AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
High Fidelity
Director: Stephen Frears (Dir)
Release Date:   31 Mar 2000
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Los Angeles: 28 Mar 2000
Production Date:   late Apr--early Jul 1999
Duration (in mins):   113-114
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   John Cusack (Rob [Gordon])  
    Iben Hjejle (Laura)  
    Todd Louiso (Dick)  
    Jack Black (Barry)  
    Lisa Bonet (Marie De Salle)  
    Catherine Zeta-Jones (Charlie [Nicholson])  
    Joan Cusack (Liz)  
    Tim Robbins (Ian [Raymond])  
    Chris Rehmann (Vince)  
    Ben Carr (Justin)  
    Lili Taylor (Sarah [Kendrew])  
    Joelle Carter (Penny [Hardwick])  
    Natasha Gregson Wagner (Caroline [Fortis])  
    Shannon Stillo (Alison [Ashmore], jr. high)  
    Drake Bell (Rob [Gordon], jr. high)  
    Laura Whyte (Laura's mom)  
    Sara Gilbert (Anaugh [Moss])  
    Rich Talarico (Barry's customer)  
    Matt O'Neill (Beta Band customer)  
    Brian Powell (Middle-aged customer)  
    Margaret Travolta (Rob's mom)  
    Jill Peterson (Laura's sister Jo)  
    Dick Cusack (Minister)  
    Susan Yoo (Girl--19-year-old)  
    Chris Bauer (Paul)  
    K. K. Dodds (Miranda)  
    Marilyn Dodds Frank (Alison's mom)  
    Duke Doyle (Kevin Bannister)  
    Aaron Himelstein (Boy in park)  
    Jonathan Herrington (Chris Thompson)  
    Daniel Lee Smith (Rock guy)  
    Leah Gale (Mourner)  
    David Darlow (Mourner)  
    Erik Gundersen (Marco)  
    Bruce Springsteen (Himself)  
    Alex Desert (Louis)  
    Alan S. Johnson (Man in store)  
    Ian Belknap (Party guest)  
    Andrew Micheli (Party guest)  
    Polly Noonan (Party guest)  
    Philip Rayburn Smith (Party guest)  
    Michele Graff (Party guest)  
    Susie Cusack (Party guest)  
    Liam Hayes (Piano player)  
    Damian Rogers (Green Day girl)  
    Robert A. Villanueva (Skateboarder)  
    Joe Spaulding (Flea market musician)  
    Scott A. Martin (Bartender)  
    Heather Norris (Laura's friend)  

Summary: After Rob Gordon's girl friend Laura announces her decision to move out of his Chicago apartment, he muses about the danger of years of listening to maudlin pop songs about heartbreak and rejection. After Laura leaves, rejecting Rob’s pleas for her to stay, he recounts his all-time top five most memorable break-ups: Alison Ashmore, Penny Hardwick, Jackie Alden, Charlie Nicholson and Sarah Kendrew. At fourteen, Rob dated Alison for three days, after which she left him in favor of Kevin Bannister. Reflecting that every subsequent relationship has mirrored that one, Rob recalls Penny, the sweet sixteen-year-old who would not allow him to touch her breasts, but who, after he broke up with her, slept with the next boy she dated. In the present, Rob walks to Championship Vinyl, the record store he owns in an unfashionable part of the city. Like Rob, his employees, the awkward, nervous Dick and crude Barry, are fanatic music aficionados. Although Dick and Barry denounce any customer they deem inferior in musical tastes, Rob cannot fire them because they often work for free. He retreats to his office, where he remembers Charlie: In college, Rob meets the beautiful, dramatic Charlie and falls deeply in love. They date for two years, during which he adopts her punk style but feels insecure about his attractiveness, hipness and lovemaking abilities. His constant jealousy is substantiated when she leaves him for the sophisticated Marco. Coming out of his reverie, Rob muses that he has never recovered from this breakup. He then soundly berates Barry for chastising a customer, after which he reveals that Laura has left him. At home, Rob considers his relationship with Sarah, which was originally based on a mutual fear of being rejected, but ended when she left him for another man. Dick invites Rob to a local bar, but after Rob explains that he is organizing his record collection by autobiographical events, Dick, impressed, tries to help. Rob kicks him out, then fields a phone call from his mother, who breaks down in tears over the news that Laura has left. Frustrated, Rob joins Dick and Barry at the bar, where they rhapsodize over soulful singer/songwriter Marie De Salle, whom they later invite to the store. The next day, Rob stays home, knowing Laura is coming to pick up some boxes, and demands that she explain why she left him. She