Mixed Company (1974)

PG | 109-110 mins | Comedy-drama | 16 October 1974

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HISTORY

The end credits conclude with the following text: "We wish to thank The National Basketball Association and The Open Door Society for their Cooperation."
       Set decorator Raphael Bretton’s name is misspelled “Raphel Bretton” in the end credits.
       A 25 Jul 1972 HR news item announced that writer-producer-director Melville Shavelson and his company, Llenroc Productions, sold Shavelson’s original story for Mixed Company to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. for an undisclosed fee, and Shavelson was set to direct and produce the film. Mort Lachman was hired to collaborate with Shavelson on the screenplay. However, on 6 Aug 1973, DV reported that United Artists Corp. (UA) was releasing the picture. In a 17 Dec 1973 HR brief, Shavelson stated that the film’s budget was $1 million because UA felt it was not appropriate to hire a cast of celebrities and instead wanted the script to be the “star.” Additionally, UA stipulated that it did not want to cast older actors who were unknown to young audiences and preferred to use up-and-coming talent with whom kids could identify. In the deal with UA, Shavelson agreed to defer half of his salary as a completion bond, which insured that he finished the film within the stipulated time frame and budget.
       Principal photography began 4 Sep 1973 in Phoenix, AZ, according to 21 Sep 1973 HR production charts and a 5 Sep 1973 DV news item that reported the casting of two thousand extras on the first day of the shoot. According to DV, Shavelson used Phoenix television stations, radio shows and newspaper advertisements to ... More Less

The end credits conclude with the following text: "We wish to thank The National Basketball Association and The Open Door Society for their Cooperation."
       Set decorator Raphael Bretton’s name is misspelled “Raphel Bretton” in the end credits.
       A 25 Jul 1972 HR news item announced that writer-producer-director Melville Shavelson and his company, Llenroc Productions, sold Shavelson’s original story for Mixed Company to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. for an undisclosed fee, and Shavelson was set to direct and produce the film. Mort Lachman was hired to collaborate with Shavelson on the screenplay. However, on 6 Aug 1973, DV reported that United Artists Corp. (UA) was releasing the picture. In a 17 Dec 1973 HR brief, Shavelson stated that the film’s budget was $1 million because UA felt it was not appropriate to hire a cast of celebrities and instead wanted the script to be the “star.” Additionally, UA stipulated that it did not want to cast older actors who were unknown to young audiences and preferred to use up-and-coming talent with whom kids could identify. In the deal with UA, Shavelson agreed to defer half of his salary as a completion bond, which insured that he finished the film within the stipulated time frame and budget.
       Principal photography began 4 Sep 1973 in Phoenix, AZ, according to 21 Sep 1973 HR production charts and a 5 Sep 1973 DV news item that reported the casting of two thousand extras on the first day of the shoot. According to DV, Shavelson used Phoenix television stations, radio shows and newspaper advertisements to recruit locals to sit in the audience of a staged Phoenix Suns basketball game at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, which was planned to be filmed over seven days. Mixed Company made its last appearance on HR production charts on 26 Oct 1973.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Aug 1974
p. 4714.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 1973.
---
Daily Variety
5 Sep 1973.
---
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 1973
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 1973
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 1974.
---
LAHExam
16 Oct 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Oct 1974
Section IV, p. 17.
New York Times
21 Nov 1974
p. 54.
Variety
7 Aug 1974
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr/1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Still photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Cam op
Elec
Key grip
Gaffer
Best boy
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const co-ord
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Boom man
Rerec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Transportation
Auditor
Prod secy
Locs by
Dial coach
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 October 1974
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 16 October 1974
Production Date:
4 September--late October 1973 in Phoenix, AZ
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
28 March 1974
Copyright Number:
LP43919
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by De Luxe®
Duration(in mins):
109-110
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Phoenix, Arizona, housewife Kathy Morrison volunteers for an adoption foundation and tries to convince white couples to adopt ethnically diverse children. When asked why she doesn’t take on an orphan, herself, Kathy explains that she already has three children with her husband, Pete, a basketball coach for The Phoenix Suns, who often travels for work. Under her breath, however, Kathy tells her friend Marge that she is trying to conceive. That night, Pete falls asleep while making love and has a nightmare about his losing team. Discouraged, Kathy announces that she has stopped taking birth control and wants another baby, but Pete warns that his job security is tenuous. While Kathy says she will remain unsatisfied until she has another baby, Pete claims he will not be happy until The Phoenix Suns win, but he agrees to make love to appease his wife. Sometime later, the couple learns from their doctor that Pete is infertile due to a bout of mumps and when the doctor suggests adoption, Pete refuses. One night, Marge brings a young African American boy named Freddie Wilcox to the Morrison home before the family leaves for a Suns game and Kathy tells Pete and her children Liz, Rob and Mary that she wants to adopt the boy. Outraged, Pete expresses racist views and vows to ignore the child. Upon Freddie’s introduction to the family, the young basketball fan chides Pete about the Suns’ losing streak and is treated coldly by Rob and Mary in deference to their father. At the game, Pete reprimands his star player, Walt Johnson, and fails to inspire his team. ... +


