High Fidelity


1h 47m 2000

Brief Synopsis

Rob Gordon is the owner of a semi-failing record store in Chicago where he sells music the old fashioned way- on vinyl. He's a self-professed music junkie who spends his days at Championship Vinyl with his two employees Dick and Barry. Although they have an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and are consumed with the music scene and creating their all-time favorite top-five lists of subject specific songs, it's of no help to Rob whose needle skips the love groove when his long-time girlfriend Laura walks out on him. As Rob examines his failed attempts at romance and happiness the process finds him being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Music
Period
Adaptation
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
Mar 31, 2000
Premiere Information
World premiere in Los Angeles: 28 Mar 2000
Production Company
Dogstar Films; New Crime Productions; Touchstone Pictures; Working Title Films
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Country
United States
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago--The Biograph Theater, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Double Door, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Green Mill, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Kinzie Street Bridge, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Music Box Theatre, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Rainbow Club, Illinois, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (New York, 1995).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Synopsis

After Rob Gordon's girl friend Laura announces her decision to move out of his Chicago apartment, he muses about the danger of years of listening to maudlin pop songs about heartbreak and rejection. After Laura leaves, rejecting Rob's pleas for her to stay, he recounts his all-time top five most memorable break-ups: Alison Ashmore, Penny Hardwick, Jackie Alden, Charlie Nicholson and Sarah Kendrew. At fourteen, Rob dated Alison for three days, after which she left him in favor of Kevin Bannister. Reflecting that every subsequent relationship has mirrored that one, Rob recalls Penny, the sweet sixteen-year-old who would not allow him to touch her breasts, but who, after he broke up with her, slept with the next boy she dated. In the present, Rob walks to Championship Vinyl, the record store he owns in an unfashionable part of the city. Like Rob, his employees, the awkward, nervous Dick and crude Barry, are fanatic music aficionados. Although Dick and Barry denounce any customer they deem inferior in musical tastes, Rob cannot fire them because they often work for free. He retreats to his office, where he remembers Charlie: In college, Rob meets the beautiful, dramatic Charlie and falls deeply in love. They date for two years, during which he adopts her punk style but feels insecure about his attractiveness, hipness and lovemaking abilities. His constant jealousy is substantiated when she leaves him for the sophisticated Marco. Coming out of his reverie, Rob muses that he has never recovered from this breakup. He then soundly berates Barry for chastising a customer, after which he reveals that Laura has left him. At home, Rob considers his relationship with Sarah, which was originally based on a mutual fear of being rejected, but ended when she left him for another man. Dick invites Rob to a local bar, but after Rob explains that he is organizing his record collection by autobiographical events, Dick, impressed, tries to help. Rob kicks him out, then fields a phone call from his mother, who breaks down in tears over the news that Laura has left. Frustrated, Rob joins Dick and Barry at the bar, where they rhapsodize over soulful singer/songwriter Marie De Salle, whom they later invite to the store. The next day, Rob stays home, knowing Laura is coming to pick up some boxes, and demands that she explain why she left him. She states that, although she has grown and changed over the past few years, he has remained steadfastly the same. Rob goes to the store, and after Laura's friend Liz calls and mentions that Laura is seeing a man named Ian, even Marie's surprise visit cannot distract Rob from neurotically wondering who Ian is. At home, he remembers that an Ian Raymond used to live upstairs from them, and that night, he stays awake torturing himself with images of Ian and Laura making love. At work the next day, Liz storms in and curses at Rob, prompting him to reminisce about the ease of the beginning of his relationship with Laura, whom he met while disc jockeying at a club. Rob now guesses that Laura has told Liz that Rob cheated on her while she was pregnant, thus provoking her to get an abortion, then borrowed $4,000 he could not pay back, after which he declared he was unhappy and "looking around for someone else." As he rides the subway, however, Rob defends each of these actions, explaining that he did not know about the pregnancy or abortion, she offered the loan, and that she proclaimed her dissatisfaction with the relationship first. At home, hoping to find answers to why he is always rejected, Rob calls Alison's mother. After learning that Alison married Kevin, Rob enthuses that he was rejected only because of a love that was destined to last. Inspired, he makes a date with Penny, who discloses that she was devastated when he broke up with her, and slept with the next boy out of confusion, resulting in a fear of sex that lasted for years. She runs off in tears, leaving Rob cheered by the thought that he abandoned her and not vice-versa. He then visits Sarah, whose intense depression stirs him to congratulate himself for not adding to her misery. Soon after, Laura visits Rob, and, although insisting there is little chance of reconciliation, delights him by revealing she has not yet slept with Ian. In celebration, that night he sleeps with Marie, whom he attracts by pretending to be sensitive, and about whom he forgets the next morning as soon as he leaves her apartment. He begs Laura to meet him, but after she admits that she has now slept with Ian, he spends the evening repeatedly calling her from a pay phone. The next day, Rob is pleased to receive an invitation to a dinner party from Charlie, but then is visited by Ian, an unctuous hippie who proposes "conflict-resolution." Although Rob fantasizes about violently attacking Ian, he does nothing. At Charlie's party, Rob realizes that she is pretentious and condescending, and feels only slightly hurt when she tells him that she preferred the "sunnier" Marco. Days later, as Barry plans to rehearse with his new band and Dick meets his new girl friend, Anaugh Moss, Rob goes home alone. There, he finds Laura, and after she leaves he lists the top five things about her that he misses, including her sense of humor and cute mannerisms. Later, Rob hears a piece of music he admires, and upon learning it was written by shoplifting skateboarders Vince and Justin, impulsively offers to produce their record on his label, which he names Top Five Records. He calls Laura, but she tearfully informs him that her father has died. Rob attends the funeral, but after Laura's sister Jo and Liz insult him, he finds Laura and tells her that he is sorry, then leaves in the rain. He is sitting at the bus stop when Laura drives up and asks him to make love to her. Afterward, she tells him she is too tired not to be with him, and they go home together. For weeks, they enjoy a romantic reunion, but Rob soon meets pretty rock journalist Caroline Fortis and finds himself creating a compilation tape for her, a sure sign of his romantic interest. One day, he sees a poster Laura has put up advertising that he will D. J. at the release party for Vince and Justin's band, and that Barry's band, inauspiciously named Sonic Death Monkey, will play. Appreciating her faith in him, and finally realizing that he cannot just jump from relationship to relationship, Rob proposes to Laura, who laughs at him but is pleased that he is maturing. At the release party, Rob is a hit, and Barry shocks everyone by singing Marvin Gaye songs with great skill. While Vince and Justin steal CDs, Rob considers the compilation tape he will make for Laura, filled with all the songs that she likes, for once reflecting her tastes rather than his own.

