Beaches


2h 1988

Brief Synopsis

Childhood friends share their triumphs and tragedies through the years.

Film Details

Also Known As
Au fil de la vie, Eternamente amigas, Stränder
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Medical
Music
Release Date
1988
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Synopsis

When the irrepressible C.C. Bloom and the shy and proper Hillary Whitney first meet under the boardwalk at the beach, all the 11-year-olds have in common is the need for a best friend. Worlds apart in lifestyle and location, their friendship ebbs and flows through a lifetime of highs and lows, career changes, marriages, jealousy, and more.

Crew

Nick Abdo

Second Unit Director

Nick Abdo

Coproducer

Stephen A Abrums

Makeup

Adell Aldrich

Script Supervisor

Victoria Alley

Choreographer

Michael Amorelli

Rigging Gaffer

Lorna Anderson

Sound Editor

Terence Anderson

Apprentice

William Barclay

Art Director

Bill Beasley

Unit Production Manager

Martin Beazell

Assistant Camera Operator

Lon Bender

Sound Editor

Michael Bird

Set Decorator

Jerry Blatt

Song

John S Boyd

Sound

Albert Brenner

Production Designer

Bonnie Bruckheimer

Producer

James Burris

Song

Bari Carrelli

Assistant

Frank Churchill

Song

Gregg L. Daniel

Assistant

Iris Rainer Dart

Source Material (From Novel)

