Lost and Found (1979)

PG | 106 mins | Romantic comedy | 22 June 1979

Director:

Melvin Frank

Producer:

Melvin Frank

Cinematographer:

Douglas Slocombe

Editor:

Bill Butler

Production Designer:

Trevor Williams

Production Company:

Gordon Film Productions, Ltd.
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HISTORY

       The film reunited several cast and crew from the hit Touch of Class (1973, see entry), including co-stars George Segal, Glenda Jackson, and Paul Sorvino, director, co-writer and producer Melvin Frank, co-writer Jack Rose and editor Bill Butler. In a 7 May 1978 LAT article, Frank described Lost and Found as a “follow-up, but not a sequel” to the characters that he and Rose created for the 1973 film. Frank wanted the opportunity to pair Segal and Jackson in another romantic comedy, but as two new characters in different circumstances. He and Rose worked eighteen months on the original screenplay.
       In a 14 Nov 1977 LAT article, Frank revealed that he first attempted to reteam Segal and Jackson in The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976, see entry), but the deal fell through and Goldie Hawn was cast instead in the female lead. The director also noted that both his daughter and son taught at universities, which helped him conceive the academic politics of Lost and Found.
       According to a 14 Feb 1978 DV brief, the $6 million project was financed by executive producer Arnold Kopelson’s company, Film Packages, Inc.
       A 1 Mar 1978 Var article reported that principal photography would begin 6 Mar 1978 in Banff, Alberta, Canada. After two weeks, the film company would relocate to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for another ten weeks of shooting. Production notes in AMPAS library files specified that the Lake Louise ski area in the Canadian Rockies’ Banff National Park portrayed the French Alps resort, Megève. ... More Less

       The film reunited several cast and crew from the hit Touch of Class (1973, see entry), including co-stars George Segal, Glenda Jackson, and Paul Sorvino, director, co-writer and producer Melvin Frank, co-writer Jack Rose and editor Bill Butler. In a 7 May 1978 LAT article, Frank described Lost and Found as a “follow-up, but not a sequel” to the characters that he and Rose created for the 1973 film. Frank wanted the opportunity to pair Segal and Jackson in another romantic comedy, but as two new characters in different circumstances. He and Rose worked eighteen months on the original screenplay.
       In a 14 Nov 1977 LAT article, Frank revealed that he first attempted to reteam Segal and Jackson in The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976, see entry), but the deal fell through and Goldie Hawn was cast instead in the female lead. The director also noted that both his daughter and son taught at universities, which helped him conceive the academic politics of Lost and Found.
       According to a 14 Feb 1978 DV brief, the $6 million project was financed by executive producer Arnold Kopelson’s company, Film Packages, Inc.
       A 1 Mar 1978 Var article reported that principal photography would begin 6 Mar 1978 in Banff, Alberta, Canada. After two weeks, the film company would relocate to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for another ten weeks of shooting. Production notes in AMPAS library files specified that the Lake Louise ski area in the Canadian Rockies’ Banff National Park portrayed the French Alps resort, Megève. The suburban community of Oakville, outside Toronto, represented the New England town, and University of Toronto campus stood for the fictional college, “Winchester.” The wedding scene was shot in the garden of the Guild Inn, among Toronto’s Scarborough Bluff.
       Reviews were unenthusiastic, particularly in comparison to Touch of Class, but many of the critics remarked that the team of Segal and Jackson was still charming. The 22 Jun 1979 HR wrote, “they are playing off each other with all the razzle-dazzle ease of Lunt and Fontanne at their best.” In contrast, the 13 Jul 1979 NYT questioned the couple’s “authenticity” and sexual chemistry, stating “The characters inflict a lot of pain upon each other, which makes it even harder to see what keeps them together.”
       The film marked feature film debuts for stage actress Janie Sell, as stated in production notes, and comedian Martin Short, as mentioned in a 31 Mar 1994 Orange County Register profile article.
      End credits include the following statement: "Made on location in Canada and at EMI Elstree Studios Herts England by Gordon Film Productions Ltd."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1979
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Nov 1977
Section IV, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
7 May 1978
Section F, p. 42.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1979
p. 1.
New York Times
13 Jul 1979
p. 8.
Orange County Register
31 Mar 1994
Section F, p. 4.
Variety
1 Mar 1978.
---
Variety
27 Jun 1979
p. 18, 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Arnold Kopelson Presents
A Melvin Frank film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
2d unit cam
Focus puller
Cam grip
Stills cam
Elec supv
Elec gaffer
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assembly ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop supv
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd mixer
Dubbing mixer
Sd ed
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod controller
Prod supv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Casting
Casting
Secy to prod
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 June 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 22 June 1979
New York opening: 13 July 1979
Production Date:
began 6 March 1978
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA36122
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25480
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Recent American widower Adam Watson, an assistant professor of literature, and divorcee Tricia Brittenham, a British secretary, independently drive to Megève, a ski resort in the French Alps, when their cars collide. Although the vehicles are wrecked, Adam and Tricia survive without injury. When Adam blames Tricia for driving on the wrong side of the road as if she was in the English countryside, she takes an immediate dislike to his American sarcasm. In an attempt to obtain a letter of culpability, Adam later confronts Tricia on the ski slope. Once again, the two crash into each other, but this time, they each fracture a leg and are confined to wheelchairs at the resort’s clinic. Subsequently, Adam is presented with a court order to refrain from further contact with Tricia. In the dining room and exercise area, he leaves as soon as he sees Tricia glaring at him. One evening, they both attend a lecture on literature, and Tricia is amused and impressed when Adam disagrees with the speaker by making a theatrical recitation. Overhearing a conversation about the death of Adam’s wife, Tricia decides to make peace and provide Adam with the letter of culpability. They meet for breakfast the next day, and their hostilities begin to dissipate. Adam explains that he is seeking tenure at Winchester, a university in New England, and Tricia describes how she met her former husband while working as a production secretary in motion pictures. After a month of rehabilitation and getting to know each other, their leg casts are removed, and they are able to leave the resort. ... +


