Some Girls (1988)

R | 93 mins | Romantic comedy | 9 September 1988

Director:

Michael Hoffman

Writer:

Rupert Walters

Producer:

Rick Stevenson

Cinematographer:

Ueli Steiger

Editor:

David Spiers

Production Designer:

Eugenio Zanetti

Production Companies:

Metro Goldwyn Mayer , Wildwood Enterprises , Oxford Film Company
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HISTORY

End credits include the statements: “Special Thanks to: The Sundance Institute; Sara Black; M.M.I. – Philip Hart; Boston Traders; Jim Boltz, Cycle Barn”; and, “Filmed on location in Montreal and Quebec City, and at the studios of Panavision, Canada.”
       According to a 17 Oct 1986 HR article, producer Rick Stevenson, writer Rupert Walters, and director Michael Hoffman first met as students at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Thereafter, they formed Oxford Film Company. Originally titled Sisters, Some Girls was set to be their fourth project, with a budget of less than $3 million. No distributor had been set at that time.
       In May 1988, a Box news item announced that MGM/UA would release the film in the fall of 1988, citing the budget as $4 million. A title change to Some Girls was announced in a 17 Aug 1988 HR brief. However, as noted in a 17 Jan 1990 Time Out (London) advertisement, the film was released in England as Sisters.
       A 9 Dec 1987 Var production chart listed the start of principal photography as 26 Nov 1987 in Montreal, Canada. Filming concluded in late Jan 1988, according to the 2 Feb 1988 HR.
       The world premiere took place the week of 29 Aug 1988 at the Montreal Film Festival, as noted in a 9 Sep 1988 Montreal Gazette item. A theatrical release in Montreal and Seattle, WA, followed on 9 Sep 1988. The final budget of the film was listed as $5 million.
       A 26 Mar 1989 LAT article lauded production designer ... More Less

End credits include the statements: “Special Thanks to: The Sundance Institute; Sara Black; M.M.I. – Philip Hart; Boston Traders; Jim Boltz, Cycle Barn”; and, “Filmed on location in Montreal and Quebec City, and at the studios of Panavision, Canada.”
       According to a 17 Oct 1986 HR article, producer Rick Stevenson, writer Rupert Walters, and director Michael Hoffman first met as students at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Thereafter, they formed Oxford Film Company. Originally titled Sisters, Some Girls was set to be their fourth project, with a budget of less than $3 million. No distributor had been set at that time.
       In May 1988, a Box news item announced that MGM/UA would release the film in the fall of 1988, citing the budget as $4 million. A title change to Some Girls was announced in a 17 Aug 1988 HR brief. However, as noted in a 17 Jan 1990 Time Out (London) advertisement, the film was released in England as Sisters.
       A 9 Dec 1987 Var production chart listed the start of principal photography as 26 Nov 1987 in Montreal, Canada. Filming concluded in late Jan 1988, according to the 2 Feb 1988 HR.
       The world premiere took place the week of 29 Aug 1988 at the Montreal Film Festival, as noted in a 9 Sep 1988 Montreal Gazette item. A theatrical release in Montreal and Seattle, WA, followed on 9 Sep 1988. The final budget of the film was listed as $5 million.
       A 26 Mar 1989 LAT article lauded production designer Eugenio Zanetti’s “production design and art direction of real daring and importance.” All sets were reportedly built on a “shoestring budget” of $100,000, necessitating that the Art Nouveau carvings throughout the “D’Abo” family house be made from plastic molds, and painted to look like wood.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
May 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 1986
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1988
p. 1, 79.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1988
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
16 Mar 1989
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
26 Mar 1989
pp. 26-28.
Montreal Gazette
9 Sep 1988
Section C, p. 1.
Seattle Times
9 Sep 1988
Movies, p. 24.
Time Out (London)
17 Jan 1990.
---
Variety
9 Dec 1987.
---
Variety
10 Aug 1988.
---
Variety
7 Sep 1988.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents
A Wildwood Enterprises presentation
An Oxford Film Company production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief elec
Best boy
Electric
Key grip
Dolly grip
3d grip
Stills
2d unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Addl asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dressing swing gang
Set dressing swing gang
Set dressing swing gang
Prop master
Asst set props
Head scenic artist
Asst scenic artist
Painter
COSTUMES
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Orig score by
Eng and mixed by
SOUND
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley ed
Dubbing mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Asst hair stylist
Asst make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod secy
Post-prod accountant
Unit mgr
Asst unit mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Payroll officer
Unit prod asst
Unit prod asst
Transport coord
Driver
Driver
Office driver
Honeywagon op
Coach to Mr. Dempsey
Casting, Canada
ADR casting
Unit pub
Craft service
Animal trainer
UK prod liaison
US prod asst
US prod asst
US prod asst
Tech crew
Post-prod facilities
Post-prod facilities
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
“Tonight Tonight,” performed by 4 Tomorrow, written by Hakan Bjorn & John Utter, produced by Rick Stevenson
“It Just Gets Better,” performed by 4 Tomorrow, written by Hakan Bjorn & John Utter, produced by Rick Stevenson
“Comfort Of Strangers,” written and performed by Julia Fordham, produced by Hugh Padgham and Julia Fordham, courtesy of Circa Records Ltd., published by Blue Mountain Music Ltd.
+
SONGS
“Tonight Tonight,” performed by 4 Tomorrow, written by Hakan Bjorn & John Utter, produced by Rick Stevenson
“It Just Gets Better,” performed by 4 Tomorrow, written by Hakan Bjorn & John Utter, produced by Rick Stevenson
“Comfort Of Strangers,” written and performed by Julia Fordham, produced by Hugh Padgham and Julia Fordham, courtesy of Circa Records Ltd., published by Blue Mountain Music Ltd.
“Lee & Molly,” written by Ziggy Marley, performed by Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers, produced by Tina Weymouth & Chris Frantz, courtesy of Virgin Records America, published by Ziggy Music Inc.
“Parlez Moi D’Amour,” performed by Luchanne Boyer, courtesy of EMI Pathe Marconi.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sisters
Release Date:
9 September 1988
Premiere Information:
Montreal Film Festival screening: week of 29 August 1988
Seattle, WA, opening: 9 September 1988
Los Angeles opening: 17 March 1989
Production Date:
26 November 1987--late January 1988
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Canada, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

