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Referring to the picture by its working title, LA Shortcuts, a 29 Sep 1990 Screen International news item announced that writer-director Robert Altman’s Sandcastle 5 Productions was set to finance the screen adaptation of selected work by award-winning author Raymond Carver, who died at age fifty in 1988. The film, written by Altman and Frank Barhydt, was scheduled to begin principal photography in Nov 1990 with eighteen lead characters, including Ray Liotta, Ally Sheedy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Huey Lewis, who was the only actor in the list to remain with the project. Production notes in AMPAS library files claimed Lewis was cast because of his expertise in fly fishing, and that he also worked as an uncredited technical adviser.
       According to a 21 Oct 2009 article in The Guardian by associate producer Mike Kaplan, the picture was based on nine short stories and one poem by Raymond Carver that had not previously been presented as a collection until the film’s companion book, Short Cuts (1993). The book was released by Vintage Books with a forward by Robert Altman. Carver’s stories that inspired the film were: “Neighbors,” “They’re Not Your Husband,” “Vitamins,” “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” “So Much Water So Close to Home,” “A Small, Good Thing,” “Jerry and Molly and Sam,” “Collectors,” and, “Tell the Women We’re Going,” as well as the poem, Lemonade. As noted in various contemporary sources, including production notes, Carver was known for his depiction of small-town, working-class life in the Pacific Northwest, but his widow, Tess Gallagher, supported Altman’s choice to relocate the stories to ... More Less

Referring to the picture by its working title, LA Shortcuts, a 29 Sep 1990 Screen International news item announced that writer-director Robert Altman’s Sandcastle 5 Productions was set to finance the screen adaptation of selected work by award-winning author Raymond Carver, who died at age fifty in 1988. The film, written by Altman and Frank Barhydt, was scheduled to begin principal photography in Nov 1990 with eighteen lead characters, including Ray Liotta, Ally Sheedy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Huey Lewis, who was the only actor in the list to remain with the project. Production notes in AMPAS library files claimed Lewis was cast because of his expertise in fly fishing, and that he also worked as an uncredited technical adviser.
       According to a 21 Oct 2009 article in The Guardian by associate producer Mike Kaplan, the picture was based on nine short stories and one poem by Raymond Carver that had not previously been presented as a collection until the film’s companion book, Short Cuts (1993). The book was released by Vintage Books with a forward by Robert Altman. Carver’s stories that inspired the film were: “Neighbors,” “They’re Not Your Husband,” “Vitamins,” “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” “So Much Water So Close to Home,” “A Small, Good Thing,” “Jerry and Molly and Sam,” “Collectors,” and, “Tell the Women We’re Going,” as well as the poem, Lemonade. As noted in various contemporary sources, including production notes, Carver was known for his depiction of small-town, working-class life in the Pacific Northwest, but his widow, Tess Gallagher, supported Altman’s choice to relocate the stories to Southern CA.
       Mike Kaplan’s account of Short Cuts’s development started in 1989, when he secured financing from a well-connected but unidentified French producer. However, the funding lapsed over time, and potential investors were “erratic and far-fetched,” such as a “former intelligence officer” who disappeared while transporting cash from Cannes to Paris, France. Production notes stated that Altman and Barhydt completed a first draft of the script in Jul 1990, with approval from Tess Gallagher and financing from Paramount Pictures. The filmmakers were ready to start production, but Paramount abandoned the project when the company’s leadership changed hands and David Kirkpatrick arrived as head of production from Walt Disney Studios. As noted in a 2 Sep 1992 LAT article, Kirkpatrick decided to put the project “in turnaround,” hoping to find a studio that would reimburse Paramount for its initial investment. However, no companies were willing to pick up the film at that time.