Huw Davies

Location Manager

Jimmy Davis

Song

Robert Dawson

Main Title Design

Robert De Mora

Costume Designer

Georges Delerue

Music

Michael Dennison

Costumes

Rick Derringer

Song

Rick Derringer

Song Performer

B. G. Desylva

Song

Craig Dietrich

Production Assistant

Angelo Digiacomo

Camera Assistant

Don Digirolamo

Sound

Mary Agnes Donoghue

Screenplay

Eileen Eichenstein

Production Coordinator

Bill Erickson

Stunt Coordinator

Ray Evans

Song

Sylvia Fay

Casting

Mike Fenton

Casting

Bettiann Fishman

Assistant Director

Diane Frazen

Assistant

George Fredericks

Sound Editor

Harold L Fuhrman

Set Designer

Michael A. Genne

Camera Operator

George Gershwin

Music

Ira Gershwin

Theme Lyrics

Lou Goldman

Photography

Lynda Gordon

Casting

Robert Grimaldi

Hair

Judy Hallin

Production Assistant

Wendy S Hallin

Production Assistant

Steven Halpern

Music Coordinator

Colleen Halsey

Assistant Editor

Richard Halsey

Editor

Larry Henley

Song

Amy Herman

Location Assistant

Barbara Hershey

Song Performer

Billy Hill

Song

Edward Iacobelli

Transportation Captain

Ed Jackson

Makeup

Melissa Jean

Song Performer

Christie Johnston

Production Coordinator

Grace Johnston

Song Performer

Robert Knudson

Sound

Kathy Landing

Assistant

Chip Largman

Lighting

Michael Laws

Lighting Technician

Renate Leuschner

Hair

Garrett Lewis

Set Decorator

Robin Lewis

Post-Production Coordinator

Jay Livingston

Song

Barbara Lorenz

Hair

Alan E Lorimer

Special Effects Coordinator

Amy Lynn

Production Assistant

Arif Mardin

Song

Harrison Marsh

Sound

Kathi Marshall

Production Assistant

Joe Mayer

Adr Editor

Keith Mcdaniel

Choreographer

Stephen L Meek

Apprentice

George Merrill

Song

Bette Midler

Producer

Bette Midler

Song

Bette Midler

Song Performer

Ann Miller

Property Master

Bob Mills

Makeup

Charles Mitchell

Song

Mike Nash

Assistant Camera Operator

Joe F Nelson

Other

Randy Newman

Song

Jane O'neal

Photography

Jeff Okabayashi

Dga Trainee

Ken Ornstein

Assistant Director

David Pack

Song Performer

Richard Paradiso

Production Manager

Bruce Pearson

Color Timer

Thomas J Peel

Choreographer

Frederick Perdue

Grip

Angel Pine

Assistant Editor

Dean Pitchford

Song

Cole Porter

Song

Jack Puig

Music

Ray Quinlan

Gaffer

Clara Quisenberry

Technical Advisor

Richard Rankin

Construction Coordinator

Richard Redlin

Grip

Arthur Resnick

Song

Dan Rich

Sound Editor

John Richards

Music

Blair Richwood

Other

Frank Richwood

Art Director

Patrick Richwood

Song Performer

James Roberts

Wardrobe

Scott M. Robinson

Key Grip

Steve Rose

Location Manager

Benjamin Rosenberg

Assistant Director

Shannon Rubicam

Song

Louis Sabat

Boom Operator

Arthur P Schmidt

Editor

William T. Schneider

Location Manager

Ellen H. Schwartz

Assistant Director

Teri Schwartz

Executive Producer

Charlene Seeger

Song

Marc Shaiman

Song

Marc Shaiman

Music Supervisor

Tom Shaw

Property Master

Jeff Silbar

Song

William N Silic

Lighting Technician

Michelle Skoby

Assistant

Frank Smathers

Sound Editor

Chris Smith

Song

Margaret Jennings South

Producer

Dante Spinotti

Dp/Cinematographer

Dante Spinotti

Director Of Photography

Sara Spring

Production Assistant

Michael L Stone

Dp/Cinematographer

Michael L Stone

Director Of Photography

Allen E Taylor

Production Auditor

Judy Taylor

Casting

Philip E Thomas

Production Assistant

Tom F Thomas

Transportation Coordinator

Doug Vaughn

Boom Operator

Wendy Waldman

Song

Ken Wannberg

Music Editor

Bob Ward

Key Grip

Ned Washington

Song

James E Webb

Sound

Jory Weitz

Casting

Barbara Sue Wells

Assistant

Eugenia Weston

Makeup

Michael Wilhoit

Sound Editor

Walter Williams

Dolly Grip

Diana J Wilson

Costumes

Pamela J Wise

Costume Supervisor

Dee Dee Wood

Choreographer

Susan J. Wright

Wardrobe

Kenny Young

Song

Rick A Young

Property Master Assistant

Film Details

Also Known As
Au fil de la vie, Eternamente amigas, Stränder
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Medical
Music
Release Date
1988
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1988
Albert Brenner

Articles

Spalding Gray (1941-2004)


Spalding Gray, the self-effacing monologist and actor, whose best work offered a sublime mix of personal confessions and politically charged insights, was confirmed dead on March 8 one day after his body was found in New York City's East River. He had been missing for two months and family members had feared he had committed suicide. He was 62.

Gray was born in Barrington, Rhode Island on June 5, 1941, one of three sons born to Rockwell and Elizabeth Gray. He began pursuing an acting career at Emerson College in Boston. After graduation, he relocated to New York, where he acted in several plays in the late '60s and early '70s. He scored a breakthrough when he landed the lead role of Hoss in Sam Shepard's Off-Broadway hit Tooth of Crime in its 1973 New York premiere. Three years later he co-founded the avant-garde theatrical troupe, The Wooster Group with Willem Dafoe.

It was this period in the late '70s, when he was performing in Manhattan's underground theater circles, did Gray carve out his niche as a skilled monologist. His first formal monologue was about his childhood Sex and Death to the Age 14, performed at the Performing Garage in Manhattan in 1979; next came his adventures as a young university student Booze, Cars and College Girls in 1980; and the following year, he dealt with his chronicles as a struggling actor, A Personal History of the American Theater. These productions were all critical successes, and Gray soon became the darling of a small cult as his harrowing but funny takes on revealing the emotional and psychological cracks in his life brought some fresh air to the genre of performance art.

