Just You and Me, Kid (1979)

PG | 95 mins | Comedy | 13 July 1979

Director:

Leonard Stern

Cinematographer:

David Walsh

Editor:

John W. Holmes

Production Designer:

Ron Hobbs
Full page view
HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Just You and Me, Kid represented the motion picture directorial debut of co-screenwriter Leonard Stern, a veteran television producer, writer, and director. The film also marked the feature film acting debut of William Russ in the role of “Demesta.”
       During development, filmmaker and actor Orson Welles was attached to the role of “Max,” as noted in an 18 Sep 1978 LAT article. When Welles left the project, actor James Stewart was in negotiations as a possible replacement, but Burl Ives was cast instead. Citing a contract filed with Los Angeles, CA, Superior Court, a 15 Nov 1978 LAT article reported up-and-coming actress Brooke Shields earned $250,000 in addition to six percent of profits for the part of “Kate.”
       As announced in a 24 Aug 1978 HR brief, principal photography was scheduled to begin 5 Sep 1978 at the Burbank Studios in Burbank, CA, and on location in Los Angeles, CA.
       A 5 Jul 1979 HR news item reported that a charity premiere took place 15 Jul 1979 at the Resorts International Superstar Theatre in Atlantic City, NJ, to benefit the Atlantic City Hospital fund.
       The film was projected to earn between $10 and $15 million, according to a 24 Sep 1979 Village Voice column.
       Critical reaction ranged from mildly pleasing to negative, but reviewers agreed that the film was a one-man show for George Burns. According to the 13 Jul 1979 LAT, “without Burns, Just You and Me, Kid would be a very competent, very foolish sitcom,” ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Just You and Me, Kid represented the motion picture directorial debut of co-screenwriter Leonard Stern, a veteran television producer, writer, and director. The film also marked the feature film acting debut of William Russ in the role of “Demesta.”
       During development, filmmaker and actor Orson Welles was attached to the role of “Max,” as noted in an 18 Sep 1978 LAT article. When Welles left the project, actor James Stewart was in negotiations as a possible replacement, but Burl Ives was cast instead. Citing a contract filed with Los Angeles, CA, Superior Court, a 15 Nov 1978 LAT article reported up-and-coming actress Brooke Shields earned $250,000 in addition to six percent of profits for the part of “Kate.”
       As announced in a 24 Aug 1978 HR brief, principal photography was scheduled to begin 5 Sep 1978 at the Burbank Studios in Burbank, CA, and on location in Los Angeles, CA.
       A 5 Jul 1979 HR news item reported that a charity premiere took place 15 Jul 1979 at the Resorts International Superstar Theatre in Atlantic City, NJ, to benefit the Atlantic City Hospital fund.
       The film was projected to earn between $10 and $15 million, according to a 24 Sep 1979 Village Voice column.
       Critical reaction ranged from mildly pleasing to negative, but reviewers agreed that the film was a one-man show for George Burns. According to the 13 Jul 1979 LAT, “without Burns, Just You and Me, Kid would be a very competent, very foolish sitcom,” and the 13 Jul 1979 HR wrote that the picture was “a tribute to Burns, his vaudeville heritage, and also to the good old-fashioned virtues of loyalty, altruism and platonic affection.” However, the 27 Jul 1979 NYT noted that Brooke Shields was an ineffective “sparring partner,” who hindered Burns’s performance, and the 18 Jul 1979 Var stated that even the “delight” of Burns’s one-liners could not sustain the story’s thin concept over ninety-three minutes. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1979
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Times
18 Sep 1978
Section E, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1978
Section H, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1979
Section E, p. 22.
New York Times
27 Jul 1979
p. 6.
Variety
18 Jul 1979
p. 14.
Village Voice
24 Sep 1979.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Presents
An Irving Fein-Jerome M. Zeitman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Gaffer
Gaffer
Best boy
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
TBS grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Swing gang
Swing gang
Asst prop man
Const foreman
COSTUMES
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd eff
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd mixer
Cable-playback op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles by
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Casting assoc
Asst to Leonard Stern
Asst to the prods
Transportation coord
Loc auditor
Dial coach
Asst dial coach
Prod coord
Extras casting
Policeman
Craft services
Caterer, Continental Catering
Helicopter pilot
TBS driver captain
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunt double
Stunt policeman
Stunt double
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
SOURCES
SONGS
"Katie," music and lyrics by Sammy Fain.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Two of a Kind
One Night Stand
Uncle Bill & The Queen of Hollywood
Release Date:
13 July 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 13 July 1979
New York opening: 27 July 1979
Production Date:
began 5 September 1978
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 August 1979
Copyright Number:
PA40716
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Panaflex camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25465
SYNOPSIS

Octogenarian Bill Grant lives alone in a wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and enjoys a comfortable, retired life. Instead of an alarm clock, the former vaudevillian wakes in the morning to a recording of applause. After breakfast one day, he drives to the grocery store in his vintage Pierce-Arrow automobile, and while shopping, he entertains Joe, the box boy, and Edna, the cashier, with magic tricks. Meanwhile, at an apartment nearby, an intimidating drug dealer, John Demesta, yells at Kate, a fourteen-year-old girl, for failing to complete a narcotics transaction. As Demesta demands either his money back or the drugs, Kate escapes through a bathroom window. She is wearing only a towel because Demesta strip-searched her, looking for the goods. As she runs from the apartment building, the towel becomes caught on a fence, and she continues to flee in the nude. She stows away in the trunk of Bill’s car where she finds a tire tube to cover her body. While loading the grocery bags, Bill and Joe find her, and Bill conceals his shock by explaining that the girl is part of an illusion act. After quickly driving away, Bill stops to question Kate, and she threatens to scream unless he takes her to his home. Bill’s spacious residence impresses the teenager, who reveals that she was orphaned at a young age. After Bill gives her clothes and breakfast, Kate tries to sneak out of the house through an upstairs window. When she falls and sprains her ankle, Bill persuades Kate to rest in the living room while he applies an ice pack ... +


