AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Wonder Boys
Director: Curtis Hanson (Dir)
Release Date:   25 Feb 2000
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York opening: 23 Feb 2000
Production Date:   2 Feb--early May 1999; stage work at Pinnacle Studios, Pittsburgh, PA
Duration (in mins):   112
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Cast:   Michael Douglas (Grady Tripp)  
    Tobey Maguire (James Leer)  
    Frances McDormand (Sara Gaskell)  
    Robert Downey, Jr. (Terry Crabtree)  
    Katie Holmes (Hannah Green)  
    Rip Torn (Q [Quentin Morewood])  
    Richard Knox (Vernon Hardapple)  
    Jane Adams (Oola)  
    Michael Cavadias (Miss [Antonia] Sloviak)  
    Richard Thomas (Walter Gaskell)  
    Alan Tudyk (Traxler)  
    Philip Bosco (Emily's father)  
    George Grizzard (Fred Leer)  
    Kelly Bishop (Amanda Leer)  
    Bill Velin (Officer Pupcik)  
    Charis Michelsen (Carrie)  
    Yusuf Gatewood (Howard)  
    June Hildreth (Emily's mother)  
    Elisabeth Granli (Emily "photo")  
    Richard Hidlebird (Hi-Hat bouncer)  
    Screamer (Poe)  
  Wordfest party guests: Bingo O'Malley    
    Patricia Cray    
    Marita Golden    
    Victor Quinaz    
    James Ellroy    
    Lenora Nemetz    
    Tracey D. Turner    
    James Kisicki    
  Students: Rob McElhenney    
    Anika Bobb    
    Katherine Sweeney    

Summary: On the first day of Wordfest, a Pittsburgh university's annual February literary event, the crises in professor Grady Tripp’s life are making it difficult for him to concentrate on his creative writing class. His wife Emily has just left him, his once promising career has languished in the seven years since his first novel was published and he is having an affair with married university chancellor Sara Gaskell. After most of the students in Grady’s advanced writers' workshop offer inane criticism of a story written by classmate James Leer, Grady drives to the airport to pick up his agent, Terry Crabtree, hoping Terry will not discover that Grady’s long overdue novel is still unfinished. Terry has just met Miss Antonia Sloviak, assumed to be a transvestite by everyone but Terry, and takes her along to the Wordfest reception at Sara’s house. Sara’s pedantic husband Walter is too self-absorbed to be aware of Sara’s affair, and while Walter expounds on his favorite topic, the cultural implications of the marriage of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, Sara takes Grady into her bedroom. There she tells him she is pregnant, but realizes that complications in their lives make their future uncertain. Later, when Grady goes outside, he is startled to see the mysterious James standing in the snow, holding a pistol. James says that the pistol only shoots caps and explains that he is waiting there for Hannah Green, a sweet-natured student who rents a room in Grady’s house. After James says that he and Hannah enjoy watching old movies together, Grady invites him into the house to see something. He takes James into Sara and Walter’s bedroom and opens a locked closet that contains the prize of Walter’s memorabilia collection, Monroe’s fur-collared wedding jacket. When James starts to cry, saying the jacket looks lonely, Grady suggests they go, but as Grady leaves the bedroom, Poe, Walter’s suspicious dog, starts to growl and lunges at Grady’s ankle. James shoots the dog dead, shocking Grady, who grabs Poe’s body and places it into the trunk of his beat-up car. Before going to the Wordfest keynote address, Grady finds a bottle of codeine in Terry’s suitcase, takes a drink and offers some to James. In the auditorium, successful author Quentin Morewood, known to his friends as “Q,” is giving the address, but is interrupted by periodic outbursts of laughter from James. Feeling weak, Grady leaves the auditorium and passes out in the foyer. Sara is kneeling over him when he awakens, worried about the panic attacks he has been having. She tells Grady that she has decided not to have the baby, but whispers "I love you," then leaves. When Q’s address is over, Grady drives Antonia home while Terry and Q take James to a local bar called the Hi-Hat. On the way to her house, Antonia tells Grady that Terry’s job is in jeopardy and he is depending upon Grady’s new book to put his career back on track. At the Hi-Hat, Grady joins Terry, Q, Hannah and a passed out James. After the bar closes, Terry, Q and Grady pile into his car, while Hannah drives James to Grady's house because no one knows where James lives. As they start to leave, a man whom they earlier had jokingly named “Vernon Hardapple” approaches and says that Grady's 1965 maroon Ford Galaxy 500 is his car. Grady dismisses Vernon's strange behavior, then returns to the auditorium to pick up James’s forgotten backpack, which he discovers contains a