Studs Lonigan


1h 43m 1960

Brief Synopsis

(Dra '60,BW). Christopher Knight, Frank Gorshin, Venetia Stevenson, Carolyn Craig, Jack Nicholson, Dick Foran. A young man attempts to break away from his ghetto existence in this adaptation of the controversial James T. Farrell novel about Chicago's South Side district during the 1920s. Scripted and produced by Philip Yordan. Jack Nicholson stands out as one of Studs' cronies.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
Sep 1960
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Longridge Enterprises, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell (New York, 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
8,544ft

Synopsis

On New Year's Eve in 1919, in Chicago, eighteen-year-old Bill "Studs" Lonigan looks to 1920 with feelings of fear and uncertainty. Studs is torn between his love for younger Lucy Scanlon and his loyalty to a group of fellow, jobless wastrels comprised of Kenny Killarney, Weary Reilly and Paulie Haggerty. When Lucy, a "good girl" whom Studs has invited to an elegant New Year's Eve party, insists on leaving early, Studs goes to his gang's wild party and gets drunk. Stud's father Patrick is angered by his son's irresponsibility and aimlessness, while his very religious mother has dreams of him becoming a priest. Two unproductive years pass in which Studs struggles to find himself and spends his time playing pool, drinking and chasing girls. During a visit to a speakeasy, Studs and his friends humiliate a blowsy, drunken prostitute. Studs continues his chaste courtship of Lucy, but she wants to attend college in another city and sees no future with Studs. One evening, after his father calls him a "pool room bum" and hits him in frustration, Studs leaves home and asks two gangsters to give him a job. When the gangsters play a practical joke on him by requiring him to kill one of their friends, Studs finds himself incapable of murder. At his father's invitation, Studs returns home and begins to look for work, buys a saxophone and dreams of playing in a band. Studs is soon diverted from job hunting by a burlesque show, and stimulated by a stripper and liquor, visits pretty spinster Julia Miller, his former high school teacher. Drunk and delirious, Studs imagines that Julia is the stripper and after he attempts to rape her, breaks down in tears. Studs is sobered by his actions, and when Julia comforts him, they form a strong emotional bond and begin an affair. Lucy returns from college just as Studs is due to start work as a dental technician trainee, but she is no longer interested in him. Eventually, Studs resigns himself to joining his father's house-painting business, although he continues to fraternize with his friends. Realizing that their relationship is inappropriate, Julia stops seeing Studs. Paulie, who is now married, intends to open a nightclub with money given to him by his father-in-law to buy a taxicab, and plans to involve his friends in running the club. However, when Paulie is killed in an accident, his widow rails against his wastrel friends at his wake, prompting a shaken Studs to stop drinking. Still obsessed by Lucy, Studs attempts to see her, but after he discovers that she has moved away from Chicago, he starts drinking again and visits Julia, who introduces him to her pretty niece, Catherine Banahan. Although he begins dating Catherine, who falls in love with him, Studs is still haunted by memories of Lucy. Studs loses another friend when Weary is arrested for rape and is sentenced to ten years in the state prison. Studs is now twenty-eight years old and still working for his father when Catherine leaves him because of his drinking. When Kenny, the last of the group, leaves Chicago to become a traveling club comedian, Studs realizes that he has to face his problems alone. He visits Catherine after not seeing her for several weeks and learns that she is going to have his baby. When the stock market crash of 1929 destroys his father's business and leaves Studs jobless, he turns to his priest, Father Gilhooey, for advice. Gilhooey lectures him on his drinking and irresponsibility, then asks what it is he wants out of life. Studs answers "I want Lucy Scanlon." The priest then counsels him that the greatest single thing in the world is to love someone and to be loved, and tells him that Catherine still loves him. Studs rushes to Catherine, and after apologizing for his past behavior, says he loves her and begs her to stay with him. Although Catherine rejects him, he insists enigmatically that he "has got to love her."

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
Sep 1960
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Longridge Enterprises, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell (New York, 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
8,544ft

Articles

Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)


Frank Gorshin, a skilled comedian, impressionist and character actor who will forever be indentified with his role as "The Riddler" on the cult series from the '60s Batman lost his battle with lung cancer on May 17 at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 72.

He was born on April 5, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a family of modest means, his father was a railroad worker and mother a homemaker. His childhood impressions of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney paid off when he won a local talent contest at 17, and that led to his first gig at 17 at a the prize was a one week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel night club, Pittsburgh's hottest downtown spot in the day. The taste was there, and after high school Frank enrolled in the Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama did hone his craft.

