Rude Awakening (1989)

R | 101 mins | Comedy | 16 August 1989

Producer:

Aaron Russo

Cinematographer:

Thomas Sigel

Editor:

Paul Fried

Production Designer:

Mel Bourne
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HISTORY

The 22 Aug 1988 DV announced the film would be the first from producer Aaron Russo’s independent production company, Aaron Russo Entertainment, with financial support on the $10 million film provided by Home Box Office (HBO). David Greenwalt was slated to direct, with a 19 Sep 1988 start date expected to take place in New York City. Orion Pictures would release the film domestically in the summer of 1989.
       According to a 31 Oct 1988 New York news item, famed activist Abbie Hoffman was offered a cameo role in the film, but he reportedly found the role to be “out of character” for him, and declined the part, which later went to fellow ativist Jerry Rubin.
       Six weeks into the nine-week shoot, Russo took over directing duties from David Greenwalt, who suffered an unnamed illness, according to the 21 Nov 1988 DV. Prior to Greenwalt’s departure, he and Russo reportedly struggled with differing viewpoints about the production. Russo stated that the Directors Guild of America (DGA) would determine the final screen credit after being immediately notified of the change in director.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the film marked Aaron Russo’s directorial debut. Russo had been actress Bette Midler’s manager for eight years, and had produced several successful movies before directing Rude Awakening. The idea for the picture came from Neil Levy, who approached Russo and convinced him to develop the story. Locations for the film were cited as Florida, which stood in for Central America, and various places in New York City, including East 7th Street, the Polish Democratic Club, the New York Times ... More Less

