Book of Love (1991)

R | 89 mins | Comedy | 1 February 1991

Director:

Robert Shaye

Producer:

Rachel Talalay

Cinematographer:

Peter Deming

Editor:

Terry Stokes

Production Designer:

C. J. Strawn

Production Company:

Nicholas Entertainment
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HISTORY

The film begins with voiceover narration by Michael McKean in the role of the adult character, “Jack Twiller.” He states: “The Book of Love is a book that’s written in the heart of every horny teenager. And believe it or not, it’s based on a true story.” This narration is heard over a title card that reads: “The Book of Love is written in the heart of every horny teenager.” Narration is heard intermittently in the film to clarify major shifts in time. At the end of the film, Jack’s voiceover informs the viewer that “Crutch” became a lawyer; “Spider” married a rich woman; “Floyd” became a poetry teacher at a girls' school; and “Peanut” moved to Las Vegas, NV, to become a show producer. Accompanying this narration are brief scenes of each character, as a teenager, portraying their future adult roles.
       A 14 Aug 1987 article in Publishers Weekly announced that New Line Productions had acquired the rights to William Kotzwinkle’s “quirky” 1980 novel, Jack in the Box. Two years later, a 10 Sep 1989 LAT news item reported that the film, with a script by Kotzwinkle, was scheduled to go before cameras in Oct 1989. New Line’s president, Robert Shaye, was slated to direct. Shaye claimed that the story, set primarily in the 1950s, was “somewhat autobiographical” and “close to his heart,” according to a 19 Apr 1990 DV article. The film, with its title changed to Book of Love, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1990, marking Shaye’s directorial debut.
       The music credits on the print viewed for this record were nearly illegible. ... More Less

