Choose Me (1984)

R | 106 mins | Comedy-drama, Melodrama, Romance | 29 August 1984

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HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Choose Me was the debut “in-house” feature film for Island Alive, a production/distribution company founded in 1983 by producer Carolyn Pfeiffer and music industry entrepreneurs Shep Gordon and Chris Blackwell, who are credited as the film’s executive producers.
       Pfeiffer and writer-director Alan Rudolph collaborated on three previous projects, Roadie (1980), Endangered Species, (1982), and the documentary Return Engagement (1983, see entries).
       Principal photography began 3 Aug 1983 and took place entirely in Los Angeles, CA. The interior of “Eve’s Lounge” was filmed at a 1940s bar in Hollywood, while the exterior was located in a downtown Los Angeles alleyway. A downtown loft provided the setting for “Pearl Antoine’s apartment,” and a residence in the Miracle Mile neighborhood stood in for “Eve’s house.” Radio station scenes were filmed in the studios of KPFK-FM at 3729 Cahuenga Boulevard West in North Hollywood, CA. Paintings were a central theme in the set design; the production filmed at several Los Angeles art galleries and studios, and acclaimed American artist Edward Ruscha was cast in the role of “Ralph Chomsky.” The 28 Sep 1983 Var announced that filming was completed in twenty-three days.
       In various sources, the budget was reported between $750,000 and $850,000, while the 29 Aug 1984 Var noted that the final figure was closer to $1.3 million, after calculating deferments.
       In the 28 Sep 1983 Var, producer Pfeiffer stated that the song, “Choose Me (You’re My Choice Tonight),” represented singer Teddy Pendergrass’s first recording following the automobile accident that left him paralyzed. According to ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Choose Me was the debut “in-house” feature film for Island Alive, a production/distribution company founded in 1983 by producer Carolyn Pfeiffer and music industry entrepreneurs Shep Gordon and Chris Blackwell, who are credited as the film’s executive producers.
       Pfeiffer and writer-director Alan Rudolph collaborated on three previous projects, Roadie (1980), Endangered Species, (1982), and the documentary Return Engagement (1983, see entries).
       Principal photography began 3 Aug 1983 and took place entirely in Los Angeles, CA. The interior of “Eve’s Lounge” was filmed at a 1940s bar in Hollywood, while the exterior was located in a downtown Los Angeles alleyway. A downtown loft provided the setting for “Pearl Antoine’s apartment,” and a residence in the Miracle Mile neighborhood stood in for “Eve’s house.” Radio station scenes were filmed in the studios of KPFK-FM at 3729 Cahuenga Boulevard West in North Hollywood, CA. Paintings were a central theme in the set design; the production filmed at several Los Angeles art galleries and studios, and acclaimed American artist Edward Ruscha was cast in the role of “Ralph Chomsky.” The 28 Sep 1983 Var announced that filming was completed in twenty-three days.
       In various sources, the budget was reported between $750,000 and $850,000, while the 29 Aug 1984 Var noted that the final figure was closer to $1.3 million, after calculating deferments.
       In the 28 Sep 1983 Var, producer Pfeiffer stated that the song, “Choose Me (You’re My Choice Tonight),” represented singer Teddy Pendergrass’s first recording following the automobile accident that left him paralyzed. According to a 24 Aug 1984 LAT article, Pendergrass’s demo of the song provided Rudolph with the “germ” for the film.
       Choose Me screened at various festivals, including Cannes, Montreal, Deauville, and Toronto, where it received the International Critics Prize, according to a 23 Sep 1984 NYT article. As reported in a 20 Aug 1984 DV item, the picture was first released in Seattle, WA, at the Egyptian Theater on 24 Aug 1984, followed by engagements at the Royal Theater in Los Angeles on 29 Aug 1984 and the Coronet in New York on 1 Nov 1984.
