Shattered (1991)

R | 97 mins | Drama | 11 October 1991

Director:

Wolfgang Petersen

Cinematographer:

Laszlo Kovacs

Production Designer:

Gregg Fonseca

Production Company:

Capella Films
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HISTORY

The 29 Oct 1975 Var announced filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen’s acquisition of rights to The Plastic Nightmare, a novel by Richard Neeley. Principal photography was planned for summer 1976 in Hamburg, Germany, with financing from Westdeutsche Rundfunk, and possibly Willim Benninger. Robert Muller collaborated with Petersen on the screenplay.
       Nearly fourteen years later, the 15 May 1989 DV reported that principal photography would begin in late summer 1989, with actors William Hurt and Sissy Spacek in lead rolls. Executive producer Michel Roy’s Filmaccord Productions was financing the $19.5 million picture, through producer John Davis’s distribution deal with Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. Petersen completed the original screenplay in 1978 and secured half of the budget through German financiers. In the process of seeking additional financing, he was assigned the German pictures, Das Boot (1981), followed by The Neverending Story (1984), as well as Enemy Mine (1985, see entry). Afterward, Petersen began work on the film, tentatively titled The Plastic Nightmare, his first picture produced in the U.S. On 1 Nov 1989, Var announced the start of filming on 8 Jan 1990, with a budget of $22 million and starring actor Tom Berenger.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Petersen issued a daily “menu” to his crew, with instructions on various “technical points” and the reasoning behind them. Production designer Gregg Fonseca created more than forty sets at Columbia Studios in Culver City, CA, including the $250,000 decaying freight ship. The automobile crash that opens the film was achieved with a ... More Less

The 29 Oct 1975 Var announced filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen’s acquisition of rights to The Plastic Nightmare, a novel by Richard Neeley. Principal photography was planned for summer 1976 in Hamburg, Germany, with financing from Westdeutsche Rundfunk, and possibly Willim Benninger. Robert Muller collaborated with Petersen on the screenplay.
       Nearly fourteen years later, the 15 May 1989 DV reported that principal photography would begin in late summer 1989, with actors William Hurt and Sissy Spacek in lead rolls. Executive producer Michel Roy’s Filmaccord Productions was financing the $19.5 million picture, through producer John Davis’s distribution deal with Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. Petersen completed the original screenplay in 1978 and secured half of the budget through German financiers. In the process of seeking additional financing, he was assigned the German pictures, Das Boot (1981), followed by The Neverending Story (1984), as well as Enemy Mine (1985, see entry). Afterward, Petersen began work on the film, tentatively titled The Plastic Nightmare, his first picture produced in the U.S. On 1 Nov 1989, Var announced the start of filming on 8 Jan 1990, with a budget of $22 million and starring actor Tom Berenger.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Petersen issued a daily “menu” to his crew, with instructions on various “technical points” and the reasoning behind them. Production designer Gregg Fonseca created more than forty sets at Columbia Studios in Culver City, CA, including the $250,000 decaying freight ship. The automobile crash that opens the film was achieved with a “gimbal accouterment,” designed by special effects supervisor Roy Arbogast. The device simulated the car’s tumbling interior as it rolled down the hillside. Arbogast also designed a compressed-gas “gun” that propelled a full-sized fiberglass replica Mercedes 560 SL over a cliff. The sequence was captured by six cameras, some of which were operated by technicians with rock-climbing experience, while other operators were suspended from Lama helicopters.
       Shattered opened in Oct 1991 to mixed reviews, several of which complained about its implausible story line. The film was released in Europe the following month, by Palace Pictures.
       End credits include the following statement: “Special thanks to: Jon Turtle; Media Home Entertainment; John Ptak; John Flock; Buffy Francuz; Ulrich Greiwe; Irma Hernandez; Chris Horner; Tony Randel; Aerocopters-Seattle, WA; Air There Helicopters, Novato, CA; Alaska Airlines; Argo Charters; Carlson Travel Network; The Cat and Dog House of Santa Monica; Conran’s Habitat; Goodyear Tire Corp.; Brian Black Hodes Photography; Rocky Mountain Helicopters-Provo, UT; Toshiba Facsimile Products Division; United Airlines; Oregon Film Office/Marjie Lundell, Manager.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 May 1989
p. 3, 18.
Daily Variety
23 Feb 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 1991
p. 2, 5, 13, 16.
Los Angeles Times
11 Oct 1991
p. 10.
New York Times
11 Oct 1991
p. 24.
Variety
29 Oct 1975.
---
Variety
1 Nov 1989
p. 12.
Variety
26 Aug 1991.
---
Variety
14 Oct 1991
p. 244.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents
A Bodo Scriba/Willi Baer/Capella Films Productions
in association with Davis Entertainment Company
A Wolfgang Petersen film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Line prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Video assist
2d unit photog
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Best boy grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
Asst art dir
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
Asst dec
Set des
Set des
Leadman
On set dresser
Const coord
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const buyer
On set carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Lead scenic painter
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Set painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Sculptor
Laborer foreman
Laborer gang boss
Laborer
Laborer
Laborer
Const, 2d unit
Const, 2d unit
Greensman, 2d unit
Greens, 2d unit
Greens, 2d unit
Greens, 2d unit
Greens, 2d unit
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Costumer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Dial ed
Addl audio
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dubbing rec
Dubbing rec
Foley walker
Foley walker
Foley walker
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Visual eff by
Visual eff by
Visual eff by
Matte photog
Matte artist
Spec rigging
Opt eff coord
Titles and opticals by
Process compositing by
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Hairdresser
Asst makeup
Makeup eff lab asst
Makeup eff lab asst
Makeup eff lab asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Wolfgang Petersen
Asst to David Korda
Key prod asst
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Helicopter pilot
Dial coach
Dial coach
Unit pub
Worldwide marketing
International pub relations
Casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting
Animal wrangler
Animal wrangler
Animal wrangler
Animal wrangler
Caterer, Gourmet Catering
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Cam car driver
Cam car driver
Scr supv, 2d unit
Asst coord, 2d unit
Caterer, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
Extras casting, 2d unit
Ranger, 2d unit
Ranger, 2d unit
Loc liaison, 2d unit
Loc liaison, 2d unit
Medic, 2d unit
Medic, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Stage facilities provided by
Dollys and cranes provided by
Product placement
Cam cars provided by
Stock footage provided by
Completion bond provided by
Insurance provided by
Payroll service
Legal counsel
Plastic surgery adv
Plastic surgery adv
Three dimensional craniofacial reconstructions cou
Three dimensional craniofacial reconstructions cou
Contact lenses by
Prod exec for Davis Entertainment
Prod assoc for Capella Films
Prod assoc for Capella Films
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stunt coord, 2d unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Process compositing by
[Col by]
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Plastic Nightmare by Richard Neely (New York, 1991).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Nights In White Satin,” written by Justin Hayward, performed by The Moody Blues, published by Essex Music, Inc., courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc.
“Hacienda Source,” written by Ashley J. Irwin.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Plastic Nightmare
Release Date:
11 October 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 October 1991
New York opening: week of 11 October 1991
Production Date:
began 8 January 1990
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Germany, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30887
SYNOPSIS

In Marin County, California, during the early morning of New Year’s Day, Judith Merrick is thrown from her car as it speeds over a cliff. At the hospital, Dr. Berkus explains that her husband, Dan, remained in the car and is critically injured. Dan makes a slow recovery, and his face is restored through plastic surgery, but he loses all memory of his life before the accident. During the ensuing weeks, Dan falls in love with Judith as if she was a stranger, and she assists with his physical therapy while educating him about his past. Upon leaving the hospital, Dan discovers that he has a palatial home and co-owns a successful land development firm with business partner Jeb Scott. Returning to the house jogs Dan’s memory, and while searching for more clues to his past, he comes upon photographs of Judith making love to another man. That evening, the couple joins Jeb Scott and his wife, Jenny, for dinner. When the men are alone, Jeb justifies Judith’s affair, saying Dan treated her “like a piece of furniture,” especially during their vacation in Mexico. Later, Jenny identifies Judith’s lover as Jack Stanton, an architect they met on vacation, who followed them back to Marin County. The day before the accident, Jenny saw them together at the Hacienda, a popular trysting place for the affluent. She adds to Dan’s suspicion by reminding him that Judith sustained no injuries from the crash. Dan visits the Hacienda and shows manager Rudy Costa a photograph of Judith, asking if she was a regular guest. Rudy recognizes her, saying she was always ... +


