True Colors (1991)

R | 112 mins | Drama | 15 March 1991

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Kevin Wade

Cinematographer:

Dante Spinotti

Production Designer:

Edward Pisoni

Production Company:

Laurence Mark Productions
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HISTORY

On 17 Nov 1989, the NYT announced that director Herbert Ross planned to begin filming True Colors in early 1990. According to a 28 Feb 1990 HR news item, filming was scheduled to occur in March at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, as well as in Richmond, VA, and Washington, D.C. Principal photography on the $20 million picture ultimately began 19 Mar 1990. A 27 Mar 1990 HR production chart indicated that Annapolis, MD, and Big Sky, MT, also served as locations.
       Although a 28 Mar 1990 HR news brief stated that the film would be released in the fall, True Colors did not open theatrically until the week of 15 Mar 1991. Various contemporary reviews faulted the film for failing to portray the 1980s in a measured and informative way. However, critics agreed that actors John Cusack and James Spader delivered strong performances.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special thanks to: Big Sky Resort, Montana; Virginia Film Office; University of Virginia; The Jerome J. Parks Companies, Chesapeake Harbour, Inc.; Chesapeake Harbour Marina, Inc.; Lighting and grip equipment supplied by Ferco; Arctic Cat Snowmobiles furnished by Arctco, ... More Less

