No Small Affair (1984)

R | 100 mins | Romantic comedy | 9 November 1984

Director:

Jerry Schatzberg

Cinematographer:

Vilmos Zsigmond

Production Designer:

Robert Boyle

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures
Full page view
HISTORY

According to production charts in the 27 Feb 1981 DV and 20 Mar 1981 HR, No Small Affair originally went into production 9 Mar 1981 in New York City, under the direction of Martin Ritt, starring Sally Field and Matthew Broderick. Ritt had recently directed Sally Field in Norma Rae (1979, see entry), for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress, and in Back Roads (1981, see entry). After ten days of principal photography, Ritt became ill and No Small Affair was “temporarily shuttered,” as stated in a 27 Mar 1981 Var column. Columbia Pictures and Rastar considered director Mark Rydell as a replacement, but the project was soon abandoned and an insurance claim was filed, according to a 9 Nov 1984 NYT article.
       However, William Sackheim, the film’s producer, remained committed to the material, and his company, Crescendo Productions, kept the project with Columbia Pictures, under an exclusive production deal with the studio, as noted in a 12 Mar 1984 DV article. Rastar was no longer associated with the project. Craig Bolotin rewrote his original screenplay, which was further “recrafted” by Michael Leeson. However, final onscreen story credit is attributed to Charles Bolt and final screenplay credit went to Bolt and Terence Mulcahy, whom Sackheim hired for another rewrite. For the new version, now set in San Francisco, CA, Sackheim aimed for more humor, younger stars, and rock and roll music in an appeal to the teenage market.
       The rebooted project began filming 12 Mar 1984 in San Francisco ... More Less

According to production charts in the 27 Feb 1981 DV and 20 Mar 1981 HR, No Small Affair originally went into production 9 Mar 1981 in New York City, under the direction of Martin Ritt, starring Sally Field and Matthew Broderick. Ritt had recently directed Sally Field in Norma Rae (1979, see entry), for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress, and in Back Roads (1981, see entry). After ten days of principal photography, Ritt became ill and No Small Affair was “temporarily shuttered,” as stated in a 27 Mar 1981 Var column. Columbia Pictures and Rastar considered director Mark Rydell as a replacement, but the project was soon abandoned and an insurance claim was filed, according to a 9 Nov 1984 NYT article.
       However, William Sackheim, the film’s producer, remained committed to the material, and his company, Crescendo Productions, kept the project with Columbia Pictures, under an exclusive production deal with the studio, as noted in a 12 Mar 1984 DV article. Rastar was no longer associated with the project. Craig Bolotin rewrote his original screenplay, which was further “recrafted” by Michael Leeson. However, final onscreen story credit is attributed to Charles Bolt and final screenplay credit went to Bolt and Terence Mulcahy, whom Sackheim hired for another rewrite. For the new version, now set in San Francisco, CA, Sackheim aimed for more humor, younger stars, and rock and roll music in an appeal to the teenage market.
       The rebooted project began filming 12 Mar 1984 in San Francisco with director Jerry Schatzberg and leads Jon Cryer and Demi Moore. The 7 Nov 1984 HR review noted that Schatzberg brought his expertise as a former fashion photographer to the story. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, location work included the following San Francisco sites: Fort Point beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, the nightlife of the North Beach district, the Sausalito ferry boat, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park Aquarium, Hyde Street Pier where the opening sequence took place, and California Hall for the wedding reception. Vladimir Perfiloff is mentioned in production notes as the “technical director” for the Russian Orthodox wedding reception sequence, although his name does not appear in onscreen credits. Performers from Perfiloff’s Russian dance troupe were featured in the sequence. For “Laura Victor’s” loft apartment, the production found an historic waterfront building with a view of the Bay Bridge. Following five weeks of shooting in San Francisco, the production relocated to Burbank Studiosdios in Burbank, CA, for an additional four weeks, according to a 25 Apr 1984 Var item. There, the interior sets were built for the loft and “Jake’s” nightclub.
       The 8 Nov 1984 LAT review noted that the vocals of Chrissy Faith were dubbed over Demi Moore’s singing performance.
       Some critics found the film “charming,” but overall, reviews were mixed. The Jan 1985 Box reported a $4-million gross after its first ten days on 1,200 screens.
       End credits include the following acknowledgment: “Special thanks to Nikon, Inc. for its generous cooperation.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jan 1985
Section R, p. 8.
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1981.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1984
p. 1, 46.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 1984
p. 3, 18.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1984
Section K, p. 5.
New York Times
9 Nov 1984
Section C, p. 10.
New York Times
9 Nov 1984
Section C, p. 16.
Variety
27 Mar 1981.
---
Variety
25 Apr 1984.
---
Variety
7 Nov 1984
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures presents
A William Sackheim Production
A Jerry Schatzberg Film
From Columbia-Delphi Productions II
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Cam intern to Mr. Zsigmond
Spec still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assoc film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Standby painter
Lead person
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus ed, Segue Music
Mus ed, Segue Music
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Cableman
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Craft service
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Prod controller
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod liaison
Caterer
Prod coord
Casting coord
Asst to Mr. Sackheim
Asst to Mr. Schatzberg
Extra casting
Extra casting
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Singing voice double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Love Makes You Blind (Love Theme From ‘No Small Affair’),” written and produced by Peppi Marchello, performed by Fiona, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“No Small Affair,” performed by Rupert Holmes, composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes
“Double Barrels,” composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes, performed by Chrissy Faith
+
SONGS
“Love Makes You Blind (Love Theme From ‘No Small Affair’),” written and produced by Peppi Marchello, performed by Fiona, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“No Small Affair,” performed by Rupert Holmes, composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes
“Double Barrels,” composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes, performed by Chrissy Faith
“Itchin’ For A Fight,” composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes, performed by Chrissy Faith
“Hot Headed,” composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes, performed by Chrissy Faith
“Otherwise Fine,” composed, written and produced by Rupert Holmes, performed by Chrissy Faith
“My Funny Valentine,” written by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, performed by Chrissy Faith
“I’m Glad There Is You (In This World Of Ordinary People),” written by Paul Madeira and Jimmy Dorsey, performed by Chrissy Faith, produced by Rupert Holmes
“Shoot’em Down,” written by Dee Snider, produced by Pete Way and Mark Mendoza, performed by Twisted Sister, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“I’ll Never Grow Up,” written by Dee Snider, produced by Eddie Kramer, performed by Twisted Sister, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“What You Don’t Know,” written by Dee Snider, produced by Pete Way and Mark Mendoza, performed by Twisted Sister, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“Hard Livin’ Without You,” written by Randy Jackson, produced by Jack Douglas for November Music Productions, Inc., additional production by Randy Jackson and Bill Dooley, performed by Zebra, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“You Never Used To Cry,” written and produced by Jon Farriss, performed by Jon Farriss from the group “Inxs,” courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., Phonogram International B.V. and WEA Records Pty Limited
“Anyday But Sunday,” written and produced by Tim Farriss, performed by Tim Farriss from the group “Inxs,” courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., Phonogram International B.V. and WEA Records Pty Limited
“Eiffel Tower,” performed by Malcolm McLaren and the McLarenettes, courtesy of Island Records, Inc./Charisma Records (U.S.) and Charisma Records (Foreign)
“Over The Top,” written by Kevin Russell, Jeffrey Nead and Tim Gorman, produced by 707, performed by 707
“Only One Thing,” written, produced and performed by Paul Delph, courtesy of Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 November 1984
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 9 November 1984
Production Date:
12 March--mid May 1984
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 December 1984
Copyright Number:
PA236097
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
9,198
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27553
SYNOPSIS