completed manuscript entitled The Love Parade . Later, at his house, Grady sees Monroe’s jacket in the backpack. The next morning, after Grady lights his first marijuana cigarette of the day and starts page 2,611 of his novel, James awakens, and Grady tells him about shooting the dog and stealing the jacket. A young policeman comes to the door to say Walter has reported the jacket, as well as his dog, missing, and James is suspected. Grady does not reveal that James is there, and later drives with him to Sara’s house. Although he tells her that he wants to be with her, she says that she still has not made a decision. Grady then takes James with him on the long drive to Emily’s parents’ house, and while Grady smokes more marijuana, James tells him increasingly more complicated stories about his life. Emily is not at her parents’ house, but her physician father wraps Grady’s injured ankle and tries to tell him that Emily left because Grady “wasn’t there.” On the trip back to Pittsburgh, Grady tells James he is a terrific writer then, when they stop at a highway restaurant, learns from directory assistance that “Carvel,” the town which James claimed is his home, does not exist. Now realizing that James has made up everything, Grady searches his backpack and finds James’s home phone number. Some time later, James’s wealthy parents arrive. James reluctantly leaves with his cold parents, but again forgets his backpack. Grady spends much of the evening sitting in his car, smoking marijuana and reading James’s novel. He arrives home while Terry is throwing a party and finds Hannah in her room, reading Grady's voluminous manuscript. Grady later tells Terry how good James’s book is and Terry suggests that they “rescue” him. In the middle of the night they go to the Leer estate and find James in a large guesthouse. He is happy to leave with them but to make sure that his absence is not detected, Grady places Poe’s body, which was still in his trunk, in James’s bed. Back at Grady’s house, as he places a call to Sara, he spots a van marked “Kraynik’s Sporting Goods” slowly drive by. When Walter answers the phone, Grady confesses that he is in love with Sara. The next morning, Sara comes to see Grady and says that James's parents found Poe’s body in their son’s bed. Just as Grady confesses that James is upstairs, the police come to arrest him. James, who is in bed with Terry, cheerfully goes to jail, happily relating that Terry plans to publish his book and that Grady is the best teacher he ever had. Now Grady discovers that his car has been stolen, and goes to Hannah’s room to borrow hers. She tells him that his novel is beautiful, but its length makes it obvious that he does not practice what he teaches, to make choices. Annoyed by her criticism of his “being under the influence” while writing, Grady grabs his manuscript and takes Terry with him to retrieve his car. On the way, Grady tells Terry that the Ford, which was given to him by a friend who owes him money, was probably stolen from Vernon. They then drive to Kraynik’s Sporting Goods store and find the missing car. Grady grabs his bag of marijuana and James’s gun from the glove compartment but does not find Monroe’s jacket. He briefly passes out in another panic attack and awakens to find Oola, a pregnant waitress from the Hi-Hat, smiling at him and wearing Monroe's jacket. Then Vernon arrives and sees the gun. Fearing for Oola, who is his girlfriend, he starts to create a scene, prompting Terry to race across the street in Hannah’s malfunctioning car. The car door opens, causing Grady’s manuscript pages to fly into the wind as the car crashes into a wall. Vernon then drives Terry and the disconsolate Grady back to the university. Terry proffers that losing the manuscript may have been a blessing in disguise as Grady tries unsuccessfully to explain to Oola what his novel was about. Back on campus, Grady decides to let Oola keep the jacket and realizes that what he wants to do is help his students figure out "where they want to go." Inside the auditorium, Walter is announcing the “plums,” publishing contracts given to local authors during Wordfest. James's book is announced as being published by Terry’s company, which is also publishing Walter’s book on Monroe and DiMaggio, The Last American Marriage . Grady leaves the auditorium and decides to give his remaining bag of marijuana to the janitor and begins to feel faint. Months later, in his study at Sara’s house, Grady completes work on his book, writing that James was not expelled, but quit and moved to New York. Hannah is now a junior editor and although Grady lost his wife, his book and his job, he finally learned where he wanted to go. As Sara and their baby drive up, Grady looks lovingly at them, happy that he now has someone to help him get where he is going. 

