The Out-of-Towners (1999)

PG-13 | 91 mins | Comedy | 2 April 1999

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HISTORY

Second unit chief lighting technician Russell Engels’s last name is misspelled “Russel Engels” onscreen. End credits include the following statements: “The producers wish to thank the following for their assistance: Office of the Mayor, City of New York; New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting; Central Park Conservancy; Office of Public Information, City of New York/Parks & Recreation; John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California; Los Angeles World Airports; Saks Fifth Avenue Furs; Hôtel Plaza Athénée”; and, “In loving memory of Joseph Maher.” Maher, who appears in the role of “Mr. Wellstone,” died 17 Jul 1998; The Out-of-Towners marked his last onscreen appearance.
       The project was announced in a 24 Jun 1996 Var news brief, which stated that Robert Evans Productions was developing a re-make of Neil Simon’s 1970 film The Out-of-Towners (see entry) as part of its renewed production deal with Paramount Pictures. Neil Simon was brought on to rewrite his original script, according to a 12 Aug 1996 LADN brief, and was quoted as saying that he hoped Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn would star in the picture. Eight months later, a 15 Apr 1997 Orange County Register item reported that Simon had dropped out, having come to the conclusion that an updated version would be “too grim” because “the world is a tougher place.” Paramount moved forward with the project, as noted in a 19 Sep 1997 DV brief, casting Hawn and Martin, who previously starred together in 1992’s Housesitter (see entry). A 27 Oct 1997 DV item reported that Mark Lawrence would write the script, and ... More Less

Second unit chief lighting technician Russell Engels’s last name is misspelled “Russel Engels” onscreen. End credits include the following statements: “The producers wish to thank the following for their assistance: Office of the Mayor, City of New York; New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting; Central Park Conservancy; Office of Public Information, City of New York/Parks & Recreation; John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California; Los Angeles World Airports; Saks Fifth Avenue Furs; Hôtel Plaza Athénée”; and, “In loving memory of Joseph Maher.” Maher, who appears in the role of “Mr. Wellstone,” died 17 Jul 1998; The Out-of-Towners marked his last onscreen appearance.
       The project was announced in a 24 Jun 1996 Var news brief, which stated that Robert Evans Productions was developing a re-make of Neil Simon’s 1970 film The Out-of-Towners (see entry) as part of its renewed production deal with Paramount Pictures. Neil Simon was brought on to rewrite his original script, according to a 12 Aug 1996 LADN brief, and was quoted as saying that he hoped Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn would star in the picture. Eight months later, a 15 Apr 1997 Orange County Register item reported that Simon had dropped out, having come to the conclusion that an updated version would be “too grim” because “the world is a tougher place.” Paramount moved forward with the project, as noted in a 19 Sep 1997 DV brief, casting Hawn and Martin, who previously starred together in 1992’s Housesitter (see entry). A 27 Oct 1997 DV item reported that Mark Lawrence would write the script, and Peter Segal would direct. However, citing “creative differences,” Segal left the project within two months of the announcement, and was replaced by Sam Weisman, as announced in the 12 Dec 1997 DV.
       A 7 Apr 1998 DV news item announced that Goldie Hawn’s son, Oliver Hudson, would make his feature film debut playing her onscreen son.
       Principal photography was initially slated for Jan 1998, but was pushed to 10 Feb 1998, according to production notes in AMPAS library files and a 10 Feb 1998 HR production chart. Filming began in Los Angeles, CA, then moved to New York City on 2 Mar 1998, for seven weeks of production. The final three weeks were completed back in Los Angeles. New York locations included the Fulton Fish Market; Central Park’s Tavern on the Green, where Mayor Rudy Giuliani performed a cameo; Times Square; Greenwich Village; the Continental Club on Wall Street, which stood in for the advertising agency where “Henry Clark’s” job interview took place; the Union Theological Seminary, which doubled as the meeting location for a sexaholics’ recovery group; and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée on Madison Avenue, which served as the exterior of the fictional “Grand Mark Hotel.” In California, the Los Angeles Convention Center stood in for a Boston, MA, train station; a house in Pasadena provided interiors for the Clarks’ Ohio residence; and a baggage carousel at John Wayne Airport in Orange County doubled as the Boston airport. Interiors of the Grand Mark Hotel were filmed on soundstages in Hollywood, including Stage 7 on the Paramount studio lot, as noted in a 24 Apr 1998 DV “Just for Variety” column.
