True Stories


1h 51m 1986

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Experimental
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Virgil, Texas, USA; McKinney, Texas, USA; Dallas, Texas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Synopsis

Cast

John Goodman

Louis Fyne

Annie Mcenroe

Kay Culver

Jo Harvey Allen

The Lying Woman

Sumter Bruton

Mccauley Kids

Linda Mccauley

Cynthia Gould

Gregory Gunter

Chrissy Miller

John Patrick Pritchett

Heather Hanks

Kevin Mccarthy

Performer

Amy Buffington

Ric Spiegel

Bale Allen

Tonney Watts

Tina Weymouth

Chris Frantz

Jim Colegrove

Capucine Dewulf

Performer

Christopher Michael Johnson

Mark Edwards

Art Guinn

James Jackson

Evelyn Box

Alonzo Richard

Pleasant Oaks Majorettes

Edward Kwan

John Ingle

Spalding Gray

Steve Schwolert

Richard Dowlearn

Ray Coahran

Lynn Raridon

Tommy Camfield

Performer

Connie Deaton

L T Felty

Freeman Beatty

Phyllis Wallace

Alix Elias

David Byrne

Performer

Angus G Wynne

Hella Mustang Patrol

Scott Valentine

Bob Lukeman

Michael Pendland

Vangie Barefoot

Soul Drum Corps

Kevin Box

David Averett

Jason Liebrecht

Hinpheth Sinarath

Rio Jordon

Ann Mary Carney

Cora Cardona

Jerry Harrison

Andrew Barach

Vernon Watts

Roebuck Staples

John Job

Ed Geldart

Swoosie Kurtz

Scott Jenkins

Happy Wanderers

William Mcdaniel

Jessica Pendland

Frank Smith

Marian Henley

Umberto Larriva

Cedar Crest Comets

Matthew Posey

Huey P Meaux

Liz Moore

Tom Denolf

Keith Algier

Meredith Zednick

Brian Monroe

Stephen Seybold

Chris Douridas

R L Anderson

Ronna Cohen

David Byrne

Narrator

Rex Taylor Smith

Kelly Wright

Ken Chambers

Carl Finch

Performer

Otis Gray

Charles Connour

Norman Seaton

Steve Jordan

Daniel Marder

Kenan Crinion

Paul Semrad

Annie Hemphill

Tommy Morrell

Performer

Randy Erwin

Tony Reynolds

Bert Cross Choir

Eric Thorngren

Crew

Terry Allen

Song Performer

Terry Allen

Song

Jeffrey Barnes

Song

Susan Beeson

Set Decorator

John Collier Bennett

Post-Production Supervisor

Robyn Bensinger

Production

Caroline Biggerstaff

Editor

Don Blackburn

Production

Thibault Bouet

Consultant

Kevin Boyle

Camera Assistant

Chris Brigham

Production Manager

Dick Bright

Original Music

Janis Burklund

Production Assistant

David Byrne

Screenplay

David Byrne

Music

Gary Clayton

Sound

Margie Crimmins

Other

John Danischewsky

Production

Mark Edward Davis

Production Assistant

Connie Derocha

Costume Designer

Beth Desort

Production

Joe Dishner

Location Manager

Ned Dowd

Production

Mitch Dubin

Camera Assistant

Adam Dubov

Song Performer

Jann Dutmer

Song Performer

William Edwards

Costumes

Carl Finch

Song

Carl Finch

Song Performer

Michael Flynn

Associate Producer

Venetia Gentzler

Costume Designer

Louis Gutierrez

Song Performer

Bill Harding

Wardrobe

Karen Harding

Sound Editor

Beth Henley

Screenplay

Susanna Hoffs

Song Performer

Bob Horne

Camera Operator

Stuart Iversen

Costume Designer

Rio Jordan

Song Performer

Steve Jordan

Other

Steve Jordan

Song

Steve Jordan

Song Performer

Kenneth Karman

Music Editor

Gary Kurfirst

Producer

Edward Lachman

Director Of Photography

Jack Leahy

Sound

Samuel Lehmer

Sound

Leslie Leitner

Researcher

Barbara Ling

Production Designer

Mark Lipson

Photography

Adelle Lutz

Other

Cherylanne Martin

Assistant Director

David Mastron

Production

Elizabeth Mcbride

Costume Designer

Dee Mccandless

Choreographer

Kevin Mccarthy

Song Performer

Pete Mckeeman

Camera Operator

Huey P Meaux

Music

Gene Menger

Choreographer

Meredith Monk

Choreographer

Meredith Monk

Song

Karen Murphy

Coproducer

Gail Nord

Post-Production Audio

Christina Patoski

Editor

Christina Patoski

Producer

Christina Patoski

Production Associate

June Petersen

Production Associate

June Petersen

Producer

Philip C Pfeiffer

Camera Operator

Edward Pressman

Executive Producer

John Patrick Pritchett

Sound

Pierce Raferty

Other

Don Reddy

Camera Operator

Ellen Sandolowski

Production Assistant

Leslie Shatz

Sound

Leslie Shatz

Sound Design

Newton Thomas Sigel

Camera Operator

Charles Smith

Other

Janice F. Sperling

Production Coordinator

Andrea Starr

Production Associate

Janet Stein

