Unstrung Heroes

Unstrung Heroes

Director: Diane Keaton

Cast: Andie MacDowell, John Turturro, Michael Richards

     
 

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Diane Keaton made her directorial debut with this drama, adapted from the autobiographical novel of sportswriter Franz Lidz. Lidz's story was set in his New York childhood and told of how living with his four eccentric uncles helped him overcome his grief at the death of his beloved mother. The movie is set in southern California and the four uncles from the novel… See more details below

Overview

Diane Keaton made her directorial debut with this drama, adapted from the autobiographical novel of sportswriter Franz Lidz. Lidz's story was set in his New York childhood and told of how living with his four eccentric uncles helped him overcome his grief at the death of his beloved mother. The movie is set in southern California and the four uncles from the novel have been whittled down to two. Lidz was christened Steven (Nathan Watt) and he is raised by the luminous Selma (Andie McDowell) and Sid (John Turturro), his father. When Selma is taken ill, Sid keeps Steven and his sister out of her bedroom, fearing they will upset her. Sid is an ingenious but cool-hearted inventor whose head is more developed than his heart. He sends Steven off to live with his two brothers. Danny (Michael Richards) is a high-spirited, paranoid man who suffers from delusions. Arthur (Maury Chaykin) is a big-hearted guy who likes to collect other people's junk. Together they rename the child Franz and teach him to value his own uniqueness. ~ Michael Betzold

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Diane Keaton's first effort as a director is an impressively lyrical tragicomedy about a young boy growing up in an eccentric family. When the mother (Andie MacDowell) of 12-year-old Steven (Nathan Watt) is diagnosed with cancer, his nutty inventor father (John Turturro) is so deeply affected, his son can no longer reach him. The boy decides to go live with his even more eccentric uncles (Michael Richards and Maury Chaykin) in a fleabag hotel. Keaton skillfully balances humor and pathos of these lives, charting the reactions of a bright kid who wonders how he wound up in such a strange menagerie. The characters are well developed, and Keaton makes the love that exists between them so clear that, along with the boy, one begins to realize that the emotional support one needs can sometimes come from the strangest places. The performances are uniformly excellent, including a very unmannered and persuasive performance from Nathan Watt. Keaton, who has long had a reputation as a still photographer, displays a keen eye for the telling detail.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/12/1996
UPC:
0786936577631
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Andie MacDowell Selma Lidz
John Turturro Sidney Lidz
Michael Richards Uncle Danny Lidz
Maury Chaykin Uncle Arthur Lidz
Nathan Watt Steven "Franz" Lidz
Kendra Krull Actor
Celia Weston Amelia
Jack McGee Lindquist
Candice Azzara Joanie
Anne de Salvo May
Lillian Adams Aunt Estelle
Lou Cutell Uncle Melvin
Sean P. Donahue Ralph Crispi
Zoaunne Le Roy Mrs Kantruitz
Vince Melocchi Inspector Marshall
Chris Warfield Mr Clements
Wayne Duvall Mr Crispi
Andrew Craig Man in Line
Becky Ann Baker Mrs Harris
Mary Mercier Waitress
Julie Pinson Nurse Franklin
Joey Andrews Ash

Technical Credits
Diane Keaton Director
Robert J. Anderson Sound/Sound Designer
Susan Arnold Producer
William Badalato Producer
Lisa Churgin Editor
Chris Cornwell Art Director
Larry Dias Set Decoration/Design
Patricia A. Garhardt Makeup
Joe Kelly Associate Producer
Richard LaGravenese Screenwriter
Gail Levin Casting
Thomas Newman Score Composer,Songwriter
Jill M. Ohanneson Costumes/Costume Designer
Phedon Papamichael Cinematographer
Wally Pfister Cinematographer
Matthew Rowland Asst. Director
Garreth Stover Production Designer

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