Kinsey


1h 58m 2004

Brief Synopsis

The life story of Alfred Kinsey, a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of the nation, and journey into the mystery of human behavior. In 1948, Kinsey irrevocably changed American culture and created a media sensation with his book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male." Using the technique o

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Biography
Drama
Medical
Period
Release Date
Dec 17, 2004
Premiere Information
Telluride Film Festival: 4 Sep 2004; Toronto International Film Festival: 12 Sep 2004; Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 Nov 2004
Production Company
American Zoetrope; Myriad Pictures; Pretty Pictures; Prok Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada; New Jersey, USA; New York, USA; New York City--Bronx Community College, New York, United States; New York City--Columbia University, New York, United States; New York City--Fordam University, New York, United States; New York City--Fordham University, New York, United States; Plainfield, New Jersey, United States; Stony Point--Letchworth Village, New Jersey, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Synopsis

While Alfred C. Kinsey, a zoology professor at Indiana University, trains three assistants to interview people for a new study, their questions prompt him to recount his life: Throughout his childhood, Kinsey, his mother Sara, brother Robert and sister Mildred are dominated by his strict, bullying father, Alfred Seguine Kinsey. During his Sunday school lectures, the elder Kinsey, a devout Methodist and college professor, rails against any sort of immorality. As a boy Kinsey suffers from debilitating illnesses and it is not until a doctor prescribes walks in the woods that he recovers his health. Kinsey discovers a passionate love of biology on his hikes, which enable him to escape the stifling atmosphere at home. One day, the teenaged Kinsey, now an Eagle Scout, confesses to a friend that although he wants to study biology, his father has decreed that he become an engineer. Kinsey's unhappiness is heightened by his sexual frustration, as his religious upbringing has made him feel ashamed of all sexual urges, including masturbation. Finally, unable to bear his father's inflexible code of morality, Kinsey lashes out, announcing that he has quit the college at which his father teaches. Although his father pronounces him a disappointment, Kinsey thrives and becomes an assistant zoology professor at Indiana University, where over the years he amasses a huge collection of gall wasps and becomes a renowned entomologist. During one of his lectures, his enthusiasm for his subject piques the curiosity of student Clara "Mac" McMillen. Mac approaches the socially awkward Kinsey one afternoon, and later, as he fixes her a picnic, he shyly relates that his graduate students have nicknamed him "Prok," an abbreviation of Professor Kinsey. Soon Kinsey falls in love with Mac, an intelligent "free-thinker" who enjoys nature and biology. Kinsey is crushed when Mac does not accept his marriage proposal, telling him that she finds him "too churchy," but eventually Mac changes her mind and they are married. On their wedding night, the two virgins are so sexually unaware that their attempt to consummate their marriage is a dismal failure. The next evening, while they dine with Kinsey's parents, Mac tries to defend her husband against his father's belittling by revealing that his new biology textbook is used throughout the country. Later that night, Kinsey's laughter over his father turns to tears, and Mac comforts him by telling him how much she loves him. Suddenly realizing that they can overcome their sexual difficulties by consulting an expert, Kinsey jumps out of bed and packs their suitcases. Soon after, a doctor explains that Mac's thick hymen impeded their union, and after the problem is corrected, the couple enjoy an active, joyful sex life. Their first daughter, Anne, is born in 1923, and by the time their children Joan and Bruce are born, Kinsey and Mac have cemented their firm partnership. Kinsey becomes known throughout the university for offering advice about sex to married students, and one afternoon, is amazed by the ignorance of a couple who come to him for help. When Kinsey discusses the situation with Mac, he blames societal misconceptions about sex on the lack of scientific studies on the subject. That evening, the university's new president, Herman Wells, hosts a party celebrating the publication of Kinsey's new book about gall wasps and Kinsey grimly realizes from Herman's inability to grasp the subject how overly specialized his work of twenty years has been. During the party, Kinsey upbraids his colleague, Dr. Thurman Rice, for the ineffectualness of his hygiene course and tells