Creator (1985)

R | 108 mins | Comedy-drama | 20 September 1985

Director:

Ivan Passer

Writer:

Jeremy Leven

Producer:

Stephen Friedman

Cinematographer:

Robbie Greenberg

Editor:

Richard Chew

Production Designer:

Josan F. Russo

Production Company:

Kings Road Productions
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HISTORY

End credits include the following statement: “Hospital scenes filmed at Alexian Bros. Hospital, San Jose, California.”
       According to the 24 Sep 1980 HR, film rights for Jeremy Leven’s 1980 novel, Creator, were sold in Mar 1980 for $500,000 to producer Andrew Braunsberg at Lorimar Pictures, who planned to produce the film independently. Jonathan Demme was reportedly attached to direct the $8--10 million picture, which was set to film in the Cambridge-Boston, MA, starting Mar/Apr 1981 for sixteen weeks, with a planned Christmas 1981 release. However, the 20 Jan 1984 HR stated that Kings Road Productions and Universal Pictures were now producing the feature, with principal photography already underway as of 13 Jan 1984, in Los Angeles, CA. HR production charts on 14 Feb 1984 reported an earlier start date of 9 Jan 1984, and production notes in AMPAS library files stated a thirteen-week shooting schedule.
       Addressing the change in production companies, a 20 Sep 1985 Publishers Weekly article explained that after optioning his book to Lorimar, Leven wrote several revisions of the script, and film rights reverted back to him. In 1982, Leven sold his novel, Satan, to Kings Road Productions, and Ivan Passer, the project’s director, asked to see Creator. After showing the script to producers at King’s Road, they purchased the screen rights and hired Leven as screenwriter. Additionally, Leven contributed to many phases of the film’s production, and had input in casting, costuming, location scouting, and re-editing of the film’s trailer.
       Filming also took place in Santa Rosa, CA, according to the 28 Mar 1984 ... More Less

End credits include the following statement: “Hospital scenes filmed at Alexian Bros. Hospital, San Jose, California.”
       According to the 24 Sep 1980 HR, film rights for Jeremy Leven’s 1980 novel, Creator, were sold in Mar 1980 for $500,000 to producer Andrew Braunsberg at Lorimar Pictures, who planned to produce the film independently. Jonathan Demme was reportedly attached to direct the $8--10 million picture, which was set to film in the Cambridge-Boston, MA, starting Mar/Apr 1981 for sixteen weeks, with a planned Christmas 1981 release. However, the 20 Jan 1984 HR stated that Kings Road Productions and Universal Pictures were now producing the feature, with principal photography already underway as of 13 Jan 1984, in Los Angeles, CA. HR production charts on 14 Feb 1984 reported an earlier start date of 9 Jan 1984, and production notes in AMPAS library files stated a thirteen-week shooting schedule.
       Addressing the change in production companies, a 20 Sep 1985 Publishers Weekly article explained that after optioning his book to Lorimar, Leven wrote several revisions of the script, and film rights reverted back to him. In 1982, Leven sold his novel, Satan, to Kings Road Productions, and Ivan Passer, the project’s director, asked to see Creator. After showing the script to producers at King’s Road, they purchased the screen rights and hired Leven as screenwriter. Additionally, Leven contributed to many phases of the film’s production, and had input in casting, costuming, location scouting, and re-editing of the film’s trailer.
       Filming also took place in Santa Rosa, CA, according to the 28 Mar 1984 LAHExam. A 10 May 1984 HR news item reported a $12 million budget. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 1980
p. 1, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1985
p. 3, 10.
LAHExam
28 Mar 1984
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
20 Sep 1985
p. 14.
New York Times
20 Sep 1985
p. 5.
Publishers Weekly
20 Sep 1985
p. 26.
Variety
4 Sep 1985
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Kings Road Productions presents
A Stephen Friedman Production
An Ivan Passer Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy/Elec
Key grip
Best boy/Grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Cam and lenses by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
"Zeno" built by
"Zeno" built by
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set dec
Leadman
Leadman
Drapery man
Const coord
Gen foreman
Paint foreman
Labor foreman
Landscape man
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
MUSIC
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Sd boom man
Sd boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Cable
Re-rec facilities at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Prod consultant
Casting assoc
Prod coord
Scr supv
First aid/Const
First aid/Crew
Auditor
Asst auditor
Loc mgr
Craft services
Asst to Mr. Passer
Extras casting, Margarette, Kennedy & Niclas Casti
Prod asst
Prod asst
Caterer, Sunrise Catering
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Post-prod facilities at
Marketing consultant
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Creator by Jeremy Leven (New York, 1980).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“I’m A Woman” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, published by Jerry Leiber Music, Mike Stoller Music, and Bien Stock Publishing Co., ADM. by Herald Square Music, Inc.
“String Trio Rock” composed by Mark K. Cargill.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 September 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 September 1985
Production Date:
early January--late March 1984 in Los Angeles and Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Kings Road Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 September 1985
Copyright Number:
PA262377
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses by Panavision ®
Prints
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27651
SYNOPSIS