Crew

Joshua Abrhams

Composer

Apartment 26

Composer

Mags Arnold

1st Assistant Editor, UK

Mick Audsley

Film Editor

Bert Bacharach

Composer

Howard Bargroff

Assistant re-rec mixer

Sam Barkan

Special Effects Coordinator

Jennifer L. Baron

Assistant loc Manager

Eric Barrier

Composer

Art Bartels

Key grip

Laura Cunningham Bauer

Costume Design

Terry Baughman

Const Coordinator

Blake Baxter

Composer

Anne Berger

2d 2d Assistant Director

Bert Berns

Composer

Tim Bevan

Producer

Tania Windsor Blunden

Post prod Supervisor

Kenneth W. Bradley

Production Assistant

Toby Bricheno

Composer

Fernando Briones

Dolly grip

Anita Brongiel

Prod Secretary

Donald Bryant

Composer

Jake Burns

Composer

Robert Byrnes

Medic

Bill Callahan

Composer

Peter Callander

Composer

Isobel Campbell

Composer

David Chapman

Production Design

Liza Chasin

Executive Producer

Thomas Coe

Stunt double for Tim Robbins

Richard Colburn

Composer

Kim Coleman

Casting Associate

Laura Connolly

Key hair

James Cooperthwaite

Composer

Elvis Costello

Composer

Michael Cronin

Medic

Jay Cryka

Composer

John Cusack

Co-producer

John Cusack

Music Supervisor

John Cusack

Screenwriter

Hal David

Composer

Stuart David

Composer

Ray Davies

Composer

Doug Dearth

Music Coordinator

Therese Deprez

Production Design

Anne Devereux

Assistant to Mr. Cusack

D. V. Devincentis

Co-producer

D. V. Devincentis

Music Supervisor

D. V. Devincentis

Screenwriter

Demetra Diamantopoulos

Loc Manager

Naomi Donne

Makeup and hair Designer for Ms. Hjejle

Brendan Donnison, Lyps Inc

ADR voice casting

Juliette Dow

Assistant to Mr. Bevan

Bob Dylan

Composer

Phillip Ellman

On-set dresser

John Ensby

Lab contacts

Roky Erickson

Composer

John Etkin-bell

Composer

Carolyn Evelyn

Composer

Mark Farner

Composer

Robert Feldman

Composer

Robert Fernandez

Pre-rec eng

Carl Fischer

Boom Operator

Norwood Fisher

Composer

Peter Frampton

Composer

Aretha Franklin

Composer

Jane Frazer

Working Title Executive in charge of prod

Edith Frost

Composer

Daniel W. Fuller

2d Assistant Camera

Tim Gane

Composer

Marvin Gaye

Composer

Christopher Geddes

Composer

Michael D. Gianneschi

Assistant Props master

Michael Glorioso

Loc foreman

Gerald Goldstein

Composer

Veloz Gomez

Production Assistant

Richard Gottehrer

Composer

Adam Graham

Loc Assistant

Diane Greaves

Foley artist

Al Green

Composer

Alan Greenspan

Executive Producer

Rupert Gregson-williams

Composer

William Griffin

Composer

Neil Hagerty

Composer

Penny Lee Hallin

Film Editor Assistant, U.S.

