Parenthood


2h 1989

Brief Synopsis

An extended family's members struggle to forget their differences and come together.

Film Details

Also Known As
Föräldraskap, Portrait craché d'une famille modèle
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES (UIP)/UNIVERSAL PICTURES; Universal Pictures
Location
Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Synopsis

A comedy about parenthood, from several points of view.

Crew

Sonny Adkins

Transportation Coordinator

Tony Adler

Assistant Director

Sean Albertson

Sound Editor

Robin Allan

Casting Associate

Mary Antinozzi

Production Assistant

Tom Arkos

Stunts

Ty Arnold

Production Assistant

Ralph Astarita

Transportation Co-Captain

Tom Bahr

Stunts

Gardner Baldwin

Location Assistant

John Balling

Other

Randy N Barbee

Assistant Director

Guy Barresi

Assistant Editor

Ted Basso

Driver

Donna Battersby

Hair

William C Battles

Transportation Captain

Nathalie Bechard

Stunts

Jack Belcher

Driver

Melissa F. Binder

Wardrobe Supervisor

Robert Bollinger

Stunts

Kathy Bord

Wardrobe

Lewis Bowen

Scenic Artist

Sondra Dee Boyachek

Production Assistant

Gene Bright

Carpenter

Mike Bright

Carpenter

Jimmie Brown

Driver

Fern Buchner

Makeup

Mark Burchard

Wardrobe Supervisor

David Campbell

Camera Assistant

Jeff Cannon

Production Assistant

Joe Cappetta

Craft Service

Joseph M Caracciolo

Executive Producer

Joseph M Caracciolo

Unit Production Manager

Daniel Allen Carlin

Music Editor

Patty Carlin

Music Editor

Phillip V Caruso

Photography

Kevin Cerchiai

Sound

Judith J Cervenka

Other

Cam Chan

Sound Editor

Michael Charboneau

Carpenter

Marion Cotto Chavarie

Production Assistant

Richard Church

Sound Mixer

Anthony Ciccolini

Sound Editor

Bill Cimino

On-Set Dresser

Peggy Coleman

Location Manager

J Patrick Coll

Props

Harold F Collins

Construction Coordinator

William C Collins

Carpenter

Robert H Cooper

Special Effects

Roxann Cornett

Driver

Larry Craig

Driver

Jim Crasper

Grip

Peter Damien

Carpenter

Dennis Detoro

Driver

Dennis Deveaugh

Stunts

Dennis Dezmain

Scenic Artist

Rick Dior

Sound

John Distleberg

Driver

Danny Lee Douglas

Driver

Dan Edelstein

Sound Editor

Alex Edlin

Stunts

Michael J Edling

Carpenter

Antonia Ellis

Production Assistant

Kelly Erin

Stunts

Dick Falk

Gaffer

Rick Falk

Electrician

Nicklas Farrentello

On-Set Dresser

Paul Frambach

Driver

George Fuller

Video Playback

Lowell Ganz

Screenplay

Lowell Ganz

Story By

Lowell Ganz

From Story

Dean Garvin

Production Assistant

John Gaskin

Production Accountant

Glen Gauthier

Boom Operator

Forest Gillespie

Scenic Artist

Patricia Rivers Gillis

Accounting Assistant

David J. Grant

Assistant

Brian Grazer

Producer

Romaine Greene

Hair

Frank Griffin

Makeup

Wendi Haas

Production Coordinator

Gregory G. Hale

Production Assistant

Todd Hallowell

Production Designer

Luke Halprin

Electrician

Dan Hanley

Editor

Kevin Harris

Special Effects

Megan Harris

Production Assistant

Bob Henderson

Driver

James Hendrix

Carpenter

Michael Hill

Editor

Janet Hirshenson

Casting

Phil Holscher

Animal Trainer

Carolyn Horton

Assistant Editor

James Howard

Driver

Ron Howard

Story By

Ron Howard

From Story

Harry Isbrecht

Driver

Michael Jacobi

Adr Editor

Bob Jaurequi

Stunts

Jane Jenkins

Casting

Robert Jepson

Driver

Ron Kalish

Sound Editor

Richard King

Adr Editor

Ed Knott

Key Grip

Edward Knott

Dolly Grip

Kevin Knott

Dolly Grip

Mary Krausmann

Casting Associate

Dennis Krick

Other

Beth Kuhn

Assistant Art Director

Frank Ladeira

Rigging Gaffer

Lee Lighting Ltd

Lighting

Artie Malesci

Stunt Coordinator

Susan Malfitano

Sound Editor

Mollie S Mallinger

Camera Trainee

Becky Mancuso

Music

Babaloo Mandel

Screenplay

Babaloo Mandel

From Story

Babaloo Mandel

Story By

Linda Marais

On-Set Dresser

Polly Ann Mattson

Production Assistant

Donald M. Mcalpine

Dp/Cinematographer

Donald M. Mcalpine

Director Of Photography

Jim Mcewan

Wardrobe

Shawn Mcfall

Grip

Kathleen Mcgill

Production Associate

Helene Meidl

Other

Jeronimo Mendez

Scenic Artist

Patrick K Meng

Electrician

Colette Mining

Stunts

Ruth Morley

Costume Designer

Gary Muller

Assistant Camera Operator

Joe Napolitano

Assistant Director

Randy Newman

Music

Christopher A. Nowak

Art Director

Bitty O'sullivan-smith

Sound Editor

Casey Osborne

Grip

Lillian Pan

Assistant

Basil Pappas

Foley Artist

Basil Pappas

Sound Editor

Crystal Parsons

Driver

George Patsos

Key Grip