       On 8 Jan 1991, DV announced that Altman was negotiating a $12 million production deal with Hemdale Film Corp. for L.A. Short Cuts. Principal photography was planned for a Spring 1991 start date in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Long Beach, CA, and the number of featured cast members increased from eighteen to twenty-seven. However, the project remained in limbo over the next year as Altman directed the Academy Award nominated The Player (1992, see entry), which marked his first blockbuster since his 1970 break-through, M*A*S*H (see entry). According to a 9 Jun 1992 DV news item, top-billed actors aggressively campaigned for roles in the picture, now titled Short Cuts, but Altman had already planned a “dream cast” two years before pre-production began. Of the twenty-one actors listed as Altman’s top choices, Jeff Daniels, Terri Garr, Laura Dern, Seymour Cassel, and Robert Townsend were unable to perform in the film. Principal photography had been rescheduled to begin late-Jul 1992 with a $15 million budget, financed by Fine Line Features and Spelling Films International. A 13 May 1992 DV brief stated that Altman’s deal with the two companies was solidified late in the day on Monday, 11 May 1992, at the Cannes Film Festival, after The Player received critical acclaim and was later honored with a nomination for a Palme d’Or, as well as awards for Best Actor (Tim Robbins) and Best Director. Fine Line and Spelling Films also financed The Player, and were notably pleased with the results of their investment. As stated in a 30 Dec 1993 HR article, the co-financing deal was finalized in twenty-four hours, with Spelling Films guaranteeing sixty percent of the budget. One week after the contract was announced, William Morris talent agents were reportedly “packaging” cast members for Altman’s Short Cuts and his upcoming production, Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) (1994, see entry), according to an 18 May 1992 DV column. In his 21 Oct 2009 Guardian article, Mike Kaplan emphasized that the success of The Player restored Altman’s prestige in Hollywood, and inspired studios to invest in his next project.
       Kaplan’s account of the production and DV production charts conflict with AMPAS’s studio notes concerning the dates and duration of principal photography. On 19 Jun 1992, DV production charts listed a Jul 1992 start date, and production notes stated that filming began on 26 Jul 1992. However, 24 Aug 1992 DV production charts reported that filming was pushed back one month to start on 26 Aug 1992. While production notes described a fifty-day shoot in Los Angeles-adjacent industrial towns including Hawthorne and Downey, CA, Kaplan stated that filming lasted ten weeks, with each week designated for one of the nine Carver stories, and an additional week for Carver’s poem. The 2 Sep 1992 LAT article, written during production, added La Puente, CA, as a featured location.
       Despite the onscreen appearance of an “ensemble” cast, the actors generally worked only during the week their “story” was in production, with several extra scenes filmed to overlap the characters. Production notes and Kaplan’s article both described a meticulous, color-coded chart on a twenty-foot bulletin board, where the filmmakers matched the now twenty-two characters’ action with time of day and location on 135 index cards. The 2 Sep 1992 LAT listed a budget of $12 million and stated that the twenty-two featured A-list actors all agreed to work for the same rate, which was well below their standard pay. However, the deal maintained that no performer was required to work more than ten days.
       In his Guardian article, Kaplan noted that one “story” out of the nine was filmed outside of Los Angeles on the Kern River near Bakersfield, CA: “So Much Water, So Close to Home.” The night before filming began, Altman told Kaplan that he had “no idea” what he was going to do the following day. The scene was located at a remote fisherman’s camp below a 100-foot cliff. In 107-degree heat, two generator vehicles and various equipment trucks were parked on a treacherous incline at the top of the cliff, and the equipment was lowered to the location site on winches. Reflecting upon the upside of Altman’s spontaneity, Kaplan revealed that the “S-shot” that followed the river to reveal the body of a dead girl was initially set in silence, but was later intercut with the fishermen’s voice-overs.
       Kaplan also stated that the director encouraged widespread participation among cast and crew during production, providing food and drink to make dailies viewing an inclusive, festive occasion. Despite Altman’s longstanding policy of forbidding outside cameras on set, he agreed to let Kaplan film a documentary about the making of Short Cuts in return for his work as associate producer. Kaplan’s Luck, Trust, and Ketchup was released on video in 1996 and screened at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival, eight months after Altman’s death. According to production notes, Altman also advocated for actor contributions to the Short Cuts screenplay. For example, Tim Robbins reportedly came up with the idea of making the “Claire Kane” character a clown, and Jennifer Jason Leigh wrote the scene between her character, “Lois Kaiser,” and Lili Taylor’s “Honey Bush.”
