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You Can Count on Me
Director: Kenneth Lonergan (Dir)
Release Date:   10 Nov 2000
Premiere Information:   World premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT: 28 Jan 2000; New York and Los Angeles openings: 10 Nov 2000
Production Date:   mid-Jun--mid-Jul 1999
Duration (in mins):   109 or 111
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Cast: In order of appearance Amy Ryan (Mrs. Prescott)  
    Michael Countryman (Mr. Prescott)  
    Adam LeFevre (Sheriff Darryl)  
    Halley Feiffer (Amy)  
    Whitney Vance (Young Sammy)  
    Peter Kerwin (Young Terry)  
    Betsy Aidem (Minister)  
    Laura Linney (Sammy [Samantha Prescott])  
  Introducing Rory Culkin (Rudy [Prescott])  
    J. Smith-Cameron (Mabel)  
    Matthew Broderick (Brian [Everett])  
    Jon Tenney (Bob [Stegerson])  
    Gaby Hoffmann (Sheila [Seidleman])  
    Mark Ruffalo (Terry [Prescott])  
    Lisa Altomare (Waitress)  
    Kenneth Lonergan (Ron)  
    Nina Garbiras (Nancy [Everett])  
    Richard Hummer (Plumber)  
    Kim Parker (Rudy Sr.'s girlfriend)  
    Josh Lucas (Rudy, Sr. [Kolinski])  
    Allan Gill (Older cop)  
    Brian Ramage (Young cop)  

Summary: Outside of Scottsville, New York in the Catskill Mountains, the parents of young Samantha “Sammy” and Terry Prescott are killed in a head-on car collision. Several years later, still living in their childhood home, Sammy is a bank lending officer and single mother, who forgoes part of her lunch hour each day so that she can drive her eight-year-old son Rudy from school to his baby sitter in the afternoon. When the inflexible Brian Everett, who lacks true managerial skills, is hired by the bank as her new boss, he orders her to make different arrangements for her son. At home, Sammy is cheered to receive a long-overdue letter from Terry, announcing that he is coming for a visit, the first in two years. That evening, after she reads Rudy’s school essay describing his estranged father as a dashing secret agent, Sammy meets with her longtime, but uncommitted boyfriend, Bob Stegnerson, to discuss what she should tell Rudy about his father, with whom she no longer has contact. Meanwhile, Terry, who is unemployed in Worcester, Massachusetts, argues with his girl friend, Sheila Seidleman, about their lack of money. After callously suggesting that Sheila move back home with her parents, Terry leaves and a day later arrives in Scottsville, where he is greeted by the town sheriff, Darryl. He then meets an enthusiastic Sammy for lunch at a local restaurant. While prodding Terry for details about his recent activities, Sammy is disappointed to learn that his visit will be brief and that he needs a loan to help Sheila, who is pregnant. Terry then admits that he spent three months in a Florida jail, after brawling in a barroom, but scoffs at Sammy’s suggestion that he needs religious guidance. After lunch, Sammy gives Terry money, then vents about being used. That night, Terry telephones Sheila, but learns that she has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Shaken, Terry immediately mails Sheila the money, then accepts Sammy’s offer to move back home. The next day, Sammy lends her car to Terry, in exchange for his promise to drive Rudy from school to the baby sitter’s. At work, while she and her co-workers chafe under Brian’s exacting yet trifling demands, Sammy gets a concerned call from Rudy’s baby sitter, who says that Rudy never arrived there. Alarmed, Sammy bolts from work in search of him and discovers that Terry has taken Rudy with him to his part-time carpentry job. When she returns to work, the shallow Brian, who has little sense of priorities, rebukes Sammy for her abrupt departure. That evening, after spending several hours in an empty bar, Terry returns home and expresses his disgust with small town life to Rudy. When the boy asks if Terry knew his father, Terry admits that he did, but never liked him. Later, in an effort to be useful, Terry works on the house’s aging plumbing and baby sits Rudy while Sammy goes on a date with Bob. Literally interpreting Sammy’s orders to limit Rudy’s television viewing, Terry takes his nephew to a pool hall, where they win a round of eight-ball. Meanwhile, over dinner, Sammy is shocked by a marriage proposal from Bob, who has until then been indecisive about their relationship, and asks for time to consider it. She returns home, unaware that Terry and Rudy have barely preceded her and that Terry has demanded a promise from Rudy not to tell his mother