Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970)

GP | 113 mins | Drama | 1 July 1970

Director:

Otto Preminger

Producer:

Otto Preminger

Cinematographer:

Boris Kaufman

Production Designer:

Lyle Wheeler

Production Company:

Sigma Productions
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HISTORY

Producer-director Otto Preminger optioned screen rights to Marjorie Kellogg’s Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon shortly before it was scheduled to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in Oct 1968, as announced in a 21 Sep 1968 LAT item. Kellogg was hired to adapt her work for the screen. She was quoted in a 17 Aug 1969 LAT article regarding physical changes she made to the handicapped main characters for the screenplay, noting, “If you make a person too scarred, people might try to leave the theater. There is no point in that. We are trying to make it as bad as possible without making people sick.” The character of “Junie Moon” was altered from having her entire face scarred to only one side, and “Arthur” was re-written to have less frequent spasms; however, “Warren,” a paraplegic, was said to be unchanged from the novel.
       Liza Minnelli’s casting was announced in the 1 Apr 1969 DV. An article in the 18 Jan 1970 LAT noted that Preminger offered her the role after seeing “rushes” from her previous film, The Sterile Cuckoo (1969, see entry). On 17 Jun 1969, a DV brief stated that Minnelli was on her way to New York City to begin rehearsals. Days later, on 22 Jun 1969, her mother, actress Judy Garland, died. Lauding her “courageousness,” Preminger recalled in a 17 Aug 1969 LAT interview that Minnelli “insisted on going to rehearsals” throughout the ordeal, while also making arrangements for her mother’s funeral.
       The Jul 1969 Var reported that filming would begin that day ... More Less

