Driving Miss Daisy


1h 39m 1989
Driving Miss Daisy

Brief Synopsis

When she's forced to hire a driver, a southern matron questions her assumptions about race.

Film Details

Also Known As
Miss Daisy et son chauffeur, Paseando a Miss Daisy, På väg med Miss Daisy
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Comedy
Period
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Gloria Cooper
Location
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m

Synopsis

The relationship between a 70-year-old Southern woman and her black chauffeur, spanning 20 years.

Crew

Lester Allen

Song

Louis Armstrong

Song Performer

Bowen Astrop

Production Assistant

Sandina Bailo-lape

Foley Editor

Lynn Barber

Makeup Assistant

Jeff Becker

Best Boy

Tom Bellfort

Adr Editor

Benjamin Beresford

Props Assistant

Derek Best

Song

Wren Boney

On-Set Dresser

Gloria S Borders

Sound Editor

David Brown

Executive Producer

Gary L Buckles

On-Set Dresser

Ronni Chasen

Other

Don E Cochran

Other

Andrew M Comins

Location Manager

Gloria Cooper

Boom Operator

Gloria Cooper

Cable Operator

Melissa Dietz

Dialogue Editor

Robert Doudell

Associate Producer

Robert Doudell

Unit Production Manager

Antonin Dvorak

Other

Antonin Dvorak

Music

Jake Eberts

Co-Executive Producer

Martha Elcan

Assistant Director

Sam Emerson

Photography

Michael Fedack

Dolly Grip

Ella Fitzgerald

Song Performer

Katterli Frauenfelder

Assistant Director

David J Frederick

Assistant Camera Operator

Clare Freeman

Sound Editor

Hank Garfield

Sound Mixer

Nanette Guidebeck

Production Assistant

Tom S Gunter

Scenic Artist

Jeanne M Hall

Other

Kevin Haney

Makeup

Karen Harding

Sound Editor

Robin Harlan

Foley Artist

Charles K. Harris

Song

Annette Haywood-carter

Script Supervisor

Colleen Hess

Stand-In

Robert Hill

Song

Tim Holland

Sound Effects Editor

Paul Huggins

Foreman

B J Hughes

Stand-In

Matthew Iadarola

Sound

Philip Ivey

Hair

Ronald Jacobs

Dialogue Editor

Peter James

Director Of Photography

Peter James

Dp/Cinematographer

Joann Jarvitz

Song

Kristine Kearney

Costumes

Robert Kempf

Key Grip

Victor Kempster

Art Director

Eartha Kitt

Song Performer

Tony Kupersmith

Construction Coordinator

James Laclair

Production Assistant

Robert Edwin Lee

Production Accountant

Barry Levine

Music Supervisor

Phil Lido

Hair

Donald Likovich

Assistant Editor

Danny Mabry

Stunt Man

Elizabeth Mcbride

Costume Designer

David Meistrich

Assistant Camera Operator

Susan E Michey

Costumes

Lois Middlebrooks

Stand-In

Michael Minkler

Sound

Greg Morse

Other

Charlene Murray-rose

Other

Jeremiah O'driscoll

Apprentice

John Oliveira

On-Set Dresser

Russell Paris

Post-Production Supervisor

Cindy Parker

Transportation Captain

J L Parker

Transportation Coordinator

Matt Patterson

Sound

Les Peel

Song Performer

Les Peel

Song

Letha Perkins

Stand-In

Laura Perlman

Music Editor

Marsha Perloff

Wardrobe Supervisor

Wendy Price

Production Accountant

Bob Putynkowski

Color Timer

Steven Ramirez

Assistant Editor

Stroke T Renigade-patterson

Production Assistant

Jay Rifkin

Music

Manlio Rocchetti

Makeup Supervisor

Erich Roland

Camera Operator

Andy Rovins

Boom Operator

Bruno Rubeo

Production Designer

Crispian Sallis

Set Decorator

Patricia Sammons

Craft Service

Judith Schefke

Assistant

Tom Shaffer

Color Timer

Katherine Shaw

Researcher

B J Shelley

Special Effects Assistant

Bob Shelley

Special Effects Coordinator

Keith Sherer

Gaffer

David Sinrich

Dolly Grip

David Slusser

Foley

Michael Smith

Other

Vera Smith

Props Assistant

Phil Spring

Song

Tony Springer

Song

Eric P Steckler

Production Accountant

Phillip Steuer

Property Master

Sean Swint

Production Assistant

Indra A Thomas

Song Performer

Alfred Uhry

Associate Producer

Alfred Uhry

Screenplay

Alfred Uhry

Play As Source Material

Irving Vendig

Assistant

Mark Warner

Editor

Leon Watkins

Stand-In

Deek Watson

Song

Jonathan M. Watson

Production Assistant

Elyn S Wright

Casting

Teresa M. Yarbrough

Production Coordinator

Karen Young

On-Set Dresser

Lili Fini Zanuck

Producer

Richard D. Zanuck

Producer

Hans Zimmer

Music

William Zullo

Props Assistant

Film Details

Also Known As
Miss Daisy et son chauffeur, Paseando a Miss Daisy, På väg med Miss Daisy
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Comedy
Period
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Gloria Cooper
Location
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m