Production Company: Mutual Film Company  
  Paramount Pictures Corp. (A Viacom Company)
Production Text: A Scott Rudin/Curtis Hanson Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp. (A Viacom Company)
Director: Curtis Hanson (Dir)
  Douglas C. Metzger (1st asst dir)
  Jonathan McGarry (2d asst dir)
  Annie Loeffler (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Adam Schroeder (Exec prod)
  Ned Dowd (Exec prod)
  Scott Rudin (Prod)
  Curtis Hanson (Prod)
  Lisa Grundy (Assoc prod)
Writer: Steve Kloves (Scr)
Photography: Dante Spinotti (Dir of photog)
  Gary Jay (Cam op)
  Duane 'DC' Manwiller (1st asst photog/2d steadicam op)
  Glenn Brown (2d asst photog)
  Kyle Rudolph (Steadicam op/2d cam op)
  Chris Silano ("B" cam 1st asst photog)
  Peter Simonite ("B" cam 2d asst photog)
  Will Dearborn (Cam loader)
  Frank Connor (Still photog)
  Panavision Remote Systems (Filmed with remote cranes and heads from)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc. (Cam dollies by)
  Jay Fortune (Chief lighting tech)
  Tommy Dolan (Asst chief lighting tech)
  John Evans (Elec)
  Frank McGough (Elec)
  Chris Muchow (Elec)
  Troy Muhammad (Elec)
  Steve Purcell (Elec)
  Jeff Vander Molen (Elec)
  Jim Malone (Chief rigging tech)
  Gregory Farrell (Chief rigging elec)
  Jarrett Buba (Rigging elec)
  David Gurney (Rigging elec)
  Jean-Pierre Nutini (Rigging elec)
  Eddie Quinn Sr. (1st company grip)
  Thomas Gilligan (2d company grip)
  Albert Ramos (Dolly grip)
  Brian Buzzelli (Grip)
  Gregory Edwards (Grip)
  Bart Flaherty (Grip)
  Dennis Maitland (Grip)
  Keith Seymour (Grip)
  Billy Kerwick (1st company rigging grip)
  Joseph A. Viano (2d company rigging grip)
  Regis Donehue (Rigging grip)
  Ray Edwards (Rigging grip)
  Lee Nagle (Rigging grip)
  Andrew Taylor (Rigging grip)
Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall (Prod des)
  Don Woodruff (Art dir)
  Gary Kosko (Asst art dir)
  Francine Byrne (Art dept coord)
  Susan Burig (Graphic des)
  Eva Kamienska-Carter (Graphic des)
Film Editor: Dede Allen (Ed)
  Graig Kitson (Addl film ed)
  Rolf Fleischmann (1st asst film ed)
  Stacey S. Clipp (Avid asst film ed)
  John Morrisey (Asst film ed)
  Adam S. Hernandez (Apprentice film ed)
  Dana L. Marker (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Jay R. Hart (Set dec)
  George Karnoff (Lead person)
  Troy Peters (On-set dresser)
  John Butler (Set dresser)
  Dennis Dubart (Set dresser)
  Ray Pivirotto (Set dresser)
  Jim Schneider (Set dresser)
  Barbara Pastorik (Set dec buyer)
  Diana Stoughton (Set dec buyer)
  Charles Stewart (Prop master)
  Thomas Garrigan (Asst prop master)
  Megan Graham (Asst prop master)
  Selma Kora (Asst prop master)
  Alex Gillis (Poe animal replica created by)
  Tom Woodruff Jr. (Poe animal replica created by)
  Buster Pile (Const coord)
  Michael G. Richer (Const foreperson)
  Mike Matesic (Const loc foreperson)
  Joseph Waterkotte (Const loc foreperson)
  Brian Stultz (Charge scenic)
  Alisa B. Lumbreras (Scenic foreperson)
  Todd Hatfield (Scenic artist)
  Eileen Garrigan (Scenic artist)
