Hook (film)

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Hook
Hook poster transparent.png
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
Kathleen Kennedy
Gerald R. Molen
Screenplay by James V. Hart
Malia Scotch Marmo
Story by James V. Hart
Nick Castle
Based on Characters created 
by J. M. Barrie
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Robin Williams
Julia Roberts
Bob Hoskins
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Michael Kahn
Production
  company
Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 11, 1991 (1991-12-11)
Running time 144 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[1]
Box office $300,854,823

Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo. It stars Robin Williams as Peter Pan/Peter Banning, Dustin Hoffman as the titular character of Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell, Bob Hoskins as Smee, Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy, Caroline Goodall as Moira Banning, and Charlie Korsmo as Jack Banning. The film acts as a sequel to J. M. Barrie's 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, focusing on a grown-up Peter Pan who has forgotten his childhood. Now known as Peter Banning he is a successful corporate lawyer with a wife and two children. Hook kidnaps his children, and Peter must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.

Spielberg began developing the film in the early 1980s with Walt Disney Productions and Paramount Pictures, which would have followed the storyline seen in the 1924 silent film and 1953 animated film. Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985, but Spielberg abandoned the project. James V. Hart developed the script with director Nick Castle and TriStar Pictures before Spielberg decided to direct in 1989. Hook was shot almost entirely on sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. The film received mostly negative reviews by critics, and while it was a commercial success, its box office intake was lower than expected. However, it was nominated for five Oscars at the 64th Academy Awards. It also spawned merchandise, including video games, action figures and comic book adaptations.

Plot[edit]

Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a successful corporate lawyer whose relationship with his family, especially his two young children Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott), is strained by continuous absences and broken promises. His wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) struggles to keep them together and grows frustrated with Peter for his callous behavior. Peter does not attend one of Jack's baseball games, which frustrates Jack. The family flies to London to visit Moira's grandmother, Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith), who helped Peter find a family when he was a young orphan. Upon arrival, they meet an elderly gentleman who has "lost his marbles", Tootles (Arthur Malet), Wendy's first orphan. After Peter yells at the kids when they are trying to have fun with him, Moira angrily reprimands Peter and warns him that he is driving the kids away.

Peter, Moira, and Wendy attend a ceremony for the expansion of Wendy's orphanage. While they are out, his children are kidnapped, with a dagger bearing a note signed by "Captain Hook" flung into their bedroom door. Wendy tells Peter that he is in fact Peter Pan and that his old enemy has returned and taken his children for revenge, but he fails to remember anything. Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) appears that night, knocks Peter unconscious and flies him to a pirate port in Neverland. There, he awakens in disbelief, and is discovered by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and his second in command, Smee (Bob Hoskins), who threaten the children unless he accepts Hook's challenge to a duel. Tinker Bell intervenes and is granted three days in which to prepare him for it. The Lost Boys, now led by Peter's successor, Rufio (Dante Basco), at first dismiss him as an old man who has no hope of regaining his former glory, but he begins to learn the magic of Neverland.

Meanwhile, Hook tries to turn Peter's own children against him in the hopes they will stay in Neverland permanently. Maggie immediately distrusts Hook and he realizes that she still believes in Peter in spite of his broken promises and continues to hold her hostage. However, Hook uses Jack's frustration over his father's continuous broken promises to steal his affection, and gains his trust during a baseball game he organizes for Jack with the other pirates. Peter is heartbroken when he sees Hook treating Jack like a son, and becomes determined to win his family back. Peter recalls his own childhood leading up to his friendship with Wendy, how he often visited her and took trips to Neverland until one day Wendy says she can no longer go to Neverland due to her responsibilities of taking care of her family. Peter is disappointed, but sees Wendy's granddaughter and eventually marries her. Peter finally realizes what his happy thought is: becoming a father.

Peter regains the leadership of the Lost Boys and they challenge Hook and his pirates in an all-out battle. When he learns that Hook has turned Jack against him, Peter must win back his son's trust in him. He rescues Maggie from the other pirates and promises that he'll be more attentive as a father. Meanwhile, Hook and Rufio valiantly fight in a sword fight and Hook stabs Rufio, killing him. Before dying, Rufio tells Peter he wishes that he had a father like him in his life. Watching Rufio die breaks Jack's heart and seeing how much Peter cared for the Lost Boy allows him to regain his trust in his father. Peter and Hook engage in a climactic sword fight. Hook then fakes surrender and then surprises Peter, nearly killing him, but fails when Tinker Bell intervenes. Hook is then killed when the crocodile, now a massive clock tower, falls on him.