Wardrobe

Holland Sutton

Researcher

Paul Tassie

Animator

Paul Tassie

Visual Effects

Paul Tassie

Editor

George Tirl

Camera Operator

Stephen Tobolowsky

Screenplay

David Urquhart

Other

Neal Weisman

Associate Producer

Jimi White

Makeup

David Wild

Editor

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Experimental
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Virgil, Texas, USA; McKinney, Texas, USA; Dallas, Texas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Articles

Spalding Gray (1941-2004)


Spalding Gray, the self-effacing monologist and actor, whose best work offered a sublime mix of personal confessions and politically charged insights, was confirmed dead on March 8 one day after his body was found in New York City's East River. He had been missing for two months and family members had feared he had committed suicide. He was 62.

Gray was born in Barrington, Rhode Island on June 5, 1941, one of three sons born to Rockwell and Elizabeth Gray. He began pursuing an acting career at Emerson College in Boston. After graduation, he relocated to New York, where he acted in several plays in the late '60s and early '70s. He scored a breakthrough when he landed the lead role of Hoss in Sam Shepard's Off-Broadway hit Tooth of Crime in its 1973 New York premiere. Three years later he co-founded the avant-garde theatrical troupe, The Wooster Group with Willem Dafoe.

It was this period in the late '70s, when he was performing in Manhattan's underground theater circles, did Gray carve out his niche as a skilled monologist. His first formal monologue was about his childhood Sex and Death to the Age 14, performed at the Performing Garage in Manhattan in 1979; next came his adventures as a young university student Booze, Cars and College Girls in 1980; and the following year, he dealt with his chronicles as a struggling actor, A Personal History of the American Theater. These productions were all critical successes, and Gray soon became the darling of a small cult as his harrowing but funny takes on revealing the emotional and psychological cracks in his life brought some fresh air to the genre of performance art.

Although acting in small parts in film since the '70s, it wasn't until he garnered a role in The Killing Fields (1984), that he began to gain more prominent exposure. His experiences making The Killing Fields formed the basis of his one-man stage show Swimming to Cambodia which premiered on Off-Broadway in 1985. Both haunting and humorous, the plainsong sincerity of his performance exuded a raw immediacy and fragile power. Gray managed to relate his personal turmoil to larger issues of morality throughout the play, including absurdities in filmmaking, prostitution in Bangkok (where the movie was shot), and the genocidal reign of the Pol Pot. Gray won an Obie Award - the Off-Broadway's equivalent to the Tony Award - for his performance and two years later, his play was adapted by Jonathan Demme onto film, further broadening his acceptance as a unique and vital artistic talent.

After the success of Swimming to Cambodia, Gray found some work in the mainstream: Bette Midler's fiance in Beaches (1988), a regular part for one season as Fran Drescher's therapist in the CBS sitcom The Nanny (1989-90), a sardonic editor in Ron Howard's underrated comedy The Paper (1994), and a recent appearance as a doctor in Meg Ryan's romantic farce Kate & Leopold (2001). He also had two more of his monologues adapted to film: Monster in a Box (1992) and Gray's Anatomy (1996). Both films were further meditations on life and death done with the kind of biting personal wit that was the charming trademark of Gray.

His life took a sudden downturn when he suffered a frightening head-on car crash during a 2001 vacation in Ireland to celebrate his 60th birthday. He suffered a cracked skull, a broken hip and nerve damage to one foot and although he recovered physically, the incident left him traumatized. He tried jumping from a bridge near his Long Island home in October 2002. Family members, fearing for his safety, and well aware of his family history of mental illness (his mother committed suicide in 1967) convinced him to seek treatment in a Connecticut psychiatric hospital the following month.