John Wesley Harding

Composer

Liam Hayes

Composer

Susan Hegarty

Dialect coach

Eric Heisner

Production Assistant

Jennifer Herrema

Composer

Billy Higgins

Unit Production Manager

Kate Higham

1st Assistant Editor, UK

Mike Higham

Supervisor Music Editor

Petur Hliddal

Sound Mixer

William T. Hogan

Transportation Coordinator

Aiman Humaideh

2d Assistant Director

Paul Huston

Composer

Terry Isted

Foley mixer

Stephen Jackson

Composer

Thomas Jackson

Composer

Illinois Jacquet

Composer

Jennifer Jobst

Costume Supervisor

Shari Schwartz Johanson

Music Editor

Elton John

Composer

Anne Johns

Prod Coordinator

Dena Johnson

Titles prod

David Jolicoeur

Composer

Peter Joly

Supervisor Sound Editor

Gareth Jones

Score eng

Robin Jones

Composer

Ronald Kane

Const foreman

Chiemi Karasawa

Script Supervisor

Derrick Kardos

Graphic Designer

Eugene Kelly

Composer

Nina Khoshaba

Working Title company Coordinator

Dan Koretsky

Prod consultant

A. Welch Lambeth

Transportation Coordinator

Michael Lange

Best boy grip

Clive Langer

Composer

Arthur Lee

Composer

Rick Lefevour

Stunt Coordinator

Steve Lindsey

Composer

Joe Lisanti

Music Editor

Scott Litt

Composer

Danny Longhurst

Dial Editor

Peter Lucia

Composer

Larry P. Lundy

Set Decoration

Nicholas Lundy

Art Director

John Maclean

Composer

Joseph Magee

Supervisor prod Music eng

Claire Mahoney

Foley artist

David Malley

Production Assistant

Sarah Martin

Composer

Stephen Mason

Composer

Vincent Mason

Composer

Van Mccoy

Composer

Seamus Mcgarvey

Director of Photography

Francis Mckee

Composer

Don Rio Mcnichols

Special Effects foreman

Kelvin Mercer

Composer

Freddie Mercury

Composer

Joanna Mickey

Production Assistant

Bernard Miller

Composer

James A. Miller

Gaffer

John Miller

Musician contractor

Roy Moller

Composer

Angelo Moore

Composer

David Morenz

1st Assistant Camera

Margaret Morettini

Assistant Costume Designer

Richard Morrison

Title seq Designer

Melissa Moseley

Still Photographer

Stuart Murdoch

Composer

Mitch Murray

Composer

Kathy Nelson

Music Supervisor

Patricia Newby

Medic

Mike Newell

Executive Producer

Sheila Nichols

Composer

William J. Nielson Jr.

Camera Operator

Harry Nilsson

Composer

Chris Nolte

Stunt double for John Cusack

Rick Norman

Pre-rec eng

Sean O'hagan

Composer

Gordon Ogilvie

Composer

Margaret J. Orlando

Assistant prod Coordinator

Gina Panno

Costumes

Dawn Patch

Production Assistant

Neil Peart

Composer

Ann Peebles

Composer

Liz Phair

Composer

Joan Philo

Atmosphere casting

Steve Pink

Co-producer

Steve Pink

Music Supervisor

Steve Pink

Screenwriter

Heather Pollock

Costumes

Ed Portoghese

Production Assistant

Clifford Price

Composer

Joel Prihoda

Leadman

Ed Rak

Score eng

Edward J. Reardon

Medic

Mike Redfern

Foley Editor

Lou Reed

Composer

Kimberley Rew

Composer

Adrian Rhodes

Re-rec mixer

Mark Rose

Assistant Sound Editor

Adam Rosen

Production Assistant

Scott Rosenberg

Screenwriter

Thomas Rowlands

Composer

Laetitia Sadier

Composer

Melissa Sadoff

Assistant to Mr. DeVincentis/Mr. Pink

Doug Sahm

Composer

Mark Sayfritz

Composer

Dan Schalk

Non-linear Editor Assistant, U.S.

