Peter's Friends (1992)

102 mins | Comedy-drama | 25 December 1992

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Producer:

Kenneth Branagh

Cinematographer:

Roger Lanser

Editor:

Andrew Marcus

Production Designer:

Tim Harvey

Production Companies:

Renaissance Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films
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HISTORY

An article in the 14 Oct 1992 DV reported that Peter’s Friends marked the feature film screenwriting debuts of Rita Rudner and her husband, Martin Bergman. DV and production notes in AMPAS library files also stated the film marked Rita Rudner’s feature film acting debut. However, Rudner had small roles in the 1989 film Gleaming the Cube and the 1988 film The Wrong Guys (see entries).
       The 20 Jan 1992 DV announced that Kenneth Branagh’s company, Renaissance Films, would produce Peter’s Friends, with Branagh directing and acting in the project. The article noted the film’s $2.6 million budget would be financed partly by Renaissance and partly by the pre-sale of world distribution rights to “an unidentified U.S. company.” According to the 11 Feb 1992 DV, The Samuel Goldwyn Company would finance “the lion’s share” of the cost of Branagh’s next two features, including Peter’s Friends, which was budgeted at approximately $6 million. Renaissance Films retained the U.K. distribution rights, and Goldywn acquired all other world-wide distribution rights.
       An item in the 28 Feb 1992 Screen International reported that five weeks of principal photography began 24 Feb 1992 in London, England. According to production notes, the film was shot entirely on location at a country estate north of London. The 27 Mar 1992 Screen International reported the completion of principal photography on 28 Mar 1992.
       Peter’s Friends was somewhat of a family affair. Along with Rita Rudner and co-writer Martin Bergman, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, as well as Richard ... More Less

