Hero


1h 56m 1992
Hero

Brief Synopsis

Ace reporter Gale Gayley literally falls into the story of a lifetime when she's a passenger on an airplane that crashes into a Chicago bridge. In the smoke and darkness, she's saved by a rude, foul-mouthed "hero," who promptly disappears into the night... leaving only his shoe behind. When Gale's TV station offers a million dollars to the mystery hero, a gentle Vietnam vet appears to claim the prize and he shares it with the city's homeless. But this screwball Cinderella story is complicated by the fact that the real hero is a small time crook whom nobody believes. Both men have something heroic inside, as well as something to hide. And it's up to Gale to discover the true meaning of courage.

Film Details

Also Known As
Accidental Hero
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
1992
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m

Synopsis

Ace reporter Gale Gayley literally falls into the story of a lifetime when she's a passenger on an airplane that crashes into a Chicago bridge. In the smoke and darkness, she's saved by a rude, foul-mouthed "hero," who promptly disappears into the night... leaving only his shoe behind. When Gale's TV station offers a million dollars to the mystery hero, a gentle Vietnam vet appears to claim the prize and he shares it with the city's homeless. But this screwball Cinderella story is complicated by the fact that the real hero is a small time crook whom nobody believes. Both men have something heroic inside, as well as something to hide. And it's up to Gale to discover the true meaning of courage.

