Oliver's Story (film)

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Oliver's Story
Olivers Story -1978 - poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Korty
Written byErich Segal
John Korty
Based onOliver's Story novel by Erich Segal
Produced byDavid V. Picker
StarringRyan O'Neal
Candice Bergen
Nicola Pagett
Ray Milland
CinematographyArthur Ornitz
Edited byStuart H. Pappé
Music byLee Holdridge
Francis Lai
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 15, 1978 (1978-12-15)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million [1]

Oliver's Story is a 1978 American romantic drama film and a sequel to Love Story (1970)[2] based on a novel by Erich Segal published a year earlier. It was directed by John Korty and again starred Ryan O'Neal, this time opposite Candice Bergen. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge and Francis Lai. It was released by Paramount Pictures on December 15, 1978.

This film's promotional tagline is: "It takes someone very special to help you forget someone very special."


Oliver Barrett IV is emotionally devastated by the death of his young wife, Jenny, who succumbed to leukemia. As he tries to lose himself in his work as a lawyer, the long hours do not ease his pain, especially when he finds that his views conflict with those of the senior partners at the firm.

Oliver's inconsolable grief begins to alienate those around him, at least until he finds new love with Marcie Bonwit, the wealthy and beautiful heiress to the Bonwit Teller fortune. Despite his affection for her, Oliver finds it difficult to leave the memory of Jenny behind, which causes many problems in their relationship, even as he concurrently begins a reconciliation with his autocratic father. Though Oliver and Marcie eventually part, Oliver and his father reconcile when both men discover surprising things they never knew about each other and Oliver finally joins Barrett Enterprises.



Ryan O'Neal was offered a reported $3 million for his role. He originally turned it down, saying he was unhappy with the script. "It was just a rehash of the book, which hadn't interested me," he said.[3] "I just don't think Segal did a good job of catching him. Oliver is a real hard guy to follow."[4]

He changed his mind after director John Korty rewrote the script. O'Neal says he was paid less than $3 million, although he received $1 million up front and a share of the profits.[3]

O'Neal says that Candice Bergen was reluctant to appear in the film and he had to persuade her by giving her one of his points in the film.[3]

John Marley did not reprise his role as Ali MacGraw's father from the original. He and Paramount had come to terms on money but not billing; he was replaced by Edward Binns.[5]

In the original draft of the film, O'Neal's character was meant to end up with the one played by Nicola Pagett. However, on viewing the movie the filmmakers felt that it was not believable O'Neal would go with Pagett after being with the more beautiful Candice Bergen, so they removed these scenes from the movie.[6]


A number of scenes were filmed in Massachusetts. The Stanley Woolen Mill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and other locations in that community were used for this film. Oliver's law offices were those occupied at the time by the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. The Bonwit Teller store in Eastchester, N.Y. was also used as a shoot location. Filming also took place in New York City and Hong Kong.[7][8]

Critical reception[edit]

Unlike the original film, Oliver's Story was poorly reviewed and was not successful at the box office. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 29% based on reviews from 7 critics.[9]

O'Neal thought a major reason behind the film's failure was the fact the character played by Nicola Pagett was cut out of the last third.[10]


Oliver's Story
(Music from the Original Soundtrack of the Paramount Picture)
Soundtrack album
ReleasedDecember 1978
LabelABC Records
ProducerLee Holdridge

Oliver's Story soundtrack was released on vinyl and cassette tape by ABC Records in December 1978.[11]

Side 1:

Side 2:


  1. ^ Taylor, Clarke (14 May 1978). "'Oliver's Story,' So Much for the Schmaltz". Los Angeles Times. p. n35.
  2. ^ "Oliver's Story". Variety. Dec 31, 1977.
  3. ^ a b c "Ryan O'Neal: Does Father Know Best?: Ryan O'Neal". Los Angeles Times. 23 July 1978. p. v24.
  4. ^ Lee, Grant (28 August 1977). "Ryan O'Neal: A Love-Hate Story". Los Angeles Times. p. q1.
  5. ^ FILM CLIPS: Harvey: Movies Back to Back KILDAY, GREGG. Los Angeles Times 12 Apr 1978: f8.
  6. ^ FILM CLIPS: It's Real Vs. Reel in 'Real Life' Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times 18 Dec 1978: f15.
  7. ^ Brantley, Robin (May 21, 1978). "'This Movie Is The Easiest Thing I've Ever Done'" – via NYTimes.com.
  8. ^ "AFI|Catalog". catalog.afi.com.
  9. ^ "Oliver's Story (1978)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  10. ^ Flatley, Guy (19 Aug 1979). "Ryan O'Neal meaner but far from macho". Chicago Tribune. p. e8.
  11. ^ Oliver's Story soundtrack album, retrieved June 28, 2015.

External links[edit]