THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
– Production Information –
Director MARTIN SCORSESE, best known for his portrayals of urban angst in such films as “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “GoodFellas,” now turns his hand to a poignant, timeless story of love and loss in Columbia Pictures’ “The Age of Innocence. ”
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, MICHELLE PFEIFFER, and WINONA RYDER star in a drama of a man caught between two women and two worlds. The story, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Edith Wharton, is interwoven with passion, sacrifice and intrigue played out against the opulent backdrop of New York in the 1870s, a time of Morgans and Vanderbilts, of lavish excess and social hypocrisy.
As the film opens, Newland Archer (Day-Lewis) is engaged to May Welland (Ryder) and is urging her to hurry the date of their wedding. Their match embodies the character of old New York with its tyranny of family lineage and social standing.
Ellen Olenska (Pfeiffer), May’s cousin, has just returned from Europe. Newland is captivated by Ellen. Her honest nature and the mysterious authority of her beauty point up the constraints of his own society and the inexperience of his fiancee. He finds a kindred soul in Ellen, and they fall passionately in love.
Now Newland must choose between May and the world he knows and Ellen and the world he dreams of having.
Columbia Pictures presents “The Age of Innocence,” a Cappa Productions film, directed by Martin Scorsese from a script he co-wrote with Jay Cocks, based on Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name. Barbara Defina is the producer. The film also stars Miriam Margolyes, Richard E. Grant, Alec Mccowen, Geraldine Chaplin, Mary Beth Hurt, Stuart Wilson, Sian Phillips, Michael Gough, Alexis Smith, Norman Lloyd, Jonathan Pryce, Robert Sean Leonard and Joanne Woodward as the narrator.
The behind-the-scenes creative team on “The Age of Innocence: includes such longtime Scorsese associates as director of photography Michael Ballhaus and Academy Award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Elmer Bernstein is composing an original score for the film. Dante Ferretti is the production designer and Gabriella Pescucci is the costume designer.
Martin Scorsese is recognized· both here and abroad as one of America’s most critically acclaimed directors. From his breakthrough feature “Mean Streets” to his most recent film, the box office hit “Cape Fear,” his artistry has set a standard for filmmaking. Indeed, “Raging Bull” was voted Best Film of the Decade in numerous critics’ polls at the end of 1989.
At first glance, “The Age of Innocence” may seem a surprising choice for Scorsese. But the director has proved adept at storytelling in a variety of contexts -” Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “The Color of Money” and “The Last Temptation of Christ” are a few examples.
“Jay Cocks gave me the book,” says Scorsese. Cocks, a longtime friend, knew of Scorsese’s interest in history and his fascination with society and ritual, and felt he shared some common interests with Edith Wharton. Wharton often refers to the “tribal” nature of the established New York families in her book. And what are “Mean Streets” and “GoodFellas” if not portrayals of modern New York tribes, albeit of a decidedly different nature?
“What really attracted me to the book,” says Scorsese, “was the sense of poignancy — the sense of loss. This is a love story, and a love between two people, whether successful or unsuccessful, is common to everybody.”
The story takes place among the privileged of old New York, an insular, highly structured world concerned mainly with keeping up appearances and maintaining a strict social order. As Wharton describes, it was “a hieroglyphic world where the real thing was never said, or done, or even thought.”
Academy Award-winner Daniel Day-Lewis is Newland Archer, a young lawyer who never questioned the world he lived in or the woman he loved until he met Ellen Olenska.
In Michelle Pfeiffer, Scorsese found the perfect Countess Olenska, a woman who must radiate a sense of the exotic and a forthrightness of character. Pfeiffer had long admired the works of Edith Wharton and was delighted at the opportunity to bring a Wharton heroine to life.
Winona Ryder is May Welland, Archer’s fiancee. She was raised by her mother, aunts, and grandmother to be the ideal woman for society, and she is the smooth perfection of their world. She never acknowledges Ellen as a rival because her gaze never wavers from her true target, Newland.
