Resurrection (1980)

PG | 103 mins | Drama, Fantasy | 7 November 1980

Director:

Daniel Petrie

Cinematographers:

Mario Tosi, Lucien Ballard

Editor:

Rita Roland

Production Designer:

Paul Sylbert

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

The following acknowledgement appears in the end credits: “The Producers wish to thank the people of Shiner, Texas, for their cooperation during the production of this film.”
       A news item in the 20 Aug 1976 DV announced that writer Stephen Geller had penned a supernatural thriller screenplay under the working title The Resurrection, based on an idea by producers Renée Missel and Howard Rosenman. The picture would be filmed in Jerusalem, Israel; Rome, Italy; Montreal, Canada; and Los Angeles, CA. However, Geller did not remain with the project and did not receive onscreen credit.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer Lewis John Carlino worked closely with actress Ellen Burstyn at her home in New York City, and they observed healing centers together. Burstyn and Carlino also consulted with a healer named Rev. Rosalyn Bruyère, whose five years of research at UCLA was invaluable as a technical advisor, during filming. In his screenplay, Carlino was able to weave many of Burstyn’s beliefs and philosophy about healing into her character, “Edna Mae.”
       Casting agents Shari Rhodes and Liz Kiegley, located in San Antonio, TX, recruited local farmers to play Burstyn’s friends, neighbors and family for greater authenticity.
       A 29 Jan 1979 DV brief stated that principal photography began the same day in LA, and another brief in the 12 Feb 1979 DV announced that filming would move to various TX locations on 24 Feb 1979. An 8 Oct 1980 LAT article stated that the picture’s budget was $6 million.
       Production notes stated that since the state of KS was experiencing inclement weather ... More Less