       A 16 Oct 1992 Screen International brief announced that filming concluded the week of 5 Oct 1992. According to the 12 Oct 1993 LAT, Altman shot nearly 240,000 feet of film, approximately forty hours of footage.
       The 9 Jun 1992 DV news item listed Cary Brokaw as executive producer, but he receives the sole producer credit onscreen. Similarly, the 25 May 1992 DV listed Ian Jessel as Short Cuts’s executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen.
       The film was received with critical acclaim upon its release on 3 Oct 1993. A 23 Jan 1994 LAT article noted that Fine Line was in an unusually “costly position” to campaign for Short Cuts’s twenty-two featured performers during Hollywood’s awards season. Industry standards maintained that one or two actors would be singled out for award consideration, but Fine Line’s president, Ira Deutchman, told LAT that he didn’t have “any choice but to support” all of the actors. He suggested that AMPAS establish a new category to honor ensemble performers, and on 21 Jan 1994, DV announced that the cast was set to receive a “special achievement award” for “outstanding artistry by an ensemble cast” from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes. Two months later, a 25 Mar 1994 Screen International article announced that the film was a near “runaway winner” at the 1994 Independent Spirit Awards, where it was honored in the three most prominent categories: Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Feature.
       Robert Altman’s direction garnered an Academy Award nomination.
       End credits include, “Special thanks to: Tess Gallagher, Don Bachardy, Steve Dunn, John Dorr, Marianne Faithful, Michael Kirchberger, Ira Deutchman, Terry Ellis, Kate Hyman, Paul Hutchinson—Imago Records, Steve Trombatore & All Payments Services, Luzmarie “Jellybean the Clown” Quintana, Alice “A. J. the Clown” Jones, Thomas Bros. Maps, Kirby Vacuums, Sherman Clay Pianos, Bobby Previte Drums by Slingerland.” The following acknowledgements are also stated in the end credits: “ Donahue excerpts courtesy of Multimedia Entertainment, Inc.; Hometime clip courtesy of Hometime Video Publicity, Inc.; Yves Rocher and The Cook courtesy of QVC Network, Inc.; Monster in the Closet clip courtesy of Troma, Inc.; Captain Planet and the Planeteers clip courtesy of DIC Enterprises, Inc. and TBS Productions, Inc.,” and, “The producers would like to thank KCAL-TV in Los Angeles for its kind cooperation during the production of this motion picture.”



cancelled/Academic Network University of Washington, Seattle; student: Verena Kick [email protected]; Advisor: Jennifer M. Bean [email protected] SBC 4/3/12. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
13 May 1992.
---
Daily Variety
18 May 1992.
---
Daily Variety
25 May 1992.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1992.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1992.
---
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1992.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1994.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 1993
p. 6, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Sep 1992
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Oct 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jan 1994
Calendar, p. 33.
New York Times
1 Oct 1993
Section C, p. 1.