An outstanding cast completes this rarefied echelon of late 19th century society. British actress Miriam Margolyes plays Mrs. Mingott, the most powerful social arbiter in New York even though she is confined to her home because of her immense girth. Richard E. Grant plays Larry Lefferts, Newland’s peer who epitomizes the hypocrisy of their world. His counterpart, Sillerton Jackson, played
by Alec Mccowen, is a gossipy bachelor whom society regards as the expert on family. Film and stage actress Mary Beth Hurt is Regina Beaufort, a woman whose meteoric rise in society is equalled only by her catastrophic fall. Sian Phillips is Newland’s mother, Mrs. Archer, and Geraldine Chaplin plays May’s mother, Mrs. Welland. Alexis Smith and Michael Gough are Mr. and Mrs. Henry van der Luyden, who represent the peak of old New York aristocracy. Jonathan Pryce is M. Riviere, a mysterious messenger from Ellen Olenska’s past. Norman Lloyd is Newland’s employer, Mr. Letterblair, whose calm insistence on appearance sets Newland on the path away from his desire. The cast also includes Carolyn Farina as Newland’s sister, Janey, and Robert Sean Leonard as his son Ted.
“The scope of “The Age of Innocence” in terms of costume, sets and cast has made this our biggest production yet,” says producer Barbara DeFina, “but the mood of the film is very intimate. You really feel as though you are in their world.” Scorsese was inspired by the films of Luchino Visconti, Max Ophuls, Jacques Toumeur and William Wyler. Wyler’s “The Heiress,” especially, made a singular impression on him the first time he saw it. In “The Heiress,” as in “The Age of Innocence,” a conspiracy of family and friends set on maintaining the social order keep the lovers apart.
To accurately portray such a subtle and restrictive society was of vital importance. “My job,” says Robin Standefer, the visual research consultant who did 18 months of research for the film, “was to provide the social and historical context for the film. The stage had to be set exactly right so you believe what happens.”
Novelist Edith Wharton grew up in this “privileged” society. The Age of Innocence is a clear-eyed observation of the people who lived in it and of those who challenged it. The adaptation by Scorsese and Cocks retains the unsparing honesty and real love that made this her greatest novel. Their screenplay provides the essence of THE AGE OF INNOCENCE: passion, loss, honor and remembrance. A complete love story.
About the Production
In the early 1980s, Jay Cocks gave Martin Scorsese a copy of the book, The Age of Innocence. Cocks had read it a few years earlier and had seen its cinematic possibilities. He also felt that the book’s bittersweet theme would certainly appeal to his friend, who had just completed “Raging Bull.” It took Scorsese a few years to get to the novel, but when he did, he was as taken with the love story as Cocks. “In fact,” says Cocks, “I think the whole movie was in his head by the time he turned the last page.” Together they completed the first draft of the script in February 1989.
“Casting is key to Marty,” says producer Barbara Defina, “and he knew right away who he wanted: Daniel Day-Lewis for Newland Archer.” Scorsese also went immediately to Michelle Pfeiffer to play Ellen Olenska, a choice based, surprisingly, on her portrayal of a mobster’s wife in “Married to the Mob.” “I thought she played the part with such truth,” says Scorsese, “that I really believed she was someone from Queens.”
The part of May Welland took longer to cast. “We needed someone who was a good physical contrast to Michelle,” says Defina, “but also someone who could carry off May’s dual nature.” The character of May, as described by Wharton, combines “great depth of feeling” with “complete girlishness.” While at an event in Los Angeles, Scorsese, who had never met Ryder, was introduced to her and felt she would be perfect. He discovered that Ryder had read Edith Wharton and knew her work very well. Within a few minutes of meeting, the search for May was over.
The rest of the casting went quickly. “Alec McCowen, Geraldine Chaplin, Sian Phillips, all these people I had wanted to work with, and finally, I made a movie I could put them in,” says Scorsese. “When you look at it, the cast is first-rate,” says DeFina, “which was perfect for the aristocratic level of society we were creating.”
Because so much of the story in the film would be subtextual, production design was of vital importance. Scorsese had met production designer Dante Ferretti on the set of Fellini’s “City of Women,” and they had wanted to work together ever since. Ferretti read the script and knew immediately how he wanted to proceed. One obstacle he faced was that this was a very closed, highly restrictive society, and everyone seemed alike. To differentiate the characters, Ferretti approached them as a painter might, choosing different palettes for different personalities. He chose rose
for Mrs. Mingott’s drawing room to reflect her vibrancy and warmth. For the very conservative Mrs. Archer’s he chose blue. “Her house is boring, cold and bourgeois,” says Ferretti, “because she is rigid and joyless.”
