Nobody's Fool (1994 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Benton|
|Produced by||Arlene Donovan
|Written by||Robert Benton|
|Based on||Nobody's Fool
by Richard Russo
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Edited by||John Bloom|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (USA), Capella Films/Intl. (Intl)|
|Running time||110 minutes|
Nobody's Fool is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Richard Russo. It stars Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Dylan Walsh, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gene Saks, Josef Sommer, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Philip Bosco. The film was written for the screen and directed by Robert Benton. It was Paramount's final production under Paramount Communications ownership and Jessica Tandy's final produced film before her death on September 11, 1994. It was released three months after her death.
Donald "Sully" Sullivan is a worn yet spry hustler living in the peaceful, snowy New York village of North Bath. He free-lances in the construction business, usually with his dim-witted young friend Rub by his side. He is often at odds with Carl Roebuck, a local contractor, while flirting with Carl's wife Toby openly at every opportunity (which she enjoys). He is a regular at the Iron Horse Saloon, the local tavern where he regularly has drinks and plays cards with his boss, lawyer and the town sheriff.
Sully is a tenant in the home of the elderly Miss Beryl, whose banker son Clive strongly urges her to kick the him out and sell the house. Family complications of his own develop for Sully with a visit from Peter, his estranged son who is at odds with his wife throughout the movie. While he & Sully reconstruct their relationship, Sully begins a new one with his young grandson Will. Peter’s sudden everyday presence does not sit well with Rub, but Sully tells him that although Peter is his son, Rub is still his best friend. Meanwhile, Clive is on the verge of a lucrative deal to build an amusement park in North Bath. However, the deal unexpectedly falls through and Clive quietly leaves town in shame.
After being jailed for punching a young police officer named Raymer who has been persecuting him, Sully's luck seems to be all bad. But in turn his son and grandson warm up to him, his fortune takes a turn for the better and even the lovely Toby expresses a willingness to leave Carl and run away with him to Hawaii. However, Sully realizes he can’t leave his grandson and thanks Toby for considering him. At the end of the film, Sully is pretty much back where he began, boarding at Miss Beryl's, but this time the picture of contentment.
- Paul Newman as Donald "Sully" Sullivan
- Jessica Tandy as Beryl Peoples
- Bruce Willis as Carl Roebuck
- Melanie Griffith as Toby Roebuck
- Dylan Walsh as Peter Sullivan
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Rub Squeers
- Gene Saks as Wirf Wirfley
- Josef Sommer as Clive Peoples Jr.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Officer Raymer
- Philip Bosco as Judge Flatt
- Catherine Dent as Charlotte Sullivan
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Nobody's Fool was filmed in the Hudson Valley, New York towns of Beacon, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, and Hudson. The setting for both the book and movie, North Bath, New York, is based on the city of Gloversville in Fulton County.
The movie debuted strongly.
Nobody's Fool was highly received by critics and maintains a 91% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus, "It's solidly directed by Robert Benton and stacked with fine performances from an impressive cast, but above all, Nobody's Fool is a showcase for some of Paul Newman's best late-period work."
Nobody's Fool was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Newman) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. Paul Newman won the Silver Bear for Best Actor award at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival in 1995.
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