Although acting in small parts in film since the '70s, it wasn't until he garnered a role in The Killing Fields (1984), that he began to gain more prominent exposure. His experiences making The Killing Fields formed the basis of his one-man stage show Swimming to Cambodia which premiered on Off-Broadway in 1985. Both haunting and humorous, the plainsong sincerity of his performance exuded a raw immediacy and fragile power. Gray managed to relate his personal turmoil to larger issues of morality throughout the play, including absurdities in filmmaking, prostitution in Bangkok (where the movie was shot), and the genocidal reign of the Pol Pot. Gray won an Obie Award - the Off-Broadway's equivalent to the Tony Award - for his performance and two years later, his play was adapted by Jonathan Demme onto film, further broadening his acceptance as a unique and vital artistic talent.

After the success of Swimming to Cambodia, Gray found some work in the mainstream: Bette Midler's fiance in Beaches (1988), a regular part for one season as Fran Drescher's therapist in the CBS sitcom The Nanny (1989-90), a sardonic editor in Ron Howard's underrated comedy The Paper (1994), and a recent appearance as a doctor in Meg Ryan's romantic farce Kate & Leopold (2001). He also had two more of his monologues adapted to film: Monster in a Box (1992) and Gray's Anatomy (1996). Both films were further meditations on life and death done with the kind of biting personal wit that was the charming trademark of Gray.

His life took a sudden downturn when he suffered a frightening head-on car crash during a 2001 vacation in Ireland to celebrate his 60th birthday. He suffered a cracked skull, a broken hip and nerve damage to one foot and although he recovered physically, the incident left him traumatized. He tried jumping from a bridge near his Long Island home in October 2002. Family members, fearing for his safety, and well aware of his family history of mental illness (his mother committed suicide in 1967) convinced him to seek treatment in a Connecticut psychiatric hospital the following month.

Sadly, despite his release, Gary's mental outlook did not improve. He was last seen leaving his Manhattan apartment on January 10, and witnesses had reported a man fitting Gray's description look despondent and upset on the Staten Island Ferry that evening. He is survived by his spouse Kathleen Russo; two sons, Forrest and Theo; Russo's daughter from a previous relationship, Marissa; and two brothers, Rockwell and Channing.

by Michael T. Toole
Spalding Gray (1941-2004)

Spalding Gray (1941-2004)