An American college student named Michael travels to Quebec City, Canada, to spend Christmas with Gabriella “Gaby” D’Abo. On the airplane, Michael recalls falling madly in love with Gaby, who left school abruptly when her grandmother fell ill. Gaby is late to pick Michael up from the airport. He mentions that he called several times, and she explains that her family often ignores the telephone. Despite his irritation, Michael is mesmerized by Gaby’s beauty. They arrive at her family’s mansion, where Michael meets Mrs. D’Abo, a stern Catholic woman, and Mr. D’Abo, a free-spirited writer. At dinner, they are joined by Gaby’s older sister, Irenka, younger sister, Simone, and Father Walter, a Catholic priest. Shortly after Michael is indoctrinated in the family tradition of holding hands and loudly chanting “Bon appétit,” he upsets Mrs. D’Abo by mentioning her ill mother. Mrs. D’Abo runs from the room, closely followed by her daughters. Later, Gaby tells Michael that she knew upon his arrival that she is no longer in love with him. Frustrated, Michael retreats to the guest bedroom and writes in his journal. The next day, he attends church with Mrs. D’Abo, Gaby, and Irenka. Mrs. D’Abo reveals that Father Walter asked her to marry him years ago, before he became a priest. Michael asks Gaby if she tells Father Walter everything in the confessional booth. She explains that her atheist father forbids confession, so she compromises by only sharing certain things. Michael feels like an outsider when he accompanies Gaby and Irenka to the hospital to visit their grandmother, whom they call “Granny.” Suffering from dementia, Granny mistakes Michael for her dead husband, whose name was also ... +