John C Plummer

Driver

Tom Priestley

Camera Operator

Roger Ragland

Carpenter

Nina Ramsey

Set Decorator

Alan S. Reynolds

Scenic Artist

Carol Richbart

Production Assistant

Nicholas J Romanac

Property Master

Ray Sabo

Negative Cutting

Gaston Santiso

Assistant Editor

Alice S Scholl

Other

Dennis Schoonderwerd

Costumes

Doug Schwartz

Assistant Camera Operator

Robert S Scott

Electrician

Todd Seeley

Stunts

Amy Shaff

Props

Chris Sheets

Carpenter

David J Siegel

Assistant Editor

Thomas Smaling

Dolly Grip

Bill Smalling

Electrician

Cecil Stone

Driver

Cynthia Streit

Script Supervisor

Marilyn Tillman

Craft Service

Craig Tonkin

Grip

Rose Topping

Production Assistant

Jim Tosney

Production Assistant

Linda Trainoff

Hair

Robert K Ulland

Steadicam Operator

Louisa Velis

Production Associate

Louisa Velis

Assistant

Walter Von Huene

Dialogue Coach

Chris Ware

Carpenter

Gary Ware

Electrician

Eddy Watts

Driver

Matthew T Weiner

Production Assistant

Kenneth West

Scenic Artist

Mary Wherry

Other

O C Whiddon

Foreman

Robert Wilson

Driver

John Wormsbacher

Driver

Bob Wright

Camera Assistant

Peter Paul Wrona

Makeup

Norman Zuckerman

Rigging Gaffer

Paul Zydel

Adr Mixer

Film Details

Also Known As
Föräldraskap, Portrait craché d'une famille modèle
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES (UIP)/UNIVERSAL PICTURES; Universal Pictures
Location
Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Award Nominations

Best Song

1989

Best Supporting Actress

1989
Dianne Wiest

Articles

Parenthood


Horrendous airline travel experiences have resulted in many colorful phrases of speech, excruciating headaches, and - at least in one case - a good idea for a film. In 1985, child actor-turned-director Ron Howard was en route to Argentina during the filming of Gung Ho (1986), starring Michael Keaton. As is Howard's custom, his family was accompanying the cast and crew; at the time, this included a set of seven-month old twins and a four-year old named Bryce. An anecdote from the biography, Ron Howard: Keeping the Home Fires Burning, by Beverly Gray, recounts the following:

"What was intended as an opportunity for family togetherness quickly turned into a near catastrophe. Howard found himself schlepping mountains of suitcases and bags, which he had to parcel out to members of the cast and crew boarding the same commercial jetliner. Forty-five minutes into the seventeen-hour flight, Bryce vomited all over him. And the twins could not be coaxed to sleep at the same time. Once the whole episode was behind him, Howard realized that the comic, heroic, and life-changing business of being a parent deserved to find its way to the motion picture screen."

Four years later, Parenthood was released in 1989. Howard partnered again with power producer Brian Grazer and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The foursome had worked together on Night Shift (1982) and Splash (1984). Together the men were able to provide more than enough inspiration for the film's plot, having fourteen children between them. With a stellar ensemble cast, headed up by Steve Martin, and featuring Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, and Tom Hulce, the venture seemed destined for success. As Howard remarks, "The creative process was a joy, shooting was great, editing just wonderful, and when it got reviewed, it was a hit."

Parenthood chronicles the trials and tribulations of the Buckman family, interweaving multiple plot lines and infusing them with a comic tenderness. Martin stars as Gil, a lovable worrywart, but in real life, the comedian (who had no children), had some real concerns about playing a father. Co-star Steenburgen recalls, "What was really fascinating was the day I met him in New York. Steve said, 'I'm nervous. I don't know children, and children think they're going to like me. But they really don't." When we arrived on the set in Florida, he didn't have time to think. The kids rushed up! He fell in love with them and they loved him. You should have seen the tears the day they left." Playing the parent of young children, Martin took cues from Howard, despite his comments to the contrary: "I don't know, it's subconscious I think. You just get the atmosphere. You don't look at someone and say, 'I'll copy that.' But according to an interview with the director, "That's exactly what Martin did do. Steve would see how I was holding my kid," Howard mimed lugging a 4-year old on his hip, gunny-sack style, "And put that in the movie."