Peter is now set to return to London with Jack and Maggie, but first designates the largest member of the Lost Boys, Thud Butt, as leader of the Lost Boys in his absence. Peter also tells all the Lost Boys to take care of everybody smaller than him, and promises them all he will never forget them again. Upon returning home, Peter finally realizes the love he has for his family and the importance of having a youthful heart. Tootles, a former Lost Boy, is dismayed at missing the adventure, but discovers pixie dust in his bag of lost marbles and uses it to go flying around London and back to Neverland. Wendy remarks to Peter that his adventures are now over, but Peter says to live would be an awfully big adventure.

Cast[edit]

  • Robin Williams as Peter Banning/Peter Pan: A successful corporate lawyer who must reclaim his youthful spirit as Peter Pan in order to challenge Hook and reclaim his children.
    • Ryan Francis as young Peter Pan in flashbacks, and Max Hoffman as infant Peter.
  • Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook: A villainous pirate who has had a long rivalry with Peter Pan. After escaping from his death, Hook seeks revenge against Peter by kidnapping his two children. He does not harm the children, instead using indoctrination to make the children prefer him to their parents.
  • Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell: A fairy who helps Peter regain memory of his childhood and "happy thoughts".
  • Bob Hoskins as Smee: Hook's henchman who devises the plan to persuade Peter's children to "love" Hook. Hoskins also plays a rubbish sweeper in Kensington Gardens whose resemblance to Smee is noticed by Peter in the film's final scenes.
  • Maggie Smith as Wendy Darling: A former neighbor of J. M. Barrie, who was credited as the author of Peter Pan. After Wendy's adventures with Peter Pan, she becomes well known for helping orphans.
  • Charlie Korsmo as Jack Banning: Peter and Moira's preteen son who begins to rebel against his neglectful father and looks towards Hook as a father figure. Witnessing Hook's defeat of Rufio turns Jack against him when he realizes how much Peter cares for the Lost Boys.
  • Amber Scott as Maggie Banning: Peter and Moira's sweet and imaginative daughter, who is enamoured with the stories of Peter Pan. She mistrusts Hook and still retains faith in her father despite his broken promises.
  • Caroline Goodall as Moira Banning: Wendy's granddaughter, Peter's loving wife, mother to Jack and Maggie.
  • Dante Basco as Rufio: Leader of the Lost Boys since Peter's departure from Neverland. He initially refuses to believe Peter Banning is his old friend, Peter Pan, but later accepts him as his leader and goes as far as to admit that he loved Peter like a father. He later dies fighting Hook.
  • Arthur Malet as Tootles: A senile old man living with Wendy. A former Lost Boy, Tootles is also Wendy's "first orphan".
  • Jeff Kroeger, Jasen Fisher and James Madio portray Lost Boys. Kelly Rowan makes a cameo appearance as Peter Pan's mother and pop star Phil Collins appears briefly as an English police inspector. More cameos include singers David Crosby and Jimmy Buffett as members of Hook's pirate crew, Nick Tate as a pirate who fights Peter Pan while taking away Maggie, and Glenn Close similarly appears as a male pirate who is punished by Hook. Filmmaker George Lucas and actress Carrie Fisher appear as the couple accidentally sprinkled with fairy dust as Tinker Bell brings Peter to Neverland.
  • Raushan Hammond as Thud Butt, the largest of the Lost Boys and made Rufio's successor by Peter.