Paintings were an inspiration all along to Scorsese. Portraits of women in white dresses by Sargent, couples lit by gaslight at the opera by Whistler and halfempty ballrooms by Tissot were all points of reference for the look of the film. Ferretti felt that paintings could also be used to describe the people who owned them. Mrs. Archer, again for example, has only paintings of sheep and cows in pastoral settings attesting to her conformist nature. Three actresses, Mary Beth Hurt (Regina Beaufort), Alexis Smith (Mrs. van der Luyden) and Miriam Margolyes (Mrs. Mingott) even had their portraits painted so that their likenesses would hang in their homes.
Ferretti’ s third element in the design of the film were the dinners. Seven dinners were to be served throughout the film, each one with a meaning of its own. Entertaining was the most important thing these people did. Households would show off at the dinner table. Scorsese and Ferretti oversaw the planning and execution of these dinners, aided by Rick Ellis, an expert in food presentation and food history.
Ellis drew on his collection of over 4,000 American cookbooks to determine unique menus for each dinner. The van der Luyden dinner was the most complex, with 13 courses, which was about average for a formal dinner of the time. “The type of food and preparation that they had then was not so much different than from today,” says Ellis, “they just served more of it, a lot more.” Indigestion was a chronic complaint. The food was overcooked with heavy sauces. Servants brought out and served each course in a well-timed choreography that turned dining into a ritual. The focus was on the look of the food and the presentation.
Lily Lodge was the etiquette consultant on the film and was close at hand during the entire shoot. “Etiquette is what we call it today, but then· it was simply the way of life,” says Lodge, whose grandmother, Elizabeth David Frelinghuysen, was a close friend of Edith Wharton’s. Lodge started out by first instructing the actors on the use of their props. The use of a fan for the women, for example, should be discreet, economical and should not attract attention. ‘”No Carmens,” says Lodge.
For Day-Lewis, she instructed him on walking with a cane, but stressed not to show off while walking. “These people were proud of their behavior, proud not to be show-offs.” What began as an instruction in manners eventually evolved into an induction into another way of life. Lodge sums up the ethos: “Do not call attention to yourself, make others feel at ease.” People were to feel comfortable in their bodies, but they did not move very much, as it was more fitting to be still. In this frame of mind, when someone did move, “then that movement became very meaningful,” says Lodge. “We paid great attention to this. When, for example, Ellen crosses a room to speak with Newland, she is making a very powerful statement. And in the context of everyone being still around her, this speaks volumes.”
When the characters actually did speak, it was important that they should sound correct. Tim Monich worked as the dialogue coach and helped all the actors with achieving the right sound. When asked to describe it, Monich sighs, “that manner of speaking was really lost during the ’20s. George Plimpton sounds close to what they sounded like.” For Ellen Olenska, Monich says, “since she was raised abroad, she had to have European inflections which we worked on.” Even this little difference is another thing that sets her apart from the rest of New York society.
Costume design was another area where the personalities of the characters could be expressed. Costume designer Gabriella Pescucci had collaborated with production designer Ferretti on several films before in Italy, and it was he who suggested her to Scorsese. Pescucci felt that the way of dressing reflects a person’s way of thinking, as well as character. This echoes a passage from one of the books used in the film’s research, The Art of Beauty (1879): “Dress is the second self, … a most eloquent expositer of the person.” Pescucci was often able to draw directly upon the novel for inspiration. Wharton describes Ellen Olenska as “heedless of tradition” when she receives visitors in a “long robe of red velvet bodered
with … glossy black fur.” Pescucci’s interpretation, a deep red velvet robe trimmed with fine black feathers, faithfully brought to life Ellen’s unconventional personality. Pescucci’s background in theater and opera gave her a good grasp of period costume. Although all of her designs were new, she incorporated some original dress details, such as laces and embroidered panels, into her costumes. The lace in Ellen’s green silk morning dress and the bodice of May’s violet dinner dress are examples of old blended with new.
Perhaps the biggest costume challenge was the dressing of hundreds of audience extras for the opening opera sequence. Dressed in costumes shipped from Italy’s famed House of Tirelli, most of the female extras were dismayed to learn that their luxurious silk and satin dresses came with a price: corsets. Fortunately for the men, tuxedos have not changed very much since the last century. Their only nod to a long ago time were the gardenias in their lapels.
