Parenthood (1989)

PG-13 | 124 mins | Comedy | 2 August 1989

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HISTORY

       Untitled Parenting, Parenting, and Fatherhood were working titles for the film, as noted in the 13 Nov 1988 LAT, 20 Nov 1988 LAT, and 24 Mar 1989 LAHExam.
       A 28 Aug 1989 Newsweek article stated that director Ron Howard got the idea for Parenthood on a flight to Argentina in 1985, travelling to the location for his 1986 film Gung Ho 9 (see entry). Also on the flight were screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, along with other crew members and several children who were “whining, crying, throwing up, [and] tossing junk all over the cabin.” Hoping to pinpoint several “identifiable moments” of parenthood, Howard later worked with Ganz, Mandel, producer Brian Grazer, and their respective wives, to come up with a list of “20 experiences or feelings” about the fifteen children between them.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files stated that cast members were brought to Orlando, FL, in mid-Jan 1989 for two weeks of rehearsals. Principal photography on the $15 million picture began 30 Jan 1989 at Universal Studios Florida soundstages, according to a 25 Jul 1989 HR item, and, after three weeks, moved to roughly fifteen Orlando locations for the final seven weeks of shooting. With the exception of scoring, which was completed in Los Angeles, CA, post-production took place in New York and Connecticut.
       To promote the film, actress Mary Steenburgen surprised expectant mothers with diaper bags and infant T-shirts at Northridge Hospital Medical Center’s maternity ward on 1 Aug 1989, according to the 2 Aug 1989 LAHExam.
       A ... More Less

       Untitled Parenting, Parenting, and Fatherhood were working titles for the film, as noted in the 13 Nov 1988 LAT, 20 Nov 1988 LAT, and 24 Mar 1989 LAHExam.
       A 28 Aug 1989 Newsweek article stated that director Ron Howard got the idea for Parenthood on a flight to Argentina in 1985, travelling to the location for his 1986 film Gung Ho 9 (see entry). Also on the flight were screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, along with other crew members and several children who were “whining, crying, throwing up, [and] tossing junk all over the cabin.” Hoping to pinpoint several “identifiable moments” of parenthood, Howard later worked with Ganz, Mandel, producer Brian Grazer, and their respective wives, to come up with a list of “20 experiences or feelings” about the fifteen children between them.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files stated that cast members were brought to Orlando, FL, in mid-Jan 1989 for two weeks of rehearsals. Principal photography on the $15 million picture began 30 Jan 1989 at Universal Studios Florida soundstages, according to a 25 Jul 1989 HR item, and, after three weeks, moved to roughly fifteen Orlando locations for the final seven weeks of shooting. With the exception of scoring, which was completed in Los Angeles, CA, post-production took place in New York and Connecticut.
       To promote the film, actress Mary Steenburgen surprised expectant mothers with diaper bags and infant T-shirts at Northridge Hospital Medical Center’s maternity ward on 1 Aug 1989, according to the 2 Aug 1989 LAHExam.
       A 2 Aug 1989 LAT news item stated that Parenthood’s Los Angeles, CA, premiere, which benefited AFI, took place 31 Jul 1989 at the Directors Guild of America. A benefit preview followed on 1 Aug 1989 at New York City’s Coronet Theater, as noted in a 6 Aug 1989 NYT brief.
       The film was a critical and box-office success, taking in $99.3 million in box-office receipts during its initial run in theaters. Dianne Wiest received an Academy Award nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role and Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, while Steve Martin also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Randy Newman’s “I Love To See You Smile” was nominated for the Academy Award for Music – Original Song, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture, and Grammy Award for Best Song written for a Motion Picture or Television.
       The film was reissued on 1 Apr 1994, as stated in a 5 Apr 1994 DV item, which noted that MCA chairman Tom Pollock had promised Howard and Grazer he would put Parenthood back in theaters until the box-office take exceeded $100 million. 130 of some 200 original 35mm prints from the first theatrical release were retrieved and scheduled to show on double bills at “discount theaters” and drive-ins for the upcoming weeks.
       According to a 12 Nov 1989 LAT item, casting was underway for a half-hour television program based on Parenthood, to be executive produced by Howard and Grazer, and set to debut fall 1990. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was committed to airing thirteen episodes, of which the first two would be written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Although a 9 Dec 1989 TV Guide item reported that Howard was “having reservations” about the sitcom, the show, also titled Parenthood, aired 20 Aug--10 Nov 1990 on NBC, and leftover original episodes were telecast 16 Dec 1990 and 11 Aug 1991. A second television series based on the film was announced in a 29 Jan 2009 HR item. Howard and Grazer returned as executive producers, with their company, Imagine TV, on board to produce. The hour-long “dramedy,” again titled Parenthood, debuted 2 Mar 2010 on NBC. An 11 May 2014 Washington Post article announced the series had been “renewed for a sixth and final season.”

