A Perfect Couple (1979)

PG | 111 mins | Comedy-drama | 6 April 1979

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HISTORY

End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Our special thanks: The Antique Guild; Great Expectations; S.I.R.; Dave Kelsy Concert Speaker System; Klipsh Sound Systems; B.G.W. Amplifiers; Record Plant Mobile Truck; Studio 55; Norlin Music; Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates; Screen Smart Set; KMET-Jeff Gonzer; Bang & Olufson; G.A.S.; J.B.L.; TEAC Corporation of America; Eazy Music Company.”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, director-writer-producer Robert Altman was inspired by the performances of actors Paul Dooley and Marta Heflin in his film, A Wedding (1978, see entry) that he conceived an idea for a love story about two ordinary people with contrasting backgrounds. A 1 Jul 1978 LAT article indicated that the project was originally known as A Romance, before the title changed. Production notes mention that “Alec Theodopoulos” was the first leading role for Dooley.
       Through the input of frequent Altman collaborator Allan Nicholls, who is credited as writer, cast member (“Dana 115”), music producer, and composer, the project developed into a “contemporary musical,” revolving around Nicholls’ rock band, Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. The group, founded in 1976, consisted of actors and singers who had worked with Nicholls on Broadway musicals, such as Hair (29 Apr 1968) and Jesus Christ Superstar (12 Oct 1971). As reported in a 15 Mar 1977 LAT brief, Altman had produced a special performance by the band in 1977 at The Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles, CA. Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets reassembled specifically for the film.
       As announced in a 21 Jun 1978 DV item, principal photography began mid-Jun 1978, and production ... More Less

End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Our special thanks: The Antique Guild; Great Expectations; S.I.R.; Dave Kelsy Concert Speaker System; Klipsh Sound Systems; B.G.W. Amplifiers; Record Plant Mobile Truck; Studio 55; Norlin Music; Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates; Screen Smart Set; KMET-Jeff Gonzer; Bang & Olufson; G.A.S.; J.B.L.; TEAC Corporation of America; Eazy Music Company.”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, director-writer-producer Robert Altman was inspired by the performances of actors Paul Dooley and Marta Heflin in his film, A Wedding (1978, see entry) that he conceived an idea for a love story about two ordinary people with contrasting backgrounds. A 1 Jul 1978 LAT article indicated that the project was originally known as A Romance, before the title changed. Production notes mention that “Alec Theodopoulos” was the first leading role for Dooley.
       Through the input of frequent Altman collaborator Allan Nicholls, who is credited as writer, cast member (“Dana 115”), music producer, and composer, the project developed into a “contemporary musical,” revolving around Nicholls’ rock band, Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. The group, founded in 1976, consisted of actors and singers who had worked with Nicholls on Broadway musicals, such as Hair (29 Apr 1968) and Jesus Christ Superstar (12 Oct 1971). As reported in a 15 Mar 1977 LAT brief, Altman had produced a special performance by the band in 1977 at The Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles, CA. Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets reassembled specifically for the film.
       As announced in a 21 Jun 1978 DV item, principal photography began mid-Jun 1978, and production notes state that shooting took place in Los Angeles for seven weeks. Over three nights in late Jun 1978, cast and crew shot at the Hollywood Bowl. According to the 1 Jul 1978 LAT article, the production spent approximately $50,000 at the location, which included a $37,000 facility rental fee. Thanks in part to radio station KMET and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, who promoted the filming, an estimated audience of 10,000 turned up for the opening and closing concert scenes. As described in production notes, another scene involving interaction between actors and the public was the press party for Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. The filmmakers staged the event at S.I.R. recording studios in Los Angeles as if it was a real showcase and used hidden cameras among the six hundred guests to make them unaware they were being filmed.
       An 18 Oct 1978 HR article cited production costs of $1.9 million and distribution expenses as $4.85 million. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 1978
p. 1, 17.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1979
p. 3, 20.
Los Angeles Times
15 Mar 1977
Section F, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1978
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1979
Section E, p. 1.
New York Times
6 Apr 1979
p. 13.
Variety
4 Apr 1979
p. 20, 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Lion's Gate Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Gaffer
Key grip
Lighting, Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets stage show
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Negative ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Set des, Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets stage show
COSTUMES
Cost, Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets stage show
MUSIC
Mus prod
Mus rec
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Title des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to prod
Scr supv
Prod coord
Project auditor
Road mgr, Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets stage show
Roadie, Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets stage show
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
MUSIC
“Romance Concerto (Adieu Mes Amis),” written by Thomas Pierson and Allan Nicholls.
SONGS
“Somp’ins Got A Hold On Me,” written by Tony Berg and Ted Neeley
“Hurricane,” written by Tony Berg, Ted Neeley and Allan Nicholls
“Week-End Holiday,” written by Allan Nicholls, B.G. Gibson and Tony Berg
+
SONGS
“Somp’ins Got A Hold On Me,” written by Tony Berg and Ted Neeley
“Hurricane,” written by Tony Berg, Ted Neeley and Allan Nicholls
“Week-End Holiday,” written by Allan Nicholls, B.G. Gibson and Tony Berg
“Won’t Somebody Care,” written by Tony Berg and Allan Nicholls
“Love Is All There Is,” written by Allan Nicholls, Tony Berg and Ted Neeley, “Searchin’ For The Light,” written by Tomi-Lee Bradley, Tony Berg, Allan Nicholls and Ted Neeley
“Lonely Millionaire,” written by Cliff de Young and Tony Berg
“Fantasy,” written by Allan Nicholls
“Don’t Take Forever,” written by Allan Nicholls, B.G. Gibson and Tony Berg, “Let The Music Play,” written by Allan Nicholls and Oatis Stephens
“Goodbye Friends,” written by Allan Nicholls.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
A Romance
Release Date:
6 April 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 6 April 1979
Production Date:
began mid June 1978 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
13 April 1979
Copyright Number:
PA31595
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
111
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25495
SYNOPSIS