Shooting began on March 26, 1992 outside Troy, New York and finished at the end of June in Paris. Scorsese prefers to film on location whenever possible. “The location can give you a certain energy,” he says. According to Barbara Defina, about 75 percent of the film was shot on locations, including historic homes in Troy, New York, New York City, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and the Louvre in Paris. Production designer Ferretti worked closely with the location crew to “fit the right location with the right character.”
For the outdoor scenes, location scouting took place all over the Northeast. Troy, New York, with its three-story brownstones and elegant facades, provided the perfect location for almost all of the city exteriors. River Street in downtown Troy was transformed over a weekend to 1870s Wall Street. Location manager Patty Doherty says, “Since the buildings on the street have remained unchanged since the turn of the century when Troy was a major business center, there were no new tall buildings in the horizon. This had been a big problem elsewhere. And the street had a curve at the end which obscured traffic lights. We couldn’t have built a better set.”
The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house in Troy was the location for Mrs. Mingott’s home. Although Ferretti did extensive re-decoration to turn a men’s frat into a dowager’s salon, a surprising amount of the original detail such as wood paneling, fireplaces, and a carved balcony had been preserved in the house. Good fortune continued to hold with the scout for a period concert hall which would be the opening scene of the opera “Faust.” The Philadelphia Academy of Music worked out perfectly since it was of the same design and built at about the same time as the old New York Academy of Music. The Academy had been well maintained down to the scarlet and gold opera boxes which matched the description in Wharton’s book.
The Tilden House on Gramercy Park (now the National Arts Club) may have been a place Edith Wharton visited in her youth. The Club had maintained the turnof-the-century look, but Ferretti re-dressed the interiors to become the enfiladed drawing rooms of the Beaufort mansion. Club members were so happy with the new look that they have decided to keep it
.Standefer sums up the production this way: “The houses that we used had so much period detail that when the actors in costume stepped onto the dressed sets, it was like a window on another century.”
EDITH WHARTON was the most insightful chronicler of her day, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her sharp portrayal of New York society in The Age of Innocence.
She was born Edith Newbold Jones, the only daughter of the wealthy and well established Jones family in New York in 1862. She was educated according to all the rigid social strictures prevalent at the time. Although she displayed an early literary interest, writing her first story at age 12, such “unbecoming” and “unladylike” behavior was discouraged. In the face of family disapproval she abandoned fiction until she was 29.
She married Teddy Wharton in 1885, but they were ill-matched and the marriage was an unhappy one. Edith directed her energy into interior design and decoration, ultimately building a house in Lenox, Massachussetts called “The Mount,” which she helped design.
Despite her upbringing, Edith lived an unconventional life, eventually divorcing her husband and living abroad in Europe. She travelled alone, wrote, and enjoyed friendships with some of the foremost intellects of the day, including Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, and Theodore Roosevelt. She settled in France, and received the Legion of Honor A ward from the French government for her refugee efforts during the First World War. She died in southern France in 1937.
With her first story published in 1891, Wharton began an immensely prolific and successful career that included over 40 volumes of short stories, novellas, and novels. Such works as Custom of the Country, Ethan Fromme, The House of Minh, and The Age of Innocence endure as classics of American fiction. Her book on interior design, The Decoration of Houses, published in 1897, is considered must reading for decorators today. In 1921 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.
About the Cast
Following a stage career in his native London, and a host of film roles which highlighted his versatility, DANIEL DAY-LEWIS (Newland Archer) won the 1989 Best Actor Academy Award and international acclaim for his performance as writer Christy Brown in “My Left Foot,” directed by Jim Sheridan.
Though his screen debut was a brief appearance in “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” at age twelve, Day-Lewis took on his first leading role in the BBC television drama “How Many Miles to Babylon?” He then returned to the stage, taking over the lead role in “Another Country” in London’s West End. The actor next joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he toured in leading roles in “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Day-Lewis then took on two very different film roles which sealed his success on the international film scene. He portrayed the homosexual punk in Stephen Frears’ “My Beautiful Laundrette” and followed immediately with the role of a snobbish, Victorian fop in James Ivory’s “A Room With A View.” New York Film Critics voted him Best Supporting Actor for both performances.
“Stars and Bars” opposite Harry Dean Stanton was the actor’s first work in the United States, which was followed by a return to the English stage in the National Theatre production of “Futurists,” in which he played the role of Mayakovsky, under the direction of Richard Eyre. Next up was the role of Tomas, the womanizing doctor in Philip Kaufman’s adaptation of Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” After finishing “My Left Foot,” the actor filmed “Eversmile,
New Jersey” in Argentina before returning to the London stage, where he performed the title role of “Hamlet” at the National Theater, his third collaboration with Eyre. Most recently he starred in last year’s hit “The Last of the Mohicans,” and he will next star in Jim Sheridan’s “In the Name of the Father.”