The following acknowledgement appears in the end credits: “The Producers wish to thank the people of Shiner, Texas, for their cooperation during the production of this film.”
       A news item in the 20 Aug 1976 DV announced that writer Stephen Geller had penned a supernatural thriller screenplay under the working title The Resurrection, based on an idea by producers Renée Missel and Howard Rosenman. The picture would be filmed in Jerusalem, Israel; Rome, Italy; Montreal, Canada; and Los Angeles, CA. However, Geller did not remain with the project and did not receive onscreen credit.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer Lewis John Carlino worked closely with actress Ellen Burstyn at her home in New York City, and they observed healing centers together. Burstyn and Carlino also consulted with a healer named Rev. Rosalyn Bruyère, whose five years of research at UCLA was invaluable as a technical advisor, during filming. In his screenplay, Carlino was able to weave many of Burstyn’s beliefs and philosophy about healing into her character, “Edna Mae.”
       Casting agents Shari Rhodes and Liz Kiegley, located in San Antonio, TX, recruited local farmers to play Burstyn’s friends, neighbors and family for greater authenticity.
       A 29 Jan 1979 DV brief stated that principal photography began the same day in LA, and another brief in the 12 Feb 1979 DV announced that filming would move to various TX locations on 24 Feb 1979. An 8 Oct 1980 LAT article stated that the picture’s budget was $6 million.
       Production notes stated that since the state of KS was experiencing inclement weather at the time of principal photography, filming was done on location in TX. Production designer Paul Sylbert was responsible for converting a seventy-five-year-old abandoned farmhouse near Shiner, TX, while adding a second story, as well as a bunkhouse and a barn, which was used for sequences involving Edna Mae’s family home.
       A 24 Nov 1980 LAHExam article reported that at a screening of the film at New York City’s New School of Social Research course titled “Filmmakers on Filmmaking,” Burstyn described how a fly landed on her wiggling toe. According to Burstyn, the “fly wranglers” froze the insect and played it in position. During shooting, the hot lights revived the fly, which then flew away as needed. The wranglers kept additional frozen flies available in case they were needed.
       A brief in the 25 Apr 1979 HR stated that principal photography was completed that day. A decision by Universal Pictures executives to restructure the existing promotional campaign delayed the movie’s opening in LA, according to the 8 Oct 1980 LAT. The picture opened in 420 theaters on 26 Sep 1980 in the Southeast, the South, and the Midwest, blanketing the “Bible Belt” region of the U. S. to disappointing results. A new strategy would debut the picture in one notable theater in each city, the same approach used for art films. The picture would open in Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; and New York City on 7 Nov 1980 with the new advertising campaign. According to producer Missel, Los Angeles was not included in the revised rollout because it was not considered “a sophisticated market.” An 18 Oct 1980 LAT news item added that Universal executives had changed the course of its marketing from an “exploitation” angle to a “prestige” point of view. It was also noted that Los Angeles was added to the lineup of cities because the studio was embarrassed by Missel’s earlier quote, suggesting the film’s subject matter would not play well there.
       Although a brief in the 10 Jan 1979 DV reported that eighty-year-old actress Eva Le Gallienne would make her theatrical film debut, she received a credit in the 1949 short film, Straw Hat Cinderella.
       The film was nominated for two Academy Awards in the following categories: Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Burstyn) and Actress in a Supporting Role (Eva Le Gallienne).
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1976.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1979.
---
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1979.
---
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1980
p. 2.
LAHExam
24 Nov 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1980
Part IV, p. 2-3.
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Nov 1980
p. 1.
New York Times
7 Nov 1980
p. 13.
Variety
10 Sep 1980
p. 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Daniel Petrie Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir trainee
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Key grip
Gaffer
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Leadman
Const coord
Const foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd re-rec
Sd eff ed
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual seqs by
Spec visual seqs by
Spec visual seqs by
Spec eff
Title des by
Titles & opt eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Animal trainer
Asst to Mr. Jarre
Scr supv
Helicopter pilot
New York casting
Loc casting
Loc casting
Medical adv
Computer equip for university laboratory courtesy
Transportation capt
Extra casting
Driver co-capt
Animal handler
Animal handler
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Resurrection
Release Date:
7 November 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 November 1980
Production Date:
29 January--25 April 1979 in Los Angeles, CA, and TX
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 November 1980
Copyright Number:
PA88925
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses & Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In 1979 Southern California, Edna Mae McCalley surprises her husband, Joe, with an expensive Triumph TR7 sports car for his birthday. As they drive along the coast, a boy on a skateboard darts in the middle of the road. Joe loses control of the vehicle and it plunges off a cliff. In a hospital, Edna dies as doctors try to save her. She journeys through a dark tunnel, seeing friends and family, but when she moves toward the light she is pulled back, and awakens in a hospital bed. Her physician, Dr. Herron, reports that her husband is dead, and she has paralysis in her legs from nerve damage. When her father, John Harper, visits at the hospital, he invites her to recuperate at home in Kansas. While traveling, Edna Mae and her father stop at the Last Chance gas station. Esco, the owner, shows Edna Mae his two-headed snake. When father and daughter arrive at the family farmhouse, Grandma Pearl greets Edna Mae with great affection. When they look at the family photograph album, Edna Mae recognizes two men from her near-death experience, but Pearl says it is not likely that Edna Mae would remember them because they died when she was a toddler. Later, the family throws a picnic in Edna Mae’s honor, and invites friends and neighbors. Suddenly, Lizzie, the daughter of her cousin Kathy Coldren, has a nosebleed. The adults panic when Doc Lurkin does not have anticoagulant, so they transport Lizzie to town for treatment. However, Edna Mae calms the family by taking Lizzie on her lap, promising to pay Lizzie fifty cents to recite, “One, two, button my shoe.” The bleeding stops, ... +