       After principal photography wrapped, a 29 Sep 1998 DV news item announced that Cinevisions Ice was joining Paramount as a co-financier, in an “insurance-backed deal.” Cinevisions Ice would receive an equity stake in the film while Paramount retained worldwide distribution rights.
       Re-shoots took place in Nov 1998, according to a 14 Nov 1998 The Times (London) item, on a stretch of 64th street in New York City. Gardeners were tasked with plucking leaves off the branches of trees to replicate New York’s wintry appearance.
       A benefit premiere was held on 29 Mar 1999 on the Paramount lot. According to a 4 May 1999 LAT article, the premiere raised $210,000 for the California State Summer School for the Arts and Pitzer College. At another benefit screening on 1 Apr 1999, $60,000 was raised for the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation.
       Reviews were generally negative, although Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, and Jon Cleese received consistent praise for their performances. The 1 Apr 1999 HR called the film “aimless and tedious,” while, in the 2 Apr 1999 Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert complained that Martin and Hawn’s characters were inconsistent. The 2 Apr 1999 NYT echoed Ebert’s sentiment, stating that the characters were never credible, while a more positive critique in the 30 Mar 1999 DV deemed the remake “lightweight but likable.”
       A 13 Apr 1999 DV brief reported that the film had taken in $16.2 million after ten days of release. Citing the budget as $40 million, DV predicted the final box-office gross would barely exceed $30 million.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Sun-Times
2 Apr 1999.
---
Daily Variety
19 Sep 1997.
---
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1997
p. 1, 15.
Daily Variety
12 Dec 1997.
---
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1998.
---
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1998.
---
Daily Variety
29 Sep 1998
p. 1, 15.
Daily Variety
30 Mar 1999
p. 4, 19.
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1999.
---
Daily Variety
13 Apr 1999
p. 23, 26.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 1997.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1998.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 1999
p. 7, 10.
Los Angeles Daily News
12 Aug 1996
Section L, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
2 Apr 1999
Calendar, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
4 May 1999
Section E, p. 3.
New York Times
2 Apr 1999
p. 8.
Orange County Register
15 Apr 1997
Section F, p. 2.
The Times (London)
14 Nov 1998.
---
Variety
24 Jun 1996.
---
Variety
5 Apr 1999
p. 30, 32.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
A Robert Evans Production
In Association With Cherry Alley Productions and The Cort/Madden Company
A Sam Weisman Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
DGA trainee
DGA trainee
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
B cam op
B cam op
B 1st asst photog
B 1st asst photog
B 2d asst photog
B 2d asst photog
Steadicam op
Steadicam op
Film loader
Film loader
Film loader
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Chief rigging elec
Chief rigging elec
Elec
Elec
1st company grip
1st company grip
2d company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
1st company rigging grip
1st company rigging grip
Video assist op
Video assist op
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst photog, 2d unit
2d asst photog, 2d unit
Film loader, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
1st company grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Model maker
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Art dept coord
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Sr set des
Sr set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const coord
Const foreperson
Const foreperson
Lead person
Lead person
Lead person
Paint foreperson
Propmaker foreperson
Propmaker foreperson
Propmaker foreperson
Labor foreperson
Labor foreperson
Labor foreperson
Charge scenic
Scenic shop foreperson
Prop master, 2d unit
Mock-up provided by
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst to cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost supv
Key costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Addl ward
Mr. Martin's dresser
Ms. Hawn's dresser
MUSIC
Mus ed
Orch cond by
Orch contractor
Mus preparation
Mus programmer
Mus score asst
Mus rec and mixed by
Asst mus ed
Mus rec and mixed at
Mus rec
Mus tech eng
Mus floor person
