Second Thoughts (1983)

PG | 98 mins | Comedy-drama | 11 March 1983

Director:

Lawrence Turman

Writer:

Steve Brown

Cinematographer:

King Baggot

Editor:

Neil Travis

Production Designer:

Paul Peters

Production Companies:

Turman-Foster Company, EMI Films
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HISTORY

End credits include the following statement: "Filmed on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at Laird International Studios, Culver City, California."
       The print viewed by AFI is ninety-four minutes in length, although various contemporary sources stated that the original running time was ninety-eight minutes.
       The uncredited song, "(Won't You Come Home) Bill Bailey," is written by Hughie Cannon.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, screenwriter Steve Brown first conceived the film in 1979, inspired by the sudden pregnancy of three female friends, and a news story about a man killing his girl friend and himself because she was planning to have an abortion. Brown wrote the first half of his screenplay over a ten-day period in Santa Fe, NM, which he considered the ideal setting for the story. Producers Lawrence Turman and David Foster optioned the screenplay in autumn 1980, and EMI Films agreed to finance the production. With Foster’s encouragement, Turman chose the project as his second directorial effort. Brown later adapted the character, Amy, to suit the acting style and personality of lead actress Lucie Arnaz.
       The 20 May 1981 HR referred to the film by its provisional title, Bastards, and estimated the budget at $5 million, with the start of principal photography scheduled for Sep 1981. The 15 May 1981 LAT noted that completion of the production was dependent on the resolution of a writers’ strike and “negotiations with the directors,” but Arnaz, who had a “pay or play deal,” would receive a salary regardless. A new title was being sought, as the original was determined to be unacceptable. ... More Less

End credits include the following statement: "Filmed on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at Laird International Studios, Culver City, California."
       The print viewed by AFI is ninety-four minutes in length, although various contemporary sources stated that the original running time was ninety-eight minutes.
       The uncredited song, "(Won't You Come Home) Bill Bailey," is written by Hughie Cannon.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, screenwriter Steve Brown first conceived the film in 1979, inspired by the sudden pregnancy of three female friends, and a news story about a man killing his girl friend and himself because she was planning to have an abortion. Brown wrote the first half of his screenplay over a ten-day period in Santa Fe, NM, which he considered the ideal setting for the story. Producers Lawrence Turman and David Foster optioned the screenplay in autumn 1980, and EMI Films agreed to finance the production. With Foster’s encouragement, Turman chose the project as his second directorial effort. Brown later adapted the character, Amy, to suit the acting style and personality of lead actress Lucie Arnaz.
       The 20 May 1981 HR referred to the film by its provisional title, Bastards, and estimated the budget at $5 million, with the start of principal photography scheduled for Sep 1981. The 15 May 1981 LAT noted that completion of the production was dependent on the resolution of a writers’ strike and “negotiations with the directors,” but Arnaz, who had a “pay or play deal,” would receive a salary regardless. A new title was being sought, as the original was determined to be unacceptable. According to the 2 Jun 1981 HR, Arnaz was originally contracted to appear in Malta Wants Me Dead, released as Trenchcoat (1983, see entry), but left the production because of delays in completing the screenplay, and joined the cast of Bastards. She later told the 19 Jan 1983 Var that she declined a role in Poltergeist (1982, see entry) to appear in Bastards. Principal photography was scheduled to start 1 Sep 1981 in Santa Fe, as reported in the 26 Jun 1981 HR. The 6 Aug 1981 HR announced the film’s official title as Second Thoughts.
       Principal photography officially began 24 Sep 1981, as stated in an HR item of the same date. The 22 Sep 1981 Var reported that the production crew threw a party for the people of Santa Fe, to thank them for their cooperation during pre-production. Among those in attendance were NM Governor Bruce King, and former Nixon administration official and local resident, John Ehrlichman.
       A news item in 30 Sep 1981 HR included actress Savannah Smith among the cast, but her name does not appear in onscreen credits. Actor Ken Howard completed his obligation to the picture on 20 Nov 1981, and left for New York City to begin work on another project, as reported in the 20 Nov 1981 DV. The 5 Dec 1981 Screen International noted that Second Thoughts was the eighth production to result from the eight-year partnership of Turman and Foster. An Oct 1982 release was planned, with domestic distribution by Universal Pictures; Columbia-EMI-Warner in the United Kingdom; and EMI in the rest of the world.
       Second Thoughts opened 11 Mar 1983 in Los Angeles, CA, to negative reviews. The May 1983 Box reported earnings of $141,000 during its opening weekend at sixty-five theaters in the southwestern U.S. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
May 1983.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1981
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1983
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
15 May 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Mar 1983
p. 2.
Screen International
5 Dec 1981
p. 13.
Variety
20 May 1981
p. 54.
Variety
8 Jul 1981.
---
Variety
12 Aug 1981.
---
Variety
22 Sep 1981.
---
Variety
19 Jan 1983.
---
Variety
16 Mar 1983
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
with The law firm:
The cocktail party:
The pizza parlor:
Tombs children:
Sante Fe people:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Turman-Foster Company Production
A Lawrence Turman Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
Prod mgr
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Orig mus
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Cable man
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff
MAKEUP
Lucie Arnaz's hair des
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Transportation capt
Co-transportation capt
Prod coord
EMI representative
Animal trainer
Extra casting-Los Angeles
Extra casting-Santa Fe
Extra casting-Santa Fe
Unit pub
Pub coord
Loc mgr
First aid
Prod asst
Prod's secy
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Pass It Around," "Tomorrow I Will Love You Still," "Saying What We Already Know," written and performed by Craig Wasson.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Bastards
Release Date:
11 March 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 March 1983
Production Date:
began 24 September 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Thorn EMI Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 June 1983
Copyright Number:
PA176284
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex cameras by Panavision®
Prints
Release prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26678
SYNOPSIS

