Cocoon


1h 57m 1985
Cocoon

Brief Synopsis

A group of elderly people are rejuvenated by aliens after swimming in a pool.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cocoon - Djupets hemlighet
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Adventure
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1985
Production Company
Dennis Modes
Distribution Company
20th Century Fox Distribution
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA; Nassau, Bahamas; Pinellas County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Synopsis

A group of Florida retirees become mysteriously rejuvented when their retirement home swimming pool turns into a fountain of youth. But, the magical powers stem from some cocoons left by good-natured, human-appearing aliens who have come back to retrieve them.

Crew

Clint Althouse

Boom Operator

Stuart Artingstall

Special Effects

Rick Baker

Consultant

Bill Beck

Visual Effects

Hans Beimler

Assistant Director

Tom Benedek

Screenplay

Barbara Brennan

Rotoscope Animator

Marty Brenneis

Visual Effects

David Brown

Producer

Jerry Brutsche

Stunts

Greg Cannom

Special Effects

Sean Casey

Special Effects Technician

Denise Cheshire

Stunts

Richard Church

Sound Mixer

James Steven Claridge

Other

Donald Clark

Camera Operator

Janis Clark

Hair

Robert Clark

Special Effects

Princess Cleare

Transportation Coordinator

Jack T. Collis

Production Designer

Mike Connelly

Transportation Coordinator

Susan Cornell

Consultant

Thane Cornell

Consultant

Larry Dean Davis

Camera Assistant

Cariline Davis-dyer

Script Supervisor

Robert Doudell

Unit Production Manager

Robert Doudell

Associate Producer

Richard Dow

Grip

Irvin E Jim Duffy

Set Decorator

Scott Farrar

Camera Operator

Bob Finley

Other

Mike Fulmer

Visual Effects

Pamela Ghaleb

Apprentice

Ray Gilberti

Camera Assistant

Alex Gilles

Special Effects

Ralph Gordon

Other

Caroleen Green

Matte Painter

Kingsley Griffin

Animal Trainer

Ted Grossman

Stunt Coordinator

Jay Gruska

Music Arranger

Jay Gruska

Music Producer

Kevin Haney

Makeup

Dan Hanley

Editor

Barbara Harris

Casting

William Hartman

Sound Editor

Camilla Henneman

Special Effects

Linda Henrikson

Costumes

Tom Hester

Special Effects

Michael Hill

Editor

Robert Hill

Camera Assistant

Ed Hirsh

Stage Manager

James Horner

Music

Peg Hunter

Other

Paul Huston

Photography

Carol Ann Jackson

Assistant Editor

Randy Johnson

Camera Assistant

Eddie Jones

Other

Ira Keeler

Visual Effects

Bill Kimberlin

Editor

Jordan Klein

Camera Operator

Jordan Klein Jr.

Camera Assistant

Kathy Krieger

Animal Trainer

Laurel Ladevich

Sound Design

Tony Laudati

Other

John Leblanc

Camera Operator

Steven M Levine

Property Master

Ellen Lichtwardt

Rotoscope Animator

James Lim

Camera Operator

Jan R Lloyd

Assistant Director

Michael Mackenzie

Engineering Supervisor

Robert Maharis

Location Manager

Louisa Marie

Assistant

Eddie Marks

Costume Supervisor

Godfrey Marks

Dialogue Editor

Dean Mason

Transportation Coordinator

Beverly Mcdermott

Casting

Shawn Mcenroe

Special Effects

Mary Mcglone

Assistant Editor

Gavin Mckinney

Other

Ralph Mcquarrie

Art Department

Dennis Modes

Cable Operator

Jack Mongovan

Rotoscope Animator

Michael S Moore

Assistant Editor

Charles Mullen

Animation Supervisor

Mike Nomad

Consultant

Kerry Nordquist

Photography

Robert Norin

Makeup

Phill Norwood

Art Director

Michael O'corrigan

Sound Editor

Candice Orsini

Stunts

Richard Overton

Sound

Terry Peck

Effects Assistant

Donald Pennington

Construction

Penny Perry

Casting

Don Peterman

Other

Don Peterman

Director Of Photography

Keith Peterman

Camera Operator

Margot Phillips

Other

Giedra Rackauskas

Auditor

Ken Ralston

Visual Effects Supervisor

Calmar K Roberts Jr.