Production[edit]

J. M. Barrie considered writing a story in which Peter Pan grew up; his 1920 notes for the latest stage revival of Peter Pan included possible titles for another play: The Man Who Couldn't Grow Up or The Old Age of Peter Pan.[2] The genesis of Hook started when director Steven Spielberg's mother often read him Peter and Wendy as a bedtime story. Spielberg explained in 1985, "When I was eleven years old I actually directed the story during a school production. I have always felt like Peter Pan. I still feel like Peter Pan. It has been very hard for me to grow up, I'm a victim of the Peter Pan syndrome."[3]

In the early 1980s, with Walt Disney Pictures, Spielberg began to develop the film which would have closely followed the storyline of the 1924 silent film and 1953 animated film.[4] He also considered directing Peter Pan as a musical with Michael Jackson in the lead.[5] Jackson expressed interest in the part, but was not interested in Spielberg's vision of an adult Peter Pan who had forgotten about his past.[6] The project was taken to Paramount Pictures, where James V. Hart wrote the first script with Dustin Hoffman already cast as Captain Hook.[5] Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985 for filming to begin at sound stages in England. Elliot Scott had been hired as production designer.[4] With the birth of his first son, Max, in 1985, Spielberg decided to drop out. "I decided not to make Peter Pan when I had my first child," Spielberg commented. "I didn't want to go to London and have seven kids on wires in front of blue screens. I wanted to be home as a dad."[5] Around this time, Spielberg considered directing Big, which carried similar motifs and themes with Peter Pan.[5] In 1987, Spielberg "permanently abandoned" Peter Pan, feeling he expressed his childhood and adult themes in Empire of the Sun.[7]

Meanwhile, Paramount and Hart moved forward on production with Nick Castle as director. Hart began to work on a new storyline when his son, Jake, showed his family a drawing. "We asked Jake what it was and he said it was a crocodile eating Captain Hook, but that the crocodile really didn't eat him, he got away," Hart reflected. "As it happens, I had been trying to crack Peter Pan for years, but I didn't just want to do a remake. So I went, 'Wow. Hook is not dead. The crocodile is. We've all been fooled'. In 1986 our family was having dinner and Jake said, 'Daddy, did Peter Pan ever grow up?' My immediate response was, 'No, of course not'. And Jake said, 'But what if he did?' I realized that Peter did grow up, just like all of us baby boomers who are now in our forties. I patterned him after several of my friends on Wall Street, where the pirates wear three-piece suits and ride in limos."[8]

By 1989, Ian Rathbone changed the title of Peter Pan to Hook, and took it from Paramount to TriStar Pictures, headed by Mike Medavoy, who was Spielberg's first talent agent. Robin Williams signed on, but Williams and Hoffman had creative differences with Castle. Medavoy saw Hook as a vehicle for Spielberg and Castle was dismissed, but paid a $500,000 settlement.[8] Dodi Fayed, who owned certain rights to make a Peter Pan film, sold his interest to TriStar in exchange for an executive producer credit.[9] Spielberg briefly worked together with Hart to rewrite the script[4] before hiring Malia Scotch Marmo to rewrite Captain Hook's dialog and Carrie Fisher for Tinker Bell's dialog. The Writers Guild of America gave Hart and Marmo screenplay credit, while Hart and Castle were credited with story. Fisher went uncredited. Filming began on February 19, 1991, occupying nine sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.[1] Stage 30 housed the Neverland Lost Boys playground, while Stage 10 supplied Captain Hook's ship cabin. Hidden hydraulics were installed to rock the setpiece to simulate a swaying ship, but the filmmakers found the movement distracted the dialogue, so the idea was dropped.[10]

Stage 27 housed the full-sized pirate ship Jolly Roger and the surrounding Pirate Wharf.[10] Industrial Light & Magic provided the visual effects sequences, this would also prove the introduction of Tony Swatton's career as he would be asked to make weaponry for the film. Hook was financed by Amblin Entertainment and TriStar Pictures, with TriStar distributing the film. Impressed with his work on Cats, Spielberg brought John Napier as a "visual consultant". The original production budget was set at $48 million, but ended up between $60–80 million.[1][11] This was also largely contributed by the shooting schedule, which ran 40 days over its original 76 day schedule. Spielberg explained, "It was all my fault. I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do."[11] He also found it difficult to work with Julia Roberts, who was suffering from a mental disorder after her breakup with Dylan McDermott.[4]

Themes[edit]

