Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Produced by||David Brown
|Screenplay by||Tom Benedek|
by David Saperstein
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Daniel P. Hanley
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||117 minutes|
Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens. The movie stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Herta Ware, Tahnee Welch, and Linda Harrison. The film is loosely based on the novel by David Saperstein.
The movie was filmed in and around St. Petersburg, Florida: locations included the St Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, Sunny Shores Rest Home, The Coliseum, and Snell Arcade buildings. The film earned two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Don Ameche) and for Best Visual Effects.
About 10,000 years ago a group of peaceful alien lifeforms from the planet Antarea formed an outpost on the planet Earth, on an island known to mankind as the mythical civilization of Atlantis; according to legend, Atlantis sank as the result of an earthquake. Twenty members of the group remained behind in cocoons, to ensure that the rest had sufficient lifeforce to return to their home planet. Eventually a group of four Antareans returns to pick them up. After disguising themselves as humans they rent a house with a swimming pool, which they charge with lifeforce, to give the cocooned Antareans enough energy to survive the trip home. They then charter a boat from a local captain named Jack (Steve Guttenberg), who unknowingly takes them to the location of Atlantis to retrieve the cocoons.
Ben (Wilford Brimley), Arthur (Don Ameche) and Joe (Hume Cronyn), three local residents from a retirement home, go to swim in the pool secretly and take in some of the life force, which causes them to feel younger, stronger, and happier again. They are caught, but are eventually given permission to use the pool by the Antarean leader, Walter (Brian Dennehy). Bernie (Jack Gilford), one of the other elderly people from the home well known for his extreme pessimism and who also knows of the nature of the aliens, obstinately refuses to use the healing power that he and his dying spouse need, believing it to be unnatural to extend or interfere with human life in this manner. One night during dinner at the retirement home, he carelessly reveals the secret of the pool's rejuvenating power during a loud confrontation with his "pool" friends. Angry, Joe tries to attack Bernie, but two orderlies intervene; although weakened by cancer before his dip in the pool, Joe is easily able to fight them off. His display of strength and youth encourages the other elderly residents to rush off, break into the Antareans' property, and barge into the pool. Infuriated, Walter ejects the retirement-home residents, but as too many have been in the pool simultaneously its life force has been drained.
Bernie's wife dies that night and he takes her to the pool, tenderly splashing water over her face in an attempt to revive her, but Walter explains that the power of the pool is gone and that there is nothing he can do to bring Bernie's wife back to life. Walter then explains to the others that none of the cocoons can now survive the trip back to Antarea, but will be able to survive on Earth. With the help of Ben, Arthur and Joe, the Antareans return the cocoons to the ruins of Atlantis, planning to attempt a second rescue in another 10,000 years time. Unable to take the cocoons with them to their home planet, the Antareans offer the space aboard their ship to the old people. Bernie chooses to live out his natural life on Earth, but most of the others accept the invitation to travel to a world where they will never be ill, never age, and never die.
- Don Ameche as Arthur 'Art' Selwyn
- Wilford Brimley as Ben Luckett
- Hume Cronyn as Joe Finley
- Brian Dennehy as Walter, the Head of the Anterean crew
- Jack Gilford as Bernie Lefkowitz
- Herta Ware as Rose Lefkowitz
- Steve Guttenberg as Jack Bonner, owner of the boat that recovers the cocoons
- Maureen Stapleton as Mary Luckett
- Jessica Tandy as Alma Finley
- Gwen Verdon as Bess McCarthy
- Tahnee Welch as Kitty, an Anterean crew member
- Barret Oliver as David
- Linda Harrison as Susan
- Tyrone Power Jr. as Pillsbury, an Anterean crew member
- Clint Howard as John Dexter
- Jim Fitzpatrick as Tony
- Charles Lampkin as Pops
- Jorge Gil as Lou Pine
- Rance Howard as St. Petersburg Detective
- James Ritz as DMV Clerk
|Film score by James Horner|
The score for Cocoon was composed and conducted by James Horner. The soundtrack was released twice, through Polydor Records in 1985 and a reprint through P.E.G. in 1997 and features eleven tracks of score and a vocal track performed by Michael Sembello. Despite the reprint, it is still considered a rarity among soundtrack collectors.
- "Through the Window" (2:54)
- "The Lovemaking" (4:21)
- "The Chase" (4:27)
- "Rose's Death" (2:10)
- "The Boys are Out" (2:35)
- "Returning to Sea" (4:13)
- "Gravity" (4:52) - written and performed by Michael Sembello
- "Discovered in the Poolhouse" (2:45)
- "First Tears" (1:49)
- "Sad Goodbyes" (2:22)
- "The Ascension" (5:55)
- "Theme from Cocoon" (6:03)
James Horner would return in 1988 to compose the score for Cocoon: The Return.
Howard directed the music video for "Gravity," and also has a cameo appearance as himself, investigating Michael Sembello's "disappearance." "Gravity" was Howard's first, and to date, only music video.
- Saturn Award for Best Director, Ron Howard - WON
- Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film - Nominated
- Saturn Award for Best Actor, Hume Cronyn - Nominated
- Saturn Award for Best Actress, Jessica Tandy - Nominated
- Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, Gwen Verdon - Nominated
- Saturn Award for Best Writing, Tom Benedek - Nominated
- Saturn Award for Best Music, James Horner - Nominated
American Film Institute Lists
- "Perry Moore, 'Narnia' series executive producer, dies at 39; Don Peterman, Oscar-nominated cinematographer, dies at 79; Nancy Carr, network TV publicist, dies at 50". Los Angeles Times. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- "Cocoon' Is 50th Film For Gentleman Star". The Morning Call. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Cocoon (1985)". Box Office Mojo. 1985-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
- "Hot Howard Actor-turned-director Makes Another Splash With `Cocoon`". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Friendly, David T. (1985-06-12). "Back In Splash Of Things With Cocoon". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Broeske, Pat H. (1988-11-27). "Cocoon & Its Sequels". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Jicha, Tom (2012-01-20). "Beverly McDermott, top casting director and Hollywood resident, dies". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
- "Filmtracks". Filmtracks. 1997-09-10. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
- Cocoon soundtrack review at Filmtracks.com
- "Cocoon' A Good-time, Summertime Movie Movie Review". The Morning Call. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Maslin, Janet (1985-06-21). "Screen: 'cocoon' opens". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Cocoon". Variety. 1984-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Cocoon". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- Heise, Kenan (1993-12-08). "Oscar-winning Actor Don Ameche, 85". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Flint, Peter B. (1993-12-08). "Don Ameche Is Dead at 85; Oscar Winner for 'Cocoon'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot