O'Hara's Wife (1982)

87 mins | Drama | 3 December 1982

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HISTORY

Director of photography Harry Stradling, Jr. is credited onscreen as “Harry Stradling.”
       End credits include “Special Thanks" to: Nike Shoes; Black & Co.; the Murphy Co.; the Oregon Bank; the David McKenney Family; William S. Bartman, Sr.; Norman Rudman, Esq.
       According to a 14 Mar 1980 HR brief, actress Barbara Rush optioned the screenplay, allegedly written by both screenwriter Jim Nasella, Jr., and director William Bartman. Rush planned to star in the film, as well as produce under her production company, the Bedford Company, beginning summer 1980. However, over a year later, a 22 Apr 1981 Var news item announced that Jodie Foster had joined the cast in her first acting role since she enrolled as a full-time student at Yale University in 1980. The picture was budgeted at $4.5 million and expected to begin filming 11 May 1981. 15 May 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began two days behind schedule on 13 May 1981 in Los Angeles, CA, under producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer. The 9 Jun 1981 DV noted that Foster had already completed her work on the project, and an 8 Jun 1981 HR article anticipated production to conclude by the end of Jun 1981.
       Although the 13 Jul 1981 DV announced that O’Hara’s Wife was currently in post production, the 4 Aug 1981 DV claimed that one additional day of filming remained. Scheduled to take place at an airport, the shoot had been repeatedly delayed due to a threatened air controllers’ strike. However, it is unclear whether or not this filming ever ... More Less

Director of photography Harry Stradling, Jr. is credited onscreen as “Harry Stradling.”
       End credits include “Special Thanks" to: Nike Shoes; Black & Co.; the Murphy Co.; the Oregon Bank; the David McKenney Family; William S. Bartman, Sr.; Norman Rudman, Esq.
       According to a 14 Mar 1980 HR brief, actress Barbara Rush optioned the screenplay, allegedly written by both screenwriter Jim Nasella, Jr., and director William Bartman. Rush planned to star in the film, as well as produce under her production company, the Bedford Company, beginning summer 1980. However, over a year later, a 22 Apr 1981 Var news item announced that Jodie Foster had joined the cast in her first acting role since she enrolled as a full-time student at Yale University in 1980. The picture was budgeted at $4.5 million and expected to begin filming 11 May 1981. 15 May 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began two days behind schedule on 13 May 1981 in Los Angeles, CA, under producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer. The 9 Jun 1981 DV noted that Foster had already completed her work on the project, and an 8 Jun 1981 HR article anticipated production to conclude by the end of Jun 1981.
       Although the 13 Jul 1981 DV announced that O’Hara’s Wife was currently in post production, the 4 Aug 1981 DV claimed that one additional day of filming remained. Scheduled to take place at an airport, the shoot had been repeatedly delayed due to a threatened air controllers’ strike. However, it is unclear whether or not this filming ever occurred, since the final picture does not contain any scenes set at an airport.
       The 19 Apr 1982 DV announced that the world premiere was scheduled as the opening feature at the Denver International Film Festival in Denver, CO, in May 1982.
       Prior to release, a 30 Jun 1982 DV story reported that Jim Nasella, Jr., filed suit against O’Hara Prods., Inc., also known as O’Hara Productions Co., for $100,000 damages, claiming that advertising falsely suggested the picture was written by both Nasella and director William Bartman. According to the complainant, Nasella’s Apr 1981 agreement stipulated that, along with monetary payment, credits and promotional materials would read, “Screenplay by Jim Nasella, Jr.” The outcome of the lawsuit was not determined, but onscreen credits give Bartman a “story by” credit alongside Joseph Scott Kierland, while Nasella is named as the sole screenwriter.
       A 26 Nov 1982 advertisement in Reader indicated that O’Hara’s Wife was expected to open for a limited engagement 3 Dec 1982, at Los Angeles’ Cineplex 14 Cinema, in order to qualify for Academy Awards consideration. During its citywide independent release, the film received generally negative reviews, with multiple critics comparing the quality to that of a television movie.
       Although not rated upon its theatrical opening, the official Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Classification & Rating Administration (CARA) listing suggests that the film was later given a “PG” rating when issued for home video release. Onscreen credits also name O'Hara Cinema Group as the 1981 copyright claimant; however, official U.S. copyright records state that the motion picture was not registered until 1986. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1981.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 1981.
---
Daily Variety
4 Aug 1981.
---
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1982.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1982
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
3 Dec 1982
p. 14.
Reader
26 Nov 1982
p. 13.
Variety
22 Apr 1981.
---
Variety
15 Dec 1982
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Michael Timothy Murphy presents
A Davis/Panzer Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Best boy
Lighting tech
Lighting tech
Key grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Helicopter photog
Helicopter photog
Aerial cam
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
Apprentice
Apprentice
Apprentice
Negative cutter
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
Women's costumer
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Asst
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Craft services
Caterer
Set manager extras
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to Mr. Barman
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Asst exec prod
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Computerized prod services by
Computerized prod services by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"I'm Never Gonna Say Goodbye," performed by Billy Preston, music by Artie Butler, lyrics by Molly-Ann Leikin.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 December 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 December 1982
Production Date:
began 13 May 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
87
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, schoolteacher Harriet “Harry” O’Hara says goodbye to her students, picks up her passport, and prepares to take her first vacation in twenty years. Realizing her husband Bob needs to pick up the plane tickets, she telephones his law office to remind him, but his incompetent secretary, Gloria, fails to reach him. Later, she visits her college-aged daughter, Barbara, who tells her mother about her troubled relationship with her estranged brother, Rob. Later, while packing, Bob presents Harry with the plane tickets and a new necklace. As Gloria telephones about work, Harry suddenly collapses. At the hospital, Doctor Fischer informs Bob, Barbara, Rob, and Bob’s brother, Fred, that Harry suffered a hemorrage which has permanently terminated all brain activity. After asking the doctor to double-check her tests, Bob ultimately decides to turn off her life support machine. Over the next month, Bob attempts to return to his everyday routine, but cannot overcome his loneliness. One night, he becomes overwhelmingly depressed, tearing posters from his bedroom walls and swallowing mouthfuls of medicine. He awakens hours later to the sound of Harry’s voice echoing through the house before she emerges from the basement carrying suitcases for their trip. Bob smacks himself in the face, insisting he is either dreaming or losing his mind. He gets into the car to clear his head, but Harry appears in the back seat. Frightened, Bob erratically accelerates until a police officer pulls him over. The officer forces him to perform a sobriety test and takes him to the station after locking Bob’s car, unaware that Harry is inside. In the passenger seat, Harry finds her death certificate and realizes that no one ... +