states that, although she has grown and changed over the past few years, he has remained steadfastly the same. Rob goes to the store, and after Laura’s friend Liz calls and mentions that Laura is seeing a man named Ian, even Marie’s surprise visit cannot distract Rob from neurotically wondering who Ian is. At home, he remembers that an Ian Raymond used to live upstairs from them, and that night, he stays awake torturing himself with images of Ian and Laura making love. At work the next day, Liz storms in and curses at Rob, prompting him to reminisce about the ease of the beginning of his relationship with Laura, whom he met while disc jockeying at a club. Rob now guesses that Laura has told Liz that Rob cheated on her while she was pregnant, thus provoking her to get an abortion, then borrowed $4,000 he could not pay back, after which he declared he was unhappy and “looking around for someone else.” As he rides the subway, however, Rob defends each of these actions, explaining that he did not know about the pregnancy or abortion, she offered the loan, and that she proclaimed her dissatisfaction with the relationship first. At home, hoping to find answers to why he is always rejected, Rob calls Alison’s mother. After learning that Alison married Kevin, Rob enthuses that he was rejected only because of a love that was destined to last. Inspired, he makes a date with Penny, who discloses that she was devastated when he broke up with her, and slept with the next boy out of confusion, resulting in a fear of sex that lasted for years. She runs off in tears, leaving Rob cheered by the thought that he abandoned her and not vice-versa. He then visits Sarah, whose intense depression stirs him to congratulate himself for not adding to her misery. Soon after, Laura visits Rob, and, although insisting there is little chance of reconciliation, delights him by revealing she has not yet slept with Ian. In celebration, that night he sleeps with Marie, whom he attracts by pretending to be sensitive, and about whom he forgets the next morning as soon as he leaves her apartment. He begs Laura to meet him, but after she admits that she has now slept with Ian, he spends the evening repeatedly calling her from a pay phone. The next day, Rob is pleased to receive an invitation to a dinner party from Charlie, but then is visited by Ian, an unctuous hippie who proposes “conflict-resolution.” Although Rob fantasizes about violently attacking Ian, he does nothing. At Charlie’s party, Rob realizes that she is pretentious and condescending, and feels only slightly hurt when she tells him that she preferred the “sunnier” Marco. Days later, as Barry plans to rehearse with his new band and Dick meets his new girl friend, Anaugh Moss, Rob goes home alone. There, he finds Laura, and after she leaves he lists the top five things about her that he misses, including her sense of humor and cute mannerisms. Later, Rob hears a piece of music he admires, and upon learning it was written by shoplifting skateboarders Vince and Justin, impulsively offers to produce their record on his label, which he names Top Five Records. He calls Laura, but she tearfully informs him that her father has died. Rob attends the funeral, but after Laura’s sister Jo and Liz insult him, he finds Laura and tells her that he is sorry, then leaves in the rain. He is sitting at the bus stop when Laura drives up and asks him to make love to her. Afterward, she tells him she is too tired not to be with him, and they go home together. For weeks, they enjoy a romantic reunion, but Rob soon meets pretty rock journalist Caroline Fortis and finds himself creating a compilation tape for her, a sure sign of his romantic interest. One day, he sees a poster Laura has put up advertising that he will D. J. at the release party for Vince and Justin’s band, and that Barry’s band, inauspiciously named Sonic Death Monkey, will play. Appreciating her faith in him, and finally realizing that he cannot just jump from relationship to relationship, Rob proposes to Laura, who laughs at him but is pleased that he is maturing. At the release party, Rob is a hit, and Barry shocks everyone by singing Marvin Gaye songs with great skill. While Vince and Justin steal CDs, Rob considers the compilation tape he will make for Laura, filled with all the songs that she likes, for once reflecting her tastes rather than his own. 