  Mark Barill (Scenic artist)
  Vincent Borrelli (Scenic artist)
  Gregg Puchalski (Scenic artist)
  Blake Rich (Scenic artist)
  Gregory Jones (Head greensperson)
Costumes: Beatrix Aruna Pasztor (Cost des)
  Vanessa Vogel (Asst cost des)
  Kendall Errair (Cost supv)
  Diane Collins (Cost)
  David Page (Cost)
  Fran Allgood (Mr. Douglas' cost)
Music: Carol Fenelon (Mus supv)
  Christopher Young (Mus)
  Thomas Milano (Supv mus ed)
  Tanya Noel Hill (Mus ed)
  Pete Anthony (Mus orch and cond)
  Christopher Young (Addl orch)
  Bruce Babcock (Addl orch)
  Sandy De Crescent (Orch contractor)
  Robert Fernandez (Mus rec and mixed by)
  Paramount Pictures Scoring Stage M (Mus rec and mixed at)
  Paul Wertheimer (Mus rec)
  Norm Dlugatch (Mus tech eng)
  Dominic Gonzales (Mus floor person)
  Bob Bornstein (Mus preparation)
  Konstantinos Christides (Score coord)
  Jasper Randall (Score coord)
  Sujin Nam (Score coord)
  Kenneth Burgomaster (Synth programming)
Sound: Kirk Francis (Prod sd mixer)
  Dennis Drummond (Supv sd ed)
  David Giammarco (Supv sd ed)
  Mychal Smith (Boom op)
  Jim Emswiller (Cable person)
  Renee Tondelli (Supv ADR ed)
  George Anderson (ADR ed)
  Kim Drummond (Dial ed)
  Mark Yardas (Dial ed)
  Jonathan Klein (Supv foley ed)
  Dan Yale (Foley ed)
  Galen Goodpaster (Asst sd ed)
  Karen Minahan (Asst sd ed)
  Bill Burns (Asst sd ed)
  Joe Schiff (Asst sd ed)
  Robin Zacha (Apprentice sd ed)
  Greg Steele (ADR mixer)
  Randy K. Singer (Foley mixer)
  Robin Harlan (Foley artist)
  Sarah Monat (Foley artist)
  Terri Douglas (ADR voice)
  Caitlin McKenna (ADR voice)
  Claudette Wells (ADR voice)
  June Christopher (ADR voice)
  Barbara Goodson (ADR voice)
  Raechel H. Donahue (ADR voice)
  Archie Hahn (ADR voice)
  Phil Proctor (ADR voice)
  Nicholas Guest (ADR voice)
  Don Fullilove (ADR voice)
  Roger Aaron Brown (ADR voice)
  Roger Aaron Brown (ADR voice)
  Fred Tatasciore (ADR voice)
  Nathan Carlson (ADR voice)
  Christopher Jenkins (Re-rec mixer)
  Ron Bartlett (Re-rec mixer)
  Mark Smith (Re-rec mixer)
  Mark Narramore (Rec)
  Todd-AO Studios (Re-rec)
  Andy Potvin (Dolby sd consultant)
Special Effects: John D. Milinac (Spec eff coord)
  Scott Blackwell (Spec eff foreperson)
  Tom Von Badinski (Spec eff asst)
  Jim Heastings (Spec eff asst)
  Ralph Pivirotto (Spec eff asst)
  Raymond Tasillo (Spec eff asst)
  Snow Business, Inc. (Snow eff)
  Peter Haran (Snow effects coord)
  Roland Hathaway (Snow eff tech)
  Mark Raymond (Snow eff tech)
  Cinesite (Visual eff)
  Jerry Pooler (Visual eff supv)
  Kevin Elam (Visual eff prod)
  David Lingenfelser (Composite supv)
  Lubo Hristov ([Visual eff] art dir)
  David Rey (Digital compositor)
  Mike Castillo (Digital compositor)
  Kama Moiha (Digital compositor)
  Ted Andre (Digital compositor)
  Sean O'Connor (Digital compositor)
  Craig Mathieson (Digital compositor)
  Jerry Sells (Digital compositor)
  Krystine Lankenau (Rotoscope artist)
  Jessica Trento (VFX coord)
  Bridgitte Nance (VFX prod asst)
  Kevin Clark (VFX ed)
  Jason Sullivan (VFX asst ed)