Sixteen-year-old Charles Cummings is obsessed with photography and sets up a shot early one morning on a pier in San Francisco, California. When an arguing couple walks in front of his camera, Charles yells at them to move and is reminded how much he hates taking pictures of people. As soon as the couple leaves, he resumes his shot of the harbor. Arriving back home, he encounters Ken, his mother’s latest boyfriend, and makes a snide remark during their introduction. As Charles prepares for school, his mother, Joan Cummings, tells her smart-aleck son to show more respect to guests. That evening, Charles examines his photographic negatives from the pier and sees a shot of the woman who was arguing with her boyfriend. He is stunned by her beauty and develops enlargements of her face to cover his bedroom wall. However, his inquiries about her identity lead nowhere. Meanwhile, his older brother, Leonard, arrives in San Francisco to introduce his latest fiancée, Susan, and persuades Charles to join them in the North Beach district. There, the underage Charles enters a nightclub using his brother’s identification and realizes the band’s lead singer is the woman from the pier. He starts snapping photographs of her until a fight ensues as the bouncer tries to eject him. Before police escort him out, Charles learns the woman’s name is Laura Victor. The next day, Charles sneaks away from the apartment without his mother noticing and returns to the club. He finds Laura again arguing with her boyfriend, Scott, about his decision to abandon the band to become a studio musician. ... +


