A Little Romance (1979)

PG | 108 mins | Romance | 27 April 1979

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HISTORY

End Credits include the following “Special Thanks To”: City of Telluride, Colorado, A National Registered Historic Landmark; State of New Mexico, Department of Development Film Division; Bureau of Land Management-Albuquerque District; Bureau of Land Management-San Luis Area Office; U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A.; J.W. Eaves Movie Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jemez, Zia Santa Ana, Tesuque, San Ildefonso and Taos Pueblos, New Mexico; The Colonial New Mexico Historical Foundation; Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
       As described in a cover article in the 28 May 1978 Parade, the project originated during conversations between producer Steven Bach and writer William Goldman about exploring the younger versions of Goldman’s characters from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969, see entry). Goldman was not interested writing the prequel, but endorsed Allen Burns, a successful writer from comedy television, after reading Burns’ screenplay titled The Monkeywrench Gang, commissioned by producers Bach and Gabriel Katzka. Burns received $200,000 in addition to a percentage of any profits. Several sources, such as a 23 Apr 1978 LAT article, mentioned that Butch and Sundance: The Early Days was Burns’ first feature film screenplay, but another recent script A Little Romance (1979, see entry) was released early in the year.
       A Jul/Aug 1979 Marquee article stated that Tom Berenger was cast as “Butch Cassidy” after producers met with him, based on his memorable performance in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977, see entry). Accustomed to reports about his likeness to a young Robert Redford, the original “Sundance Kid,” William Katt was skeptical about re-imagining the ... More Less

End Credits include the following “Special Thanks To”: City of Telluride, Colorado, A National Registered Historic Landmark; State of New Mexico, Department of Development Film Division; Bureau of Land Management-Albuquerque District; Bureau of Land Management-San Luis Area Office; U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A.; J.W. Eaves Movie Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jemez, Zia Santa Ana, Tesuque, San Ildefonso and Taos Pueblos, New Mexico; The Colonial New Mexico Historical Foundation; Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
       As described in a cover article in the 28 May 1978 Parade, the project originated during conversations between producer Steven Bach and writer William Goldman about exploring the younger versions of Goldman’s characters from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969, see entry). Goldman was not interested writing the prequel, but endorsed Allen Burns, a successful writer from comedy television, after reading Burns’ screenplay titled The Monkeywrench Gang, commissioned by producers Bach and Gabriel Katzka. Burns received $200,000 in addition to a percentage of any profits. Several sources, such as a 23 Apr 1978 LAT article, mentioned that Butch and Sundance: The Early Days was Burns’ first feature film screenplay, but another recent script A Little Romance (1979, see entry) was released early in the year.
       A Jul/Aug 1979 Marquee article stated that Tom Berenger was cast as “Butch Cassidy” after producers met with him, based on his memorable performance in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977, see entry). Accustomed to reports about his likeness to a young Robert Redford, the original “Sundance Kid,” William Katt was skeptical about re-imagining the part and encouraging the comparison, but decided to accept the challenge after director Richard Lester convinced him that the project was aiming to be distinct without relying on the original Butch and Sundance as a model. As noted in a studio press release, actor Jeff Corey as “Sheriff Ray Bledsoe” was the only cast member to revisit his role from the original film.
       According to production notes and studio press releases at AMPAS library files, the eleven-week shooting schedule began 28 Feb 1978 in Southern Colorado, based in Telluride. Filming continued in the following locations: Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM, the historic outlaw hideout of Robbers Roost, the Rio Grande River and the Valle Grande, the site of an extinct volcano in New Mexico. The final locations in the schedule were Chama, NM and Alamosa, CO for the train robbery sequence, shot along the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Filming was completed in fifty-nine days on 11 May 1978, four days ahead of schedule despite snowy weather delays.
       An 18 Oct 1978 HR article mentioned that the production budget was $9 million and distribution expenses were $6.1 million. The fact that the television network CBS Broadcasting, Inc. paid $6.5 million to license the film prior to its theatrical release made headlines in the 22 Aug 1979 DV. Based on the original film, the network bargained on a hit, but according to a report in a 30 Aug 1979 HR article, the film brought in a disappointing $4 million at the box-office.
       The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1978.
---
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1979.
---
Daily Variety
26 Apr 1979.
---
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1979
p. 1, 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1978
p. 1, 9.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1979
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 1979
Section F, p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
27 Apr 1979
p. 1.
New York Times
27 Apr 1979
p. 16.
Parade
28 May 1978.
---
San Diego Union
5 Sep 1978.
---
Time
13 Aug 1979.
---
Variety
28 Jun 1978.
---
Variety
1 Nov 1978.
---
Variety
21 Mar 1979.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1979
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Pan Arts presents
A George Roy Hill Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
Unit mgr
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, Italian prod staff
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Stillman
Head grip
Gaffer
Laboratoire
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Asst art dir, Italian prod staff
FILM EDITORS
Ed assoc
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dressing
Set dressing
Propman
COSTUMES
Ward des
MUSIC
Orig mus comp and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and optical eff
Sub-titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Casting
Casting
Auditor
Prod secy
Loc mgr, Italian prod staff
Loc mgr, Italian prod staff
Loc mgr, Italian prod staff
Accountant, Italian prod staff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel E=mc², mon amour by Patrick Cauvin (Paris, 1977).
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 April 1979
Premiere Information:
Filmex screening: 30 March 1979
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 April 1979
Production Date:
began 17 July 1978 in Paris, France
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Company
Copyright Date:
10 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA36995
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision®/ Printed by Technicolor Kodak film
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
France, United States
Languages:
French, English
PCA No:
25563
SYNOPSIS

