Red Sky at Morning


1h 52m 1971

Brief Synopsis

A young boy adjusts to moving to a new town, as the experiences and people he meets mature him unexpectedly.

Film Details

Also Known As
That Same Summer
MPAA Rating
Release Date
May 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 May 1971
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Galesteo, New Mexico, United States; Lamy, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe--J. W. Eaves Ranch, New Mexico, United States; Truchas, New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (Philadelphia, 1968).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

During World War II, in 1944, Frank Arnold, a shipbuilder living in Mobile, Alabama, decides to enlist in the Navy. After arranging for his foreman, Paolo Bertucci, to manage his shipyard, he moves his wife Ann, an old-money Southern belle, and his seventeen-year-old son Josh to their summer home, a ranch outside of the small town of Sagrado, New Mexico, a place he loves and where he plans to retire. Although Frank's declared reason for taking his family to the remote southwestern town is its distance from strategically vulnerable ports and Ann's supposedly fragile health, he intimates to Josh that he wants them, especially Josh, to get away from the claustrophobic, old Southern society. Before reporting for duty, Frank drives the family to Sagrado, where he carries out the annual ritual of negotiating with his long-time caretakers and friends, Amadeo and Excilda Montoya, the terms of their employment and afterward they drink a toast, in which they honor him as patrone . The mutual respect and fondness that the Montoyas and Frank feel for one another is not shared by Ann, who complains that they are the "most unsatisfactory servants" she has ever had, to which Frank gently responds that they are not servants, but employees. On their last night together, when Ann tells Frank that she never feels safe away from him, he reminds her that her sister Emily claims that Alabama women are strong, but Ann admits that perhaps she never really grew up. At the train station, Frank provides Josh with final orders, among them, to practice speaking Spanish and not to drink the vintage burgundy, and offers words of wisdom, such as being kind to others without expecting reciprocation. Frank, who is innately perceptive, explains that Ann will become homesick and asks Josh to help her adjust. Treating him like an adult, Frank shakes Josh's hand, and then departs. Josh attends his first day of school inappropriately dressed in a suit, but soon adapts to the casual ways of the Southwest. His introduction to the cultural mix of white, Indian and Mexican inhabitants comes from friends he makes at school, Steenie Moreno, the town doctor's bright son, and his platonic friend, Marcia Davison, who has an unconventionally bawdy and articulate wit. Inadvertently, however, Josh also makes enemies of two trouble-makers, Chango Lopez and the more dangerous Lindo Velarde. One day, while trying to avoid Lindo, Josh stumbles upon a house where, through the window, he sees a nude woman. When the homeowner, artist Romeo Bonino, confronts Josh, he learns that the woman is Romeo's model and mistress and that Romeo is a friend of Frank. Ann, having a harder time adjusting to life in Sagrado, complains about the food and the people, and becomes depressed and increasingly dependent on alcohol. When Jimbob Buel, a sycophantic "cousin" taking advantage of Ann's Southern hospitality, arrives for an extended visit, Ann is delighted, but Josh resents his bigotry and rudeness to the Montoyas and his attempts to assume control. While Marcia takes a short-lived interest in school athlete Bucky Svenson, losing her ardor upon realizing he is as smart as a "loaf of bread," Josh arranges a double date with the promiscuous Cloyd twins, Venery Ann and Velva Mae, for himself and Steenie. While the boys are making out with the twins in a car, Chango arrives and tries to fight Josh, but Chango's virtuous sister Viola intervenes. Later, Chamaco, the