Production Company: Working Title Films (Vivendi Universal)
  Dogstar Films  
  New Crime Productions  
  Touchstone Pictures (The Walt Disney Company)
Production Text: A Stephen Frears Film
Distribution Company: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (The Walt Disney Company)
Director: Stephen Frears (Dir)
  Jeffrey Wetzel (1st asst dir)
  Aiman Humaideh (2d asst dir)
  Anne Berger (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Tim Bevan (Prod)
  Rudd Simmons (Prod)
  Mike Newell (Exec prod)
  Alan Greenspan (Exec prod)
  Liza Chasin (Exec prod)
  John Cusack (Co-prod)
  D. V. DeVincentis (Co-prod)
  Steve Pink (Co-prod)
  Jane Frazer (Working Title exec in charge of prod)
Writer: D. V. DeVincentis (Scr)
  Steve Pink (Scr)
  John Cusack (Scr)
  Scott Rosenberg (Scr)
Photography: Seamus McGarvey (Dir of photog)
  William J. Nielson Jr. (Cam op)
  David Morenz (1st asst cam)
  Daniel W. Fuller (2d asst cam)
  Elizabeth Smith (Loader)
  James A. Miller (Gaffer)
  Robert S. Swander (Best boy electric)
  Art Bartels (Key grip)
  Michael Lange (Best boy grip)
  Fernando Briones (Dolly grip)
  Melissa Moseley (Still photog)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc. (Cam cranes and dollies by)
  Panavision (Cameras by)
Art Direction: David Chapman (Prod des)
  Therese DePrez (Prod des)
  Nicholas Lundy (Art dir)
Film Editor: Mick Audsley (Film ed)
  Mags Arnold (1st asst ed, UK)
  Kate Higham (1st asst ed, UK)
  Penny Lee Hallin (Film ed asst, U.S.)
  Dan Schalk (Non-linear ed asst, U.S.)
  Victoria Stevens (2d asst ed, UK)
  London Editing Machines (Ed equipment)
  Sylvia Wheeler Film Services Ltd. (Negative cutting)
Set Decoration: Larry P. Lundy (Set dec)
  Derrick Kardos (Graphic des)
  Joel Prihoda (Leadman)
  Phillip Ellman (On-set dresser)
  Timothy W. Tiedje (Prop master)
  Michael D. Gianneschi (Asst prop master)
  Terry Baughman (Const coord)
  Ronald Kane (Const foreman)
Costumes: Laura Cunningham Bauer (Cost des)
  Margaret Morettini (Asst cost des)
  Jennifer Jobst (Cost supv)
  Heather Pollock (Cost)
  Gina Panno (Cost)
Music: Howard Shore (Orig mus comp)
  Kathy Nelson (Mus supv)
  John Cusack (Mus supv)
  D. V. DeVincentis (Mus supv)
  Steve Pink (Mus supv)
  Joseph Magee (Supv prod mus eng)
  Electric Audio Studios, Chicago (Pre-rec mus rec)
  Robert Fernandez (Pre-rec eng)
  Rick Norman (Pre-rec eng)
  Howard Shore (Score cond and arr)
  Clinton Recording Studios, New York (Score rec)
  Ed Rak (Score eng)
  Gareth Jones (Score eng)
  John Miller (Musician contractor)
Sound: Petur Hliddal (Sd mixer)
  Peter Joly (Supv sd ed)
  Mike Higham (Supv mus ed)
  Carl Fischer (Boom op)
  Jeffrey A. Williams (Utility sd)
  Danny Longhurst (Dial ed)
  Mike Redfern (Foley ed)
  Mark Rose (Asst sd ed)
  Adrian Rhodes (Re-rec mixer)
  Howard Bargroff (Asst re-rec mixer)
  Brendan Donnison, Lyps Inc (ADR voice casting)
  Ted Swanscott (Foley mixer)
  Terry Isted (Foley mixer)
  Diane Greaves (Foley artist)
  Jason Swanscott (Foley artist)
  Claire Mahoney (Foley artist)
  Shari Schwartz Johanson (Mus ed)
  Joe Lisanti (Mus ed)
  De Lane Lea Studios, London (Re-rec at)
  Chicago Audio Works, Inc. (Sd transfer)
Special Effects: Sam Barkan (Spec eff coord)
  Don Rio McNichols (Spec eff foreman)
  Double Negative (Digital visual eff)
  The Magic Camera Company (Film opticals)
Make Up: Jeanne Van Phue (Key makeup)
  Laura Connolly (Key hair)
  Naomi Donne (Makeup and hair des for Ms. Hjejle)
Production Misc: Tania Windsor Blunden (Post prod supv)
  Steeple Post Productions Limited (Post prod consultant)
  Victoria Thomas (Casting)
  Kim Coleman (Casting assoc)
  Wendy Weidman (Casting assoc)
  Claire Simon (Chicago casting)