Daniel Michon, a precocious thirteen-year old French teenager, is obsessed with movies, particularly American films. As he is leaving a cinema in Paris, France, he steals a photograph in the lobby of his favorite actor, Robert Redford. One day, his school class is touring a chateau and interrupts a scene being filmed for a Hollywood movie featuring Broderick Crawford, whom Daniel recognizes. After the class is kicked out, Daniel sneaks back to the film set and notices thirteen year-old Lauren, an American girl, reading in a corner away from the crew. Lauren and her mother, Kay King, are guests of the film’s director, George de Marco, and Kay is perplexed why her daughter would rather study than watch the filmmaking. While de Marco flirts with Kay on set, Daniel whispers to Lauren that he is a terrible director. Intrigued by her encounter with Daniel, Lauren uses her fluent French to join his school group for the rest of their tour. As the two teenagers get to know each other, Daniel explains that he lives with his father, a cab driver, in the Paris suburbs of La Garenne. Recently, Lauren and her family have been living in Paris because Richard King, her third stepfather, is based there as the head of an international company. The following week, the kids arrange to meet across from the Louvre Museum. During their stroll, they discuss mutual interests, including the philosopher Martin Heidegger, and soon realize that they not only share high IQs, but an awareness of being different. When Daniel kicks away a soccer ball that crosses his path, it knocks down ... +


