Happy Mother's Day...Love, George (1973)

PG | 90 mins | Drama | August 1973

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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Happy Mother's Day and Mother's Day . The viewed print bore the title Run Stranger Run , which, according to Filmfacts , became its title after its unsuccessful Manhattan premiere. Subsequent to the premiere, Happy Mother's Day...Love, George was withdrawn from distribution, then was exhibited for a brief period under the title Run Stranger Run before being sold to television. Although onscreen credits contained a copyright statement for Taurean Films, S A., the film was not registered for copyright until 13 Jun 1980, at which time it was assigned the number PA-71-103. According to a Jan 1973 Var news item, the film was the first production of Taurean Films, S. A., a production company owned by Darren McGavin and Swiss banker Hans Ulrich Rinderknecht. Although the company had planned to make two more features, they were never produced.
       McGavin's onscreen credit reads "produced and directed by." Happy Mother's Day...Love, George marked McGavin's theatrical film directorial debut. Kathie Browne, who appeared as "Crystal," was McGavin's wife. The film marked the film debut of Tessa Dahl, the real-life daughter of Patricia Neal, who portrayed her mother in the film, and British author Roald Rahl. Happy Mother's Day...Love George marked the last screen appearance of singer-actor Bobby Darin (1936--1973), who died on 20 Dec 1973 following open heart surgery. According to Filmfacts , location filming was done in Nova Scotia, Canada. According to the Var review, due to poor editing, some of the actors credited onscreen, like Thayer David, aren't actually in ... More Less

The film's working titles were Happy Mother's Day and Mother's Day . The viewed print bore the title Run Stranger Run , which, according to Filmfacts , became its title after its unsuccessful Manhattan premiere. Subsequent to the premiere, Happy Mother's Day...Love, George was withdrawn from distribution, then was exhibited for a brief period under the title Run Stranger Run before being sold to television. Although onscreen credits contained a copyright statement for Taurean Films, S A., the film was not registered for copyright until 13 Jun 1980, at which time it was assigned the number PA-71-103. According to a Jan 1973 Var news item, the film was the first production of Taurean Films, S. A., a production company owned by Darren McGavin and Swiss banker Hans Ulrich Rinderknecht. Although the company had planned to make two more features, they were never produced.
       McGavin's onscreen credit reads "produced and directed by." Happy Mother's Day...Love, George marked McGavin's theatrical film directorial debut. Kathie Browne, who appeared as "Crystal," was McGavin's wife. The film marked the film debut of Tessa Dahl, the real-life daughter of Patricia Neal, who portrayed her mother in the film, and British author Roald Rahl. Happy Mother's Day...Love George marked the last screen appearance of singer-actor Bobby Darin (1936--1973), who died on 20 Dec 1973 following open heart surgery. According to Filmfacts , location filming was done in Nova Scotia, Canada. According to the Var review, due to poor editing, some of the actors credited onscreen, like Thayer David, aren't actually in the film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Sep 1973
p. 4622.
Box Office
25 Feb 1974.
---
Daily Variety
22 Mar 1973.
---
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1973.
---
Filmfacts
1973
pp. 17-19.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1972
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1973
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1973.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Aug 1973.
---
New York
20 Aug 1973.
---
New York Times
18 Aug 1973.
---
Variety
25 Oct 1972.
---
Variety
24 Jan 1973.
---
Variety
22 Aug 1973
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
Orig scr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Still photog
Chief elec
Key grip
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Props
COSTUMES
Cost des
Miss Browne's cost des
Mr. Mascolo's cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opt eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod coord
Scr supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"A Man Can Be a Very Lonely Thing," words and music by Don Vincent, sung by Mike Martsolf.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Run, Stranger, Run
Happy Mother's Day
Mother's Day
Release Date:
August 1973
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 August 1973
Production Date:
early October 1972--late February 1973 in Novembera Scotia, Canada
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Canada, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Soon after arriving at a fishing village in New England, teenage Johnny goes to Ronda’s café, where he timidly sits at a table. When Ronda Carlson comes to take his order, he asks her name, and when she replies, he abruptly departs. Shaken, Ronda returns to the kitchen where Eddie, her cook and lover, asks if that was him and she nods her head yes. From the café, Johnny walks to a residential neighborhood and sits outside one of the houses. The house belongs to Ronda’s sister Cara, and when Cara’s daughter Celia comes outside to fetch the morning paper, she sees Johnny and smiles. Noticing her daughter’s interest in the young stranger, the cantankerous Cara upbraids Celia, then turns her anger on her son Porgie, and later abuses Porgie’s wife Yolanda, whom Cara considers a tramp. The sexually precocious Celia watches Johnny from an attic window, and when she notices him enter the garage to return a lost kitten to its mother, she follows him there. However, when Celia eagerly runs back to the house to get Johnny a beer, he seizes the opportunity to sneak away from her. As Johnny walks down the road, Roy, the town’s police chief, pulls him over and takes him to the police station for questioning. After Roy frisks Johnny, he finds several letters, and when Johnny demands their return, Roy explains that the town is on edge because several people have disappeared over the last few months and it is therefore his obligation to question every stranger. Upon reading the letters, Roy discovers that Johnny is the son Ronda gave away ... +


