Lovers and Other Strangers
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2013)|
|Lovers and Other Strangers|
|Directed by||Cy Howard|
|Produced by||David Susskind|
|Written by||Joseph Bologna
David Zelag Goodman
|Music by||Fred Karlin|
|Edited by||David Bretherton
|Distributed by||Cinerama Releasing Corporation|
|August 12, 1970|
Lovers and Other Strangers is a 1970 comedy film based on the play by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna. The cast includes Richard Castellano, Gig Young, Cloris Leachman, Anne Jackson, Beatrice Arthur, Bonnie Bedelia, Michael Brandon, Harry Guardino, Anne Meara, Bob Dishy, Marian Hailey, Joseph Hindy, and, in her film debut, Diane Keaton. Sylvester Stallone was an extra in this movie. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards (it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song), and was one of the top box office performers of 1970. It established Richard Castellano as a star (receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance) and he, along with Diane Keaton, was subsequently cast in The Godfather. The song For All We Know was composed by Fred Karlin with lyrics by Robb Royer and Jimmy Griffin.
Lovers and Other Strangers was released by ABC Pictures. It was released on VHS in 1980 by Magnetic Video, but soon went out of print. The Magnetic Video release was a collector's item for many years, but the film was eventually re-released on VHS by CBS/Fox Video in the 1990s. It is now available on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment.
Upon seeing this film, Richard Carpenter set about recording the song played during the wedding scene, "For All We Know", with his sister Karen. "Karen and I were in Toronto to open the show for Engelbert Humperdinck. We had one night off before opening and our manager Sherwin Bash suggested we see the film Lovers and Other Strangers. We enjoyed the film and noticed the song For All We Know which we recorded upon our return home." (It subsequently won an Oscar for Best Song of 1970.)
Taylor and Bologna followed up with their second screenplay the following year, Made for Each Other in which they also starred.
Lovers and Other Strangers revolves around the wedding of Mike (Michael Brandon) and Susan (Bonnie Bedelia), intercutting their story with those of other couples among their families and friends. As the movie opens, Mike wants to call off the wedding, arguing that it would be hypocritical for them to get married when they've already been living together for a year and a half. He only relents when Susan's father Hal (Gig Young) tells him that Susan went to her first Halloween party dressed as a bride.
Over the course of the movie, we meet:
- Susan's WASP-ish parents, Hal (Gig Young) and Bernice (Cloris Leachman). Hal has been having an extramarital affair with Bernice's sister Kathy (Anne Jackson), who is afraid of ending up a spinster and is using the wedding to get some commitment from Hal.
- Susan's sister Wilma (Anne Meara) and her husband Johnny (Harry Guardino). As parents of two, Wilma is feeling her age and misses the passion they had at the beginning of their marriage, while Johnny is more interested in watching Spellbound on TV than giving his wife attention.
- Mike's brother Richie (Joseph Hindy) and his wife Joan (Diane Keaton), who have grown "incompatible" and are considering divorce.
- Bridesmaid Brenda (Marian Hailey) and usher Jerry (Bob Dishy), whom Mike and Susan "fix up" for the wedding. Nebbishy self-imagined playboy Jerry spends most of the weekend trying to "score" with Brenda.
- Mike's Italian-American parents, Frank (Richard Castellano) and Bea (Beatrice Arthur), who are relentlessly trying to dissuade Richie and Joan from divorcing. (Castellano, who repeated his role from the Broadway play, received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role.)
These plotlines all play out through the rehearsal, wedding, and reception.
- Nominee Best Supporting Actor - Academy Awards (Richard Castellano)
- Nominee Best Adapted Screenplay - Academy Awards (Joseph Bologna, David Zelag Goodman)
- Winner Best Original Song (For All We Know) - Academy Awards (Fred Karlin, Robb Royer, Jimmy Griffin)
The film received positive reviews and was popular at the box office, earning rentals of $7 million in North America. It recorded an overall profit of $790,000.
- "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses", Variety, 31 May 1973 p 3