Extremities (1986)

R | 89 mins | Drama | 22 August 1986

Director:

Robert M. Young

Producer:

Burt Sugarman

Cinematographer:

Curtis Clark

Editor:

Arthur Coburn

Production Designer:

Chester Kaczenski

Production Company:

Wolfkill Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

End credits state: “Originally produced on the New York stage by Gero Communications and Della Koenig.” The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Special Thanks to: Barry Mann; Irwin Young; Tony Bruno; Maureen Murdock; Neighbors on Rosario Road; Kate Sibley; Los Angeles Fire Department; Day & Nite Pest Control; David Kitay; Richard Kosinski; Carter Felts, D. D. S.”
       Reviews in the 22 Aug 1986 LAHExam and the Oct 1986 The World & I stated that playwright-screenwriter William Mastrosimone was inspired to write his play after meeting a fifty-five-year-old New Jersey rape victim. The woman told Mastrosimone that during her attack, she had not seized an opportunity to injure the rapist when he relaxed because her cultural upbringing kept her from acting. Later, after the case was dismissed on the grounds of “insufficient evidence,” the rapist threatened her outside the courthouse. The experience scared her enough to relocate to the West Coast. What inspired Mastrosimone was the woman’s regret that she had not acted in self-defense. She came to the conclusion that it would have been better to act and be killed, than spend the rest of her life in fear.
       A 3 Feb 1983 DV brief reported that writer-director Richard Brooks was approached to do the film, but passed on the project. A 22 Aug 1986 LAT article stated that director Robert M. Young turned down the script when he first read it, but he was persuaded by an agent and attorney to give the material another look. Before he agreed to do the picture, however, he wanted approval from his daughter, who survived a rape attack on the streets ... More Less