Screen International
29 Sep 1990.
---
Screen International
16 Oct 1992.
---
Screen International
25 Mar 1994.
---
The Guardian
21 Oct 2009.
---
Variety
13 Sep 1993
p. 31.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Fine Line Features presents
In association with Spelling Films International
A Cary Brokaw/Avenue Pictures Production
A Robert Altman Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Helicopter cam op
Film loader
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Still photog
Shot on
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Marian's paintings
Art dept coord
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
2d asst props
Leadman
On set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Scenic paint foreman
Asst painter
Const coord
Const foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost
Ward supv
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus prod
Orig score comp
Mus coord
Mus rec & mixer
Mus score rec & mixed
Performed by
Performed by
Vocals, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Piano, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Drums, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Bass, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Vibes, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Trombone, Annie Ross & the Low Note Quintet
Cello, The Trout Quintet
1st violin, The Trout Quintet
Violin, The Trout Quintet
Viola, The Trout Quintet
Piano, The Trout Quintet
Mus clearances by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cable puller
Supv sd ed
Supv dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Addl sd eff
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Intern
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley artist
Foley rec
Addl foley
Addl foley
Addl foley
Post-prod accountant
Addl accounting services
Re-rec facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles des and prod by
MAKEUP
Make-up/Hair supv
Make-up/Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst coord
Avenue financial representative
Asst to Robert Altman
Asst to Cary Brokaw
Sandcastle 5 representative
Animal trainer
Set medic
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Craft service
Craft service
Extras casting
Loc security
Pub
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Post-prod accountant
Addl accounting services
Financing provided by
Business affairs
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the writings of Raymond Carver.
MUSIC
"Blue," composed by Jon Hendricks & Gildo Mahones, used by permission of EMI April Music, Inc., as Administrator for Hendricks Music, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"Full Moon," composed by Doc Pomus & Mac Rebennack, courtesy of Stazybo Music Publishing and Skull Music, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"These Blues," composed by Terry Adams, published by dollar clef, performed by The Low Note Quintet
+
MUSIC
"Blue," composed by Jon Hendricks & Gildo Mahones, used by permission of EMI April Music, Inc., as Administrator for Hendricks Music, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"Full Moon," composed by Doc Pomus & Mac Rebennack, courtesy of Stazybo Music Publishing and Skull Music, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"These Blues," composed by Terry Adams, published by dollar clef, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"Those Blues," composed by Terry Adams, published by dollar clef, performed by The Low Note Quintet
" Imitation of a Kiss," composed by Nathanson, Cale, Ribot, published by Tablehead, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"Cello Concerto in D Minor," composed by Antonin Dvorak, performed by The Trout Quintet
"Nothing Can Stop Me Now," composed by Horace Silver, published by Ecaroh Music, Inc./ASCAP Publishing/BMI, performed by The Low Note Quintet
"Cello Concerto No. 2 Opus 30 (First Movement)," composed by Victor Herbert, performed by The Trout Quintet
"Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor (BWV 1011)," composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Lori Singer
"'Berceuse' from 'The Firebird Suite'," composed by Igor Stravinsky, published by B. Schotts Soehne/ASCAP, performed by Lori Singer
"Cello Concerto No. 2 Opus 30 (Second Movement)," composed by Victor Herbert, performed by Lori Singer
"Schelomo," composed by Ernest Bloch, published by G. Schirmer Inc./ASCAP
performed by Lori Singer.
+
SONGS
"I Don't Want to Cry Anymore," composed by Victor Schertzinger, used by permission of The Famous Music Publishing Companies, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"I'm Gonna Go Fishin'," composed by Duke Ellington and Peggy Lee, published by Chappell and Co., Inc./ASCAP Denslow Music/ASCAP, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"Punishing Kiss," composed by Costello, MacManus, O'Riordan, published by Plangent Visions Music, Ltd., performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
+
SONGS