Spalding Gray, the self-effacing monologist and actor, whose best work offered a sublime mix of personal confessions and politically charged insights, was confirmed dead on March 8 one day after his body was found in New York City's East River. He had been missing for two months and family members had feared he had committed suicide. He was 62. Gray was born in Barrington, Rhode Island on June 5, 1941, one of three sons born to Rockwell and Elizabeth Gray. He began pursuing an acting career at Emerson College in Boston. After graduation, he relocated to New York, where he acted in several plays in the late '60s and early '70s. He scored a breakthrough when he landed the lead role of Hoss in Sam Shepard's Off-Broadway hit Tooth of Crime in its 1973 New York premiere. Three years later he co-founded the avant-garde theatrical troupe, The Wooster Group with Willem Dafoe. It was this period in the late '70s, when he was performing in Manhattan's underground theater circles, did Gray carve out his niche as a skilled monologist. His first formal monologue was about his childhood Sex and Death to the Age 14, performed at the Performing Garage in Manhattan in 1979; next came his adventures as a young university student Booze, Cars and College Girls in 1980; and the following year, he dealt with his chronicles as a struggling actor, A Personal History of the American Theater. These productions were all critical successes, and Gray soon became the darling of a small cult as his harrowing but funny takes on revealing the emotional and psychological cracks in his life brought some fresh air to the genre of performance art. Although acting in small parts in film since the '70s, it wasn't until he garnered a role in The Killing Fields (1984), that he began to gain more prominent exposure. His experiences making The Killing Fields formed the basis of his one-man stage show Swimming to Cambodia which premiered on Off-Broadway in 1985. Both haunting and humorous, the plainsong sincerity of his performance exuded a raw immediacy and fragile power. Gray managed to relate his personal turmoil to larger issues of morality throughout the play, including absurdities in filmmaking, prostitution in Bangkok (where the movie was shot), and the genocidal reign of the Pol Pot. Gray won an Obie Award - the Off-Broadway's equivalent to the Tony Award - for his performance and two years later, his play was adapted by Jonathan Demme onto film, further broadening his acceptance as a unique and vital artistic talent. After the success of Swimming to Cambodia, Gray found some work in the mainstream: Bette Midler's fiance in Beaches (1988), a regular part for one season as Fran Drescher's therapist in the CBS sitcom The Nanny (1989-90), a sardonic editor in Ron Howard's underrated comedy The Paper (1994), and a recent appearance as a doctor in Meg Ryan's romantic farce Kate & Leopold (2001). He also had two more of his monologues adapted to film: Monster in a Box (1992) and Gray's Anatomy (1996). Both films were further meditations on life and death done with the kind of biting personal wit that was the charming trademark of Gray. His life took a sudden downturn when he suffered a frightening head-on car crash during a 2001 vacation in Ireland to celebrate his 60th birthday. He suffered a cracked skull, a broken hip and nerve damage to one foot and although he recovered physically, the incident left him traumatized. He tried jumping from a bridge near his Long Island home in October 2002. Family members, fearing for his safety, and well aware of his family history of mental illness (his mother committed suicide in 1967) convinced him to seek treatment in a Connecticut psychiatric hospital the following month. Sadly, despite his release, Gary's mental outlook did not improve. He was last seen leaving his Manhattan apartment on January 10, and witnesses had reported a man fitting Gray's description look despondent and upset on the Staten Island Ferry that evening. He is survived by his spouse Kathleen Russo; two sons, Forrest and Theo; Russo's daughter from a previous relationship, Marissa; and two brothers, Rockwell and Channing. by Michael T. Toole

Beaches


The box office hit Beaches (1988) starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey was based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Iris Rainer Dart about the lasting friendship between two very different women. The free spirited but poor CC Bloom (Midler) and the uptight aristocratic Hillary Whitney (Hershey) meet as children in Atlantic City and form a lifelong bond that endures conflicts, boyfriends, marriages, babies, divorces and even death.

When Beaches went into production, Bette Midler was enjoying a wave of success ushered in by her association with Disney's adult-oriented Touchstone Pictures. Midler had made hits like Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) and Ruthless People (1986) for Touchstone which many credited for revitalizing her career as a comic actress in the 1980s. With Touchstone, Midler formed her company All Girl Productions and co-produced Beaches as her first project.

Originally, Mark Rydell was hired to direct Beaches. He had masterfully directed Midler before in 1979's The Rose, which had garnered her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. However, Rydell's vision clashed with the studio's, and Disney replaced him with director Garry Marshall. "The director and the studio have to agree on the premise of a film right from the beginning," wrote Marshall in his 1997 book Wake Me When It's Funny. "If they don't, the project could become a disaster." Marshall shared the studio's ideas for Beaches, and he welcomed the challenge of directing a story about two women.

Marshall credited Bette Midler along with her arranger Marc Shaiman and music producer Arif Mardin for the exceptional music in the film, which went on to become a hit soundtrack. Midler, Shaiman and Mardin were constantly working on the film score for Beaches. When they presented the song "The Wind Beneath My Wings" (sung by Midler), he was particularly moved and knew he had to use it somewhere in the film. Rather than having it presented as one of CC Bloom's numbers, however, they decided together that the song would be much more effective if simply played over the soundtrack during an especially moving scene. It conveyed the strong emotion of the film and struck a chord with audiences, becoming a huge number one hit for Midler and winning Grammys that year for both Song and Record of the Year.

Mayim Bialik, who would go on to star in the 1990s hit television show Blossom, received much attention for her dead-on imitation of Bette Midler as CC Bloom at age 11. Beaches also features outstanding supporting roles by John Heard, Spalding Gray and Lainie Kazan.