Herman that the university must offer a class on sexuality. Although Herman is cautious, after he attends one of Rice's insipid lectures, he agrees to Kinsey's suggestion. Soon Kinsey's lecture hall is overflowing with students eager to take his "marriage course," during which he offers basic biology instruction and frank information about sex. Especially impressed by Kinsey's dynamic, nonjudgmental attitude is student Clyde Martin, who becomes Kinsey's assistant. Kinsey asks his students to fill out questionaires in order to build statistical data about the sex lives of typical Americans, and Clyde, who is open about his past relationships with both men and women, suggests that people would be more willing to confide their secrets to him if he were to talk to them confidentially rather than ask them to commit their private lives to paper. Clyde's suggestion inspires Kinsey to approach different groups in person, and one evening, after Clyde and Kinsey have visited a bar for homosexuals in Chicago as part of their study, Clyde asks Kinsey about his own feelings toward homosexuality. Kinsey admits that as he has gotten older, he realizes that he is bisexual, then responds passionately when Clyde kisses him. Kinsey, not wishing to keep anything from Mac, tells her of his affair with the younger man, and although Mac is hurt, she realizes that she has always been aware of Kinsey's possible bisexuality. As their work progresses, Clyde becomes a member of the family as his affair with Kinsey continues until one day, he announces that he would like to sleep with Mac instead. Forced to prove his belief that sex does not have to involve love nor interfere with it, Kinsey accepts Mac's new relationship with Clyde. In class, Kinsey continues to lecture that it is injurious to allow religious morality to dictate what is considered "normal." In order to expand his studies, Kinsey seeks a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, and despite the initial reluctance of administrator Alan Gregg, the grant is secured and Kinsey hires two scientists, Wardell Pomeroy and Paul Gebhard. Kinsey trains them and Clyde in how to take sexual histories using a specialized code that only they can decipher. Using a nonjudgmental, friendly approach, they spend several years amassing thousands of sex histories throughout the United States, and in 1948, Kinsey's groundbreaking book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male , is published. Kinsey is lauded for his enlightening work, although Alan cautions him when the scientist calls for the reformation of laws governing sex acts. Alan also expresses concern about Kinsey's new studies into female sexuality, and Kinsey admits that he and his team have been using movie and still cameras to record sex acts. Unknown to Alan, Kinsey encourages his assistants and their wives to experiment with different partners, and Kinsey and Mac also participate in the movies recording sexual encounters. When the Rockefeller Foundation gives him another grant, Kinsey establishes the Institute for Sex Research at the university, but after his companion book about female sexuality is published, Kinsey is vilified by academics and the public. Baffled by the hypocrisy, Kinsey is further infuriated when U.S. Customs seizes a shipment of erotic images and artifacts that he has bought for the institute's collection. As the government begins to investigate rumors that Kinsey is involved with Communists, he must battle the Customs department in an expensive court case. Desperate to distance the foundation from Kinsey, Alan discontinues his grant, while Herman is unable to obtain funding for Kinsey from the university's board of trustees. Disillusioned and overworked, Kinsey suffers a heart attack. As Mac helps him recuperate, she continues to encourage him, although he laments that he cannot help the thousands of people who still write to him seeking advice. Kinsey and Mac travel to San Francisco to meet grocery store heir Huntington Hartford, but the eccentric millionaire refuses to fund Kinsey's research for further volumes, declaring that it is too controversial. The next morning, Kinsey takes one last sex history before leaving, and the woman he interviews describes her despair upon realizing that she was attracted to another woman. After reading Kinsey's book on female sexuality, however, she says, she realized that there were many women like her and consequently has been in a committed relationship with another woman for three years. When she thanks him for saving her life, Kinsey realizes how valuable his work has been. Kinsey and Mac then stop in a redwood forest on their way to the airport, and Kinsey, re-energized by the woman's story, as well as by his love for nature and Mac, tells his wife that they have much work left to do.