Producer-director Otto Preminger optioned screen rights to Marjorie Kellogg’s Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon shortly before it was scheduled to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in Oct 1968, as announced in a 21 Sep 1968 LAT item. Kellogg was hired to adapt her work for the screen. She was quoted in a 17 Aug 1969 LAT article regarding physical changes she made to the handicapped main characters for the screenplay, noting, “If you make a person too scarred, people might try to leave the theater. There is no point in that. We are trying to make it as bad as possible without making people sick.” The character of “Junie Moon” was altered from having her entire face scarred to only one side, and “Arthur” was re-written to have less frequent spasms; however, “Warren,” a paraplegic, was said to be unchanged from the novel.
       Liza Minnelli’s casting was announced in the 1 Apr 1969 DV. An article in the 18 Jan 1970 LAT noted that Preminger offered her the role after seeing “rushes” from her previous film, The Sterile Cuckoo (1969, see entry). On 17 Jun 1969, a DV brief stated that Minnelli was on her way to New York City to begin rehearsals. Days later, on 22 Jun 1969, her mother, actress Judy Garland, died. Lauding her “courageousness,” Preminger recalled in a 17 Aug 1969 LAT interview that Minnelli “insisted on going to rehearsals” throughout the ordeal, while also making arrangements for her mother’s funeral.
       The Jul 1969 Var reported that filming would begin that day at the Salem Hospital in Salem, MA, which remained in operation during the shoot. Eighty percent of production was scheduled to take place in and around Boston, MA, with locations at the Hammond Museum in Magnolia, and a residence in Manchester, which served as the house the main trio of characters rented. Shooting also took place in the towns of Beverly Farms, Gloucester, and Rockport.
       While production was underway in Massachusetts, Preminger teamed with the weekly publication, Boston After Dark, for a contest inviting aspiring filmmakers to the set to make five-to-ten-minute “sellpics,” or promotional films. Qualified participants were supplied with a “limited amount of film” to shoot their featurettes, and a top prize of $1,000 was promised to the winner, as noted in the 16 Jul 1969 Var. Publicity efforts were aided by unit publicist Rhona Kane.
       A scene shot at Blue Hills Cemetery in Braintree, MA, in which Minnelli’s character appeared nude, caused controversy despite filmmakers having obtained permission to shoot there. The 20 Aug 1969 Var reported that several family members of those buried in the graveyard made complaints and even threatened to remove bodies to other burial grounds. Widow Margaret Forganaro made a public nuisance charge against Preminger and Minnelli, both of whom were required to appear in court before charges were eventually dropped. A second charge was brought by graveyard owner William J. Disher, who accused filmmakers of “unreasonable use” of the location.
       From Boston, the cast and crew moved to Naples, FL; however, filming was cut short there when Preminger clashed with the Chicago office of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which had jurisdiction over the union in Florida. Although Preminger brought his Boston crew to the Southern location, he was asked to add five additional cameramen to meet a “man-for-man requirement.” Preminger countered with an offer to hire only three, and later two union workers picketed on set after Preminger rejected a generator operator who had “turned up on location to man the generator.” Meanwhile, black cast member and former Kansas City Chiefs fullback, Fred Williamson, encountered discrimination at a local bar in Naples called the Anchor Lounge, where he was denied service. The incident resulted in fisticuffs, and a civil rights complaint was filed on behalf of Williamson. Although an item in the 28 Aug 1969 Los Angeles Sentinel claimed that Preminger uprooted filming from Florida to California as a result of Williamson’s clash, the 26 Aug 1969 DV and 27 Aug 1969 LAT blamed the director’s feud with IATSE, whom he compared to the Mafia. In California, locations included the Santa Monica Pier, Sequoia National Park, and the Kona Kai Club on Shelter Island in San Diego, CA, where filming wrapped on 19 Sep 1969, as announced in that day’s DV.
       A rough cut of the film was rated “R” (restricted) by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), but the 21 Jan 1970 DV announced that a re-rating to “M” (for mature audiences) had recently been made. Another re-rating to “GP” (for general audiences, parental guidance suggested) preceded theatrical release.
       The world premiere was scheduled to take place on 10 May 1970 at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film was screened in competition, according to an 11 Mar 1970 DV item. In the U.S., the Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon first opened on 1 Jul 1970 at the Beekman Theatre in New York City, and later at the Crest Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, on 19 Aug 1970. Shortly before the release, a forthcoming soundtrack album from Columbia Records was announced in the 14 May 1970 DV.
       The picture marked the feature film debuts of actors Robert Moore and Ken Howard, and the first credited role for Wayne Tippitt. Donna McKechnie and Jim Begg were named as cast members in the 8 Aug 1969 and 8 Sep 1969 issues of DV. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
2 May 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Jul 1969
p. 19.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1969
p. 10.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1969
p. 7.
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Aug 1969
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
28 Aug 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
8 Sep 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1969
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
19 Sep 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1970
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1970
p. 1, 21.
Daily Variety
14 May 1970
p. 8.
Daily Variety
15 May 1970
p. 3, 13.
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1970
p. 3.
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1970
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1970
p. 1.
Los Angeles Sentinel
28 Aug 1969
Section B, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
21 Sep 1968
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1969
Section O, p. 1, 16.
Los Angeles Times
27 Aug 1969
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
16 Sep 1969
Section G, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
28 Nov 1969
Section E, p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jan 1970
Section O, p. 22.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jul 1970
Section I, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
19 Aug 1970
Section G, p. 1, 10.
Los Angeles Times
2 Oct 1970
Section F, p. 16.
New York Times
2 Jul 1970
p. 30.
Variety
25 Sep 1968
p. 19.
Variety
9 Jul 1969
p. 3, 25.
Variety
16 Jul 1969
p. 21.
Variety
13 Aug 1969
p. 56.
Variety
20 Aug 1969
p. 20.
Variety
27 Aug 1969
p. 6.
Variety
3 Sep 1969
p. 24.
Variety
3 Sep 1969
p. 71.
Variety
1 Apr 1970
p. 17.
Variety
12 Aug 1970
p. 20.
Variety
2 Sep 1970
p. 74.
Variety
14 Oct 1970
p. 42.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Otto Preminger Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Titl seq photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost coordinator
Ward des
Ward des
Miss Thompson's cost
MUSIC
Mus coordinator
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Exec asst to the prod
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod asst
Prod asst
Ch elec
Key grip
Dial coach
Prop master
Stills
Main titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
fBased on the novel Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon by Marjorie Kellogg (New York, 1968).
MUSIC
Selections from Johann Sebastian Bach.
SONGS
"Old Devil Time," words and music by Pete Seeger
"The Rake" and "Work Your Show," words and music by Philip Springer and Estelle Levitt
"Elvira," words and music by Pacific Gas and Electric.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Please Tell Me You Love Me Junie Moon
Release Date:
1 July 1970
Premiere Information:
World premiere at Cannes Film Festival: 10 May 1970
New York opening: 1 July 1970
Los Angeles opening: 19 August 1970 at the Crest Theatre
Production Date:
9 July--19 September 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Sigma Productions
Copyright Date:
31 December 1969
Copyright Number:
LP38096
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
113
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22405
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Junie Moon, whose face was badly scarred when her deranged boyfriend poured battery acid on her, leaves the hospital with two new friends, Arthur and Warren, who also have major physical and emotional problems. Arthur is an epileptic whose disability forced him to spend his childhood in a foster home, and Warren, raised by one of his mother's bohemian friends, is a paraplegic homosexual, crippled by a gunshot wound. The three of them rent a house from the eccentric Miss Gregory, and Junie manages to find Arthur a job with Mario, who runs a nearby fish market. Miss Gregory soon invites her three tenants to dinner at her mansion, but she spoils the evening when she tries to make Warren get out of his wheelchair and walk by offering him a $100,000 antique cross as a reward. Soon afterwards, an anonymous phone caller tells Mario that Arthur is a sodomist, and he is forced to fire his new employee. Even so, Mario, who is falling in love with Junie, lends the trio money to take a vacation at a seaside resort. While there, Warren is carried around by the resort's handsome black social director, and on one occasion he spends the entire night on the beach making love with Solana, the social director's girl friend. Arthur tells Junie he loves her, but she mistrusts men and is reluctant to have sex with him. They finally make love, but the next day Arthur's health begins to fail, and he dies in Junie's arms. At his funeral, Junie, Warren, and Mario are the only ... +


Junie Moon, whose face was badly scarred when her deranged boyfriend poured battery acid on her, leaves the hospital with two new friends, Arthur and Warren, who also have major physical and emotional problems. Arthur is an epileptic whose disability forced him to spend his childhood in a foster home, and Warren, raised by one of his mother's bohemian friends, is a paraplegic homosexual, crippled by a gunshot wound. The three of them rent a house from the eccentric Miss Gregory, and Junie manages to find Arthur a job with Mario, who runs a nearby fish market. Miss Gregory soon invites her three tenants to dinner at her mansion, but she spoils the evening when she tries to make Warren get out of his wheelchair and walk by offering him a $100,000 antique cross as a reward. Soon afterwards, an anonymous phone caller tells Mario that Arthur is a sodomist, and he is forced to fire his new employee. Even so, Mario, who is falling in love with Junie, lends the trio money to take a vacation at a seaside resort. While there, Warren is carried around by the resort's handsome black social director, and on one occasion he spends the entire night on the beach making love with Solana, the social director's girl friend. Arthur tells Junie he loves her, but she mistrusts men and is reluctant to have sex with him. They finally make love, but the next day Arthur's health begins to fail, and he dies in Junie's arms. At his funeral, Junie, Warren, and Mario are the only mourners. +

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

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