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Parenthood (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (2)
During filming, the cast became obsessed with playing the murder game (a game in which one person, who is the murderer, has to find a subtle way to kill other players simply by looking at them without giving themselves away as the murder). This is very apparent in the dinner scene where everyone is sitting around the table. If you watch everyone's eye movements, it's obvious they are playing the game.
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This movie is based on Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel's experiences as parents.
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Martha Plimpton plays the older sister of Joaquin Phoenix a.k.a. Leaf Phoenix. In real-life, she dated his older brother River Phoenix for nearly five years.
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According to Ron Howard in an interview, the scene where Helen discovers the nude pictures, was actually an incident that happened to Producer Brian Grazer.
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In a 2016 interview, Helen Mirren said she had never regretted not having children, except briefly when watching this film: "It was about the whole story of being a parent, and how it never stops, even when you're a grandparent. I realized I would never experience that, and for about twenty minutes, I sobbed for the loss of that, and the fact that I never experienced it."
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This was the first movie filmed at Universal Studios Florida before it opened on June 7, 1990.
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Martha Plimpton was bald at the beginning of filming, because she had just finished Silence Like Glass (1989), in which she played a cancer patient. She wore a wig throughout filming, and a hairpiece, when Julie has a mohawk.
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This was Helen Shaw's final film before her death on September 8, 1997, at the age of 100.
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The film grossed just under one hundred million dollars during the original run in theaters. Several years later, the project was re-released into theaters, so it could be logged officially as earning one hundred million dollars.
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Director Ron Howard's daughter Bryce Dallas Howard as a little girl, can be seen as an extra in the audience of the children's play. She would later star alongside Joaquin Phoenix (Lucius Hunt) in The Village (2004).
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In this film, Steve Martin plays the father of several children. In reality, Steve Martin did not become a parent until he was 67 years old, in 2012.
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According to the interview in the DVD extras with composer Randy Newman, the soundtrack song "I Love to See You Smile", which is perhaps his most beloved, was written with Mary Steenburgen's smile in mind.
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When Grandma (Helen Shaw) inhales the helium balloon and says that when she was born, Grover Cleveland was President. Shaw was born on July 25, 1897, just four months and three weeks after the end of Cleveland's second term.
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This movie was made into two different television series: Parenthood (1990), which starred Ed Begley, Jr., Jayne Atkinson, and a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and was cancelled after only twelve episodes; and Parenthood (2010), starring Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, and Dax Shepard, and which ran from March 2, 2010 until January 29, 2015.
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Final theatrical release where Joaquin Phoenix is credited as Leaf Phoenix.
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As originally written, Karen would smoke a joint every night. Mary Steenburgen argued that this was out of character for a woman strong enough to confront her family's problems head on. The filmmakers agreed, and changed the script.
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In the scene where Gil and Karen are going to Kevin's school to speak to the school principal, the school is Gerald Paris Elementary School, named as an homage to Jerry Paris, who directed 42 episodes of Happy Days (1974).
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Dan Aykroyd, Michael Keaton, Robin Williams, and Tom Hanks were considered for the role of Gil Buckman.
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Frank's classic car is a 1935 Ford Model 48 DeLuxe convertible.
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In the opening scene at the ballpark, the base runner has a decided limp, because he pulled his hamstring on one of the first dozen takes of the shot. The shot in the film, is one they settled on after approximately twenty takes, due to the fact that the hitter was unable to hit the ball into center field. The hitter was a college player, not a professional, as originally dictated to the casting department.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, and Jason Robards, Jr.; and three Oscar nominees: Joaquin Phoenix, Lowell Ganz, and Tom Hulce.
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Jeff Goldblum turned down both roles of Gil Buckman and Larry Buckman.
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The porno tape that Helen discovers in Garry's closet is Blonde Goddess (1982). The clip shown is from the first scene - a parody of Indiana Jones. Adventurer 'Louisiana Smith' is attempting to rescue 'Jungle Jane' from a tribe in the Yucatán.