Cast

Liam Neeson

Alfred [C. "Prok"] Kinsey

Laura Linney

Clara ["Mac"] McMillen

Chris O'donnell

Wardell Pomeroy

Peter Sarsgaard

Clyde Martin

Timothy Hutton

Paul Gebhard

John Lithgow

Alfred Seguine Kinsey

Tim Curry

Thurman Rice

Oliver Platt

Herman Wells

Dylan Baker

Alan Gregg

Julianne Nicholson

Alice Martin

William Sadler

Kenneth Braun

John Mcmartin

Huntington Hartford

Veronica Cartwright

Sara Kinsey

Kathleen Chalfant

Barbara Merkle

Heather Goldenhersh

Martha Pomeroy

Dagmara Dominczyk

Agnes Gebhard

Harley Cross

Young man in gay bar

Susan Blommaert

Staff secretary

Benjamin Walker

Kinsey at 19

Matthew Fahey

Kinsey at 14

Will Denton

Kinsey at 10

John Krasinski

Ben

Arden Myrin

Emily

Romulus Linney

Rep. B. Carroll Reece

Katharine Houghton

Mrs. Spaulding

David Harbour

Robert Kinsey

Judith J. K. Polson

Mildred Kinsey

Leigh Spofford

Anne Kinsey

Jenna Gavigan

Joan Kinsey

Thomas Luke Macfarlane

Bruce Kinsey

Mike Thurstlic

Kenneth Hand

Jarlath Conroy

Grocer

Bill Buell

Dr. Thomas Lattimore

Michele Federer

Gall wasp class coed

Alvin Keith

Black student

Amy Wilson

Marriage class coed

Maryellen Owens

Female assistant professor

Roderick Hill

Clerical worker

Peg Small

Retired teacher

Don Sparks

Middle-aged businessman

Joe Zaloom

Janitor

Kate Reinders

Female student #1

Mara Hobel

Female student #2

Jason Patrick Sands

Male student #1

Lindsay Schmidt

Female student #3

Marcel Simoneau

Male student #2

Bobby Steggert

Male student #3

Johnny Pruitt

Male student #4

John Epperson

Effete man in gay bar

Jefferson Mays

Effete man's friend

Mark Mineart

Slavic man

Martin Murphy

Bartender

Kate Jennings Grant

Marjorie Hartford

Barry Del Sherman

IU reporter #1

Fred Burrell

IU reporter #2

Michael Arkin

NYC reporter #1

Daniel Ziskie

NYC reporter #2

Tuck Milligan

NYC reporter #3

Edwin Mcdonough

Mr. Morrissey

John Ellison Conlee

Bookstore clerk

Arthur French

Sharecropper

Chandler Williams

Prison inmate

Jaime Roman Tirelli

Hispanic man

Draper Shreeve

Ballet teacher

Phillip Kushner

Bellhop

Joe Badalucco

Radio repairman

Henrietta Mantooth

Poet

Doris Smith

Old woman

Reno

Male impersonator

Pascale Armand

Young black woman

Sean Skelton

Staff photographer

Steven Edward Hart

Reverend

Clifford David

Professor Smithson

Randy Redd

Student

Lynn Redgrave

Final interview subject

Crew

Aina Abiodun

Editorial prod Assistant

Mike Adkisson

Senior digital compositor

George Aguilar

Stunt Coordinator

Thomas Ahlers

Production Assistant

Douglas Aibel

Casting

William Almeida

Rigging gaffer

Robert A. Andres

Key grip

Alexandra Arlango

Assistant to Mr. Kuhn

Nadine Asin

Musician

Joann Atwood

Set Dresser

Martin Avitia

Digital Editor

Joe Badalucco

Assistant Props master

Gregg Barbanell

Foley artist

Nancy Barker

1st Assistant Sound Editor

Alison Barton

Best boy grip

Andrew Baseman

Set Decoration

Kenny Becker

Col timer

Angela Bellisio

Loader

Braden Belmonte

2d Assistant Camera

Jon Bernier

Production Assistant

Ken Bichel

Musician

Martin Blasick

Composer

Sue Bodine

Prod legal counsel

Ciara Bresnihan

Production Assistant

Connie Brink Sr.

Special Effects

Lance Brown

Re-rec mixer

Jim Bruce

Assistant Editor

Max Bruch

Composer

Roy Bryson

Key hairstylist

Peter Bundrick

Const foreman

Keith Bunting Jr.