Jon Schluenz

Production Assistant

Howard Shore

Original Music comp

Howard Shore

Score Conductor and Arrangements

Rudd Simmons

Producer

Claire Simon

Chicago casting

Edmund Simons

Composer

Harbhajhn Singh

Composer

Navinder Pal Singh

Composer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Music
Period
Adaptation
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
Mar 31, 2000
Premiere Information
World premiere in Los Angeles: 28 Mar 2000
Production Company
Dogstar Films; New Crime Productions; Touchstone Pictures; Working Title Films
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Country
United States
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago--The Biograph Theater, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Double Door, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Green Mill, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Kinzie Street Bridge, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Music Box Theatre, Illinois, United States; Chicago--The Rainbow Club, Illinois, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (New York, 1995).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film did not have opening credits. Although an April 2000 People news item stated that neither Catherine Zeta-Jones nor Bruce Springsteen were listed in the onscreen credits, both names appear in the film's closing cast list. High Fidelity was based on Nick Hornby's 1995 novel of the same name. According to a June 1995 news item in Screen International, director Mike Newell and Touchstone Pictures bought the film rights to the novel for a record $500,000. The article mistakenly described the story as being about "a music executive in the 1970s." Variety reported in March 1998 that although Newell originally intended to direct the film himself, he could not because of post-production scheduling constraints for the film Pushing Tin, which, like High Fidelity, starred John Cusack. According to a March 1998 Daily Variety item, Touchstone then hired Frears to take over the production, but retained Newell's Dogstar Films as one of the film's production companies. Cusack adapted the book into a screenplay with his childhood friends and writing partners, D. V. DeVincentis and Steve Pink, who live in Chicago and run New Crime Productions.
       In various contemporary sources, Cusack recounts the challenges of adapting the popular book into a film. Studio press materials relate how the story's setting was moved from London to Chicago. Although British-born Hornby often referred to his book as being "about London," he approved the locale change. According to Frears' commentary on the DVD version of the film, he at first objected to the Chicago setting, but after reading the screenplay came to believe that the "optimism" of Americans lent even more romance to the story. On the DVD, Frears details that the writers, by having "Rob Gordon" speak directly to the camera throughout much of the film, could lift passages directly from the book and so authentically mirror its tone. In general, the film remains so faithful to the novel that Hornby remarked in an interview for a April 2, 2000 New York Times "Arts & Leisure" article,"At times it appears to be a film in which John Cusack reads my book."
       The DVD version of the film includes many scenes that were shot but deleted from the theatrically released film. These include a scene from the book in which a spiteful, spurned wife (played by Beverly D'Angelo) attempts to sell her husband's prime record collection to Rob for fifty dollars, not figuring on Rob's loyalty to other music aficionados; one in which Rob, worried about his night with "Marie De Salle," discusses sexual prowess with his father (played by Harold Ramis); and one in which "Caroline Fortis" interviews Rob about his top five songs, which leads to extended panic about his various options.
       According to studio press materials, most of the film was shot at locations in Chicago, IL, including in The Music Box Theatre, The Green Mill bar, the Double Door, The Rainbow Club, the Kinzie Street Bridge, The Biograph Theater and on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line trains and platforms. The closing credits list a "special thanks" to many Chicago locations, including the city of Chicago and the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Before its March 28, 2000 premiere in Los Angeles, High Fidelity was exhibited in mid-March at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX. High Fidelity was selected as one of the top ten films of the year by AFI. In addition, John Cusack received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Musical or Comedy.

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for the 2000 Award for Best Costume Design in a Feature Film - Contemporary from the Costume Designers Guild (CDG).

Nominated for the 2000 award for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published from the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2000 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Winner of the 2000 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing for Music in a Feature Film by the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE).

Released in United States Spring March 31, 2000

Expanded Release in United States April 7, 2000

Released in United States on Video September 19, 2000

Released in United States 2000

Released in United States July 2000

Released in United States September 2000

Shown at Brisbane International Film Festival July 27 - August 8, 2000.

Shown at Melbourne International Film Festival July 19 - August 6, 2000.

Shown at Galway Film Fleadh July 11-16, 2000.

Shown at Taormina International Film Festival July 2-9, 2000.

Shown at Deauville Festival of American Film September 1-10, 2000.

Completed shooting July 12, 1999.

Began shooting April 26, 1999.

Released in United States Spring March 31, 2000

Expanded Release in United States April 7, 2000

Released in United States on Video September 19, 2000

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at Brisbane International Film Festival July 27 - August 8, 2000.)

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at Melbourne International Film Festival July 19 - August 6, 2000.)

Released in United States July 2000 (Shown at Galway Film Fleadh July 11-16, 2000.)

Released in United States July 2000 (Shown at Taormina International Film Festival July 2-9, 2000.)

Released in United States September 2000 (Shown at Deauville Festival of American Film September 1-10, 2000.)