Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

PG-13 | 95 mins | Comedy-drama, Romance | 1987

Director:

Howard Deutch

Writer:

John Hughes

Producer:

John Hughes

Cinematographer:

Jan Kiesser

Production Designer:

Josan Russo
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HISTORY

       Some Kind of Wonderful is John Hughes’s sixth and the last teen film made as either a director or a producer. According to 1 Aug 1986 DV and 6 Aug 1986 Var news items, Martha Coolidge was set to direct the film, but quit after approximately eight weeks, just before production began, because of “creative differences.” A 29 Sep 1986 news item from People reports that although Howard Deutch was the original director of the picture, and replaced by Coolidge, he rejoined the project when she left. Some Kind of Wonderful was Hughes and Deutch’s second collaboration after Pretty in Pink (1986, see entry). Executive producer Michael Chinich worked with Hughes previously on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986, see entry) and Pretty in Pink (1986, see entry).
       There are various discrepancies between character names used in the credits, the original script and the final production of the film. Actor Elias Koteas is credited with the character name “Skinhead” in both the onscreen end credits and in the script, but his character is referred to as “Duncan” on several occasions within the film. Actress Lee Garlington’s character is listed in the end credits as “Gym Instructor,” but is referred to in the narrative of the film as “Mrs. Albright,” and actor Kenneth Kimmins’s character appears in the end credits as “Detention Teacher” while he is called “Mr. Sauner” in the film and simply “Teacher” in the script. According to the script, the school counselor was written as a male role, “Mr. Gale,” but, in ... More Less

       Some Kind of Wonderful is John Hughes’s sixth and the last teen film made as either a director or a producer. According to 1 Aug 1986 DV and 6 Aug 1986 Var news items, Martha Coolidge was set to direct the film, but quit after approximately eight weeks, just before production began, because of “creative differences.” A 29 Sep 1986 news item from People reports that although Howard Deutch was the original director of the picture, and replaced by Coolidge, he rejoined the project when she left. Some Kind of Wonderful was Hughes and Deutch’s second collaboration after Pretty in Pink (1986, see entry). Executive producer Michael Chinich worked with Hughes previously on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986, see entry) and Pretty in Pink (1986, see entry).
       There are various discrepancies between character names used in the credits, the original script and the final production of the film. Actor Elias Koteas is credited with the character name “Skinhead” in both the onscreen end credits and in the script, but his character is referred to as “Duncan” on several occasions within the film. Actress Lee Garlington’s character is listed in the end credits as “Gym Instructor,” but is referred to in the narrative of the film as “Mrs. Albright,” and actor Kenneth Kimmins’s character appears in the end credits as “Detention Teacher” while he is called “Mr. Sauner” in the film and simply “Teacher” in the script. According to the script, the school counselor was written as a male role, “Mr. Gale,” but, in the film, the part is female, with the name “Mrs. Gale.” Mary Stuart Masterson’s character is listed in the end credits and referred to in the narrative of the film as “Watts.” In the original script, however, the character is called “Drummer Girl.” In the last scene of the script, but not in the film, Keith also calls her “Susan.” The blond girl, with whom Hardy double-crosses Amanda, appears as “Mia” both in the script and in the end credits, but her name is never mentioned in the film.
       According to a 29 Sep 1986 news item in People , Coolidge had selected Kim Delaney for the role of Amanda Jones and Kyle MacLachlan for the part of Hardy Jenns while she was director. When Deutch stepped in, Delaney was replaced by Lea Thompson and MacLachlan was replaced by Craig Sheffer. Some Kind of Wonderful was the third film in which Thompson and Eric Stoltz played a romantically involved couple after The Wild Life (1984, see entry) and Back to the Future (1985, see entry) as, according to Magill’s Cinema Annual 1988 , Stoltz was replaced by Michael J. Fox in the middle of the production of Back to the Future . A 20 Aug 1986 DV news item reports that Chynna Phillips was cast to make her debut performance in Some Kind of Wonderful as “Mia.” Various reviews, including those on 27 Feb 1987 in NYT and on 20 Feb 1987 in HR , note skillful performances by Masterson, Koteas, and Maddie Corman, who plays “Laura.” According to the interviews with the filmmakers and the cast of Some Kind of Wonderful in the DVD’s special features, Lea Thompson first declined the role of Amanda, but after many members of the cast were replaced, Eric Stoltz suggested Thompson again and begged her to accept. In official production notes from AMPAS library files, Chinich mentions that Thompson was previously friendly with Deutch, who had long wanted to work with her, and because of this connection and her past experiences, she was chosen for the part of Amanda. Thompson also reveals in the production notes that Deutch allowed actors to contribute ideas about expanding their characters, and he followed Thompson’s advice about improving the depiction of Amanda’s “inner beauty.” Deutch and Thompson were married in 1989.
       According to production notes and HR production charts from 19 Aug 1986, shooting began on 11 Aug 1986 in the Los Angeles area. All of the school scenes at school were shot at San Pedro High School. Other locations include the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Paramount Studios.
       The end of the film production differs from the original script. The script’s ending does not include the Skinhead’s assistance in helping Keith defeat Hardy. Instead, students gradually leave the party in protest of Hardy’s actions and Amanda, Hardy, and Keith remain alone in the house. In the final scene of the script, Drummer Girl tells Keith that he should return the diamond earrings to the store the next morning so that he can go to art school, and he says that he will take one earring back and change the other into a ring for her.
       According to the 27 Feb 1987 NYT review, Some Kind of Wonderful opened that day at the Orpheum and other movie theaters nationwide.
       In 1988, Lea Thompson won an award from the Young Artist Awards in the category “Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama.”
       A novelized version of Some Kind of Wonderful was written by David Bischoff, and published in 1987, by Dell and Random House Children's Books in the United States and by Bantam Books internationally.