Octogenarian Bill Grant lives alone in a wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and enjoys a comfortable, retired life. Instead of an alarm clock, the former vaudevillian wakes in the morning to a recording of applause. After breakfast one day, he drives to the grocery store in his vintage Pierce-Arrow automobile, and while shopping, he entertains Joe, the box boy, and Edna, the cashier, with magic tricks. Meanwhile, at an apartment nearby, an intimidating drug dealer, John Demesta, yells at Kate, a fourteen-year-old girl, for failing to complete a narcotics transaction. As Demesta demands either his money back or the drugs, Kate escapes through a bathroom window. She is wearing only a towel because Demesta strip-searched her, looking for the goods. As she runs from the apartment building, the towel becomes caught on a fence, and she continues to flee in the nude. She stows away in the trunk of Bill’s car where she finds a tire tube to cover her body. While loading the grocery bags, Bill and Joe find her, and Bill conceals his shock by explaining that the girl is part of an illusion act. After quickly driving away, Bill stops to question Kate, and she threatens to scream unless he takes her to his home. Bill’s spacious residence impresses the teenager, who reveals that she was orphaned at a young age. After Bill gives her clothes and breakfast, Kate tries to sneak out of the house through an upstairs window. When she falls and sprains her ankle, Bill persuades Kate to rest in the living room while he applies an ice pack to the injury. After he assures the distrustful runaway that she is in the safest place possible, he leaves to visit his best friend, Max Wellington, a brilliant magician, who now resides in a nursing home. For unknown reasons, Max appears depressed and no longer speaks, but Bill continues to entertain him every day with conversation, and pays his medical bills. Later, Bill convinces Kate to explain why she is on the run. According to her story, she made an agreement with Demesta to deliver money and pick up a drug package, but after completing the transaction, she became nervous and dropped the narcotics in the sewer. Meanwhile, Demesta is desperate to find Kate. He threatens her school friend, Roy, for information, but the young man has no knowledge of her whereabouts. Back at the house, Bill encourages Kate to tell her story to the police, but she is frightened about the consequences and becomes angry with him. After witnessing Kate climb out of the window, then return inside to argue with Bill, neighbors Sue and Stan Waterman, become suspicious. Sue assumes that the elderly man is holding the girl against her will and telephones Shirl, Bill’s daughter. When Shirl arrives and insists on seeing the young visitor, Bill refuses to let his meddling daughter enter the house. Shirl, who has always had a contentious relationship with her father, declares that she will return with the police. That afternoon, four of Bill’s magician friends arrive for their regular poker game. Bill assures Kate that she can trust the magicians, who are good at keeping secrets, and introduces Manduke the Magnificent, Reinhoff the Remarkable, Dr. Device, and Tom. Elsewhere, Demesta questions shopkeepers in the neighborhood about a missing teenage girl, under the pretense that he is looking for his sister. At the grocery store, Joe informs him that an elderly resident named Bill had a young girl in the trunk of his vintage Pierce-Arrow, but Joe simply believed that she was part of Bill’s magic act. When the police arrive during the card game, the magicians quickly apply their talents to suspend Kate out of sight near the ceiling. Although the police search the house and find nothing, Shirl knows that her father and his crafty friends have outwitted her. The following day, as Bill bandages Kate’s ankle, she says that her current foster parents are probably too intoxicated to notice she is missing and reveals that she has lived in six different homes. Bill asks if she would like to live with him, but Kate reminds him that he is too old to qualify as a foster parent. Before Bill leaves for his daily visit with Max, Kate suggests that Max might be more inclined to talk if Bill ignores him. The strategy works and Max finally breaks his silence that day at the nursing home. Meanwhile, Roy learns that Demesta is posing as a car enthusiast in the neighborhood and inquiring about a senior citizen who owns a Pierce-Arrow. Returning home, Bill is excited to tell Kate the good news about Max, but she is gone. He wanders through the house despondent. Elsewhere, Kate tracks down Roy at school and admits that she stole Demesta’s $20,000 drug money and needs Roy to drive her out of town, but Roy advises her to stop running and return the cash. He informs her that Bill is now in danger from the drug dealer who is looking for the owner of the vintage car. When Kate returns to the house to warn Bill, she confesses that she never picked up the drugs, but kept the $20,000. Bill convinces her to hand over the money to the police, but as they leave, Demesta catches them at the door. Holding a knife, he chases Kate through the house, until Bill points a sword at him and makes him drop the weapon. Bill forces Demesta to climb into an old escape sack that Max used during his magic routines. After Kate locks the sack’s chains and Demesta is immobilized, Bill reveals that the sword, another one of Max’s tricks, is a harmless retractable weapon. The police take the drug dealer into custody, and Bill and Kate celebrate. When Shirl arrives at the house, Bill presents his daughter with an unexpected proposition about being a mother. Sometime later, Max checks out of the nursing home and is picked up by Bill and Kate. Bill announces that Shirl and her husband will be Kate’s new foster parents, but Bill has arranged for “the kid” to stay with him on weekends. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.