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Joaquin Phoenix (he goes by Leaf in this movie); was homeless just a short time before he appeared in this movie. His family also belonged to a cult called the Children of God in the 1970s for a while. It was somewhere during this time they all changed their surname from Bottom to Phoenix.
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The movie was filmed in central and northern Florida. The shopping center where the photo booth is standing is in College Park, Florida. The photo booth was constructed for the movie. The Showbiz Pizza is located in Altamonte Springs, Florida and is still there, except it is now (like all Showbiz Pizzas) Chuck-E-Cheese. Kevin's birthday party was filmed at The Mystery Fun House in Orlando, Florida.
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The drag racing scene was filmed at Orlando Speed World Dragway, located east of downtown Orlando.
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In the scene where Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen are fighting over the fact that she is pregnant, Steve says "Let's just have a dozen, and act like they are donuts." In Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), he plays the father of a dozen children.
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When Gil and Karen are riding in the van prior to the crash, they are driving on Kirkman Road in Orlando, Florida.
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Howie Dorough, from the Backstreet Boys, was a teenage extra in this movie. He is in the first row of students in the classroom when Nathan comes in and sings The Carpenters' "Close To You" to Susan.
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In the opening scene Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) is reminiscing as his younger self at the ballpark In the background a peanut seller can be heard yelling out "Hot peanuts!". It's the voice of Steve Martin
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This was Ron Howard's first movie after Willow, one of his few flops. Strangely enough there was talk of a Willow TV show just like there was a Parenthood TV show.
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Steve Martin and Alisan Porter were in two movies written and directed by John Hughes. Steve Martin had appeared in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). Alisan Porter would star in Curly Sue (1991). A VHS case of the John Hughes scripted and produced movie The Great Outdoors (1988) was also used as one of Garry's porno tapes.
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Despite his strong performance, Steve Martin was thought of by some as miscast due to being 44 and playing a 35 year old when his age obviously showed.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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Tom Hulce has a tendency to play crazy characters, wild characters, characters who are overly sexual, or heavy drinkers or who act out in some way. His performances in Animal House, Amadeus and Parenthood all bear that out.
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Jason Robards, Jr. and Mary Steenburgen both starred in Melvin and Howard (1980), for which Steenburgen won an Oscar.
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Dianne Wiest's only Oscar nominated performance not in a Woody Allen film. Unlike her other two nominations, she did not win for her performance in this film.
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There were two attempts to adapt this movie into a TV series. The first ran for only twelve episodes during 1990-1991. Although the characters all retained their names from the film, all actors but a handful of the children were recast; the adult leads were Ed Begley Jr. and Jayne Atkinson as Gil and Karen Buckman, and the show provided an early role for the then-teenaged Leonardo DiCaprio as Garry Buckman (the role originally played by Leaf / Joaquin Phoenix). The second TV series was a looser adaptation (for example, the main family's last name was changed to "Braverman") and much more successful than the first; it started in 2010, ran for six seasons, and starred Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, and Dax Shepard.
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Joaquin Phoenix and Rick Moranis would go on to voice characters in the animated film Brother Bear (2003).
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At 37:12 in the movie, right when Kevin asks Gil why he has to see a psychiatrist, you can see part of a poster for the movie The Dream Team (1989) right next to Kevin.
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The name of the school that Kevin attends, and where Gil and Karen go for the meeting with the principal, is Gerald Paris Elementary. Jerry Paris directed 237 episodes of Happy Days (1974), which also starred Ron Howard.
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Dianne Wiest (Helen) was in The Lost Boys (1987), which was directed by Joel Schumacher who also directed Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (1997), Joaquin Phoenix (Garry) would play Batmans nemesis, The Joker in the DC movie of the same name Joker (2019) thirty years later.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Film debut of Ivyann Schwan.
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Joaquin Phoenix's character Garry carries around a paper bag filled with pornographic films. Ten years later, he would star in 8MM (1999) as an adult film store clerk with access to hardcore pornography.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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