The 22 Aug 1988 DV announced the film would be the first from producer Aaron Russo’s independent production company, Aaron Russo Entertainment, with financial support on the $10 million film provided by Home Box Office (HBO). David Greenwalt was slated to direct, with a 19 Sep 1988 start date expected to take place in New York City. Orion Pictures would release the film domestically in the summer of 1989.
       According to a 31 Oct 1988 New York news item, famed activist Abbie Hoffman was offered a cameo role in the film, but he reportedly found the role to be “out of character” for him, and declined the part, which later went to fellow ativist Jerry Rubin.
       Six weeks into the nine-week shoot, Russo took over directing duties from David Greenwalt, who suffered an unnamed illness, according to the 21 Nov 1988 DV. Prior to Greenwalt’s departure, he and Russo reportedly struggled with differing viewpoints about the production. Russo stated that the Directors Guild of America (DGA) would determine the final screen credit after being immediately notified of the change in director.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the film marked Aaron Russo’s directorial debut. Russo had been actress Bette Midler’s manager for eight years, and had produced several successful movies before directing Rude Awakening. The idea for the picture came from Neil Levy, who approached Russo and convinced him to develop the story. Locations for the film were cited as Florida, which stood in for Central America, and various places in New York City, including East 7th Street, the Polish Democratic Club, the New York Times Building, Washington Square Park, Shimkin Hall at New York University, and a nightclub on 12th Avenue called The Tunnel. Additionally, soundstages at Camera Mart Studios were used for interiors.
       Principal photography was completed on 17 Nov 1988, as reported in the 23 Nov 1988 Var.
       The Oct 1989 Box noted $1.5 million in opening weekend ticket sales from 953 screens.
       The song lyrics to “Revolution” are played throughout end credits, which include the following acknowledgements: "This picture is dedicated to all the people who care about the planet. Be good."; and, “Special Thanks: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; John Silberman & Mark Hollinger; New York City Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting; The Movie and TV Unit of the NYPD; Caumsett State Park - Duke Rosenbaur; Unique Product Placement; Entertainment Marketing Group; MartletImporting Co. Inc.; Eddie “Mr. Wekiwa” Williford; Wekiwa State Park; Orlando Film Commission; Greyhound Lines Inc.; Rockefeller Center Management Corporation; Paul Von Ringleheim for use of sculptures; Traulsen & Company, Inc.; Apple Computer, Inc.; Miele; Bang & Olufsen; Buzz Knudson & Ron Ward.”
       The following names are misspelled onscreen: Wardrobe assistant Kathy Kiatta is listed as “Cathy Kiatta”; ADR editor Darrell Hanzalik as “Darrel Hanzalik”; and songwriter Katharine Lee Bates as “Katherine Lee Bates.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Oct 1989
Section R, p. 65.
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1988
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1988.
---
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1989
p. 2, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1989
p. 4, 15.
Los Angeles Times
16 Aug 1989
Calendar, p. 9.
New York
31 Oct 1988.
---
New York Times
16 Aug 1989
p. 19.
People
17 Jul 1989.
---
Variety
23 Nov 1988.
---
Variety
16 Aug 1989
p. 23, 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Aaron Russo Entertainment Presents
Produced in Association with HBO
An Aaron Russo Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Gaffer
2d elec best boy
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Still photog
Arriflex cams supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Standby prop
Leadman
Master scenic artist
Standby cam scenic artist
Standby cam scenic artist
Key const builder
COSTUMES
Cost des by
Asst ward
Ward asst
Cost asst
MUSIC
Mus comp
Exec mus prod
Mus ed
Assoc mus ed
Asst to comp
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
1st asst sd ed
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Boom op
Sd asst
Foley ed
ADR ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Fish and potato heads
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Key hairdresser
Spec char makeup
Wigs, Ziggy's Creations
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod auditor
Prod office coord
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Asst to Aaron Russo
Asst to Aaron Russo
Asst coord
Asst auditor
Post prod bookkeeper
Transportation capt
Loc asst
Loc scout
Loc scout
Loc scout
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Casting assoc
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Craft services
Post prod facilities
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Dailies processing
SOURCES
SONGS
“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of CBS Records
“Run Through The Jungle,” written by John C. Fogerty, performed by The Georgia Satellites
“Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, performed by Pat Boone
+
SONGS
“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of CBS Records
“Run Through The Jungle,” written by John C. Fogerty, performed by The Georgia Satellites
“Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, performed by Pat Boone
“We The People,” written by Franke Previte, performed by Franke & The Knockouts
“Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, performed by Jimi Hendrix
“I Like Marijuana,” written by David Peel, performed by David Peel & The Lower East Side
“Somebody To Love,” written by Darby Slick, performed by Jefferson Airplane, courtesy of RCA Records
“Roadhouse Blues,” written and performed by The Doors, courtesy of Elektra Records
“Paper Doll,” written by Johnny Black
“Comin' Home,” written by Franke Previte & Jim Nuzzo, performed by Kim Carnes
“Uncle John's Band,” written by Robbie Hunter & Jerry Garcia, performed by The Grateful Dead, courtesy of Warner Special Products
“Success,” written by Degville, James, Whitmore, performed by Sigue Sigue Sputnik, courtesy of EMI Records
“Darling Be Home Soon,” written by John Sebastian, performed by Phoebe Snow, courtesy of SBK Record Productions, Inc.
“America The Beautiful,” written by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward
“Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
“Conga,” written by Enrique Garcia, performed by Miami Sound Machine, courtesy of CBS Records
“Rude Awakening,” written by Rick Rose, performed by Bill Medley, courtesy of Curb Records
“Raga Multani,” performed by Dr. Lalmani Misra, courtesy of Nonesuch Records
“Revolution,” written by Lennon/McCartney, performed by Mike and the Mechanics, courtesy of Atlantic Records
“Combaya,” written by Dorsey Burnette and Joe Osborn.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 August 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 16 August 1989
Production Date:
19 September--17 November 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Aaron Russo Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 September 1989
Copyright Number:
PA441141
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by The Film House, Inc. Canada
Duration(in mins):
101
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In 1969 New York City, anti-Vietnam protesters Fred Wouk and Hesus Monteya prepare for an upcoming rally with their friends, Ronnie Sunshine, Sammy Margolin, and Petra Black. Elsewhere, Agent Joe Brubaker instructs a team of undercover officers to infiltrate the protesters and arrest Fred and Hesus for draft dodging. At Ronnie’s boarding house, Fred kisses his girl friend, Petra. She expresses her desire for children, but Fred does not want to be tied down. When Agent Brubaker arrives to arrest Fred and Hesus, Ronnie denies they are there. Fred and Hesus soon flee, leaving their friends behind. Twenty years later, in a Central American country called Managuador, Fred has established himself as the leader of a jungle commune dubbed “Filmore South,” inhabited by thirty other “hippies.” They spend their days smoking marijuana and talking about farming, but accomplish nothing. Fred warns a resident named Merlin that if they return to civilization, they will get caught up in commercialism. One day, chaos erupts when militants chase a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative through the jungle, shooting at the man. Fred finds the injured agent, clutching top-secret documents. Before dying, he instructs Fred not to let the papers fall into enemy hands. Fred learns from the secret reports that the U.S. is planning to invade communist Managuador. Fearing another Vietnam, Fred decides that he and Hesus must return home and leak the information to the press, so that citizens will protest and prevent another war. They bid farewell to the commune, and return to New York City. Fred and Hesus are in awe of the changes that have occurred. They return to Ronnie’s boarding house to find that she has turned ... +


