Susie Q (film)

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Susie Q
Susie Q poster.jpg
Genre Comedy
Drama
Family
Fantasy
Written by Shuki Levy
Douglas Sloan
Directed by John Blizek
Starring Amy Jo Johnson
Ernie Prentice
Bentley Mitchum
Tasha Simms
Allan Morgan
Shelley Long
Justin Whalin
Andrea Libman
Garwin Sanford
Chris William Martin
Dale Wilson
Winston Brown
Sabrina Byrne
Music by T.H. Culhane
Raul Fernandez
Shuki Levy
Laurence O'Keefe
Country of origin United States
Canada
Original language(s) English
German
Production
Executive producer(s) Shuki Levy
Lance H. Robbins
Producer(s) James Shavick
Rosanne Milliken
Simon Abbott (supervising producer)
Cinematography Robert Fresco
Editor(s) David M. Richardson
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) Libra Pictures
Shavick Entertainment
Distributor Disney Channel
Libra Pictures
Budget CAD2,000,000
Release
Original network Super RTL[1]
Original release
  • 1996 (1996) (U.S., Germany)

Susie Q is a 1996 Super RTL film directed by John Blizek and starring Justin Whalin, Amy Jo Johnson and Shelley Long. It originally aired on Super RTL, followed by Disney Channel airing it in the United States frequently in the mid 1990s. The film tells the story of a teenager dying with her boyfriend (Bentley Mitchum) on her way to their Winter Formal back in the mid-1950s and coming back to her old house about 40 years later in order to help her parents avoid being kicked out of their trailer park home. Later, Zach (Whalin) moves into Susie's (Johnson) old house, but he is the only one who is able to see Susie.

Disney Channel stopped showing the film later in the new millennium. It was given a "TV-G" rating, and it was already cut for some profanity, but not all, when it primarily aired on the Disney Channel.[2]

Plot[edit]

In the fictional town of Willow Valley, Washington during the year 1955, teenager Susie Quinn prepares for her Winter Formal. She and her boyfriend, Johnny Angel, are oblivious to the fact that an inebriated motorist would soon force their car into a waterway where they subsequently drown. Forty years later, a teenager named Zach Sands moves into that very house with his widowed mother Penny who has a new job as a news reporter. Zach's father had died in a car accident on his way to Zach's basketball game — and Zach feels so guilty he abandons basketball. Now a student at the local high school, Zach befriends the drama group but also makes enemies of the envious Ray Kovich whose father, Roger, is a banker.

While fishing with his younger sister Teri, Zach finds a bracelet that causes Susie's ghost to visibly manifest herself before Zach. Eventually, Zach researches Susie and discovers that she died 40 years ago. That night, Susie visits Zach again, and proves to him that he is the only one who can see her. Later Susie arrives at Zach's school, where he's distracted by the other girls in school - until Susie rips off part of the winter formal dress she's wearing to get his attention. Susie begs Zach to help her find out what happened to her parents but, while doing so, causes a scene in Zach's class. She apologizes, but continues to cause trouble at school and home until Zach agrees to help.

While visiting Susie's parents, Zach finds out they are facing homelessness at the hands of the local bank because of a missing title deed, and that the bank is demanding an unaffordable $25,000 balloon payment. However, this is only one part of a larger plan, led by Roger, that would eventually destroy the town. Heading back home, Susie confesses that before she died, her grandfather was looking for the deed for Willow Valley. She reveals to Zach that she is still earth-bound because of a mistake she had made in persuading her grandfather to rest, rather than help him find the deed that could have secured her family. Only then, Zach realizes how much Susie needs his help to find the deed and secure her family's legacy. Teri discovers that much of the town's land legally belongs to the Quinn family, and it becomes a fierce race to the finish as Zach locates the requisite title deed. It draws the attention of the police; meanwhile Roger is warned and makes his own plans. After the police arrest Zach and Teri, Susie manages to save them by scaring the officer into letting them go free.

Finally, Zach and Teri make it to the local news station just in time to provide their mother with all of the information about the Quinn family's history, which is broadcast on live television. In the aftermath, the bankers give up and apologize to the Quinns, the Kovich family leave town in an attempt on Roger's part to avoid criminal prosecution and Zach returns to playing basketball in honor of his late father. With her mistake rectified, Susie returns to the bridge where she died. Zach follows her there and asks her what will happen to him now that she's leaving for heaven. Susie tells him that his life is just beginning and she is sure he can continue playing basketball for both her and his late father. Susie reunites with the spirits of her boyfriend, Johnny and her grandfather in Johnny's car. Before the ghostly trio depart for heaven, Susie gives Zach her bracelet and bidding him an emotional farewell, vice versa Zach admits he loves her. In the car, her grandfather briefly awakens and calls Susie by her mother's name, Betsy. She corrects him by telling him that her name is Susie and tells him to go back to sleep because they have a long trip ahead. In the closing scene, Zach meets a girl who looks identical to Susie and who introduces herself as Maggie.

Cast[edit]

  • Amy Jo Johnson as Susie Q / Maggie
  • Ernie Prentice as Grandfather
  • Bentley Mitchum as Johnny Angel
  • Tasha Simms as Betsy Quinn
  • Allan Morgan as Russell Quinn
  • Shelley Long as Penny Sands
  • Justin Whalin as Zach Sands
  • Andrea Libman as Teri Sands
  • Garwin Sanford as Coach Stanford
  • Chris William Martin as Ray Kovich
  • Dale Wilson as Roger Kovich
  • Winston Brown as Brad
  • Sabrina Byrne as Rebecca Bahner
  • Mark Schooley as Telephone Repairman
  • Lloyd Berry as Al the Janitor
  • Benjamin Ratner as TV Director
  • Laura Harris as Jannete
  • Kirsten Robek as Production Assistant
  • Pat Waldron as Miss Crosby
  • David Kaye as Don Tanner
  • Walter Marsh as Old Man - ATM
  • Will Sasso as Officer Bob
  • Allan Franz as Rookie Cop
  • John Johnston as Announcer
  • Carolyn Spielmacher as Girl
  • Brian Arnold as James McGlockton
  • Rebecca Toolan as Mrs. Perkins
  • Aaron Pearl as Player
  • Cameron Labine as Thug

Anachronism[edit]

At the beginning of the film, which is set in 1955, Susie begins playing a record of Dale Hawkins' version of "Susie Q" as she gets ready for the winter formal. The song was actually not released on vinyl until 1957.[3]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]