Falling in Love (1984)

PG-13 | 106 mins | Romance | 1984

Director:

Ulu Grosbard

Producer:

Marvin Worth

Cinematographer:

Peter Suschitzky

Editor:

Michael Kahn

Production Designer:

Santo Loquasto

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

In the end credits, the filmmakers thank the following: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Ed Boni, Artie Smith and the Metro-North Commuter Railroad and Grand Central Terminal; The Glick Organization; Paul O. Sichert, Jr., Norman W. Fesmire, Al Mathis and The Budd Company; Central Falls Catering; Movie Meals, Inc.; The New York City Mayor's Office for Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, The New York State Office of Motion Picture & Television Development; The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. Also in the end credits is a “Special Thanks” for the following: Paging Communications by PageAmerica Group; Stouffer Restaurant Company/Top of the Sixes; Scale Models by Architectural Dimensions, Toronto. The following written statements also appear: “‘The Big Book of Sailing’ used by permission of Barron's Educational Series, Inc.” and Filmed entirely on location in New York and New Jersey, portions filmed at Empire Stages of New York, Long Island City, New York.”
       Falling in Love was the first pairing of Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep since The Deer Hunter in 1978 (see entry). According to production notes at the AMPAS library, the film was the screenplay debut for Michael Cristofer, who won a 1977 Pulitzer Prize and a 1977 Tony Award for the play, The Shadow Box.
       An article in the Jul 1984 Esquire detailed the development history, which was once titled The Rizzoli Affair. After being rejected at Warner Bros. and abandoned at Fox, the project eventually landed at Paramount. A first draft was completed in Aug 1983, but was considered “too thin” and “sexless” by studio chief, Michael Eisner. Other executives ... More Less

In the end credits, the filmmakers thank the following: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Ed Boni, Artie Smith and the Metro-North Commuter Railroad and Grand Central Terminal; The Glick Organization; Paul O. Sichert, Jr., Norman W. Fesmire, Al Mathis and The Budd Company; Central Falls Catering; Movie Meals, Inc.; The New York City Mayor's Office for Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, The New York State Office of Motion Picture & Television Development; The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. Also in the end credits is a “Special Thanks” for the following: Paging Communications by PageAmerica Group; Stouffer Restaurant Company/Top of the Sixes; Scale Models by Architectural Dimensions, Toronto. The following written statements also appear: “‘The Big Book of Sailing’ used by permission of Barron's Educational Series, Inc.” and Filmed entirely on location in New York and New Jersey, portions filmed at Empire Stages of New York, Long Island City, New York.”
       Falling in Love was the first pairing of Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep since The Deer Hunter in 1978 (see entry). According to production notes at the AMPAS library, the film was the screenplay debut for Michael Cristofer, who won a 1977 Pulitzer Prize and a 1977 Tony Award for the play, The Shadow Box.
       An article in the Jul 1984 Esquire detailed the development history, which was once titled The Rizzoli Affair. After being rejected at Warner Bros. and abandoned at Fox, the project eventually landed at Paramount. A first draft was completed in Aug 1983, but was considered “too thin” and “sexless” by studio chief, Michael Eisner. Other executives at Paramount tried sending the script to various directors and actors, including “Taylor Hackford, Jim Bridges, Jim Brooks, Sidney Lumet, Robert Redford, Alan Alda” and Robert De Niro, who had the authority to shape the story as their own “vehicle.” De Niro, who was not necessarily known as a romantic leading man, expressed the most interest. Producer Marvin Worth had targeted him because he “‘wanted a real, everyday person.’” Additionally, De Niro had been looking for a project to reunite him with Meryl Streep. Prior to Streep’s commitment, Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda were considered. Despite the casting of two stars, Eisner still had doubts. He asked for a rewrite and agreed to the filming of a few scenes in New York City during Christmas, but if the new screenplay did not meet his approval, he would relinquish the project. To help spark the revision, Cristofer asked De Niro and Streep to improvise scenes. In the production notes, director Ulu Grosbard credited the two actors with “helping shape” the developing screenplay, and for two months, they met once a week to read over the script with Grosbard and Cristofer. The result was Eisner’s new enthusiasm for the project. The casting of De Niro and Streep was officially confirmed in a 8 Feb 1984 HR news item. With the budget set at $13 million, De Niro and Streep agreed to lower their up-front salaries. Prior to production, a lower budget estimate of $10 million was noted in a 20 Dec 1983 LAHExam news item.
       Production notes indicated that filming began 26 Mar 1984 at the train stations, Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry, in Westchester County, NY, the setting for the opening scenes. Manhattan and Englewood, New Jersey were the other general location sites. Specific Manhattan locations included the landmarks of Grand Central Station, Rizzoli Books, “Saks [Fifth Avenue], Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the Trump Tower,” Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, Bank Street in Greenwich Village, Irving Place in Gramercy Park, South Street Seaport, Chinatown, the Upper West Side and the construction of the high-rise apartment complex, Manhattan Place, along the East River. Production notes also describe the special filming conditions at two essential locations, Grand Central Station and Rizzoli Books. Embedded at Grand Central for several weeks of night shooting, the filmmakers could only work between rush hours and in seven-hour increments. The production spent “three days and three nights” filming at Rizzoli, but the bookstore managed to stay open during this time, thanks to the store’s unique layout which allowed for filming in one area, whiles customers shopped in another. A 12 Jul 1984 HR news item noted that principal photography finished the second week of Jul 1984.
       Many of the reviews commented on the film’s similarities to the 1945 film Brief Encounter, but in a Jul 1986 brief in Films and Filming, Cristofer claimed that Falling in Love was not a remake. Although, he did acknowledge the similarities and stated that he and Grosbard screened Brief Encounter during the production of Falling in Love. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Esquire
Jul 1984.
---
Films and Filming
Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 1984
p. 3, 46.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
20 Dec 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Nov 1984
p. 1.
Moviegoer
Dec 1984.
---
New York Times
21 Nov 1984
p. 11.
New York Times
20 Mar 2012.
---
Newsweek
30 Apr 1984.
---
Variety
18 Apr 1984.
---
Variety
21 Nov 1984
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Marvin Worth Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl dir of photog
2d unit photog
Best boy
Grip best boy
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Panaglide op
Cam trainee
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept asst
Meryl Streep's illustrations by
FILM EDITORS
N.Y. asst ed
N.Y. asst ed
N.Y. asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Props
Chargeman scenic artist
Scenic artist
Shop craftsman
Const coord
Const grip
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Women's cost supv
MUSIC
Orchestrator
Orchestrator
Orchestrator
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Process supv
Process coord
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Ms. Streep's hair and makeup by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Unit pub
Prod accountant
Teamster capt
Prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Asst to Mr. De Niro
Asst to Mr. Grosbard
Asst to Mr. Worth
DGA trainee
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Animals owned and trained by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Mountain Dance" written by Dave Grusin, courtesy of GRP/Arista Records
"Sleigh Ride" written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish
"The Christmas Song" written by Mel Torme and Robert Wells
+
MUSIC
"Mountain Dance" written by Dave Grusin, courtesy of GRP/Arista Records
"Sleigh Ride" written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish
"The Christmas Song" written by Mel Torme and Robert Wells
"Nights on Fire" written by Scott Lipsker & Bill Rinehart.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Rizzoli Affair
Release Date:
1984
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 November 1984
Production Date:
26 March--mid July 1984
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
27 December 1984
Copyright Number:
PA235453
Physical Properties:
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27538
SYNOPSIS