In 1969 New York City, anti-Vietnam protesters Fred Wouk and Hesus Monteya prepare for an upcoming rally with their friends, Ronnie Sunshine, Sammy Margolin, and Petra Black. Elsewhere, Agent Joe Brubaker instructs a team of undercover officers to infiltrate the protesters and arrest Fred and Hesus for draft dodging. At Ronnie’s boarding house, Fred kisses his girl friend, Petra. She expresses her desire for children, but Fred does not want to be tied down. When Agent Brubaker arrives to arrest Fred and Hesus, Ronnie denies they are there. Fred and Hesus soon flee, leaving their friends behind. Twenty years later, in a Central American country called Managuador, Fred has established himself as the leader of a jungle commune dubbed “Filmore South,” inhabited by thirty other “hippies.” They spend their days smoking marijuana and talking about farming, but accomplish nothing. Fred warns a resident named Merlin that if they return to civilization, they will get caught up in commercialism. One day, chaos erupts when militants chase a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative through the jungle, shooting at the man. Fred finds the injured agent, clutching top-secret documents. Before dying, he instructs Fred not to let the papers fall into enemy hands. Fred learns from the secret reports that the U.S. is planning to invade communist Managuador. Fearing another Vietnam, Fred decides that he and Hesus must return home and leak the information to the press, so that citizens will protest and prevent another war. They bid farewell to the commune, and return to New York City. Fred and Hesus are in awe of the changes that have occurred. They return to Ronnie’s boarding house to find that she has turned it into a “Nouveau Woodstock” dinner theater. Ronnie is stunned to see her old friends, and explains that she hates what has become of the boarding house. Elsewhere, Petra Black has become a wealthy businesswoman, but complains to her therapist about the emptiness she feels. When Fred and Hesus arrive at her door, she does not recognize them. After realizing that the hippies are her old friends, she asks them to leave, but they ignore her request and convince her to smoke marijuana with them. Meanwhile, Agent Bubaker learns the men have returned to New York City with the top-secret papers. Petra finally relaxes with her friends, and Fred suggests they go dancing at a nightclub, where Fred has a profound effect on Petra’s uptight friends. Returning to Petra’s apartment, Fred expresses his unwavering desire for her, and they make love. In the morning, Fred telephones his friend, Sammy Margolin, and asks to meet. However, Agent Brubaker arrives, and forces his way inside Petra’s home. Brubaker holds Petra at gunpoint, and demands Fred to give him the top-secret documents. Hesus emerges with a gun, and the men have a standoff. After experiencing Wild West hallucinations, Hesus shoots Brubaker in the hand. The trio flees, and seeks refuge at Sammy’s home, where Sammy and his wife, June, are in the midst of an interview with board members, April and Lloyd Stool, to buy a co-op apartment. The crazy hippies embarrass June, and she worries that they will lose their new apartment. However, the Stools, as well as Sammy and June’s teenage son, are amused by Sammy’s colorful friends. Lloyd Stool mentions a friend who works for the press, and Fred tells him about the secret documents, hoping to meet the reporter. However, Fred soon realizes that Lloyd Stool is a self-interested conservative. He insults Lloyd, and chastises Sammy for changing so much. The friends leave, and go to Ronnie’s boarding house. Soon after, Sammy arrives to apologize, and the old friends smoke marijuana and remember their hippie days. When Brubaker arrives, they sneak out the back and go to a local park to plan their next move. Fred suggests they take over the nearby New York University (NYU) campus and initiate a “sit-in.” Under cover of darkness, they enter a campus building and discuss their mission. Fred is stunned when Sammy and Petra catch him up on world events of the past twenty years. He wonders why his friends are not protesting the many atrocities that have occurred. However, Sammy and Petra turn the tables on Fred, and ask what he has been doing for the past twenty years in the jungle. Fred admits that his planned utopian society was never realized, and admits that he ran away from life. Hesus asserts that they now have a second chance to make things right. When the students arrive for their morning classes, they find the doors barred, and see a sign declaring, “Stop the War in Central America.” From a window several stories up, Fred makes a speech revealing U.S. plans to start another war, and appeals to the onlookers to protect the earth from escalating environmental problems. News cameras come to film the event, and Brubaker arrives, demanding the return of the incriminating documents. When he holds Fred at gunpoint, his friends sing patriotic songs and convince Brubaker to lower his gun. Elsewhere, Sammy’s son takes the documents to the New York Times, which publishes them. In time, however, the American people support the war in Central America, and Fred is devastated. Petra, Sammy, and Ronnie urge Fred to stay and protest the war, but he refuses. Fred bids farewell to his friends, and Hesus insists on joining him, although Fred he has no idea where he is going. Feeling lost, Fred sits on the sidewalk and begins to cry. A group of NYU students who heard Fred’s speech approach him, asking for his help to organize a protest against the toxic waste being dumped into a local river. Fred is moved by their request. Seeing him talking with the students, Petra smiles at him. +

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

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