An article in the 14 Oct 1992 DV reported that Peter’s Friends marked the feature film screenwriting debuts of Rita Rudner and her husband, Martin Bergman. DV and production notes in AMPAS library files also stated the film marked Rita Rudner’s feature film acting debut. However, Rudner had small roles in the 1989 film Gleaming the Cube and the 1988 film The Wrong Guys (see entries).
       The 20 Jan 1992 DV announced that Kenneth Branagh’s company, Renaissance Films, would produce Peter’s Friends, with Branagh directing and acting in the project. The article noted the film’s $2.6 million budget would be financed partly by Renaissance and partly by the pre-sale of world distribution rights to “an unidentified U.S. company.” According to the 11 Feb 1992 DV, The Samuel Goldwyn Company would finance “the lion’s share” of the cost of Branagh’s next two features, including Peter’s Friends, which was budgeted at approximately $6 million. Renaissance Films retained the U.K. distribution rights, and Goldywn acquired all other world-wide distribution rights.
       An item in the 28 Feb 1992 Screen International reported that five weeks of principal photography began 24 Feb 1992 in London, England. According to production notes, the film was shot entirely on location at a country estate north of London. The 27 Mar 1992 Screen International reported the completion of principal photography on 28 Mar 1992.
       Peter’s Friends was somewhat of a family affair. Along with Rita Rudner and co-writer Martin Bergman, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, as well as Richard Briers and Ann Davies, were married. Phyllida Law was Emma Thompson’s mother.
       The 11 Feb 1992 DV noted that The Samuel Goldwyn Company planned to release the film domestically in Oct 1992, but the 20 Nov 1992 HR reported the release date was moved back to 25 Dec 1992, preceded by a Los Angeles, CA, premiere to benefit Comic Relief on 15 Dec 1992. Goldwyn expected “excellent word of mouth” and extensively screened the film to build positive “buzz” prior to its release. The film screened at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend, and opened the ShowEast convention in Atlantic City, NJ, on 13 Oct 1992. Peter’s Friends was scheduled to open in the top thirty U.S. cities on 25 Dec 1992, with a wider release on 15 Jan 1993. However, the “extremely positive” response at the ShowEast convention led Goldwyn to add ten or fifteen additional markets for the Christmas Day release.
       End credits include “special thanks” to: “Shirley Clarke at Sony Entertainment UK LTD; Tom Redfern; Paul Russell; Gestetner; Air-Edel; Shaun Webb.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1992
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Feb 1992
p. 16.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1992
p. 57.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1992
p. 3, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1992
p. 6, 38.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1992
Calendar, p. 8.
New York Times
25 Dec 1992
Section C, p. 8.
Screen International
28 Feb 1992.
---
Screen International
27 Mar 1992.
---
Variety
21 Sep 1992
p. 85.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Samuel Goldwyn Company Presents
A Renaissance Films Production
A Kenneth Branagh Film
Filmed In Association With Film 4 International
A Renaissance Film Released By The Samuel Goldwyn Company
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Line prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Steadicam op
Focus puller
Clapper loader
Jobfit cam trainee
Stills photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Arriflex 535 cam and Zeiss lenses supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Post-prod for montage opening title seq by
SET DECORATORS
Prop buyer
Prop master
Prop man
Prop man
Prop chef
Carpenter
Painter
Stagehand
Rigger
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
Ward mistress
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus consultant, Sony Entertainment U.K. Ltd.
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Sd maintenance
Sd asst
Jobfit sd trainee
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opt effects
Montge opening title seq des and prod by
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Make-up supv
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Loc mgr
Prod co-ord
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Branagh
Prod secy
Prod asst
Unit runner
Unit runner
Prod consultant
Prod accountant
Financial controller
Vocal coach
Press representative
Prod notes
Unit driver
Unit driver
Unit driver
Completion bonding by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Processing by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Orpheus In The Underground,” published by Catalyst (Music Publishing) Ltd., written by John Hudson, music by Offenbach, arranged by R. Bryan, S. Collins, N. Ibbotson, M. Steffan, performed by Kenneth Branagh, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Gavin Greenaway, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Emma Thompson
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes, published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd., Amusements Ltd., 10 Music Ltd., performed by Tears For Fears, courtesy of Phonogram Ltd.
“My Baby Just Cares For Me,” written by Gus Kahn/Walter Donaldson, © Copyright 1930, published by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd., performed by Nina Simone, an original Bethlehem Music Recording, courtesy of Charly International APS
+
SONGS