about their outing. When Sammy trips and gashes her knee on an exposed section of piping that Terry has been repairing, she announces she will call a plumber. The next day, Brian introduces his pregnant wife Nancy to his employees and Sammy is intrigued by the obvious tension between the couple. That afternoon, Sammy learns about Rudy’s trip to the pool hall from Darryl. Terry, sulking over the arrival of the plumber, forgets to pick up Rudy, who then walks through a rainstorm to Sammy’s office. Outraged, Sammy scolds Terry for forgetting Rudy and for taking him to the pool hall. Terry, believing that Rudy broke his promise, angrily banishes his confused nephew to the baby sitter’s house. After work, Sammy talks Brian into going out for dinner, where he admits having marital difficulties, and afterward they have sex in his car. That night, Sammy and Terry reconcile. Sammy confides her feelings of discomfort about Bob’s proposal and admits to her affair with Brian. After some bickering, Terry learns that it was not Rudy who told Sammy about the pool hall and feels guilty. Soon after, Sammy and Brian’s affair spills into their workday when they kiss in his office, and Sammy is distracted when she meets Bob for dinner. Afterward, she meets Brian for a hasty tryst at a motel, which gives Terry a chance to apologize to Rudy privately for accusing him of betraying their secret. The next day, troubled by her errant behavior, Sammy consults her pastor, Ron, but instead of addressing her problems, she voices her concern about Terry. Ron comes to the house to counsel them and suggests that Terry has found no meaning in life. An annoyed Terry agrees that he is not a good influence on his nephew and calls off the fishing trip he and Rudy had planned. Stung, Sammy accuses Terry of taking his anger at her out on Rudy. The next day after church, Terry shows up with fishing rods, and he and Rudy leave together. Sammy again meets with Ron and confesses her affair with Brian, but is disconcerted when Ron fails to upbraid her. She meets with Bob, and although they admit they love each other, she declines his offer of marriage leaving their relationship undefined. Then, after a sexual rendezvous with Brian at the motel, Sammy tells her boss they must stop seeing each other. Meanwhile, at the fishing hole, Rudy again asks Terry about his father and Terry decides that Rudy should know the truth. They go to a trailer park in a nearby town, where Terry introduces Rudy Kolinski to his son, but when Rudy, Sr. denies that he is Rudy’s father, he and Terry exchange insults. A fistfight ensues, after which the police arrive and arrest Terry. Upon returning home, Sammy grows anxious at finding both Terry and Rudy's absence and calls the police, then Bob, who waits with her. The next morning, when Terry calls from jail, Bob accompanies Sammy to bail him out. After they retutn home, Sammy, who has missed work, receives a call from the furious Brian, who fires her. Rudy tries to deny to himself that Rudy, Sr., is his father, but Sammy admits that he is. Later, claiming that he is a bad influence on Rudy, Sammy asks Terry to get his own place and offers to buy Terry’s share of the house to provide him money. Terry refuses the offer, deciding instead to leave Scottsville and spend his last days in town at a friend’s house. While he packs, Terry explains to Rudy that he wanted to show him what his father was really like. When Terry expresses anger at Sammy for throwing him out of the house, Rudy offers to accompany him, and Terry is touched by the boy’s loyalty. Sammy returns to the bank to confront Brian, implying she will reveal their affair if he indeed fires her. Although Brian tries to exude a dignified professionalism, Sammy declares that he will have to allow her to continue to pick up Rudy after school and he meekly agrees. She then returns to work, and later has lunch with Bob. At home, Rudy is despondent about Terry’s departure. After several unsuccessful calls, Sammy finally reaches Terry, who has been out visiting their parents’ graves, to ask if he will see Rudy before leaving town. The next day, just before Rudy’s school bus arrives, Terry shows up to say goodbye. Afterward, when Sammy accompanies Terry to his bus stop and confesses her deep concern for him, Terry reassures her that he will be fine. He admits how much she means to him and that it comforts him to know that she is at home rooting for him. After promising Sammy that he will always return to her, Terry boards his bus and leaves, and Sammy drives to work.  