On their first date, antique dealer Alex Theodopoulos takes Sheila Shea, a waifish rock and roll singer, to a classical music concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Alex has prepared a picnic for their box seats and proudly points out that his younger sister, Eleousa, plays cello in the orchestra. Suddenly, a downpour occurs and the couple rush back to their car, soaking wet. Alex stumbles along the way while Sheila is nervous that she might catch a cold and lose her voice. As Alex starts the car, the sunroof accidently opens and refuses to close. He places an umbrella over the gap to cover them, but Sheila is unable to hold on to it during the drive and rain drips inside. Arriving at Sheila’s apartment located in a former downtown factory building, Alex insists on walking her to the front door. Reluctantly, Sheila leads him to the top floor of a large loft she shares with her band mates. In the elevator, Alex puts his arm around Sheila to keep her warm, but she looks away. While saying goodnight, he kisses her, which she surprisingly enjoys. In the loft, domineering lead singer Teddy yells at Sheila for missing band rehearsal. He reminds Sheila and the other members of Keepin’ Em Off the Streets that they have only two weeks to prepare for the showcase and tour. Meanwhile, Alex returns home to the mansion of his very old-fashioned Greek-American family, and tries to sneak upstairs while the others are in the living room. As soon as they see Alex, though, ... +


On their first date, antique dealer Alex Theodopoulos takes Sheila Shea, a waifish rock and roll singer, to a classical music concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Alex has prepared a picnic for their box seats and proudly points out that his younger sister, Eleousa, plays cello in the orchestra. Suddenly, a downpour occurs and the couple rush back to their car, soaking wet. Alex stumbles along the way while Sheila is nervous that she might catch a cold and lose her voice. As Alex starts the car, the sunroof accidently opens and refuses to close. He places an umbrella over the gap to cover them, but Sheila is unable to hold on to it during the drive and rain drips inside. Arriving at Sheila’s apartment located in a former downtown factory building, Alex insists on walking her to the front door. Reluctantly, Sheila leads him to the top floor of a large loft she shares with her band mates. In the elevator, Alex puts his arm around Sheila to keep her warm, but she looks away. While saying goodnight, he kisses her, which she surprisingly enjoys. In the loft, domineering lead singer Teddy yells at Sheila for missing band rehearsal. He reminds Sheila and the other members of Keepin’ Em Off the Streets that they have only two weeks to prepare for the showcase and tour. Meanwhile, Alex returns home to the mansion of his very old-fashioned Greek-American family, and tries to sneak upstairs while the others are in the living room. As soon as they see Alex, though, they chastise him for not giving his sister, Eleousa, a ride home. Later, at a rehearsal studio, Teddy is angry with Sheila for coming to the session with a cold and sends her home. Elsewhere, Alex arrives at work with the rest of his family, who are owners of a successful antique business. In the privacy of his office, Alex tells Eleousa, his ally in the family, that he plans to stand up to their overbearing father, Panos, about dating a woman who is not Greek. Later at the loft, Alex brings Sheila a cold remedy and coaxes her into going out on Saturday night. However, on the appointed evening, Panos delays Alex at the dinner table with family business, while at the