Made for Each Other


1h 44m 1971

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Dec 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 15 Dec 1971
Production Company
Wylde Films Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Color (DeLuxe)

Synopsis

In Brooklyn in 1935, Italian-American Rocco Pinimba and his wife argue heatedly over the name of their son. When Rocco insists he be named after his grandfather, Guido, Mrs. Pinimba agrees but determines to call him Giggy instead. The next year, in the Bronx, Jewish Dicky Gold entices her philandering husband Murray to impregnate her in order to conceive a child at the proper astrological moment. When the baby is born, Dicky names her Pandora, while Murray cares more about the pretty nurse than his daughter. On Christmas Eve thirty-four years later, Gig and Panda each morosely wander the streets of Manhattan and later join an emergency group therapy meeting designed to help the participants break self-destructive patterns. Each person lists his or her neuroses, ranging from bed-wetting to paranoia. When it is Panda's turn, she declares herself a failure as an actress, singer, dancer and woman, and launches into a long description of her many disastrous love affairs: She first recalls her childhood, in which her mother repeatedly assures her that she will be famous while her father repeatedly abandons them for affair after affair. To escape her unhappy home life, young Panda immerses herself in Hollywood movies, reciting the lines along with such stars as Rita Hayworth. By the time she is nineteen, Panda tries to attract her father's attention by displeasing him, and to that end moves in with a married, Chinese boyfriend. When her father learns of this, he dies of a heart attack, and at the funeral, his many lovers hysterically blame Panda for his demise. After one boyfriend leaves her for another man, she catches another sleeping with two women. She then loses her job as the hostess of a television quiz show, and routinely alienates the audiences in her nightclub routine. Back at the meeting, Panda enthusiastically announces her "comeback" at an upcoming cabaret revue, then breaks down in tears. The group leader, Dr. Albert Furro, instructs her to repeat "I am lovable, I'm entitled to be loved," and soon this leaves Panda screaming with joy. Gig, a newcomer to therapy, claims that he has no problems, and when the other participants goad him to be honest, he gets up to leave. Within minutes, however, he returns and announces that he caused his last girl friend to attempt suicide. Gig remembers his childhood: He has little privacy from his parents and sisters and is made to feel guilty about his sexual urges. After his mother convinces him that love requires purity, and lust must be violently purged, Gig begins to treat women cruelly and eventually tries to join the seminary. Despite his father's fury, Gig believes the masochistic self-denial will make him perfect, but is soon caught in a tryst with a maid. He then joins the military, but his success with women is not mirrored in the field, where he embraces an enemy soldier in joy upon learning that the man is not dead. Returning to America, Gig fails to prosper in his father's barbershop and instead goes back to college, where his African studies major horrifies his parents. He then embarks on relationship after relationship, leaving each woman in heartbreak until the latest, Ruthie, tries to kill herself. At the meeting, some of the women berate him but Panda is sympathetic. When Gig insists he is fine, Panda urges him to lie down on the mat, a therapeutic tool designed to encourage honesty. On the mat in the center of the group, Gig eventually admits that he felt responsible for his parents' fights, and repeats "It's not my fault" until he is screaming the words. Although Panda, weeping, feels cleansed, Gig is unmoved. Outside, he tries to rebuff her but, undeterred, she asserts that he is not to blame for his treatment of women. Within minutes, they are making love in his car, but as soon as he is done he dismisses her. Panda goes straight to Furro, who advises her to stop being submissive, and although she tries to call Gig to rebuke him, she ends up inviting him to dinner. There, he enjoys the food but then readies to leave, promising to return if the party to which he is going proves boring. As he walks out, Panda, previously struck dumb, screams that she will no longer accept being treated poorly. After she collapses on her bed, he returns silently and asks what they should do next. Gig reluctantly agrees to Panda's suggestion that they move in together, hoping to break his pattern of abusiveness. Soon, they are in love, and Gig playfully helps Panda to overcome her inability to achieve orgasm with a man she actually likes. On New Year's Eve, her mother appears, stridently announcing that Panda is late for a cabaret tryout. Ignoring her mother's disapproval of Gig, whom she has caught naked on the floor, Panda rushes to prepare for her act and insists that Gig join them. He is appalled, however, by her act, a painfully amateurish song-and-dance number in which she asks the audience to create a new identity for her. Later, when she asks his opinion, he admits he did not understand it, prompting Dicky to lash out at him, declaring the show to be "witty, pithy and trenchant." Panda asks her to leave, and later at a café asks Gig for more constructive criticism. Upon learning that she has worked on the show for five years, Gig explodes that the