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Jennifer on My Mind

Jennifer on My Mind(1971)

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The working title of the film was Heir, which was also the title of the Roger L. Simon novel on which it was based. The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. The film opens with a voice-over by "Marcus Rottner" comparing his Jewish family's immigrant experience to that of "Jennifer De Silva." Voice-over by Marcus continues throughout the film, which is told partially in flashback. Marcus also has two conversations with the ghost of his grandfather. The Hollywood Reporter review lists it at 98 minutes, although all other sources list the film's running time at 90 minutes. According to an October 1968 Hollywood Reporter news item, the rights to Simon's novel, which was his first, were initially purchased by Anthony Spinner and Barry Shear. In June 1969, a Hollywood Reporter news item noted that United Artists executive Herb Jaffe was in discussions with Joseph M. Schenck Enterprises to produce the film.
       Although actress Kim Hunter is listed as a cast member in news items and production charts up to April 1971, she does not appear in the released film. According to Filmfacts, Jennifer on My Mind was edited several times before release, and after a "disastrous" preview in San Francisco, Hunter's character, Jenny's mother, was cut entirely from the film. Jennifer on My Mind marked the feature film debuts of Barry Bostwick and Jeff Conaway. According to Filmfacts and the Los Angeles Times review scriptwriter, Erich Segal made a cameo appearance in the film as a gondolier. Jennifer on My Mind was shot on location in New York City, New Jersey and Venice, Italy.
       The Los Angeles Times reviewer speculated that either Simon or Segal was inspired by the true-life, 1966 case of Robert Friede, a twenty-five-year-old Annenberg publishing heir, and Celeste Crenshaw, a drug-addicted, nineteen-year-old socialite whose corpse was found in Friede's car. Friede was the son of Evelyn Annenberg Hall and her first husband, Kenneth Friede.