  Sean Rourke (Discreet 4.0 ed)
  Tony Sgueglia (Data op)
  Jay Adams (Digital imaging tech)
Make Up: Michael Bigger (Makeup supv)
  Kymbra Callaghan (Makeup artist)
  Allen Weisinger (Makeup artist for Mr. Douglas)
  Aaron F. Quarles (Hair supv)
  Sacha P. Quarles (Hairstylist)
  Joseph Mathew Coscia (Hair stylist for Mr. Douglas)
Production Misc: Mali Finn (Casting)
  Emily Schweber (Casting assoc)
  Lindsey Hayes (Casting asst)
  Donna Belajac (Loc casting assoc)
  Vikki Ferguson (Loc casting asst)
  Nancy Mosser Bailey (Extras casting)
  Loop Troop (Voice casting)
  Zane Weiner (Unit prod mgr)
  Mark Roybal (Prod exec for Scott Rudin Productions)
  Pat Rand (Post prod supv)
  Eva Z. Cabrera (Scr supv)
  Jeff Stimmel (Loc mgr)
  James A. Mahathey (Asst loc mgr)
  Steve Parys (Asst loc mgr)
  Judy Sepich (Loc scout)
  Mark Forbes (Animal trainer)
  Stacy M. Basil (Animal trainer)
  Janice F. Sperling (Prod coord)
  Diane Sunderlin (Asst prod coord)
  Susan Lukondi (Prod secy)
  Eric Myers (Unit pub)
  Mary Grace Shaughnessy (Asst to Mr. Hanson)
  Eben Davidson (Exec asst to Mr. Rudin)
  John A. Cohen (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Angelique Palozzi (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Ben Famiglietti (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Jeremy Selman (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Pam Buchignani (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Lucia Murillo (Asst to Mr. Schroeder)
  Jamie Midgley (Asst to Mr. Douglas)
  Tim Kessler (Asst to Mr. Downey)
  Renee F. Hill (DGA trainee)
  Joshua A. Baker (Prod asst)
  Casey Brown (Prod asst)
  Pat Buckley (Prod asst)
  Cameron Douglas (Prod asst)
  Denny Dressler (Prod asst)
  Robert Eckenrode (Prod asst)
  Melisa Frick (Prod asst)
  Jessica E. Giannotta (Prod asst)
  Josh Greenstein (Prod asst)
  Stephen Hough (Prod asst)
  Bethany Koshinski (Prod asst)
  Amy Kovalchick (Prod asst)
  Hope Anne Nathan (Prod asst)
  John Rickard (Prod asst)
  Ryan Sweeney (Prod asst)
  Ryan Sweeney (Prod asst)
  David Weinstein (Prod asst)
  Mike Zemkosky (Prod asst)
  Marie Elder (Prod accountant)
  Jeanine Wilson (1st asst accountant)
  Lora Umphress (Asst accountant)
  Catherine Middleton (Asst accountant)
  Katy Tatian Genovese (Payroll accountant)
  Dan Casey (Video asst)
  Mary Beth Spear (First aid)
  Marc Scott (Transportation coord)
  Dennis J. Braun (Transportation capt)
  Donald Kraus (Transportation co-capt)
Stand In: Jeff Imada (Stunt coord)
  Norman Douglass (Stunts)
  Frank Garbutt (Stunts)
  Kevin LaMont Jackson (Stunts)
  Jimmy N. Roberts (Stunts)
  Michael Runyard (Stunts)
Color Personnel: Phil Hetos (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "No Regrets" by Tom Rush; "Reason to Believe" by Tim Hardin; "Youth" from Picture of Dorian Gray , by Herbert Stothart; "Bicycle Montage" from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles by Laurence Rosenthal, courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.; Theme music from Route 66 , by Nelson Riddle, performed by Nelson Riddle.