In Marin County, California, during the early morning of New Year’s Day, Judith Merrick is thrown from her car as it speeds over a cliff. At the hospital, Dr. Berkus explains that her husband, Dan, remained in the car and is critically injured. Dan makes a slow recovery, and his face is restored through plastic surgery, but he loses all memory of his life before the accident. During the ensuing weeks, Dan falls in love with Judith as if she was a stranger, and she assists with his physical therapy while educating him about his past. Upon leaving the hospital, Dan discovers that he has a palatial home and co-owns a successful land development firm with business partner Jeb Scott. Returning to the house jogs Dan’s memory, and while searching for more clues to his past, he comes upon photographs of Judith making love to another man. That evening, the couple joins Jeb Scott and his wife, Jenny, for dinner. When the men are alone, Jeb justifies Judith’s affair, saying Dan treated her “like a piece of furniture,” especially during their vacation in Mexico. Later, Jenny identifies Judith’s lover as Jack Stanton, an architect they met on vacation, who followed them back to Marin County. The day before the accident, Jenny saw them together at the Hacienda, a popular trysting place for the affluent. She adds to Dan’s suspicion by reminding him that Judith sustained no injuries from the crash. Dan visits the Hacienda and shows manager Rudy Costa a photograph of Judith, asking if she was a regular guest. Rudy recognizes her, saying she was always in the company of Jack Stanton. The manager also reveals that Dan often visited the hotel with a woman posing as his wife. He returns to work the next day, and is disappointed to learn that he was ruthless in his business dealings, but relieved to know that he was not having an affair with his secretary, Nancy Mercer. Perusing his date book, Dan finds the telephone number of pet-store owner Gus Klein, to whom he owed $7,000. When Dan visits the store, Gus explains that he is the private investigator who photographed Judith with Stanton. Although Dan wants more details, Gus advises him to forgive Judith. However, Dan is haunted by vague memories of a murder in his home, and he consults Jenny Scott, an amateur mystic. She describes his wife as a pathological liar, and warns that Judith and Stanton may plan to kill Dan to appropriate his wealth. Jenny makes advances on Dan, revealing herself as his former lover, but he refuses her. Later, Gus Klein proves that Dan was not driving at the time of the accident, and suspects Judith and Stanton of foul play. That evening, Dan overhears the maid give Judith a message from Stanton, and notifies Gus, unaware that Judith is recording the conversation. Later, Dan follows Judith to an abandoned marina, the future site of Scott and Merrick’s latest development, and watches as she enters a shipwreck laden with toxic chemicals. She emerges in a state of agitation before driving home. The following day, Gus plays a tape-recorded telephone message proving that Stanton is in contact with Judith. He also tells Dan about Jeb Scott’s plan to tow the shipwreck out to sea and sink it, releasing its contents into the environment. Dan postpones the sinking, then rides with Gus to the Hacienda, where they witness Judith and Stanton arriving in separate cars. Moments later, as Stanton leaves the hotel, Dan takes the wheel and gives chase. Stanton fires two shots, then runs his pursuers off the road and into a tree. Gus is distraught by the experience, and uses his inhaler to relieve an asthma attack. Dan hesitates to call police, believing he can reason with Judith. That evening, Dan watches through a window as Stanton’s car arrives outside, unaware that the driver is Judith wearing a disguise. Upon entering the house, she recounts the events of New Year’s Eve, during which Dan was drunk and violent. Fearing for her life, she telephoned Stanton for help, and Dan shot him to death. They hid the body in the shipwreck, and the accident occurred during the drive home. Judith hoped to keep Stanton’s death secret, but once Dan began his investigation, she was forced to create the illusion that Stanton was still alive. However, Judith is certain that someone else knows about the murder, and wants Dan to leave town with her to start a new life. While Judith hides Stanton’s car, Jenny telephones, demanding to see Dan immediately. He arrives at the Scott home to find Jenny stabbed to death. Gus enters and accuses Dan of murdering Jenny because she knew that Stanton was dead. Dan pleads innocent to killing Jenny, then asks to visit the shipwreck, hoping it will jog his memory of Stanton’s murder. Inside the ship, they discover the body of Dan Merrick, preserved in a vat of formaldehyde, and Dan realizes that he is Stanton. He recalls leaving his wallet at the hotel, and arriving at the Merrick home as Judith shot Dan. She convinced him to hide the body in the ship, mistakenly thinking the chemicals would dissolve it. As they drove along the coast, Judith lost control of the car as she and Stanton argued over notifying the authorities. Judith appears and shoots Gus in the shoulder and he disappears in a pool of water. She leads Stanton to her car at gunpoint, explaining that Jenny deduced Stanton's true identity and had to be killed. With Stanton assuming Dan’s identity, Judith believes she can be with the man she loves while retaining her late husband’s riches. She drives erratically along a coastal road with a police helicopter in pursuit. As Stanton wrests the gun from Judith’s hand, she loses control of the car, and he leaps to safety before the car speeds over a cliff. Gus emerges from the helicopter, explaining that his asthma inhaler enabled him to breathe underwater. The men stare at the burning wreckage below, then board the helicopter. +

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

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