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Supv dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Supv foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby sd consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Visual eff prod, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Supv digital compositor, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Digital compositing, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Digital matte painting, Rhythm & Hues Studios
CG anim, Rhythm & Hues Studios
CG lighting, Rhythm & Hues Studios
Addl digital visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Pacific Data Images
Visual eff prod, Pacific Data Images
Anim, Pacific Data Images
Film rec, Pacific Data Images
Film rec, Pacific Data Images
Film rec, Pacific Data Images
Prod coord, Pacific Data Images
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des by
Opticals by
DANCE
Choreog
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Ms. Hawn's make-up
Mr. Martin's make-up
Supv make-up artist
Supv make-up artist
Supv make-up artist
Ms. Hawn's hair stylist
Mr. Martin's hair stylist
Supv hair stylist
Supv hair stylist
Supv hair stylist
Supv hair stylist, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Prod coord
Voice casting
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst to Ms. Schwartz
Asst to Ms. Schwartz
Asst to Mr. Cort
Asst to Mr. Evans
Asst to Mr. Evans
Asst to Mr. Weisman
Asst to Mr. Weisman
Asst to Ms. Hawn
Asst to Mr. Martin
Asst to Mr. Martin
Asst to Mr. Lawrence
Extras casting
Extras casting, Central/Cenex Casting
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
Loc mgr, 2d unit
Clearances
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the film The Out-of-Towners written by Neil Simon (Jalem Productions, Inc., 1970).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"(Just Like) Starting Over," written & performed by John Lennon, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI Music Special Markets
"Love Train," by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, performed by Louis Price & Mervyn Warren, produced by Mervyn Warren
"Limobland," by Amy Ziff & Alyson Palmer, performed by BETTY, courtesy of The Man From B.E.T.T.Y. Records
+
SONGS
"(Just Like) Starting Over," written & performed by John Lennon, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI Music Special Markets
"Love Train," by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, performed by Louis Price & Mervyn Warren, produced by Mervyn Warren
"Limobland," by Amy Ziff & Alyson Palmer, performed by BETTY, courtesy of The Man From B.E.T.T.Y. Records
"Isn't It Romantic," by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, performed by Josie Aiello & Mervyn Warren, produced and arranged by Mervyn Warren
"That Old Black Magic," by Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, performed by Louis Prima & Keely Smith, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI Music Special Markets
"Bad Girls," by Donna Summer, Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson & Bruce Sudano, performed by Donna Summer, courtesy of Mercury Records, by arrangement with Universal Film & TV Music
"That Old Black Magic," by Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, performed by The John Pizzarelli Trio, produced by John Pizzarelli, The John Pizzarelli Trio performs courtesy of RCA Records
"Aquarius," by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni & James Rado, performed by Ronald Dyson and Company from "Hair," original Broadway recording courtesy of BMG Classics/RCA Victor
"Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)," by Bart Howard.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 April 1999
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 29 Mar 1999; Los Angeles and New York openings: 2 Apr 1999
Production Date:
10 Feb--late May or early Jun 1998; Re-shoots Nov 1998
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
26 April 1999
Copyright Number:
PA932637
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby®; Digital DTS Sound in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
Printed on Eastman Kodak Film
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
36327
