AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Alternate Title: Stormy City Bowl
Director: Noel Nosseck (Dir)
Release Date:   1979
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Newhall, CA: 26 Apr 1979; Los Angeles opening: 27 Apr 1979; New York opening: 8 Jun 1979
Production Date:   31 Jul--12 Sep 1978 in Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO
Duration (in mins):   90
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Cast:   Tim Matheson (Dreamer)  
    Susan Blakely (Karen)  
    Jack Warden (Harry)  
    Richard B. Shull (Taylor)  
    Barbara Stuart (Angie)  
    Owen Bush (The fan)  
    Marya Small (Elaine)  
    Matt Clark (Spider)  
    John Crawford (Riverboat captain)  
    Chris Schenkel (Chris Schenkel)  
    Nelson Burton, Jr. (Color man)  
    Morgan Farley (Old timer)  
    Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez (Too)  
    Speedy Zapata (Juan)  
    Jobe Cerny (Patterson)  
    Azizi Johari (Lady)  
    Dick Weber (Johnny Watkin)  
    Julian Byrd (Red Harper)  
    Rita Ascot Boyd (Grandma)  
    Marie E. Brady (Old lady)  
    Pat Mullins Brown (Nurse)  
    Richard Cosentino (Official)  
    Beverly Dunn Davis (Betty)  
    Monroe Diestel (Young dreamer)  
    Wally Engelhardt (Bus driver)  
    Bert Hinchman (Police officer #1)  
    Ray Hoffstetter (TV minicam operator)  
    Scott Larson (Policeman #2)  
    Richard McGougan (Truck driver #1)  
    Stephen A. Bement (Jock)  
    Felix Shuman (Used car salesman)  
  Bowlers: Roy Bluth    
    Wally Bush    
    Dave Edwards    
    Norm Friedmeyer    
    Dave Juric    
    Gus Marsala    
    Don McClaren    
    Ray Orf    
    Rick Thornberg    
    Mike Tietjens    
    John Weber    
    Richard Weber, Jr.    
    Willie Wells    
  [And] Don Zeman    

Summary: An optimistic young athlete, nicknamed “Dreamer,” aspires to be a champion bowler. While working at a bowling alley in a small Midwestern town, Dreamer becomes friends with Harry, a former professional bowler who never became a champion player. Recognizing Dreamer’s potential, Harry trains the novice for competition. After winning a regional tournament, Dreamer convinces officials to let him enter the national championship. Meanwhile, his girl friend, Karen, feels neglected and complains about his devotion to bowling. Although Harry passes away before the championship match and Dreamer must overcome a thumb injury, the newcomer surprises the veteran players and wins the national trophy. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Noel Nosseck (Dir)
  Frank Baur (Unit prod mgr)
  William Hole (Asst dir)
  Peter Bergquist (2d asst dir)
Producer: Michael Lobell (Prod)
  James Herbert (Assoc prod)
Writer: James Proctor (Wrt)
  Larry Bischof (Wrt)
Photography: Bruce Surtees (Dir of photog)
  Charles Holmes (Gaffer)
  Charles Saldana (Key grip)
  Rick Neff (Cam op)
  Panavision (Photog equip by)
Art Direction: Archie Sharp (Art dir)
Film Editor: Fred Chulack (Ed)
  Patrick Kennedy (Addl ed)
  Willie Navarro (Asst ed)
  Pam Sharp (Asst ed)
Set Decoration: Bruce Kay (Set dec)
  R. Dudley Ace Holmes (Prop master)
Costumes: Guy Verhille (Cost)
  Agnes Lyon (Ladies' costumer)
Music: Bill Conti (Mus)
  John Harris (Mus ed)
Sound: Jack Solomon (Prod mixer)
  Fred Judkins (Sd ed)
  John Kline (Sd ed)
  Don Bassman (Re-rec mixer)
  Richard Overton (Re-rec mixer)
  Joel Fein (Re-rec mixer)
  Godfrey Marks (Dial ed)
Special Effects: Vern Archer (Spec eff)
  Dan Perri (Title des by)
  Pacific Title (Titles and opticals by)
Make Up: William Turner (Makeup)
  Tom Ellington (Makeup)
  Mary Keats (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Mike Fenton (Casting)
  Jane Feinberg (Casting)
  Richard Weber, Jr. (Tech adv)
  Marion Tumen (Scr supv)
  Harry Kohoyda (Loc auditor)
  Aram Betkijian (Transportation capt)
  Betty Atkinson (Prod coord)
  Judi Dolan (Loc projection facilities)
  William Hendricks (Pocket billiard consultant)
Color Personnel: DeLuxe® (Col by)
MPAA Rating: PG
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Reach For The Top," words and music by Bill Conti, Cory Lerios and David Jenkins, performed by Pablo Cruise; "Sh-Boom," sung by The Crew Cuts, courtesy of Phonogram, Inc.
Composer: Bill Conti
  David Jenkins
  Cory Lerios
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation 11/5/1979 dd/mm/yyyy PA38134

