Same Time, Next Year (film)

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Same Time, Next Year
SameTimeNextYearPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Mulligan
Produced by Walter Mirisch
Written by Bernard Slade
Starring Ellen Burstyn
Alan Alda
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Edited by Sheldon Kahn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
November 22, 1978 (1978-11-22)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$19,703,082 [1]

Same Time, Next Year is a 1978 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Bernard Slade is based on his 1975 play of the same title. The film stars Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.

Romance film film genre

Romance films or romance movies are romantic love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on TV that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters and the journey that their genuinely strong, true and pure romantic love takes them through dating, courtship or marriage. Romance films make the romantic love story or the search for strong and pure love and romance the main plot focus. Occasionally, romance lovers face obstacles such as finances, physical illness, various forms of discrimination, psychological restraints or family that threaten to break their union of love. As in all quite strong, deep, and close romantic relationships, tensions of day-to-day life, temptations, and differences in compatibility enter into the plots of romantic films.

Comedy-drama genre of theatre, film, and television

Comedy-drama or dramedy, is a genre in film and in television works in which plot elements are a combination of comedy and drama. It is a subgenre of contemporary tragicomedy. Comedy-drama is especially found in television programs and is considered a "hybrid genre".

Robert Mulligan American film and television director

Robert Patrick Mulligan was an American film and television director best known as the director of humanistic American dramas, including To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Summer of '42 (1971), The Other (1972), Same Time, Next Year (1978) and The Man in the Moon (1991). He was also known in the 1960s for his extensive collaborations with producer Alan J. Pakula. He was the elder brother of actor Richard Mulligan.

Contents

Plot synopsis

In 1951, at an inn on the Mendocino County coast, Doris (Ellen Burstyn), a 24-year-old housewife from Oakland, meets George (Alan Alda), a 27-year-old accountant from New Jersey at dinner. They have a sexual tryst, then agree to meet once a year to rekindle the sparks they experienced at their first meeting, despite the fact that both are happily married with six children between them. They discuss their spouses, Harry and Helen.

Ellen Burstyn American actress

Ellen Burstyn is an American actress best known for her roles in films of the 1970s, such as The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which she won an Academy Award.

Oakland, California City in California, United States

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 432,897 as of 2019, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.

Alan Alda American actor, director, and writer

Alan Alda is an American actor, director, screenwriter, comedian and author. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, he played Hawkeye Pierce in the war television series M*A*S*H (1972–1983). He has also appeared on television programs such as Scientific American Frontiers, The West Wing, and 30 Rock, and in films such as Same Time, Next Year (1978) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). He also experienced success as a director with 1981's The Four Seasons. In 2004, Alda was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Aviator.

Over the course of the next 26 years, they develop an emotional intimacy deeper than what one would expect to find between two people meeting for a clandestine relationship just once a year. During the time they spend with each other, they discuss births, deaths -including George's son Michael dying in Vietnam, which changes George politically - and the marital problems each experiences at home, while they adapt themselves to the social changes affecting their lives.

Vietnam War 1955–1975 conflict in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.

At their meeting in 1977, George tells Doris that his wife, Helen, died of cancer earlier in the year, and that Helen revealed to a friend that she had known of the affair for ten years, but never told George she knew. Now a widower, George proposes to Doris who refuses to accept because of her loyalty to, and respect for, Harry. Rejected, George leaves for good -- but he returns, and they promise to continue the affair as long as they are able.

Production

The movie is structured as six episodes, each occurring approximately five years apart. Between the scenes are shown a series of photos that depict cultural and political events that had ensued in the years between each segment, such as Harry S. Truman, Nikita Khrushchev, Lucille Ball, Elvis Presley, and John F. Kennedy. The episodes are period-specific, often making references to what was actually happening during the time portrayed. For example, in the segment set in 1966, Doris is caught up in the protest movement at Berkeley, while George takes a Librium and reveals that he'd voted for Barry Goldwater, and later that his son had been killed in Vietnam.

Nikita Khrushchev First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

Lucille Ball American actress, comedian and businesswoman

Lucille Désirée Ball was an American actress, comedian, model, entertainment studio executive and producer. She was the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy, as well as comedy television specials aired under the title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Elvis Presley American singer and actor

Elvis Aaron Presley, also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".

