All the Right Moves (1983)

R | 90 mins | Drama | 21 October 1983

Director:

Michael Chapman

Writer:

Michael Kane

Producer:

Stephen Simon

Cinematographer:

Jan de Bont

Editor:

David Garfield

Production Designer:

Mary Ann Biddle
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HISTORY

End credits include the following statement: "The producers wish to thank the City of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, John Rubal, The Pennsylvania Bureau of Motion Picture & Television Development and Bethlehem Steel Corporation for their cooperation in the making of this film."
       A Feb 1983 press release from Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. announced All the Right Moves as the first film offered to the studio by executive producer Gary Morton and his wife, actress and producer Lucille Ball. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 14 Mar 1983 in Johnstown, PA, with cinematographer Michael Chapman making his directorial debut. It was later revealed in the 25 Oct 1983 LAHExam that Lucille Ball did not appear in onscreen credits because she preferred not to be associated with an R-rated production. However, Morton told the 1 May 1983 LAT that, despite her diminished role in the production, his wife, who was raised in a similar industrial community, recommended adding the visual tour of Johnstown in the opening sequence.
       LAT also reported that Morton commissioned Michael Kane to write the screenplay in Jan 1982, after reading an article in GEO magazine about the “fanaticism” over high school football in economically depressed PA steel towns. Kane traveled to Aliquippa, PA, where he consulted with football coach and technical advisor Donald A. Yannessa, who once helped to quell the city’s racial tensions by shifting the residents’ focus to their high school football team. The film’s protagonist, the Yugoslav-American “Stef Djordjevic,” was a composite of Yannessa and two members of his team. The coach oriented Kane on the “traditional morality of the ... More Less

