Untamed Heart (1993)

PG-13 | 102 mins | Drama, Romance | 12 February 1993

Director:

Tony Bill

Writer:

Tom Sierchio

Cinematographer:

Jost Vacano

Editor:

Mia Goldman

Production Designer:

Steven Jordan

Production Companies:

TBHC Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
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HISTORY

The film begins with black and white scenes of "Adam" as a sickly child at an orphanage.
       Working titles included Baboon Heart and Someone to Love, as noted in the 9 Nov 1992 Time.
       The project was set up circa Jan 1992 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) as part of director Tony Bill’s recently announced two-picture deal with the studio, according to the 5 Feb 1992 DV. Although the story was originally set in New Jersey, the setting was moved to Minneapolis, MN, when that city was chosen for location shooting. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, elements that drew filmmakers to Minneapolis included the city’s long winter, an acting community from which thirty-five of forty cast members were hired, and seasoned local crew employed by Minneapolis’s thriving television commercial producing industry.
       Several contemporary sources reported that singer-turned-actress Madonna vied for the role of “Caroline.” According to a 4 Dec 1991 LAT news item, she was cast despite her refusal to do a screen test. Items in the 16 Dec 1991 LAT and 20 Dec 1991 Screen International announced Madonna’s departure from the project only days after she was hired. Although a 5 Feb 1992 DV item cited “creative differences” as her reason for leaving, an 18 Dec 1991 The Times (London) news brief specified that Madonna dropped the project after MGM refused to cast Jason Patric as her co-star. The studio allegedly wanted William Baldwin for the role of Adam, instead, although Brad Pitt was also named as a contender. In 8 Nov 1991 and 20 Dec 1991 ... More Less

