Kansas (1988)

R | 113 mins | Drama, Romance | 23 September 1988

Director:

David Stevens

Writer:

Spencer Eastman

Producer:

George Litto

Cinematographer:

David Eggby

Editor:

Robert Barrere

Production Designer:

Matthew Jacobs

Production Company:

Trans World Entertainment
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HISTORY

Kansas marked the American feature film debut of Australian television director David Stevens. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, producer George Litto approached Stevens to direct Kansas after seeing his 1981 mini-series, A Town Like Alice. While Stevens agreed, a 4 Sep 1987 HR article indicated that he was unable to devote much time to preproduction while finishing work on another Australian television project.
       Although filmmakers intended to shoot the entire picture in rural Kansas, by the time the crew arrived for the scheduled 27 Jul 1987 start date, wheat harvesting had already ended for the season. As a result, actor Andrew McCarthy and a company of nine other crewmembers took a two-day detour in Wahpeton, ND, to shoot scenes of “Wade Corey” cutting wheat on the “Bayles” farm. Filming in Kansas began 29 Jul 1987, with production headquarters stationed in the city of Lawrence. Stevens, McCarthy, and actor Matt Dillon stayed at the city’s historic Eldridge Hotel during the eight-week production schedule, while the 4 Sep 1987 HR stated that makeshift editing and screening rooms were set up at a nearby Holiday Inn. Roughly half of the seventy-five-member crew and twenty members of the cast were local residents. A 21 Aug 1987 DV item stated that the University of Kentucky choir and several students were also featured in the film.
       HR reported that after four weeks of production, three assistant directors left the project due to “location tensions” caused by changeable weather and shifting shooting schedules. Filming was expected to continue through 22 Sep 1987. A 27 Jul 1988 Var ... More Less

Kansas marked the American feature film debut of Australian television director David Stevens. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, producer George Litto approached Stevens to direct Kansas after seeing his 1981 mini-series, A Town Like Alice. While Stevens agreed, a 4 Sep 1987 HR article indicated that he was unable to devote much time to preproduction while finishing work on another Australian television project.
       Although filmmakers intended to shoot the entire picture in rural Kansas, by the time the crew arrived for the scheduled 27 Jul 1987 start date, wheat harvesting had already ended for the season. As a result, actor Andrew McCarthy and a company of nine other crewmembers took a two-day detour in Wahpeton, ND, to shoot scenes of “Wade Corey” cutting wheat on the “Bayles” farm. Filming in Kansas began 29 Jul 1987, with production headquarters stationed in the city of Lawrence. Stevens, McCarthy, and actor Matt Dillon stayed at the city’s historic Eldridge Hotel during the eight-week production schedule, while the 4 Sep 1987 HR stated that makeshift editing and screening rooms were set up at a nearby Holiday Inn. Roughly half of the seventy-five-member crew and twenty members of the cast were local residents. A 21 Aug 1987 DV item stated that the University of Kentucky choir and several students were also featured in the film.
       HR reported that after four weeks of production, three assistant directors left the project due to “location tensions” caused by changeable weather and shifting shooting schedules. Filming was expected to continue through 22 Sep 1987. A 27 Jul 1988 Var article listed the final cost as $8.5 million, with an additional $6 million spent on prints and advertising.
       The film’s release in 800 theaters marked Trans World Entertainment’s largest theatrical venture to date. Although initially scheduled to open 26 Aug 1988, Kansas opened nearly a month later, on 23 Sep 1988.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland; Frans Afman; Henk Altink; Kansas Film Commission; Jerry Jones; Oskaloosa High School Band; Police Department, Lawrence, Kansas; Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence, Kansas; All the people from the Great State of Kansas; Al Peterson Jr., Train Master/Union Pacific Railroad.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1987.
---
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1987
p. 12, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1988
p. 2, 12.
Los Angeles Times
23 Sep 1988
Calendar, p. 6.
New York Times
23 Sep 1988
Section C, p. 17.
Variety
1 Jun 1988.
---
Variety
27 Jul 1988
p. 30.
Variety
28 Sep 1988
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Trans World Entertainment presents
A George Litto production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key 1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
Key grip
Best boy elec
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
2d asst ed
Post prod coord
Post prod asst
Negative conforming
Negative timer
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
2d asst prop
Const coord
Leadman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Cond by
Mus ed
Mus coord
Mus score for "Kansas" rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Key hair/Asst make-up
Asst make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Supv executive
Supv executive
Unit prod mgr
Exec prod mgr
Scr supv
Unit pub
Extras casting
Casting asst
Casting asst
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod secy
Key prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Honeywagon driver
Driver for Matt Dillon
Driver for Andrew McCarthy
Driver for Leslie Hope
Asst to the prod
Asst to the prod
Asst to David Stevens
Catered by
Chef
Asst Chef
Craft service
Craft service asst
Nurse, EMT
Post prod supv
Scr supv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Home On The Range,” performed by The Oskaloosa High School Band, Will Cooper, director, arranged by James S. Ralston & James Barnes, Norman Lee Publishing, Inc.
“Our Director,” performed for The Oskaloosa High School Band, Will Cooper, director, composed by F. E. Bigelow, arranged by Andy Clark, Norman Lee Publishing, Inc.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 September 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 September 1988
Production Date:
29 July--22 September 1987
Copyright Claimant:
TWE Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 November 1988
Copyright Number:
PA403688
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
113
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29026
SYNOPSIS

