rhino Records/Highland Music
"Walk, Don't Run," written by Johnny A. Smith, performed by The Challengers, courtesy of Rhino Records
"My Boyfriend's Back," written by Robert Feldman, Gerald Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, performed by The Angels, courtesy of Polygram Special Markets
"The End Of The World," written by Sylvia Dee, Arthur Kent, performed by Skeeter Davis, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Johnny Angel," written by Lee Pockriss, Lyn Duddy, performed by Shelly Fabares, courtesy of Rhino Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"The Great Pretender," written by Buck Ram, performed by The Platters, courtesy of Polygram Special Markets
"Monster Attacks From 'Creature From The Black Lagoon,'" music composed by Hans J. Salter, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Main Title From 'Son Of Dracula,'" music composed by Hans J. Salter, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Stalking The Creature From 'The Creature Walks Among Us,'" music composed by Henry Mancini, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Main Title From 'Tarantula,'" music composed by Henry Mancini, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Visitors From 'It Came From Outer Space,'" music composed by Herman Stein, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Main Title From 'Revenge Of The Creature,'" music composed by Herman Stein, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Main Title From 'This Island Earth,'" music composed by Herman Stein, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Shooting Stars From 'This Island Earth,'" music composed by Herman Stein, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs
"Winged Death from 'The Deadly Mantis,'" music composed by William Lava, courtesy of MCA Records, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 January 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 January 1993
Production Date:
13 April--early July 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA607437
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32243
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1962, teenager Gene Loomis and his younger brother, Dennis, move to Key West, Florida, when their father is deployed to work on a submarine just off the naval base. Shortly after their arrival, a televised speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces the threat of an impending nuclear attack from Cuba, and panic strikes the nation. At school, Gene and his classmates perform an air raid drill by crouching in the hallways, but an outspoken liberal named Sandra refuses to participate and warns her peers about the real dangers of radiation. Gene bonds with a boy named Stan over his love of horror films, and the two make plans to see B-movie producer Lawrence Woolsey’s latest feature, Mant, about a man who has been transformed into an ant as a result of an atomic mutation. Stan introduces Gene to his crush, Sherry, and encourages his new friend to invite a girl to the screening. Later, Gene and Stan watch as frightened townspeople swarm the grocery store frantically purchasing food to prepare for imminent nuclear destruction. Gene’s mother suggests he distract Dennis by taking him to see a light-hearted comedy film at the local movie theater. Bored, the boys walk out of the screening and encounter two men protesting Mant’s tactless subject matter. Lawrence Woolsey appears among the crowd of onlookers, having recently arrived in town to promote the picture. He hands out a stack of free passes so the citizens can decide for themselves whether or not his films should be considered objectionable. At home, Gene looks through his horror movie magazines and recognizes one ... +


In 1962, teenager Gene Loomis and his younger brother, Dennis, move to Key West, Florida, when their father is deployed to work on a submarine just off the naval base. Shortly after their arrival, a televised speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces the threat of an impending nuclear attack from Cuba, and panic strikes the nation. At school, Gene and his classmates perform an air raid drill by crouching in the hallways, but an outspoken liberal named Sandra refuses to participate and warns her peers about the real dangers of radiation. Gene bonds with a boy named Stan over his love of horror films, and the two make plans to see B-movie producer Lawrence Woolsey’s latest feature, Mant, about a man who has been transformed into an ant as a result of an atomic mutation. Stan introduces Gene to his crush, Sherry, and encourages his new friend to invite a girl to the screening. Later, Gene and Stan watch as frightened townspeople swarm the grocery store frantically purchasing food to prepare for imminent nuclear destruction. Gene’s mother suggests he distract Dennis by taking him to see a light-hearted comedy film at the local movie theater. Bored, the boys walk out of the screening and encounter two men protesting Mant’s tactless subject matter. Lawrence Woolsey appears among the crowd of onlookers, having recently arrived in town to promote the picture. He hands out a stack of free passes so the citizens can decide for themselves whether or not his films should be considered objectionable. At home, Gene looks through his horror movie magazines and recognizes one of the protesters as Herb Denning, a minor player in Woolsey’s pictures. The next morning, the seemingly wholesome Sherry tells Stan about her former relationship with older delinquent Harvey Starkweather. Seeing Sherry with Stan, Harvey corners the boy and threatens him if he pursues the relationship. Meanwhile, Gene strikes up an awkward conversation with Sandra, who received a week of detention for acting out during the air raid drill. After school, Gene asks Woolsey about Herb Denning, and the filmmaker explains he hired him to stir up interest in the movie, never expecting he would be recognized. In preparation for the screening, Woolsey outfits the theater with electric buzzers, smoke machines, and earthquake simulators, hoping his “AtomoVision” and “RumbleRama” experience will exploit the heightened sense of fear gripping the audience. That night, Stan makes up an excuse to cancel his date with Sherry, but Sherry’s younger brother blackmails her into seeing Mant with him instead. On Saturday afternoon, Gene, Dennis, and Stan join the long line outside the theater. When Sherry arrives with her brother and sees Stan with his friends, she reprimands him for lying to her. Inside, Woolsey’s muse, Ruth Corday, poses as a nurse and forces the attendees to sign liability agreements, warning that the film may “scare them to death.” Gene sees Sandra across the lobby and offers to sit with her, while Harvey Starkweather is recruited to control the special effects switchboard during the screening. Once the film starts, theater chain owner Mr. Spector watches in delight as the gimmicky effects cause the audience to scream. Gene runs into Sherry in the lobby and explains Stan’s evasiveness, which prompts Sherry to apologize. During a particularly scary scene, Harvey sneaks into the theater wearing a “Mant” suit and terrorizes the audience, but becomes enraged when he sees Stan and Sherry kissing. Harvey attacks Stan and flees, but the children chase him downstairs to the basement and find the paranoid theater manager’s fully equipped fallout shelter. Gene unknowingly activates the door, which locks before he and Sandra can escape. Hearing the thundering effects of the film upstairs, the two mistakenly believe an atomic bomb has already been dropped and fear they are the only survivors responsible for carrying on the human race. They kiss, but are interrupted when Woolsey, Gene’s mother, and Sandra’s parents break down the door. As part of his costumed performance as “Mant,” Harvey grabs Ruth Corday and drags her out of the theater holding a knife at her throat. Backstage, he demands compensation for the job and kidnaps Sherry. During the climactic scene of Mant, Woolsey and Gene notice the upper balcony is about to collapse, but the audience is convinced the world is ending and quickly scrambles to get out of the theater before disaster strikes. Dennis, however, remains trapped upstairs as the balcony detaches from the wall. Gene runs to help, and slowly coaxes his brother to safety. Outside, police arrest Harvey, and Sherry kisses Stan. When the audience realizes they have not been bombed, they delight in the experience and demand to see the film again, unaware the venue has been destroyed. Mr. Spector congratulates Woolsey on his success and eagerly begins brainstorming ideas for their next sensationalist picture. Sometime later, the Loomis family is relieved to learn that the Cuban Missile Crisis has ended and their father will soon return. Gene and Sandra say goodbye to Woolsey and Ruth, who drive to their next opening in Cleveland, Ohio. +

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

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