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In suburban Ohio, Nancy Clark tries to seduce her husband, Henry, with a romantic, candlelit bedroom scene, but Henry ignores the ambiance and goes to sleep. Soon after, they drop their son, Alan, at the airport, on his way to a study abroad program. Now that her youngest child is leaving home, Nancy frets about her future. Henry reminds her of his upcoming job interview at an advertising agency in New York City, but Nancy doesn’t understand why he would want to leave his longtime position in Ohio. On the other hand, she believes it would be good to see their daughter, Susan, who lives in New York, more often. Henry complains that Susan is not speaking to him, and Nancy blames him for blowing up at her when she threatened to quit medical school. That night, Henry secretly calls a colleague, who urges him to tell Nancy that he has been laid off, but Henry refuses. At the dinner table, Nancy cries because she prepared too much food. She suggests joining Henry on his trip to New York, and he responds that the decision is hers to make. In the morning, Henry loads his luggage into a taxi and rides off while Nancy is still in bed. Later, she surprises him by boarding the airplane, announcing that she had a change of heart. Seated several rows behind him, Nancy shouts at her husband and inconveniences passengers until Henry’s seatmate offers to switch places with her. Henry reveals he is nervous about the job interview the next morning, but Nancy claims he should not be worried since he already has a job. Fog diverts the plane to Boston, Massachusetts, ... +


In suburban Ohio, Nancy Clark tries to seduce her husband, Henry, with a romantic, candlelit bedroom scene, but Henry ignores the ambiance and goes to sleep. Soon after, they drop their son, Alan, at the airport, on his way to a study abroad program. Now that her youngest child is leaving home, Nancy frets about her future. Henry reminds her of his upcoming job interview at an advertising agency in New York City, but Nancy doesn’t understand why he would want to leave his longtime position in Ohio. On the other hand, she believes it would be good to see their daughter, Susan, who lives in New York, more often. Henry complains that Susan is not speaking to him, and Nancy blames him for blowing up at her when she threatened to quit medical school. That night, Henry secretly calls a colleague, who urges him to tell Nancy that he has been laid off, but Henry refuses. At the dinner table, Nancy cries because she prepared too much food. She suggests joining Henry on his trip to New York, and he responds that the decision is hers to make. In the morning, Henry loads his luggage into a taxi and rides off while Nancy is still in bed. Later, she surprises him by boarding the airplane, announcing that she had a change of heart. Seated several rows behind him, Nancy shouts at her husband and inconveniences passengers until Henry’s seatmate offers to switch places with her. Henry reveals he is nervous about the job interview the next morning, but Nancy claims he should not be worried since he already has a job. Fog diverts the plane to Boston, Massachusetts, where Henry and Nancy’s luggage is lost, and they are forced to rent a luxury car after missing the train to New York City. On the drive, Nancy asks if Henry believes they are in a rut. He responds that they may be in ruts individually, but not as a couple, and Nancy seems relieved. As they near Manhattan, they fight over directions. Henry grudgingly agrees to use the car’s navigational system, which works until they hit a pothole and the system’s automated voice switches to a foreign language. Nancy panics and takes a wrong turn. She nearly runs into a truck but crashes into a fish market instead. Boxes of raw fish spill onto the rental car, and, later, the Clarks drop the car off for a $2,200 clean-up job. On the streets, Henry coaches Nancy to walk like a native New Yorker, when a well-dressed thief approaches, convinces the couple he is British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and holds them up at gunpoint. Although Nancy’s purse and Henry’s wallet are stolen, Henry produces a single credit card that he hid in his sock and uses it to check into their lavish accommodations at the Grand Mark Hotel. The manager, Mr. Mersault, greets them warmly, but offers no consolation when the credit card is declined. Henry speaks to the credit card company and discovers that his daughter, Susan, failed to pay the balance after using the card to furnish her apartment. Nancy confesses that she gave Susan the card after she quit medical school to pursue acting. Livid with Nancy for withholding information from him, Henry follows her to Susan’s apartment but refuses to come inside. Nancy discovers that Susan is not home but meets a couple of paranoid neighbors who demand to know how she got into the building. Another neighbor’s Rottweiler gets loose and chases Nancy out of the building. Henry joins his wife as she runs from the dog, and they take refuge inside a church. Starving, they notice a table covered in pastries. However, they