act is awful and states that she embarrassed herself and him. Panda runs out and Gig follows, but on the street they fight violently and she goes home alone. While she cries in front of the mirror, Gig takes home a woman from a bar, but is impotent with her. The next day, Panda shows up at Gig's apartment and apologizes. Learning that he is going to visit his parents, she insists on joining him, and on the way urges him to introduce her as his girl friend. At the Pinimbas', Gig introduces her to his large family and performs an awkward Christmas present exchange with Rocco. The family seems welcoming to Panda until they ask how she met Gig and she responds with a long story about their encounter group and the necessity of escaping the psychological wounds inflicted by their parents. Soon, Mrs. Pinimba is screaming at her to leave and Gig shouts back that she must apologize, prompting his mother to denounce Panda as Jewish, older and a parent-hater. She concludes that she will not attend their wedding unless Panda converts, after which Rocco chastises her for overreacting and declares that clearly Gig would never marry Panda. To prove Panda is not Gig's type, he brings out a photo of Gig's first love, a slim Italian teenager. Gig and Panda rise to leave, causing even more consternation and yelling among the Pinimbas. In the car on the way home, Gig mocks Panda for her speech, stating that though he tried hard to make it work, her faults are too overwhelming. "I feel warmth, physical attraction and communication, but that's all," he says. After insulting her, he pulls the car over and throws her out, then immediately follows her. As she sits by the water, he tells her that he awaits a prettier, saner woman, and if he marries Panda, he will merely be using her to make himself ready for that other woman. She walks away from him, prompting him to erupt, "Oh all right, I'll marry you." As Panda storms away again in despair, Gig insists that she should be pleased and offers to lie that he loves her. She tries to fend him off, but he continues to shout at her that although he does not want to, he loves her. Breaking down in tears, Gig states, "I have to love you," and they embrace.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Dec 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 15 Dec 1971
Production Company
Wylde Films Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Color (DeLuxe)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film opens with two black-and-white sequences depicting the moments when "Giggy Pinimba" and "Pandora Gold" were conceived and named. The opening credits, in color, then follow. In the opening credits, the script used for the film's title appears as if it is cracked. During the scene in which the teenaged Panda attends the movies, a clip from Gilda is shown (1946, ). Made for Each Other ends with a freeze-frame of Gig and Panda walking arm-in-arm as his father's words are heard in voice-over proclaiming that Gig will play around until he finds his type and settles down.
       Husband-and-wife writing team Reneé Taylor and Joseph Bologna had written the Broadway hit Lovers and Other Strangers in 1968. Taylor starred in that play, which the team then adapted for the screen. Unhappy with the changes made by the filmmakers, however, they left the project. They then co-wrote the semi-autobiographical screenplay for Made for Each Other, and after receiving encouragement from their friend, writer-director Elaine May, determined to play the lead roles themselves. According to Filmfacts, May was once attached to direct but left the film due to prior commitments.
       Taylor stated in a February 1972 Hollywood Reporter article that several studios expressed interest in the script but did not want to cast her and Bologna. Bologna noted in that article that waiting for a studio to accept them as the stars had the secondary effect of raising the price of the script. Made for Each Other marked the first production for Wylde Films, a Twentieth Century-Fox subsidiary that had previously produced television commercials. The studio insisted on screen tests of Taylor and Bologna before casting them. Bologna, who earlier had directed short films and acted on stage, made his feature film debut in Made for Each Other.
       As noted in the press materials, the film was shot on location throughout New York City, with interiors shot at the F&B/Ceco Studios in Manhattan. The Newsweek review quoted the film's budget as $865,000. Taylor's mother, Freeda Wexler, appears as a member of the encounter group. She died shortly before the film's release.
       Reviews were universally laudatory, with Taylor singled out for praise; the Newsweek review stated that "she gives the sort of performance for which Oscars are handed out." The film was listed on the 1971 Ten Best lists of New York magazine and The Washington Post. Taylor asserted in a 1985 Los Angeles Daily News article that Woody Allen named the film as his favorite. She stated, "When he did Annie Hall, he told us, `This is my Made for Each Other.'"
       As pointed out in the Hollywood Reporter review, the film was cut before its release. In 1985, Taylor and Bologna oversaw the restoration of Made for Each Other, with twenty minutes of previously unviewed footage added. That version opened May 3, 1985 in Los Angeles.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971

Film was previously rated GP in MPAA156, dated November 1, 1971.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971