Award Wins

Best Actress

1989
Jessica Tandy

Best Adapted Screenplay

1989

Best Makeup

1989

Best Picture

1989

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1989
Morgan Freeman

Best Art Direction

1989
Bruno Rubeo

Best Costume Design

1989
Elizabeth Mcbride

Best Editing

1989
Mark Warner

Best Supporting Actor

1989
Dan Aykroyd

Articles

Driving Miss Daisy


At the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony, something odd happened; sandwiched between such fierce competition as Born on the Fourth of July, My Left Foot, and Dead Poets Society was a modestly produced character study about a white Southern woman and her black driver growing old together in Atlanta - Driving Miss Daisy. It turned out to be the winner of that year's Best Picture Oscar. Starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, the film traces the lives of two unlikely friends over twenty-five years.

Driving Miss Daisy also brought Tandy a Best Actress Oscar, making her the oldest recipient of an Academy Award (she was five months older than previous record holder George Burns who had won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Sunshine Boys in 1975). Freeman was nominated as well, for Best Actor, but lost to Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot). In all, Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for nine awards but most of the talk that year was about the lack of one nomination.

Director Bruce Beresford, a member of the Australian "New Wave" directors, was in good company with Dead Poets Society's Peter Weir and first gained acclaim with Breaker Morant (1980), an unflinching account of a military murder trial during the Boer War. Beresford would garner another success with Tender Mercies (1983), starring Robert Duvall. Making Driving Miss Daisy, however, would prove to be the most difficult challenge. As Beresford explained it, "When we were trying to get the money together for the film, one reason that was consistently given for not investing in it was that everyone kept saying no one could direct it well enough to entertain an audience for 100 minutes essentially watching three people chatting in the kitchen." When Driving Miss Daisy became not only a massive box office success, with global audience appeal, and the winner of the Best Picture Oscar, it became glaringly obvious that a major oversight had occurred: Beresford had not even been nominated for Best Director. It has happened only twice before in Oscar history, a Best Picture win without a Best Director nomination for the films, Wings (1927) and Grand Hotel (1932). Beresford later mused: "So when the film was a big success, I thought now at least they will see that maybe it was directed reasonably well because it was entertaining. But then everyone sort of said to me, 'Oh well, the direction was non-existent. It doesn't look like there was any effort involved at all.' Ultimately though, it didn't really matter." Beresford's love for the project superseded the desire for any awards, or any compensation of any kind: he did not receive any pay for the work, because, in his own words, "Nobody wanted to finance it. Finally they said, 'We'll give you the money provided you take no director's fee.' I agreed because I had such faith in the product. I knew it was going to be a wonderful film."

Alfred Uhry, writer of the screenplay, also authored the Pulitzer-winning play on which the script was based. An Atlanta-based writer, Uhry also penned Mystic Pizza (1988), the film that launched Julia Roberts' career. He would earn an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Driving Miss Daisy. Supporting actors Dan Aykroyd, Patti LuPone, and Esther Rolle all took advantage of opportunities to digress from their usual roles. Aykroyd, of Saturday Night Live fame and The Blues Brothers (1980), earned a Supporting Actor nomination for his unusual turn into drama with Driving. Singer/Actress LuPone took a break from theatrical performances and musical recordings to perform a role that Uhry reportedly created just for her in the film version. Rolle is best remembered as the mother from the 70s television sitcom Good Times. The two leads, Tandy and Freeman, were lauded for their effective portrayals of realistically aging over a twenty-five year time period. Naturally, cosmetics helped - the film did win for Best Make-up, but it was the actors' performances that made the progression of time so convincing. In an infinitely memorable quote, Morgan Freeman explained the secret of his success in a later interview: "Years ago my acting instructor told me that in order to play age well, you had to imagine that your testicles are made out of Christmas balls." Young actors, take note.