Songs: "Things Have Changed," music and lyrics by Bob Dylan, performed by Bob Dylan, a Jack Frost production, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," music and lyrics by Mercer Ellington & Ted Persons, performed by Johnny Hodges, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment; "Shoot Your Shot," music and lyrics by Audry DeWalt, Lawrence Horn, James Graves, James Graves, Jr. & Dwight Graves, performed by Jr. Walker & the All Stars, courtesy of Motown Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Need Your Love So Bad," music and lyrics by Mertis John, performed by Little Willie John, courtesy of Global Licensing, by arrangement with Rhino Entertainment Company; "Slip Away," music and lyrics by William Armstrong, Marcus Daniel & Wilbur Terrell, performed by Clarence Carter, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "A Child's Claim to Fame," music and lyrics by Richie Furay, performed by Buffalo Springfield, courtesy of Atco Records/Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "Buckets of Rain," music and lyrics by Bob Dylan, performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Watching the Wheels," music and lyrics by John Lennon, performed by John Lennon, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets; "Good Morning" from Babes in Arms , music by Arthur Freed, lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown, performed by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, courtesy of Turner Entertainment Co.; "Old Man," music and lyrics by Neil Young, performed by Neil Young, courtesy of Reprise Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "Waiting for the Miracle," music and lyrics by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, performed by Leonard Cohen, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Philosophers Stone," music and lyrics by Van Morrison, performed by Van Morrison, courtesy of Virgin Records Limited/Virgin Records of America, Inc.; "Glad to Be Unhappy," music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, performed by Lee Wiley, courtesy of Audiophile Records; "Not Dark Yet" and "Shooting Star," music and lyrics by Bob Dylan, performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
Composer: William Armstrong
  Nacio Herb Brown
  Leonard Cohen
  Marcus Daniel
  Autry DeWalt
  Bob Dylan
  Mercer Ellington
  Arthur Freed
  Richie Furay
  Dwight Graves
  James Graves
  James Graves Jr.
  Tim Hardin
  Lorenz Hart
  Lawrence Horn
  Mertis John
  John Lennon
  Van Morrison
  Ted Persons
  Nelson Riddle
  Sharon Robinson
  Richard Rodgers
  Laurence Rosenthal
  Tom Rush
  Herbert Stothart
  Wilbur Terrell
  Neil Young
Source Text: Based on the novel Wonder Boys by Michael Cabon (New York, 1995).
Authors: Michael Chabon

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
MFF Feature Film Productions, GmbH & Co., KG 13/3/2000 dd/mm/yyyy PA0000975169

PCA NO: 36732
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby; Digital DTS Sound in selected theatres
  col: Dailies by Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: DeLuxe; Eastman Kodak Film
  Widescreen/ratio: Filmed with Panavision Cameras and Lenses
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
 
Subjects (Major): Authors
  Mid-life crisis
  Pittsburgh (PA)
  Professors
 
Subjects (Minor): Accidents
  Airports
  Bars
  Clothes
  College students
  Dogs
  Impersonation and imposture
  Marijuana
  Marilyn Monroe
  Motion picture fans
  Panic attacks
  Parties
  Robbery
  Transvestites
  Waitresses

Note: In the opening credits, Michael Douglas' name is listed above the film's title. Robert Downey, Jr.'s name is listed in the fifth position after the film's title, preceded by the word "and." In the end credits, Downey's name is the third credited after Douglas. The film is narrated intermittently by Douglas as his character, "Grady Tripp." When the picture ends, Grady is shown at a desk in the "Gaskell" house, completing work on the story that he has described in the narration and has been unfolding throughout the film.
       As noted in the onscreen credits, the film was shot entirely on location in Pittsburgh, PA. Although many of the college sequences were shot on the campus of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, no specific name is used for the university depicted in the film. The house used for Grady’s residence is located in the area of Pittsburgh known as “Friendship.” According to the film’s press book, although it was shot during winter months, unseasonably warm weather in March resulted in the use of snow-making machines for many of the film’s exterior scenes.
       The term "wonder boys" refers to people who have had great success at an early age but find difficulty living up to, and repeating, that success. The character of "Emily" is seen only in a photograph. Throughout the film, Grady is shown typing his long-overdue novel on an electric typewriter. This fact becomes an important plot point near the end of the film when his only copy of the manuscript is scattered in the wind. At the end of the picture, Grady is shown using a laptop computer.