End credits state: “Originally produced on the New York stage by Gero Communications and Della Koenig.” The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Special Thanks to: Barry Mann; Irwin Young; Tony Bruno; Maureen Murdock; Neighbors on Rosario Road; Kate Sibley; Los Angeles Fire Department; Day & Nite Pest Control; David Kitay; Richard Kosinski; Carter Felts, D. D. S.”
       Reviews in the 22 Aug 1986 LAHExam and the Oct 1986 The World & I stated that playwright-screenwriter William Mastrosimone was inspired to write his play after meeting a fifty-five-year-old New Jersey rape victim. The woman told Mastrosimone that during her attack, she had not seized an opportunity to injure the rapist when he relaxed because her cultural upbringing kept her from acting. Later, after the case was dismissed on the grounds of “insufficient evidence,” the rapist threatened her outside the courthouse. The experience scared her enough to relocate to the West Coast. What inspired Mastrosimone was the woman’s regret that she had not acted in self-defense. She came to the conclusion that it would have been better to act and be killed, than spend the rest of her life in fear.
       A 3 Feb 1983 DV brief reported that writer-director Richard Brooks was approached to do the film, but passed on the project. A 22 Aug 1986 LAT article stated that director Robert M. Young turned down the script when he first read it, but he was persuaded by an agent and attorney to give the material another look. Before he agreed to do the picture, however, he wanted approval from his daughter, who survived a rape attack on the streets of Greenwich Village in New York City, fourteen years earlier at age sixteen. His daughter read the script and found it “liberating.” Her attack lasted three-and-a-half hours, and the rapist knew her contact information and address from school and personal items she carried. He threatened to find and kill her, if he was caught. For that reason, she would not cooperate with police when they questioned her at the hospital. The experience often caused her to cry and scream when she woke in the middle of the night.
       According to a 1 Sep 1986 People magazine article, directing the film allowed Young to confront his anger for the first time since the attack and work through his emotions. It also helped Young understand the courage his daughter mustered to survive her attack. The 22 Aug 1986 LAT article stated that in the film, Young tempered “Marjorie’s” behavior so it would not appear she was absorbing “the characteristics of her oppressor.” The film also switched Marjorie’s plan for her attacker from burning in a fireplace, as seen in the off-Broadway stage production, to a backyard burial.
       At some screenings for the film, audience members who had been raped, approached Young claiming that the film lacked verisimilitude. He explained that the movie was not supposed to mirror real life. He was more interested in giving viewers an experience that could be enlightening or revealing.
       A 21 Aug 1986 LAT article reported that actors Farrah Fawcett and James Russo reprised their stage roles for the film. Fawcett claimed that she lost ten pounds during filming.
       Fawcett was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1986
p. 3, 11.
LAHExam
22 Aug 1986
p. 8, 36.
Los Angeles Times
21 Aug 1986
p. 21, 25.
Los Angeles Times
22 Aug 1986
p. 1, 21.
Los Angeles Times
22 Aug 1986
Part IV, p. 1, 18, 26.
New York Times
22 Aug 1986
p. 5.
People
1 Sep 1986.
---
Variety
20 Aug 1986
p. 14.
World & I
Oct 1986
pp. 281-283.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Thomas Cole and Michael Rosenblatt Presentation
A Burt Sugarman Production
A Robert M. Young Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Line prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Video asst op
Best boy elec
Key/Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Still photog
Arriflex cam and lenses
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
Prod illustrator
Draftsman
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Set const
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Supv mus ed, Segue Music
Supv mus ed
Orch
Copyist
Mus rec by
Mus rec at
Mus rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Apprentice sd eff ed
Foley walker
Re-rec facility
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd transfers by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Ms. Fawcett's hair by
Makeup asst/Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Creative consultant
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to Robert Young
Transportation coord
Honeywagon driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Honeywagon furnished by
Vehicles
Set prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Craft service
Unit pub, PMK Public Relations
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Addl dial casting
Caterer
Animal wrangler
Paramedic
Entomology consultant
Prod equip
Prod equip
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in for James Russo
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Extremities by William Mastrosimone (New York, 22 Dec 1982).
SONGS
“Stand Up To The Night,” music by J. A. C. Redford, Richard Kerr, lyrics by Will Jennings, performed by Bonnie Rait, produced by Steve Tyrell, Tyrell-Mann Productions
“Spanish Eddie,” written by Chuck Cochrand & David Palmer, performed by David Palmer, courtesy of Glory Music Company (ASCAP)
“You Can’t Go On Leaving Me This Way,” written and performed by Barry Coffing, courtesy of Tyrell-Mann Music Corp. (BMI)
+
SONGS
“Stand Up To The Night,” music by J. A. C. Redford, Richard Kerr, lyrics by Will Jennings, performed by Bonnie Rait, produced by Steve Tyrell, Tyrell-Mann Productions
“Spanish Eddie,” written by Chuck Cochrand & David Palmer, performed by David Palmer, courtesy of Glory Music Company (ASCAP)
“You Can’t Go On Leaving Me This Way,” written and performed by Barry Coffing, courtesy of Tyrell-Mann Music Corp. (BMI)
“What It Is About You,” written and performed by Dave Szpak, courtesy of Tyrell-Mann Music Corp. (BMI)
“Taia’s Song,” written and performed by David Kitay, courtesy of Tyrell-Mann Music Corp. (BMI)
“You Saved Me,” written by Charles Valentino & Wyn Meyerson, performed by Valentino, courtesy of Tyrell-Mann Music Corp. (BMI).
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 August 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 August 1986
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28141
SYNOPSIS