Production Company: Hart Sharp Entertainment  
  Shooting Gallery  
  Cappa Productions  
Production Text: A Film by Kenneth Lonergan
a film by Kenneth Lonergan
Distribution Company: Paramount Classics (A Viacom Company)
Director: Kenneth Lonergan (Dir)
  Michael Lerman (1st asst dir)
  Peter Thorell (2d asst dir)
  Michael Moffa (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Martin Scorsese (Exec prod)
  Steve Carlis (Exec prod)
  Donald C. Carter (Exec prod)
  Morton Swinsky (Exec prod)
  John N. Hart (Prod)
  Jeffrey Sharp (Prod)
  Larry Meistrich (Prod)
  Barbara De Fina (Prod)
  Jill Footlick (Line prod)
  Keith Abell (Co-prod)
  Julian Iragorri (Co-prod)
  Robert Kravis (Assoc prod)
  Rachel Peters (Assoc prod)
  Luke Smith (Set intern)
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan (Wrt)
Photography: Stephen Kazmierski (Dir of photog)
  Aurelia Winborn (1st asst cam)
  Ariane Lemay (2d asst cam)
  Niknaz Tavakolian (Cam loader)
  Sandy Hays (Steadicam op)
  Jim Sofranko (B cam op)
  Eddie Rodriguez (B cam 1st asst)
  Francis Spieldenner (B cam 2d asst)
  Larry Riley (Still photog)
  Ed Cohen (Gaffer)
  Dave Anderson (Gaffer)
  Darryl Furr (Best boy elec)
  Jendra Robinson (Company elec)
  Hugo Bonilla (Company elec)
  Michael Rudolph (Company elec)
  Jada Cox (Addl elec)
  Moira Demos (Addl elec)
  John Billeci (Addl elec)
  Rebekah Frankel (Addl elec)
  Max Corbacho (Addl elec)
  Todd Klein (Key grip)
  Adam Snyder (Best boy grip)
  Peter Reigner (Company grip)
  Chris Meehan (Company grip)
  George Alias (Addl grip)
  Timothy Reilly (Addl grip)
  Igor Srubshchik (Video playback)
  Xeno Lights, Inc. (Lighting & grip)
  Panavision (Cam equip)
Art Direction: Michael Shaw (Prod des)
  Shawn Carroll (Art dir)
  Francis Maiorino (Art dept asst)
  Adam Carroll (Art dept intern)
  Kristin Wolfe (Art dept intern)
  Grace Maloney (Art dept intern)
Film Editor: Anne McCabe (Ed)
  Mike Fay (Asst picture ed)
  Stan Sztaba, Match Cut Film Services (Negative cutter)
  Patricia Sztaba, Match Cut Film Services (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Lydia Marks (Set dec)
  Matt Duncan (On set dresser)
  Ellen Nylen (Shopper)
  Mario Herrera (Scenics)
  Susan Glod (Scenics)
  Chris Des Marais (Prop master)
  Janine Pesce (Asst prop master)
  Mark Ruben (Carpenter)
Costumes: Melissa Toth (Cost des)
  Erica Westheimer (Asst cost des)
  Amy McCusker (Ward asst)
Music: Christopher Covert (Mus supv)
  Barry Cole (Mus supv)
  Lesley Barber (Mus comp and orch)
  Rob Carli (Scoring asst)
  Martin Loomer (Copyist, score prep)
  John Welsman (Orch contractor)
  David Kramer's Looping Group (Background vocals)
  Matthew McCarthy (Background vocals)
  Timothy Kirkpatrick (Background vocals)
  Ross Klavan (Background vocals)
  Rae C. Wright (Background vocals)
  Roman Borys (Cello)
  Cynthia Steljes (Oboe)
  Mark Skazinetsky (Orchestral leader)
Sound: Peter Schneider (Sd mixer)
  Wendy Hedin (Supv sd ed)
  Kelly Neese (Boom op)
  Kevin Meehan (Boom op)
  Lawrence Hoff (Boom op)
  Mike Shore (Dial ed)
  Susan Shufro (Mus ed)
  David Briggs (Foley ed)
  Robert Fernandez, Sound One Corp (Re-rec eng)
  Patrick Dundas (Foley rec)
  Nancy Cabrera, Gun For Hire Post (Foley artist)
  Matthew Fleece (ADR eng)
  Michael Banton-Jones (Mus eng)
  McClear Digital, Toronto (Rec at)
  Ryan Aktari (Asst eng)
  Geof Lipman (Dolby sd consultant)
  Gun For Hire Post (ADR and foley facilities)
Special Effects: The Effects House (Titles & opticals)
Make Up: Chris Bingham (Key makeup)
  James Post (Key hairstylist)
Production Misc: Lina Todd (Casting)
  Laurie Allen (Casting asst)
  Nicole Wohl (Casting asst)
  Domenic Andreoli (Extras casting)
  Lauren Speilberg (Extras casting asst)
  Jill Footlick (Unit prod mgr)
  Jamie H. Zelermyer (Prod supv)
  Chris Kenneally (Post prod supv, Gun for Hire)
  Alexandra Bush (Prod coord)
  Kelly Smith (Asst prod coord)
  Mark Erdman (Prod secy)
  Joe Hobeck (Post asst)
  Eric Morgan (Post intern)
  Pete Burns (Asst to Mr. Hart and Mr. Sharp)
  Erica Levy (Asst to Ms. De Fina)
  Teresa Reilly (Director's asst)
  Michael Taylor (Scr supv)
  Jonathan Zeidman (Loc mgr)
  Annie Kuronyi (Asst loc mgr)