In Phoenix, Arizona, housewife Kathy Morrison volunteers for an adoption foundation and tries to convince white couples to adopt ethnically diverse children. When asked why she doesn’t take on an orphan, herself, Kathy explains that she already has three children with her husband, Pete, a basketball coach for The Phoenix Suns, who often travels for work. Under her breath, however, Kathy tells her friend Marge that she is trying to conceive. That night, Pete falls asleep while making love and has a nightmare about his losing team. Discouraged, Kathy announces that she has stopped taking birth control and wants another baby, but Pete warns that his job security is tenuous. While Kathy says she will remain unsatisfied until she has another baby, Pete claims he will not be happy until The Phoenix Suns win, but he agrees to make love to appease his wife. Sometime later, the couple learns from their doctor that Pete is infertile due to a bout of mumps and when the doctor suggests adoption, Pete refuses. One night, Marge brings a young African American boy named Freddie Wilcox to the Morrison home before the family leaves for a Suns game and Kathy tells Pete and her children Liz, Rob and Mary that she wants to adopt the boy. Outraged, Pete expresses racist views and vows to ignore the child. Upon Freddie’s introduction to the family, the young basketball fan chides Pete about the Suns’ losing streak and is treated coldly by Rob and Mary in deference to their father. At the game, Pete reprimands his star player, Walt Johnson, and fails to inspire his team. Later, Kathy pursues Pete through the locker room, arguing that Freddie needs their help. As an African American player listens, Pete claims that Freddie should be raised by “his own kind,” but Kathy contends that most black families cannot afford to adopt. Having made up his mind that Freddie is not welcome in the Morrison family, Pete tells Freddie that he must return to his foster home, but Freddie convinces the coach to let him shoot hoops on the basketball court before they leave. After playing one on one with Freddie, Pete agrees to keep the boy. The next day, Freddie moves into the Morrison home as the neighbors watch. One man, Al, who describes himself as a bigot, visits Kathy and Pete that evening. He reports that the neighbors have pooled their resources to purchase the Morrison’s house in the hope that the family will leave before Freddie’s presence causes a decline in property values. Offended, Kathy and Pete kick Al out as Mary announces that Freddie has flooded the bathroom. Pete gives the boy a spanking. Sometime later, when Pete returns from a basketball tour, Kathy reports that Freddie has become arrogant as a result of receiving special treatment at school and the Morrison children resent him. She offers to remedy the situation by adopting another minority child so Freddie will no longer feel exceptional and Pete is outraged. At an orphanage picnic, Marge introduces Pete to a Vietnamese girl named Quan Tran and her best friend, Joe Rogers, a Hopi Native American. Although Pete is hostile to Kathy’s desire for more children and fears it will end their sex life, Quan and Joe win him over and Marge brings them to the Morrison home. That night, Kathy serves the family Vietnamese food in honor of Quan but the children make fun of Quan’s slanted eyes and provoke a fight. As Kathy comforts Quan, the whole family pretends to cry, hoping to show Quan that it is better to express feelings outright than to run away in tears. Later, Joe climbs into bed with Kathy and Pete, but they are roused by Freddie and Rob, who are playing basketball outside, and Quan, who screams in fear remembering the Vietnam War. One evening at a Suns game, Freddie serves as mascot. When Johnson teases the boy for being an Oreo cookie, “black on the outside and white on the inside,” Pete benches the star player and the crowd disapproves. Sometime later, the family celebrates Halloween and Kathy is shocked to learn that Liz’s first boyfriend, Milton, is black. When Milton comes to the house, he secretly lights a marijuana cigarette and Freddie fights him in resistance, but the boys are separated by Pete, who returns home to report that he was just fired. When Pete finds the drugs and blames Freddie, the boy reacts to Liz’s anxiety about Milton being discovered and takes responsibility. That night, Kathy discovers her jewelry and Pete’s watch are missing. The couple reprimands Freddie, who questions their insistence on blaming him and demands to know his real mother. After refusing Kathy’s love and announcing his desire to leave the Morrisons, Freddie returns to his room to pack and bid farewell to his adoptive brothers. When Joe reports to Kathy and Pete that Freddie ran away, the couple observes that Joe is wearing Pete’s watch. Joe guides the couple to Quan’s secret stash of jewelry and food. Quan admits her fear that she will be sent back to Vietnam, but Kathy convinces her that she is safe. Meanwhile, Freddie hotwires Pete’s car and crashes into a police car. As Pete goes after the boy, Liz confesses that the marijuana belonged to Milton. At the police station, Pete claims Freddie as his son and refuses to press charges even though the police argue that the boy is headed for a life of crime. Reflecting on his own childhood, Pete reveals that he was raised in a poor neighborhood where he was abused and forced into unlawful activities, but his father saved his life. Pete says that he wants to provide the same guidance to Freddie, who is a winner in his eyes. However, back at the Morrison home, Freddie is still intent on leaving. Jack Krause, the Sun’s owner, stops by to ask Pete to return to work, but Pete will not agree unless Johnson calls to apologize. Referring to Johnson, but directing his gaze at Freddie, Pete says that he hates quitters. Despite Pete’s caveat, Freddie returns to the orphanage. That night, Johnson calls Pete and they make amends. At the next Suns game, Freddie surprises the Morrison family in the bleachers and reunites with Pete on the courtside, where he helps his adoptive father shout orders at the team. +

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

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