His career was interrupted briefly when he entered the US Army in 1953. He spent two years in Special Services as an entertainer. Once he got out, Frank tried his luck in Hollywood. He made his film debut in a forgettable William Holden vehicle The Proud and Profane, but his fortunes picked up soon when he and when he hooked up with American Internation Pictures (AIP). With his charasmatic sneer and cocky bravado that belied his slender, 5' 7" frame, Frank made a great punk villian in a series of entertaining "drive-in" fare: Hot Rod Girl (1956), Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, and of course the classic Portland Expose (all 1957).

By the '60s, he graduated to supporting roles in bigger Hollywood fare: Where the Boys Are, Bells Are Ringing (both 1960), Ring of Fire, and his biggest tole to date, that of Iggy the bank robber in Disney's hugely popular That Darn Cat (1965). Better still, Frank found some parts on television: Naked City, Combat!, The Untouchables, and this would be the medium where he found his greatest success. Little did he realize that when his skeletal physique donned those green nylon tights and cackled his high pitch laugh that Frank Gorshin would be forever identified as "the Riddler," one of Batman's main nemisis. For two years (1966-68), he was a semi-regular on the show and it brought him deserved national attention.

By the '70s, Frank made his Broadway debut, as the star of Jimmy, a musical based on the life of former New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. He spent the next two decades alternating between the stage, where he appeared regularly in national touring productions of such popular shows as: Promises, Promises, Prisoner of Second Street, and Guys and Dolls; and nightclub work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

He recently found himself in demand for character roles on televison: Murder, She Wrote, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and film: Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the quirky comedy Man of the Century (1999). Yet his biggest triumph was his two year stint (2002-2004) as George Burns in the Broadway smash, Say Goodnight Gracie. It ran for 364 performances and he received critical raves from even the toughest New York theater critics, proving undoubtly that he was a performer for all mediums. He is survived by his wife Christina; a son, Mitchell; grandson Brandon and sister Dottie.

by Michael T. Toole
Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)

Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)