  Joan Philo (Atmosphere casting)
  Demetra Diamantopoulos (Loc mgr)
  Billy Higgins (Unit prod mgr)
  Anne Johns (Prod coord)
  Margaret J. Orlando (Asst prod coord)
  Anita Brongiel (Prod secy)
  Chiemi Karasawa (Scr supv)
  Dan Koretsky (Prod consultant)
  Susan Hegarty (Dialect coach)
  Louise A. Spencer (Pub)
  Michael Glorioso (Loc foreman)
  Jennifer L. Baron (Asst loc mgr)
  Adam Graham (Loc asst)
  John David Wolfe (Loc asst)
  Emma Thomas (Asst to Mr. Frears/Mr. Simmons)
  Juliette Dow (Asst to Mr. Bevan)
  Anne Devereux (Asst to Mr. Cusack)
  Melissa Sadoff (Asst to Mr. DeVincentis/Mr. Pink)
  Nina Khoshaba (Working Title company coord)
  Grace Loh (New Crime coord)
  A. Welch Lambeth (Transportation coord)
  William T. Hogan (Transportation coord)
  Edward J. Reardon (Medic)
  Michael Cronin (Medic)
  Robert Byrnes (Medic)
  Patricia Newby (Medic)
  Kenneth W. Bradley (Prod asst)
  Veloz Gomez (Prod asst)
  Eric Heisner (Prod asst)
  David Malley (Prod asst)
  Joanna Mickey (Prod asst)
  Dawn Patch (Prod asst)
  Ed Portoghese (Prod asst)
  Jon Schluenz (Prod asst)
  Jeff Sternberg (Prod asst)
  Adam Rosen (Prod asst)
  Richard Morrison at Fig Productions (Title seq des)
  Dena Johnson (Titles prod)
  Digital Film at the Moving Picture Company (Title seq digital eff)
  Sapex Scripts (Post prod scripts)
  Telefilm Video Services (Telecine)
  Astro Lab, Inc. (Dailies)
  John Ensby (Lab contacts)
  Paul Swann (Lab contacts)
Stand In: Rick LeFevour (Stunt coord)
  Chris Nolte (Stunt double for John Cusack)
  Thomas Coe (Stunt double for Tim Robbins)
Color Personnel: John Stanborough (Col timer)
  Technicolor Ltd., London (Lab UK)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” written by Roky Erickson, performed by The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, courtesy of Charly Licensing APS, by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.; “I Want Candy,” written by Gerald Goldstein, Robert Feldman, Richard Gottehrer and Bert Berns, performed by Bow Wow Wow, Courtesy of BMG Entertainment International UK; “Crocodile Rock,” written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, performed by Elton John, courtesy of Universal International Music, B.V., under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Crimson and Clover,” written by Thomas Jackson and Peter Lucia, performed by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Seymour Stein,” written by Isobel Campbell, Roy Moller, Richard Colburn, Christopher Geddes, Sarah Martin, Stuart Murdoch, Stuart David and Stephen Jackson, performed by Belle & Sebastian, courtesy of Jeepster/Matador Records; “Jacob’s Ladder,” written by Neil Peart, Gary Weinrib and Alex Zivojinovich; “Walking on Sunshine,” written by Kimberley Rew, performed by Katrina and the Waves, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; “Baby Got Going,” written by Liz Phair and Scott Litt, performed by Liz Phair, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; “Little Did I Know,” written by John Terlesky, performed by Brother JT 3, courtesy of Drag City; “I’m Wrong About Everything,” written and performed by John Wesley Harding, courtesy of Hollywood Records; “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” written by Ann Peebles, Donald Bryant and Bernard Miller, performed by Ann Peebles, courtesy of Hi Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; “The River,” written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; “Baby, I Love Your Way,” written by Peter Frampton; “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam,” written by Eugene Kelly and Francis McKee, performed by The Vaselines, courtesy of Sub Pop Records; “Cold Blooded Old Times,” written by Bill