Physical Properties: Sd:

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Sports
Subjects (Major): Athletes
  Athletic coaches
  Bowling and bowling alleys
Subjects (Minor): Latino
  Prizes and trophies
  Sports fans
  Sports reporters
  United States--Midwest
  Wounds and injuries

Note: The Summary for this unviewed film was based on reviews from the 4 Jun 1979 Box, and the 23 Apr 1979 HR, as well as a 19 Sep 1978 LAT article. Therefore, the credits are incomplete and do not reflect what is stated onscreen.
       LAT stated that Dreamer marked the debut feature film for producer Michael Lobell, who was involved in the garment business before venturing into entertainment. The project appealed to him as an opportunity to portray a story about competitive bowling for the first time on screen. Lobell and production company, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., based the film’s box-office potential on the high ratings for televised bowling tournaments and on the fifty million Americans, according to statistics at the time, who participated in the game.
       LAT also mentioned that William Wittliff, who does not receive a credit onscreen, was hired for script rewrites.
       Hall of Fame bowling champion, Dick Weber, played the role of “Dreamer’s” opponent, “Johnny Watkin,” while Weber’s oldest son, Richard Weber, Jr., acted as the film’s technical advisor, coaching actor Tim Matheson for two weeks prior to filming. Production notes in AMPAS library files listed the following well-known St. Louis-area bowling professionals featured in the film’s Grand Championship tournament: Roy Bluth, Wally Bush, Dave Edwards, Norm Friedmeyer, Dave Juric, Gus Marsala, Don McClaren, Ray Orf, Rick Thornberg, Mike Tietjens, John Weber, Richard Weber, Jr., Willie Wells, and Don Zeman.
       On 31 Jul 1978, a HR news item announced that principal photography began that day in Alton, IL. According to production notes, cast and crew spent four weeks in Alton, followed by two weeks in St. Louis, MO. Both cities were known as centers for bowling enthusiasts. In Alton, locations included a houseboat along the Mississippi River, the city’s downtown, Bowl Haven Lanes, and Acme Bowl. In St. Louis, the production filmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church and the bowling alley, Dick Weber Lanes, where scenes for the Grand Championship were shot. As stated in a studio press release, filming completed 12 Sep 1978 in St. Louis.
       According to an 18 Oct 1978 HR article, the picture’s production budget was $2.9 million while marketing costs were $3.54 million.
       A 13 Apr 1979 HR news item reported that the world premiere took place 26 Apr 1979 at the Newhall Plaza Theater in Newhall, CA, a city outside Los Angeles, CA. A local bowling alley approached Twentieth Century-Fox and requested to host the event as a benefit to raise medical funds for Tim Roderick, a Newhall bowling talent in need of an eye operation. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   4 Jun 1979.   
Hollywood Reporter   31 Jul 1978.   
Hollywood Reporter   18 Oct 1978   p. 1, 17.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Apr 1979.   
Hollywood Reporter   23 Apr 1979   p. 3.
Los Angeles Times   19 Sep 1978   Section E, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times   23 Apr 1979   Section F, p. 17.
New York Times   8 Jun 1979   p. 12.
Variety   25 Apr 1979   p. 18.

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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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