Molly Gilmore and Frank Raftis do not know each other, but they have parallel experiences as they take the Metro-North Commuter Railroad from Westchester County into Manhattan on the day before Christmas. At adjacent telephone booths in Grand Central Station, each calls family, then buys gifts for their spouses at Saks Fifth Avenue, and later visits friends. Over lunch, Frank’s friend and colleague, Ed Lasky, reveals he is getting a divorce, and Molly learns that her friend, Isabelle, is going to Acapulco with her young boyfriend, David. In the evening, Frank and Molly shop at the bookstore, Rizzoli. As they leave the store with multiple shopping bags, their paths collide, when Molly realizes that Frank has mistakenly grabbed her package. Frank gives it to her, and they wish each other a Merry Christmas. The next morning, Frank opens presents with his wife, Ann, and two sons, Mike and Joe, and after Ann unwraps The Big Book of Sailing, he is perplexed about what happened to the gardening book he bought her. Meanwhile, under Molly’s Christmas tree, her husband Brian Gilmore, receives the gift, Gardens for All Seasons, and she is amused by the mix-up. Three months later on the Metro-North Commuter train, Frank notices Molly and attempts to figure out why she seems so familiar. As they disembark, Frank recalls that she is the woman from Rizzoli, and reminds her about dropping the Christmas ... +