Spielberg found close personal connection to the film. The troubled relationship between Peter and his son echoed Spielberg's relationship with his father. Previous films of Spielberg that explored a diminishing father-son relationship included E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Peter Banning's "quest for success" paralleled Spielberg starting out as a film director and transforming into a Hollywood business magnate. This led to Spielberg's divorce from Amy Irving, which would possibly lead to Banning's relationship with his family.[12] "I think a lot of people today are losing their imagination because they are work-driven. They are so self-involved with work and success and arriving at the next plateau that children and family almost become incidental. I have even experienced it myself when I have been on a very tough shoot and I've not seen my kids except on weekends. They ask for my time and I can't give it to them because I'm working."[4] Similar to Peter Banning at the beginning of Hook, Spielberg also has a fear of flying. He feels that Peter Pan's "enduring quality" in the storyline is simply to fly. "Anytime anything flies, whether it's Superman, Batman, or E.T., it's got to be a tip of the hat to Peter Pan," Spielberg reflected. "Peter Pan was the first time I saw anybody fly. Before I saw Superman, before I saw Batman, and of course before I saw any superheroes, my first memory of anybody flying is in Peter Pan."[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

Hook: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by John Williams
Released November 26, 1991 (1991-11-26) (original)
March 27, 2012 (2012-03-27) (reissue)[13]
Length 75:18 (original)
140:34 (reissue)
Label Epic Records (original)
La-La Land Records (reissue)
John Williams chronology
Home Alone Hook JFK

The film score was composed by John Williams. Williams was brought in at an early stage when Spielberg was considering making the film as a musical. Accordingly, Williams wrote around eight songs for the project at this stage. The idea was later abandoned. Most of Williams's song ideas were incorporated into the instrumental score, though two songs survive as songs in the finished film -- "We Don't Wanna Grow Up" and "When You're Alone", both with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

The original 1991 issue was released by Epic Records. In 2012, a limited edition of the soundtrack, called Hook: Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, was released by La-La Land Records and Sony Music. It contains almost the complete score with alternates and unused material. It also contains liner notes that explain the film's production and score recording.

Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack

Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[edit]

Reception[edit]

Spielberg, Williams and Hoffman did not take salaries for the film. Their deal called for the trio to split 40% of TriStar Pictures' gross revenues. They were to receive $20 million from the first $50 million in gross theatrical film rentals, with TriStar keeping the next $70 million in rentals before the three resumed receiving their percentage.[1] Hook was released in North America on December 11, 1991, earning $13.52 million in its opening weekend. The film went on to gross $119.65 million in North America and $181.2 million in foreign countries, accumulating a worldwide total of $300.85 million.[15] It is the fifth highest-grossing "pirate-themed" film, behind all four films in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.[16] In North America totals, Hook was the sixth highest-grossing film in 1991,[17] and fourth highest-grossing worldwide.[18] While Hook ended up making a profit of $50 million for the studio, it was still declared a financial disappointment.[19]

Film critics gave Hook generally negative reviews. As of May 2013, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 31% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 39 reviews, certifying it "Rotten", with an average rating of 4.4/10.[20] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the "failure in Hook was its inability to re-imagine the material, to find something new, fresh or urgent to do with the Peter Pan myth. Lacking that, Spielberg should simply have remade the original story, straight, for the '90s generation."[21] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine felt Hook would "only appeal to the baby boomer generation" and highly criticized the sword-fighting choreography.[22] Vincent Canby of The New York Times felt the story structure was not well balanced, feeling Spielberg depended too much on art direction.[23] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post was one of few who gave the film a positive review. Hinson elaborated on crucial themes of children, adulthood and loss of innocence. However, he observed that Spielberg "was stuck too much in a theme park world".[24]

Hook was nominated for five categories at the 64th Academy Awards. This included Best Production Design (Norman Garwood, Garrett Lewis) (lost to Bugsy), Best Costume Design (lost to Bugsy), Best Visual Effects (lost to Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Best Makeup (lost to Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and Best Original Song ("When You're Alone", lost to Beauty and the Beast).[25] Hook lost the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film to Aladdin, in which Robin Williams co-starred,[26] while cinematographer Dean Cundey was nominated for his work by the American Society of Cinematographers.[27] Dustin Hoffman was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (lost to Robin Williams for The Fisher King).[28] John Williams was given a Grammy Award nomination for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media;[29] Julia Roberts received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress (lost to Sean Young as the dead twin in A Kiss Before Dying).[30]