Crew

Pamela Alch

Script Supervisor

Ronald Anderson

Other

Stephen Andrzejewski

Location Manager

Bonnie Arnold

Production Supervisor

Jeff Atmajian

Music Arranger

Mick Audsley

Editor

Sam Barkan

Special Effects

Bill Bates

Stunts

Ken Bates

Stunts

Christine Baur

Stunts

Scott Beattie

Other

Pamela Bebermeyer

Stunts

Mat Beck

Visual Effects Supervisor

Cindy Becker

Production Assistant

John Benson

Adr Editor

Bill W Benton

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Carolina Beroza

Assistant Sound Editor

Matt Billet

Production Assistant

Simone Boisseree

Stunts

Irene Brafstein

Other

Laurie Brandt

Assistant

Art Brewer

Special Effects Coordinator

Mark Bridges

Assistant Costume Designer

Shawn J. Broes

Production Assistant

Gordon Brown

Assistant Sound Editor

Howard Burdick

Visual Effects

Jimmy H Burk

Stunts

Jeff Burks

Animation Supervisor

David Burnett

Best Boy Electric

Kate Butler

Assistant Camera Operator

Camilla Calamandrei

Assistant Camera Operator

Hank Calia

Stunts

Jan A Campbell

Production Accountant

Joseph M Caracciolo

Unit Production Manager

Joseph M Caracciolo

Executive Producer

Michael Carr

Stunts

Michael Carrillo

Assistant Property Master

Anjelica Casillas

Animator

Tony Cecere

Stunts

Katie Cerio

Other

Murray Close

Photography

Doug Coleman

Stunts

George Colucci

Stunts

Michael Connell

Music Editor

Mike Connors

Dolly Grip

Judith A. Cory

Hair Stylist

Gina B Cranham

Set Designer

Greg Curtis

Special Effects

Louis D'esposito

Assistant Director

Gary L Dagg

Key Grip

Bill Dance

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Michael P Deal

Transportation Co-Captain

Douglas A Degrazzio

Video Assist/Playback

George Dileonardi

Transportation Coordinator

James Fred Donelson

Video

Peter J Donoghue

Best Boy

Joe Drago

Assistant

Ann Ducommun

Assistant Sound Editor

Susan Dudeck

Adr Editor

Richard Dungan

Video

Donna Evans Merlo

Stunts

Nunzio Fazio

Dga Trainee

George Fenton

Music

Howard Feuer

Casting

Mary Finlay

Assistant Sound Editor

Alison Fisher

Sound Editor

Julia Ganis

Production Assistant

Daniel Garber

Music

David Garden

Production Assistant

Donna Garrett

Stunts

Dennis Gassner

Production Designer

George Gershwin

Song

Ira Gershwin

Song

Lance Gilbert

Stunts

Mickey Gilbert

Stunts

Troy Gilbert

Stunts

John Gillespe

Stunts

T G Glazer

Assistant Location Manager

David J. Grant

Assistant

Rhonda Gunner

Video

Nancy Haigh

Set Decorator

Gene Hartline

Stunts

Allen Hartz

Adr Editor

Gordon Hayes

Electrician

Tim Hill

Transportation Co-Captain

David Hofflich

Video

Dennis Hoffman

Visual Effects

Richard Hollander

Video

Tom Hollister

Mechanical Special Effects

Richard Hornung

Costume Designer

Drake Hotel

Special Thanks To

Steve Howard

Video

Lawrence Hubbs

Set Designer

Dustin Huber

Electrician

Georgie Huntington

Other

Aimee Huyser

Office Assistant

Dream Quest Images

Special Effects

Sandy Isaac

Associate Producer

Robert Jackson

Boom Operator

Ben Jensen

Stunts

Chloe Jensen

Stunts

Ethan Jensen

Stunts

Gary Jensen

Stunts

Gary Jensen

Stunt Coordinator

Rick Johnson

Other

Peter Joly

Sound Editor

Ronald Judkins

Sound

Olof Kallstrom

Assistant Editor

Fran Kaplan

Apprentice

Mike Keeler

Video

Joe Kelly

Grip

Doug Kent

Assistant Sound Editor

Tony Kerum

Caterer

Ronald Kline

Rigging Gaffer

George Kohut

Camera Operator

Kim Koscki

Stunts

Greg Kozikowski

Video

David Kulczycki

Sound Editor

Gregg Landaker

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Ted E Larkowski

Transportation Captain

John A. Larsen

Sound Effects Editor

Christopher B Lawrence

Costume Supervisor

Shari Leibowitz

Production Coordinator

Jim Lewis

Stunts

Randy Lewis

Electrician

Louis Lindwall

Mechanical Special Effects

Tinker Linville

On-Set Dresser

Daniel J Lombardo

Production Coordinator

Dennis Madalone

Stunts

Ned Martin

Assistant

Steve Maslow

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Steve Matthys

Dolly Grip

Karen F Mccarthy

Assistant Director

Amie Frances Mccarthy-winn

Assistant Property Master

Marjorie Mccown

Assistant Costume Designer

Leslie Mcdonald

Art Director

Gregory L Mcmurry

Video

Michael Meinardus

Special Effects

Donny Miller

Key Grip

Patrick Mills

Grip

John Morris

Sound Effects Editor

Ellen Morse

Assistant

Michael Moyer

Lighting Technician

Denise Murray

Apprentice

Edward R. Nedin

Electrician

Victor Nelli

Video

Amy Ness

Location Manager

Bob Newlan

Sound Editor

Nina Kostroff Noble

Assistant Director

Kaye Nottbusch

Costumes

Margaret J. Orlando

Assistant Production Coordinator

Joe Palazzola

Production Assistant

Lauren Palmer

Adr Editor

Mark Pappas

Foley

Rodger Pardee

Sound Effects Editor

Jeff Passanante

Construction Coordinator

David Peoples

Screenplay

David Peoples

From Story

Michelle Plies

Assistant Sound Editor

Jeffrey Pollack

Music

Larry Potoker

Video

Paul Power

Production

Dave Powledge

Stunts

Pablo Prietto

Production Assistant

Cherie Rae

Stunts

John Richards

Other

Steve Richardson

Foley Editor

Jerry Ross

Sound Editor

Julian Rothenstein

Titles

Paul Rychlec

Grip

Ray Saniger

Stunts

Alvin Sargent

From Story

Chuck Schuman

Camera Operator

Keith Shartle

Executive Producer

Larry Shephard

Transportation Captain

Stacy Sillins

Production Assistant