Camera Assistant

Aggie Guerard Rodgers

Costume Designer

Zade Rosenthal

Photography

Caprice Rothe

Choreographer

Richard Rudolph

Music Producer

Gary Rydstrom

Sound Design

David Saperstein

Story By

David Saperstein

Source Material (From Novel)

David Saperstein

From Story

Mort Schwartz

Costumes

Michael Sembello

Music Producer

Kenneth Smith

Camera Operator

Waverly Smothers

Grip

Theodore Soderberg

Sound

Tom St Amand

Other

Armin Steiner

Music

Calvin Sterry

Key Grip

Teresa Stokovic

Production Coordinator

Gary Summers

Sound Design

Mitch Suskin

Production Supervisor

Ken M Suzuki

Gaffer

Lydia Telo

Assistant

Frank Tobin

Electrician

Joe Unsinn

Special Effects Coordinator

Gwen Verdon

Music

Laurie Vermont

Production Coordinator

Paul Wells

Sound

Jerry Whittington

Adr Editor

John Whittle

Assistant Director

Clay Wilson

Grip

Mickey Woods

Construction Coordinator

Kevin Yagher

Special Effects

Lili Fini Zanuck

Producer

Richard D. Zanuck

Producer

Manfred Zendar

Other

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
Cocoon - Djupets hemlighet
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Adventure
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1985
Production Company
Dennis Modes
Distribution Company
20th Century Fox Distribution
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA; Nassau, Bahamas; Pinellas County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Award Wins

Best Supporting Actor

1985
Don Ameche

Best Visual Effects

1985

Articles

Cocoon (1985) - Cocoon


One of the biggest hits of the summer of 1985 was the gentle fantasy Cocoon, a film that proved a challenge to make because of its mix of so many opposing ingredients. The movie blends genres (comedy, drama and sci-fi); various storytelling methods (equal parts visual effects and ensemble acting, as well as multiple plot threads with no central character); and even wide-ranging ages of its key creative artists. Three of the leading players, for instance, are old pros Don Ameche (age 77), Hume Cronyn (74) and Jessica Tandy (76). Joining them are younger veterans Maureen Stapleton (60), Gwen Verdon (60) and Wilford Brimley (51), and directing them all is Ron Howard, a mere 31.

The story concerns members of a Florida retirement home who discover a fountain of youth thanks to a swimming pool, some strange pods (cocoons) therein, and the efforts of extraterrestrial aliens in the form of neatly dressed tourists. The aliens have been collecting the cocoons and storing them in a swimming pool used by three elderly men from the retirement home for their daily swims. The cocoons cause the water to have a rejuvenating effect, and the men suddenly find their youthful strength, vigor, and passion flowing back into their bodies. Naturally, their fellow retirees and spouses soon want the same, and questions of life, death and even departing Earth eventually come into play.

Tom Benedek's screenplay was based on David Saperstein's unpublished novel, which had been floating around the Fox studio since 1980, stymied by continual changes in studio administration. Originally Robert Zemeckis was to direct, but when his Romancing the Stone (1984) ran into delays, he had to pull out, and Ron Howard, fresh off Splash (1984), replaced him. The film was shot in St. Petersburg, Fla., over three months on an $18 million budget; it earned $76 million in domestic box-office receipts alone.

And chief among the reasons for the success was Don Ameche, beloved leading man of 1930s and '40s classics like Midnight (1939) and Heaven Can Wait (1943). Though Ameche had never really stopped working, his career had fallen into the doldrums in recent decades, until his inspired casting in the Eddie Murphy comedy Trading Places (1983). That film ushered Ameche into a remarkable final act of his career, a resuscitation that once again made him a bankable movie star as he reached age 80 and beyond. Cocoon cemented this comeback, although, remarkably, Ameche wasn't even the first choice for the part -- he replaced Buddy Ebsen. Still, Ameche made such an impression in Cocoon that Playboy Magazine named him, in 1985, one of America's ten sexiest men.

On location in Florida, Ameche took a four-mile walk on the beach every morning before filming. He later reflected on the modern moviemaking process: "There are no sustained scenes in this picture," he said. "They're all short. Maybe one or two longer scenes in the whole picture. Vignettes everywhere. Which is probably good for today's picture making. They want to keep things moving. It's different from the old days."