      End credits include “Special Thanks” to the following organizations: The City of Orlando; E.D.C. – Orlando Film Office; The State of Florida; The Landmarks Center: The Landmarks Group; University of Florida; Mystery Fun House; Orlando General Hospital; Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.; AMC Theaters. End credits also include the statement: “Filmed at Universal Studios Florida.”
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Mar 1989
p. 26, 46.
Daily Variety
5 Apr 1994.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1989
p. 4, 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 2009.
---
LAHExam
24 Mar 1989.
---
LAHExam
2 Aug 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Nov 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Nov 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1989
Section 5, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1989
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Nov 1989
Calendar, p. 26.
New York Times
2 Aug 1989
p. 15.
New York Times
6 Aug 1989
Section A, p. 41.
Newsweek
28 Aug 1989.
---
TV Guide
9 Dec 1989.
---
Variety
2 Aug 1989
p. 18.
Washington Post
11 May 2014.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Imagine Entertainment Presents
A Brian Grazer Production
A Ron Howard Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir, Production
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Op, Camera
1st asst, Camera
2d asst, Camera
Steadicam, Camera
Steadicam 1st asst, Camera
Addl 2d asst, Camera
Still photog, Camera
Cam trainee, Camera
Gaffer, Electrical
Best boy, Electrical
Rigging, Electrical
Rigging, Electrical
Elec, Electrical
Elec, Electrical
Elec, Electrical
Elec, Electrical
Elec, Electrical
Key grip, Grips
Key grip, Grips
Best boy, Grips
Dolly, Grips
Rigging, Grips
Rigging, Grips
Set grip, Grips
Set grip, Grips
Set grip, Grips
Lighting and grip equip supplied by
2d asst cam
Video playback
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir, Art dept
Asst art dir, Art dept
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Asst ed, Editors
Asst ed, Editors
Asst ed, Editors
Asst ed, Editors
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, Art dept
Lead dresser, Art dept
Set dresser, Art dept
Set dresser, Art dept
Set dresser, Art dept
Prop master, Props
Asst, Props
Coord, Construction
Foreman, Construction
Head carpenter, Construction
Chargeman, Scenic
Painter leadman, Scenic
Standby, Scenic
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
3d props
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Scenic
Scenic
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des, Wardrobe
Men's costumer, Wardrobe
Women's costumer, Wardrobe
Mr. Martin's costumer, Wardrobe
Asst, Wardrobe
Asst, Wardrobe
MUSIC
Mus consultant, Music
Mus ed, Music
Asst mus ed, Music
Mus scoring mixer, Music
Orch, Music
Sound track album prod, Music
Score rec at
Score mixed at
SOUND
Mixer, Sound
Boom man, Sound
Utility, Sound
Supv sd ed, Editors
Sd ed, Editors
Sd ed, Editors
Asst sd ed, Editors
Asst sd ed, Editors
Asst sd ed, Editors
Apprentice sd ed, Editors
Apprentice sd ed, Editors
Supv ADR ed, Editors
Asst ADR ed, Editors
Re-rec mixer, Editors
Post prod sd by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title and opt des
MAKEUP
Make-up artist, Make-up/Hair
Make-up artist, Make-up/Hair
Hairstylist, Make-up/Hair
Hairstylist, Make-up/Hair
Mr. Martin's make-up, Make-up/Hair
Mr. Martin's hair, Make-up/Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Scr supv, Production
Coord, Production
Asst coord, Production
Asst to J. Caracciolo, Production
Unit pub, Production
Controller, Accounting
Accountant, Accounting
Payroll, Accounting
Asst, Accounting
Loc mgr, Locations
Asst, Locations
Casting assoc, Casting
Extra casting, Casting
Casting asst/Florida, Casting
Coord, Transportation
Capt, Transportation
Co-capt, Transportation
Picture vehicles, Transportation
Craft service
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Teacher
Teacher
California teacher/Welfare
Animal trainer
STAND INS
Stunt coord, Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Love To See You Smile," written and performed by Randy Newman, produced by Lenny Waronker, Randy Newman appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
"Pigs In Zen," written by Eric Avery, Perry Farrell, David Navarro & Stephen Perkins, performed by Jane's Addiction, produced by Dave Jerden and Perry Farrell, courtesy of Warner Bros. Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Close To You," written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Untitled Parenting
Parenting
Fatherhood
Release Date:
2 August 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 31 July 1989
Los Angeles and New York openings: 2 August 1989
Production Date:
30 January--early April 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc., and Imagine Films Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 February 1990
Copyright Number:
PA452435
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Camera & Lenses
Duration(in mins):
124
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29906
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a baseball game, thirty-five-year-old Gil Buckman recalls going to games with his father, Frank, who would pay an usher to babysit young Gil while he wandered off. Imagining himself as a boy, Gil explains to his babysitter that Frank never had a positive male influence and was taught that parenthood was a burden. When the game ends, Gil’s wife, Karen, snaps him out of his reverie and they wrangle their three children, Kevin, Taylor, and Justin, into their minivan in the busy parking lot. That night, Karen and Gil begin to make love, but Gil becomes distracted when he learns of a meeting with Kevin’s school principal the following Monday. Kevin’s troubles at school stem from his anxiety, but Gil defensively points out his nephew, Garry, is a kid with real problems. Meanwhile, Garry sneaks a paper bag out of his room and slams the door in the face of Gil’s sister, Helen, when she tries to engage him in conversation. Helen, a single mother, promises her teenage daughter, Julie, that her high SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores will help Julie get into a good college, where she can meet someone better than her current boyfriend, Tod. Helen leaves the room, and Tod emerges from under the bed, producing a camera with which he plans to take sexy snapshots of Julie. At a dinner party at Helen’s, Frank Buckman informs his children, Helen, Gil, and Susan, that he has a surprise for them, presenting their estranged younger brother, Larry, and his son, Cool. At the dinner table, Larry explains that Cool is the product of a fling with a Las Vegas, Nevada, showgirl, who recently dropped the ... +