sheriff, tells Josh that a quarrel between Lindo and Chango resulted in Chango being hospitalized. An apologetic Chango warns Josh that Lindo, who is hiding from the law, is now threatening to kill Josh. Although Chamaco cannot find Lindo, Viola, who plans to become a nun, discovers his hiding place and takes food to him, offering to pray with him. Instead, she enters into a secret sexual liaison with Lindo and pulls away from school, her family and her religion. When Jimbob becomes ill from Excilda's spicy food and is hospitalized, Josh tells Ann that Jimbob's presence in their house is ruining her reputation in town. She retaliates by slapping him several times until he apologizes. That night, Ann fires the Montoyas and drinks herself to sleep. After Josh receives a letter from Frank granting him permission to rehire them, he visits them at their home to ask them to return and they agree, on the condition that Josh take over the role of "patrone" and prevent Jimbob from giving orders. At Marcia's request, Amadeo drives her and Josh to the reclusive mountain village of La Cima, where they watch a violent festival game, involving horsemen competing to snatch a rooster from the ground to win the prize of a virginal bride. In the crowd Josh sees Viola and, without thinking, calls to her, thus interrupting the festivities and focusing the hostile attentions of the crowd on himself. Men begin to beat Josh, but Amadeo and Marcia manage to rescue him and they make a hasty escape. That evening, driving home from the Montoyas, Marcia realizes Josh is in pain and orders him to stop the car. They find a nearby barn and decide to make love, each for the first time. Later, Romeo asks for Josh's help in carrying a huge rock up a mountainside. At the top, Josh realizes that the boulder, like others previously placed there, has been sculpted to depict the image of someone Romeo admires. Surrounded by the faces of Humphrey Bogart, Franklin Roosevelt, Joe Di Maggio and Winston Churchill, Romeo calls the area his "Poor Man's Mount Rushmore" and says it was Frank's idea. At school, Viola, who has been truant for days, arrives to ask Chango for help, and Chango sees that Lindo has beaten her. Josh tells Chamaco that he has seen Lindo in La Cima and, as the sheriff prepares to go there to arrest him, Steenie and Josh eagerly offer their help. At Chamaco's insistence, the teens stay behind, but Chango asks Josh to accompany him to the village, where he feels he must confront Lindo and fight for his sister's honor. When they arrive, Chamaco is in a stand-off with Lindo and the villagers. Chango tries to fight Lindo, but is knocked out by local men. While Chamaco's attention is diverted, Lindo attempts to kill him, but, because Josh shouts out a warning, Chamaco receives only a knife wound. Chamaco manages to subdue and arrest Lindo and, with Josh and Chango, returns to Sagrado. When Josh arrives home, Romeo is waiting outside to tell him that he got a call from Paolo, who was listed as Frank's emergency contact person, informing them that Frank's ship hit a mine, killing everyone on board. Josh tells Ann and, when she goes off alone to grieve, Jimbob offers to be Josh's surrogate father. Politely, Josh says that Jimbob is inappropriate for the role and that he will take care of himself and Ann. Surprisingly gracious, Jimbob makes plans to leave. On one of their last adventures together, Josh, Steenie and Marcia hike to Romeo's mountain. Josh and Steenie will soon be reporting for military duty, and Marcia, who will be left behind, woefully realizes how much everything will change. Spotting a new face among the rocks, Josh realizes that it is Frank's and is touched by Romeo's tribute. Later, as they ride to the train station, Ann tells Josh that she plans to wait in Sagrado, as it is a place to grow up and what Frank wished. Before boarding the train, Josh shakes hands with Steenie. When Marcia jokes that she will "give herself" to the first man in uniform she sees after the war, Josh tells her to keep her eyes closed until he returns.