  Michael Ginsburg (Loc asst)
  Chris Marsh (Addl loc asst)
  Juliet Verni (Loc intern)
  Tommy Weissler (Transportation capt)
  Sean Heilig (Co-capt)
  David Conelli (Addl driver)
  Larry "Reg Dunlop" McGee (Addl driver)
  Susan Senk (Pub)
  Danielle Reisigl (Office prod asst)
  Steven C. Lawrence (Key prod asst)
  Kevin Tyler Asch (Set prod asst)
  Dan Brillman (Set prod asst)
  Joe Violante (Dailies adv)
  Technicolor New York (Dailies by)
  Post Production Playground (Video dailies transfers)
  Tanoa Parks (Prod accountant)
  Tiffany Thomas (Asst prod accountant)
  Lisa Diamond (Post prod accountant)
  Jason Block (Post prod accountant)
  Gun For Hire Post (Post prod accountant)
  Jennifer Osborne (Addl prod asst)
  Marcus Carmouche (Addl prod asst)
  Erin Stacey Visslailli (Addl prod asst)
  Hsuan Tsen (Addl prod asst)
  Aaron Dobbs (Addl prod asst)
  Melissa Myers (Addl prod asst)
  Anthony Serignese (Addl prod asst)
  Raechel Legakes (Film runner)
  Patrick Kendall (Film runner)
  Melissa Mortensen (Cast runner)
  Ivan Therrien (Office intern)
  Wendy Wong (Office intern)
  Jared Cauliffe (Office intern)
  Robyn Lencheski (Office intern)
  Barnaby Fisher Turner (Set intern)
  Joshua Telson (Set intern)
  Cara Forte (Set intern)
  Jasmine Zauberer (Craft service)
  Movie Chefs (Caterer)
  Larry Donahue (Caterer)
  James Robinette (Asst caterer)
  Nicole Holmquist (Tutor)
  George Sheanshang Esq. (Prod and dist counsel)
  Joan Pearce, Research Associates (Research and clearance)
  Axium Entertainment Group, Inc. (Prod payroll)
  Great Northern Brokerage Corp. (Prod insurance provided by)
  Natexis Banque (Credit facility arr)
  Bennett Pozil (Credit facility arr)
  Imperial Bank (Credit facility arr)
  Morgan Rector (Credit facility arr)
  Patrick Lee (Credit facility arr)
  Republic National Bank of New York (Prod bank)
  Gun For Hire--New York (Prod services)
  Todd Rodowsky (Cont and spotting)
  Phil Rodowsky (Cont and spotting)
  On-Core Productions (Cont and spotting)
Stand In: Don Hewitt (Stunt coord)
  Bill Anagnos (Stunt driver)
Color Personnel: Alfredo Frasson (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Aus Liebe will Meine Heiland sterben!" from St. Matthew Passion, written by J. S. Bach, performed by Reinische Kantorei Das Kleine Kozart, courtesy of Deutsche Grammaphon, Gesellschaft GmbH., Hamburg, under license from Universal Music Special Markets; "Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missin')," written by Lola Jean Fawbush, performed by Loretta Lynn, published by Coal Miners Music, Inc. (BMI), administerd by ICG under license from Universal Music Special Markets; "Impacto Tendremos," written and performed by Jimmy Bosch, published by Bosch'd Up Music/Rykomusic, Inc. (ASCAP) and Rykomusic, Ltd. (PRS), courtesy of Rykodisc; "Mendocino," written by Doug Sahm, performed by 6 String Drag, courtesy of Southern Love Music Co./Warner Chappell (BMI) and E-Squared, LLC; "Harlan Man," written by Steve Earle, performed by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band, courtesy of South Nashville Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC.; "Faraway You," written and performed by Marah, courtesy of Muskie Moon Music (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC./Artemis Records; "Texas Eagle," written by Steve Earle, performed by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band, courtesy of South Nashville Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC.; "The Other Woman," written by Betty Sue Perry, performed by Loretta Lynn, courtesy of Sure-Fire Music (BMI), under license from Universal Music Special Markets; "85 on 85," written by Kenny Roby, performed by 6 String Drag, courtesy of Monkey Cup Music/Warner Tamerlane Pub. Corp. (BMI); "I'm Still in Love with You," written by Steve Earle, performed by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band with Iris DeMent, courtesy of South Nashville Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC.; "Long Way to Go," written and performed by Sue Foley, published by Mechanicsville Music (ASCAP), administered by Bug Music, Inc., courtesy of Shanachie Records; "If You're Not Gone Too