At a baseball game, thirty-five-year-old Gil Buckman recalls going to games with his father, Frank, who would pay an usher to babysit young Gil while he wandered off. Imagining himself as a boy, Gil explains to his babysitter that Frank never had a positive male influence and was taught that parenthood was a burden. When the game ends, Gil’s wife, Karen, snaps him out of his reverie and they wrangle their three children, Kevin, Taylor, and Justin, into their minivan in the busy parking lot. That night, Karen and Gil begin to make love, but Gil becomes distracted when he learns of a meeting with Kevin’s school principal the following Monday. Kevin’s troubles at school stem from his anxiety, but Gil defensively points out his nephew, Garry, is a kid with real problems. Meanwhile, Garry sneaks a paper bag out of his room and slams the door in the face of Gil’s sister, Helen, when she tries to engage him in conversation. Helen, a single mother, promises her teenage daughter, Julie, that her high SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores will help Julie get into a good college, where she can meet someone better than her current boyfriend, Tod. Helen leaves the room, and Tod emerges from under the bed, producing a camera with which he plans to take sexy snapshots of Julie. At a dinner party at Helen’s, Frank Buckman informs his children, Helen, Gil, and Susan, that he has a surprise for them, presenting their estranged younger brother, Larry, and his son, Cool. At the dinner table, Larry explains that Cool is the product of a fling with a Las Vegas, Nevada, showgirl, who recently dropped the boy off at Larry’s doorstep because she shot someone and had to flee the country. Larry tells the family about his latest money-making scheme, a hydroponics operation, but when Susan’s husband, Nathan, asks for details, Larry admits he knows nothing about hydroponics. To make room for Larry and Cool at Frank’s house, Nathan offers to take in Frank’s mother, suggesting that a multigenerational household will be a good learning experience for his gifted, pre-school aged daughter, Patty. The electricity goes out and Gil searches for a flashlight but instead finds Helen’s vibrator, which he switches on just as the electricity comes back. On Monday, Gil and Karen meet with Principal Barbara Rice, who recommends that Kevin transfer to a school with special education classes. Dr. Jeffery Lucas, a child psychologist, arrives, and affirms that Kevin’s emotional problems require special attention. Gil blames Karen’s history of marijuana use for Kevin’s deficiencies, and Karen counters that Gil lets their children watch too much television. Dr. Lucas urges the Buckmans not to blame themselves, and they agree to wait until the end of the school year to make a decision. Tod and Julie go to retrieve their sexy photographs from a processing lab, but find that their batch of snapshots was switched with Helen’s from the dinner party. Julie returns home to find Helen sifting through Julie’s naked pictures. Julie packs her bags and leaves, insisting she is in love with Tod. In Frank’s garage, Larry admires his father’s beloved vintage car and solicits $3,000 from his dad for a new business venture. Elsewhere, Susan tells Nathan of her plans to teach summer school so they can afford a vacation to Mexico, but Nathan spoils plans for a romantic getaway by insisting that Patty come with them to get a head start on learning Spanish. At a movie theater, a distraught Kevin asks his father why he must see a psychologist, and Gil urges him not to worry. He promises to throw Kevin a great birthday party, and the boy requests the birthday party performer, “Cowboy Dan, the gun-fighting balloon man.” One day, Julie is brought home by police, who caught her panhandling for money, and she explains that she left Tod’s house after a lover’s quarrel over his future plans. Although Tod promised to start a house painting business, he changed his mind and told Julie he was going to race dragsters for a living. Helen criticizes Tod, but Julie reminds her mother that her last boyfriend stole their furniture. The women agree that men are scum just as Garry sneaks past them with his paper bag. Tod arrives to apologize, inadvertently revealing that he and Julie were married in secret two days ago. At Kevin’s Little League baseball practice, Gil gives his son a pep talk and daydreams about Kevin becoming valedictorian of his high school. However, when Kevin misses a catch during the game, the other players ostracize him and a cruel parent heckles him, prompting Gil to imagine a nightmare future for Kevin, in which he attacks a college campus with a sniper gun. Nathan discovers a hole in Susan’s diaphragm and accuses her of sabotaging their family by