Jersey Boys (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Clint Eastwood|
|Produced by||Clint Eastwood
|Screenplay by||Marshall Brickman
|Based on||Jersey Boys
by Marshall Brickman
|Starring||John Lloyd Young
|Edited by||Joel Cox
Gary D. Roach
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||134 minutes|
Jersey Boys is a 2014 American biographical musical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the Tony Award-winning musical of the same name. The film tells the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. It was released on June 20, 2014 to mixed reviews.
In 1951, in Belleville, New Jersey, Tommy DeVito, narrating the story, introduces the audience to himself, Tommy's brother Nicky, and their friend Nick Massi, who perform together as The Variety Trio, and to a barber's son, 16-year-old Frankie, already well known in the neighborhood for his singing voice. Frankie has the admiration of gangster Gyp DeCarlo, who takes a personal interest in him.
One night, the group attempts a robbery of a safe, for which the police later arrest them. In court, Frankie is let off with a warning but Tommy is sentenced to six months in prison. After his release, Tommy reunites the group and adds Frankie as lead singer. Frankie changes his professional name to Frankie Valli. At a performance, Frankie is entranced by a woman named Mary Delgado. He takes her to dinner, and they are soon married.
The group, now called "The Four Lovers," is in need of a songwriter after Nicky leaves. Tommy's friend Joe Pesci tells him about a talented singer-songwriter, Bob Gaudio, and invites him to hear the group perform. Gaudio, now narrating, is impressed with Valli's vocals and agrees to join.
The band, having recorded several demos, attempts to attract interest, with little success. One day in New York City, producer Bob Crewe signs them to a contract. However, they quickly realize that it only allows them to perform back-up vocals for other acts. Crewe says that the group does not have a distinctive image or sound yet. Inspired by a bowling alley sign, the guys rename themselves "The Four Seasons," and sing a new song Gaudio has written, Sherry, to Crewe, who agrees to record it.
"Sherry" quickly becomes a major hit, followed by two more, Big Girls Don't Cry and Walk Like a Man. However, before an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Valli is approached by loan shark Norman Waxman, who claims that Tommy owes him $150,000. Frankie goes to DeCarlo, who gets Waxman to allow the group to pay the debt, which turns out to be considerably larger. Tommy must go to work for the mob's associates in Las Vegas until it is paid. Nick, irritated by the irresponsibility of Tommy, suddenly announces his intention to leave the group.
Forced to tour constantly to pay the debt, the band hires a set of studio musicians and becomes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, with Gaudio now acting only as songwriter and producer. Valli learns from his now ex-wife Mary that his daughter, Francine, now a drug addict, has run away from home. Valli tracks her down and regrets not acting as a better father for her when she was growing up. He also arranges for Gaudio to give her singing lessons and for Crewe to cut a demo for her.
A few years later, the group has finally paid off Tommy's debt. Sadly, this coincides with the news of Francine's death by drug overdose. Frankie and Mary both grieve for their daughter. Gaudio composes a new number for Valli to sing, his first as a solo artist. Frankie is at first hesitant, as he is still in mourning, but eventually agrees. The piece, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", becomes a commercial success.
In 1990, the original Four Seasons are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The quartet performs "Rag Doll" onstage, their first performance together in over 20 years. The music fades as the four men take turns addressing the audience. Tommy, in an ironic twist, now works for Joe Pesci, who has gone on to become an Oscar-winning actor. Nick claims to have no regrets about leaving the group, enjoying the time he spends with his family. Bob has retired to Nashville, Tennessee. Lastly, Frankie finally takes over the narration, stating that the best time he had during his time with the Four Seasons was before their success, "when everything was still ahead of us and it was just four guys singing under a street lamp."
- John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli
- Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio
- Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi
- Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito
- Christopher Walken as Gyp DeCarlo
- Renée Marino as Mary Delgado
- Kathrine Narducci as Mary Rinaldi
- Lou Volpe as Frankie's father
- Freya Tingley as Francine Valli (age 17)
- Grace Kelley as Francine Valli (age 4)
- Elizabeth Hunter as Francine Valli (age 7)
- Mike Doyle as Bob Crewe
- Rob Marnell as Joe Long
- Johnny Cannizzaro as Nick DeVito
- Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman
- Jeremy Luke as Donnie
- Joey Russo as Joe Pesci
- James Madio as Stosh
- Erica Piccininni as Lorraine
- Steve Schirripa as Vito
- Barry Livingston as Accountant
- Miles Aubrey as Charles Calello
- Kim Gatewood as Angel#1
- Jackie Seiden as Angel#2
- Kyli Rae as Angel#2
- Troy Grant as Ed Sullivan
- Heather Ferguson Pond as Miss Frankie Nolan
- John Griffin as Billy Dixon
- Chaz Langley as Hal Miller
- Billy Gardell as Our Sons Owner
- Francesca Eastwood as Waitress
- Sean Whalen as Engineer
In 2010, GK Films acquired the rights to produce a film adaptation of the musical, with Brickman and Elice writing the script for the film. By August 2012, Jon Favreau was engaged to direct and casting had begun.
In November 2012, Variety reported that Warner Bros. had dropped the film plans; however, in May 2013, an interview with Four Seasons lead singer Frankie Valli indicated the film was still being produced and that Valli would be contributing to the casting of his character.
A soundtrack album Jersey Boys: Music from the Motion Picture and Broadway Musical was released on June 25, 2014. The albums is a mix of original recordings by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, new recordings by the film cast, and tracks from the original Broadway cast recording.
- 1. Prelude
- 2. "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- 3. "My Mother's Eyes" – Frankie Valli
- 4. "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" – John Lloyd Young
- 5. "A Sunday Kind of Love" – John Lloyd Young, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- 6. "Moody’s Mood for Love" – John Lloyd Young
- 7. "Cry for Me" – Erich Bergen
- 8. "Sherry" – John Lloyd Young
- 9. "Big Girls Don't Cry" – John Lloyd Young
- 10. "Walk Like a Man" – John Lloyd Young
- 11. "My Boyfriend's Back" – Kimmy Gatewood
- 12. "My Eyes Adored You" – John Lloyd Young
- 13. "Dawn (Go Away)" – John Lloyd Young
- 14. "Big Man in Town" – John Lloyd Young
- 15. "Beggin'" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young, Ryan Molloy
- 16. Medley – John Lloyd Young
- 17. "C'mon Marianne" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young
- 18. "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" – John Lloyd Young
- 19. "Working My Way Back to You" – John Lloyd Young
- 20. "Fallen Angel" – Frankie Valli
- 21. "Who Loves You" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young
- 22. Closing Credits: "Sherry"/"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" – John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza
- 23. "Sherry" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- 24. "Dawn (Go Away)" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- 25. "Rag Doll" – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
Upon its release, the film was met with mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 54% rating based on 185 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Jersey Boys is neither as inventive nor as energetic as it could be, but there's no denying the powerful pleasures of its musical moments". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54 out of 100, based on 44 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.
Jersey Boys grossed $4.6 million on its opening day, almost $8 million less than fellow newcomer Think Like a Man Too. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13.5 million, finishing in fourth place at the box office. As of July 28, 2014 the movie has grossed $45.86 million in North America and $12.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $57.8 million.
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