Long," written by Wanda Ballman, performed by Loretta Lynn, courtesy of Sure-Fire Music (BMI), under license from Universal Music Special Markets; "Straight Highway," written and performed by The V-roys, courtesy of Tall Midget Music/Warner Tamerlane Pub. Corp. (BMI) and E-Squared, LLC.; "Vampire," written and performed by Bap Kennedy, courtesy of Notting Hill Music (UK) Ltd. (BMI) and E-Squared, LLC.; "Strange," written by Scott Miller, performed by The V-roys, courtesy of Tall Midget Music/Warner Tamerlane Pub. Corp. (BMI) and E-Squared, LLC.; "Amy 88," written by Mike Harrison, performed by The V-roys, courtesy of Tall Midget Music/Warner Tamerlane Pub. Corp. (BMI) and E-Squared, LLC.; "The Mountain," written by Steve Earle, performed by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band, courtesy of South Nashville Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC.; "White Lies," written and performed by Cheri Knight, published by Yarn Over Music (BMI), administered by Bug Music, Inc., courtesy of E-Squared, LLC.; "Pilgrim," written by Steve Earle, performed by Steve Earle and Friends, in tribute to Roy Huskey, Jr., courtesy of South Nashville Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) and E-Squared, LLC.
Composer: J. S. Bach
  Wanda Ballman
  Jimmy Bosch
  Steve Earle
  Lola Jean Fawbush
  Sue Foley
  Mike Harrison
  Bap Kennedy
  Cheri Knight
  Scott Miller
  Betty Sue Perry
  Kenny Roby
  Doug Sahm
  The V-roys
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Classics 24/5/2001 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001035379

PCA NO: 37177
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital in selected theatres
  col: DeLuxe Toronto
  gauge: 35mm

Genre: Comedy-drama
Subjects (Major): Brothers and sisters
  Mothers and sons
  Small town life
Subjects (Minor): Attempted suicide
  Automobile accidents
  Catskill Mountains (NY)
  Pool (Game)
  Proposals (Marital)

Note: The opening credits list the principal actors, beginning with Laura Linley, while the closing credits list the cast in order of appearance. The closing credits also include a written statement by producer Jeff Sharp dedicating his work on the film to his mother, Virginia Sharp Albright. You Can Count on Me marked the directing debut of screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, who also appeared in the film as "Ron." The film was shot on location in Margaretville and Phoenicia, NY, according to the closing credits.
       Reviews differ in describing Ron as a priest or a minister and whether "Sammy" is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. Ron is called "Father" within the film, but the denomination of the church is never mentioned and appears to Protestant.
       In interviews about the film, Lonergan indicated that the project initially began as a one-act play of a brother and sister conversing over lunch. The lunch scene remains in the film near the beginning of the story, very nearly in its original form. You Can Count on Me had its premiere in Jan 2000 at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and shared the Grand Jury Prize. Linney was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award and a Best Actress Golden Globe Award. Lonergan received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screenplay. In addition to being named one of the top ten films of 2000 by AFI, You Can Count on Me received best film and best new writer awards at AFI Fest and the British Film Institute's top honor, the Sutherland Trophy, at the Regus London Film Festival.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   13 Apr 1999.   
Daily Variety   4 Jun 1999.   
Daily Variety   2 Feb 2000   p. 8, 18.
Daily Variety   27 Oct 2000.   
Entertainment Weekly   17 Nov 2000.   
Hollywood Reporter   24 Feb 2000   p. 16, 77.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Oct 2000   p. 23, 77.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Nov 2000   p. 6, 64.
Los Angeles Times   10 Nov 2000   Calendar, p. 2.
Newsweek   13 Nov 2000   p. 82.
New York Times   10 Nov 2000.   
Wall Street Journal   22 Dec 2000.   

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