Company grip

Carter Burwell

Mus/Orch and Conductor

Tony Campenni

Dolly grip

Andrea Cannistraci

Prod legal counsel

Mel Cannon

Company grip

Patrick Capone

Camera Operator

Laura Cass

Casting Assistant

Andy Cesana

Production Assistant

Felix Chen

Payroll accountant

Fryderyk Chopin

Composer

Kathy Ciric

Loc Manager

Annabel Clark

Intern

Josh Comen

Visual Effects prod

Bill Condon

Writer

Laura Congleton

Assistant Editor

Stephen Consentino

Steadicam op

Adam Cook

Assistant to Mr. Condon

Eddie Cooley

Composer

Francis Ford Coppola

Executive Producer

Blaise Corrigan

Stunt Coordinator

Kathryn Craig

Head of legal affairs, for Qwerty Films

J. R. Craigmile

Prod accountant

Jen Crammer

Assistant prod Coordinator

Lamont Crawford

Company grip

Ralph Crowley

Best boy Electrician

Sara Curran

Prod legal counsel

Mary Cybulski

Script Supervisor

Kirk D'amico

Executive Producer

John Davenport

Composer

Valerie Dean

Associate Producer

Anthony Dimeo

Props Master

Justine Dolan-cote

Assistant Props master

Peter Donahue

Company grip

J. Kevin Draves

Men's Costume Supervisor

Jamie Dunlap

Composer

Frederick Elmes

Director of Photography

Robb Englin

Digital compositor

Michael Farrow

Music scoring mixer

Harriet Fidlow

ADR ed--New York

Joni Finlay

Set Dresser

Bruce Finlayson

Costume Design

Tony Finno

Music prepared by

Nina Fiore

Production Assistant

Maurice Fitzgerald

Transportation co-capt

Sam Friedman

Company Electrician

Jamie Gallagher

Genny op

Elton Garcia

Graphic artist

Jonathan Gathorne-hardy

Consultant

Michael Geisler

Foley Supervisor

Brian Godshall

Music clearances

Jude Gorjanc

1st Assistant Director

Dennis Green

Video playback

Kelly Lee Gregson

Set Costume

Richard Guay

Co-producer

Carlos Guerra

1st Assistant Camera

Paul Hackner

Dial Editor

Ann Hadsell

ADR mixer--Los Angeles

Mindy Hall

Makeup for Ms. Linney

Julie Hansen, Film Auditors, Inc.

Post prod accountant

Barbara Harris

Voice casting

Steve Harrow

Pre and post prod consultant on behalf of N1

Richard Hebrank

Const Coordinator

Deborah Hecht

Dialect coach

Mo Henry, D. Bassett & Assoc.