are told there is no eating before meetings, so they join the group and discover it is a gathering of sex addicts. Henry refuses to discuss sex, while Nancy announces that she and her husband have not had intercourse in over two months. Henry defends himself by saying he recently lost his job. Nancy is shocked by the news and walks out. On the street, Nancy reminds Henry they were once partners at the advertising agency and claims she could have helped him if she had known about the layoff. She says now is the time for Henry to embrace life instead of embarking on a slow march toward death. Then, she remembers that she packed traveler’s checks in her suitcase, and they return to the Grand Mark Hotel to see if their lost luggage has been delivered. Greeting them with sarcastic disdain, Mr. Mersault says the bags are not there. Nancy goes to the hotel bar and seduces a talent agent named Greg, who agrees to give her the keys to his suite while he goes to a play. Nancy promises she will be waiting for him, then takes Henry to the room and orders room service. Greg returns for his cell phone and sees the room service arriving on his way out. He calls security, and the Clarks escape. Nancy climbs down to the balcony one floor below and spies Mr. Mersault in a hotel room, dancing around in clothes belonging to Mrs. Wellstone, a wealthy female guest. In his attempt to follow Nancy, Henry gets stuck on the hotel sign. She pulls him to safety just as the sign drops, causing the building’s electricity to shut off. Mersault changes back into his clothes and hurries downstairs to address the problem. Outside the hotel, Nancy hails a taxi and reveals that she stole a twenty-dollar bill from the Wellstone’s room on their way out. When they hop inside a cab, the driver orders the Clarks out. They refuse, just as a thief ducks into the passenger seat and the driver hits the gas. The thief points his gun at the Clarks, but Henry slams the man’s hand in the partition and steals the gun. They demand to be let out, and the driver drops them off at Central Park. Still in shock, Nancy tells Henry her life just passed before her eyes and she worried she would never see her children again. Henry is offended she didn’t think of him, and says they must think of each other more because their children no longer need them. He suggests Nancy overcome her fear of no longer being able to “play mommy.” Offended, she accuses Henry of being stubborn and insensitive, and demands a divorce. Nancy stalks off alone, but Henry finds her and they reconcile. In a secluded area of the park, they start to make love, but are interrupted when, at the nearby Tavern on the Green, Mayor Rudy Giuliani announces the dedication of a new monument and switches on a series of outdoor lights, exposing the couple. The Clarks run from police and hide in a shack. They fall asleep and, in the morning, Henry walks outside to urinate. He is arrested for indecent exposure and taken to jail. Later, with no means for bail, Nancy telephones Mr. Mersault and blackmails him with the knowledge that he broke into the Wellstones’ room to play dress-up. Mersault arrives in a limousine, bails Henry out, and offers the Clarks the presidential suite for the remainder of their stay in exchange for a signed confidentiality agreement. In the limousine on the way back to the hotel, Henry acts strangely, and Nancy deduces that he was drugged in jail. She panics, as Henry’s job interview is in less than an hour. After showering and changing at the hotel, they arrive at the Dun & Bradley advertising agency just in time. However, the receptionist informs Henry that his meeting with executive Lisa Tobin was moved one hour earlier, and he missed it. When Henry accepts defeat, Nancy loses patience and leaves without him. He returns to the receptionist and threatens her, and is shown to a conference room, where Lisa Tobin is working on an “I Love New York” campaign pitch. Tobin tells him she has no time, but Henry says her problem is that she is a native New Yorker and can’t see the city the way a tourist does. He describes his past twenty-four hours and ends by saying, “Only in New York,” inadvertently creating a tagline for Tobin’s pitch. Henry returns to the Grand Mark and tells Nancy that he got the job and wants to hire her as part of his creative team. They embrace and inform Mr. Mersault they will be staying, just as a taxi drives off with their recently recovered luggage. Sometime later, Henry and Nancy are joined by Mr. Mersault, dressed in drag, as they applaud their daughter Susan in her latest play. +

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