The film begins with black and white scenes of "Adam" as a sickly child at an orphanage.
       Working titles included Baboon Heart and Someone to Love, as noted in the 9 Nov 1992 Time.
       The project was set up circa Jan 1992 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) as part of director Tony Bill’s recently announced two-picture deal with the studio, according to the 5 Feb 1992 DV. Although the story was originally set in New Jersey, the setting was moved to Minneapolis, MN, when that city was chosen for location shooting. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, elements that drew filmmakers to Minneapolis included the city’s long winter, an acting community from which thirty-five of forty cast members were hired, and seasoned local crew employed by Minneapolis’s thriving television commercial producing industry.
       Several contemporary sources reported that singer-turned-actress Madonna vied for the role of “Caroline.” According to a 4 Dec 1991 LAT news item, she was cast despite her refusal to do a screen test. Items in the 16 Dec 1991 LAT and 20 Dec 1991 Screen International announced Madonna’s departure from the project only days after she was hired. Although a 5 Feb 1992 DV item cited “creative differences” as her reason for leaving, an 18 Dec 1991 The Times (London) news brief specified that Madonna dropped the project after MGM refused to cast Jason Patric as her co-star. The studio allegedly wanted William Baldwin for the role of Adam, instead, although Brad Pitt was also named as a contender. In 8 Nov 1991 and 20 Dec 1991 Screen International items, Annabella Sciorra and Geena Davis were mentioned as possible replacements for Madonna. However, Marisa Tomei, who had auditioned for Tony Bill’s 1988 film, Five Corners (see entry), was eventually cast after Bill viewed an advance copy of Tomei’s upcoming film, My Cousin Vinny (1992, see entry), which would earn the actress an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
       Marisa Tomei prepared for the role by taking ice-skating lessons, and reading How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr and Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor. The actress also selected a driver with a strong Midwestern accent as her dialogue coach, and spoke with an accent both on and off set.
       The budget was cited as $8 million in a 7 Jun 1992 LAT article, down from the initial $15 million slated for the project, as noted in a 31 Jan 1992 Screen International brief.
       Principal photography began 23 Mar 1992, according to an 18 Feb 1992 HR production chart. Production notes stated that fans tracked down Christian Slater’s Minneapolis residence, forcing the actor to move once during filming. Locations included Jim’s Coffee Shop and Bakery at 326 Central Avenue near downtown Minneapolis, which stood in for the diner where Caroline and Adam work.
       Critical reception was mixed, but consistent praise went to Marisa Tomei’s performance. The film won MTV (Music Television) Movie Awards for “Most Desirable Male” (Christian Slater) and “Best Kiss” (Christian Slater & Marisa Tomei).
       A 24 Feb 1993 Long Beach Press-Telegram brief noted that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, requested a screening of Untamed Heart at her thirteenth birthday party. A print of the film was sent to the White House along with a letter from Christian Slater.
       The film marked stuntman Tom Sierchio’s first produced screenplay. Sierchio was credited as screenwriter, associate producer, and stunt coordinator on Untamed Heart.
       End credits include the following statement: “The Producers wish to thank: The people of N.E. Minneapolis; The Minnesota Film Board; Randy Adamsick and Kelly Pratt; Minneapolis Office of Film, Video and Recording, Janet Zahn; Minnesota North Stars; The Omni Northstar Hotel; All Clad Metalcrafters, Inc.; Sureway Air Express; James Productions; Dr. Jay N. Cohn, M.D.; Craig Rice; Mike Patlin; ‘Good Company,’ produced by Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1992
p. 1.
Daily Variety
13 Apr 1992.
---
Daily Variety
26 Jan 1993
p. 4, 20.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1993
p. 10.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
24 Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Dec 1991
Section F, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
16 Dec 1991
Section F, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jun 1992
Calendar, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
22 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Feb 1993
Calendar, p. 15.
New York Times
12 Feb 1993
p. 14.
People
21 Oct 1991.
---
Screen International
8 Nov 1991.
---
Screen International
20 Dec 1991.
---
Screen International
31 Jan 1992.
---
The Times (London)
18 Dec 1991.
---
Time
9 Nov 1992.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1993
p. 96.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents
A Tony Bill film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Loader
Steadicam op
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Rigging key grip
2d cam op
2d cam op
Originated on
Lighting & grip equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
2d film ed
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
Lead person
On-set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead scenic artist
Asst lead scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Asst costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Asst mus ed
Mus supv
Mus supv
Addl orch by
Mus contractor
Mus scoring mixer
Songs consultant
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Co-supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley/Sd eff ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman/2d boom
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Titles & opticals by
MAKEUP
Key makeup & hair
Asst makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Hair stylist
Ms. Perez' hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Accountant
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Minneapolis casting
Tranportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Loc asst
Voice casting
Prod intern
Asst to Mr. Bill
Asst to Mr. Slater
Asst to Mr. Harman
Casting assoc, MN
Casting assoc, CA
Post prod asst
Craft service
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Animal trainer
First aid
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“This Time Of The Year,” written by Cliff Owens and Jesse Hollis, performed by Brook Benton, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc,
“Sexploration,” written by Conning/Mayer/Orbit, performed by LAPD, courtesy of I. R. S. Records
“Try Me,” written by James Brown, performed by Los Lobos, courtesy of Slash/Warner Records
+
SONGS
“This Time Of The Year,” written by Cliff Owens and Jesse Hollis, performed by Brook Benton, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc,
“Sexploration,” written by Conning/Mayer/Orbit, performed by LAPD, courtesy of I. R. S. Records
“Try Me,” written by James Brown, performed by Los Lobos, courtesy of Slash/Warner Records
“Tom’s Diner,” written by Suzanne Vega, performed by DNA featuring Suzanne Vega, courtesy of A&M Records
“Devolution Workin’ Man’s Blues,” written by Eddie MacDonald & Mike Peters, performed by The Alarm, courtesy of I. R. S. Records
“Bad Bad Boys,” written by P. Aronsson/M. Berhanu/ F. Teclehaimanot/M. Berhanu, performed by Midi, Maxi & Efti, courtesy of Habana Music Entertainment and Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Blood From A Stone,” written by Anne Preven, performed by Stacy Earl, produced by Jellybean for Jellybean Productions, Inc., courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
“Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis),” written by Timmins/Timmins/Rodgers/Hart, performed by Cowboy Junkies, courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
“Nature Boy,” written by Eden Ahbez, performed by Roger Williams, courtesy of MCA Records
“Life Is Hard,” written by Pat & Barbara MacDonald, performed by Timbuk 3, courtesy of I. R. S. Records
“Nature Boy,” written by Eden Ahbez, performed by Nat King Cole, courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“Standard White Jesus,” written by Pat & Barbara MacDonald, performed by Timbuk 3, courtesy of I. R. S. Records
“Mercy,” written by Holly Vincent, performed by Holly Vincent.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Baboon Heart
Someone to Love
Release Date:
12 February 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 February 1993
Production Date:
began 23 March 1992
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Cameras and Zeiss lenses by Arriflex®
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32067
SYNOPSIS