A Los Angeles, California, museum employee named Marjorie leaves work at night, and is attacked in her car outside a Baskin Robbins ice cream store. Joe, a man wearing a ski mask, holds a knife to her throat, and orders her to park beneath a deserted freeway overpass. There, he orders her to unzip his pants, and touch him. When he demands she perform fellatio, she pushes him aside, and leaps out of the car. She races up a staircase, and a passing driver rescues her. Later, Marjorie files a police report regarding the attempted rape. Officer Sudow, a female officer assigned to her case, says her car was found at a mall, but even if fingerprints are recovered, the alleged rapist will probably go free because it will be his word against hers. Marjorie is concerned whether she is entitled to police protection because the attacker has her identification and address. The female officer tells her to call police immediately if the rapist shows up at her home. Marjorie is so disgusted she leaves without signing the crime report. In his garage, Joe studies Marjorie’s wallet, when his young daughter interrupts him. A week later at night, Marjorie thinks she hears intruders. In the morning, her roommates, Patricia and Terry, say she was pacing all night. Marjorie lets Terry borrow her car as long as she promises to return by 3:00 p.m. After the roommates leave, Marjorie feeds her pets, and does yard work, but forgets to lock the door. Afterward, she showers, and reads a book in the living room. Soon, a stranger walks in the front door, claiming someone named Joe owes ... +