Daniel Michon, a precocious thirteen-year old French teenager, is obsessed with movies, particularly American films. As he is leaving a cinema in Paris, France, he steals a photograph in the lobby of his favorite actor, Robert Redford. One day, his school class is touring a chateau and interrupts a scene being filmed for a Hollywood movie featuring Broderick Crawford, whom Daniel recognizes. After the class is kicked out, Daniel sneaks back to the film set and notices thirteen year-old Lauren, an American girl, reading in a corner away from the crew. Lauren and her mother, Kay King, are guests of the film’s director, George de Marco, and Kay is perplexed why her daughter would rather study than watch the filmmaking. While de Marco flirts with Kay on set, Daniel whispers to Lauren that he is a terrible director. Intrigued by her encounter with Daniel, Lauren uses her fluent French to join his school group for the rest of their tour. As the two teenagers get to know each other, Daniel explains that he lives with his father, a cab driver, in the Paris suburbs of La Garenne. Recently, Lauren and her family have been living in Paris because Richard King, her third stepfather, is based there as the head of an international company. The following week, the kids arrange to meet across from the Louvre Museum. During their stroll, they discuss mutual interests, including the philosopher Martin Heidegger, and soon realize that they not only share high IQs, but an awareness of being different. When Daniel kicks away a soccer ball that crosses his path, it knocks down Julius, an elderly Frenchman. Amused more than harmed by the encounter, Julius invites the children to join him for pastries. At the cafe, he charms Lauren with various stories, particularly a romantic legend about the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. According to Julius, if two lovers kiss in a gondola under the bridge at sunset as the bells of the campanile are ringing, they will love each other forever. Lauren listens intently when Julius says the legend is true. Before boarding the subway home, she gives Daniel a kiss on the cheek. On Lauren’s birthday, her mother is hosting a wrap party for de Marco and his cast, so Lauren celebrates upstairs in her bedroom with best friend Natalie, Daniel and Daniel’s best friend, Londet. For a gift, Daniel brings a bottle of champagne and an autographed photo of Robert Redford, explaining he could not get one of Heidegger. When Daniel and Lauren appear downstairs, Kay realizes that the kids have been drinking and orders Daniel to leave. She storms into Lauren’s room and becomes hysterical when she sees a Japanese pornography poster from Londet. In her frenzy, Kay informs her daughter that they are moving to “goddamn Houston” Texas at the end of the month for Richard’s work. Sometime later, Lauren escapes from her mother’s watchful eye and secretly meets Daniel at a cinema showing one of de Marco’s awful films. During the screening, Daniel and Lauren plan a getaway to Venice. To finance the trip, they decide to bet Lauren’s $150 in savings on horse races, because Daniel has a talent for picking winners, at least on paper. After they calculate the probable horses with the help of a computer program, Daniel realizes the predictions are meaningless because they have to be eighteen years old to place a bet, plus they require an adult to cross the border into Italy. As a solution, they take Julius to the racetrack to place the bet for them and fabricate a story about needing him to accompany them to Venice to visit Lauren’s sick mother. Thanks to their calculations, they win 5,000 francs, and Daniel decides to wager the entire amount on “Snow Queen,” a horse that has been lucky for him in the past. After the horse loses, Daniel and Lauren believe their dream of a romantic trip to Venice is gone, but Julius returns and announces that at the last minute he placed the bet on “Fille de fermier,” the winning horse, and hands over a wad of cash. On the train trip to Italy, Lauren is worried that her parents will discover that she is not on a school field trip to Mont-St-Michel because she forgot to warn Natalie about the cover story. During a stopover at the border station, Lauren telephones Natalie in Paris and asks that she relay to her parents that all is fine. But during the conversation, Lauren mentions that she is in Italy. Before she can explain further, Daniel hangs up the phone and yells that it was stupid to reveal her location. Immediately, Natalie phones Mrs. King and blurts out a confusing story about Lauren being in Italy. At the station, the train begins to pull away and the kids rush on board, but when it appears that Julius will not make it back in time, the kids decide to jump off the train, instead of leaving him behind. In the scramble, they are unable to grab their money from the racetrack, which is stashed away inside the compartment. Now penniless, Julius and the kids hitch a ride with American tourists, Bob and Janet Duryea, to Verona, Italy. Back in Paris, the French police inform Mr. and Mrs. King that Lauren and Daniel disembarked from a train en route to Venice and left behind 18,000 francs. Additionally, the police have learned they are traveling with a man named Julius Edmond Santorin, who has a lengthy criminal record. In Verona, Julius and the children are dining with the Duryeas when Bob discovers that his wallet has been stolen. Lauren and Daniel look at Julius with suspicion when he offers to pay for the dinner. The next morning, Julius gasps upon seeing a photograph of himself and Lauren on the front page of an Italian newspaper. Interrupting Daniel and Lauren’s sightseeing, he points to the story and yells at them for lying about a “poor, sick mother” in Venice. According to the newspaper, he is a kidnapper. Lauren calmly says that they will just explain the confusion, but Julius moans that he will be arrested no matter what, so they must be careful to avoid the police. After unsuccessfully trying to escape from Verona as part of a bicycling tour, Julius and the kids rethink their plan on a terrace overlooking the city. Julius confesses that he is a pickpocket and stole the money at the racetrack, instead of winning it, but emphasizes that he only did it to help them. Tearful, Lauren reveals that she will be moving back to the United States in two weeks and merely wanted an opportunity to experience the romantic legend at The Bridge of Sighs. After Julius encourages the kids not to abandon their dream, the three proceed to Venice. Soon, the Paris police learn that the group has been spotted in Venice, so Richard decides to accompany the investigation there. While hiding out in a basilica, Julius and the kids stumble upon The Duryeas, who are now aware of the fugitives and enlist the help of nearby police to capture them. During the pursuit, Julius instructs the kids to hide in a movie theater where they can remain until the 7:30pm sunset rendezvous at The Bridge of Signs. Without Daniel and Lauren’s knowledge, he then turns himself into the police. During questioning at the station, Julius mysteriously announces that he will not reveal the location of the teenagers until the bells toll at sundown. As 7:30pm approaches, Daniel and Lauren rush to find a gondola to take them to The Bridge of Sighs. Meanwhile, Richard arrives at the Venice police station and meets Julius who assures him that Lauren is okay, and reiterates that he cannot discuss her whereabouts until the bells ring. When the gondola driver stops before The Bridge of Sighs and refuses to go any further without more money, Daniel pushes him overboard, and he and Lauren guide the boat on their own. With the sun setting and the bells ringing, Lauren and Daniel glide under the bridge and kiss. Two weeks later, Lauren and her parents are leaving their Paris home for the flight to Houston. Across the street, Daniel is waiting to say goodbye. Lauren gives him her address and promises to write. After they kiss, she sees Julius sitting on a park bench and goes over to hug him. Then, she rushes to the car and is driven away, as Daniel waves goodbye. +

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

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