Callahan, performed by Smog, courtesy of Drag City; “On Hold,” written and performed by Edith Frost, courtesy of Drag City; “Hyena 1,” written by Clifford Price and Mark Sayfritz, performed by Goldie, courtesy of London Records UK, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Babe,” written and performed by Barry White, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Always See Your Face,” written by Arthur Lee, performed by Love, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “Soaring and Boring,” written by Liam Hayes, performed by Plush, courtesy of Drag City; “Leave Home,” written by Thomas Rowlands, Edmund Simons and Blake Baxter, performed by The Chemical Brothers, courtesy of Astralwerks Records; “Four to the Floor,” written and performed by John Etkin-Bell, courtesy of Associated Production Music; “Loopfest,” written and performed by Toby Bricheno and Jay Cryka, courtesy of Associated Production Music; “Who Loves the Sun,” written by Lou Reed, performed by The Velvet Underground, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “Robbin’s Nest,” written by Illinois Jacquet and Sir Charles Thompson, performed by Illinois Jacquet, courtesy of Blue Note Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; “Rock Steady,” written and performed by Aretha Franklin, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “Suspect Device,” written by Jake Burns and Gordon Ogilvie, performed by Stiff Little Fingers, courtesy of EMI Records UK; “Dry the Rain,” written by Stephen Mason, John Maclean and Robin Jones, performed by The Beta Band, courtesy of Astralwerks Records; “We Are the Champions,” written by Freddie Mercury, performed by Queen, courtesy of Hollywood Records/EMl Records UK; “I’m Glad You’re Mine,” written and performed by Al Green, courtesy of Hi Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; “Your Friend and Mine,” written by Arthur Lee, performed by Love, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “Shipbuilding,” written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer, performed by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, courtesy of Rykodisc and Crimson Productions, Ltd.; “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You,” written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; “Get It Together, ” written by Mark Farner, performed by Grand Funk Railroad, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI-Capital Music Special Markets; “Fallen for You,” written and performed by Sheila Nicholls, courtesy of Hollywood Records; “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’,” written by Lou Reed, performed by The Velvet Underground, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “This India,” written and performed by Harbhajhn Singh and Navinder Pal Singh, courtesy of Associated Production Music; “Tread Water,“ written by Paul Huston, David Jolicoeur, Vincent Mason and Kelvin Mercer, performed by De La Soul, courtesy of Tommy Boy Records; “The Moonbeam Song,” written and performed by Harry Nilsson, courtesy of The RCA Records Label; “Juice (Know the Ledge),” written by Eric Barrier and William Griffin, performed by Eric B. and Rakim, courtesy of MCA Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Doing It Anyway,” written and performed by Apartment 26, courtesy of Hollywood Records; “What’s on Your Mind,” written by Eric Barrier and William Griffin, performed by Eric B. and Rakim, courtesy of MCA Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Good and Strong,” written by Sy Smith and Eddie Stokes, performed by Sy Smith, courtesy of Hollywood Records; “Mendocino,” written by Doug Sahm, performed by Sir Douglas Quintet, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “The Inside Game,” written by Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, performed by Royal Trux, courtesy of Drag City; “The Night Chicago Died,” written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander; “Chapel of Rest,” written and performed by Dick Walter, courtesy of Associated Production Music; “Most of the Time,” written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; ”I Get the Sweetest Feeling,” written by Carolyn Evelyn and Van McCoy, performed by Jackie Wilson, courtesy of Brunswick Record Corp.; “Lo Boob Oscillator,” written by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, performed by Stereolab, courtesy of Sub Pop Records; “The Anti-Circle,” written by Tariq Trotter, Ahmir Thompson and Joshua Abrhams, performed by The Roots, courtesy of MCA Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy,” written by Ray Davies, performed by The Kinks, courtesy of Castle Music Ltd., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.; “Homespin Rerun (Cornelius Remix),” written by Sean O’Hagan, performed by High Llamas, courtesy of V2 Records, Inc.; “Hit the Street, ” written and performed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, courtesy of Associated Production Music; “Let’s Get It On,” written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend; “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever),” written by Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright, performed by Stevie Wonder, courtesy of Motown Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “My Little Red Book,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, performed by Love, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "Where Did You Get Those Pants," written by Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, Steve Lindsey and Allee Willis, performed by Fishbone, courtesy of Hollywood Records; "Soul Surfer," written and performed by James Cooperthwaite and Oliver Vessey, courtesy of Associated Production Music.
Composer: Joshua Abrhams
  Apartment 26
  Bert Bacharach
  Eric Barrier
  Blake Baxter
  Bert Berns
  Toby Bricheno
  Donald Bryant
  Jake Burns
  Bill Callahan
  Peter Callander
  Isobel Campbell
  Richard Colburn
  James Cooperthwaite
  Elvis Costello
  Jay Cryka
  Hal David
  Stuart David
  Ray Davies
  Bob Dylan
  Roky Erickson
  John Etkin-Bell
  Carolyn Evelyn
  Mark Farner
  Robert Feldman
  Norwood Fisher
  Peter Frampton
  Aretha Franklin
  Edith Frost
  Tim Gane
  Marvin Gaye
  Christopher Geddes
  Gerald Goldstein
  Richard Gottehrer
  Al Green
  Rupert Gregson-Williams
  William Griffin
  Neil Hagerty
  John Wesley Harding
  Liam Hayes
  Jennifer Herrema
  Paul Huston
  Stephen Jackson
  Thomas Jackson
  Illinois Jacquet
  Elton John
  David Jolicoeur
  Robin Jones
  Eugene Kelly
  Clive Langer
  Arthur Lee
  Steve Lindsey
  Scott Litt
  Peter Lucia
  John Maclean
  Sarah Martin
  Stephen Mason
  Vincent Mason
  Van McCoy
  Francis McKee
  Kelvin Mercer
  Freddie Mercury
  Bernard Miller
  Roy Moller
  Angelo Moore
  Stuart Murdoch
  Mitch Murray
  Sheila Nichols
  Harry Nilsson
  Gordon Ogilvie
  Sean O'Hagan
  Neil Peart
  Ann Peebles
  Liz Phair
  Clifford Price
  Lou Reed
  Kimberley Rew
  Thomas Rowlands
  Laetitia Sadier
  Doug Sahm
  Mark Sayfritz
  Edmund Simons
  Harbhajhn Singh
  Navinder Pal Singh
  Sy Smith
  Bruce Springsteen
  Eddie Stokes
  Bernie Taupin
  John Terlesky
  Ahmir Thompson
  Sir Charles Thompson
  Ed Townsend
  Tariq Trotter
  Oliver Vessey
  Dick Walter
  Gary Weinrib
  Barry White
  Allee Willis
  Stevie Wonder
  Yvonne Wright
  Alex Zivojinovich
Source Text: Based on the novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (New York, 1995).