End credits include the following statement: "The producers wish to thank the City of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, John Rubal, The Pennsylvania Bureau of Motion Picture & Television Development and Bethlehem Steel Corporation for their cooperation in the making of this film."
       A Feb 1983 press release from Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. announced All the Right Moves as the first film offered to the studio by executive producer Gary Morton and his wife, actress and producer Lucille Ball. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 14 Mar 1983 in Johnstown, PA, with cinematographer Michael Chapman making his directorial debut. It was later revealed in the 25 Oct 1983 LAHExam that Lucille Ball did not appear in onscreen credits because she preferred not to be associated with an R-rated production. However, Morton told the 1 May 1983 LAT that, despite her diminished role in the production, his wife, who was raised in a similar industrial community, recommended adding the visual tour of Johnstown in the opening sequence.
       LAT also reported that Morton commissioned Michael Kane to write the screenplay in Jan 1982, after reading an article in GEO magazine about the “fanaticism” over high school football in economically depressed PA steel towns. Kane traveled to Aliquippa, PA, where he consulted with football coach and technical advisor Donald A. Yannessa, who once helped to quell the city’s racial tensions by shifting the residents’ focus to their high school football team. The film’s protagonist, the Yugoslav-American “Stef Djordjevic,” was a composite of Yannessa and two members of his team. The coach oriented Kane on the “traditional morality of the deeply ethnic steel towns,” and was influential on several scenes in the picture, including the football game sequence. Yannessa’s influence was evident in the performance of actor Craig T. Nelson, who admitted to copying many of the coach’s mannerisms in creating the coach character, “Nickerson.” Kane’s research also included interviewing football players in Aliquippa and nearby Massillon, OH, whose only options for a prosperous future were either a college scholarship or the military, as the steel industry was fast declining.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actress Lea Thompson attended a high school in the Johnstown vicinity under an assumed name, as preparation for her first starring role. The experience enabled Thompson to empathize with her character, a young woman living in “a very ethnic steel town,” whose residents face the constant threat of unemployment. Both Thompson and actress Sandy Faison told LAT of the frustration they felt in a town where women were relegated to traditional roles as wives and mothers, a feeling they tried to convey in their performances.
       Production notes also indicated that several high school coaches, in addition to Yannessa, and members of various regional teams participated in the creation of the football game sequence. According to Morton, no stunt doubles were used, and several players were injured, including actors Tom Cruise and Paul Carafotes, both of whom sustained minor concussions. Producer Stephen Deutsch added that the players practiced for three weeks prior to principal photography.
       On 21 Mar 1983, NYT stated that the producers intended to hire 2,800 residents, mostly for background roles, and approximately 10,000 would be needed to provide a cheering crowd of spectators for the football game sequence, though none would be paid individually. Instead, they were compensated with hot dogs, soft drinks, raffle prizes, and contributions to regional charities. The production company's seven-week stay was expected to contribute $2 million to Johnstown’s economy. Johnstown locations included Point Stadium and an abandoned high school, both built in the 1920s. As principal photography neared completion, LAT estimated that the city received $2.5 million of the film’s $5.6 million budget, and included 14,300 background actors in the football sequence, 500 of whom were salaried and remained on set for as long as ten hours. Deutch conceded that the production provided only temporary relief for Johnstown, which was experiencing an unemployment rate of almost twenty-six percent.
       The 13 May 1983 HR reported that Morton and Ball originally planned an Oct 1983 release, but considered moving the date to Aug 1983, provided post-production could be completed in time.
       All the Right Moves opened nationwide on 21 Oct 1983 to generally positive reviews.
       A Twentieth Century-Fox press release, dated 29 Dec 1983, announced that the soundtrack album was available on Casablanca Records. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1983
p. 3, 21.
LAHExam
23 Feb 1983.
---
LAHExam
25 Oct 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1983
p. 19, 21.
Los Angeles Times
20 Oct 1983
p. 2.
New York Times
21 Mar 1983.
---
New York Times
21 Oct 1983
p. 10.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
21 Sep 1980.
---
Variety
5 Oct 1983
p. 20.
Village Voice
25 Oct 1983.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Produced and released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Key grip
Gaffer
Still photog
Loc lighting by
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Women's costumer
Mens's costumer
MUSIC
Mus consultant for Polygram Records
Mus supv
Mus prod coord
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting
Casting (New York)
McCorkle-Sturtevant, Casting (New York)
Extra casting
Extra casting
Football tech adv
Prod coord
Asst to prods
Loc mgr
Spec still photog
Transportation coord
Auditor
Asst auditor
Unit pub
Prod consultant
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the GEO magazine article A Football High by Pat Jordan (Oct 1980).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"All The Right Moves" (Main Title), performed by Jennifer Warnes and Chris Thompson, music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Barry Alfonso, produced by Tom Snow and Brooks Arthur
"Unison" (Locker Room Dance), performed by Junior, music and lyrics by Bruce Roberts and Andy Goldmark, produced by Bruce Roberts and Andy Goldmark, executive producer, Brooks Arthur
"This Could Be Our Last Chance" (Car Scene), performed by Danny Spanos, music and lyrics by Franne Golde, Susan Pomerantz and Sue Shifrin
+
SONGS
"All The Right Moves" (Main Title), performed by Jennifer Warnes and Chris Thompson, music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Barry Alfonso, produced by Tom Snow and Brooks Arthur
"Unison" (Locker Room Dance), performed by Junior, music and lyrics by Bruce Roberts and Andy Goldmark, produced by Bruce Roberts and Andy Goldmark, executive producer, Brooks Arthur
"This Could Be Our Last Chance" (Car Scene), performed by Danny Spanos, music and lyrics by Franne Golde, Susan Pomerantz and Sue Shifrin
"The Last Stand" (Bus Ride), performed by Doug Kahan, music and lyrics by Doug Kahan, produced by Brooks Arthur
"Easy Street" (First Bar Scene), performed by Tony Orlando, music and lyrics by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, produced by Chips Moman and Brooks Arthur
"Love Theme From All The Right Moves" (Love Scene), composed by David Campbell, produced by Brooks Arthur and David Campbell
"Have I Done Anything At All (To Make You Love Me Today)" (Second Bar Scene), performed by Toni Wine, music and lyrics by Bobby Emmons, produced by Chips Moman
"I Don't Wanna Go Down" (Party), performed by Roach, music and lyrics by Brian O'Neal, produced by Brian O'Neal
"Mr. Popularity" (Party), performed by Winston Ford, music and lyrics by Gerard McMahon, produced by Gerard McMahon and Brooks Arthur
"Hold Me Close" (Party), performed by Stephanie Mills, music by Louis St. Louis, lyrics by Janet Alhanti, produced by Brooks Arthur and Stephanie Mills
"Blue Skies Forever" (End Title), performed by Frankie Miller, music by Richard Kerr, lyrics by Will Jennings, produced by Jeff Barry and Brooks Arthur
"Mister Touchdown U.S.A.," music and lyrics by Ruth Roberts, Gene Piller, William Katz.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 October 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 October 1981
Production Date:
14 March -- late April 1983 in Johnstown, PA
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
19 December 1983
Copyright Number:
PA196197
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27119
SYNOPSIS

On a rainy morning in Ampipe, Pennsylvania, Stef Ddjordjevic walks to Ampipe High School as his father and brother, Greg, return home from working the night shift at the American Pipe and Steel mill. Stef, a star football player, tells his girl friend, aspiring musician Lisa Letski, of his plan to win a college football scholarship, enabling him to become an engineer and escape the fate of his relatives and neighbors, all of whom are financially dependent on a mill that can no longer support them. He looks forward to the impending game between Ampipe and longtime rival Walnut Heights, where numerous college recruiters will be in attendance. As the team prepares for football practice that afternoon, player Brian Riley announces that he has been offered a scholarship to the University of Southern California, while Coach Vern Nickerson develops game strategies that will impress representatives of California State Polytechnic University, who are considering him for a coaching position. Stef is courted by recruiters as well, but declines all offers, hoping for a scholarship from one of the nation’s top engineering schools. On Friday afternoon, Brian reveals that he has impregnated his girl friend, Tracy, forcing him to forfeit his scholarship, despite Stef’s urging to the contrary. That evening, the team arrives at Walnut Heights, a well-funded school in an affluent community. Before the boys enter the field, Coach Nickerson reminds his team how much a victory would improve the morale of their beleaguered town, and of how their school, comprised of working-class whites and African Americans, is an object of condescension to their opponents. The game gets underway and both teams ... +