Molly Gilmore and Frank Raftis do not know each other, but they have parallel experiences as they take the Metro-North Commuter Railroad from Westchester County into Manhattan on the day before Christmas. At adjacent telephone booths in Grand Central Station, each calls family, then buys gifts for their spouses at Saks Fifth Avenue, and later visits friends. Over lunch, Frank’s friend and colleague, Ed Lasky, reveals he is getting a divorce, and Molly learns that her friend, Isabelle, is going to Acapulco with her young boyfriend, David. In the evening, Frank and Molly shop at the bookstore, Rizzoli. As they leave the store with multiple shopping bags, their paths collide, when Molly realizes that Frank has mistakenly grabbed her package. Frank gives it to her, and they wish each other a Merry Christmas. The next morning, Frank opens presents with his wife, Ann, and two sons, Mike and Joe, and after Ann unwraps The Big Book of Sailing, he is perplexed about what happened to the gardening book he bought her. Meanwhile, under Molly’s Christmas tree, her husband Brian Gilmore, receives the gift, Gardens for All Seasons, and she is amused by the mix-up. Three months later on the Metro-North Commuter train, Frank notices Molly and attempts to figure out why she seems so familiar. As they disembark, Frank recalls that she is the woman from Rizzoli, and reminds her about dropping the Christmas packages. Molly says that she still has his book. In a nod to their previous meeting, they wish each other a Merry Christmas and go their separate ways. At work on a construction site in Manhattan, Frank’s colleague, Victor Rawlins, encourages him to consider an opportunity in Houston, Texas, but Frank is reluctant to commit to the year-long job. Molly visits her father, John Trainer, in the hospital, but has difficulty getting a straight answer from him about his health. Back at the construction site, Frank tells Ed about a woman he met on the train that morning, and meanwhile at Isabelle’s office, while showing her latest illustrations, Molly mentions Frank. Despite their friends’s goading, Molly and Frank downplay any significance; however, prior to boarding the train, Frank practices a dialogue he might have with Molly. On the train, Frank sees Molly looking for a seat and later approaches her standing near the door where they have an awkward conversation about being married and the curious fact of running into each other again. Tactfully, Frank suggests that they ride together tomorrow, and, Molly tells him that she plans to take the Friday, 9:04am train. That morning, Frank just makes the train, and Molly saves the seat next to her. During the ride, he talks about his sons. Later that day, Frank arranges to meet Molly at the hospital and persuades her to have lunch, during which he does most of the talking. Although shy, Molly is engaged by his conversation and sense of humor. On another day, at a cafe in Grand Central Station, Molly speaks more openly, revealing that two years ago her newborn daughter died. Molly and Frank continue to get to know each during their commutes. Sometime later, while walking together in Manhattan, Isabelle suspects that Molly is seeing someone, based on her glowing appearance. Molly tries to explain that it is only a friendship, but her uneasiness indicates deeper feelings. Embarrassed, Molly abruptly walks away from Isabelle and telephones Frank. Molly and Frank spend that afternoon in Chinatown and have their picture taken together in an arcade photo booth. That evening during dinner with Brian, Molly appears preoccupied. On another day, Molly hurries to the hospital to learn that her father had an arteriogram, and requires heart surgery. Molly is unable to reach her husband with the news, so she telephones Frank and goes to see him at the construction site. Frank recognizes that something is wrong. At first, Molly explains that her father is back in the hospital, but then proclaims, with ambivalence, that she has responsibilities and should not see Frank anymore. As she gets into a taxi, Frank asks her to wait for him at the station cafe at 5:45pm, prior to boarding the train. Delayed by work, Frank hurries to the station, only to miss the rendezvous. As the train pulls away, he turns around to see that Molly is waiting for him on the platform. He passionately kisses her and expresses his love. The next day, instead of taking his sons to a baseball game, Frank meets Molly at Rizzoli. Despite their mutual doubts and anxiety, they go to Ed’s empty apartment in Manhattan. They kiss, but as they move to the bed and begin to remove their clothes, Molly says she cannot continue and apologizes. They hold hands on the train home. At the Dobbs Ferry station, Molly watches from the train as Frank’s wife and sons greet him. When she arrives home, Molly’s husband says her father has died, and Frank learns the news when he tries to telephone Molly at the hospital. Overcome with grief and guilt, Molly becomes hysterical during the funeral, and her husband has a difficult time calming her. At home in bed, she relates to Isabelle that she cannot stop thinking about Frank, and that Brian assumes Molly is just distracted by the death of her father. Molly admits to Isabelle that she loves Frank and believes they are meant to be together even though she is resigned to the fact that they never will be. While Ann fixes him dinner, Frank discusses the Houston job that he has finally accepted, but his wife senses that there is something else he is not telling her. Frank confesses that he met a woman on the train, but that it was only a friendship and nothing happened. Calmly, Ann says that she will take the kids to Denver for two weeks to see her mother, and then she slaps Frank. That evening, Frank drives to Molly’s house and looks at it from his car. The night of his departure for Houston, he telephones Molly at home and says he misses her, asking if they can meet that evening. Molly’s husband enters the room, making it difficult for her to talk openly, so she says goodbye, wishing Frank a good trip. After she hangs up, her husband says, “well, that’s that,” indicating he knows about Frank. Molly rushes out to catch Frank, despite Brian’s pleading. Frank calls Molly again before getting in the taxi, but Brian answers, lying to Frank that Molly does not want to speak to him. In the pouring rain, Molly speeds along the road, slamming on brakes to avoid a train and stalling her car, thereby missing the opportunity to say goodbye. The following Christmas, Frank is visiting from Houston and meets Ed at a restaurant in Manhattan. After Ed asks Frank to be the best man at his upcoming wedding, Frank reveals that he came back to arrange the sale of his house and that his marriage with Ann did not work out, so she returned to Denver. Meanwhile, Molly is also in Manhattan visiting with Isabelle, who encourages Molly to accept a job offer and insists that she should join her in Barbados, instead of spending Christmas alone. That evening, Frank enters Rizzoli and encounters Molly. During their polite but reserved exchange, Molly apologizes for not being able to say goodbye the night he left for Houston, and Frank says he should not have called. When asked about their families, neither discloses the state of their marriages. They wish each other a Merry Christmas and leave the bookstore, walking in opposite directions, but thinking about the other. Frank stops and runs down the sidewalk. At Grand Central Station, Molly boards the commuter train. During the journey, she sees Frank making his way towards her. They kiss, embrace, and stare into each other’s eyes. +

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

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