In one sequence, Ameche's character breakdances in a nightclub. Ameche later admitted he had "never seen breakdancing prior to this film. I didn't know what it was." He rehearsed with a 19-year-old dancer for four weeks, but most of the final dancing was performed by a stunt double.

Other stunts, like the diving and flipping into pools, were in fact done by Ameche and his fellow veteran actors. Director Ron Howard had been planning to use stuntmen, but the cast insisted on doing it themselves. "They really taught me that you can't generalize about what people can, or cannot, do because of age," Howard recalled.

Howard, too, had to prove to his cast that he could handle the many facets of this movie, and he gained their approval with flying colors. Maureen Stapleton said at the time, "[Ron] seems like he's been doing it for years. He has common sense, and you trust a man with common sense." And Ameche said, "Ron is so professional that I never stopped to consider his age."

Howard has called Cocoon one of his favorites of his own films, and he said that he developed a lot as a director while making it. The actors all had different methods, for instance, forcing Howard to reconcile the performances into a unified whole. "Wilford Brimley," Howard said, "is a brilliant improvisational actor, but subscribes to no film technique at all. As a matter of fact, he sort of militantly refuses to embrace anything remotely like film technique because he thinks it makes his performance phony and false... Don Ameche, on the other hand, is really old school. Hit the marks, say the lines that have been written, and go home. Trust the director and do the day's work. Hume Cronyn is highly disciplined. Jack Gilford was an old song and dance man. Everybody had a different approach. Yet it was important to find cohesiveness. As a young director it was a real challenge."

Howard also learned to "talk to [the special effects artists] like actors, talk to them like creative collaborators, and they could do extraordinary things."

In addition to striking box-office gold, Cocoon got good reviews from critics, with Variety calling it a "mesmerizing tale... perfectly focused," and The New York Times declaring, "Mr. Howard brings a real sweetness to his subject. The older players are the film's greatest asset... The cast functions as a graceful ensemble, with a warmheartedness that seems genuine without getting out of hand."

In early 1986, Cocoon was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actor (Don Ameche) and Best Visual Effects. It won both. After Ameche won his Oscar®, he received a congratulatory phone call from Irving Berlin, whose association with Ameche dated back to Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), 47 years earlier.

Some final notes on the cast:

This was the sixth of nine movies to feature real-life husband-and-wife actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, dating back to The Seventh Cross (1944) and Blonde Fever (1944). They also acted together in numerous television shows.

Tahnee Welch, daughter of Raquel Welch, makes her debut as an alien named Kitty.

And Tyrone Power, Jr., whose father and Ameche were good friends, appears briefly in the role of Pillsbury.

by Jeremy Arnold

SOURCES:
Robert J. Emery, The Directors: Take One
Beverly Gray, Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon...and Beyond
Ben Ohmart, Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kid