MICHELLE PFEIFFER (Ellen Olenska) received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress this year for her role as Lurene Hallett in “Love Field.” She had previously been nominated for her portrayal of Madame de Tourvel in “Dangerous Liaisons” and for her performance as Susie Diamond in “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” a role which brought her awards from the New York Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics.
Her other films include “Batman Returns,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “The Russia House,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Married to the Mob,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination; “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Sweet Liberty,” “Into the Night,” “Ladyhawke,” and “Scarface.”
She made her stage debut in the Los Angeles production “A Playground in the Fall” and has appeared in Joseph Papp’s production of “Twelfth Night” in New York. Pfeiffer appeared in several television series before being cast in her first film, “Falling in Love Again.” Later, she was selected during a nationwide talent search to star in the musical “Grease 2.” During these formative years, she was a student of acting teacher Peggy Feury.
WINONA RYDER (May Welland) began her career at age 13, when she was discovered by a talent agent during a performance at San Francisco’s prestigious American Conservatory Theater. Her subsequent screen test led to a role in 20th Century Fox’s “Lucas.” Since that film debut, Ryder has appeared in ten feature films, including “Square Dance,” “1969,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Heathers,” “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael,” “Mermaids,” “Night on Earth,” and most recently “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola. She has worked twice with director Tim Burton, in “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands.”
MIRIAM MARGOLYES (Mrs. Mingott) studied English at Cambridge and was the only girl in the Footlights Review of 1962. A variety of television roles followed, including “The Life and Loves of a She-Devil” (BBC), “The Young Ones” (BBC), “The Black Adder,” parts 1 and 2 with Rowan Atkinson; Mrs. Bumble in the BBC’s “Oliver Twist”; “Glittering Prizes” and “The Girls of Slender Means,” for which she received a BAFTA nomination. She appeared recently in HBO’s “Stalin.”
Her success as Flora Pinching in “Little Dorritt” won her a Los Angeles Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, which brought her to America. She has made several films here, including “The Butcher’s Wife” with Demi Moore; “I Love You to Death” with Tracy Ullman; “Pacific Heights,” Kenneth Branagh’ s “Dead Again” and “Roadside Prophets.”
She has worked in theater in London’s West End, notably in the Peter Hall production of “Orpheus Descending” with Vanessa Redgrave and in her own one woman show, the critically lauded “Dickens’ Women.”
RICHARD E. GRANT (Larry Lefferts) comes to “The Age of Innocence” with a long list of films to his credit, including “Henry and June,” “Withnail and I,” “L.A. Story,” “The Player,” and most recently in Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Also active on the stage, he has played in Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Ernest,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Man of Mode,” and “Tramway Road.”
ALEC McCOWEN (Sillerton Jackson) was most recently seen on Broadway, where he originated his role in “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Mccowen has performed in numerous productions in London with the Old Vic, the National Theater, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he most recently performed in “The Tempest.” He has appeared on Broadway in “Equus,” “The Misanthrope,” “The Philanthropist,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination; “Hadrian the Seventh,” which earned him another Tony Award nomination and the New York Drama League’s Best Actor Award. He earned his third Tony nomination for his one-man show “St. Mark’s Gospel.”
His film credits include Richard Attenborough’s “Cry Freedom,” Terry Jones’ “Personal Services,” “Never Say Never Again,” “Travels with My Aunt,” which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Frenzy.”
GERALDINE CHAPLIN (Mrs. Welland) debuted in 1965 in “Doctor Zhivago,” directed. by David Lean, and most recently starred as her own grandmother in Lord Richard Attenborough’ s epic of her father’s life story, “Chaplin.” In her career, Chaplin has made over seventy films. She worked with director Robert Altman in “Nashville,” “Buffalo Bill and the Indians,” in which she starred as Annie Oakley, and “A Wedding,” and with Alan Rudolph in “Welcome to L.A.,” “Remember My Name” and “The Modems.” She has worked in Spanish films and has made eight films with the director Carlos Saura, including “Cria.” She has worked in French films including two films each with French directors Jacques Rivett and Alan Resnais, as well as one with Claude Lelouche, and she has also worked with South American directors Miguel Littin and Jorge Sarjines. Other film credits include “The Hawaiians,” “The Three Musketeers,” directed by Richard Lester, and its sequel “The Return of the Three Musketeers,” “White Mischief,” directed by Michael Redford, and “The Mirror Crack’d,” directed by Guy Hamilton.
