3 in the Attic (1968)

R | 91 mins | Comedy-drama | December 1968

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HISTORY

3 in the Attic marked Stephen H. Yafa’s screenwriting debut. Originally titled Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course, the screenplay won Yafa a “Best New Writer” award from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), as noted in the 22 Jan 1968 DV. The script was later novelized under the title Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course, and published by J. B. Lippincott & Co. (Philadelphia, 1968).
       An item in the 24 Nov 1967 LAT announced that American International Pictures (AIP) and producer-director Richard Wilson’s Hermes Productions would co-produce 3 in the Attic, which would begin shooting in early 1968. Two months later, the casting of Christopher Jones in the lead role of “Paxton Quigley” was reported in the 22 Jan 1968 DV. On 21 Feb 1968, a DV brief stated that principal photography would begin on 26 Feb 1968 at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, NC. A production chart in the 1 Mar 1968 DV confirmed that start date.
       While in Chapel Hill, producers coordinated with UNC’s film department to provide “open sets, lectures, specialty classes, [and] debates,” as a show of thanks for the school’s cooperation, according to an 18 Mar 1968 DV item. Richard Wilson, Christopher Jones, actress Yvette Mimieux, film editor Richard C. Meyer, and gaffer Milton Moshlak were said to have participated in the program. Several months after the shoot had been completed, the 4 Nov 1968 DV reported lingering rumors that the filmmakers had brought “California money” into North Carolina in an effort to influence a local election.
       On ... More Less

3 in the Attic marked Stephen H. Yafa’s screenwriting debut. Originally titled Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course, the screenplay won Yafa a “Best New Writer” award from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), as noted in the 22 Jan 1968 DV. The script was later novelized under the title Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course, and published by J. B. Lippincott & Co. (Philadelphia, 1968).
       An item in the 24 Nov 1967 LAT announced that American International Pictures (AIP) and producer-director Richard Wilson’s Hermes Productions would co-produce 3 in the Attic, which would begin shooting in early 1968. Two months later, the casting of Christopher Jones in the lead role of “Paxton Quigley” was reported in the 22 Jan 1968 DV. On 21 Feb 1968, a DV brief stated that principal photography would begin on 26 Feb 1968 at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, NC. A production chart in the 1 Mar 1968 DV confirmed that start date.
       While in Chapel Hill, producers coordinated with UNC’s film department to provide “open sets, lectures, specialty classes, [and] debates,” as a show of thanks for the school’s cooperation, according to an 18 Mar 1968 DV item. Richard Wilson, Christopher Jones, actress Yvette Mimieux, film editor Richard C. Meyer, and gaffer Milton Moshlak were said to have participated in the program. Several months after the shoot had been completed, the 4 Nov 1968 DV reported lingering rumors that the filmmakers had brought “California money” into North Carolina in an effort to influence a local election.
       On 1 Apr 1968, DV stated that cast and crew had recently returned to Los Angeles, CA, after shooting at UNC for five weeks. Shortly after, the 18 Apr 1968 LAT noted that Jones, who had earned a “bad boy” reputation as the star of the television program The Legend of Jesse James (ABC, 13 Sep 1965—5 Sep 1966), was rewarded for his good behavior on 3 in the Attic with a “two-week, all-expenses paid vacation in New York.”
       Dick Newman was named as the unit publicist in a 23 Feb 1968 DV item. DV casting announcements published between 5 Mar 1968 and 10 Apr 1968 listed the following actors as cast members: Lyn Clark; Patrick Ryenn; Gwen Lindahl; and Susanne Deas.
       A world premiere was initially scheduled to take place in early Jun 1968 at the Hemisfilm 68 festival, part of the 1968 World’s Fair (a.k.a. Hemisfair 68) in San Antonio, TX, as noted in the 1 May 1968 Var. However, the premiere was delayed until 20 Dec 1968, when the film was set to debut at Chicago, IL’s Oriental Theatre, according to the 25 Oct 1968 DV. That same week, the picture was also released in Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, MN; Eugene, OR; and Toronto, Canada, the 6 Feb 1969 DV reported. Following the Los Angeles opening on 31 Jan 1969, and the New York City debut on 26 Feb 1969, a soundtrack was set to be released by Tower Records on 1 Mar 1969, according to the 17 Feb 1969 DV.
       In a negative review published on 20 Dec 1968, DV claimed that screenwriter Stephen H. Yafa had “disowned” the picture, which was described as a “crudely made sexploitationer” with poor technical elements, especially sound quality. The 27 Feb 1969 NYT review dismissed the film as “stale,” and pointed out that, of Jones’s three love interests, African American actress Judy Pace was hardly ever shown kissing him, an oddity that suggested filmmakers were averse to interracial kissing scenes. Regardless of critical backlash, 3 in the Attic went on to become AIP’s most successful picture, to date, as noted in the 30 Jul 1969 Var. By spring 1969, a 30 Apr 1969 Var box-office chart reported a cumulative domestic gross in select U.S. markets of $2,132,040. The 5 Feb 1969 Var stated that Yvette Mimieux was poised to benefit from the film’s commercial success, since she owned ten percent of the picture.
       On 14 Jan 1970, DV announced that AIP would make a “titular sequel,” also set on a college campus, titled Three in the Cellar. The follow-up, which also starred Judy Pace, was released as Up in the Cellar in 1970 (see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Dec 1967
p. 8.
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1968
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1968
p. 11.
Daily Variety
23 Feb 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1968
p. 8.
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Mar 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Oct 1968
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Dec 1968
p. 3, 26.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Feb 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
24 Nov 1967
Section E, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
19 Dec 1967
Section D, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
5 Mar 1968
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
18 Apr 1968
Section D, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1969
Section G, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1969
Section G, p. 9.
New York Times
27 Feb 1969
p. 36.
Variety
10 Apr 1968
p. 17.
Variety
1 May 1968
p. 17.
Variety
5 Feb 1969
p. 24.
Variety
30 Apr 1969
p. 13.
Variety
30 Jul 1969
p. 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Prod assoc
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Paxton Quigley's Had the Course by Stephen H. Yafa (Philadelphia, 1967).
SONGS
"Paxton Quigley's Had the Course," music and lyrics by Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, sung by Chad and Jeremy.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Paxton Quigley's Had the Course
Release Date:
December 1968
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Chicago: 20 December 1968 at the Oriental Theatre
Los Angeles opening: 31 January 1969
New York opening: 26 February 1969
Production Date:
began 26 February 1968
Copyright Claimant:
American International Productions
Copyright Date:
25 December 1968
Copyright Number:
LP36733
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
21987
SYNOPSIS