On 17 Nov 1989, the NYT announced that director Herbert Ross planned to begin filming True Colors in early 1990. According to a 28 Feb 1990 HR news item, filming was scheduled to occur in March at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, as well as in Richmond, VA, and Washington, D.C. Principal photography on the $20 million picture ultimately began 19 Mar 1990. A 27 Mar 1990 HR production chart indicated that Annapolis, MD, and Big Sky, MT, also served as locations.
       Although a 28 Mar 1990 HR news brief stated that the film would be released in the fall, True Colors did not open theatrically until the week of 15 Mar 1991. Various contemporary reviews faulted the film for failing to portray the 1980s in a measured and informative way. However, critics agreed that actors John Cusack and James Spader delivered strong performances.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special thanks to: Big Sky Resort, Montana; Virginia Film Office; University of Virginia; The Jerome J. Parks Companies, Chesapeake Harbour, Inc.; Chesapeake Harbour Marina, Inc.; Lighting and grip equipment supplied by Ferco; Arctic Cat Snowmobiles furnished by Arctco, Inc.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1991
p. 10, 22.
Los Angeles Times
15 Mar 1991
p. 14.
New York Times
17 Nov 1989.
---
New York Times
15 Mar 1991
Section C, p. 19.
Variety
18 Mar 1991
p. 82.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures presents
a Laurence Mark production
a Hebert Ross film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Chief rigging elec
Asst chief lighting tech
1st company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Video segment prod/Ed
24-frame video eng
Projectionist
Ski action cine by
Unit cam, Warren Miller Entertainment
Unit cam, Warren Miller Entertainment
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed by
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Lead person
Prop master
Asst prop master
Scenic chargeperson
Standby scenic artist
Const coord
Const foreperson
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus consultant
Mus consultant
Mus advisor
Mus cond by/Supv mus ed
Mus scoring consultant
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Mixer
Boom person
Utility sd person
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Foley artist
Asst ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles by
Opticals by
Electronic graphics des by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Asst to Mr. Mark
Asst to Mr. Ross
Asst to Mr. Caracciolo
Secy to Mr. Ross
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Montana loc mgr
Extras casting
Casting asst
Principal casting assoc
Principal casting assoc
Post prod asst
Dialect coach
Addl dialect coaching
Accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Craft service
Unit prod, Warren Miller Entertainment
Unit asst prod, Warren Miller Entertainment
Unit casting, Warren Miller Entertainment
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Key stunt skier
Key stunt skiers
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Sweet Dreams,” by Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart, performed by Eurhythmics, courtesy of RCA Records, Cassettes & CD's
“Unscrupulous Scrooge,” by Walter Scharf
“The Twelve Days Of Christmas,” arranged by Bob Bornstein
+
SONGS
“Sweet Dreams,” by Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart, performed by Eurhythmics, courtesy of RCA Records, Cassettes & CD's
“Unscrupulous Scrooge,” by Walter Scharf
“The Twelve Days Of Christmas,” arranged by Bob Bornstein
“I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” by Daryl Hall, John Oates & Sara Allen, performed by Daryl Hall & John Oates, courtesy of RCA Records, Cassettes & CD's
“I Hear Music,” by Frank Loesser & Burton Lane
“Isn’t It Romantic,” by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
“It Had To Be You,” by Gus Kahn & Isham Jones, “Call Me Irresponsible,” by Sammy Cahn & James Van Heusen, “In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening,” by Johnny Mercer & Hoagy Carmichael
“Freeze Frame,” by Peter Wolf & Seth Justman, performed by J. Geils Band, courtesy of EMI, a division of Capital Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“Too Far Too Fast,” by Paul Chiten & Michael Des Barres, performed by The Heat
“Middle Of The Road,” by Chrissie Hynde, performed by The Pretenders, courtesy of Sire Records, WEA Records Ltd., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Heat Of The Night,” written & performed by Steve Caton
“Symphony No. 7 In E Major,” by Anton Bruckner, performed by Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, courtesy of Denon Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” by John S. Smith & Francis S. Key, performed by The Goldman Band, courtesy of MCA Records
“Straighten Out The Rug,” by Paul Hudson
“Happy Ever After,” written and performed by Julia Fordham, courtesy of Virgin Records, Ltd.
“The Nearness Of You,” by Hoagy Carmichael & Ned Washington
“Happy Days Are Here Again,” by Jack Yellen & Milton Ager
“News Logo Music,” by Gary Anderson
“Fanfare,” by Michael Lang.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 March 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 March 1991
Production Date:
began 19 March 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
9 April 1991
Copyright Number:
PA515850
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
112
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30016
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1983, aspiring lawyers Peter Burton and Tim Garrity arrive at the University of Virginia Law School to begin the academic year. Vying for the same parking space, their cars collide. The two young men begin yelling at each other, but other students break up the fight. Later, Tim and Peter are dismayed to discover they share a dorm room. When Peter apologizes for the earlier misunderstanding, Tim asks why he acted so belligerently. Peter claims he had to create “reasonable doubt” over who was at fault. Tim laughs at his roommate’s posturing. Over the course of the semester, the two become fast friends. During Christmas break, Tim travels to Connecticut to spend time with his girl friend, Diana Stiles. Aware that Diana is the daughter of a prominent U.S. senator, Peter suggests they all meet up for New Year’s Eve. Tim agrees and asks what his friend has planned for Christmas. Although Peter tells Tim he is going to London, England, he remains on campus and spends time reading about the Stiles family. On New Year’s Eve, he drives to the Stiles’ mansion. En route, he stops in a rundown neighborhood in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he gazes at a dilapidated apartment building. However, he does not get out of his car. Later, at the Stiles’ black-tie party, Peter introduces himself to Senator Stiles. When the senator’s daughter, Diana, asks Peter if her father’s friends impress him, he admits his envy. At midnight, Peter, Diana, and Tim drink champagne and make resolutions. Peter pledges to win election to office within ten years. Just then, Diana and Tim suggest going to a low-class bar in Bridgeport. Peter protests, but his ... +


