Insignificance (1985)

R | 110 mins | Comedy-drama | 2 August 1985

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writer:

Terry Johnson

Producer:

Jeremy Thomas

Cinematographer:

Peter Hannan

Editor:

Tony Lawson

Production Designer:

David Brockhurst

Production Companies:

Zenith, Recorded Picture Company
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HISTORY

       According to the 10 Nov 1982 Var, director Nicolas Roeg planned to begin filming the low-budget picture, based on Terry Johnson’s stage play of the same name, in NY in 1983. The project was the third collaboration between Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas.
       The 16 Jun 1984 Screen International reported a start date of 11 Jun 1984. However, principal photography began 18 Jun 1984 in London, England, according to the 20 Jun 1984 Var. The 21 Jul 1984 Screen International announced production would move to New York City for ten days, following filming at Lee International Studios in London. Production was set to return to London for a final week of filming.
       The 18 Aug 1984 Screen International reported filming had been completed on the $4 million picture.
      The following title card precedes opening credits: “This story and its contents are entirely fictitious.” End credits include the following acknowledgements: “ Insignificance originally performed at the Royal Court Theatre London, on the 8th July, 1982,” and “Made at Lee International Film Studios, London, and on location in New York by Zenith Productions Limited, 8, Great Titchfield Street, London W1P 7AS, England.” ... More Less

       According to the 10 Nov 1982 Var, director Nicolas Roeg planned to begin filming the low-budget picture, based on Terry Johnson’s stage play of the same name, in NY in 1983. The project was the third collaboration between Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas.
       The 16 Jun 1984 Screen International reported a start date of 11 Jun 1984. However, principal photography began 18 Jun 1984 in London, England, according to the 20 Jun 1984 Var. The 21 Jul 1984 Screen International announced production would move to New York City for ten days, following filming at Lee International Studios in London. Production was set to return to London for a final week of filming.
       The 18 Aug 1984 Screen International reported filming had been completed on the $4 million picture.
      The following title card precedes opening credits: “This story and its contents are entirely fictitious.” End credits include the following acknowledgements: “ Insignificance originally performed at the Royal Court Theatre London, on the 8th July, 1982,” and “Made at Lee International Film Studios, London, and on location in New York by Zenith Productions Limited, 8, Great Titchfield Street, London W1P 7AS, England.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 1985
p. 3, 78.
Los Angeles Times
1 Aug 1985
p. 1.
New York Times
11 Aug 1985
p. 57.
Screen International
16 Jun 1984.
---
Screen International
14 Jul 1984.
---
Screen International
21 Jul 1984.
---
Screen International
18 Aug 1984.
---
Variety
10 Nov 1982.
---
Variety
20 Jun 1984.
---
Variety
15 May 1985
p. 20.
Variety
19 Jun 1985.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
in association with the Recorded Picture Company presents
A Film by Nicolas Roeg
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
Asst dir, New York
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Scr wrt by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Follow focus
Cam asst
Photosonic tech
Chief elec
Stills cam
Key 2d asst, New York
Addl cam op, New York
Chief elec, New York
Key grip, New York
Stills, New York
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Draughtsman
Scenic artist
Prod buyer
Const mgr
Prop master
Set propman, New York
Set const, New York
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward master
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst, New York
MUSIC
Mus coord
Jazz orch by
Electronic mus by
Mus rec at
Mus rec at
SOUND
Boom op
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst dubbing ed
Sd maintenance
Sd trainee
Boom op, New York
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff chief
Spec eff asst
Titles & opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Supv prod accountant
Prod accountant
Accounts secy
Loc mgr, London
Asst to prod
Prod's secy
Unit runner
Scr supv
Casting dir
Casting dir
Prod liaison, New York
Loc liaison, New York
Prod coord, New York
Casting, New York
Actress calendar by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt double for the actress
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Insignificance by Terry Johnson (original production date undetermined).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"Jupiter Variations," arranged by Gil Evans, solo trumpet Lew Soloff.
SONGS
"America," by Stuart Arbright, courtesy Uproar Records
"When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time," words, music, and sung by Will Jennings
"Wild Hearts," words and music by Will Jennings and Roy Orbison, sung by Roy Orbison, produced by David Briggs and Will Jennings
+
SONGS
"America," by Stuart Arbright, courtesy Uproar Records
"When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time," words, music, and sung by Will Jennings
"Wild Hearts," words and music by Will Jennings and Roy Orbison, sung by Roy Orbison, produced by David Briggs and Will Jennings
"Life Goes On," words by Will Jennings, music by Stanly Myers, sung by Theresa Russell.
+
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 August 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 August 1985
New York opening: 11 August 1985
Production Date:
18 June--mid August 1984 in London and New York City
Copyright Claimant:
Island Pictures
Copyright Date:
1 April 1986
Copyright Number:
PA297653
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Cameras & lenses by Joe Dunton Cameras Limited
Duration(in mins):
110
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In March 1954, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, the "Senator” (Joseph McCarthy) visits the "Professor” (Albert Einstein) on the eve of an “Anti-American” activities committee hearing, and pressures him to cooperate, but The Professor refuses to testify. Sometime later, the "Actress” (Marilyn Monroe) visits the Professor in his hotel room, at three in the morning. Upon their first meeting, she goes to great lengths to prove to him that she understands his Theory of Relativity. After a night of conversation, she admits she would like to make love to him. He allows her to spend the night, but turns down her offer. Meanwhile, the Senator spends the night with a prostitute who looks like the Actress, and elsewhere, the "Ballplayer” (Joe DiMaggio) drinks alone at a bar, surrounded by images of his wife, the Actress. The Professor finally agrees to have sex with the Actress, but as she disrobes, her husband knocks on the door and interrupts them. She reluctantly lets him into the room, and he fails to recognize the well-known professor, thinking he is a therapist. The Actress is embarrassed by her ignorant husband, and refuses to leave with him. When he asks if she wants to end their marriage, she denies it, and agrees to return home with him, but first locks herself in the bathroom, as the Ballplayer tells the Professor about his jealousy. When she passes out in the bathroom, her husband carries her to the bed, and the Professor leaves them alone in his room. Later, the Actress awakens, and professes her love for her husband. She asks ... +