The film begins with voiceover narration by Michael McKean in the role of the adult character, “Jack Twiller.” He states: “The Book of Love is a book that’s written in the heart of every horny teenager. And believe it or not, it’s based on a true story.” This narration is heard over a title card that reads: “The Book of Love is written in the heart of every horny teenager.” Narration is heard intermittently in the film to clarify major shifts in time. At the end of the film, Jack’s voiceover informs the viewer that “Crutch” became a lawyer; “Spider” married a rich woman; “Floyd” became a poetry teacher at a girls' school; and “Peanut” moved to Las Vegas, NV, to become a show producer. Accompanying this narration are brief scenes of each character, as a teenager, portraying their future adult roles.
       A 14 Aug 1987 article in Publishers Weekly announced that New Line Productions had acquired the rights to William Kotzwinkle’s “quirky” 1980 novel, Jack in the Box. Two years later, a 10 Sep 1989 LAT news item reported that the film, with a script by Kotzwinkle, was scheduled to go before cameras in Oct 1989. New Line’s president, Robert Shaye, was slated to direct. Shaye claimed that the story, set primarily in the 1950s, was “somewhat autobiographical” and “close to his heart,” according to a 19 Apr 1990 DV article. The film, with its title changed to Book of Love, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1990, marking Shaye’s directorial debut.
       The music credits on the print viewed for this record were nearly illegible. Although studio production notes in the AMPAS library files provided clarification of onscreen credits, publishing and engineering information for the contemporary re-mix of “Book Of Love,” featuring hip-hop artist Doug Lazy, could not be deciphered. Production notes also reveal that the last name of musician Frankie Lymon, who wrote the song “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” is misspelled as “Lyman” in end credits.
       Most of the film’s score consists of licensed songs from the 1950s. When DV covered the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the 22 May 1990 review credited music supervisor Bonnie Greenberg (misspelled “Greenburg”), but did not list a composer. One week later, on 30 May 1990, DV announced that Stanley Clarke had “been tapped” to score the movie.
       Although a 19 Apr 1990 DV article projected that the film would open in Sep 1990, Book of Love did not receive theatrical release until 1 Feb 1991.
       Four years later, in the summer of 1995, various contemporary sources reported that actor Brian Evans, who played the role of “Schank,” had filed two lawsuits, one against New Line Cinema and Robert Shaye, and another against producer Rachel Talalay, for unpaid residuals. Evans estimated that he was owed $20,000, according to a 17 Jul 1995 DV news item. The suits were settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks: Bob Daly and David Salzman; Katja, Juno and Eva Shaye; Shelley Goldman and Ricky Dresner; The Rajahs (except Tuffy Newman and Eddie Siegel); Wildroot Cream Oil.” The credits conclude with the following statements: “For Dorothy and Max"; "Lone Ranger courtesy of Palladium Media Enterprises, Inc."; "Milton Berle Show courtesy of the National Broadcasting Company, Inc."; and, "East of Eden Courtesy of Warner Bros. Inc.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1990.
---
Daily Variety
22 May 1990.
---
Daily Variety
30 May 1990.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1995.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 1991
p. 10, 52.
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Feb 1991
p. 6.
New York Times
1 Feb 1991
Section C, p. 10.
Publisher's Weekly
14 Aug 1987.
---
Variety
23 May 1990
pp. 30-31.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Line Cinema presents
a Rachel Talalay New Line Production
a Robert Shaye film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Asst to the dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" cam op
"B" cam op
Cam intern
Cam intern
Still photog
Best boy
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Cranes and dollies
Lighting and grip equip
Video playback
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Asst to the set dec
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Draperies
Const coord
Const foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Lead scenic painter
Scenic painter
Scenic painter
Stand-by painter
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Key cost
Seamstress
Cost asst
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus clearances
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Post prod services
Post sd supv
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff des
Sd ed
Sd ed
Foley rec
Audiflex dial ed
Audiflex dial ed
Foley walker
Foley walker
Digital sd by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Mechanical eff coord
Asst mechanical eff coord
Addl mechanical eff
Opt line-up
Addl title art
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Key makeup/Hair stylist
Asst makeup
Asst hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Creative exec
Creative exec
Creative exec
Exec in charge of prod
Prod supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod controller
Prod coord
Scr supv
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Casting assoc
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Honeywagon driver
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Medic/Craft services
Unit pub
Extra casting
Extra casting
Voice casting
Animals supplied by
Animals supplied by
Completion bond guarantor
Prod financing
Prod financing
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stand-in
ANIMATION
Anim cam
Hotbook anim sequence
Hotbook anim sequence
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Jack in the Box by William Kotzwinkle (New York, 1980).
SONGS
"Book Of Love," performed by the Monotones, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Warren Davis, George Malone and Charles Patrick, published by ARC Music Corp. and Longitude Music Co., Inc.
"Sincerely," performed by the Moonglows, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Harvey Fuqua and Alan Freed, published by ARC Music Corp., Liaison Productions and Irving Music
"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," performed by John Lee Hooker, courtesy of MCA Records, written by John Lee Hooker, published by Conrad Music, a division of ARC Music Corp.
+
SONGS
"Book Of Love," performed by the Monotones, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Warren Davis, George Malone and Charles Patrick, published by ARC Music Corp. and Longitude Music Co., Inc.
"Sincerely," performed by the Moonglows, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Harvey Fuqua and Alan Freed, published by ARC Music Corp., Liaison Productions and Irving Music
"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," performed by John Lee Hooker, courtesy of MCA Records, written by John Lee Hooker, published by Conrad Music, a division of ARC Music Corp.
"Hearts Of Stone," performed by the Fontane Sisters, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Rudy Jackson and Eddie Ray, published by Regent Music Corp., "The Fool," performed by Sanford Clark, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Lee Hazelwood, published by Mother Texas Music
"School Days," performed by Chuck Berry, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Chuck Berry, published by Arc Music and Isalee Music Co.
"Rocket 88," performed by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Kings, courtesy of MCA Records, written by Jackie Brenston, published by Unichappel Music Inc.
"Little Darlin'," performed by the Diamonds, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc., written by Maurice Williams, published by Cheerio Corp.
"Come Back My Love," performed by the Cardinals, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Special Products, written by Bobby Mansfield, published by Hudson Bay Music Inc. on behalf of Alley Music Corp. & Trio Music Co. Inc.
"Rip It Up," performed by Little Richard, courtesy of Specialty Records Inc., written by Robert Blackwell and John Marascalco, published by ATV Music
"Why Do Fools Fall In Love," performed by the Teenagers, featuring Frankie Lymon, courtesy of Rhino Records Inc., written by Frankie Lyman and Morris Levy, published by Windswept Pacific Entertainment Co. D/B/A Longitude Music Co.
"What Can I Do," performed by Donnie Elbert, courtesy of Gusto Records, Inc., written by Donnie Elbert, published by Hudson Bay Music Inc. on behalf of Fort Knox Music Inc. & Trio Music Co. Inc.
"How Can I Tell Her?" performed by The Four Freshman, courtesy of Capitol Records by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets, written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, published by Famous Music Corporation
"Earth Angel," performed by The Penguins, courtesy of Dootone Records, written by Dootsie Williams, published by Dootsie Williams Publishing, Inc.
"Be Bop A Lula," performed by Gene Vincent, courtesy of Capitol Records by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets, written by Gene Vincent and Sheriff Tex Davis, published by Lowery Music
"The Great Pretender," performed by The Platters, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
words and music by Buck Ram, published by Panther Music Corp.
"Let The Good Times Roll," performed by Shirley and Lee, courtesy of EMI, a division of Capitol Records Inc. by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets, written by Leonard Lee, published by Atlantic Music Corp EMI Unart Catalog Inc.
"See You Later, Alligator," written by Robert Guidry, published by Arc Music Co.
"Graduation Day," written by Joe Sherman and Noel Sherman, published by EMI Unart Catalog Inc.
"Hold Me, Thrill Me," "See You Later, Alligator," "Graduation Day," performed by Big Daddy featuring "Marty The K" Kaniger, "Donny D" Raymond, John "Spazz" Hatton, Bob "Guido" Sandman, "Rock-A" Billy Block
"You Made Me Love You," arranged and produced by Stanley Clarke, performed by the Sonny Paxson Quartet, engineered by Dan Humann, written by Joseph McCarthy and James V. Monaco, published by Broadway Music Corp.
"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," written by Harry Noble Jr., published by Mills Music, Inc.
"The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly," written by Ennio Morricone, published by EMI Unart Catalog, Inc.
"Book of Love," performed by Ben E. King and Bo Diddley featuring Doug Lazy, produced and arranged by Stanley Clarke, written by Warren Davis, George Malone, and Charles Patrick, (publishing and engineering information illegible, see note)
"Darktown Strutters Ball," arranged and produced by Stanley Clarke, performed by the Sonny Paxson Quartet, engineered by Dan Humann, written by Shelton Brooks, published by EMI Feist Catalog Inc.
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home," traditional, arranged by Graham De Wilde, published by KPM Music/Associated Production Music
"Fair Organ," written by E. Warner, published by Berry Music/Associated Production Music
"Waterways and Windmills," written by Nick Glennie-Smith, published by KPM Music/Associated Production Music
"The Maid In The Moon," traditional, arranged by John Fox, published by Sonoton Recorded Music/Associated Production Music
"Happy Birthday To You," written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill, published by Summy and Birchard Music
"Silver Moon," written by R. King, published by KPM Music/Associated Production Music
"Fools Fall In Love," performed by The Drifters, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Co. by arrangement with Warner Special Products, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, published by Jerry Leiber Music, Mike Stoller Music and Chappel and Co.
"Dixie Stripper," written by J. Scott, courtesy of Southern Library of Recorded Music.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Jack in the Box
Release Date:
1 February 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 1 February 1991
Production Date:
began late October 1989
Copyright Claimant:
New Line Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 May 1991
Copyright Number:
PA528760
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30363
SYNOPSIS