In 1979 Southern California, Edna Mae McCalley surprises her husband, Joe, with an expensive Triumph TR7 sports car for his birthday. As they drive along the coast, a boy on a skateboard darts in the middle of the road. Joe loses control of the vehicle and it plunges off a cliff. In a hospital, Edna dies as doctors try to save her. She journeys through a dark tunnel, seeing friends and family, but when she moves toward the light she is pulled back, and awakens in a hospital bed. Her physician, Dr. Herron, reports that her husband is dead, and she has paralysis in her legs from nerve damage. When her father, John Harper, visits at the hospital, he invites her to recuperate at home in Kansas. While traveling, Edna Mae and her father stop at the Last Chance gas station. Esco, the owner, shows Edna Mae his two-headed snake. When father and daughter arrive at the family farmhouse, Grandma Pearl greets Edna Mae with great affection. When they look at the family photograph album, Edna Mae recognizes two men from her near-death experience, but Pearl says it is not likely that Edna Mae would remember them because they died when she was a toddler. Later, the family throws a picnic in Edna Mae’s honor, and invites friends and neighbors. Suddenly, Lizzie, the daughter of her cousin Kathy Coldren, has a nosebleed. The adults panic when Doc Lurkin does not have anticoagulant, so they transport Lizzie to town for treatment. However, Edna Mae calms the family by taking Lizzie on her lap, promising to pay Lizzie fifty cents to recite, “One, two, button my shoe.” The bleeding stops, leaving Doc Lurkin bewildered and the rest of the guests confused about what they just experienced. After the guests have gone, Edna Mae shares details of a recurring dream with Pearl. In turn, Pearl recalls that she once knew a woman who had been pronounced dead, but came back to life. The woman had the same dream as Edna Mae, and thereafter, acquired the power to heal others. Edna Mae decides she likes being a healer. She caresses her own injured legs, exercises, and practices walking with crutches, despite many falls. She meditates that she will be able to heal herself, but nothing seems to work. Then, a fly lands on her big toe one day and she wiggles it to brush the insect away. Realizing that she can move her toe, Edna Mae calls Clancy, the family dog, to witness her victory. Soon, Edna Mae demonstrates her progress walking to Doc Lurkin and friends. When the doctor pricks Edna Mae’s legs with a pin to see if she has feeling, she responds affirmatively. Pearl is excited by Edna Mae’s improvement, but her father, John worries she will return to California once she recovers. As the days pass, Edna Mae regains the use of her legs. One evening, a neighbor, Cal Carpenter, bleeds uncontrollably from a knife wound after a bar fight, and his friends brings him to Edna Mae. She stops the bleeding, and her reputation as a healer spreads. When she helps a neighbor Harvey, regain his hearing, Cal’s preacher father, Earl Carpenter, claims her powers are the work of evil forces. However, Edna Mae refuses to challenge Earl. Afterward, Cal thanks her for saving him, and suggests that Edna Mae spice up her healing with Bible scripture. Being the son of a preacher, Cal offers his help, but Edna Mae rejects him. Later, Cal pays Edna Mae an unexpected visit at the house. Despite her insistence that he leave, Cal invites himself to dinner, wins her heart, and they make love. In the following days, they ride on Cal’s motorcycle, and walk by the river. After more healings, two scientists approach Edna Mae and ask if they can study her, but she refuses. Later, Cal says that Edna Mae’s work is unlike any of the faith healers he knows, and it bothers him. Meanwhile, John becomes antagonistic toward his daughter, insisting that she is a prostitute, and orders her to leave. Edna Mae returns to Los Angeles with Cal. There, she submits to scientific testing. Cal becomes increasingly threatened by Edna Mae, and fears her power. During a particularly intense healing session, Edna Mae cradles a woman with a history of spastic limbs. As doctors and scientists watch, the woman’s limbs relax, but Edna Mae convulses and slides unconscious on the floor. She awakens two days later, and tells Cal that her father is dying. She returns home to comfort her comatose father, assuring him that he will see his loved ones soon and they will guide him toward the light. Later, John awakens, claiming to see the light, but dies in bed. Cal tells Edna she is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is channeling his power through her, but his talk disturbs her, and she asks him to leave. Later, Cal shoots Edna Mae in the shoulder, during one of her healing sessions, and scares her audience. As a result, Edna Mae and Clancy leave town in search of a new home. As the years go by, a young couple and their sickly son, Bobby, stop at the Last Chance gas station. As the family looks for the owner, Edna Mae appears and fills their vehicle. She invites the parents to see her garden, while she talks to Bobby about his illness. He likes her puppy, Clancy III, and she gives it to him as a present. When the parents offer to pay for the puppy, Edna Mae refuses. Instead, she asks Bobby for a big hug, wrapping her healing arms around his tiny body.

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

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