Smitten by a female stranger, new graduate student, Boris Lafkin, follows the girl into the University Medical Center. There he catches the eye of Dr. Harry Wolper, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who is seeking a student assistant. Harry promises to identify the girl if Boris forgoes his assistant position with Harry’s rival colleague, Dr. Sid Kuhlenbeck, and comes to work for him. Harry vows to teach Boris “the big picture” while under his mentorship. When Boris accepts, Harry takes him to his off-campus laboratory and explains his experiment, “Lucy,” named after his deceased wife. For the past thirty years, Harry has been cultivating her cells, attempting to bring her back to life. Although Harry does not really know the name of Boris’ love interest, the boy still grows to admire his new instructor. When Harry needs a “sequencer” to continue his experiments, the two steal one from rival Dr. Sid Kuhlenbeck. Later, Boris learns that his father has passed away, and Harry attends the funeral with his grieving young protégé. As Harry shares stories of his wife, Lucy, Boris expresses admiration for the doctor. With their partnership secured, Harry reveals that he has learned the name of Boris’ flame: Barbara Spencer. In time, Boris sees Barbara on the street, and helps her carry a refrigerator to her new apartment. When Boris meets her roommate, Larry, he assumes the two are a couple, and becomes despondent. As Dr. Kuhlenbeck pries Boris for information about Harry’s secret experiment, he reveals his intention to have Harry removed from his leadership position at the university, and transferred to an outlying ... +