Recent American widower Adam Watson, an assistant professor of literature, and divorcee Tricia Brittenham, a British secretary, independently drive to Megève, a ski resort in the French Alps, when their cars collide. Although the vehicles are wrecked, Adam and Tricia survive without injury. When Adam blames Tricia for driving on the wrong side of the road as if she was in the English countryside, she takes an immediate dislike to his American sarcasm. In an attempt to obtain a letter of culpability, Adam later confronts Tricia on the ski slope. Once again, the two crash into each other, but this time, they each fracture a leg and are confined to wheelchairs at the resort’s clinic. Subsequently, Adam is presented with a court order to refrain from further contact with Tricia. In the dining room and exercise area, he leaves as soon as he sees Tricia glaring at him. One evening, they both attend a lecture on literature, and Tricia is amused and impressed when Adam disagrees with the speaker by making a theatrical recitation. Overhearing a conversation about the death of Adam’s wife, Tricia decides to make peace and provide Adam with the letter of culpability. They meet for breakfast the next day, and their hostilities begin to dissipate. Adam explains that he is seeking tenure at Winchester, a university in New England, and Tricia describes how she met her former husband while working as a production secretary in motion pictures. After a month of rehabilitation and getting to know each other, their leg casts are removed, and they are able to leave the resort. Instead of saying goodbye, they begin a romance on a train. Three months later, they are married in France. When they arrive in the U.S., Adam’s overbearing mother, Jemmy Watson, insists that the newlyweds stop in New York City en route to Winchester. After congratulating the couple, Jemmy brags to Tricia about her son’s intellectual upbringing and emphasizes that nothing must impede his tenure appointment. Tricia politely agrees. Upon leaving, Tricia tells Adam that, as a married couple, they should always share each other’s problems, including his mother. After arriving in the college town, Adam is distressed to learn that there is only one tenure slot available in the department, which means he will be vying for the position against his best friend, Lenny, who is also an assistant professor of literature. For the time being, Adam avoids telling Tricia. In honor of their friendship, Lenny and Adam agree to submit their manuscripts to the committee at the same time. However, Adam needs several weeks to finish. Meanwhile, Tricia struggles to adjust to her new home, which still contains memories of Adam’s former wife, Susan. After Tricia learns about the tenure situation from Ellie, Lenny’s wife, she is furious. In a heated quarrel, she reminds Adam that they agreed to share their burdens. Furthermore, Tricia is wary of Adam’s young, attentive researcher, Eden Marshall, whom she suspects might have had an affair with her new husband. As weeks pass, Tricia notices that Adam is having trouble focusing on the manuscript, and wine bottles litter his desk. One day, Jemmy telephones Adam with the exciting news that she has persuaded the country’s most controversial film critic, John Schuster, to lecture at Winchester. Jemmy suggests that Adam give a dinner party in Schuster’s honor, which will be a perfect opportunity to impress members of the tenure committee. However, Adam neglects to tell Tricia. On the day of Schuster’s lecture, Tricia finally hears about the plan from Jemmy and then tracks down Adam at Eden’s apartment, where he is drinking wine and playing chess, instead of writing. Upset about preparing a last minute dinner for the “pompous” critic and VIP guests, Tricia angrily proposes that Eden make the necessary arrangements. That evening, the party is held at a Chinese restaurant. Adam is embarrassed when Tricia becomes intoxicated and criticizes Schuster in front of the other dinner guests, which includes the department chair, Dr. Bryce. At the lecture hall, Lenny is angry about not being invited to the dinner and tells Adam that he is submitting his manuscript in six days, regardless of whether or not Adam is ready. The next morning, Adam awakens early and leaves for a secluded cabin owned by Eden’s family, where he hopes to finish the book. Before leaving, Adam reminds Tricia that he is not perfect, but still loves her. While Adam is away, Tricia discovers a series of diaries kept by Susan. After reading them, she takes a taxi to the cabin and finds Adam in an alcoholic stupor. In five days, he has made no progress on the book. Tricia announces that he is incapable of finishing the manuscript and overcoming his feelings of mediocrity, according to Susan’s diary. Furthermore, Tricia is no longer willing to hold his hand and says she is leaving him. Adam begs her to stay, claiming he will kill himself if she goes. Unmoved by her husband's theatrics, Tricia returns to the house and packs for the airport. Meanwhile, Adam attempts to sober up before driving back to the house. To capture Tricia’s attention, he attempts to fake a suicide by parking the car in the garage, closing the door and sitting there with the motor running. After noticing Adam prop open a window of the garage for air, Tricia is not fooled by the prank. However, when no one is looking, the cat jumps through the window, slamming it shut. Adam passes out. While leaving for the airport, Tricia glances at the garage again, ignoring the childish stunt. As soon as Tricia arrives at the terminal, she realizes that the window was closed when she looked a second time. The taxi driver, Reilly, rushes her back to the house. Together, they drag Adam from the car and eventually revive him in the shower. Reilly is surprised when Tricia says she still plans to fly to London that night. After Tricia says another emphatic goodbye, Adam smashes items throughout the living room. At the airport, Tricia has second thoughts and once again returns to the house. When Tricia arrives, Adam is busy typing. As Tricia sweeps up the mess, Adam telephones his mother to finally confront her. However, Tricia grabs the receiver before Adam has a chance and instead invites Jemmy to visit that weekend. Adam and Tricia embrace and begin anew. +

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

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