All Fall Down


1h 51m 1962
All Fall Down

Brief Synopsis

A young drifter's romance with an older woman is threatened by his possessive mother.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 28 Mar 1962
Production Company
John Houseman Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Key West, Florida, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel All Fall Down by James Leo Herlihy (New York, 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Clinton Willart arrives in Florida with $200 for his older brother, Berry-Berry, whom he idolizes. Berry-Berry had wired home for cash to go into business; actually he needs the money to pay a jail fine for beating up a prostitute. Once free, Berry-Berry sends Clinton back to Ohio, vaguely promising to return for Christmas. At home with Annabel, his talkative and meddling mother, and Ralph, his likeable but alcoholic father, Clinton views their life as humdrum compared with Berry-Berry's glamorous existence. Excitement suddenly comes into Clinton's life, however, with the appearance of Echo O'Brien, the daughter of Annabel's closest friend. Echo's beauty and charm captivate the entire family, particularly young Clinton. Then Berry-Berry returns. Again his appeal to women proves irresistible, and Echo falls in love with him. Berry-Berry almost returns her love, but when he learns that she is pregnant, his latent misogyny reasserts itself, and he leaves her. Filled with despair, Echo drives her car off a cliff. At first, Clinton decides to kill his brother, but when Berry-Berry breaks down and sobs, Clinton realizes how pathetic his brother really is. No longer shackled by a distorted adoration for his older brother, Clinton leaves Berry-Berry to his own self-inflicted misery.

Photo Collections

All Fall Down - Publicity Stills
Here are several photos taken to help publicize MGM's All Fall Down (1962), starring Warren Beatty, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, and Angela Lansbury. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
All Fall Down - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from All Fall Down (1962). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 28 Mar 1962
Production Company
John Houseman Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Key West, Florida, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel All Fall Down by James Leo Herlihy (New York, 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

All Fall Down


Virtually ignored by the public when it was released in 1962, All Fall Down (1962) is a finely etched portrait of Berry-Berry Willart (Warren Beatty), an irresponsible ladies' man whose hedonistic lifestyle and aimless drifting creates a family crisis when he visits his family in Cleveland. Although he is idolized by his younger brother, Clinton (Brandon de Wilde), the infatuation ends when Berry-Berry takes advantage of a vulnerable, older woman (Eva Marie Saint), exposing his true nature.

1962 proved to be a banner year for director John Frankenheimer. Following The Young Savages (1961), he was offered a choice of properties to direct. One was Irwin Shaw's Two Weeks in Another Town (which eventually went to Vincente Minnelli) and a novella by James Leo Herlihy called All Fall Down. The playwright William Inge (Picnic) adapted the latter for executive producer John Houseman and Frankenheimer eagerly agreed to do it in-between post-production on Birdman of Alcatraz and preparation for The Manchurian Candidate, both of which were released the same year to unanimous critical acclaim.

In The Cinema of John Frankenheimer by Gerald Pratley, the director comments on the filming of All Fall Down: "The only thing I didn't like was the insistence of MGM that we had to do the interiors and the mid-Western part of it at the studio, to use their back lot; and as John Houseman had agreed to that there was really nothing I could do because we did need four seasons. We needed that seasonal change and they could do this artificially in the studio...If I'd known then what I know now we would have shot it on location. But I didn't. The best part of the film was the location part in Key West. I had a terrific fight with MGM who wanted to shoot the inside of the bus in process and I said, 'There's no way.' You can tell the difference. And how. In reality there was a whole scene that took place inside the bus that we had to cut out. It just didn't play."

According to John Houseman, it was William Inge who suggested Warren Beatty for the role of Berry-Berry and while it remains one of Beatty's finest performances, the rising young star created considerable tension on the set. In his autobiography, Final Dress, Houseman said, "From the start, our most serious problem was young Mr. Beatty. With his angelic arrogance, his determination to emulate Marlon Brando and Jimmy Dean, and his half-baked, overzealous notions of "Method" acting, he succeeded in perplexing and antagonizing not only his fellow actors, but our entire crew. While the company was on location in Key West, our veteran cameraman, Curly Lindon, became so exasperated with him that he flew a camera-bearing helicopter within a few inches of his head. And on the last day of shooting, in a secret agreement with the local police, Warren Beatty was left to languish overnight in a bare cell of the Key West jail while the company flew back to California." While Houseman also criticized MGM for the inept marketing and distribution of All Fall Down, he remained fond of the film: "Two of my films that I often find myself bracketing (although they were made more than a dozen years apart) are All Fall Down and They Live By Night (1949). Both were modest, adventurous, emotional films about young people made by young directors at the start of their careers."