In 1983, aspiring lawyers Peter Burton and Tim Garrity arrive at the University of Virginia Law School to begin the academic year. Vying for the same parking space, their cars collide. The two young men begin yelling at each other, but other students break up the fight. Later, Tim and Peter are dismayed to discover they share a dorm room. When Peter apologizes for the earlier misunderstanding, Tim asks why he acted so belligerently. Peter claims he had to create “reasonable doubt” over who was at fault. Tim laughs at his roommate’s posturing. Over the course of the semester, the two become fast friends. During Christmas break, Tim travels to Connecticut to spend time with his girl friend, Diana Stiles. Aware that Diana is the daughter of a prominent U.S. senator, Peter suggests they all meet up for New Year’s Eve. Tim agrees and asks what his friend has planned for Christmas. Although Peter tells Tim he is going to London, England, he remains on campus and spends time reading about the Stiles family. On New Year’s Eve, he drives to the Stiles’ mansion. En route, he stops in a rundown neighborhood in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he gazes at a dilapidated apartment building. However, he does not get out of his car. Later, at the Stiles’ black-tie party, Peter introduces himself to Senator Stiles. When the senator’s daughter, Diana, asks Peter if her father’s friends impress him, he admits his envy. At midnight, Peter, Diana, and Tim drink champagne and make resolutions. Peter pledges to win election to office within ten years. Just then, Diana and Tim suggest going to a low-class bar in Bridgeport. Peter protests, but his friends insist. At the bar, Peter is welcomed “home” by an old friend. Embarrassed by the revelation that he grew up in a poor neighborhood, Peter walks out of the bar. Tim follows and says he would never judge someone based on social class. Several months later, Peter and Tim embark on summer internships in Washington, D.C. Peter displays ruthless ambition as a campaign aide for Senator Stiles, shocking Tim, who seeks a position in the Department of Justice. However, Tim remains a loyal friend, even when Peter announces his intention to quit law school and stay in the capital. When Tim shares the news of his breakup with Diana, Peter is sympathetic. Sometime later, at one of Senator Stiles’ campaign dinners, Peter and Diana flirt, and he challenges her to become his lover. While on a ski trip, Peter informs Tim about his ongoing romance with Diana. He expresses a desire to marry her, angering Tim, who takes off down an extremely steep ski slope. Peter follows his friend down the mountain, but loses control and careens over a cliff, injuring himself. Wracked with guilt, Tim apologizes for his behavior, before agreeing to be Peter’s best man. After the wedding, Peter and Diana look at an expensive house on Long Island Sound. John Palmieri, a real estate developer, flatters Peter by proposing to someday fund the young politician’s bid for office. He suggests financing the house with campaign resources. Peter is astounded by the generous offer, but Diana does not trust Palmieri. She cautions her husband against getting involved in the man’s development projects. A few weeks later, Peter takes Tim, now an attorney for the Department of Justice, to the Super Bowl. During the football game, Peter, on behalf of Palmieri, asks his friend to investigate a company called New Hampton Development. He also confides that his relationship with Diana has become strained, and he feels trapped as Senator Stiles’ administrative aide. Tim believes his friend complains too much. A few weeks later, Peter asks Senator Stiles to support his bid for office. The proposal hinges on the elder man’s impending retirement. The senator is insulted by the request, and rejects his son-in-law. Peter later expresses his frustrations to Palmieri. The developer muses that, in appreciation for prompting the justice department’s inquiry into New Hampton Development, he and his associates could fund Peter’s campaign. Knowing that Tim’s investigation was a failure, Peter sees little value in the offer. Palmieri insists that Peter is missing the point: Regardless of the outcome, if word of an investigation leaks to the press, New Hampton Development will surely lose their bid on a large Bridgeport project. Peter realizes he has put Tim in a predicament. When Tim is suspended from the Department of Justice, Peter and Diana invite their friend to dinner. Diana deduces that Palmieri manipulated her husband, and Tim, to secure a contract for his own company. She is shocked when Peter maintains Palmieri’s innocence. The next day, Peter prepares to announce his bid for a congressional seat. However, Senator Stiles arrives and accuses Peter of being a ruthless blackmailer. Diana walks out on her husband. Tim reprimands his friend, before returning home and confirming his suspicions: Peter’s relationship with Palmieri led to the justice department’s unwarranted investigation of New Hampton Development. Tim meets with his superiors and proposes working undercover on Peter’s campaign to learn more about Palmieri. After a few weeks on the campaign trail, Tim arranges to meet with Palmieri, and goes to the meeting wearing a “wire” to record their conversation. Peter wins the election. After the victory party, Tim informs his friend that the Department of Justice has arraigned Palmieri. Peter argues there is not enough evidence linking him to Palmieri, but Tim reveals he has recorded their conversation. Later, Peter gives a rousing acceptance speech, but he is forced to renounce the congressional seat. He receives immunity from prosecution when he agrees to testify against Palmieri. Sometime later, Peter delivers a case of champagne to Tim, and the two friends agree to put the past behind them. +

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

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