       End credits state: “The Producers wish to thank – The Boyd Street Artists; Michael Wilson; Associated Film Promotions; Marina Spadafora; United Van Lines; Robyn Jill Harwood; Anheuser-Busch; Luca Prosseda; Kawasaki Motorcycles; Alexander Woods; Commodore Computers; Rosetta Woods; Guiness Stout; David Sutor; The Living Arts Gallery; Jim McBride; KPFK Radio; Tom Walls; William Campbell; Terry McDonell; Bernard Jacobson, Inc.; Chris Whittle; Brenda Miller; Dr. Annette Insdorf; Susan Vercellino; Eagle Eye; Clark Carlton; Gib Jaffe; Frank Rehwaldt; Anne Coe; George Perra; Dirk Blocker; Marrika Niwa; Director’s Sound & Editorial Service; L. & M. Editorial; Peter Lindsey; Lee Tucker; Jona Gannon; Mel Klein; Sheri Kasper; Jon Bradshaw; Michael Starkie; Einfeld & Associates; John Binder; Elliot Hoffman.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Aug 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Aug 1984
p. 1.
New York Times
23 Sep 1984
p. 19.
New York Times
1 Nov 1984
p. 18.
Variety
28 Sep 1983.
---
Variety
22 Aug 1984
p. 17, 20.
Variety
29 Aug 1984.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Island Alive presents
An Island Alive Production
A Film by Alan Rudolph
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr/1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Grip
Dolly grip
Electro/grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Cam systems by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Newsweek photog by
Esquire photog by
Yale review poem by
Paintings by
Paintings by
Paintings by
Paintings by
Paintings by
Movie poster collection
Movie poster collection
Flowers by
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Mr. Carradine's clothes
Accessories by
MUSIC
Songs performed by
Piano, The mus and musicians of Eve's Lounge
Saxophone, The mus and musicians of Eve's Lounge
Addl mus eff
SOUND
Prod sd
Prod sd
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Foley ed
Addl sd ed
Addl sd ed
Foley walker
Re-rec facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des by
Opticals
MAKEUP
Make-up
Addl hair and makeup asst
Addl hair and makeup asst
Addl hair and makeup asst
Ms. Bujold's hair by
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Craft service
Loc management
Loc management
Prod coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Catering
Addl casting
Asst to the prod
Runner
Prod equip
STAND INS
Stunt performer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Choose Me (You’re My Choice Tonight),” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller, ©1983 April Music Inc. Uncle Ronnie's Music Co., Inc. and Thriller Music, Inc. ASCAP, ©1984 Elektra Asylum Records for U.S. WEA International and for the world outside of the United States, produced by Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass courtesy of Asylum Records and Teddy Bear Productions
“And If I Had,” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon A. Huff, published by Mighty Three Music BMI, Administrator-Blackwood Music, Inc., ©1977 CBS Inc./©1977 CBS, Inc., produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon A. Huff
“In My Time,” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Michael Masser and Cynthia Weil, ©1984 Almo Music - Prince St. Music – DiAd Music, ©1984 Elektra Asylum Records for U.S. WEA International and for the world outside of the United States, produced by Michael Masser, Teddy Pendergrass courtesy Asylum Records and Teddy Bear Productions
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SONGS
“Choose Me (You’re My Choice Tonight),” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller, ©1983 April Music Inc. Uncle Ronnie's Music Co., Inc. and Thriller Music, Inc. ASCAP, ©1984 Elektra Asylum Records for U.S. WEA International and for the world outside of the United States, produced by Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass courtesy of Asylum Records and Teddy Bear Productions
“And If I Had,” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon A. Huff, published by Mighty Three Music BMI, Administrator-Blackwood Music, Inc., ©1977 CBS Inc./©1977 CBS, Inc., produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon A. Huff
“In My Time,” performed by Teddy Pendergrass, written by Michael Masser and Cynthia Weil, ©1984 Almo Music - Prince St. Music – DiAd Music, ©1984 Elektra Asylum Records for U.S. WEA International and for the world outside of the United States, produced by Michael Masser, Teddy Pendergrass courtesy Asylum Records and Teddy Bear Productions
“Trouble In Mind,” performed by Archie Shepp and Horace Parlan, ©1980 SteepleChase Productions, Inc., courtesy SteepleChase Productions, produced by Nils Winther
“Goin’ Down Slow,” performed by Archie Shepp and Horace Parlan, ©1980 SteepleChase Productions, Inc., courtesy SteepleChase Productions, produced by Nils Winther
“How Long Blues,” performed by Archie Shepp and Horace Parlan, ©1980 SteepleChase Productions, Inc., courtesy SteepleChase Productions, produced by Nils Winther
“Goodbye Mr. Evans,” performed by The Phil Woods Quartet, written by Phil Woods, available on Antilles Records, a division of Island Records, Inc., ©1982 Music DuBois, courtesy Antilles Records, produced by Bill Goodwin
“Gee Wiz,” performed by Toots and The Maytals, written by Fredrick Hibbert, ©1980 by Island Music, courtesy Island Records, Inc., produced by Chris Blackwell
“King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown,” performed by Augustus Pablo, written by H. Swaby, ©Ackee Music, Inc. ASCAP, courtesy Mango Records, a division of Island Records, Inc., produced by Augustus Pablo
Archie Shepp and Horace Parlan appear courtesy Steeplechase Productions Inc. from the LP "Trouble in Mind" #SCS 1139
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DETAILS
Release Date:
29 August 1984
Premiere Information:
Seattle opening: 24 August 1984
Los Angeles opening: 29 August 1984
New York opening: 1 November 1984
Production Date:
began 3 August 1983
Copyright Claimant:
Island Alive, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 August 1984
Copyright Number:
PA238447
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in selected theatres.