Director: John Frankenheimer
Producer: John Houseman, Ethel Winant (associate)
Screenplay: James Leo Herlihy (novel), William Inge
Cinematography: Lionel Lindon
Music: Alex North
Art Direction: E. Preston Ames, George W. Davis
Principle Cast: Eva Marie Saint (Echo O'Brien), Warren Beatty (Berry-Berry Willart), Karl Malden (Ralph Willart), Angela Lansbury (Annabell Willart), Brandon De Wilde (Clinton Willart)
BW-111m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Jeff Stafford
All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Virtually ignored by the public when it was released in 1962, All Fall Down (1962) is a finely etched portrait of Berry-Berry Willart (Warren Beatty), an irresponsible ladies' man whose hedonistic lifestyle and aimless drifting creates a family crisis when he visits his family in Cleveland. Although he is idolized by his younger brother, Clinton (Brandon de Wilde), the infatuation ends when Berry-Berry takes advantage of a vulnerable, older woman (Eva Marie Saint), exposing his true nature. 1962 proved to be a banner year for director John Frankenheimer. Following The Young Savages (1961), he was offered a choice of properties to direct. One was Irwin Shaw's Two Weeks in Another Town (which eventually went to Vincente Minnelli) and a novella by James Leo Herlihy called All Fall Down. The playwright William Inge (Picnic) adapted the latter for executive producer John Houseman and Frankenheimer eagerly agreed to do it in-between post-production on Birdman of Alcatraz and preparation for The Manchurian Candidate, both of which were released the same year to unanimous critical acclaim. In The Cinema of John Frankenheimer by Gerald Pratley, the director comments on the filming of All Fall Down: "The only thing I didn't like was the insistence of MGM that we had to do the interiors and the mid-Western part of it at the studio, to use their back lot; and as John Houseman had agreed to that there was really nothing I could do because we did need four seasons. We needed that seasonal change and they could do this artificially in the studio...If I'd known then what I know now we would have shot it on location. But I didn't. The best part of the film was the location part in Key West. I had a terrific fight with MGM who wanted to shoot the inside of the bus in process and I said, 'There's no way.' You can tell the difference. And how. In reality there was a whole scene that took place inside the bus that we had to cut out. It just didn't play." According to John Houseman, it was William Inge who suggested Warren Beatty for the role of Berry-Berry and while it remains one of Beatty's finest performances, the rising young star created considerable tension on the set. In his autobiography, Final Dress, Houseman said, "From the start, our most serious problem was young Mr. Beatty. With his angelic arrogance, his determination to emulate Marlon Brando and Jimmy Dean, and his half-baked, overzealous notions of "Method" acting, he succeeded in perplexing and antagonizing not only his fellow actors, but our entire crew. While the company was on location in Key West, our veteran cameraman, Curly Lindon, became so exasperated with him that he flew a camera-bearing helicopter within a few inches of his head. And on the last day of shooting, in a secret agreement with the local police, Warren Beatty was left to languish overnight in a bare cell of the Key West jail while the company flew back to California." While Houseman also criticized MGM for the inept marketing and distribution of All Fall Down, he remained fond of the film: "Two of my films that I often find myself bracketing (although they were made more than a dozen years apart) are All Fall Down and They Live By Night (1949). Both were modest, adventurous, emotional films about young people made by young directors at the start of their careers." Director: John Frankenheimer Producer: John Houseman, Ethel Winant (associate) Screenplay: James Leo Herlihy (novel), William Inge Cinematography: Lionel Lindon Music: Alex North Art Direction: E. Preston Ames, George W. Davis Principle Cast: Eva Marie Saint (Echo O'Brien), Warren Beatty (Berry-Berry Willart), Karl Malden (Ralph Willart), Angela Lansbury (Annabell Willart), Brandon De Wilde (Clinton Willart) BW-111m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Some location scenes filmed in Key West, Florida.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States April 11, 1962

Released in United States March 28, 1962

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992

Released in United States Winter February 21, 1962

Director John Frankenheimer died July 6, 2002 of a stroke at the age of 72.

Released in United States Winter February 21, 1962

Released in United States March 28, 1962 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States April 11, 1962 (New York City)

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992