       The film’s end credits include acknowledgments of thanks to the city of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Film Office, the Pennsylvania Film Office, Carnegie Melon University, Howard Johnson’s Restaurants and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library & Archive, Cooperstown, NY.
       Wonder Boys includes a number of allusions to classic motion pictures. The title of "James Leer's" novel The Love Parade refers to a 1929 Paramount musical directed by Ernst Lubitsch (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ). "Carvel," which James says is his hometown, but which Grady discovers does not exist, was the name of the fictional town inhabited by "The Hardy Family," main characters in M-G-M's popular series from the 1930s and 1940s (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). As acknowledged in the end credits, small excerpts of the films The Picture of Dorian Gray and Babes in Arms (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 and 1941-50 ) as well as the television series Route 66 and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles are included in Wonder Boys .
       The film was based on the second novel of Michael Chabon, and was the first of his works to be adapted to the screen. Like Wonder Boys , Chabon's first novel, Mysteries of Pittsburgh , was also set in that city. According to a Var news item, producer Scott Rudin acquired the film rights to Wonder Boys in Apr 1995 and signed Steve Kloves to write the screenplay. According to a 12 Nov 1999 HR news item, the film was partially financed by the Germany company, MFF Feature Film Productions GmbH & Co. KG, which is the copyright holder.
       Although the film opened to good to excellent reviews, it did not perform up to the filmmakers' expectations during its initial release. LAT and DV news items reveal that Paramount executives decided to rerelease the film in early Nov 2000, with a new marketing plan that relied less on the art work of Douglas in the pink chenille bathrobe he wears during parts of the film.
       According to news items, following the film's initial release, the family of actor Alan Ladd, who died in 1964, took exception to his name being included in the list of celebrity suicides recited by Tobey Maguire, as James. Ladd's family noted that the circumstances of Ladd's death were unclear and may have been accidental. When the film was released on VHS and DVD, a small controversy erupted over purported artistic changes within the film, as noted in the written statement "Editorial content has been modified." According to news items, director Curtis Hanson stated that the only part of the film that was changed was the line of dialogue mentioning Ladd. As in the original the words were only heard, and not seen while spoken, no footage was altered.
       Novelist James Ellroy, who wrote the novel on which Hanson's previous film, L.A. Confidential , was based, can be seen briefly in the party sequence and is credited onscreen as a "Wordfest party guest." This film marked the feature film debut of actor Michael Cavadias as "Miss Sloviak." Wonder Boys screenwriter Kloves, director of photography Dante Spinotti and production designer Jeannine Oppewall also worked on L.A. Confidential .
       The film was named to a number of "top ten" lists, including AFI's list of the top ten American films of 2000. Bob Dylan won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, "Things Have Changed." The film was nominated for two additional Academy Awards, to Kloves for Best Adapted Screenplay and to Dede Allenn for Best Film Editing. Wonder Boys also received three additional Golden Globe nominations in drama categories, for Best Picture, Best Actor for Douglas and Best Screenplay for Kloves. Kloves, along with Chabon, also received USC's Scriptor Award for the year's Best Screenplay Adapted from a Novel.
 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   18 Feb 2000   p. 10, 57.
Daily Variety   22 May 2000.   
Daily Variety   24 Jan 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   9 Feb 1999.   
Hollywood Reporter   4 May 1999   p. 26.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Nov 1999.   
Hollywood Reporter   18 Feb 2000   p. 10, 50.
Los Angeles Times   23 Feb 2000   Section F, p. 1, 8-9.
Los Angeles Times   5 Nov 2000.   
Los Angeles Times   7 Nov 2000   Calendar, p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times   13 Aug 2001.   
The New Republic   20 Mar 2000   pp. 24-25.
New York Times   23 Feb 2000   Arts, p. 1, 9.
New Yorker   28 Feb 2000.   
Newsweek   28 Feb 2000.   
Rolling Stone   16 Mar 2000   p. 81.
Time   28 Feb 2000.   
Variety   5 Mar 1999.   
Variety   17 Apr 1995.   
Variety   21-27 Feb 2000   p. 36, 38.
Village Voice   29 Feb 2000   p. 114.

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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.
 
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