The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Olga Klimova, a student at University of Pittsburgh, with Lucy Fischer as academic advisor.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1986.
---
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1986.
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1987
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 1987
p. 3, 44.
Los Angeles Times
27 Feb 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
27 Feb 1987
p. 17.
Newsweek
16 Mar 1987.
---
People
29 Sep 1986.
---
Variety
6 Aug 1986.
---
Variety
25 Feb 1987
p. 277.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A John Hughes production
A Howard Deutch film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Still photog
Cam op
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Chief rigging elec
1st company grip
2d company grip
Elec lighting tech
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Illustrator
Portrait
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Assoc ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Lead person
Const supv
Const foreperson
Propmaker foreperson
Prod painter
Greensperson
COSTUMES
Asst to cost des
Women's cost supv
Men's cost supv
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
Mus supv
Mus coord
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
ADR supv
Foley supv
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Title des
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Hairstylist
Addl hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
New York casting assoc
Extra casting
Extra casting
Casting asst
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Pub coord
Tech consultant
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Filmic consultant
Post prod supv
Prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to John Hughes
Prod auditor
Asst prod auditor
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Drumming instructor
DGA trainee
Caterer
"Superb Catering"
First aid
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Do Anything," written & performed by Pete Shelley, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of Phonogram Ltd.
"Abuse," written by Ralf Dorper, Michael Mertens & Andreas Thein, performed by Propaganda, produced by S. J. Lipson, courtesy of Island Records Ltd.
"Turn to the Sky," written by Loz Elliott, Tom Ashton & Cleo Murray, performed by The March Violets, produced by Andy Hill & Mark Dodson, courtesy of London Records Ltd.
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SONGS
"Do Anything," written & performed by Pete Shelley, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of Phonogram Ltd.
"Abuse," written by Ralf Dorper, Michael Mertens & Andreas Thein, performed by Propaganda, produced by S. J. Lipson, courtesy of Island Records Ltd.
"Turn to the Sky," written by Loz Elliott, Tom Ashton & Cleo Murray, performed by The March Violets, produced by Andy Hill & Mark Dodson, courtesy of London Records Ltd.
"Brilliant Mind," written by James Irvin, Tim Whelan, Hamilton Lee & Sally Still, performed by Furniture, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of Stiff Records
"Cry Like This," written by David Joyner, Tony Cook & Stephen Hague, performed by Blue Room, produced by Stephen Hague
"I Go Crazy," written by James Mitchell, Kevin Mills, Nick Marsh & Rocco Barker, performed by Flesh for Lulu, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records
"She Loves Me," written & performed by Stephen Duffy, produced by Stephen Hague
"Miss Amanda Jones," written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, published by Abkco Music, Inc., performed by The March Violets, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of London Records Ltd.
"The Hardest Walk," written by James Reid & William Reid, performed by The Jesus and Mary Chain, produced by Stephen Hague, courtesy of Blanco Y Negro/WEA Records Ltd.
"The Shyest Time," written by Peter Milton Walsh, performed by The Apartments, produced by Stephen Hague, from an original recording, produced by Peter O'Doherty
"Miss Amanda Jones," written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, performed by The Rolling Stones, produced by Andrew Loog Oldman, courtesy of Abkco Music & Records, Inc.
"Can't Help Falling in Love," written by Luigi Creatore, Hugo Peretti & George Weiss, performed by Lick the Tins, produced by Stephen Hague, from an original recording produced by Pat Collier, courtesy of Sedition Records
"Beat's So Lonely," written by Charlie Sexton & Keith Forsey, performed by Charlie Sexton, produced by Keith Forsey, courtesy of MCA Records
"Catch My Fall," written & performed by Billy Idol, produced by Keith Forsey, courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
"Turn to the Sky," written by Loz Elliott, Tom Ashton & Cleo Murray, performed by The March Violets, produced by Stephen Hague, from an original recording produced by Andy Hill & Mark Dodson, courtesy of London Records Ltd.
"Pretty in Pink," written by Roger Morris, John Ashton, Duncan Kilburn, Vince Ely, Richard Butler & Tim Butler, performed by The Psychedelic Furs, produced by The Psychedelic Furs & Charles Harrowell, courtesy of CBS Records, a division of CBS United Kingdom Limited.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 February 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
26 March 1987
Copyright Number:
PA327332
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor®
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28286
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As eighteen year-old, high school student Keith Nelson returns home from work at an auto repair gas station, he stops the home of classmate Amada Jones, whom he desires from afar. He observes her bid farewell to her wealthy boyfriend, Hardy Jenns, who leaves after a romantic tryst in his black Corvette convertible. At home, Keith encounters his father, Cliff, who is reviewing college handbooks and encourages his son to be the first in the family with a university degree. Retreating to his room, Keith finds his sister, Laura. As he forces her to leave, she threatens to get him in trouble. Later, at the dinner table, Laura contends that Keith has bruised her arm, complains that he is the weirdest guy at school, and reprimands her parents for paying attention only to him. In the morning, Keith’s best friend, Watts, drives him to school in her old Mini Cooper. Observing that Watts is carrying only drumsticks and has no schoolbooks, Keith asks why she doesn’t study. She responds by asking if Cliff is still pressuring him about college, but reflects that it is better to have a father who cares too much than to not have one at all. As they walk into school, Duncan, a skinhead, blocks them with his leg and calls Watts a lesbian. When Keith and Duncan start to fight, a teacher breaks them up and Watts labels Duncan a wimp. Later, at the library, Keith draws a portrait of Amanda inside his textbook as he watches her flirt with Hardy. When the couple notices him, they kiss and Keith leaves in ... +