rehearsal studio, Teddy orders Sheila to cancel her plans. When Alex finally arrives at the loft, he rings the door and no one answers. Meanwhile, Sheila calls the parking attendant outside the loft building and asks him to relay a message to Alex about being late, but Alex never receives it. Waiting in the car, he falls asleep and does not see Sheila arrive home later that night. Believing that Alex stood her up, Sheila returns to Great Expectations, the dating service where they met, and inquires about other men. The company videotapes clients talking about their preferences, and Sheila learns that a man known as “Dana 115” has expressed interest in her. Later, Alex unexpectedly turns up at the loft with a rose, but Sheila asks him to leave. While the couple argues about the mix-up on Saturday night, Dana arrives to pick up Sheila for their first date. Jealous, Alex provokes a fight with Dana. Grabbing a fireplace poker, Sheila knocks Alex to the ground, then faints. Looking at the twosome on the floor, Dana quickly leaves before anyone suspects him of wrongdoing. Upon regaining consciousness, Sheila takes Alex to the hospital. As the doctor bandages Alex’s head, she apologizes and kisses him. Back at the loft, they go to bed together, and Sheila says she loves Alex. When the band arrives and interrupts their evening, Sheila and Alex sneak out and drive to his house. After tiptoeing to Alex’s bedroom, the couple begins to make love when Panos opens the door. The rest of the Theodopoulos family gathers around as Alex’s devious brother-in-law, Fred Bott, calls Sheila a “whore.” Panos orders Alex to escort her out of the house. When Alex does not resist his father, Sheila departs in anger, calling the family “weirdos.” Later, at Great Expectations, Alex watches the video of “Skye 147,” a veterinarian, and arranges a date at a Greek restaurant. While dining, they find an invitation left by another patron for a press party showcasing the band Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. Eager for a new experience, Skye suggests they attend, and Alex is curious to see Sheila perform. After briefly stopping by the event, Alex and Skye proceed to her apartment, but Alex soon realizes that Skye’s tastes are too eccentric and slips out. Later, through serendipity, Alex finds the fall tour schedule for Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. Interpreting the discovery as a sign to not give up on Sheila, Alex flags down the group’s bus on the road and apologizes to Sheila for not defending her in front of his family. As the couple reconciles, the bus departs and Alex suddenly finds himself traveling with the band. During the tour, Alex wears a T-shirt and hat advertising the group and delights in watching Sheila sing. However, as Alex and Sheila prepare for bed one night, they are continually interrupted by band members barging into their room. Hiding underneath the covers, Alex is disappointed that a romantic evening is once again postponed. He also feels like an outsider amid the group’s artistic lifestyle. When Alex returns home, he is shocked to learn that Eleousa, who had a severe heart condition, has died. Furthermore, Fred informs him that Panos no longer considers him a member of the family, and Alex is told to move out of the house. He must also vacate the office. Later, Alex attends a Hollywood Bowl concert featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Keepin’ ‘Em Off the Streets. Leaving backstage, Sheila joins him in the box seats, and the couple toasts their relationship. +

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

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