MARY BETH HURT (Regina Beaufort) is well known to stage audiences from her many performances with the New York Shakespeare Festival, including “The Cherry Orchard,” “Pericles,” and “As You Like It.” She has appeared on Broadway and received three Tony Award nominations for her performances in “Trelawney of the Wells,” “Crimes of the Heart,” and “Benefactors.” She also played in David Hare’s “Secret Rapture.”
She made her film debut in Woody Allen’s “Interiors” and went on to star in Joan Micklin Silver’s “Head Over Heels,” George Roy Hills’ “The World According to Garp,” James Ivory’s “Slaves of New York,” and Martin Campbell’s “Defenseless.” She most recently appeared in Paul Schrader’s “Light Sleeper.”
American audiences will recognize STUART WILSON (Julius Beaufort) as the villain in “Lethal Weapon 3,” but his list of British television and film credits is extensive. Among his many and varied roles, he has starred in a number of highly successful British series that have later been shown on American television. These include “The Jewel in the Crown,” “The Pallisers,” “The Strauss Family,” “I, Claudius” and, perhaps most memorable, his Count Vronsky in the BBC adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” He also appeared opposite Vanessa Redgrave in David Hare’s film “Wetherby” — a film which later went on to win the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Wilson has also had a long association with the British theatre, that including seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as numerous plays at other London theatres. His most recent stage appearance was starring opposite Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave in “The Three Sisters” in the West End. He is currently completing the action-thriller “The Penal Colony,” in which he stars opposite Ray Liotta.
SIAN PHILLIPS (Mrs. Archer) was born in Wales and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She has well-established careers in television, theater and film. Among her more notable successes are Livia in “I, Claudius,” which earned her a BAFTA Award, “How Green Was My Valley,” also gaining her a BAFTA Award, “The Night of the Iguana” on the London stage, for which she received a best actress nomination, and “Goodbye, Mister Chips,” for which she won a New York Film Critics Award. Also among her better known roles are those of Mrs. Smiley in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “Smiley’s People” and as Madame Volange in Milos Forman’s “Valmont.”
Veteran actor MICHAEL GOUGH (Mr. van der Luyden) has appeared in over 40 films, one of the first being “The Small Back Room,” directed by Michael Powell. Most recently he served as the trusty butler Alfred in “Batman” and “Batman
Returns” and lists among his credits “Let Him Have It,” directed by Peter Medak, “The Fourth Protocol,” “Out of Africa,” “The Dresser,” “The Boys from Brazil,” “The Man in the White Suit,” “Carravaggio,” directed by Derek Jarman, “Nostradamus” and “The Flemish Board.”
On the stage in New York, Gough performed in “Breaking the Code,” gaining a Tony Award nomination, “Bedroom Farce,” winning a Tony Award, and “Love of Women.” His television credits include “Smiley’s People,” “Blackeyes” and “Children of the North.”
One of Hollywood’s most glamourous and popular leading ladies, ALEXIS SMITH (Mrs. van der Luyden) was the ideal romantic heroine to play opposite such leading men as Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, and Cary Grant. She made over 40 films, among them “Night and Day” with Cary Grant, and Joseph Losey’s “The Sleeping Tiger,” but she will be best remembered for what many consider the role of her career, her Tony Award-winning performance in Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies.”
For six years NORMAN LLOYD (Letterblair) starred as Dr. Auschlander in the popular television series “St. Elsewhere. 11 The actor’s career stretches back to Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater where he starred in productions of “Julius Caesar, 11 and “The Shoemaker’s Holiday.” He starred in Irwin Shaw’s “Quiet City,” directed by Elia Kazan for the Group Theater. Alfred Hitchcock brought him out to Hollywood to star in “Saboteur.” He later appeared in Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” and in “Limelight,” directed by Charlie Chaplin. Lloyd served as a producer for Hitchcock on television, formed a production company with John Houseman and on occasion directed (he directed five episodes on Lincoln by James Agee for the classic series “Omnibus”). He has continued to act (“Dead Poets’ Society;” “Wiseguy”) and produce for television (“Tales of the Unexpected”).