Negative cutter

Wayne Herndon

Hairstylist

Andrew Hildebrand

Head of commercial and bus affairs, for Qwerty Films

Steven Jacobson

Assistant to Ms. Mutrux

Meredith Jacobson Marciano

Extras casting

Kenton Jakub

ADR ed--New York

Steven Kaminsky

Post prod Supervisor

Todd Kasow

Music Editor

Virginia Katz

Film Editor

Kevin Keefe

Transportation capt

Lisa Kim

Musician

Scott Kincaid

Company Electrician

Todd Kleitsch

Special Effects makeup artist

Kim Krafsky

Animal trainer

Michael Kuhn

Executive Producer

Stephen Lang

Composer

Michael Laudati

Makeup for Mr. Neeson

Robert Levine

Unit Publicist

Eli Lichter-marck

Intern

Laura Lim

Production Assistant

Eric Warren Lindemann

Supervisor Sound Editor

Chris Liscinsky

Company Electrician

Clay Liversidge

Genny op

Tom Lohmann

Steadicam op

David Lott

Foley Editor

Kimberly Lowe Voigt

Supervisor ADR & dial Editor

Peter Lüke

Prod Executive for N1

Jonathan Lumley

Gaffer

Nicholas Lundy

Art Director

Kim Maitland

Cable person

Jon Manasse

Musician

Linda Martinez

Composer

Daniel May

Composer

Steve Mcauliff

Animal trainer

Barbara Mcdermott

Music Editor

Caitlin Mcginty

Prod Secretary

Kati Meister

Film researcher

Hillary Meyer

1st accountant

Bruno Michels

Production Assistant

Montez A. Monroe

Prod Coordinator

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Composer

Melissa Mugavero

Production Assistant

Gail Mutrux

Producer

Chris Navarro

ADR rec--Los Angeles

Scott Nickoley

Composer

Hilary Niederer

Assistant Costume Designer

Sarah Nuttall

Prod Coordinator, for Qwerty Films

T. J. O'mara

Sound Mixer

Mike Ocoboc

Digital compositor

Emre Ozpirincci

Production Assistant

Marlo Pabon

Visual Effects Supervisor

Daniel Paikin

Cable person

Justin M. Pandolfino

Intern

Miichael Papadopoulos

Rigging best boy

Sandra Park

Musician contractor

Dean Parker

Score prod Manager

John Patitucci

Musician

Tim Pedegana

Post prod Supervisor

Stephen Pederson

Re-rec mixer

Linda Perkins

2d Assistant Director

Jason Piatt

Foley mixer

Frankie Pine

Music Supervisor

Cole Porter

Composer

Alex Raspa

ADR rec--New York

Ken Regan

Still Photographer

Deborah Ricketts

Film researcher

Guadalupe Rilova

Assistant to Ms. Mutrux

Robert Rinehart

Musician

Jon Ringbom

Scenic foreman

Gary Ritchie

Recording

Malcolm Ritchie

Prod Executive for N1 and Qwerty Films

Bobby Rock

Executive Producer

Cara Rosenbloom

Assistant to Mr. Guay

Jeffrey Sacino

Key hairstylist

Amy Safhay

Greensperson

Henri Sann

Production Assistant

Jennifer Santucci

Art Department Coordinator

James Sarzotti

Addl makeup artist

Todd Daniel Schechter

Editorial prod Assistant

Diana Schmidt

Unit Production Manager

Matt Schreiber

Casting Assistant

Francesco Sciarrone

Scenic foreman

Michael Scott

Boom person

Tom Sevcofic

Musician

Stacey Shames

Musician

Steven Shellooe

Set scenic

Richard Sherman

Production Design

Tom Shinn

Company Electrician

Adam Shulman

Associate Producer

Jean Sibelius

Composer

Alan Silverman

Score rec

Chris Skutch

Rigging grip

Mollie Smith

Production Assistant

Clay Sparks

Digital Editor

Alan Stepansky

Musician

Anita Sum

Prod Coordinator

Pat Taistra

Company grip

Jill Tandy

Prod Executive for N1 and Qwerty Films

Amanda Taylor

2d 2d Assistant Director

Richard J. Tice

Leadman

Cindy Tolan

Casting

Mark Van Rossen

Rigging best boy

Nicholas Vanderpool

Production Assistant

Kristen Von Hoffman

Intern

Carla White

Key makeup artist

Nathan Whitehead

Apprentice Editor

Deirdre Williams

Women's Costume Supervisor

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Biography
Drama
Medical
Period
Release Date
Dec 17, 2004
Premiere Information
Telluride Film Festival: 4 Sep 2004; Toronto International Film Festival: 12 Sep 2004; Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 Nov 2004
Production Company
American Zoetrope; Myriad Pictures; Pretty Pictures; Prok Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada; New Jersey, USA; New York, USA; New York City--Bronx Community College, New York, United States; New York City--Columbia University, New York, United States; New York City--Fordam University, New York, United States; New York City--Fordham University, New York, United States; Plainfield, New Jersey, United States; Stony Point--Letchworth Village, New Jersey, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Award Nominations

