Jersey Boys (film)

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Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClint Eastwood
Screenplay by
Based onJersey Boys
by Marshall Brickman
Rick Elice
Produced by
CinematographyTom Stern
Edited by
Music byBob Gaudio
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time
134 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$40–58.6 million[2][3]
Box office$67.6 million[2]

Jersey Boys is a 2014 American musical drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, based on the 2004 Tony Award-winning jukebox musical of the same name. The film tells the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. Original band members Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio (who also composed the film's music) serve as executive producers.

Jersey Boys was released in the United States on June 20, 2014.[4] It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the musical numbers but criticized the narrative and runtime, and grossed $67 million worldwide.


In Belleville, New Jersey in 1951, Tommy DeVito performs together with his brother Nicky, and their friend Nick Massi, as The Variety Trio. He meets 16-year-old Frankie Castelluccio, a barber's son, already well known in the neighborhood for his singing voice. Frankie has the admiration of Genovese Family mobster Angelo "Gyp" DeCarlo, who takes a personal interest in him.

One night, the group attempts a robbery of a safe, resulting in the police later arresting them. In court, Frankie is let off with a slap on the wrist, while Tommy is sentenced to six months in prison. After his release, Tommy reunites with the group, and adds Frankie as lead singer. Frankie changes his professional name to Frankie Vally, and then 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 is impressed with Valli's vocals, and agrees to join.

The band, having recorded several demos, attempts to attract interest, but has 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 band is renamed "The Four Seasons," and they sing a new song Gaudio has written, "Sherry", to Crewe, who agrees to record it.

"Sherry" quickly becomes a commercial success, 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 mobster Norman Waxman, a loan shark for one of the other Five Families, 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 Tommy's irresponsibility, not being involved in the group's decisions, and never being able to see his family, also leaves the group.

Having to tour constantly to pay off the debt, the band hires a set of studio musicians, and becomes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, with Gaudio now acting solely as songwriter and producer. Valli learns from his now ex-wife, Mary, that his daughter, Francine, now a drug addict, has escaped from home. Valli meets his estranged daughter and regrets not acting as a better father for her when she was growing up. He also arranges for Gaudio to offer 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. However, 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. At first, Frankie is hesitant, as he is still in mourning, but eventually agrees. The track, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", becomes a commercial success.

In 1990, the Four Seasons are about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band performs "Rag Doll" onstage, their first performance together in over twenty 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 (his award-winning role was a fictionalized account of another real-life gangster named after Tommy DeVito). Nick claims to have no regrets about leaving the group, enjoying the time he spends with his family. Frankie is still touring through his solo career, but yearns for the days he performed with the rest. Bob has retired to Nashville, Tennessee. Frankie states that the best time he had during his time with the Four Seasons was before their success, "but four guys under a streetlamp, when it was all still ahead of us."



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.[20][21] By August 2012, Jon Favreau was engaged to direct and casting had begun.[22]

However, in November 2012, it was reported that Warner Bros. had put the film in turnaround;[23][24] Despite this in May 2013, Frankie Valli noted that production was still underway.[25] By that June, Eastwood became attached to the project as a director.[26] The project came three years after the release of Eastwood's previous film, J. Edgar, which Variety notes was "his longest gap between directing projects since 1980".[27] Although Eastwood enjoyed the script, he asked for a rewrite, noting that the version "was missing a lot of things." This was considered unusual for Eastwood as he became somewhat notorious for using first drafts as the eventual script.[27] A trailer was released for the film on April 17, 2014.[28]

For casting, Eastwood sought to cast actors from the play itself rather than more marketable film stars. Eastwood noted that he was pressured to cast more famous leads; however, he refused, stating, "You've got people who've done 1,200 performances; how much better can you know a character?".[27] The film was shot in Los Angeles, California, where it spent $58.6 million and received the California Film & Television Tax Credit.[29]

Musical numbers[edit]

Includes all the songs sung in the film.

Background songs[edit]

Includes songs heard only on the background.

Historical accuracy[edit]

While Valli's daughter Francine did eventually die of a reported drug overdose, it occurred in 1980.[30] This was 13 years after Valli recorded Can't Take My Eyes Off of You.

While Valli, Gaudio, and Devito were arrested in Ohio in 1965, it did not occur in Cleveland as the film suggests, but at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.[31]

Some of the film's details regarding Devito's life- such as his hygiene, inspiration for Joe Pesci's Goodfellas character named Tommy Devito, and reason for leaving The Four Seasons- were inaccurate.[31] Devito himself stated "Some of it is bullsh*t -- where I pee in the sink, and the dirty underwear. I was probably the cleanest guy there."[31] Devito had also previously claimed he in fact left the Four Seasons on his own free will.[31] Contrary to the film's suggestion that he was forced out by the Mafia, Devito blamed things such as excessive travel and changing clothes three times a day for his departure.[31]


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.

Track listing:[32]

1."Paris 2000" 0:18
2."December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons3:13
3."My Mother's Eyes"Frankie Valli1:58
4.""I Can't Give You Anything But Love""John Lloyd Young1:05
5."A Sunday Kind of Love"John Lloyd Young, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons1:55
6."Moody Mood's For Love"John Lloyd Young1:35
7."Cry For Me"Erich Bergen2:24
8."Sherry"John Lloyd Young2:06
9."Big Girls Don't Cry"John Lloyd Young2:19
10."Walk Like A Man"John Lloyd Young1:55
11."My Boyfriend's Back"Kimmy Gatewood, Kyli Rae, Jackie Seiden1:41
12."My Eyes Adored You"John Lloyd Young2:27
13."Dawn (Go Away)"John Lloyd Young2:39
14."Big Man in Town"John Lloyd Young2:19
15."Beggin'"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Ryan Molloy, John Lloyd Young3:21
16."Medley("Stay"/"Let's Hang On! (To What We've Got)"/"Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'bout Me)"/"Bye Bye Baby")"John Lloyd Young4:53
17."C'Mon Marianne"John Lloyd Young1:16
18."Can't Take My Eyes Off You"John Lloyd Young3.23
19."Working My Way Back to You"John Lloyd Young1:48
20."Fallen Angel"Frankie Valli3.57
21."Who Loves You"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young4:20
22."Closing Credits "Sherry/December 1963, Oh What A Night Finale"John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza2:22
23."Sherry"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons1:29
24."Dawn (Go Away)"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons1:29
25."Rag Doll"Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons1:29