Smitten by a female stranger, new graduate student, Boris Lafkin, follows the girl into the University Medical Center. There he catches the eye of Dr. Harry Wolper, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who is seeking a student assistant. Harry promises to identify the girl if Boris forgoes his assistant position with Harry’s rival colleague, Dr. Sid Kuhlenbeck, and comes to work for him. Harry vows to teach Boris “the big picture” while under his mentorship. When Boris accepts, Harry takes him to his off-campus laboratory and explains his experiment, “Lucy,” named after his deceased wife. For the past thirty years, Harry has been cultivating her cells, attempting to bring her back to life. Although Harry does not really know the name of Boris’ love interest, the boy still grows to admire his new instructor. When Harry needs a “sequencer” to continue his experiments, the two steal one from rival Dr. Sid Kuhlenbeck. Later, Boris learns that his father has passed away, and Harry attends the funeral with his grieving young protégé. As Harry shares stories of his wife, Lucy, Boris expresses admiration for the doctor. With their partnership secured, Harry reveals that he has learned the name of Boris’ flame: Barbara Spencer. In time, Boris sees Barbara on the street, and helps her carry a refrigerator to her new apartment. When Boris meets her roommate, Larry, he assumes the two are a couple, and becomes despondent. As Dr. Kuhlenbeck pries Boris for information about Harry’s secret experiment, he reveals his intention to have Harry removed from his leadership position at the university, and transferred to an outlying facility where the elderly scientists teach. Meanwhile, Harry posts flyers seeking a female ovary donor to further his experiments. When he later consoles a crying young woman named Meli, who believes she may be pregnant but cannot afford medical testing, Harry offers to perform a blood test at no charge. Learning she is not pregnant, the grateful girl offers Harry one of her eggs and moves in to Harry’s home. When Boris meets Meli and learns she donated an ovary, he believes Harry has gone too far. In turn, Meli confides her intention to marry Harry. Sometime later, Barbara seeks out Boris and explains that she no longer wants to live with her roommate, Larry, after he made sexual advances toward her. Boris offers Barbara temporary accommodations at his apartment while she looks for a new place to live. Feeling comfortable with her new friend, Barbara accepts his offer. Elsewhere, Harry asks Meli for a second egg, and she agrees, on condition that Harry gives their budding relationship a chance. At Boris’ apartment, Barbara settles in, and the young man struggles to restrain his attraction to her. Later, Meli proposes marriage to Harry, but he refuses to take the young girl seriously. At a faculty dinner party, Harry introduces his colleagues to Meli, and the girl is mesmerizing. When Dr. Kuhlenbeck attempts to seduce her, Meli rejects him. Harry later shows his home lab to the chairperson of the Biology department, Paul, and shares his progress with resurrecting “Lucy.” Paul, a close friend of Harry’s, advises him to keep his ludicrous experiment to himself. In time, Harry invites Boris and Barbara to his beach house, where they fall in love. Boris proposes marriage while making love to Barbara, and she accepts. Back in Harry’s lab, “Lucy’s” fertilized egg begins to grow in a test tube. Paul and Boris congratulate the doctor on his achievement, but Meli is not pleased. Later, Barbara develops morning sickness, and she fears she is pregnant. Later still, Dr. Kuhlenbeck discovers the stolen lab equipment at Harry’s house, and university officers repossess the contraptions, destroying the “Lucy” fetus in the process. However, some of her cultivated cells remain intact. Due to the incident, Boris anticipates being expelled and blames Harry for leading him astray. Meanwhile, Meli fights with Harry over “Lucy,” chastising him for not accepting his wife’s death. Heartbroken, Meli leaves her companion. Later, Harry accepts a transfer to the isolated research facility within the university, but first fulfills his obligation to give a presentation for Biology department financiers. Dr. Kuhlenbeck is furious when Harry successfully procures a large grant from the financiers, and learns the research funds will go with Harry to the outlying facility. Later, Boris takes Barbara to the hospital after she suffers pains and fainting spells. There, Dr. Kuhlenbeck examines her, and rushes her into emergency treatment when she falls unconscious. Barbara’s parents arrive at her bedside and tell Boris how much Barbara loves him. Dr. Kuhlenbeck reveals that Barbara suffered a stroke and can no longer breathe on her own. Although she could remain alive in a coma for several years, Dr. Kuhlenbeck recommends that her parents remove her from life support. Devastated, Boris vows to protect Barbara, but her parents give permission to let her die. As Boris begs Dr. Kuhlenbeck to wait, claiming Barbara is not brain dead, Harry arrives to intervene. Bearing a letter from the university dean, Harry is given permission to conduct tests on Barbara for two more days, and enlists Boris’ help. Ultimately agreeing with Dr. Kuhlenbeck’s grave assessment, Harry extracts some of Barbara’s cells and offers to use them to bring her back if she dies, but Boris is determined to accept her death, if it occurs. Forgoing science, Harry and Boris turn to prayer and the power of love to save Barbara. When Boris tells his mentor that he failed to learn “the big picture” because he was too caught up in his love for Barbara, Harry suggests otherwise. Harry leaves Boris to sit vigil at Barbara’s side and searches for Meli, posting flyers around town declaring his desire to marry her. Harry speaks aloud to his deceased wife, and finally bids her farewell. Sometime later, Meli finds Harry at his beach house, and he throws the last of Lucy’s cells into the ocean. They express their love for each other, and Meli agrees to marry Harry. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Boris pleads with Barbara to live. As Dr. Kuhlenbeck pulls Boris away, Barbara squeezes her lover’s hand, proving she is still alive. When Dr. Kuhlenbeck removes her breathing machine, Boris is enraged, then realizes Barbara is breathing on her own. Looking for Barbara’s parents to notify them of Barbara’s recovery, Boris sees Harry, and the friends embrace. Sometime later, Boris returns to the hospital carrying armfuls of presents for Barbara. In time, students flock to follow Harry to his new outpost within the university, and Meli tells him she’s expecting a baby. +

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

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