Film Details

Also Known As
That Same Summer
MPAA Rating
Release Date
May 1971
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 May 1971
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Galesteo, New Mexico, United States; Lamy, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe--J. W. Eaves Ranch, New Mexico, United States; Truchas, New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford (Philadelphia, 1968).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

Richard Crenna, 1927-2002


Actor Richard Crenna, the versatile, highly respected character actor of television and film, died on December 17 of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles. He was 75.

Born on November 30, 1927 in Los Angeles, California, Crenna was the son of a pharmacist father and a mother who managed a number of small hotels in the Los Angles area the family owned, where Crenna was raised. At the tender age of 11, he was encouraged by a teacher to audition for a radio show, "Boy Scout Jamboree" at the nearby KFI-AM radio studio. Little did he realize that it would be the start of a very long and prosperous career.

Crenna found steady radio work for the next several years, culminating in 1948 with his breakthrough role of the goofy, squeaky-voiced Walter Denton in the hit radio series Our Miss Brooks. Crenna carried the momentum of his success to television when he spent four more seasons as Walter on Our Miss Brooks (1952-1956). Almost immediately after the run of that show, Crenna scored another hit series as Luke McCoy in the rustic comedy The Real McCoys (1957-1963) co-starring Walter Brennan.

Although he had been acting in films since the early '50s Crenna roles didn't come to critical notice until the mid '60s, appearing in Robert Wise's acclaimed The Sand Pebbles (1966) as the stalwart gunboat captain co-starring Steve McQueen; Terence Young's intense thriller, Wait Until Dark (1967), as a criminal who terrorizes a blind Audrey Hepburn; and another Robert Wise film, the Gertrude Lawrence biopic Star! (1968) playing the high profile role of Richard Aldrich opposite Julie Andrews.

Crenna's profile slowed down in the '70s, despite a brief return to television comedy in Norman Lear's political satire All's Fair (1976-1977) with Bernadette Peters. That show may not have lasted long, but Crenna bounced back with a resurgence in the '80s with a string of hit character parts: Lawrence Kasden's stylish film noir Body Heat (1981), as Kathleen Turner's ill-fated husband; Ted Kotchoff's hit Rambo: First Blood (1982), as Colonel Samuel Trautman, Sylvester Stallone's former Commander; Gary Marshall's excellent coming-of-age tale The Flamingo Kid (1984), one of his best performances (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination) as a smooth, charismatic gin-rummy champ who takes Matt Dillon under his tutelage; and many other quality roles in theatrical and made for television movies.

At the time of his death, Crenna was a member of the Screen Actors Guild board of directors and had a recurring role in the hit CBS dramatic series Judging Amy. In addition to Penni, his wife of 47 years, Crenna is survived by a son, Richard, two daughters, Seana and Maria, and three granddaughters.