In Los Angeles, California, schoolteacher Harriet “Harry” O’Hara says goodbye to her students, picks up her passport, and prepares to take her first vacation in twenty years. Realizing her husband Bob needs to pick up the plane tickets, she telephones his law office to remind him, but his incompetent secretary, Gloria, fails to reach him. Later, she visits her college-aged daughter, Barbara, who tells her mother about her troubled relationship with her estranged brother, Rob. Later, while packing, Bob presents Harry with the plane tickets and a new necklace. As Gloria telephones about work, Harry suddenly collapses. At the hospital, Doctor Fischer informs Bob, Barbara, Rob, and Bob’s brother, Fred, that Harry suffered a hemorrage which has permanently terminated all brain activity. After asking the doctor to double-check her tests, Bob ultimately decides to turn off her life support machine. Over the next month, Bob attempts to return to his everyday routine, but cannot overcome his loneliness. One night, he becomes overwhelmingly depressed, tearing posters from his bedroom walls and swallowing mouthfuls of medicine. He awakens hours later to the sound of Harry’s voice echoing through the house before she emerges from the basement carrying suitcases for their trip. Bob smacks himself in the face, insisting he is either dreaming or losing his mind. He gets into the car to clear his head, but Harry appears in the back seat. Frightened, Bob erratically accelerates until a police officer pulls him over. The officer forces him to perform a sobriety test and takes him to the station after locking Bob’s car, unaware that Harry is inside. In the passenger seat, Harry finds her death certificate and realizes that no one can see her because she is dead. She greets Bob in his jail cell and tells him about her epiphany, but Bob’s cellmates think he is talking to himself. After Fred bails Bob out of prison, a doctor diagnoses him with an enlarged heart and insists his visions of Harry are hallucinations. Bob tries to escape the office, but Harry appears and forces him to stay. Later, Fred takes his brother to the gym, where Bob struggles to exercise and runs into a sauna to escape Harry’s pursuits. That night, Harry sits with Bob on their patio and urges her husband to move on with his life and chase after his unfulfilled dreams to explore the world. With Harry’s encouragement, Bob arranges a date with a divorcée client named Beth Douglas. He then evades a meeting with his overbearing partner, Walter Tatum, to have lunch with Barbara and his phantom wife. During the meal, Bob tells Barbara that he plans to travel, but she becomes concerned about his seemingly strange behavior as he interacts with Harry. Later, Barbara consults with Rob, who tells her that Bob offered to spend more time with him after Harry’s funeral, but never followed through with his promise. Rob admits that he’s always felt detachment and disappointment from his father, but after Barbara leaves, he telephones Bob to arrange dinner that Saturday. That weekend, Rob scorns Bob’s plans to sell the house, citing his lifelong feelings of abandonment. Although Barbara begs Rob to sympathize with their father, Rob angrily leaves. Upon learning about Bob’s impending departure, Fred barges into his brother’s office, but Bob announces he has already dissolved his shares of the law practice. During a meeting, a client becomes concerned that Bob’s absence will hurt the firm, prompting Bob to finally speak his mind, chastising his co-workers for their poor work ethic and incompetence. While movers empty Bob’s house, Rob turns up to claim his childhood belongings. Harry encourages her husband to reconcile with their son, but Rob drives away. The next morning, Bob awakens to find himself alone in bed, with Harry’s necklace on the pillow beside him. Unable to locate his wife, Bob leaves for the airport with Fred and Barbara, taking a detour to the cemetery. Attempting to say goodbye, he speaks aloud to Harry’s grave, thanking her for their life together. On his way back to the car, he runs into Rob, and the four members of the O’Hara family embrace. +

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

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