The real scene-stealer though was Dianne Wiest playing a mom struggling with child raising. The role was a natural for Wiest, the mother of two children herself. The New York Times Review heralded her performance: "As a nervous, frustrated mother trying bravely not to project her personal bitterness onto her teen-age children, she wears the face of a smile button whose lines twist into expressions of anxious longing, exasperation and pained tenderness." The Academy took note; Wiest was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, her second since her 1987 win for Woody Allen's Hannah and her Sisters (1986). She would receive the honor again and secure another win five years later for another Woody Allen feature, Bullets Over Broadway (1994). Oscar® recognition for Parenthood would also go to songwriter Randy Newman, nominated for his tune, "I Love to See You Smile."

Howard was right about Parenthood being a success: Rolling Stone declared, "Parenthood, heartfelt and howlingly comic, also comes spiced with risk and mischief." Even the academics got involved; author Wes D. Gehring's book Populism and the Capra Legend compared Howard to the legendary director, stating: "The most exciting development about Parenthood was Ron Howard's growing ability to take the most fundamental of populist stories (the celebration of the family) and push it to updated extremes." Best of all, the film was a box office hit, making it the first unequivocal blockbuster for Imagine (Howard's production company).

Parenthood even spawned a television series, albeit briefly, of the same name. Running only for one season, it did, however, sport a notable cast - Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Begley, Jr., David Arquette, and Thora Birch. The writer, Joss Whedon, would go on to create a hit series for the WB, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The film's cast, however, would also prove to be training grounds for stars in the making, most notably The Matrix's (1999) Keanu Reeves, but also River's brother, Joaquin Phoenix (going by Leaf at the time), who would go on to star in such successes as Signs (2002) and Gladiator (2000). And in keeping with a tradition of Howard's, he cast his father and brother in bit parts. Rance and Clint Howard play "Dean at College" and "Lou", respectively.

In describing their approach to their material, producer Grazer explained, "We try to make warm-spirited movies with some moral camouflaged within their entertainment, either about friendship or love." However, it's Howard who best articulates the theme of Parenthood: "If there is one, I think it's a kind of curiosity that I have for characters and the way they cope, particularly with loss or the threat of loss. I'm always intrigued by a character who thinks they are going down one path and suddenly has to face the possibility of a complete change, of an overwhelming loss. Even comedicly with a movie, such as Parenthood, to me that was very much about thinking that you had it very much under control, and then finding out that you don't. The whole experience of being a parent, and coping with that."

Producer: Brian Grazer, Joseph M. Caracciolo
Director: Ron Howard
Screenplay: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard
Cinematography: Donald McAlpine
Film Editing: Daniel Hanley, Michael Hill
Art Direction: Christopher Nowak
Music: Randy Newman
Cast: Steve Martin (Gil Buckman), Mary Steenburgen (Karen Buckman), Dianne Wiest (Helen), Jason Robards, Jr. (Frank Buckman), Rick Moranis (Nathan), Tom Hulce (Larry Buckman).
C-124m. Letterboxed.