Producer: Richard D. Zanuck, Jake Eberts
Director: Bruce Beresford
Screenplay: Alfred Uhry
Art Direction: Victor Kempster
Cinematography: Peter James
Editing: Mark Warner
Music: Hans Zimmer
Cast: Morgan Freeman (Hoke Colburn), Jessica Tandy (Miss Daisy Werthan), Dan Aykroyd (Boolie Werthan), Patti LuPone (Florine Werthan), Esther Rolle (Idella).
C-99m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Eleanor Quin
Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

At the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony, something odd happened; sandwiched between such fierce competition as Born on the Fourth of July, My Left Foot, and Dead Poets Society was a modestly produced character study about a white Southern woman and her black driver growing old together in Atlanta - Driving Miss Daisy. It turned out to be the winner of that year's Best Picture Oscar. Starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, the film traces the lives of two unlikely friends over twenty-five years. Driving Miss Daisy also brought Tandy a Best Actress Oscar, making her the oldest recipient of an Academy Award (she was five months older than previous record holder George Burns who had won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Sunshine Boys in 1975). Freeman was nominated as well, for Best Actor, but lost to Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot). In all, Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for nine awards but most of the talk that year was about the lack of one nomination. Director Bruce Beresford, a member of the Australian "New Wave" directors, was in good company with Dead Poets Society's Peter Weir and first gained acclaim with Breaker Morant (1980), an unflinching account of a military murder trial during the Boer War. Beresford would garner another success with Tender Mercies (1983), starring Robert Duvall. Making Driving Miss Daisy, however, would prove to be the most difficult challenge. As Beresford explained it, "When we were trying to get the money together for the film, one reason that was consistently given for not investing in it was that everyone kept saying no one could direct it well enough to entertain an audience for 100 minutes essentially watching three people chatting in the kitchen." When Driving Miss Daisy became not only a massive box office success, with global audience appeal, and the winner of the Best Picture Oscar, it became glaringly obvious that a major oversight had occurred: Beresford had not even been nominated for Best Director. It has happened only twice before in Oscar history, a Best Picture win without a Best Director nomination for the films, Wings (1927) and Grand Hotel (1932). Beresford later mused: "So when the film was a big success, I thought now at least they will see that maybe it was directed reasonably well because it was entertaining. But then everyone sort of said to me, 'Oh well, the direction was non-existent. It doesn't look like there was any effort involved at all.' Ultimately though, it didn't really matter." Beresford's love for the project superseded the desire for any awards, or any compensation of any kind: he did not receive any pay for the work, because, in his own words, "Nobody wanted to finance it. Finally they said, 'We'll give you the money provided you take no director's fee.' I agreed because I had such faith in the product. I knew it was going to be a wonderful film." Alfred Uhry, writer of the screenplay, also authored the Pulitzer-winning play on which the script was based. An Atlanta-based writer, Uhry also penned Mystic Pizza (1988), the film that launched Julia Roberts' career. He would earn an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Driving Miss Daisy. Supporting actors Dan Aykroyd, Patti LuPone, and Esther Rolle all took advantage of opportunities to digress from their usual roles. Aykroyd, of Saturday Night Live fame and The Blues Brothers (1980), earned a Supporting Actor nomination for his unusual turn into drama with Driving. Singer/Actress LuPone took a break from theatrical performances and musical recordings to perform a role that Uhry reportedly created just for her in the film version. Rolle is best remembered as the mother from the 70s television sitcom Good Times. The two leads, Tandy and Freeman, were lauded for their effective portrayals of realistically aging over a twenty-five year time period. Naturally, cosmetics helped - the film did win for Best Make-up, but it was the actors' performances that made the progression of time so convincing. In an infinitely memorable quote, Morgan Freeman explained the secret of his success in a later interview: "Years ago my acting instructor told me that in order to play age well, you had to imagine that your testicles are made out of Christmas balls." Young actors, take note. Producer: Richard D. Zanuck, Jake Eberts Director: Bruce Beresford Screenplay: Alfred Uhry Art Direction: Victor Kempster Cinematography: Peter James Editing: Mark Warner Music: Hans Zimmer Cast: Morgan Freeman (Hoke Colburn), Jessica Tandy (Miss Daisy Werthan), Dan Aykroyd (Boolie Werthan), Patti LuPone (Florine Werthan), Esther Rolle (Idella). C-99m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 13, 1989

Released in United States December 20, 1989

Released in United States December 11, 1989

Released in United States February 1990

Shown at Berlin Film Festival (in competition) February 9-20, 1990.

Based on Uhry's hit 1987 Off-Broadway play, which originally starred Dana Ivey and Morgan Freeman. (Their roles were subsequently played by Frances Sternhagen and Earl Hyman.) "Driving Miss Daisy" won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Began shooting May 15, 1989.

Completed shooting July 5, 1989.

First film under The Zanuck Company.

Released in United States December 11, 1989 (World benefit premiere for the Food For All Seasons Foundations in Washington DC December 11, 1989.)

Released in United States February 1990 (Shown at Berlin Film Festival (in competition) February 9-20, 1990.)

Released in United States Winter December 13, 1989

Released in United States December 20, 1989

Voted Best Picture of the Year (1989) by the National Board of Review.