Christina Smith

Makeup

Tammy L Smith

Extras Casting Assistant

Chris Spellman

On-Set Dresser

Oliver Stapleton

Director Of Photography

Hamilton Sterling

Sound Effects Editor

Rob Sweeney

Assistant Camera Operator

Nancy Takehara

Costumes

Michael Talarico

Assistant

Juliet Taylor

Casting

Keith Tellez

Stunts

John Joseph Thomas

Sound Effects Editor

Brian Ufberg

Assistant Editor

Jim Unsinn

Video

James Valentine

Rotoscope Animator

Luther Vandross

Song

Luther Vandross

Song Performer

John C Wash

Video

Hugo Weng

Sound Editor

Monty Westmore

Makeup

John Williams

Theme Song

Diane Wilson

Stunts

Jeff Wright

Grip

Teddy Yonenaka

Craft Service

Rick A Young

Property Master

Film Details

Also Known As
Accidental Hero
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
1992
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m

Articles

Hero -


Stephen Frears, the Oscar-nominated English film and television director, is known for exploring social issues and deftly weaving between comedy and earnest drama. Early on he established himself as someone who was comfortable tackling topics that were off the beaten track and yet capable of making a big splash. Such a case in point would be My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), which was made for TV but then got enough critical traction to screen as a festival movie with theatrical openings. With Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) he found himself firmly ensconced on Hollywood's "A-List." The Grifters (1990) would be the first movie Frears shot in the U.S. The second movie he would shoot in the U.S. was Hero (1992), starring Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia.

In his book The Ironic Filmmaking of Stephen Frears, Lesley Brill, an Emeritus Professor of English and Film Studies at Wayne State University, wrote "Hero (an egregiously underrated film, in my view) has at its center the love of the crowd, which has fallen for the embodied idea of a hero, John Bubber (Andy Garcia) an imposter who has assumed that mantle more or less unwillingly."

Inspired in part by such screwball comedies as Frank Capra's Meet John Doe (1941) and Preston Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), Hero has a performance by Hoffman as Bernie LaPlante, a seedy hustler who isn't quite as bad off as Hoffman's Ratso in John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy (1969) but who as a small-time Chicago thief inhabits a similar edgy orbit. LaPlante is also a continuous disappointment to his estranged wife and he steals money from his young lawyer and only advocate. (The former is played by Joan Cusack and latter by sister Susie Cusack, here working together for the first time. The two would band together again eight years later, along with John Cusack and father Dick Cusack in another Stephen Frears movie: High Fidelity, 2000.)

LaPlante is a "me first" type of scoundrel with a foul mouth and unpleasant demeanor, but he clearly has a soft spot for his young son. And just as a broken clock can be right twice a day in Hero he will be given a couple opportunities to shine. The first is when on a rainy night as he's driving in an abandoned area he will witness a plane crash within a few feet of his car. Despite his decidedly un-altruistic character his paternal instincts respond to the cry for help of a young boy who manages to escape the plane wreck and who fears that his dad will die in the burning debris.

Slopping through the mud (which causes him to lose a shoe), LaPlante reluctantly becomes instrumental in saving the lives of the 54 people onboard the plane. This includes Gale Gayley, a TV newswoman played by Geena Davis in a performance that tips its hat in the direction of Rosalind Russell from Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940). As Gale is put in the ambulance, she doesn't want to leave the scene of a good story but strapped to a gurney she gets trotted away anyway. She is unaware that LaPlante - who didn't think twice about stealing her purse while rescuing her - has absconded from the scene with his anonymity intact thanks to all the burning smoke and chaos. The main clue she has to go on becomes the one shoe that has been left behind, thus turning Hero into an unusual Cinderella story.

Frears works with a script by David Webb Peoples, who won an Oscar nomination the same year as Hero for his work on Unforgiven (1992). Frears also teams up with his frequent collaborator and cinematographer Oliver Stapleton. Viewers paying attention to the opening credits will be surprised to see Chevy Chase playing the role of Gale's boss, Deke, in an uncredited role. (Chase was under contract with Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, and in order to not violate his contract they were unable to use his name to promote the film.)

Unlike Unforgiven, Hero did not exactly receive a hero's welcome and many critics felt it missed the mark. Desson Howe, writing for the Washington Post, felt that Hoffman's "presence overshadows the part, He's a big, V-8 engine booming and rumbling inside a moped." His colleague Hal Hinson, however, also writing for the Washington Post, ends his review of Hero by saying: "It's cagey, funny and vivaciously smart. It may also be one of the worldliest fairy tales ever made, and that rarest of things, a family film with real meat on its bones."

