Frankie and Johnny Review
Frankie and Johnny
11 Oct 1991
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Michelle Pfeiffer took on the role of the emotionally fragile waitress in part..
to work with Al Pacino again after having filmed Scarface (1983) with him nearly a decade before.
The casting of Michelle Pfeiffer..
..was met with some negativity as many felt the actress was too beautiful to play such a damaged and plain character. However, while the film wasn’t an enormous hit, Pfeiffer’s performance was widely-praised and the actress was nominated for a Golden Globe as a result.
“Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”
Playwright Terrence McNally originally wrote the role of Frankie for Kathy Bates. Johnny was played by Kenneth Welsh in the 1987 Off-Broadway production of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” that starred Bates.
Other consideration for the main role
Jeff Bridges was at one point considered for the male lead of Johnny which in the end was cast with Al Pacino.
Tribute to director Alfred Hitchcock
The scenes of the film where Michelle Pfeiffer observes the lives of some of her neighbors through the courtyard windows alludes to “Rear Window” and may be a tribute to director Alfred Hitchcock by “Frankie and Johnny” director Garry Marshall as this was not in the original Broadway play script.
This movie version of the stage production..
“opened up the play to include all the characters and locations mentioned in the stage version” according to the book “It’s a Hit! – The Back Stage Book of Longest-Running Broadway Shows: 1884 to the Present” (1994).
This movie version of its source 1987 Terrence McNally stage play shortened the title from the longer “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” to the much simpler and shorter Frankie and Johnny (1991).
The name of the screenplay..
that the African-American waiter wrote that was going to get produced in Hollywood was “Bloods on the Moon”.
RT/Meta Critic Review
An absolutely delightful and tender romantic comedy. Succeeds so well because of the great, very real performances by the two leads and writer Terrence McNally’s smart, often hilarious dialogue.