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Caroline rushes home from her job as a waitress to get ready for a date. When her boyfriend, Steven, arrives to pick her up, instead of taking her out, he breaks up with her. That night, the broken-hearted Caroline commiserates with her best friend, Cindy, and fellow waitress, Mary, at Jim’s Bakery and Coffee Shop. Cindy forbids Caroline from calling Steven, and Mary urges her to stop being a doormat. Caroline returns to work the following night and finds Adam, an attractive but taciturn busboy, wounded in the kitchen. She cleans and bandages the cut in his hand and notices his skin is covered in sap from his day job at a Christmas tree farm. Caroline laments that her parents no longer buy real Christmas trees, opting instead for an artificial one. She points out that Adam never speaks, but doesn’t hear him when he whispers thank you as she walks away. In the dining room, Caroline finds two men, Howard and Patsy, pounding the cigarette machine and complaining that it “ate” their money. Caroline intervenes, and Howard recognizes her. When he and Patsy sit at a table in Mary’s section, they request that Caroline wait on them. As she takes their order, Howard reminds Caroline that they met at a Fourth of July party, where she got drunk and embarrassed herself. At four a.m., Caroline walks home alone. Howard and Patsy drunkenly speed past her in Howard’s car and offer her a ride. Caroline declines. They pursue her on foot. She tries to run, but they team up against her and attack. Howard bangs her head on the ground until she loses consciousness and nearly ... +