In a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg talked about what he thought worked and what didn't work: "There are parts of Hook I love. I'm really proud of my work right up through Peter being hauled off in the parachute out the window, heading for Neverland. I'm a little less proud of the Neverland sequences, because I'm uncomfortable with that highly stylized world that today, of course, I would probably have done with live-action character work inside a completely digital set. But we didn't have the technology to do it then, and my imagination only went as far as building physical sets and trying to paint trees blue and red."[31] Spielberg gave a more blunt assessment in a 2013 radio show appearance: "I wanna see Hook again because I so don't like that movie, and I'm hoping someday I'll see it again and perhaps like some of it."[32]

Video games[edit]

One of the side-scrolling stages.

Several video games based on the film and bearing the same name were released between 1991 and 1993. An Arcade beat 'em up produced by Japanese company Irem was released in 1992, that allowed for single player and co-operative gameplay between four players. The player(s) can select to play as Peter Pan or one of four Lost Boys. A side-scrolling home console game was also released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Sega CD, Sega Genesis and the handheld Sega Game Gear. The game was originally developed by Ukiyotei for the SNES before being ported by Core Design (Sega CD and Sega Genesis) and Spidersoft (Game Gear). All versions were published by Sony Imagesoft. The Sega CD version received a European release in 1993. The adult Peter Banning is the only playable character.

Another side-scrolling platformer was released in 1992 for the NES and Nintendo Game Boy. The game was developed by Ocean Software and published by Sony Imagesoft. Ocean Software also developed and published a separate point and click adventure game in 1991 for the Commodore 64 and Amiga followed by Atari ST and PC versions in 1992. The game's main objective was to escape the Pirate City, reach the Lost Boys' hideout and try to become Peter Pan in order to fight once more with Captain Hook.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Joseph McBride (1997). Steven Spielberg: A Biography. New York City: Faber and Faber. p. 411. ISBN 0-571-19177-0. 
  2. ^ Andrew Birkin (2003). J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09822-8. 
  3. ^ McBride, p.42—43
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ana Maria Bahiana (March 1992). "Hook", Cinema Papers, pp. 67—69.
  5. ^ a b c d McBride, p. 409.
  6. ^ http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2011/12/04/michael_jackson_was_steven_spielbergs_
  7. ^ Myra Forsberg (1988-01-10). "Spielberg at 40: The Man and the Child". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ a b McBride, p. 410.
  9. ^ Medavoy, Mike and Young, Josh (2002). You're Only as Good as Your Next One: 100 Great Films, 100 Good Films, and 100 for Which I Should Be Shot (p. 230). New York City: Atria Books
  10. ^ a b DVD production notes
  11. ^ a b McBride, p. 412.
  12. ^ McBride, p. 413.
  13. ^ "HOOK 2CD Set Includes ‘Over 65 minutes of Music Previously Unreleased’". JWFan. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Hook - John Williams". AllMusic. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Hook". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  16. ^ "Pirate Movies". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  17. ^ "1991 Domestic Totals". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  18. ^ "1991 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  19. ^ Dretzka, Gary. "Medavoy's Method." Chicago Tribune (December 8, 1996).
  20. ^ "Hook". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  21. ^ "Hook". Roger Ebert.com. 1991-12-11. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  22. ^ Peter Travers (1991-12-11). "Hook". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  23. ^ Vincent Canby (1991-12-11). "Hook". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ Hal Hinson (1991-12-11). "Hook". The Washington Post. 
  25. ^ "Hook". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  26. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards.com. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  27. ^ "7th Annual Awards". American Society of Cinematographers. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  28. ^ "49th Golden Globe Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  29. ^ "Grammy Awards of 1991". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  30. ^ "Twelfth Annual RAZZIE Awards". Golden Raspberry Award. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  31. ^ Breznican, Anthony (December 2, 2011), "Steven Spielberg: The EW Interview", Entertainment Weekly .
  32. ^ "Steven Spielberg interviewed by Kermode and Mayo". 26 January 2013. .

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]