As eighteen year-old, high school student Keith Nelson returns home from work at an auto repair gas station, he stops the home of classmate Amada Jones, whom he desires from afar. He observes her bid farewell to her wealthy boyfriend, Hardy Jenns, who leaves after a romantic tryst in his black Corvette convertible. At home, Keith encounters his father, Cliff, who is reviewing college handbooks and encourages his son to be the first in the family with a university degree. Retreating to his room, Keith finds his sister, Laura. As he forces her to leave, she threatens to get him in trouble. Later, at the dinner table, Laura contends that Keith has bruised her arm, complains that he is the weirdest guy at school, and reprimands her parents for paying attention only to him. In the morning, Keith’s best friend, Watts, drives him to school in her old Mini Cooper. Observing that Watts is carrying only drumsticks and has no schoolbooks, Keith asks why she doesn’t study. She responds by asking if Cliff is still pressuring him about college, but reflects that it is better to have a father who cares too much than to not have one at all. As they walk into school, Duncan, a skinhead, blocks them with his leg and calls Watts a lesbian. When Keith and Duncan start to fight, a teacher breaks them up and Watts labels Duncan a wimp. Later, at the library, Keith draws a portrait of Amanda inside his textbook as he watches her flirt with Hardy. When the couple notices him, they kiss and Keith leaves in frustration. In the hallway, Watts warns Keith that his father is on campus. During his meeting with the school college counselor, Cliff learns that Keith is interested in art school, but insists that Keith must major in business and only pursue creativity in his spare time. As Keith works on a painting, he notices Hardy flirting with a blond girl. When Amanda also spots the couple, Hardy tells her that the girl is the distressed friend of his younger sister, asks her to trust him, and gives her a ring. Recovering from her anguish, Amanda realizes that Keith is again watching her. At the auto repair shop after school, Keith asks Watts what she thinks of Amanda and she expresses disapproval of Keith’s infatuation, warning him that Amanda is only interested in rich guys. Hardy and Amanda then pull into the gas station, and Hardy cautions Keith to stop watching Amanda. The next day, however, Keith again looks on when Hardy drops Amanda off at the high school track and sees the gym teacher give her detention for leaving campus. Keith proceeds to set off the fire alarm so he can also get detention and spend time with Amanda. However, Amanda avoids detention by flirting with the teacher, and Keith is stuck with other school outcasts, including Duncan. Despite past conflicts, Keith and Duncan compare artwork and become friends. When Keith and Watts later discuss the depth of Keith’s feelings for Amanda, he accuses Watts of not being able to understand because she has not been in love. She strongly disagrees, but is unwilling to reveal the source of her affection. In the girls’ locker room, Watts, dressed in men’s boxer shorts and a t-shirt, enviously notices Amanda’s feminine physique. In the evening, when Amanda is at the mall with her girl friend, Shayne, she again finds Hardy flirting with the blond girl and breaks up with him. Keith, who witnesses the scene, interrupts their argument and invites Amanda on a date. As Watts watches sadly, Amanda accepts and makes a point of letting Hardy know. At breakfast the next morning, Keith can’t stop smiling and Laura explains to the family that Keith has become a school hero for successfully asking Amanda out. Watts tries to make Keith jealous by pretending to be in a relationship with a male student but Keith is oblivious to her crush on him and asks to borrow her car so he can give Amanda a ride home. Meanwhile, Shayne urges Amanda to resume her relationship with Hardy and reject Keith’s advances. When Watts’ Mini does not start, Amanda invites him to ride with her in Shayne’s car as Hardy watches from his Corvette. Keith compliments Amanda’s diamond earrings, and she tells him that they are borrowed from Shayne. The next morning in the school art studio, Hardy tells Keith that he was looking for a way out of his relationship with Amanda and, in a feigned gesture of gratitude, invites them both to attend to his party on their date. Later, at a nightclub, Watts confronts Keith, who waits for Amanda. She suggests that they break off their friendship because it is too painful for her to be around him. The next day at school, Hardy follows Amanda into the girls’ locker room, tells her he loves her and insists on getting back together. She accuses him of inviting Keith to his party so that he can beat him up, and Hardy tells Amanda that her reputation is at stake if she continues to defend Keith. When Hardy is thrown out of the locker room by the gym teacher Amanda tosses his ring after him. Later, in the mall, Laura brags to her friends that Keith’s new relationship with Amanda has also made her a member of the popular crowd. When Laura’s friend challenges her to prove this assertion by going over to Hardy and his friends, Laura overhears Hardy’s plans to abuse Keith when he shows up at the party. Laura tells Keith about the conversation and warns him that Amanda is part of the scheme. Keith goes to see Watts and admits that she was right about Amanda’s insincerity, but says that he is going to go through with the date anyway because he wants to stand up to Hardy. In the meantime, Amanda’s rich girl friends ignore her. Keith brings Watts to a jewelry store to help him select a gift for Amanda and she chooses diamonds earrings that resemble those Amanda borrowed from Shayne. Keith pays for the diamonds with money he saved for college. At the auto repair shop, Watts suggests that she and Keith rehearse for his date. She asks him to pretend that she is Amanda and she kisses him passionately. Meanwhile, Cliff is furious that Keith’s college money is missing from the bank. Keith argues that he does not want to go to college and explains that his use of the funds has a greater meaning because it will enable him to prove his worth in a school that has deemed him an insignificant outcast and asks for Cliff’s faith. Cliff acquiesces, but vows not to give up encouraging Keith to pursue higher education. That evening, Keith picks up Amanda in a vintage Rolls Royce with Watts serving as a chauffeur. He takes her to a fancy restaurant and orders champagne and caviar, but she expresses irritation that he is giving her a hard time about hanging out with rich kids. They conclude their meal with cheeseburgers and begin to enjoy each other’s company, then visit an art museum after hours with the help of Duncan’s father, who is the security guard. Keith guides Amanda to her portrait, which he painted himself. Afterwards, Keith and Amanda sit on the stage of the empty Hollywood Bowl, and Keith accuses Amanda of using him. Amanda, however, calls him a hypocrite for using her status and beauty to prove his worth to the rich guys. He agrees to call it even and gives her the earrings, explaining that they represent his future and his life savings. Watts watches from the bleachers as Amanda cries, feeling ashamed for exchanging her true values for those of her materialistic friends, and kisses Keith. At the party, Hardy welcomes Amanda and Keith by asking if they have had sex and says that Keith will be getting Amanda “used.” When Keith pushes Hardy against the wall, Hardy tells his friends to take Keith outside and beat him up, but Keith challenges him to do it himself. Just as Amanda pleads with Hardy to let Keith go, Duncan shows up with the crew of outcasts from detention and threatens Hardy. When Hardy backs down in fear, Keith tells him that his reign of power has ended, and Amanda slaps Hardy. As they leave the party, Keith sees Watts outside waiting for him and recalls their kiss, finally realizing that he has feelings for her, too. Watts leaves Keith and Amanda by the car, but Amanda says that she wants to stand on her own and returns the earrings to Keith with the suggestion that he give them to Watts, instead. Keith runs after Watts, kisses her, and gives her the earrings. He apologizes for not having known about her feelings before and says she looks good “wearing my future” as they walk down the street with their arms around each other.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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