Soon after arriving at a fishing village in New England, teenage Johnny goes to Ronda’s café, where he timidly sits at a table. When Ronda Carlson comes to take his order, he asks her name, and when she replies, he abruptly departs. Shaken, Ronda returns to the kitchen where Eddie, her cook and lover, asks if that was him and she nods her head yes. From the café, Johnny walks to a residential neighborhood and sits outside one of the houses. The house belongs to Ronda’s sister Cara, and when Cara’s daughter Celia comes outside to fetch the morning paper, she sees Johnny and smiles. Noticing her daughter’s interest in the young stranger, the cantankerous Cara upbraids Celia, then turns her anger on her son Porgie, and later abuses Porgie’s wife Yolanda, whom Cara considers a tramp. The sexually precocious Celia watches Johnny from an attic window, and when she notices him enter the garage to return a lost kitten to its mother, she follows him there. However, when Celia eagerly runs back to the house to get Johnny a beer, he seizes the opportunity to sneak away from her. As Johnny walks down the road, Roy, the town’s police chief, pulls him over and takes him to the police station for questioning. After Roy frisks Johnny, he finds several letters, and when Johnny demands their return, Roy explains that the town is on edge because several people have disappeared over the last few months and it is therefore his obligation to question every stranger. Upon reading the letters, Roy discovers that Johnny is the son Ronda gave away years earlier. Johnny then informs Roy that he has come to town to learn his father’s identity, but Roy warns him not to unearth old secrets. After Roy releases him, Johnny walks past Cara’s house and Celia beckons him inside, then pulls him into the attic. From the attic window, Celia spies on her womanizing neighbor Piccolo as he seduces Crystal, his married mistress in the garden. Celia then turns to Johnny and tries to seduce him, but he is not interested. Johnny tells Celia that he discovered Ronda was his mother when he found some letters she had sent to Johnny’s foster parents. Stating that Cara is Ronda’s estranged sister, Celia takes Johnny into her late father’s office and shows him some old family photos of her father, who died before she was born. When Cara returns home, Celia locks Johnny in the office, but he escapes through a window later that night. Meanwhile, at the café, Eddie demands to know if Ronda intends to allow Johnny to live there. When Ronda answers yes, Eddie, intolerant of the situation, takes his pay and announces that he is leaving Ronda. Finding Johnny outside, Eddie beats him in anger. Hearing noises, Ronda hurries outside and, finding the bloodied Johnny, helps him into her house. There Johnny sees that Ronda has tacked his baby and boyhood pictures onto the wall, and Ronda confesses her regret over giving him up as a baby. Johnny demands to know who his father was, and when Ronda refuses to tell him, he leaves. Johnny attends church that Sunday, and afterward, Cara’s gossipy neighbor, Florence, invites him to have some fresh baked bread at her house. As they sit at the table, Florence reveals that Cara and Ronda have not spoken since the day that Cara’s husband George was stabbed and murdered in his front yard. Later, Porgie visits his sympathetic aunt Ronda, who reveals that Johnny is her son and asks him to pass the information to Cara. Porgie, who has been continually disparaged by his mother, suggest that Ronda tell her herself. Celia, meanwhile, has continued to spy on Piccolo and Crystal through the attic window, from which she throws a paper airplane containing a message to meet her at the summerhouse that afternoon. Crystal, who is amused by Celia’s infatuation with Piccolo, insists that he attend and accompanies him there, waiting outside as he goes in to keep his rendezvous. When Piccolo fails to reappear, Crystal enters and finds Piccolo’s dead body lying on the floor. Panicked, Crystal tries to run out the door, and finding it locked, races from room to room, looking for an escape. After discovering another dead body in the bathtub, Crystal turns to see Celia standing in the hallway with a cleaver in her hand. Terrified, Crystal jumps out a window and falls to her death. Meanwhile, as Porgie and his friend Bomber troll the waters for fish, their net pulls up a dead body. That night, Johnny visits Ronda and demands to know his father’s name. As Johnny leafs through some old photo albums, Ronda informs him that his father is dead. Finding a clipping about his father in the album, Johnny snatches it and runs to Cara’s house, where he confronts Cara and announces that he knows that her husband George was his father. Upon returning home, Celia goes to the kitchen, extracts a knife from the drawer, then eavesdrops from the hallway as Cara admits that upon discovering that George had an affair with her sister, she stabbed her stomach with a knife to abort her unborn fetus. The baby, Celia, survived, but was born mentally deranged. Cara then admits to stabbing and killing George in a jealous rage. Offering to give Johnny George’s watches and rings, Cara goes upstairs to her bedroom to retrieve them. As Johnny waits in the living room, he hears Cara scream, and sees Celia running down the stairs. Rushing into Cara’s bedroom, Johnny finds that she has been stabbed in the throat with a knife. Johnny nervously paces the hallways in search of Celia, and when he walks out the door, she assaults him with the knife and they struggle for possession of the weapon. The next morning, Celia is locked in the police car as Johnny hitches a ride out of town. +

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

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