For his portrayal of the Engineer in the musical “Miss Saigon,” JONATHAN PRYCE (Monsieur Riviere) received the Tony Award for Best Actor, as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle A wards. He had created the role in the original production in London, winning the Variety Club and Olivier Awards, as well. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and in 1975 created the role of Gethin Price in the British production of “Comedians.” He subsequently starred in the New York production, directed by Mike Nichols, and received his first Tony as Best Actor. His London theater credits include “The White Devil” with Glenda Jackson; “Hamlet” at the Royal Court, and a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His major film credits include “Breaking Glass,” “Brazil,” “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” “The Rachel Papers,” “Glen Garry Glen Ross,” and the HBO telefilm “Barbarians at the Gate.”
CAROLYN FARINA (Janie Archer) has appeared both on stage and in film, most notably in the social commentary film “Metropolitan.” On stage she has appeared in “The Shy and the Lonely,” “Once a Catholic,” “Album,” and “Teach Me How to Cry.”
ROBERT SEAN LEONARD (Ted Archer) first caught attention in the role of Neil Perry in “Dead Poets Society” with Robin Williams. Accumulating both film and stage credits since, he appeared with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” and played a young newlywed in “Married to It.” Earlier this year he was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Marchbanks in George Bernard Shaw’s “Candida.” Most recently, he co-starred as the brash Claudio in Kenneth Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”
About the Filmmakers
Director and Co-Screenwriter MARTIN SCORSESE is a graduate of New York University and has been making films since the early 1960s. His first feature was “Who’s That Knocking At My Door?” followed by “Boxcar Bertha,” but his breakthrough film proved to be “Mean Streets” in 1973. His next film was “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” and starred Ellen Burstyn, who won an Oscar for her performance. In 1976, Scorsese directed “Taxi Driver,” a film which received four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and confirmed his reputation as one of America’s most original voices. “New York, New York,” and “The Last
Waltz” followed before “Raging Bull” in 1980. Robert De Niro and Thelma Schoonmaker both won Oscars and the film received six other Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. He continued with “The King of Comedy,” “After Hours,” and “The Color of Money,” an Oscar-winning role for Paul Newman. In 1988, Scorsese brought to the screen the controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ” and in 1989 he directed the “Life Lessons” segment of “New York Stories.” In 1990, his “GoodFellas” was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Joe Pesci won for Best Supporting Actor. In 1991, Scorsese enjoyed his biggest box-office success to date with “Cape Fear.”
Scorsese has also spent considerable time and energy over the course of his career on the preservation of film libraries and lobbying for the development of new technology, such as improving the longevity of film stock. He is one of the founders of the Film Foundation, which promotes the restoration of films by studios and archives. In 1992 he started “Martin Scorsese Presents,” a film company dedicated to the theatrical and broadcast distribution of classic films.
Producer BARBARA DEFINA marks her sixth collaboration as producer with Martin Scorsese with “The Age of Innocence. 11 She previously produced “The Color of Money” (with Irving Axelrod), the “Bad” music video, starring Michael Jackson, “The Last Temptation oi’ Christ,” the “Life Lessons” segment of “New York Stories,” and “Cape Fear.” She served as executive producer on “The Grifters” and also on “GoodFellas, 11 which was an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture in 1990.
Most recently she produced “Mad Dog and Glory” which starred Robert De Niro, Bill Murray and Uma Thurman.
Ms. Defina started as a production assistant and rose steadily through various production capacities. She was an associate producer for development for Alan King and Rupert Hitzig’s company King/Hitzig, where she developed such properties as “Cattle Annie and Little Britches,” “Happy Birthday, Gemini,” and “Wolf en,” as well as a number of television movies. She began her association with Scorsese on “The King of Comedy” where she worked as a unit manager during post production.
JAY COCKS (Co-screenwriter) was a film reviewer at Time Magazine for many years and continues there as a contributing writer. He attended Kenya College in Ohio, where he founded a festival for experimental films. He co-edited with David Denby the National Society of Film Critics Anthology, and wrote text for a book on the designer Issae Miyake. Before “The Age of Innocence,” he collaborated with Scorsese on several film scripts.
MICHAEL BALLHAUS (Director of Photography) first worked with Martin Scorsese on “After Hours.” They have since teamed to do “The Color of Money,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” the “Life Lessons” segment of “New York Stories,” and “GoodFellas.”