by Eleanor Quin
Parenthood

Parenthood

Horrendous airline travel experiences have resulted in many colorful phrases of speech, excruciating headaches, and - at least in one case - a good idea for a film. In 1985, child actor-turned-director Ron Howard was en route to Argentina during the filming of Gung Ho (1986), starring Michael Keaton. As is Howard's custom, his family was accompanying the cast and crew; at the time, this included a set of seven-month old twins and a four-year old named Bryce. An anecdote from the biography, Ron Howard: Keeping the Home Fires Burning, by Beverly Gray, recounts the following: "What was intended as an opportunity for family togetherness quickly turned into a near catastrophe. Howard found himself schlepping mountains of suitcases and bags, which he had to parcel out to members of the cast and crew boarding the same commercial jetliner. Forty-five minutes into the seventeen-hour flight, Bryce vomited all over him. And the twins could not be coaxed to sleep at the same time. Once the whole episode was behind him, Howard realized that the comic, heroic, and life-changing business of being a parent deserved to find its way to the motion picture screen." Four years later, Parenthood was released in 1989. Howard partnered again with power producer Brian Grazer and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The foursome had worked together on Night Shift (1982) and Splash (1984). Together the men were able to provide more than enough inspiration for the film's plot, having fourteen children between them. With a stellar ensemble cast, headed up by Steve Martin, and featuring Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, and Tom Hulce, the venture seemed destined for success. As Howard remarks, "The creative process was a joy, shooting was great, editing just wonderful, and when it got reviewed, it was a hit." Parenthood chronicles the trials and tribulations of the Buckman family, interweaving multiple plot lines and infusing them with a comic tenderness. Martin stars as Gil, a lovable worrywart, but in real life, the comedian (who had no children), had some real concerns about playing a father. Co-star Steenburgen recalls, "What was really fascinating was the day I met him in New York. Steve said, 'I'm nervous. I don't know children, and children think they're going to like me. But they really don't." When we arrived on the set in Florida, he didn't have time to think. The kids rushed up! He fell in love with them and they loved him. You should have seen the tears the day they left." Playing the parent of young children, Martin took cues from Howard, despite his comments to the contrary: "I don't know, it's subconscious I think. You just get the atmosphere. You don't look at someone and say, 'I'll copy that.' But according to an interview with the director, "That's exactly what Martin did do. Steve would see how I was holding my kid," Howard mimed lugging a 4-year old on his hip, gunny-sack style, "And put that in the movie." The real scene-stealer though was Dianne Wiest playing a mom struggling with child raising. The role was a natural for Wiest, the mother of two children herself. The New York Times Review heralded her performance: "As a nervous, frustrated mother trying bravely not to project her personal bitterness onto her teen-age children, she wears the face of a smile button whose lines twist into expressions of anxious longing, exasperation and pained tenderness." The Academy took note; Wiest was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, her second since her 1987 win for Woody Allen's Hannah and her Sisters (1986). She would receive the honor again and secure another win five years later for another Woody Allen feature, Bullets Over Broadway (1994). Oscar® recognition for Parenthood would also go to songwriter Randy Newman, nominated for his tune, "I Love to See You Smile." Howard was right about Parenthood being a success: Rolling Stone declared, "Parenthood, heartfelt and howlingly comic, also comes spiced with risk and mischief." Even the academics got involved; author Wes D. Gehring's book Populism and the Capra Legend compared Howard to the legendary director, stating: "The most exciting development about Parenthood was Ron Howard's growing ability to take the most fundamental of populist stories (the celebration of the family) and push it to updated extremes." Best of all, the film was a box office hit, making it the first unequivocal blockbuster for Imagine (Howard's production company). Parenthood even spawned a television series, albeit briefly, of the same name. Running only for one season, it did, however, sport a notable cast - Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Begley, Jr., David Arquette, and Thora Birch. The writer, Joss Whedon, would go on to create a hit series for the WB, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The film's cast, however, would also prove to be training grounds for stars in the making, most notably The Matrix's (1999) Keanu Reeves, but also River's brother, Joaquin Phoenix (going by Leaf at the time), who would go on to star in such successes as Signs (2002) and Gladiator (2000). And in keeping with a tradition of Howard's, he cast his father and brother in bit parts. Rance and Clint Howard play "Dean at College" and "Lou", respectively. In describing their approach to their material, producer Grazer explained, "We try to make warm-spirited movies with some moral camouflaged within their entertainment, either about friendship or love." However, it's Howard who best articulates the theme of Parenthood: "If there is one, I think it's a kind of curiosity that I have for characters and the way they cope, particularly with loss or the threat of loss. I'm always intrigued by a character who thinks they are going down one path and suddenly has to face the possibility of a complete change, of an overwhelming loss. Even comedicly with a movie, such as Parenthood, to me that was very much about thinking that you had it very much under control, and then finding out that you don't. The whole experience of being a parent, and coping with that." Producer: Brian Grazer, Joseph M. Caracciolo Director: Ron Howard Screenplay: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard Cinematography: Donald McAlpine Film Editing: Daniel Hanley, Michael Hill Art Direction: Christopher Nowak Music: Randy Newman Cast: Steve Martin (Gil Buckman), Mary Steenburgen (Karen Buckman), Dianne Wiest (Helen), Jason Robards, Jr. (Frank Buckman), Rick Moranis (Nathan), Tom Hulce (Larry Buckman). C-124m. Letterboxed. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 10, 1989

Released in United States October 5, 1989

Released in United States on Video February 8, 1990

Released in United States Summer August 2, 1989

Re-released in United States April 1, 1994

Shown at the London Film Festival November 10, 1989.

Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (in competition) October 5, 1989.

Began shooting January 30, 1989.

Re-released in United States April 1, 1994

Released in United States Summer August 2, 1989

Released in United States October 5, 1989 (Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival (in competition) October 5, 1989.)

Released in United States November 10, 1989 (Shown at the London Film Festival November 10, 1989.)

Released in United States on Video February 8, 1990