Frank Gorshin, a skilled comedian, impressionist and character actor who will forever be indentified with his role as "The Riddler" on the cult series from the '60s Batman lost his battle with lung cancer on May 17 at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 72. He was born on April 5, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a family of modest means, his father was a railroad worker and mother a homemaker. His childhood impressions of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney paid off when he won a local talent contest at 17, and that led to his first gig at 17 at a the prize was a one week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel night club, Pittsburgh's hottest downtown spot in the day. The taste was there, and after high school Frank enrolled in the Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama did hone his craft. His career was interrupted briefly when he entered the US Army in 1953. He spent two years in Special Services as an entertainer. Once he got out, Frank tried his luck in Hollywood. He made his film debut in a forgettable William Holden vehicle The Proud and Profane, but his fortunes picked up soon when he and when he hooked up with American Internation Pictures (AIP). With his charasmatic sneer and cocky bravado that belied his slender, 5' 7" frame, Frank made a great punk villian in a series of entertaining "drive-in" fare: Hot Rod Girl (1956), Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, and of course the classic Portland Expose (all 1957). By the '60s, he graduated to supporting roles in bigger Hollywood fare: Where the Boys Are, Bells Are Ringing (both 1960), Ring of Fire, and his biggest tole to date, that of Iggy the bank robber in Disney's hugely popular That Darn Cat (1965). Better still, Frank found some parts on television: Naked City, Combat!, The Untouchables, and this would be the medium where he found his greatest success. Little did he realize that when his skeletal physique donned those green nylon tights and cackled his high pitch laugh that Frank Gorshin would be forever identified as "the Riddler," one of Batman's main nemisis. For two years (1966-68), he was a semi-regular on the show and it brought him deserved national attention. By the '70s, Frank made his Broadway debut, as the star of Jimmy, a musical based on the life of former New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. He spent the next two decades alternating between the stage, where he appeared regularly in national touring productions of such popular shows as: Promises, Promises, Prisoner of Second Street, and Guys and Dolls; and nightclub work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He recently found himself in demand for character roles on televison: Murder, She Wrote, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and film: Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the quirky comedy Man of the Century (1999). Yet his biggest triumph was his two year stint (2002-2004) as George Burns in the Broadway smash, Say Goodnight Gracie. It ran for 364 performances and he received critical raves from even the toughest New York theater critics, proving undoubtly that he was a performer for all mediums. He is survived by his wife Christina; a son, Mitchell; grandson Brandon and sister Dottie. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The main title reads: "Philip Yordan's Production of Studs Lonigan Based on the novel by James T. Farrell." Yordan's other credit reads: "Written and Produced by Philip Yordan." Haskell P. Wexler's credit reads: "Associate to the Director and Photographic Consultant." Although the running time for the film is listed as 103 minutes in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety pre-release reviews, later reviews list the running time as 95 minutes, which was the length of the print viewed.
       Hollywood attempted several times to film Farrell's 1935 book, which was comprised of three short novels: Young Lonigan (1932); The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (1934) and Judgement Day (1935). A Daily Variety news item of October 16, 1946 reported that producer Benedict Bogeaus had bought screen rights to the novel, but no film based on the material was made by Bogeaus. According to a September 1953 New York Times news item, publicist Stephen Strassberg optioned the novel. Strassberg stated that Ben Hecht was interested in writing the screenplay and Marlon Brando and Elia Kazan were being sought for the production. A February 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Kerner had just closed a deal with United Artists to produce the film. In September 1955, a Daily Variety news item noted that Kerner had signed David Dortort to write the script.
       According to a December 30, 1959 Hollywood Reporter news item, when Kerner originally obtained the film rights to Farrell's work, it was with the proviso that the film "be in exhibition in early 1960." The news item noted that Yordan had been assigned by UA to take over the project in order to accelerate production. A February 23, 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Yordan was considering casting Maggie Pierce in "the leading femme role," but she did not appear in the picture. On February 29, 1960, Hollywood Reporter reported that Wexler, originally assigned to be the picture's director of photography, had been named associate to the director and was replaced as cinematographer by J. Arthur Feindel. Although Hollywood Reporter news items include Jimmie Horan, Raymond Oja, Peter Virgo, Jayme Mylroie and Don Chaffin in the cast, their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. The Variety review credits actor Ben Gary with "various roles."
       In an April 1960 letter to the New York Times, author Farrell expressed great dissatisfaction with Yordan's adaptation and announced his desire to sell his rights in the production as soon as possible and thus sever all connections to the project. Farrell decried the fact that "Studs" does not die in the film, as he does in the novel, stating that "the Studs Lonigan trilogy was conceived from the standpoint of Studs' death. Without it, the work would have been stupid and foolish." Farrell continued that "it is obvious that [the filmmakers] do not understand the Irish and do not know what life was like in the 1920s."
       Correspondence in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals that a production code seal was denied the film in late April 1960 due to excessive sexual material. After revisions, a seal was issued mid-June 1960. Newspaper advertising for the film promoted it as being in the teenage rebel genre: "The Shocking Story of Today's 'Lost World' of Youth," "The seething teenager who burned with hungers he couldn't understand...rebelling against a world he never made" and "The Key to the Secret of Today's Bewildered Youth!"
       Many reviews commented on the picture's visual style and its "arty" feel. Others felt that the conflicts that defined Stud's problems in the novel, including the religiosity of his family, were absent from the film and that his life and dilemmas were played out in a vacuum with no attempt to define his motivations, or lack thereof. Daily Variety noted that "one never gets the proper feeling of passage of time...Scenes that are supposed to be widely spaced in time...seem instead to be happening right on top of one another, creating a ludicrous sequence of disconnected behavior." In a November 1963 review, the British magazine Films and Filming reported that the film's first cut ran two hours and forty-two minutes.
       In a 1986 letter addressed to AMPAS, writer Bernard Gordon stated that he was hired to write the film's narration, Stud's stream of consciousness inner monologue, after the production was completely shot and edited. Gordon noted that he had worked with the film's director and editor to give it a stronger sense of continuity.
       Studs Lonigan marked the feature-film debut of actor Christopher Knight in the title role. In the opening cast credits, Knight is listed last. Although the film was not Jack Nicholson's first screen appearance, it marked his first significant role. In March 1979, NBC broadcast a six-hour miniseries based on Farrell's novel, starring Harry Hamlin and Colleen Dewhurst and directed by James Goldstone.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1983

Released in United States September 1960

Released in United States Summer August 1960

Released in United States 1983 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Verna Fields: A Dedication Tribute) April 13 - May 1, 1983.)

Released in United States Summer August 1960

Released in United States September 1960