By Pablo Kjolseth
Hero -

Hero -

Stephen Frears, the Oscar-nominated English film and television director, is known for exploring social issues and deftly weaving between comedy and earnest drama. Early on he established himself as someone who was comfortable tackling topics that were off the beaten track and yet capable of making a big splash. Such a case in point would be My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), which was made for TV but then got enough critical traction to screen as a festival movie with theatrical openings. With Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) he found himself firmly ensconced on Hollywood's "A-List." The Grifters (1990) would be the first movie Frears shot in the U.S. The second movie he would shoot in the U.S. was Hero (1992), starring Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia. In his book The Ironic Filmmaking of Stephen Frears, Lesley Brill, an Emeritus Professor of English and Film Studies at Wayne State University, wrote "Hero (an egregiously underrated film, in my view) has at its center the love of the crowd, which has fallen for the embodied idea of a hero, John Bubber (Andy Garcia) an imposter who has assumed that mantle more or less unwillingly." Inspired in part by such screwball comedies as Frank Capra's Meet John Doe (1941) and Preston Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), Hero has a performance by Hoffman as Bernie LaPlante, a seedy hustler who isn't quite as bad off as Hoffman's Ratso in John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy (1969) but who as a small-time Chicago thief inhabits a similar edgy orbit. LaPlante is also a continuous disappointment to his estranged wife and he steals money from his young lawyer and only advocate. (The former is played by Joan Cusack and latter by sister Susie Cusack, here working together for the first time. The two would band together again eight years later, along with John Cusack and father Dick Cusack in another Stephen Frears movie: High Fidelity, 2000.) LaPlante is a "me first" type of scoundrel with a foul mouth and unpleasant demeanor, but he clearly has a soft spot for his young son. And just as a broken clock can be right twice a day in Hero he will be given a couple opportunities to shine. The first is when on a rainy night as he's driving in an abandoned area he will witness a plane crash within a few feet of his car. Despite his decidedly un-altruistic character his paternal instincts respond to the cry for help of a young boy who manages to escape the plane wreck and who fears that his dad will die in the burning debris. Slopping through the mud (which causes him to lose a shoe), LaPlante reluctantly becomes instrumental in saving the lives of the 54 people onboard the plane. This includes Gale Gayley, a TV newswoman played by Geena Davis in a performance that tips its hat in the direction of Rosalind Russell from Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940). As Gale is put in the ambulance, she doesn't want to leave the scene of a good story but strapped to a gurney she gets trotted away anyway. She is unaware that LaPlante - who didn't think twice about stealing her purse while rescuing her - has absconded from the scene with his anonymity intact thanks to all the burning smoke and chaos. The main clue she has to go on becomes the one shoe that has been left behind, thus turning Hero into an unusual Cinderella story. Frears works with a script by David Webb Peoples, who won an Oscar nomination the same year as Hero for his work on Unforgiven (1992). Frears also teams up with his frequent collaborator and cinematographer Oliver Stapleton. Viewers paying attention to the opening credits will be surprised to see Chevy Chase playing the role of Gale's boss, Deke, in an uncredited role. (Chase was under contract with Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, and in order to not violate his contract they were unable to use his name to promote the film.) Unlike Unforgiven, Hero did not exactly receive a hero's welcome and many critics felt it missed the mark. Desson Howe, writing for the Washington Post, felt that Hoffman's "presence overshadows the part, He's a big, V-8 engine booming and rumbling inside a moped." His colleague Hal Hinson, however, also writing for the Washington Post, ends his review of Hero by saying: "It's cagey, funny and vivaciously smart. It may also be one of the worldliest fairy tales ever made, and that rarest of things, a family film with real meat on its bones." By Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 2, 1992

Released in United States on Video April 14, 1993

Completed shooting March 20, 1992.

Began shooting October 30, 1991.

Released in United States Fall October 2, 1992

Released in United States on Video April 14, 1993