Color
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
9,547
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

At KCMY radio, Dr. Nancy Love gives relationship advice on the talk show “The Love Line.” One day, she receives a call from Eve, who introduces herself as “Jane” and reveals she is having an affair with a married man. However, “Jane” is also curious about the anonymous Dr. Nancy Love, and wonders if she ever has the urge to seek advice. Uncomfortable with the question, Dr. Love ends the call as the show runs out of time. Ralph Chomsky, producer of “The Love Line,” invites the mysterious Dr. Love to dinner, but she declines. Meanwhile, Mickey Bolton, diagnosed as a pathological liar, is released from a mental hospital. That evening, Mickey stops at Eve’s Lounge, a downtown jazz and blues bar, and immediately attracts the interest of Eve, the owner and bartender. Dr. Nancy Love arrives at the bar to inquire about Eve’s advertisement for a roommate, but introduces herself as “Ann.” Neither woman is aware that they spoke on “The Love Line.” Nancy says she works part-time for a telephone answering service and is nervous about being a roommate, since she usually lives alone. The two women agree to meet tomorrow at Eve’s house. Sitting at the bar, Mickey stares at Nancy and Eve, while conversing with a young woman named Pearl Antoine, who wants his opinion on her poetry. Mickey tells Pearl he once taught poetry at Yale University and is from Las Vegas, Nevada. Before going home, an intoxicated Pearl gives Mickey her address and mentions that the key is under the mat. Returning to her bartending duties, Eve tells ... +


At KCMY radio, Dr. Nancy Love gives relationship advice on the talk show “The Love Line.” One day, she receives a call from Eve, who introduces herself as “Jane” and reveals she is having an affair with a married man. However, “Jane” is also curious about the anonymous Dr. Nancy Love, and wonders if she ever has the urge to seek advice. Uncomfortable with the question, Dr. Love ends the call as the show runs out of time. Ralph Chomsky, producer of “The Love Line,” invites the mysterious Dr. Love to dinner, but she declines. Meanwhile, Mickey Bolton, diagnosed as a pathological liar, is released from a mental hospital. That evening, Mickey stops at Eve’s Lounge, a downtown jazz and blues bar, and immediately attracts the interest of Eve, the owner and bartender. Dr. Nancy Love arrives at the bar to inquire about Eve’s advertisement for a roommate, but introduces herself as “Ann.” Neither woman is aware that they spoke on “The Love Line.” Nancy says she works part-time for a telephone answering service and is nervous about being a roommate, since she usually lives alone. The two women agree to meet tomorrow at Eve’s house. Sitting at the bar, Mickey stares at Nancy and Eve, while conversing with a young woman named Pearl Antoine, who wants his opinion on her poetry. Mickey tells Pearl he once taught poetry at Yale University and is from Las Vegas, Nevada. Before going home, an intoxicated Pearl gives Mickey her address and mentions that the key is under the mat. Returning to her bartending duties, Eve tells Mickey she bought the bar after the original owner, also named Eve, died. Mickey stays until closing time and escorts Eve to her car. When Mickey expresses a desire to marry, Eve confesses she has destroyed too many marriages to have one of her own. They kiss, and Mickey tells Eve he wants to see her again. However, that night Eve sleeps with Billy Ace, a bartender who works for her. The next day, Nancy moves into Eve’s house and is intrigued by her roommate’s busy love life. Later, Nancy again advises Eve on “The Love Line” when she calls in as “Diane” to confess she had sex for the first time last night with a colleague who is infatuated with her. However, she is not interesting in seeing him again. Eve reveals she was immediately attracted to another man she just met, but became flustered when he made advances. Unable to afford a bus ticket to Las Vegas, Mickey