On a rainy morning in Ampipe, Pennsylvania, Stef Ddjordjevic walks to Ampipe High School as his father and brother, Greg, return home from working the night shift at the American Pipe and Steel mill. Stef, a star football player, tells his girl friend, aspiring musician Lisa Letski, of his plan to win a college football scholarship, enabling him to become an engineer and escape the fate of his relatives and neighbors, all of whom are financially dependent on a mill that can no longer support them. He looks forward to the impending game between Ampipe and longtime rival Walnut Heights, where numerous college recruiters will be in attendance. As the team prepares for football practice that afternoon, player Brian Riley announces that he has been offered a scholarship to the University of Southern California, while Coach Vern Nickerson develops game strategies that will impress representatives of California State Polytechnic University, who are considering him for a coaching position. Stef is courted by recruiters as well, but declines all offers, hoping for a scholarship from one of the nation’s top engineering schools. On Friday afternoon, Brian reveals that he has impregnated his girl friend, Tracy, forcing him to forfeit his scholarship, despite Stef’s urging to the contrary. That evening, the team arrives at Walnut Heights, a well-funded school in an affluent community. Before the boys enter the field, Coach Nickerson reminds his team how much a victory would improve the morale of their beleaguered town, and of how their school, comprised of working-class whites and African Americans, is an object of condescension to their opponents. The game gets underway and both teams compete admirably, but Ampipe loses by a narrow margin, which Nickerson blames on Vinny “Vooch” Salvucci, a player who fumbled the ball in the final seconds, and Stef, who incurred a penalty that gave their opponents an advantage. When Stef retaliates, accusing the coach of introducing the risky play that cost them the game, he is dismissed from the team. Enraged over Nickerson’s betrayal, Stef unleashes his anger on Lisa as she attempts to console him. At home, “Pop” and Greg admonish Stef for his behavior toward Nickerson, warning that he will likely be ostracized by recruiters for having a “bad attitude.” The next evening, Mr. Bosko, a football enthusiast, rallies the men at a saloon to vandalize Nickerson’s home. Along the way, they offer Stef a ride as he sits by the road in a state of intoxication, but when the boy learns of their intentions, he tries unsuccessfully to dissuade the men. Meanwhile, the coach is unable to sleep, realizing that he was indeed responsible for his team’s loss, and is alerted to the vandalism by his young daughter. As Nickerson surveys the damage, he sees Stef begging for a ride from the retreating perpetrators. Later, Stef offers the coach an apology for his insubordination, but Nickerson refuses it, insisting that the boy was complicit in damaging his property. After school, Lisa berates Stef for rebuffing her on Friday night, and accuses him of selfishness for focusing on his own educational goals, while ignoring her frustrated desire to attend music school. Stef realizes his error and the couple reconciles. In the school locker room, Salvucci informs Nickerson that he is leaving school to help support his impoverished family, which the coach tries to discourage. The conversation is interrupted by Sherman Williams of Boston College, who is interested in recruiting Stef, until Nickerson tells him of the boy’s negative attitude. On the night of the season’s final football game, Lisa visits Stef while he is alone at home, and they make love for the first time. Stef contacts numerous colleges, desperate for a scholarship, but all refuse him. He and Lisa attend Brian’s wedding, where the groom tries to convince his friends and himself that he prefers marriage and parenthood to an athletic career. Later, Nickerson stands by helplessly as Salvucci is removed from class and placed under arrest for armed robbery. At the tavern, Lisa and Stef ask Bosko and his friends to corroborate the boy’s innocence in the vandalism incident, but the men refuse, resentful of Stef’s desire for a college degree. Stef strikes Bosko for insulting Lisa, and the men beat him in retaliation, until the bartender intervenes. Lisa explains Stef’s plight to Suzie Nickerson, the coach’s wife, who promises to discuss the matter with her husband. Suzie reminds Lisa that her relationship with Stef is unlikely to survive if he leaves town, and encourages the girl to pursue a college career of her own. Meanwhile, Stef tries to raise money for school by working weekends at the mill. He learns that Nickerson has been hired by California Polytechnic, and when the two have a chance encounter, Stef apologizes again for his transgressions, but also accuses the coach of abusing his position. The following weekend, as Stef completes his shift at the mill, Lisa and Nickerson greet him at the gate with the news that he has been awarded a full scholarship to California Polytechnic. Stef and Lisa embrace. +

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

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