Sixteen-year-old Charles Cummings is obsessed with photography and sets up a shot early one morning on a pier in San Francisco, California. When an arguing couple walks in front of his camera, Charles yells at them to move and is reminded how much he hates taking pictures of people. As soon as the couple leaves, he resumes his shot of the harbor. Arriving back home, he encounters Ken, his mother’s latest boyfriend, and makes a snide remark during their introduction. As Charles prepares for school, his mother, Joan Cummings, tells her smart-aleck son to show more respect to guests. That evening, Charles examines his photographic negatives from the pier and sees a shot of the woman who was arguing with her boyfriend. He is stunned by her beauty and develops enlargements of her face to cover his bedroom wall. However, his inquiries about her identity lead nowhere. Meanwhile, his older brother, Leonard, arrives in San Francisco to introduce his latest fiancée, Susan, and persuades Charles to join them in the North Beach district. There, the underage Charles enters a nightclub using his brother’s identification and realizes the band’s lead singer is the woman from the pier. He starts snapping photographs of her until a fight ensues as the bouncer tries to eject him. Before police escort him out, Charles learns the woman’s name is Laura Victor. The next day, Charles sneaks away from the apartment without his mother noticing and returns to the club. He finds Laura again arguing with her boyfriend, Scott, about his decision to abandon the band to become a studio musician. After Scott walks out, Laura persuades club owner Jake Lewis to give her band a chance to prove their talent without Scott. Charles overhears the conversation while hidden behind the bar and follows Laura from the club as she goes to an aquarium. He shows her the pictures from the pier and offers to take more photographs for her portfolio. Preoccupied with her struggling career, Laura is not interested and says goodbye. However, Charles later finds a way to charm the beautiful singer. He takes Leonard’s bachelor party guests to watch her and the new band perform at Jake’s club, which would otherwise be empty. Later, Laura stops by Charles’s high school to thank him and invites him to her loft for a photography session. When Charles arrives, Laura is depressed over news that Jake has hired another band for the club. Charles lifts her spirits by taking her on his moped scooter to various San Francisco landmarks as backdrops for his photos. At the end of the day, Laura is hungry, but the two have only fifty cents between them. She changes into another outfit and brings Charles along as they sneak into a wedding reception. Laura and Charles drink until they are intoxicated. After observing the two suspiciously, Gus Sosnowski, father of the bride, demands that Charles and Laura pay for everything they have consumed or he will contact police. Charles tells Gus that his date is famous, and arranges for Laura to sing for the guests. Charles photographs Laura on stage as she performs a romantic ballad, impressing the crowd and Gus. Afterward, Charles is even more awed by Laura’s talent and encourages her to incorporate more popular standards into her repertoire, but by the time he takes her home, she is again despondent about her future and asks him to leave. Driving home, he gets an idea to jump-start Laura’s singing career. Using the cash he has been saving to begin his own photography career in Milan, Italy, Charles buys advertising space on 150 taxi cabs to publicize her image. Instead of job offers, however, Laura receives prank calls or inquiries about her “escort service.” On the street, people wave and know her name. She is dumbfounded until she sees an advertisement on the top of a taxi, showing her face and the words, “Laura Victor She’s the Best! 555-1012.” Furious, she pulls Charles out of class and tells him to get rid of the ads immediately. He tries to explain that he only wanted to help, but she walks away. When Laura later learns from the taxi service that Charles spent $6,000 on the advertisements, she realizes he gave up his Milan trip for her and feels guilty about her reaction. In the meantime, Charles stops by the loft while Laura is away and leaves a note of apology. That night, Jake Lewis visits Laura and shows her a newspaper article reporting the story behind Charles’s advertising campaign. Ever since the article was published, mentioning Laura is a singer at the club, Jake has been receiving numerous calls for reservations and is desperate to rehire her. She agrees, and in front of a sold-out audience, Laura focuses on singing ballads, thrilling the crowd as well as a record executive in attendance. Between sets, she hurries off to find Charles and is told by his family that the teenager is missing. She leaves a confidential note for him, which his brother, Leonard, tucks away for safekeeping. That night, Leonard searches for his younger brother and finds him passed out in an alley. At Leonard and Susan’s wedding, Charles, as best man, finds Laura’s note inside the ring box and interrupts the ceremony to proclaim that the singer loves him. He rushes to Laura’s loft, and the two embrace. She is excited after signing a contract with Atlantic Records and thanks Charles for making the opportunity possible. However, Charles is disappointed that she must leave for Los Angeles, California, the next day, then becomes angry when she calls him her “best friend.” The teenager accuses Laura of playing with his emotions, and rereads aloud her note that ends with the words, “I love you.” Crying, Laura is upset that there has been a misunderstanding about their relationship. He asks to kiss her goodbye and is pleasantly surprised when Laura begins to undress. He telephones his mother to say that he will not be returning home that evening. At the airport the next day, Laura assures Charles that many women will love him and gives him a final, passionate kiss. Although at the moment, Charles does not feel he will ever love another woman, the experience with Laura has left him more self-assured, and he finally decides to approach Mona, a nerdy classmate who has been flirting with him.
+

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.