Exteriors for the film were shot at the Heritage House Inn, a well-known resort and bed & breakfast in Little River, California, seven miles south of Mendocino, California. The shell of the cottage was built on a temporary foundation overlooking the Pacific Ocean, but the interior was filmed on the Universal Studios sound stage in Los Angeles. After filming was completed, Universal paid for the shell to be relocated to a permanent foundation and the interior was outfitted with the studio furnishings. The cottage became a popular romantic getaway, so popular in fact that the Heritage House eventually partitioned the cottage in half and added a second bathroom to the opposite end. One half of the cottage was called "Same Time" and the other half called "Next Year". The Heritage House closed due to foreclosure in December 2008. [2] The "Same Time, Next Year" cottage still stands, updated and remodeled, and the Heritage House reopened in the Summer of 2013.

Little River, California census-designated place in California, United States

Little River is a small census-designated place in Mendocino County, California. It lies at an elevation of 66 feet. It is located two miles (3 km) south of the town of Mendocino and running along the Pacific Ocean coast on State Route 1. The town is home to several hundred people and takes its name from nearby Little River. The town center sits on a scenic bluff overlooking the mouth of Little River and hosts a grocery store, two gas pumps, a post office, and a restaurant within a single structure. The population was 117 at the 2010 census.

Mendocino, California Unincorporated area in California, United States

Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Mendocino is located 9.5 miles (15 km) south of Fort Bragg, at an elevation of 154 feet. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 894 at the 2010 census, up from 824 at the 2000 census. The town's name comes from Cape Mendocino, named by early Spanish navigators in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain. In turn, the etymology of Mendoza is "cold mountain."

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Paul McCartney had composed a title song for the film, which he recorded with Wings, that was not used. He later released it as the B-side of a single in 1990. The theme song ultimately used was "The Last Time I Felt Like This," written by Marvin Hamlisch and Alan and Marilyn Bergman and performed by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor.

Paul McCartney English singer-songwriter and composer, bassist of The Beatles

Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the rock band the Beatles, widely considered the most popular and influential group in the history of popular music. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.

A-side and B-side the two sides of 78, 45, and 33 1/3 rpm phonograph records and cassette tapes

The terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 78, 45, and 33​13 rpm phonograph records, or cassettes, whether singles, extended plays (EPs), or long-playing (LP) records. The A-side usually featured the recording that the artist, record producer, or the record company intended to receive the initial promotional effort and then receive radio airplay, hopefully, to become a "hit" record. The B-side is a secondary recording that has a history of its own: some artists released B-sides that were considered as strong as the A-side and became hits in their own right. Others took the opposite approach: producer Phil Spector was in the habit of filling B-sides with on-the-spot instrumentals that no one would confuse with the A-side. With this practice, Spector was assured that airplay was focused on the side he wanted to be the hit side.

Put It There 1990 single by Paul McCartney

"Put It There" is a 1990 single from Paul McCartney's 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt. The song reached number 32 on the UK singles chart. The lyrics were inspired by an expression of friendship that McCartney learned from his father, "Put it there [handshake] if it weighs a ton."

Slade's play was also adapted by Hong Kong filmmaker Clifton Ko for his 1994 movie I Will Wait for You starring Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Anita Yuen.

Critical reception

While Bernard Slade's acclaimed stage play earned a storm of praise, the movie received mixed reviews. Janet Maslin of the New York Times said, "Mr. Slade's screenplay isn't often funny, and it's full of momentous events that can't be laughed away . . . As directed by Robert Mulligan . . . Same Time, Next Year is both less and more than it could have been. By moving the action outdoors once in a while, or into the inn's restaurant, Mr. Mulligan loses the element of claustrophobia that might have taken an audience's mind off the screenplay's troubles. But he substitutes the serenity of a California coastal setting, and gives the film a visual glamour that is mercifully distracting. Mr. Mulligan seems to have been more interested in sprucing up the material than in preserving its absolute integrity, and under the circumstances, his approach makes sense . . . Mr. Alda isn't terribly playful, and he reads every line as if it were part of a joke, which only accentuates the flatness of the script. Miss Burstyn, on the other hand . . . brings so much sweetness to Doris's various incarnations that the character very nearly comes to life." [3]

Variety called the film "a textbook example of how to successfully transport a stage play to the big screen" and added "The production of Bernard Slade's play, sensitively directed by Robert Mulligan, is everything you'd want from this kind of film. And it features two first class performances by Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda." [4]

Awards and honors

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

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Same Time, Next Year may refer to:

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References

  1. Box Office Information for Same Time, Next Year. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  2. Heritage House closing, up for auction
  3. New York Times review
  4. Variety review
  5. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 19, 2016.