At a college dance Paxton Quigley, who likes to regale his fraternity brothers with stories of his sexual prowess, meets Tobey Clinton, a pretty student from the nearby college for women. Despite his reluctance to commit himself to any one girl, Paxton falls in love with Tobey and spends his summer vacation with her. Though their idyllic romance is cut short by the arrival of Tobey's parents, they resume their affair when classes begin again in the fall. Still unwilling to be tied down, Paxton falls victim to Eulice, an attractive black art student who seduces him and persuades him to pose for her in the nude. Before long, Paxton extends his favors to a third girl, Jan, a Jewish flower child. By adhering to an intricate time schedule, he keeps each girl convinced that she is his only love. In time, however, the girls discover his deception, and they plot to teach him a lesson. Locking him in an attic, they individually visit him daily in a combined effort to sap, and then destroy, his sexual appetite. Paxton enjoys himself at first, but he soon admits defeat and begs to be released. He goes on a hunger strike, but the girls continue to make their daily visits to the attic. Eventually, Eulice and Jan weaken in their resolve, despite Tobey's demand that he be kept a hostage until he explains his behavior. Too weak to walk when he is finally released, he collapses in the girls' dormitory and is hospitalized. While recovering, he realizes that Tobey's action was only a measure of the love she has for him; and, once he is discharged, he allows Eulice to drive ... +


At a college dance Paxton Quigley, who likes to regale his fraternity brothers with stories of his sexual prowess, meets Tobey Clinton, a pretty student from the nearby college for women. Despite his reluctance to commit himself to any one girl, Paxton falls in love with Tobey and spends his summer vacation with her. Though their idyllic romance is cut short by the arrival of Tobey's parents, they resume their affair when classes begin again in the fall. Still unwilling to be tied down, Paxton falls victim to Eulice, an attractive black art student who seduces him and persuades him to pose for her in the nude. Before long, Paxton extends his favors to a third girl, Jan, a Jewish flower child. By adhering to an intricate time schedule, he keeps each girl convinced that she is his only love. In time, however, the girls discover his deception, and they plot to teach him a lesson. Locking him in an attic, they individually visit him daily in a combined effort to sap, and then destroy, his sexual appetite. Paxton enjoys himself at first, but he soon admits defeat and begs to be released. He goes on a hunger strike, but the girls continue to make their daily visits to the attic. Eventually, Eulice and Jan weaken in their resolve, despite Tobey's demand that he be kept a hostage until he explains his behavior. Too weak to walk when he is finally released, he collapses in the girls' dormitory and is hospitalized. While recovering, he realizes that Tobey's action was only a measure of the love she has for him; and, once he is discharged, he allows Eulice to drive him to the bus station in the hope of stopping the departing Tobey. No longer caring about his big-man-on-campus reputation, Paxton takes the willing Tobey in his arms and wins her forgiveness. +

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

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