Producer: Bonnie Bruckheimer
Director: Garry Marshall
Screenplay: Mary Agnes Donoghue, based on the novel by Iris Rainer Dart
Production Design: William Barclay, Albert Brenner
Cinematography: Dante Spinotti
Costume Design: Robert De Mora
Film Editing: Richard Halsey
Original Music: Georges Delerue
Principal Cast: Bette Midler (CC Bloom), Barbara Hershey (Hillary), John Heard (John), Spalding Gray (Dr. Milstein), Lainie Kazan (Leona), James Read (Michael Essex), Mayim Bialik (Cecilia 'CC' Bloom, age 11), Marcie Leeds (Hillary, age 11).
C-124m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Andrea Passafiume

Beaches

The box office hit Beaches (1988) starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey was based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Iris Rainer Dart about the lasting friendship between two very different women. The free spirited but poor CC Bloom (Midler) and the uptight aristocratic Hillary Whitney (Hershey) meet as children in Atlantic City and form a lifelong bond that endures conflicts, boyfriends, marriages, babies, divorces and even death. When Beaches went into production, Bette Midler was enjoying a wave of success ushered in by her association with Disney's adult-oriented Touchstone Pictures. Midler had made hits like Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) and Ruthless People (1986) for Touchstone which many credited for revitalizing her career as a comic actress in the 1980s. With Touchstone, Midler formed her company All Girl Productions and co-produced Beaches as her first project. Originally, Mark Rydell was hired to direct Beaches. He had masterfully directed Midler before in 1979's The Rose, which had garnered her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. However, Rydell's vision clashed with the studio's, and Disney replaced him with director Garry Marshall. "The director and the studio have to agree on the premise of a film right from the beginning," wrote Marshall in his 1997 book Wake Me When It's Funny. "If they don't, the project could become a disaster." Marshall shared the studio's ideas for Beaches, and he welcomed the challenge of directing a story about two women. Marshall credited Bette Midler along with her arranger Marc Shaiman and music producer Arif Mardin for the exceptional music in the film, which went on to become a hit soundtrack. Midler, Shaiman and Mardin were constantly working on the film score for Beaches. When they presented the song "The Wind Beneath My Wings" (sung by Midler), he was particularly moved and knew he had to use it somewhere in the film. Rather than having it presented as one of CC Bloom's numbers, however, they decided together that the song would be much more effective if simply played over the soundtrack during an especially moving scene. It conveyed the strong emotion of the film and struck a chord with audiences, becoming a huge number one hit for Midler and winning Grammys that year for both Song and Record of the Year. Mayim Bialik, who would go on to star in the 1990s hit television show Blossom, received much attention for her dead-on imitation of Bette Midler as CC Bloom at age 11. Beaches also features outstanding supporting roles by John Heard, Spalding Gray and Lainie Kazan. Producer: Bonnie Bruckheimer Director: Garry Marshall Screenplay: Mary Agnes Donoghue, based on the novel by Iris Rainer Dart Production Design: William Barclay, Albert Brenner Cinematography: Dante Spinotti Costume Design: Robert De Mora Film Editing: Richard Halsey Original Music: Georges Delerue Principal Cast: Bette Midler (CC Bloom), Barbara Hershey (Hillary), John Heard (John), Spalding Gray (Dr. Milstein), Lainie Kazan (Leona), James Read (Michael Essex), Mayim Bialik (Cecilia 'CC' Bloom, age 11), Marcie Leeds (Hillary, age 11). C-124m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Andrea Passafiume

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States December 21, 1988

Released in United States December 23, 1988

Released in United States on Video August 23, 1989

Wide Release in United States January 13, 1989

Began shooting April 26, 1988.

Completed shooting July 1988.

Wide Release in United States January 13, 1989

Released in United States on Video August 23, 1989

Released in United States December 21, 1988

Released in United States December 23, 1988 (Los Angeles, San Francisco)