Cocoon (1985) - Cocoon

Cocoon (1985) - Cocoon

One of the biggest hits of the summer of 1985 was the gentle fantasy Cocoon, a film that proved a challenge to make because of its mix of so many opposing ingredients. The movie blends genres (comedy, drama and sci-fi); various storytelling methods (equal parts visual effects and ensemble acting, as well as multiple plot threads with no central character); and even wide-ranging ages of its key creative artists. Three of the leading players, for instance, are old pros Don Ameche (age 77), Hume Cronyn (74) and Jessica Tandy (76). Joining them are younger veterans Maureen Stapleton (60), Gwen Verdon (60) and Wilford Brimley (51), and directing them all is Ron Howard, a mere 31. The story concerns members of a Florida retirement home who discover a fountain of youth thanks to a swimming pool, some strange pods (cocoons) therein, and the efforts of extraterrestrial aliens in the form of neatly dressed tourists. The aliens have been collecting the cocoons and storing them in a swimming pool used by three elderly men from the retirement home for their daily swims. The cocoons cause the water to have a rejuvenating effect, and the men suddenly find their youthful strength, vigor, and passion flowing back into their bodies. Naturally, their fellow retirees and spouses soon want the same, and questions of life, death and even departing Earth eventually come into play. Tom Benedek's screenplay was based on David Saperstein's unpublished novel, which had been floating around the Fox studio since 1980, stymied by continual changes in studio administration. Originally Robert Zemeckis was to direct, but when his Romancing the Stone (1984) ran into delays, he had to pull out, and Ron Howard, fresh off Splash (1984), replaced him. The film was shot in St. Petersburg, Fla., over three months on an $18 million budget; it earned $76 million in domestic box-office receipts alone. And chief among the reasons for the success was Don Ameche, beloved leading man of 1930s and '40s classics like Midnight (1939) and Heaven Can Wait (1943). Though Ameche had never really stopped working, his career had fallen into the doldrums in recent decades, until his inspired casting in the Eddie Murphy comedy Trading Places (1983). That film ushered Ameche into a remarkable final act of his career, a resuscitation that once again made him a bankable movie star as he reached age 80 and beyond. Cocoon cemented this comeback, although, remarkably, Ameche wasn't even the first choice for the part -- he replaced Buddy Ebsen. Still, Ameche made such an impression in Cocoon that Playboy Magazine named him, in 1985, one of America's ten sexiest men. On location in Florida, Ameche took a four-mile walk on the beach every morning before filming. He later reflected on the modern moviemaking process: "There are no sustained scenes in this picture," he said. "They're all short. Maybe one or two longer scenes in the whole picture. Vignettes everywhere. Which is probably good for today's picture making. They want to keep things moving. It's different from the old days." In one sequence, Ameche's character breakdances in a nightclub. Ameche later admitted he had "never seen breakdancing prior to this film. I didn't know what it was." He rehearsed with a 19-year-old dancer for four weeks, but most of the final dancing was performed by a stunt double. Other stunts, like the diving and flipping into pools, were in fact done by Ameche and his fellow veteran actors. Director Ron Howard had been planning to use stuntmen, but the cast insisted on doing it themselves. "They really taught me that you can't generalize about what people can, or cannot, do because of age," Howard recalled. Howard, too, had to prove to his cast that he could handle the many facets of this movie, and he gained their approval with flying colors. Maureen Stapleton said at the time, "[Ron] seems like he's been doing it for years. He has common sense, and you trust a man with common sense." And Ameche said, "Ron is so professional that I never stopped to consider his age." Howard has called Cocoon one of his favorites of his own films, and he said that he developed a lot as a director while making it. The actors all had different methods, for instance, forcing Howard to reconcile the performances into a unified whole. "Wilford Brimley," Howard said, "is a brilliant improvisational actor, but subscribes to no film technique at all. As a matter of fact, he sort of militantly refuses to embrace anything remotely like film technique because he thinks it makes his performance phony and false... Don Ameche, on the other hand, is really old school. Hit the marks, say the lines that have been written, and go home. Trust the director and do the day's work. Hume Cronyn is highly disciplined. Jack Gilford was an old song and dance man. Everybody had a different approach. Yet it was important to find cohesiveness. As a young director it was a real challenge." Howard also learned to "talk to [the special effects artists] like actors, talk to them like creative collaborators, and they could do extraordinary things." In addition to striking box-office gold, Cocoon got good reviews from critics, with Variety calling it a "mesmerizing tale... perfectly focused," and The New York Times declaring, "Mr. Howard brings a real sweetness to his subject. The older players are the film's greatest asset... The cast functions as a graceful ensemble, with a warmheartedness that seems genuine without getting out of hand." In early 1986, Cocoon was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actor (Don Ameche) and Best Visual Effects. It won both. After Ameche won his Oscar®, he received a congratulatory phone call from Irving Berlin, whose association with Ameche dated back to Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), 47 years earlier. Some final notes on the cast: This was the sixth of nine movies to feature real-life husband-and-wife actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, dating back to The Seventh Cross (1944) and Blonde Fever (1944). They also acted together in numerous television shows. Tahnee Welch, daughter of Raquel Welch, makes her debut as an alien named Kitty. And Tyrone Power, Jr., whose father and Ameche were good friends, appears briefly in the role of Pillsbury. by Jeremy Arnold SOURCES: Robert J. Emery, The Directors: Take One Beverly Gray, Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon...and Beyond Ben Ohmart, Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kid

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 21, 1985

Feature film debut for producer Lili Fini Zanuck.

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States Summer June 21, 1985