Thirty-something Jack Twiller arrives home from work and listens to an answering machine message from his attorney friend, “Crutch.” The message congratulates Jack on finalizing his divorce, and Crutch suggests that Jack visit a former love interest who happens to be in town. Uncertain of the woman’s identity, Jack locates his 1956 high school yearbook and reminisces about his teenage years: In the spring of 1954, teenager Jack Twiller moves to a new neighborhood with his parents and little brother, Peanut. As the family moves in, Paul “Crutch” Kane, offers to show Jack around. The boys walk around the block and encounter tough-guy Angelo Gabooch and his gang. Crutch tells Jack not to worry, but the teenagers lose their clothes to the bullies. Later, on Jack’s first day as a sophomore at Central High School, Crutch introduces the newcomer to “Spider” Bomboni, whose beautiful older sister arouses their interest. At school, the boys gawk at the female students, like Angelo’s sister, Gina Gabooch, and the aristocratic Lily, with whom Jack is instantly smitten. Back at home, Peanut confesses that he, too, is infatuated with girls, and Jack sympathizes with his younger brother’s yearnings. That evening, Jack’s mother, worried about her son’s social life, tells Jack she has enrolled him in a dance class. Jack is mortified but gamely attends the class with Crutch. There, the boys are surprised to see Lily, and after class, Jack tries to impress the girl with his fancy footwork. However, he embarrasses himself, falling down a flight of stairs. Jack and Crutch walk home together, and Jack is dispirited to see Lily riding on the back of Angelo Gabooch’s motorcycle. Some time later, ... +