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, street musician Will Thorson performs on a piano mounted on the back of his pickup truck, and is arrested for blocking traffic. Amy Ashe, Will’s attorney and lover, argues the case with Chief of Police Staab, who produces Will’s arrest record, revealing his alias, William Littlehorse. Amy secures Will’s release, then discovers that his truck has been stolen from the police station. That evening, after they make love, Amy asks Will about his prior arrests and his alias. He explains that “Littlehorse” is the maiden name of his Zuni Indian mother, and his surname when he was a Native American political activist and law student at Stanford University. The next day, he goes to the bank to apply for a loan to replace his truck, but is refused because of his poor credit record. He asks to speak with bank president John Michael Tombs, unaware that he is Amy’s former husband. John Michael snubs Will, claiming to be too busy to discuss the matter. Meanwhile, Amy is told by her gynecologist, Dr. Martha Carpenter, that she is ten weeks pregnant, despite a prior diagnosis of infertility. Because Amy has no interest in marrying or being a parent, Dr. Carpenter recommends an abortion. Amy returns to her law office to find John Michael, who asks her to represent him in his divorce from his second wife, Janis. Amy refuses, on both personal and ethical grounds. Later, Amy and Will attend a cocktail party, where her boss, Alfred Venable, implies that John Michael has threatened to withhold financial services from the law firm if ... +