Ballhaus was born into a theatrical family and by the time he was 16, he knew he wanted to work in the movies. A year later he was invited to observe the great Max Ophuls as he filmed “Lola Montes.” After that experience, he knew he wanted to be a cinematographer.
Ballhaus was closely associated with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, shooting over 15 films for the late director. His first American film was John Sayles’ “Baby, It’s You” in 1982. His other film credits include “The Glass Menagerie,” directed by Paul Newman, “Broadcast News,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” for which he won a Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography, “Working Girl,” “Post Cards from the Edge,” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” He most recently worked on Robert Redford’s “Quiz Show.”
DANTE FERRETTI (Production Designer) is one of Europe’s most soughtafter production designers. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award: once for Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (for which he won a BAFT A Award) and once for his work on Franco Zeffirelli’ s “Hamlet.”
Early in his career he became associated with Pier Paolo Pasolini and went on to work with the director on five films, including “Medea,” “Decameron,” “Canterbury Tales,” “Arabian Nights,” and “The 120 Days of Sodom.” He has also collaborated with Federico Fellini on five films, including “City of Women,” “And the Ship Sails On,” “Ginger and Fred,” and Fellini’s latest film “The Voice of the Moon.” He has been nominated for and won the Donatello Award and the Silver Ribbon several times during his career. Other film credits include Ettore Scola’s “La Nuit de Varennes” and Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “The Name of the Rose.” He has also worked as production designer for operas at La Scala in Milan and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
GABRIELLA PESCUCCI (Costume Designer) is an award-winning costume designer in Italy where she has collaborated frequently with Dante Ferretti. “The Age of Innocence” marks her first American production. Ms. Pescucci was nominated for an Academy Award for her designs in “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.” She has won two BAFTA Awards, one for “Munchausen” and one for Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” and she has won several Silver Ribbon and Donatello Awards for her work, including Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “The Name of the Rose,” Ettore Scola’s “La Nuit de Varennes” and “La Familgia,” and Fellini’s “City of Women.” Additional film credits include “Indochine,” starring Catherine Deneuve, Ivan Passer’s “Haunted Summer” and Scola’s “Splendor.”
Pescucci was educated at the Instituto d’ Arte and Accademia Belle Arti of Florence. . In addition to her film work, Pescucci has designed for operas and theater productions throughout Italy.
THELMA SCHOONMAKER (editor) graduated from Cornell with a BA in political science, intent on a career as a diplomat. She answered an ad for an assistant film editor and learned enough to want to continue in filmmaking. She first met Scorsese at a film class at New York University, and helped him edit his first film, “Who’s That Knocking At My Door?” Under the leadership of Michael Wadleigh, she joined a large group of filmmakers who went to film Woodstock. She and Scorsese were the supervising editors on the resulting film “Woodstock,” which was later nominated for and won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Film. In the following years she worked on documentaries for public television and on a film about Paul McCartney’s world tour. She worked again with Scorsese in 1979, editing “Raging Bull,” and has edited all of his feature films ever since, including “The King of Comedy,” “After Hours,” “The Color of Money,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” the “Life Lessons” segment of “New York Stories,” “GoodFellas,” and “Cape Fear.” Schoonmaker won an Academy Award and a BAFT A Award for her editing on “Raging Bull.” She was nominated for an Oscar for “GoodFellas” and won a BAFTA Award for editing on that film as well.
ELMER BERNSTEIN (Music) has received a total of 12 Academy Award nominations for his work on .such films as “Thoroughly Modem Millie,” for which he won the Oscar for Best Score; “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Summer and Smoke,” “The Magnificent Seven,” Otto Preminger’s “The Man with the Golden Arm,” and Cecil B. De Mille’s “The Ten Commandments.” Bernstein previously worked with Scorsese when he re-orchestrated Bernard Herrmann’s original score on “Cape Fear.” Other recent film credits include “The Grifters,” “Mad Dog and Glory,” “My Left Foot,” “The Good Mother,” and “Ghostbusters.” Earlier works include such classics a “Hud,” “The Great Escape,” and “Birdman of Alcatraz.”
Born in New York City, Bernstein studied at New York University and the Juilliard School of Music. His additional credits include “The Big Valley” and “Gunsmoke” for television, and “Merlin” and “How Now, Dow Jones” for Broadway.