returns to Eve’s Lounge and continues talking with Pearl Antoine. He mentions he once worked as a mechanic, in addition to being a former spy, gambler, military pilot, photographer, and Yale professor. Pearl reveals that her husband, Zack Antoine, is having an affair with Eve, and she hangs out at the bar to catch him cheating. Eve, however, is unaware that Pearl is Zack’s wife. Eve seems disappointed as she watches Mickey leave with Pearl that night, but Pearl simply drops Mickey at a poker game so he can earn some money. Mickey kisses Pearl goodbye and says he could marry her. Amused, Pearl gives him Eve’s home address. At the poker game, Zack Antoine is one of the regular players. He becomes annoyed when Mickey wins, and warns him not to come back. Meanwhile, at Eve’s house, Nancy dresses up, prepares a romantic candlelit meal, and sits at the table alone, pretending she has a dinner guest. While Zack resumes his affair with Eve, Mickey arrives at Pearl’s apartment and sleeps on the couch. In the morning, he takes photographs of Pearl sleeping in her bed. When the hot-tempered Zack comes home, the two men fight. Zack pulls a gun, but Mickey is not intimidated. In need of a place to rest, Mickey goes to Eve’s house expecting to see her, but Nancy answers the door and tells him that Eve will not be back until 3:00 AM. Nancy allows him to come inside and relax. While Mickey takes a bath, Nancy goes through his bag and finds an article written by him in the Yale Review, artifacts related to his military service, and a Russian magazine reporting on his spy activity. When Nancy tells Mickey that her name is “Ann,” he recalls seeing her the night she came into Eve’s Lounge. Nancy brings up the topic of Dr. Love and claims that, according to rumor, the popular radio host has never been in love. Mickey reaches across the table and kisses her. After they have sex, Mickey asks Nancy to marry him and says he can earn money for them in Las Vegas, but she politely rejects his foolhardy proposal and leaves for work. Following her encounter with Mickey, Dr. Nancy Love changes her conservative approach to callers and becomes more focused on sexual fulfillment. Eve calls in as “Karen” and confesses her attraction to a man she hardly knows, but she is also aware she cannot be loyal to one man. Eve appears to understand when Dr. Love describes a man who kisses only women he wants to marry. In the booth, the engineers and producer are intrigued by Dr. Love’s provocative transformation. After work, Eve is startled to find Mickey hiding in the back of her car. He confesses to being a pathological liar, recently released from a mental hospital, but says he is not lying about Eve’s “perfection.” When Mickey proposes, Eve kisses him, but says she does not plan to marry anyone. Suddenly, Zack Antoine and one of his thugs drag Mickey from the car and beat him. Eve drives away, while Mickey manages to escapes on foot. Arriving home emotionally exhausted from the evening, Eve tries to avoid her roommate, who wants to talk. Nancy confesses her name is not “Ann,” and indicates she lives with people for research purposes. Calling it a “major breakthrough,” she declares she had sex with Mickey and asks Eve if they can “share” him. Eve appears distraught and leaves. Later that night, Mickey arrives at Eve’s house to retrieve the suitcase he left in her car and encounters Zack again. As the two men fight, Mickey prevails, and leaves with Zack’s gun and money. Near the bar, Mickey finds Eve on a rooftop drinking liquor. Holding a gun, Eve says she will kill herself if Mickey approaches her. When Mickey also threatens to shoot himself with Zack’s gun, Eve embraces him. Both admit their guns are not loaded, and they kiss. Later, a more liberated and stylish Dr. Love asks Ralph Chomsky to dinner, and is unfazed when he hesitates. Meanwhile, newlyweds Eve and Mickey take a bus to Las Vegas for their honeymoon. +

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

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