“Orpheus In The Underground,” published by Catalyst (Music Publishing) Ltd., written by John Hudson, music by Offenbach, arranged by R. Bryan, S. Collins, N. Ibbotson, M. Steffan, performed by Kenneth Branagh, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Gavin Greenaway, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Emma Thompson
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes, published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd., Amusements Ltd., 10 Music Ltd., performed by Tears For Fears, courtesy of Phonogram Ltd.
“My Baby Just Cares For Me,” written by Gus Kahn/Walter Donaldson, © Copyright 1930, published by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd., performed by Nina Simone, an original Bethlehem Music Recording, courtesy of Charly International APS
“You’re My Best Friend,” written by John Deacon, © Copyright 1975, published by B. Feldman & Co. Ltd., trading as Trident Music, performed by Queen, courtesy of EMI Records/Hollywood Records
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” written by Richard Hazard, published by Heroic Music, by kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd., performed by Cyndi Lauper, courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Hungry Heart,” written by Bruce Springsteen, © 1984 Bruce Springsteen (ASCAP) for the world, (administered by Zomba Music Publishers Ltd. in the UK & Eire), performed by Bruce Springsteen, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Don’t Get Me Wrong,” written by C. Hynde, © 1986 Hynde House of Hits, performed by The Pretenders, courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd.
“The Way You Look Tonight,” written by Kern/Fields, published by Polygram Music Publishing Ltd., performed by Kenneth Branagh, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Emma Thompson
“What’s Love Got To Do With It,” written by Graham Lyle & Terry Britten published by Good Single Ltd., administered worldwide by Rondor Music (London) Ltd., Myaxa Music Ltd./Warner Bros. Music Corp., by kind permission of Rondor Music (London) Ltd. and Warner Chappell Music Ltd., performed by Tina Turner, taken from the album “Private Dancer” EJ2401521, licensed from Capital Records Inc., by courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
“Give Me Strength,” written by Eric Clapton, published by Eric Clapton/Warner Chappell Music Ltd., by kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd., performed by Eric Clapton, courtesy of Polydor Ltd.
“Let’s Stay Together,” written by Al Jackson Jnr/Al Green, Willie Mitchell, published by JEC Music Publishing Co., by kind permission of Burlington Music Co. Ltd., Warner Chappell Music Ltd., performed by The Pasadenas, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Madam Butterfly – Un Bel Di,” written by Giacomo Puccini – Public Domain, performed by Kiri Te Kanawa with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Sir John Pritchard, courtesy of Sony Classical
“Rio,” written by Michael Nesmith, published by Warner Chappell Music Inc., by kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd., performed and produced by Michael Nesmith, courtesy of Pacific Arts Video
“As The Days Go By,” written by I. Thomas, © 1991 Mark-Cain Music, Sold For A Song – administered by MCA Music Ltd., performed by Daryl Braithwaite, courtesy of Epic Records/Sony Music
"Roger's Coffee Commercial," written by Hugh Laurie, published by Air Edel Associates Ltd., performed by Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery, Imelda Staunton, John Barclay.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1992
New York opening: 25 December 1992
Production Date:
24 February--28 March 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Renaissance Films, PLC, & Samuel Goldwyn Company
Copyright Date:
17 November 1992
Copyright Number:
PA600481
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
102
Length(in feet):
9,098
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31932
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In England, Peter Morton, Andrew Benson, Roger, Mary, Maggie, and Sarah, members of a Cambridge University acting troupe, perform their farewell revue for Peter’s father and his unresponsive guests at a New Year’s Eve dinner ushering in 1982. They gather in the kitchen afterward and take a photograph to commemorate their last performance together. Ten years later, Peter inherits his father’s estate. Uncertain if he will keep the mansion, Peter invites his friends for a New Year’s party and convinces stern housekeeper, Vera, to stay until the new year. Andrew, now a television writer in Hollywood, California, flies to England with his wife, Carol Benson, the star of his television comedy program. Roger and Mary are married, and she is worried about leaving their son, Ben, with a nanny. Frumpy Maggie leaves pictures of herself for her cat, who appears unconcerned over her departure. On the train to Peter’s estate, Sarah, a costume designer, has sex with her new lover, Brian, an actor she works with. The train arrives at the station, and Maggie, Sarah, and Brian are greeted by Vera’s son, Paul, who drives them to the estate as Andrew and Carol arrive in a limo. The moment Roger and Mary arrive, she calls their nanny to check in. As everyone settles into their rooms, Sarah and Brian make love, while Roger and Mary quarrel over whether she calls home too often. Meanwhile, Carol investigates Vera’s cooking. Dismayed by the rich food, Carol attempts to bribe Vera to accommodate her diet, to no avail. Maggie and Andrew stroll the grounds, and she reveals her lack of a love life. However, her company published a self-help book, ... +