trying to conceive. He wants Patty to be an only child, but Susan wants another kid and wishes Nathan were willing to discuss it. When Tod moves in to Helen’s house, Garry suggests the place has become too crowded and says he would like to move in with his estranged father. Helen tries to discourage him, but Garry calls his father, who crushes the boy’s hopes by refusing to take him in. At Kevin’s ninth birthday party, Susan encourages Patty to play with her cousin, Justin, but Patty considers him too juvenile even though they are the same age. Susan tells Nathan they should send Patty to pre-school for socialization, but Nathan strongly disagrees. In the kitchen, Susan talks to Karen about Nathan, who helped her get her life in order when they first met. She confesses that she used to perform oral sex on him in the car whenever she thought he was too tense. The birthday performer, “Cowboy Dan,” fails to show up for the party, so Gil dresses up as a cowboy and entertains the kids with jokes and balloon animals. Later, Garry breaks into his father’s dental office and vandalizes it with a hammer. The next morning, Helen hears about the break-in and forces her way into Garry’s padlocked bedroom, suspecting her son is on drugs. She finds Garry’s paper bag and discovers it is filled with videotapes of pornographic films. Garry walks in on her watching one of the videotapes, and Helen tells Garry he is a good kid with a lousy dad. Later, she elicits the help of Tod, who talks to Garry about sex and reassures him he is normal. At a pizza parlor, Kevin panics when he loses his retainer. Gil and Karen stay behind to search the dumpster. On the way home, Karen tries to relieve Gil’s tension by performing oral sex on him, but they get into a car accident. Frank discovers Larry “borrowed” his vintage car and suspects he was trying to sell it. Larry confesses his life is in danger because he owes bookkeepers $26,000, and promises Frank he will never gamble again if he pays the debt. Frank asks Larry why he never considered getting a job, and Larry reminds him that Frank always encouraged him to believe he was special. Susan interrupts Nathan as he quizzes Patty with note cards, producing her own note cards to tell him she is leaving. Meanwhile, Helen goes on a date with George Bowman, Garry’s biology teacher. They return to her house, where Tod and Garry chase and wrestle each other, and Julie accosts Tod for giving up his house painting business. Helen and George witness as Tod storms out, and Garry accuses the women in his family of driving away all men. Julie reveals she is pregnant, and Helen pours herself a drink, stewing over the idea that she is too young to be a grandmother. Gil’s boss, David Brodsky, announces the promotion of one of Gil’s colleagues, and Gil quits his job in protest. He goes home to tell Karen, who surprises him with the news that she is pregnant. Gil complains that he must get a higher paying job and says his life is nothing but responsibilities. Later, Frank offers a deal to Larry: he will pay his debt if Larry comes to work at his plumbing business and attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Larry tells his father he wants to pursue one more business venture in Chile before he settles down, and Frank agrees to give him $2,000 for the trip. Suspecting that Larry has no plans to return, Frank asks Cool if he would like to stay with him and Marilyn, and Cool agrees. Nathan goes to Susan’s school and interrupts her class to serenade her with their wedding song, and the couple reunites. On the night of Taylor’s school play, Gil tells Karen that David Brodsky offered him his job back with a higher salary and he accepted. Grandma interrupts with a story about riding a rollercoaster as a young woman. She recalls how the ride filled her with many conflicting emotions at once, and compares it to a merry-go-round, which was more predictable and boring. Gil dismisses the story as the ramblings of a senile person, but Karen is touched by it. Later, as they watch Taylor play “Dopey” in a stage production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Justin becomes upset when other dwarves bully Taylor’s character, and he runs onstage to defend his sister. The audience reacts in an uproar, and a teacher chases Justin around. Karen laughs, and although Gil is anxious, he imagines himself on a rollercoaster and finds humor in the situation. Sometime later, Helen gives birth to a baby girl and George announces the news to her family in the waiting room. Grandma, Frank and Marilyn celebrate with their progeny, including the visibly pregnant Susan, Julie and Tod with their new baby, and Karen and Gil, who now have a fourth child. +

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.