In Santa Fe, New Mexico, street musician Will Thorson performs on a piano mounted on the back of his pickup truck, and is arrested for blocking traffic. Amy Ashe, Will’s attorney and lover, argues the case with Chief of Police Staab, who produces Will’s arrest record, revealing his alias, William Littlehorse. Amy secures Will’s release, then discovers that his truck has been stolen from the police station. That evening, after they make love, Amy asks Will about his prior arrests and his alias. He explains that “Littlehorse” is the maiden name of his Zuni Indian mother, and his surname when he was a Native American political activist and law student at Stanford University. The next day, he goes to the bank to apply for a loan to replace his truck, but is refused because of his poor credit record. He asks to speak with bank president John Michael Tombs, unaware that he is Amy’s former husband. John Michael snubs Will, claiming to be too busy to discuss the matter. Meanwhile, Amy is told by her gynecologist, Dr. Martha Carpenter, that she is ten weeks pregnant, despite a prior diagnosis of infertility. Because Amy has no interest in marrying or being a parent, Dr. Carpenter recommends an abortion. Amy returns to her law office to find John Michael, who asks her to represent him in his divorce from his second wife, Janis. Amy refuses, on both personal and ethical grounds. Later, Amy and Will attend a cocktail party, where her boss, Alfred Venable, implies that John Michael has threatened to withhold financial services from the law firm if Amy refuses to represent him. She agrees to take the case, provided she is made a partner in the firm. Elsewhere in the room, Will berates Mr. Yamashiro, a Japanese electronics magnate, for his country’s involvement in the whaling industry. Amy is embarrassed and takes Will home, but declines to tell him of her pregnancy, concerned that his immaturity would make him an unsuitable father. She returns to her house and finds John Michael waiting outside. He gives her one of his prized bonsai trees to mark the beginning of their “new relationship,” then offers to spend the night. She accepts the tree but refuses the offer. In the morning, Amy tells Dr. Carpenter that she has decided to have an abortion. Moments later, Amy is visited by Janis Tombs, who asks her to include $4,000 in the divorce settlement for plastic surgery. Janis believes she needs the surgery to attract another affluent husband. Will returns to the bank and rents a safe deposit box, in which he places a dead fish. The next day, John Michael learns of Amy’s plans for an abortion, and goes to her house to discuss the matter. The conversation is interrupted when Will telephones, begging to see Amy. She refuses, saying she is away for the weekend. John Michael drives Amy to the hospital and Will follows on his bicycle, until he loses control and crashes through a wooden fence. As Will leaves the hospital emergency room, he notices Amy’s car in the parking lot and discovers that she has been admitted for an abortion. Will sneaks into her ward and begs her to reconsider, until a nurse orders him out. Amy is examined by Dr. Eastman, then takes a sedative before retiring for the night. Will returns to the ward, disguised as an orderly, and takes Amy from the hospital on a gurney. She awakes the next morning in Santos, a ghost town on the Zuni reservation, handcuffed to a bed frame. Will asks to have a “rational discussion” before she aborts their child, which Amy finds ironic. She informs Will that the penalty for kidnapping is thirty years, adding that his rash behavior proves he is unfit for parenthood. However, Will refuses to release Amy until she elects to have the baby. At the hospital, Dr. Carpenter is unfazed by Amy’s disappearance, as it is common for abortion patients to change their minds. Meanwhile, John Michael demands Will’s arrest for polluting the bank with fish odor. In Santos, Amy makes two attempts to escape but remains handcuffed to the bed. When Will returns to the city for supplies, he is greeted by two policemen, who arrest him for vandalizing the bank. Will is assigned a series of public defenders, none of whom can ensure his immediate release. Certain that Amy will starve to death in his absence, he admits to kidnapping her. Meanwhile, Janis Tombs threatens John Michael’s bonsai trees with a gun and extorts the money for her plastic surgery. In the morning, John Michael is informed of Amy’s abduction, and joins Chief Staab and his officers at the border of the Zuni reservation, where they await Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. When John Michael attempts to trespass on the reservation, the chief has him arrested. He is placed in a holding cell with Will, and they engage in a fistfight. Will is placed in isolation, while John Michael is released. Amy is returned to the hospital following her rescue, but decides against the abortion and leaves during the night. In the morning, Dr. Eastman has a chance encounter with Janis Tombs, and dissuades her from having plastic surgery. A mutual attraction develops and they make dinner plans. At the jail, Will is informed that his truck and piano have been recovered, although he faces at least twenty years in prison. On the morning of Will’s arraignment, John Michael drives Amy to the courthouse. She tells him she will have the baby, and declines John Michael’s marriage proposal. Amy enters the courtroom and convinces the judge that her kidnapping was a sexual game she and Will learned from the book, The Joy of Sex. After Will’s acquittal is assured, he asks Amy to marry him. She declines, but encourages him to ask again after he reveals his plan to finish law school. +

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

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