In England, Peter Morton, Andrew Benson, Roger, Mary, Maggie, and Sarah, members of a Cambridge University acting troupe, perform their farewell revue for Peter’s father and his unresponsive guests at a New Year’s Eve dinner ushering in 1982. They gather in the kitchen afterward and take a photograph to commemorate their last performance together. Ten years later, Peter inherits his father’s estate. Uncertain if he will keep the mansion, Peter invites his friends for a New Year’s party and convinces stern housekeeper, Vera, to stay until the new year. Andrew, now a television writer in Hollywood, California, flies to England with his wife, Carol Benson, the star of his television comedy program. Roger and Mary are married, and she is worried about leaving their son, Ben, with a nanny. Frumpy Maggie leaves pictures of herself for her cat, who appears unconcerned over her departure. On the train to Peter’s estate, Sarah, a costume designer, has sex with her new lover, Brian, an actor she works with. The train arrives at the station, and Maggie, Sarah, and Brian are greeted by Vera’s son, Paul, who drives them to the estate as Andrew and Carol arrive in a limo. The moment Roger and Mary arrive, she calls their nanny to check in. As everyone settles into their rooms, Sarah and Brian make love, while Roger and Mary quarrel over whether she calls home too often. Meanwhile, Carol investigates Vera’s cooking. Dismayed by the rich food, Carol attempts to bribe Vera to accommodate her diet, to no avail. Maggie and Andrew stroll the grounds, and she reveals her lack of a love life. However, her company published a self-help book, You May Already Know Your Mate, which claims friends can be marriage material. Although Maggie questions whether Peter is homosexual, she thinks he is the right man for her and plans to help him realize they should be together. At dinner, Carol Benson and Sarah’s boyfriend, Brian, are introduced to everyone, and Carol discovers that he is the only person who has seen her television show. As Peter toasts his friends, Brian and Sarah rudely ignore the others to focus on each other. She apologizes, claiming they have not been together long and get carried away. As Mary excuses herself to call home yet again, Brian questions Andrew about his work and learns that he and Mary are the top commercial jingle writers in England. When Mary returns, Brian asks if they use their twin children in their commercials. Mary rushes off crying and Brian learns that one of Roger and Mary’s twins recently died. Later, as they drink coffee, Mary answers the telephone and announces that Brian’s wife is calling. While he takes the call, Sarah reveals that he is married and has a child, but plans to divorce his wife. Although Sarah insists that Brian is different than her previous lovers, Mary is certain she is repeating her old pattern, and reminds everyone that Sarah was in love with Andrew until he dumped his girlfriend and asked Sarah to marry him, at which point she lost interest. This is news to Carol, who excuses herself. Brian returns and announces that he left his wife. Feeling vindicated, Sarah hugs him. Andrew joins his wife upstairs and Carol notes they planned to work out the difficulties in their marriage this weekend, and wonders why he never mentioned his past dalliance with Sarah. When he rejoins his friends downstairs, the group sings together again. Mary receives a telephone call from the babysitter relating that her son has a slight cold, but the doctor says he is fine. Mary wants to leave, but Maggie convinces her to stay for the night and check on her son in the morning. Upstairs, Roger admits to Mary that although he still loves her, he has thought of leaving their marriage because she blames him for their son’s death. Mary sobs that she knows she has been unreasonable, and Roger hugs her, promising to stay. Sarah is upset that Brian did not consult her before leaving his wife, noting they have only known each other for two weeks, and claims to be too tired to have sex with him. Maggie goes to Peter’s room, disrobes, and asks him to impregnate her. Peter is shocked and reveals that he is bi-sexual, although he does not sleep with either men or women anymore. However, he insists that if he were having sex, Maggie would be high on his wish list. Embarrassed, Maggie begs him not to tell anyone. Downstairs in the kitchen, Maggie gets a drink and discovers Carol sneak-eating leftover food. Maggie shares her embarrassing visit to Peter’s room, but believes there might still be hope since Peter is not sleeping with anyone. Carol insists Maggie is attractive beneath her frumpiness and offers to do a makeover, which Maggie accepts. The next morning, Carol leads Maggie into the kitchen, where Peter and Andrew admire her new look. Hearing sounds of lovemaking overhead, they assume it is Sarah and Brian. However, when Sarah comes into the kitchen, everyone smiles as they realize the lovers are Roger and Mary. Carol receives a call from Hollywood and announces that she has been offered a film which starts shooting right away. Andrew asks if she will stay to work on their marriage, but she does not believe he will try. Outside, Sarah flirts with Vera’s son, Paul, as he chops wood, but his attention is diverted when the newly made-over Maggie joins them. When Brian wanders outside, Sarah ignores him and rushes inside for a drink. She discovers that Andrew, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, has abandoned his sobriety. He thought his marriage to Carol would improve when they stopped drinking, but everything became more complicated. He tells Sarah she is addicted to romance, not reality, and that is why she abandons her lovers when they become available. Sarah flirts with Andrew and as she kisses him, Carol comes into the room. She was going to refuse the film role, but now plans to leave again. Sarah heads upstairs, and sees Brian crying on the telephone as he talks to his son. When Brian joins her, Sarah admits the commitment issue is her problem and he should go back to his family. As she leaves, Sarah hears moans coming from Maggie’s bedroom, and opens the door to discover Maggie having sex with Paul. Roger and Mary continue to make love, and when the telephone rings, he wonders who is calling and Mary insists someone will let them know if it is for them. Downstairs, Peter helps Vera in the kitchen and learns she plans to retire. He wants her to stay if he keeps the house, but she declines because she disapproves of his lifestyle. Carol declares that Peter’s unhappiness with himself is their primary marital problem, and she leaves. Brian’s wife picks him up and they speed away. At dinner, Roger and Mary admit they made love all day and only telephoned home twice. Andrew drunkenly joins the group, berates his friends, and turns his vitriol toward Peter, wondering if he invited them because everyone was having a difficult year and Peter wanted to “save” them. Peter reveals he invited them because he wanted his closest friends to know that he was diagnosed as being HIV positive. Peter’s revelation stuns everyone into silence as the midnight hour is upon them. Peter raises his glass and asks them to toast the new year. His friends hesitate until Vera enters and toasts Peter. The others join the toast, and Andrew apologizes to everyone. Peter reveals he does not have AIDS yet, and it is possible that a cure might be discovered in time to save him. Peter joins Vera in the kitchen and she asks why he did not tell her. He thought she would consider it a deserved punishment for his lifestyle, but Vera insists she has loved him since he was a child. Peter rejoins the others and brings out their group picture from 1982. The friends laugh as they sing together once again. +

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

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