Somewhere in the Midwestern U.S., the well-to-do Wade Corey struggles to jump aboard a moving freight train headed east. An escaped convict named Doyle Kennedy helps pull him up, and the drifters fall into friendly conversation about their travels. Wade explains that he was driving cross-country to New York City for a friend’s wedding, but lost his car and all his possessions in a fire. Surprised that Wade intends to continue his journey in the back of a boxcar, Doyle invites him to stop over in his small Kansas hometown, where he will be welcomed with hospitality and can make new arrangements for his trip. Arriving on a Sunday morning, the young men break into a house while the family is away at church and steal food and clothes. Afterward, they pass through the town parade honoring the visiting state governor. When the governor’s young daughter becomes faint with heatstroke, the politician cuts his speech short to drive her back to their hotel. Meanwhile, Doyle brings Wade to the local bank, pulls out a gun, and forces him to help commit a robbery. As the security guard sounds the alarm, Wade and Doyle separate. Still carrying the money, Wade seeks refuge under a bridge just a few yards from where the governor has stopped to repair a flat tire. Searching for Doyle, a speeding police officer crashes into the governor’s car, sending it rolling into the river with his daughter still inside. Wade jumps into the water and saves her life. Reporter Nelson Nordquist takes photographs of the rescue, but Wade slips away undetected. Believing he is a wanted fugitive, he spends the night in a sunflower field. In ... +


Somewhere in the Midwestern U.S., the well-to-do Wade Corey struggles to jump aboard a moving freight train headed east. An escaped convict named Doyle Kennedy helps pull him up, and the drifters fall into friendly conversation about their travels. Wade explains that he was driving cross-country to New York City for a friend’s wedding, but lost his car and all his possessions in a fire. Surprised that Wade intends to continue his journey in the back of a boxcar, Doyle invites him to stop over in his small Kansas hometown, where he will be welcomed with hospitality and can make new arrangements for his trip. Arriving on a Sunday morning, the young men break into a house while the family is away at church and steal food and clothes. Afterward, they pass through the town parade honoring the visiting state governor. When the governor’s young daughter becomes faint with heatstroke, the politician cuts his speech short to drive her back to their hotel. Meanwhile, Doyle brings Wade to the local bank, pulls out a gun, and forces him to help commit a robbery. As the security guard sounds the alarm, Wade and Doyle separate. Still carrying the money, Wade seeks refuge under a bridge just a few yards from where the governor has stopped to repair a flat tire. Searching for Doyle, a speeding police officer crashes into the governor’s car, sending it rolling into the river with his daughter still inside. Wade jumps into the water and saves her life. Reporter Nelson Nordquist takes photographs of the rescue, but Wade slips away undetected. Believing he is a wanted fugitive, he spends the night in a sunflower field. In the morning, he comes across a wheat farm and contemplates stealing the owner’s truck. Before he can hotwire the engine, however, he is caught by the farmer’s daughter, Lori Bayles, and pretends to be a drifter looking for work. Lori’s father offers him temporary employment as a farmhand. Over time, Wade flirts with Lori, but she rejects his advances because she believes him to be an uneducated transient worker with no ambitions. Meanwhile, police identify Doyle Kennedy, Mr. Bayles’ estranged son, as their primary suspect, but find no evidence of an accomplice. Assuming a new identity, Doyle finds work with a traveling carnival as a ride operator. When he sees Wade at the carnival and asks about the money, Wade lies and says he hid the bags in a tree near the river, but they are actually hidden underneath the bridge. He agrees to meet Doyle there the following night so they can split the cash. As a storm rolls in, Wade follows Lori into the stable, where they make love. Afterward, Lori insists the encounter did not mean anything, but admits she does not want Wade to leave. When the heavy rains cause damage to the crops, Wade is forced to stay on a few extra days, and misses his appointment with Doyle. Unable to find the money where Wade claimed it to be, Doyle hitches a ride to his family’s farm and threatens Wade with a knife. Wade relents, and arranges another meeting at the river. To ensure he does not back out again, Doyle sets fire to the stable. Wade saves the horses, but the barn collapses, destroying Mr. Bayles’ machinery. As firemen extinguish the flames, reporter Nelson Nordquist recognizes Wade and exposes him as the hero who saved the governor’s daughter. The story makes national news, and Wade is honored at an elegant reception. Lori acknowledges that she misjudged Wade and admits her feelings for him, breaking up with her current boyfriend. When Wade confesses that he was forced to assist in the bank robbery, Lori assures him that the public will believe his story. Meanwhile, Doyle breaks into Nelson Norquist’s house and tells him that Wade was his partner. The reporter doubts his version of the events, but eventually finds a photograph of Doyle and Wade together during the parade and considers exposing Wade as a fraud. After Wade recovers the money, Doyle attempts to shoot him for lying. As they fight, Wade grabs Doyle’s gun, throws it into the river, and walks away without his share of the money. The next morning, Doyle prepares to leave town with a prostitute drifter, but police spot him at a gas station and blockade the road. Doyle drives toward the roadblock at top speed as police open fire, causing him to lose control and capsize the car. He emerges from the wreckage with several gunshot wounds, lies on the grass, and dies. Elsewhere, Lori and Wade flee town, leading the townspeople to believe they have eloped. However, Lori doubts that their relationship can work once she leaves for college in the fall. Reluctantly agreeing to go their separate ways, Wade hops onto the next passing freight train, but quickly changes his mind and jumps off. Lori laughs, and they share a kiss. +

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

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