An American college student named Michael travels to Quebec City, Canada, to spend Christmas with Gabriella “Gaby” D’Abo. On the airplane, Michael recalls falling madly in love with Gaby, who left school abruptly when her grandmother fell ill. Gaby is late to pick Michael up from the airport. He mentions that he called several times, and she explains that her family often ignores the telephone. Despite his irritation, Michael is mesmerized by Gaby’s beauty. They arrive at her family’s mansion, where Michael meets Mrs. D’Abo, a stern Catholic woman, and Mr. D’Abo, a free-spirited writer. At dinner, they are joined by Gaby’s older sister, Irenka, younger sister, Simone, and Father Walter, a Catholic priest. Shortly after Michael is indoctrinated in the family tradition of holding hands and loudly chanting “Bon appétit,” he upsets Mrs. D’Abo by mentioning her ill mother. Mrs. D’Abo runs from the room, closely followed by her daughters. Later, Gaby tells Michael that she knew upon his arrival that she is no longer in love with him. Frustrated, Michael retreats to the guest bedroom and writes in his journal. The next day, he attends church with Mrs. D’Abo, Gaby, and Irenka. Mrs. D’Abo reveals that Father Walter asked her to marry him years ago, before he became a priest. Michael asks Gaby if she tells Father Walter everything in the confessional booth. She explains that her atheist father forbids confession, so she compromises by only sharing certain things. Michael feels like an outsider when he accompanies Gaby and Irenka to the hospital to visit their grandmother, whom they call “Granny.” Suffering from dementia, Granny mistakes Michael for her dead husband, whose name was also Michael. Gaby cries after the visit, and laments that Mrs. D’Abo is in denial over Granny’s impending death. That night, Michael stays up with Nick, Irenka’s boyfriend, who suspects that Gaby has been toying with his emotions. Nick claims the D’Abos have no respect for anyone outside the family, and tells Michael he plans to leave Irenka in the spring. Later, Irenka sneaks into Michael’s room, crawls into bed with him, and promises that Gaby really likes him. She reminds him that tomorrow is Gaby’s birthday, and suggests that he leave his present for her by the foot of her bed. In the morning, Gaby awakes when Michael sneaks into her room to leave the present. She invites him into bed, but just as they begin to cuddle, Mrs. D’Abo interrupts, stares at Michael in disgust, and storms out. Michael and Gaby are soon called into her parents’ bedroom to discuss the sanctity of sex, which should never take place before marriage. Spending the day in town, Michael exercises constraint in his pursuit of Gaby, hoping to entice her with his indifference. The tactic works, and she invites him to her bedroom when they return home to an empty house. They are about to make love as the phone rings and Gaby insists on answering it. After a brief conversation with her mother, she tells Michael that she must turn the oven off downstairs. Completely naked, Michael chases after her, but retreats when he sees a group of surprise party revelers wishing “happy birthday” to the scantily clad Gaby. Michael takes refuge in a bath, but Simone barges in and accuses him of ogling her. Michael guzzles a bottle of wine and joins the party. Later, he presumes that he and Gaby will resume their lovemaking; however, she sends him away when he dances into her bedroom. Simone sneaks into Michael’s bed and tries to seduce him. He shoos the young girl away, but she refuses to leave, so he sleeps in the hall. The next day, Granny goes missing from the hospital. Michael and Nick accompany Gaby and Irenka to the country home where Granny used to live. Searching for her in the woods surrounding the house, Michael accidentally skis into a hole, where he is discovered by Granny. He takes the old woman back to the house and warms her by the fire. Again mistaking him for her dead husband, she regales Michael with anecdotes. Irenka and Gaby are delighted when they return to find Granny by the fire. Michael and Gaby kiss, but she informs him that she is certain now that she does not love him anymore. Irenka interrupts, and Michael bangs his head in frustration. The next day, Mr. D’Abo arrives and takes his daughters skiing. Granny disappears again, and Michael finds her in a derelict chapel on the grounds of her estate. She tells Michael he is missing a lot by not believing in God, and reminds him to make sure she is buried in a well-pressed dress. When Michael and Nick drive Granny back to the hospital, Nick admits to cheating on Irenka as Granny loses consciousness. Michael cries as he tries to resuscitate the old woman to no avail. At her funeral, Irenka invites Michael to her art studio. There, Irenka seduces him, and they have sex. Michael returns to the D’Abo house and confesses to Gaby. However, she informs him that she approved of Irenka’s plans to sleep with him. On Christmas Day, Michael feels like an outsider again and takes leave of the D’Abos to visit Granny’s grave. There, he meets a beautiful blonde woman in old-fashioned clothing, who kisses him and disappears. He returns to the house, where Mr. D’Abo pulls him aside and admits that he finds his wife and daughters “unknowable.” He also reveals that Granny, whom he always admired, never approved of him. He points to a portrait of young Granny, and Michael recognizes her as the woman he kissed at the cemetery. Happy to return to college, Michael parts ways with Gaby and her sisters at the airport. Although he knows he will miss Gaby, he suspects his lasting memory of the trip will be of Granny talking about God in the ruined chapel. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.