Wild in the Streets (1968)

97 mins | Drama | 29 May 1968

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HISTORY

The film was originally titled The Day It Happened, Baby, after the 1966 short story by Robert Thom upon which it was based, according to a 13 Jun 1968 LAT brief. However, when the project was in development, American International Pictures (AIP) decided to recycle Wild in the Streets, the title of an abandoned project on which the studio had already spent money and created artwork. Thus, The Day It Happened, Baby was renamed Wild in the Streets. Director Barry Shear was quoted as saying the revised title had “nothing to do with the picture.”
       An item in the 21 Feb 1967 DV announced the project as one of six upcoming “youth protest” films at AIP. Shortly after, an 8 Mar 1967 Var item reported that Wild in the Streets was cancelled because AIP had acquired rights to a similar film, titled The Born Losers (1967, see entry). The following month, a 14 Apr 1967 LAT news brief stated that Barry Shear would direct Wild in the Streets, from a script by Sy Salkowitz, and made no mention of the previously announced cancellation. The budget was estimated at over $1 million in the 9 Aug 1967 DV, and the project was said to be AIP’s most expensive, to date, according to the 5 May 1968 LAT. The 31 Jan 1969 DV reported that lead actor Christopher Jones received a salary of $50,000. Meanwhile, as part of her deal, co-star Shelley Winters was promised a percentage of the film’s profits, according to ... More Less

The film was originally titled The Day It Happened, Baby, after the 1966 short story by Robert Thom upon which it was based, according to a 13 Jun 1968 LAT brief. However, when the project was in development, American International Pictures (AIP) decided to recycle Wild in the Streets, the title of an abandoned project on which the studio had already spent money and created artwork. Thus, The Day It Happened, Baby was renamed Wild in the Streets. Director Barry Shear was quoted as saying the revised title had “nothing to do with the picture.”
       An item in the 21 Feb 1967 DV announced the project as one of six upcoming “youth protest” films at AIP. Shortly after, an 8 Mar 1967 Var item reported that Wild in the Streets was cancelled because AIP had acquired rights to a similar film, titled The Born Losers (1967, see entry). The following month, a 14 Apr 1967 LAT news brief stated that Barry Shear would direct Wild in the Streets, from a script by Sy Salkowitz, and made no mention of the previously announced cancellation. The budget was estimated at over $1 million in the 9 Aug 1967 DV, and the project was said to be AIP’s most expensive, to date, according to the 5 May 1968 LAT. The 31 Jan 1969 DV reported that lead actor Christopher Jones received a salary of $50,000. Meanwhile, as part of her deal, co-star Shelley Winters was promised a percentage of the film’s profits, according to the 7 Sep 1967 LAT.
       Principal photography began on 7 Aug 1967 in Los Angeles, CA. As noted in a 31 Aug 1967 DV item, location filming took place the previous day at the Lindy Opera House (formerly the Ritz Theatre).
       Various DV and LAT items published between 18 Aug 1967 and 31 Aug 1967 listed the following actors as cast members: Baynes Barron, who was set to play a police commissioner; Olan Soule, reportedly cast in the role of a cosmetic dentist; Jacquelyn Hunter; Frank Arno; Chris Hudley; Lila Karlsen; and Kevin Cooper.
       The 9 Aug 1967 DV noted that the project represented a “general upgrade in product” for AIP. The studio was said to have “big hope” for the picture, which was moved from its “protest” category of releases to the “topical special” grouping. A premiere was initially scheduled to take place on 10 Apr 1968 in Chicago, IL, the 20 Feb 1968 DV noted. However, an item in the 10 Apr 1968 Var reported that a recent spate of racial violence prompted AIP to cancel the event. A brief in the 26 May 1968 NYT stated that the film would debut on 29 May 1968 in New York City, at the New Embassy Theatre and 72nd Street Playhouse. In Los Angeles, the picture opened 17 Jun 1968 at the Beverly Theater. It was met with favorable reviews in the 8 May 1968 Var, 30 May 1968 NYT, and 18 Jul 1968 LAT.
       According to an item in the 7 Aug 1968 Var, first-run box-office returns were not as high as AIP had hoped, but the film had the potential to become its “biggest grosser yet” after the release widened to smaller markets and drive-ins. After several months in theaters, an article in the 29 Oct 1968 DV referred to the picture as a “blockbuster.” Its soundtrack, also released by AIP, enjoyed commercial success as well, helping the studio earn a net profit of $200,000 in the summer 1968 fiscal quarter, the 25 Sep 1968 DV reported. The soundtrack featured the first “score” of original film songs written by husband-and-wife songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, according to a 20 Sep 1967 Var brief.
       Fred Feitshans and Eve Newman received an Academy Award nomination for Film Editing. As noted in the 21 Aug 1968 Var, the picture was screened in the “Opera Prima” section (a.k.a. “first work contest”) at the Venice Film Festival.
       A sequel was announced in the 7 Dec 1967 DV. Robert Thom was hired to write the screenplay for AIP, under the recycled title The Day It All Happened, Baby. Filming was scheduled to take place in summer 1968. The 3 Jan 1968 Var noted that Thom was also writing a novelization of Wild in the Streets, to be published by Pyramid Books and released as a tie-in with the film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1967
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1967
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1967
p. 8.
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1967
p. 10.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1967
p. 20.
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1967
p. 10.
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
7 Dec 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1968
p. 3.
Daily Variety
7 Jun 1968
p. 13.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1968
p. 3.
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1968
p. 181.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1969
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Apr 1967
Section D, p. 22.
Los Angeles Times
19 Aug 1967
p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1967
Section D, p. 31.
Los Angeles Times
31 Aug 1967
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
7 Sep 1967
Section D, p. 1, 21.
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1968
Section C, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1968
Section Q, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1968
Section H, p. 24.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1968
Section E, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 1968
Section F, p. 15.
New York Times
26 May 1968
Section D, p. 18.
New York Times
30 May 1968
p. 21.
New York Times
16 Jun 1968
Section D, p. 1, 24.
Variety
8 Mar 1967
p. 13.
Variety
20 Sep 1967
p. 50.
Variety
3 Jan 1968
p. 39.
Variety
10 Apr 1968
p. 77.
Variety
8 May 1968
p. 6.
Variety
7 Aug 1968
p. 24.
Variety
21 Aug 1968
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Prod assoc
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Gaffer
Key grip
Prop
Stills
Constr coordinator
Dial coach
Main titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Day It All Happened, Baby" by Robert Thom in Esquire (Dec 1966).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"The Shape of Things to Come," "Fifty-Two Per Cent," "Sally LeRoy," "Listen to the Music" and "Fourteen or Fight," words and music by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
sung by Christopher Jones, Paul Wieler and The Thirteenth Power.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Day It Happened, Baby
Release Date:
29 May 1968
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 May 1968
Los Angeles opening: 17 June 1968
Production Date:
began 7 August 1967
Copyright Claimant:
American International Pictures
Copyright Date:
29 May 1968
Copyright Number:
LP35944
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé
Duration(in mins):
97
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After destroying the family car with a homemade bomb, fifteen-year-old Max Flatow takes the $800 he has made selling LSD and sets out on his own. Within seven years, Max, who has changed his surname to Frost, has become the world's most idolized entertainer; a millionaire, he lives in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion with his girl friend, Sally LeRoy, a former child movie star, and an entourage of young associates. One day the opportunistic Mrs. Flatow sees her lost son on television and forces her husband to join her in attempting a family reunion. When she accidentally kills a child in an automobile accident, however, Max once more completely rejects her. Meanwhile, John Fergus, a liberal California congressman, has decided to ignore the advice of his political mentor, Senator Allbright, and run for the U.S. Senate by appealing to youth. Although Max consents to perform at a Fergus rally, he double-crosses the politician by publicly demanding that the voting age be lowered to 14. The demonstrations that follow are so successful that within a month, eighteen states have given the vote to teenagers. Now determined to gain control of the nation, Max engineers Sally's election to Congress and then, by drugging the legislators with LSD, assures the passage of a bill to eliminate age requirements for office holders. Max runs for president and wins by a landslide. His first official act is to send all citizens over thirty-five years of age to retirement camps where they are kept on a diet of hallucinogens. Although Max is now apparently all-powerful, there is a hint of things to come when he callously kills a crawfish belonging to two seven-year-old children. ... +