In March 1954, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, the "Senator” (Joseph McCarthy) visits the "Professor” (Albert Einstein) on the eve of an “Anti-American” activities committee hearing, and pressures him to cooperate, but The Professor refuses to testify. Sometime later, the "Actress” (Marilyn Monroe) visits the Professor in his hotel room, at three in the morning. Upon their first meeting, she goes to great lengths to prove to him that she understands his Theory of Relativity. After a night of conversation, she admits she would like to make love to him. He allows her to spend the night, but turns down her offer. Meanwhile, the Senator spends the night with a prostitute who looks like the Actress, and elsewhere, the "Ballplayer” (Joe DiMaggio) drinks alone at a bar, surrounded by images of his wife, the Actress. The Professor finally agrees to have sex with the Actress, but as she disrobes, her husband knocks on the door and interrupts them. She reluctantly lets him into the room, and he fails to recognize the well-known professor, thinking he is a therapist. The Actress is embarrassed by her ignorant husband, and refuses to leave with him. When he asks if she wants to end their marriage, she denies it, and agrees to return home with him, but first locks herself in the bathroom, as the Ballplayer tells the Professor about his jealousy. When she passes out in the bathroom, her husband carries her to the bed, and the Professor leaves them alone in his room. Later, the Actress awakens, and professes her love for her husband. She asks him to have a baby, and after he falls asleep, she whispers that she believes she is already pregnant. She falls asleep next to him, but he leaves her sometime later. In the morning, the Senator enters the Professor’s room to deliver a search warrant, and finds the Actress alone in his bed. He threatens to destroy the Professor’s work, and she begs him not to, offering to sleep with him. However, he responds by punching her in the stomach. The Professor returns, refusing to cooperate with the Senator, and throws his work out the hotel window. In the other room, the Actress suffers a miscarriage. The Ballplayer returns to make amends with his wife, appealing to her through the bathroom door, but she says it is over between them. Later, the Professor cheerfully tells the Actress that he threw his papers out the window. She cannot understand why he would destroy his life’s work, and accuses him of hiding something, prompting to him to admit guilt over the atomic bomb that his theories helped create. The Actress consoles him, and argues that the worst is over. Before she leaves, the Professor imagines another bomb going off, destroying the hotel room, and burning her alive. +

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.