Best Supporting Actress

2004
Laura Linney

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

At the beginning of the film, black-and-white footage of "Alfred C. Kinsey," played by Liam Neeson, training his three assistants on techniques for taking sex histories is interspersed with color footage of Kinsey's early life as he answers their questions. Kinsey's wife, "Clara `Mac' McMillen," played by Laura Linney, also appears in the interview footage, which continues for approximately the first twenty minutes of the film. The opening and ending cast credits vary slightly in order. As the end credits roll, black-and-white footage of animals mating, obtained from the Kinsey Institute, is shown.
       Among the individuals and groups thanked during the end credits are Indiana University, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, the author of the book Sex, the Measure of All Things: A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey (Great Britain, 1998). According to the 2004 paperback edition of Gathorne-Hardy's book, it was the "factual and intellectual backing" for the picture. Also thanked in the picture's credits is documentary filmmaker Diane Ward, whose 1989 public television documentary, Sex and the Scientist, was used as source material for Kinsey. The film ends with a disclaimer noting that while it is "inspired by actual historical events," "certain characters, events and dialogue" were fictionalized.
       As depicted in the film, Alfred C. Kinsey (23 June 1894-25 August 1956) first began his professional scientific career as a zoologist. At Indiana University (Bloomington), where he was a zoology professor, Kinsey met chemistry student and fellow nature enthusiast McMillen (Oct 1898-April 1982); the couple married in 1921. Known by colleagues as "Get a Million Kinsey" for his dedication to collecting gall wasp specimens, Kinsey, over twenty years of studying the insects, became one of the foremost entomologists and taxonomists in the country. Kinsey, nicknamed "Prok" by students at a summer camp at which he counseled, had four children with Mac. Their eldest child, Donald, died when he was four years old. [In a December 17, 2004 Entertainment Weekly article, writer-director Bill Condon stated that he did not include the death of Donald in the film in order to avoid making Kinsey appear "warmer and fuzzier."] Although the picture presents a semi-reconciliation between Kinsey and his father when Kinsey takes his father's sex history, in real life, Kinsey rarely saw his father after arguing with him over his decision to become a biologist instead of an engineer. After Kinsey, Sr. divorced his wife in order to marry another woman in 1930, Kinsey ceased all contact with him.
       In 1938, when students began demanding more informative sex education, Kinsey taught the biology portion of the first "marriage course" at Indiana University and became interested in studying human sexual behavior. Although it was not shown in the film, civic and religious groups, as well as jealous colleagues, protested when Kinsey began taking the sexual histories of the marriage class students. In 1940, Indiana University president Herman Wells, despite his support of Kinsey, was forced to ask the scientist to choose between teaching the course or taking histories. Kinsey stopped teaching the class, although it was continued by other professors.
       Kinsey developed a specialized interview technique to address an average of 300 questions about more than 200 different types of sexual behavior. Along with his three main assistants-Clyde Martin, Wardell Pomeroy and Paul Gebhard-Kinsey used an elaborate written code, the key to which was known only to themselves, to record the answers of the thousands of people whom they interviewed. Kinsey's goal was to obtain 100,000 histories over the course of twenty years, which he intended to use in nine books detailing different aspects of human sexuality.
       Kinsey's first volume, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, was published in 1948 to enormous critical and popular acclaim. Kinsey's second book about sex, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, was published in 1953. Although it, too, initially received good reviews and was well-received by the public, a huge backlash, largely led by religious and conservative groups, enveloped Kinsey in a storm of controversy. As shown in the film, the Rockefeller Foundation, which had funded Kinsey for thirteen years through the National Research Council, withdrew its financial support, leaving Kinsey scrambling to keep afloat the Institute for Sex Research (ISR), which he had founded in 1947.
       Among the financial drains on the ISR was the lawsuit it was involved with against the U.S. Customs Department. The suit began in 1950 when the Customs Dept., declaring that the material was "grossly obscene," seized a shipment of erotica that Kinsey had imported to add to the institute's massive collection of erotic literature, art, photographs and artifacts. The case, which dragged on until after Kinsey's death, was won by the institute in July 1957, when a federal district court judge ruled that explicit materials collected solely for scholarly research could not be considered pornographic.
       Although Kinsey's free thinking and sexual practices, which included having numerous affairs with both women and men, such as Martin and Pomeroy, have spurred ongoing controversy, he is also widely commended for his nonjudgmental attitude toward his subjects, his progressive scientific and interviewing methods and his urging of tolerance toward homosexuality, which his statistics attempted to show was a normal part of human sexuality. By the time of his death, Kinsey had laid the groundwork for several more volumes and numerous studies. From 1938 to 1963, when the interview project ceased, the institute gathered more than 18,000 histories, a third of which had been taken personally by Kinsey. The ISR was renamed the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in 1982 and continues to use Kinsey's huge reservoir of data.
       The idea of making a film about Kinsey first appealed to producer Gail Mutrux in late 1995, according to a December 6, 1995 Hollywood Reporter news item. At that time, Mutrux intended to produce the project with partner Katie Jacobs and co-producer Amanda Nelligan at Fox 2000. Mutrux purchased a script about Kinsey from screenwriter David Ives in December 1995, although later news items reported that Ives's work was not used in the final film. According to a January 12, 2005 Los Angeles Times article, in 1996, Mutrux signed Tom Fontana, with whom she had worked on the television show Homicide: Life on the Street, to write a script for Kinsey. The article stated that Fontana dropped out of the project before "handing in a completed draft...because his TV responsibilities were too consuming."