Authors: Nick Hornby

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Touchstone Pictures 8/5/2000 dd/mm/yyyy PA0000973890

PCA NO: 37241
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital, SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound); DTS Digital Sound, in selected theatres
  col:
  Lenses/Prints: prints by Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: produced and distributed on Eastman Film
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Romantic comedy
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Love affairs
  Maturation
  Mothers and sons
  Music
  Reconciliation
  Record stores
 
Subjects (Minor): Abortions
  Adolescents
  Chicago (IL)
  Depression, Mental
  Disc jockeys
  Employer-employee relations
  Fanatics
  Funerals
  Infidelity
  Jealousy
  Loans
  Musicians
  Neighbors
  Nightclubs
  Parties
  Proposals (Marital)
  Sex
  Singers
  Skateboarders and skateboarding
  Vocational obsession

Note: This film did not have opening credits. Although an Apr 2000 People news item stated that neither Catherine Zeta-Jones nor Bruce Springsteen were listed in the onscreen credits, both names appear in the film's closing cast list. High Fidelity was based on Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel of the same name. According to a Jun 1995 news item in Screen International , director Mike Newell and Touchstone Pictures bought the film rights to the novel for a record $500,000. The article mistakenly described the story as being about “a music executive in the 1970s.” Var reported in Mar 1998 that although Newell originally intended to direct the film himself, he could not because of post-production scheduling constraints for the film Pushing Tin , which, like High Fidelity , starred John Cusack. According to a Mar 1998 DV item, Touchstone then hired Frears to take over the production, but retained Newell’s Dogstar Films as one of the film’s production companies. Cusack adapted the book into a screenplay with his childhood friends and writing partners, D. V. DeVincentis and Steve Pink, who live in Chicago and run New Crime Productions.
       In various contemporary sources, Cusack recounts the challenges of adapting the popular book into a film. Studio press materials relate how the story's setting was moved from London to Chicago. Although British-born Hornby often referred to his book as being “about London,” he approved the locale change. According to Frears’ commentary on the DVD version of the film, he at first objected to the Chicago setting, but after reading the screenplay came to believe that the “optimism” of Americans lent even more romance to the story. On the DVD, Frears details that the writers, by having “Rob Gordon” speak directly to the camera throughout much of the film, could lift passages directly from the book and so authentically mirror its tone. In general, the film remains so faithful to the novel that Hornby remarked in an interview for a 2 Apr 2000 NYT "Arts & Leisure" article,“At times it appears to be a film in which John Cusack reads my book.”
       The DVD version of the film includes many scenes that were shot but deleted from the theatrically released film. These include a scene from the book in which a spiteful, spurned wife (played by Beverly D’Angelo) attempts to sell her husband’s prime record collection to Rob for fifty dollars, not figuring on Rob’s loyalty to other music aficionados; one in which Rob, worried about his night with “Marie De Salle,” discusses sexual prowess with his father (played by Harold Ramis); and one in which “Caroline Fortis” interviews Rob about his top five songs, which leads to extended panic about his various options.
       According to studio press materials, most of the film was shot at locations in Chicago, IL, including in The Music Box Theatre, The Green Mill bar, the Double Door, The Rainbow Club, the Kinzie Street Bridge, The Biograph Theater and on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line trains and platforms. The closing credits list a “special thanks” to many Chicago locations, including the city of Chicago and the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Before its 28 Mar 2000 premiere in Los Angeles, High Fidelity was exhibited in mid-Mar at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX. High Fidelity was selected as one of the top ten films of the year by AFI. In addition, John Cusack received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Musical or Comedy.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   19 Mar 1998.   
Entertainment Weekly   21 Mar 2000.   
Entertainment Weekly   22 Sep 2000.   
Entertainment Weekly   22--29 Dec 2000   p. 50.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Apr 1999.   
Hollywood Reporter   6 Jul 1999.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Mar 2000   p. 7, 31.
Los Angeles Times   31 Mar 2000   p. F1, F14.
Los Angeles Times   31 May 2000.   
LA Weekly   31 Mar--6 Apr 2000   p. 43.
New York Times   31 Mar 2000   Section E, p. 15.
New York Times   2 Apr 2001   Arts & Leisure, 17, 22.
New Yorker   3 Apr 2000.   
People   10 Apr 2000.   
Screen International   9 Jun 1995.   
Time   10 Apr 2000.   
Variety   23 Mar 1998.   
Variety   20-26 Mar 2000   pp. 32-33.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.