In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Caroline rushes home from her job as a waitress to get ready for a date. When her boyfriend, Steven, arrives to pick her up, instead of taking her out, he breaks up with her. That night, the broken-hearted Caroline commiserates with her best friend, Cindy, and fellow waitress, Mary, at Jim’s Bakery and Coffee Shop. Cindy forbids Caroline from calling Steven, and Mary urges her to stop being a doormat. Caroline returns to work the following night and finds Adam, an attractive but taciturn busboy, wounded in the kitchen. She cleans and bandages the cut in his hand and notices his skin is covered in sap from his day job at a Christmas tree farm. Caroline laments that her parents no longer buy real Christmas trees, opting instead for an artificial one. She points out that Adam never speaks, but doesn’t hear him when he whispers thank you as she walks away. In the dining room, Caroline finds two men, Howard and Patsy, pounding the cigarette machine and complaining that it “ate” their money. Caroline intervenes, and Howard recognizes her. When he and Patsy sit at a table in Mary’s section, they request that Caroline wait on them. As she takes their order, Howard reminds Caroline that they met at a Fourth of July party, where she got drunk and embarrassed herself. At four a.m., Caroline walks home alone. Howard and Patsy drunkenly speed past her in Howard’s car and offer her a ride. Caroline declines. They pursue her on foot. She tries to run, but they team up against her and attack. Howard bangs her head on the ground until she loses consciousness and nearly rapes her, but is stopped by Adam, the busboy. Adam beats Howard and Patsy to the ground, then wraps Caroline in his coat and carries her home. He lays her on the front porch swing at her house and watches over her until she wakes up. Caroline jumps when she sees Adam, and he walks away without a word. For days, she calls in sick to work. When she finally returns to the diner, she confronts Adam, asking how he knew where she lived. He admits he has been following her home regularly to make sure she is safe. He apologizes for being late the night she was attacked. Caroline kisses his cheek and thanks him. Later, Caroline asks Cindy what she thinks about Adam. Cindy admits he is attractive but laments that he is weird and never speaks. She pesters Caroline about her lack of follow-through with various projects, including opening a flower shop and going to beauty school. When her shift is over at two a.m., Caroline waits for her younger brother, Michael, to pick her up, but he never shows. She starts to walk home alone but sees Adam in the parking lot, and they walk together. He points out constellations and explains that shooting stars are meteors falling to Earth. He shows Caroline his basement apartment, but she becomes nervous when she finds a photograph of herself that Adam took from the diner. Two days later, on Christmas morning, Caroline wakes up to discover a real Christmas tree in her bedroom. She bakes cookies and takes them to Adam’s apartment to thank him for the tree. He shows her his collection of old records, given to him by a nun named Mother Camilla at the orphanage where he grew up. He claims the records are magical and tells her about his sickly childhood, and how Mother Camilla told him his late father was an adventurer who stole enchanted rubies to cure Adam’s heart condition. His father was killed by a “baboon king,” but when the animal learned of Adam’s illness, it removed its own heart and put it in the boy’s chest. Caroline is shocked that Adam still believes Mother Camilla’s story, but admits it is charming. She offers to cut his hair and brings him back to her house. Adam recalls feeling alienated as a child, when he had to be quarantined, and says he has never been good with people. As she combs his hair, Caroline talks about her tendency to chase after love. Adam reaches out and touches her breast. She stops combing and leads him to her bedroom, where they undress. Adam breaks into tears, and Caroline consoles him. She whispers that she is going to fall in love with him and promises to give him her heart. Back at work, Caroline invites Adam to her parents’ New Years Eve party. When he arrives, he spends two hours with Caroline’s cat on the front porch. She finds him outside and makes a wish on a star, but Adam points out that she is wishing on Mars. At midnight, they kiss. Caroline goes ice-skating with Cindy, who is skeptical when Caroline admits she has been dating Adam. Caroline reveals that when she was attacked, Adam saved her, but Cindy still believes Caroline might be selling herself short. She persuades Caroline to go on a blind date with a man named Ronnie. However, on a double date with Cindy and her boyfriend, Caroline expresses no interest in Ronnie. They end up at the diner, where Caroline goes in search of Adam just as he is attacked by Howard and Patsy in the parking lot. Adam stumbles inside the diner with a stab wound in his abdomen. Frantic, Caroline accompanies him to the hospital, where a doctor tells her Adam has congenital heart disease and is in need of a transplant. Caroline identifies Howard and Patsy in a police line-up. Later, she takes a beauty school exam but is too distracted and storms out. Adam flees the hospital and surprises Caroline at home. She mentions the transplant he needs, but Adam rejects the idea, insisting he must keep his heart. He worries that he will not love Caroline the same way if he gets a different one, but she assures him he loves with his mind and soul. Sometime later, Caroline takes Adam to an ice hockey game for his birthday. They have a great time, and on the drive home, Adam falls asleep. When they arrive at his apartment, Caroline discovers Adam is dead. At his funeral, Caroline tells Cindy Adam was the only thing she did not give up on, and claims he was an angel. She goes to his apartment and finds a gift he planned to give to her on his birthday: his box of records, with a note telling her he no longer needs them because all of his wishes have come true. Caroline listens to one of the records and smiles. +

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

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