       In December 1999, Hollywood Reporter announced that Mutrux had signed Bill Condon to work on the project, which was to be based on Gathorne-Hardy's biography of Kinsey as well as Ward's documentary. The article stated that Fox 2000 vice-president Ashley Kramer was "overseeing the project for the studio" at that time. An October 2002 Daily Variety article noted that Condon "based his original screenplay on elements in the [Gathorne-Hardy] biography combined with his own original research on Kinsey," and that he had spent more than a year working on the script. It was also stated that Myriad Pictures official Lucas Foster would serve as an executive producer along with Kirk D'Amico. Although D'Amico is credited onscreen, Foster's contribution to the completed picture, if any, has not been determined.
       In January 2003, the website for the Indiana University student paper, www.idsnews.com, reported that Condon first approached George Clooney to play Kinsey, and after Clooney turned down the part, actors Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Bridges and Michael Douglas were considered before Liam Neeson was cast. The October 2002 Daily Variety article reported that actor Ian McKellen, who had worked with Condon on the 1998 Academy Award-winning film Gods and Monsters, was "in negotiations to play a composite of real characters as the film's host." On his personal website, McKellen noted in June 2004 that although he had wanted to appear in the film, the supporting character he was to play, based on Kinsey colleague Clarence A. Tripp, was dropped before filming began. According to studio press notes, Tripp was one of "scores of people who had known and worked with Kinsey" whom Condon interviewed while researching the picture.
       Several 2002 Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter news items reported that the film, which encountered funding difficulties, initially was to be distributed domestically by United Artists, which had a distribution deal with executive producer Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope company, one of Kinsey's financial backers. A February 25, 2002 Hollywood Reporter article stated that the film's budget was to be capped at ten million dollars in accordance with Zoetrope's pact with UA. The deal for UA to distribute the picture eventually fell through, although Myriad Pictures, another financial backer, stayed on to distribute the picture internationally. Mutrux took the project to Fox Searchlight Pictures and the English company Qwerty Films to obtain domestic distribution and additional financing, according to a July 2003 Daily Variety report. The January 2005 Los Angeles Times article adds that Mutrux and her husband, producer Tony Ganz, invested their own money in the project, which "was rejected by 87 studios and film companies" before Mutrux finalized the complicated financing.
       Many of the crew, such as editor Virginia Katz, music composer Carter Burwell, production designer Richard Sherman and costume designer Bruce Finlayson, had previously worked with Condon on Gods and Monsters. Actors Liam Neeson and Laura Linney had appeared together in a 2002 Broadway revival of the play The Crucible, and in several interviews, credited their previous close working relationship with their ease in filming Kinsey. According to studio press notes, as well as information on the Kinsey Institute website, Condon, Neeson and Sherman visited the Indiana University campus where they toured the institute's collections and conducted more interviews of people who had known Kinsey and his colleagues.
       In studio press notes, Condon explained that he deliberately chose not to identify the film's time periods overtly with "title cards or superimposed dates" in order to "achieve an almost timeless quality in the later parts of the film-to convey the idea that in some ways things haven't changed at all." According to the presskit, the picture was shot on location in New York and New Jersey. Among the key locations in New York were Fordham University, Bronx Community College and Columbia University's historic Havemeyer lecture hall. New Jersey locations included a nineteenth-century house in Plainfield that served as the Kinsey family home and a building at Letchworth Village in Stony Point that was transformed into Kinsey's laboratory. Due to the film's tight budget, Burwell's music score was recorded with only eleven musicians, according to the presskit.
       Much controversy engulfed the picture both during production and after its release. Numerous conservative and religious groups attempted to influence the filmmakers not to make the picture, according to trade and newspaper reports. New York public television station WNET refused to run an advertisement for the film upon its release, claiming that it could not "risk viewer complaints," according to a November 22, 2004 Daily Variety news item. Some groups, such as Focus on the Family and the Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute, threatened to picket the film and also urged their members to boycott all Fox releases for one year.
       Despite the contentiousness surrounding the film, Kinsey garnered excellent reviews, with Time calling it "a smart social satire masquerading as a biopic," and Hollywood Reporter terming it a "lively, beautifully written and acted portrait." Neeson and Linney were both highly praised for their acting. Los Angeles Times asserted that the role represented Neeson's "most fully realized performance," and the New York Times critic added that Linney played her role with "forthrightness, delicacy and a brisk sense of mischief." Actress Lynn Redgrave, who is Neeson's wife's aunt, also received excellent notices for her cameo as Kinsey's final interview subject. Laura Linney's father, playwright Romulus Linney, appears in the picture as "Rep. B. Carroll Reece." While also lauding the film's factual accuracy, a number of reviewers commented on its political and cultural timeliness, with the Village Voice calling it "one [of] the year's most politically relevant movies."
       In addition to being named one of the top ten films of the year by AFI, Kinsey was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Drama and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature. Other Independent Spirit nominations included Best Screenplay, Best Male Lead (Neeson) and Best Supporting Male (Peter Sarsgaard) Neeson and Linney also received Golden Globe nominations for their acting, with Linney being named Best Supporting Actress of the year by the National Board of Review and receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and a nomination for Female Actor in a Supporting Role by the Screen Actors Guild. Neeson was also cited as Best Actor of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Bill Condon received a Best Original Screenplay nomination from the Writers Guild. Time, Newsweek and New York Times were among the other organizations naming Kinsey one of the top ten films of 2004, and according to the January 12, 2005 Los Angeles Times article, over 110 groups placed the film on their top ten lists.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video May 17, 2005