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[33] Platinum 70,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 219 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critics 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."[34] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[35] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[36]

Richard Roeper gave the film a "C+" grade, stating that at times the film "captures the electric excitement of the musical, but for every soaring moment, there are 10 minutes of bickering or brooding".[37] Andrew Barker of Variety felt that "Christopher Walken creates most of the film’s laughs by simple virtue of being Christopher Walken, but his doddering don screams out for a bigger, broader performance."[38]

In a 2021 interview with The Washington Post, Frankie Valli revealed his thoughts on the movie, saying that "I don’t think it was cast properly and I don’t think it was done properly. The whole entity was not put together properly. I think Clint Eastwood is a great director and actor. I don’t think this was right for him."[39]

Box office[edit]

Jersey Boys grossed $47 million in North America and $20.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $67.6 million.[2]

The film grossed $4.6 million on its opening day, almost $8 million less than fellow newcomer Think Like a Man Too.[40] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13.3 million, finishing in fourth place at the box office.[41]


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  2. ^ a b c "Jersey Boys (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  3. ^ FilmL.A. (May 2015). "2014 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. Feature Film Study. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Jersey Boys - Broadway (November 5, 2013). "Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys Movie, Starring Tony Winner John Lloyd Young, Sets 2014 Release Date | Broadway Buzz". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Jersey Boys – Broadway (August 28, 2013). "Tony Winner John Lloyd Young Confirmed to Star as Frankie Valli in Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys Movie". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Jersey Boys – Broadway (August 8, 2013). "Erich Bergen Confirmed to Play Bob Gaudio in Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys Movie". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "Toronto's Michael Lomenda tapped for lead in Jersey Boys movie". July 18, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 20, 2013). "'Boardwalk Empire's' Vincent Piazza Closes Deal to Join 'Jersey Boys'". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
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  10. ^ "Exclusive: Renee Marino to Play 'Mary' in JERSEY BOYS Film". Retrieved August 16, 2013.
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  12. ^ a b "Jersey Boys (2014) - IMDb". IMDb.
  13. ^ "Johnny Cannizzaro and Mike Doyle Join JERSEY BOYS Film". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  14. ^ "Donnie Kehr Joins JERSEY BOYS Film as 'Norm Waxman'". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Jersey Boys – Broadway (August 5, 2013). "Joey Russo and Jeremy Luke Join Christopher Walken in Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys Movie". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  16. ^ "'The Jersey Boys – The Movie' Update! Too good to be true!". August 28, 2013. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Starr, Michael (September 13, 2013). "Steve Schirripa returns in full force". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Latest Jersey Boys Movie Casting News: Christopher Walken to Play Gyp DeCarlo; Barry Livingston to Play Accountant!". July 24, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "Newsflash: Miles Aubrey to Play 'Charlie Calello' in Jersey Boys Movie!". August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "Broadway Musical 'Jersey Boys' to Get Big-Screen Movie". Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  21. ^ Fleming, Mike (October 6, 2010). "Graham King Wins Fevered Film Rights Auction To Broadway Hit 'Jersey Boys'". Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  22. ^ Jersey Boys – Broadway (August 8, 2012). "Iron Man Director Jon Favreau Set to Helm Jersey Boys Film". Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  23. ^ Sneider, Jeff; Kroll, Justin (November 1, 2012). "Warner Bros. puts 'Jersey Boys' into turnaround". Variety. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  24. ^ "Jersey Boys film dropped by Warners". November 2, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  25. ^ "Frankie Valli Talks 'Jersey Boys' Movie Rumors, L.A. Show with The Four Seasons and more". K-EARTH. May 1, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  26. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. "Clint Eastwood Eyes Stage Talent For 'Jersey Boys' Movie At Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  27. ^ a b c Fondas, Scott (June 10, 2014). "Clint Eastwood: Cowboy Led 'Jersey Boys' Down a New Trail". Variety. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "The first trailer for Clint Eastwood's JERSEY BOYS is here!". April 17, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  29. ^ "2014 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. May 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  30. ^ "How Accurate is Jersey Boys? Here's What's Fact and What's Fiction in the Four Seasons Biopic". June 20, 2014.
  31. ^ a b c d e "Jersey Boys Movie vs True Story - Real Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito".
  32. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Jersey Boys: Music from the Motion Picture and Broadway Musical Sees Release Date; Track Listing Announced" Archived June 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, June 5, 2014
  33. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
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  35. ^ "Jersey Boys Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  36. ^ "FINAL BOX OFFICE: First Half Of 2014 No Growth From Year Earlier As 'Think Like A Man Too' Debuts With $29M+; 'Jersey Boys' With $13.3M". June 23, 2014.
  37. ^ Roeper, Robert. "Jersey Boys".
  38. ^ Barker, Andrew (June 15, 2014). "Film Review: 'Jersey Boys'". Variety.
  39. ^ "The Anthem is back ? and so is Frankie Valli, in concert with the Four Seasons - The Washington Post".
  40. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, June 20, 2014". Box Office Mojo. June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  41. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 20-22, 2014". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 24, 2014.

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