Thirty-something Jack Twiller arrives home from work and listens to an answering machine message from his attorney friend, “Crutch.” The message congratulates Jack on finalizing his divorce, and Crutch suggests that Jack visit a former love interest who happens to be in town. Uncertain of the woman’s identity, Jack locates his 1956 high school yearbook and reminisces about his teenage years: In the spring of 1954, teenager Jack Twiller moves to a new neighborhood with his parents and little brother, Peanut. As the family moves in, Paul “Crutch” Kane, offers to show Jack around. The boys walk around the block and encounter tough-guy Angelo Gabooch and his gang. Crutch tells Jack not to worry, but the teenagers lose their clothes to the bullies. Later, on Jack’s first day as a sophomore at Central High School, Crutch introduces the newcomer to “Spider” Bomboni, whose beautiful older sister arouses their interest. At school, the boys gawk at the female students, like Angelo’s sister, Gina Gabooch, and the aristocratic Lily, with whom Jack is instantly smitten. Back at home, Peanut confesses that he, too, is infatuated with girls, and Jack sympathizes with his younger brother’s yearnings. That evening, Jack’s mother, worried about her son’s social life, tells Jack she has enrolled him in a dance class. Jack is mortified but gamely attends the class with Crutch. There, the boys are surprised to see Lily, and after class, Jack tries to impress the girl with his fancy footwork. However, he embarrasses himself, falling down a flight of stairs. Jack and Crutch walk home together, and Jack is dispirited to see Lily riding on the back of Angelo Gabooch’s motorcycle. Some time later, the teenage boys make plans for spring vacation, but their mothers decide to send them to an all-boys “ranger camp.” When Jack and Crutch arrive at camp, they are dismayed to find Angelo and his buddies inside their tent tormenting another teen named “Schank.” That night, Jack and Crutch rescue Schank and leave the camp. To please his disappointed mother, Jack spends an evening with Floyd, a teenager who impresses adults with his cultivated good manners. Floyd’s mother joins Mrs. Twiller for an evening out, and Floyd, as mischievous as the other boys, invites Crutch and Spider Bomboni over to his house. There, the adolescents drink alcohol before making phone calls to all the girls in town. Although Jack is hopeful that Lily might stop by, he passes out in a stupor. Two years later, as the senior prom approaches, Jack and his friends hang out at Spider’s garage, discussing girls, cars, and their plans for the future. As they repair Spider’s car, Lily and Angelo drive by in Angelo’s fancy automobile. Jack tries to show off his mechanical expertise, but ends up losing his shirt in the car engine, and Lily looks away. However, a few days later, at school, one of Lily’s friends informs Jack that Lily and Angelo have had a fight. Jack meets his crush on the playground and invites her to the movies. Lily agrees, and as they walk past the Gabooch gas station where Angelo is working, she puts her arm around Jack, infuriating her sometime boyfriend. Once out of Angelo’s sight, she tells Jack she cannot go to the movie. Jack, thinking a car will make him more desirable, acquires a rusted automobile in need of serious repairs. He restores the convertible and drives to Lily’s house, intending to invite her to the prom. However, the teen decides to imitate the laconic mannerisms of his idol, movie star James Dean, which only confuses Lily. Jack leaves without asking her to go to the dance. Later, Floyd consoles Jack by throwing a party at the Twiller house when Jack’s parents are out for the evening. The teenagers get drunk and wreak havoc throughout the house. Lily surprises Jack by attending the party, and the two dance together. They are about to kiss when Floyd interrupts, reporting a “situation” in the master bedroom upstairs. By the time Jack returns, Lily is flirting with Angelo. The party ends when Jack fires a gun that he mistakenly thought was a cap pistol. The next day, Mr. and Mrs. Twiller express disappointment in their son and advise him to see the high school guidance counselor. Jack is unenthusiastic about his career prospects, and his disappointment deepens when Crutch tells him Lily is attending the prom with Angelo. Hoping to meet new girls, the boys attend a carnival, where Jack learns that Gina Gabooch has a crush on him. A few days later, Jack goes to the Gabooch home to invite Gina to the prom. Although Angelo “roughhouses” him on the front porch, Jack overcomes his nervousness, and Gina accepts his invitation. On the night of the prom, Jack and Gina enjoy each other’s company, dancing late into the night. Afterward, they drive to “the lookout,” where they engage in small talk before sharing their first kiss. In the morning, Jack meets his pals at the local diner, and they drive through town celebrating their impending graduation. Jack’s trip down memory lane ends as he remembers how Lily, jealous at seeing him at the prom with Gina, became his girlfriend, future wife, and the woman he just divorced. He reflects on the successful paths taken by his friends before realizing that Gina is the woman Crutch referred to in his phone message. Jack drives to Gina’s childhood home. When he knocks on the door, she greets him with a smile, pleased to see her high school crush after all these years. +

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

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