Released in United States September 2004

Released in United States October 2004

Released in United States February 2005

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Opening Night) October 7-21, 2004.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Closing Night) February 10-20, 2005.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival February 10-20, 2005.

Based on the documentary SEX AND THE SCIENTIST produced by Diane Ward and Indiana University, as well as the biography SEX AND THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS: A LIFE OF ALFRED KINSEY by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.

Project formerly in development at Fox 2000.

International distribution rights held by Myriad Pictures. MGM/UA was previously set as the film's domestic distributor but the deal fell through, with Fox Searchlight picking up the project. Paradiso acquired rights in Benelux.

Exclusive NY/LA release on 11/12/2004.

Pretty Pictures is Gail Mutrux's production company.

Additional photography took place in New York in February 2004.

Released in United States Fall November 12, 2004

Released in United States on Video May 17, 2005

Released in United States September 2004 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival September 3-6, 2004.)

Released in United States October 2004 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Opening Night) October 7-21, 2004.)

Winner of the 2004 award for Best Actor (Liam Neeson) by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Winner of the 2004 award for Best Supporting Actress (Laura Linney) by the National Board of Review (NBR).

Released in United States Fall November 12, 2004

Released in United States February 2005 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Closing Night) February 10-20, 2005.)

Released in United States February 2005 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival February 10-20, 2005.)

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2004 by the American Film Institute (AFI).