by Michael T. Toole
Richard Crenna, 1927-2002

Richard Crenna, 1927-2002

Actor Richard Crenna, the versatile, highly respected character actor of television and film, died on December 17 of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles. He was 75. Born on November 30, 1927 in Los Angeles, California, Crenna was the son of a pharmacist father and a mother who managed a number of small hotels in the Los Angles area the family owned, where Crenna was raised. At the tender age of 11, he was encouraged by a teacher to audition for a radio show, "Boy Scout Jamboree" at the nearby KFI-AM radio studio. Little did he realize that it would be the start of a very long and prosperous career. Crenna found steady radio work for the next several years, culminating in 1948 with his breakthrough role of the goofy, squeaky-voiced Walter Denton in the hit radio series Our Miss Brooks. Crenna carried the momentum of his success to television when he spent four more seasons as Walter on Our Miss Brooks (1952-1956). Almost immediately after the run of that show, Crenna scored another hit series as Luke McCoy in the rustic comedy The Real McCoys (1957-1963) co-starring Walter Brennan. Although he had been acting in films since the early '50s Crenna roles didn't come to critical notice until the mid '60s, appearing in Robert Wise's acclaimed The Sand Pebbles (1966) as the stalwart gunboat captain co-starring Steve McQueen; Terence Young's intense thriller, Wait Until Dark (1967), as a criminal who terrorizes a blind Audrey Hepburn; and another Robert Wise film, the Gertrude Lawrence biopic Star! (1968) playing the high profile role of Richard Aldrich opposite Julie Andrews. Crenna's profile slowed down in the '70s, despite a brief return to television comedy in Norman Lear's political satire All's Fair (1976-1977) with Bernadette Peters. That show may not have lasted long, but Crenna bounced back with a resurgence in the '80s with a string of hit character parts: Lawrence Kasden's stylish film noir Body Heat (1981), as Kathleen Turner's ill-fated husband; Ted Kotchoff's hit Rambo: First Blood (1982), as Colonel Samuel Trautman, Sylvester Stallone's former Commander; Gary Marshall's excellent coming-of-age tale The Flamingo Kid (1984), one of his best performances (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination) as a smooth, charismatic gin-rummy champ who takes Matt Dillon under his tutelage; and many other quality roles in theatrical and made for television movies. At the time of his death, Crenna was a member of the Screen Actors Guild board of directors and had a recurring role in the hit CBS dramatic series Judging Amy. In addition to Penni, his wife of 47 years, Crenna is survived by a son, Richard, two daughters, Seana and Maria, and three granddaughters. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Approximately ten minutes was missing from the viewed print. The title for the film and the book on which it was based on an old adage, which is quoted twice in the film: "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight." The major characters are listed in the same order in both opening and closing credits, but the minor characters are listed in a slightly different order in the closing credits. In the opening credits are two statements preceding the actor names, "Starring as the young ones" and "Starring as the adults." Character names are listed onscreen in lower case, while actors names appear in all caps. After the ending cast credits, a written acknowledgment thanks the New Mexico Film Industry Commission for its cooperation. The last onscreen credit card reads, "Produced at Universal Studios, California U.S.A.," and is followed by a color card advertising the Universal Studio tour.
       A May 1968 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Universal bought the film rights to Richard Bradford's first novel, Red Sky at Morning, and assigned it to producer Frank P. Rosenberg. In June 1968, a Daily Variety news item reported that Bradford had been signed to write the screenplay from his own novel. According to a modern source, Rosenberg and director James Goldstone had discussions about the film, but could not agree on its treatment, leading Goldstone to drop out of the project. The same source stated that producer Hal B. Wallis moved his production company to Universal shortly afterward and was offered the film. Wallis began working with writer Marguerite Roberts, with whom he had collaborated on Paramount's 1969 True Grit and Goldstone was again brought in. Although June 1970 Daily Variety and New York Times news items reported that Kim Darby had been cast as "Marcia Davison," and a modern source erroneously lists the actress as appearing in the film, Catherine Burns played the role. Goldstone, according to modern sources, convinced Wallis to cast the lesser known Burns.
       According to Hollywood Reporter production charts and other sources, the film was shot in New Mexico. The studio publicity notes reported that shooting took place on Santa Fe's Central Plaza, as well as other streets, and at the city dump, after the newer model cars were replaced by "older wrecks." A prep school was used as the film's high school, while Romeo's home was shot at an artist studio on Canyon Road, and St. John's Hospital served as the film's hospital. The J. W. Eaves Ranch (also known as Eaves Movie Ranch) in Sante Fe was used as the Arnold's Sagrado home. The studio notes also reported that a 1707 adobe hacienda built in the town of Galesteo and the Lamy railroad station appeared in the film. The village of Truchas was used as the fictional village of La Cima.
       In one important scene in the film that is also in the book, Steenie, Marcia and Josh discover a dead and decaying cow while walking, a phenomonen not unusual in rural life. Steenie and Marcia have devised a ritual for when they find an animal corpse, in which, one at a time, they hold their breath, walk up and touch the animal. On a dare, Josh attempts to do so, but trips and falls on the corpse. In a modern source, Goldstone explained that the scene was crucial to the story because it is Josh's first significant encounter with death. According to a March 1971 LAHExam, the scene was almost deleted from the film. According to a modern source, Goldstone and Wallis disagreed about whether it should remain, and, according to the LAHExam article, Wallis was convinced to keep it after seeing the amused audience reaction during the first preview of the film.
       A May 10, 1971 LAHExam article reported that two "world premieres" of the film had already taken place in Albuquerque and afterward in Sante Fe, but provided no specific dates for the events. Several reviews compared Red Sky at Morning with the tremendously successful Summer of `42, a film released in April 1971 that was also about growing up during World War II. Some modern sources speculate that the popularity of Summer of '42 overshadowed Red Sky at Morning, causing the latter to suffer at the box office. A May 1971 NYT article comparing the two films claimed that they were "two of the first period films to treat the drab forties as an exotic, nostalgic wonderland." However, a May 1971 Los Angeles Times article contrasted the two films by saying that Red Sky at Morning was "past remembered," while Summer of '42, was "past imagined."
       According to an October 1973 Box Office news item, Red Sky at Morning was re-titled That Same Summer at some showings, because the filmmakers believed that the original title did not "convey the intimacy of the story." After a short run, the film was sold to television, at which time many scenes were deleted and a voice-over narration by Thomas was added. For his performance in the film, Arnaz won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971