A Los Angeles, California, museum employee named Marjorie leaves work at night, and is attacked in her car outside a Baskin Robbins ice cream store. Joe, a man wearing a ski mask, holds a knife to her throat, and orders her to park beneath a deserted freeway overpass. There, he orders her to unzip his pants, and touch him. When he demands she perform fellatio, she pushes him aside, and leaps out of the car. She races up a staircase, and a passing driver rescues her. Later, Marjorie files a police report regarding the attempted rape. Officer Sudow, a female officer assigned to her case, says her car was found at a mall, but even if fingerprints are recovered, the alleged rapist will probably go free because it will be his word against hers. Marjorie is concerned whether she is entitled to police protection because the attacker has her identification and address. The female officer tells her to call police immediately if the rapist shows up at her home. Marjorie is so disgusted she leaves without signing the crime report. In his garage, Joe studies Marjorie’s wallet, when his young daughter interrupts him. A week later at night, Marjorie thinks she hears intruders. In the morning, her roommates, Patricia and Terry, say she was pacing all night. Marjorie lets Terry borrow her car as long as she promises to return by 3:00 p.m. After the roommates leave, Marjorie feeds her pets, and does yard work, but forgets to lock the door. Afterward, she showers, and reads a book in the living room. Soon, a stranger walks in the front door, claiming someone named Joe owes him money. She says no one by that name lives there, but the man is reluctant to leave. Marjorie calls upstairs to an imaginary husband, but the intruder does not believe there is a husband. He tells her to run for the door, wondering if she will outrun him this time. As she runs upstairs, he grabs her hair, and forces her into her bedroom. There, he plays a music box on her desk, and orders her to stand on her bed, while he gazes at her. He goes through her possessions, selecting lingerie and clothing. He orders her to dress, and remarks that she is beautiful. He wants a beer, but when she goes to get it, he slaps her. Then, he dabs perfume on her neck and shoulders, and suggests they go together. Marjorie runs away, and locks herself in a bathroom. Before she can escape through the bathroom window, Joe runs onto an outdoor patio and puts his fist through the glass, threatening to kill her unless she opens the door. He uses her belt like a dog leash around her neck and walks her to the kitchen, where he demands she cook a steak. Marjorie has no steak, but can prepare bacon and eggs. As she gets the ingredients from the refrigerator, he fondles her between her legs. When she spins around, he lowers the straps of her top, sucks on a breast, then pushes her toward the stove. He drinks a beer, examines photographs, and watches her cook. When the frying pan fills with melted butter, he warns her not to throw it. When he forces her head toward the bubbling pan, she falls to the floor. He grabs the pan intending to scald her, but then returns it to the stove. Marjorie crawls into the living room, but Joe stops her with the toe of his boot on her back. He lifts her to a standing position by her hair, then orders her to undress. She spits in his face. He slaps her, and she falls to the rug. He straddles her and claims their encounter does not have to be ugly. When he wipes blood off her nose, he licks it off his hand. She slaps him. He grabs a pillow, and smothers her, but then removes the pillow and kisses her. He caresses her body, and insists that she kiss him sweetly and say she wants to make love to him. Through her tears, she complies. As he strokes her, she reaches for a can of insect repellent lying on the floor, and sprays him in the face. Joe is blinded, and they wrestle on the floor, where she binds his hands with electrical cord. She sprays his face with boiling water from the whistling teakettle, and then uses it to hit him over the head. She grabs her roommate’s car keys, and runs out the door, but Joe yells the police will not believe her story because she has no witnesses and no physical proof. Marjorie cannot get Terry’s car started, and returns to the house. She listens as Joe threatens revenge if he is sent to prison. She drags him to the fireplace, and uses a metal bedframe and electrical cord to create a makeshift holding cell. When Terry returns, she wants to call police, but Marjorie believes Joe will kill them all at some point. She asks Terry to help bury Joe in the backyard or risk being murdered. Terry refuses to do any digging, and walks into the living room to stand guard. At first, Joe weaves a story that his ice cream truck broke down, and he just asked Marjorie if he could use a telephone to call his boss. Then, he says the police will claim Terry is an accomplice, and there will be consequences. Terry pours herself a drink, and Joe rattles on about how his attorney will grill her on the witness stand. Then he switches tactics, and asks if she is Catholic because a confession about burying the ice cream man is a real sin. He comments that the roommates may think they are good friends, but just as Terry sometimes borrows Marjorie’s car, Marjorie borrows Terry’s boyfriend. Marjorie returns from the garden, and asks Terry to help. She refuses. Patricia returns from work, and is told the circumstances. Patricia wants to call the police but Marjorie insists they will let Joe go free. Marjorie grabs Patricia’s car keys so she cannot leave, and barricades the front door with the sofa. She insists no one talk to Joe. Marjorie tells Patricia she wants Joe to give a full confession. However, he refuses to say anything until he speaks to a lawyer. Patricia is afraid that if Joe dies they will be charged with a crime. She suggests they use a slice of bread to absorb some of the bug spray poison in Joe’s mouth, and Marjorie reluctantly agrees. When Patricia gives Joe the bread, he claims he cannot swallow, and they give him water. They send Terry to the pharmacy for an antidote, and warn her not to contact the police. When Terry returns, Patricia wants to remove the barrier from the fireplace to give Joe medicine, but Marjorie refuses. Terry pleads with Marjorie to cooperate because she avoided being raped, whereas, Terry confesses a friend’s father raped her, and she had to pretend everything was normal. Reluctantly, Marjorie agrees to let Patricia administer some medicine. When Patricia sits Joe in a chair, he insists on going to a hospital. Marjorie responds that unless he gives a confession, he is not going anywhere. Joe spins a fabricated story about meeting Marjorie at a party and making love all night. Supposedly, Marjorie told him she was having trouble with her boyfriend Tony. Marjorie insists Joe is lying. However, she confesses that Tony wrote her letters she never answered. Terry is upset that Marjorie withheld information from her. Joe claims he stopped by to “straighten this thing out like adults,” and Marjorie went berserk and beat him. Marjorie demands he admit holding a knife to her throat. Instead, he insists Marjorie tell Patricia about the grave she dug to bury him. Meanwhile, Joe says he forgives Marjorie, who lunges at him and finds a knife hidden in his clothing. He says he uses it to open boxes at work, but Marjorie says it is a hunting knife. She holds the blade to his chin, demanding he smile, kiss her and tell her that he wants to make love to her. She slaps him until he utters the words, then drags the blade across his face and down his torso, asking where he likes to be touched. She inserts the blade in the chair just below his crotch, and threatens to cut off his testicles. He blurts out that he watched the house and intended to kill Marjorie and her friends. When she pretends to slash his throat, he drops to the floor, crying but relieved and thanks her. Marjorie tells her roommates to get the police, and Terry apologizes for doubting her. Marjorie places the knife on the mantle, and guides Joe back to the fireplace. He curls up in a fetal position, while Marjorie sinks to the floor in a daze. +

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

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