"I Don't Want to Cry Anymore," composed by Victor Schertzinger, used by permission of The Famous Music Publishing Companies, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"I'm Gonna Go Fishin'," composed by Duke Ellington and Peggy Lee, published by Chappell and Co., Inc./ASCAP Denslow Music/ASCAP, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"Punishing Kiss," composed by Costello, MacManus, O'Riordan, published by Plangent Visions Music, Ltd., performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"To Hell with Love," composed by Doc Pomus & Mac Rebennack, courtesy of Stazybo Music Publishing and Skull Music, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"Prisoner of Life," composed by Doc Pomus & Mac Rebennack, courtesy of Stazybo Music Publishing and Skull Music, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"I Don't Know You," composed by Doc Pomus & Mac Rebennack, courtesy of Stazybo Music Publishing and Skull Music, performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
"Conversation on a Bar Stool," composed by Bono and The Edge, published by Polygram International Music Publishing B.V., performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
LA Shortcuts
L.A. Short Cuts
Release Date:
3 October 1993
Premiere Information:
New York Film Festival screening: 1 Oct 1993; New York opening: 3 Oct 1993; Los Angeles opening: 8 Oct 1993
Production Date:
26 Jul or 26 Aug--week of 5 Oct 1992 in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses by Panavision ®
Duration(in mins):
189
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32510
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One night in Los Angeles, California, helicopters spray the pesticide malathion to kill off a potentially catastrophic infestation of Mediterranean fruit flies. Despite warnings from television news anchor Howard Finnigan, residents go about their business in a light shower of the insecticide. When helicopters land the next morning, pilot “Stormy” Weathers telephones his bitter and estranged wife, Betty, wishing her a happy birthday while taking his own urine sample. Betty hangs up abruptly and awakens policeman Gene Shepard, one of her various lovers who walked out on his wife, Sherri, and their three young children the night before. In another part of town, Stuart Kane prepares for a fishing trip as his wife, Claire, gets ready for work as a clown. She is eager to accept a dinner invitation from Dr. Ralph Wyman and his artist wife, Marian, whom she and Stuart met at a concert by cellist Zoe Trainer the night before. At the same time, pool cleaner Jerry Kaiser arrives at the home of Howard Finnigan and his nervous housewife, Ann. The couple lives next door to Zoe Trainer and her alcoholic, jazz-singing mother, Tess. While Zoe plays cello to drown out Tess’ drunken ramblings, Ann frets about malathion’s effect on her swimming pool water, but Jerry Kaiser insists it is safe for eight-year-old Casey Finnigan’s upcoming birthday party. In a less affluent part of the city, drug-addled “Honey” Bush is given strict instructions on how to take care of her neighbors’ fish while the couple are out of town. Honey’s husband, Bill, is eager to exploit the apartment in their absence. Around the same time, ... +


One night in Los Angeles, California, helicopters spray the pesticide malathion to kill off a potentially catastrophic infestation of Mediterranean fruit flies. Despite warnings from television news anchor Howard Finnigan, residents go about their business in a light shower of the insecticide. When helicopters land the next morning, pilot “Stormy” Weathers telephones his bitter and estranged wife, Betty, wishing her a happy birthday while taking his own urine sample. Betty hangs up abruptly and awakens policeman Gene Shepard, one of her various lovers who walked out on his wife, Sherri, and their three young children the night before. In another part of town, Stuart Kane prepares for a fishing trip as his wife, Claire, gets ready for work as a clown. She is eager to accept a dinner invitation from Dr. Ralph Wyman and his artist wife, Marian, whom she and Stuart met at a concert by cellist Zoe Trainer the night before. At the same time, pool cleaner Jerry Kaiser arrives at the home of Howard Finnigan and his nervous housewife, Ann. The couple lives next door to Zoe Trainer and her alcoholic, jazz-singing mother, Tess. While Zoe plays cello to drown out Tess’ drunken ramblings, Ann frets about malathion’s effect on her swimming pool water, but Jerry Kaiser insists it is safe for eight-year-old Casey Finnigan’s upcoming birthday party. In a less affluent part of the city, drug-addled “Honey” Bush is given strict instructions on how to take care of her neighbors’ fish while the couple are out of town. Honey’s husband, Bill, is eager to exploit the apartment in their absence. Around the same time, Stuart Kane and his fellow fishermen, Gordon Johnson and Vern Miller, stop at a roadside diner and flirt with a waitress named Doreen Piggot, who is Honey Bush’s mother. As Doreen bends over, the men strain to look under her skirt. Her