After destroying the family car with a homemade bomb, fifteen-year-old Max Flatow takes the $800 he has made selling LSD and sets out on his own. Within seven years, Max, who has changed his surname to Frost, has become the world's most idolized entertainer; a millionaire, he lives in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion with his girl friend, Sally LeRoy, a former child movie star, and an entourage of young associates. One day the opportunistic Mrs. Flatow sees her lost son on television and forces her husband to join her in attempting a family reunion. When she accidentally kills a child in an automobile accident, however, Max once more completely rejects her. Meanwhile, John Fergus, a liberal California congressman, has decided to ignore the advice of his political mentor, Senator Allbright, and run for the U.S. Senate by appealing to youth. Although Max consents to perform at a Fergus rally, he double-crosses the politician by publicly demanding that the voting age be lowered to 14. The demonstrations that follow are so successful that within a month, eighteen states have given the vote to teenagers. Now determined to gain control of the nation, Max engineers Sally's election to Congress and then, by drugging the legislators with LSD, assures the passage of a bill to eliminate age requirements for office holders. Max runs for president and wins by a landslide. His first official act is to send all citizens over thirty-five years of age to retirement camps where they are kept on a diet of hallucinogens. Although Max is now apparently all-powerful, there is a hint of things to come when he callously kills a crawfish belonging to two seven-year-old children. As the youngsters look at their dead pet, they vow to put everyone over ten years old out of business. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.