alcoholic, limousine-driver husband, Earl, storms out of the diner. That morning, back at the Finnigan residence, Casey hurries to school and Doreen accidentally hits him with her car on her way home from the diner. Doreen insists on seeing the boy home, but he walks away by himself, claiming he is not allowed to speak to strangers. When Ann Finnigan returns from ordering Casey’s birthday cake at a bakery, she finds her son in a near coma. She telephones her husband at the television station and reports that Casey is sleeping. Howard fumes that she should have taken Casey to the hospital right away. Later, at the hospital, Dr. Ralph Wyman assures the couple that Casey is in stable condition, even though he cannot wake up. Across town, at Doreen’s trailer park home, her husband, Earl, learns about the accident and is less concerned about the boy’s condition than the possibility of a lawsuit. As Earl becomes belligerent, Doreen realizes he has been drinking. She forces him to leave the trailer once and for all. Sometime later, Stormy Weathers arrives home with a birthday cake for his two-timing wife, Betty, but she orders him to leave with their son, Chad. While Betty showers, Chad reveals that his mother celebrated her birthday with her “friend,” Gene, and Stormy leaves. In the meantime, police officer Gene Shepard returns home, bickers with his wife, Sherri, and leaves on his police motorcycle with her beloved, male dog named “Suzy.” After abandoning Suzy in another neighborhood, Gene sees Claire Kane in her clown costume, pulls her over, and suggestively asks for her telephone number. He returns home to find his children devastated about Suzy’s disappearance while Sherri commiserates on the telephone with her sister, Marian, wife of Dr. Ralph Wyman. Meanwhile, Claire’s husband, Stuart, and his fellow fishermen hike four hours to a campground, which, unknown to the men, has been sprayed with malathion. As Vern urinates into the water, he sees the corpse of a young woman, floating just beneath the surface. The men debate how to handle the situation, get drunk, and decide to finish their excursion before alerting the police. Back in Los Angeles, Claire arrives at the hospital to entertain children in the pediatric ward and runs into Dr. Wyman, who does not recognize her in her clown costume. Howard Finnigan’s estranged father, Paul, comes to the hospital, attempting to justify the abandonment of his family years earlier. Returning home, Ann is besieged by angry, anonymous telephone calls about Casey. Baker Andy Bitkower is enraged by her failure to pick up Casey’s cake and is calling to vent his anger. Elsewhere, Stormy destroys Betty’s belongings with a chainsaw while she is away on a weekend jaunt with another lover. Meanwhile, Stuart Kane returns from his fishing trip, makes love to Claire, and horrifies her with his admission that he left the dead girl in the river until the end of the weekend. Across town, Honey and Bill Bush entertain Lois and Jerry Kaiser at the apartment where they are house sitting. Afterward, they go to the Low Note jazz club. There, Honey is distressed to see her stepfather, Earl Piggot, who abused her as a child. When she refuses to interact with him, Earl staggers back to the trailer park and reconciles with Doreen. At the club, Lois, a stay-at-home mother who earns a living as a telephone sex worker, is propositioned by a man at a neighboring table. Her husband, Jerry, becomes increasingly incensed over her seduction of other men. Meanwhile, police officer Gene Shepard is convinced that Betty is seeing another man. He reconciles with Sherri and becomes the family hero when he returns Suzy the dog. Just then, at the hospital, Casey thrills his parents by blinking his eyes, but he suddenly dies, and elderly Paul Finnigan walks away from his family yet again. When the grief-stricken Finnigans return home, their neighbor Zoe is devastated by the news of Casey’s death and drives to the Low Note club to inform her mother about the tragedy. Finding her mother unmoved, Zoe goes home, leaves the car running in the closed garage, and plays cello as she succumbs to carbon monoxide poisoning. Her mother pulls into the driveway early the next morning to find Zoe dead. Later, Honey and Bill Bush go on a picnic with the Kaiser family. Jerry and Bill notice two pretty bicyclists and pursue the girls. As Bill leads one of the young ladies away, Jerry attacks the other with a rock, killing her. Just then, a major earthquake strikes. Across Los Angeles, residents take cover, including the Finnigans, who have returned to Andy Bitkower’s bakery to make peace over Casey’s birthday cake; the Wymans and Kanes, who are enjoying a drunken, all-night party; and the intoxicated Piggots, who rejoice that they will die together in the quake. In the aftermath of the natural disaster, Jerry’s murder of the girl is declared to be the result of a rockslide and city life resumes as normal.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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