Sadly, despite his release, Gary's mental outlook did not improve. He was last seen leaving his Manhattan apartment on January 10, and witnesses had reported a man fitting Gray's description look despondent and upset on the Staten Island Ferry that evening. He is survived by his spouse Kathleen Russo; two sons, Forrest and Theo; Russo's daughter from a previous relationship, Marissa; and two brothers, Rockwell and Channing.

by Michael T. Toole
Spalding Gray (1941-2004)

Spalding Gray (1941-2004)

Spalding Gray, the self-effacing monologist and actor, whose best work offered a sublime mix of personal confessions and politically charged insights, was confirmed dead on March 8 one day after his body was found in New York City's East River. He had been missing for two months and family members had feared he had committed suicide. He was 62. Gray was born in Barrington, Rhode Island on June 5, 1941, one of three sons born to Rockwell and Elizabeth Gray. He began pursuing an acting career at Emerson College in Boston. After graduation, he relocated to New York, where he acted in several plays in the late '60s and early '70s. He scored a breakthrough when he landed the lead role of Hoss in Sam Shepard's Off-Broadway hit Tooth of Crime in its 1973 New York premiere. Three years later he co-founded the avant-garde theatrical troupe, The Wooster Group with Willem Dafoe. It was this period in the late '70s, when he was performing in Manhattan's underground theater circles, did Gray carve out his niche as a skilled monologist. His first formal monologue was about his childhood Sex and Death to the Age 14, performed at the Performing Garage in Manhattan in 1979; next came his adventures as a young university student Booze, Cars and College Girls in 1980; and the following year, he dealt with his chronicles as a struggling actor, A Personal History of the American Theater. These productions were all critical successes, and Gray soon became the darling of a small cult as his harrowing but funny takes on revealing the emotional and psychological cracks in his life brought some fresh air to the genre of performance art. Although acting in small parts in film since the '70s, it wasn't until he garnered a role in The Killing Fields (1984), that he began to gain more prominent exposure. His experiences making The Killing Fields formed the basis of his one-man stage show Swimming to Cambodia which premiered on Off-Broadway in 1985. Both haunting and humorous, the plainsong sincerity of his performance exuded a raw immediacy and fragile power. Gray managed to relate his personal turmoil to larger issues of morality throughout the play, including absurdities in filmmaking, prostitution in Bangkok (where the movie was shot), and the genocidal reign of the Pol Pot. Gray won an Obie Award - the Off-Broadway's equivalent to the Tony Award - for his performance and two years later, his play was adapted by Jonathan Demme onto film, further broadening his acceptance as a unique and vital artistic talent. After the success of Swimming to Cambodia, Gray found some work in the mainstream: Bette Midler's fiance in Beaches (1988), a regular part for one season as Fran Drescher's therapist in the CBS sitcom The Nanny (1989-90), a sardonic editor in Ron Howard's underrated comedy The Paper (1994), and a recent appearance as a doctor in Meg Ryan's romantic farce Kate & Leopold (2001). He also had two more of his monologues adapted to film: Monster in a Box (1992) and Gray's Anatomy (1996). Both films were further meditations on life and death done with the kind of biting personal wit that was the charming trademark of Gray. His life took a sudden downturn when he suffered a frightening head-on car crash during a 2001 vacation in Ireland to celebrate his 60th birthday. He suffered a cracked skull, a broken hip and nerve damage to one foot and although he recovered physically, the incident left him traumatized. He tried jumping from a bridge near his Long Island home in October 2002. Family members, fearing for his safety, and well aware of his family history of mental illness (his mother committed suicide in 1967) convinced him to seek treatment in a Connecticut psychiatric hospital the following month. Sadly, despite his release, Gary's mental outlook did not improve. He was last seen leaving his Manhattan apartment on January 10, and witnesses had reported a man fitting Gray's description look despondent and upset on the Staten Island Ferry that evening. He is survived by his spouse Kathleen Russo; two sons, Forrest and Theo; Russo's daughter from a previous relationship, Marissa; and two brothers, Rockwell and Channing. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 10, 1986

Released in United States October 24, 1986

Released in United States August 1986

Released in United States October 4, 1986

Released in United States October 25, 1989

Shown at Edinburgh Festival August 1986.

Shown at New York Film Festival October 4, 1986.

Shown at Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (Tribute to Edward Pressman) October 25, 1989.

Began shooting September 30, 1985.

Released in United States Fall October 10, 1986

Released in United States October 24, 1986 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States August 1986 (Shown at Edinburgh Festival August 1986.)

Released in United States October 4, 1986 (Shown at New York Film Festival October 4, 1986.)

Released in United States October 25, 1989 (Shown at Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (Tribute to Edward Pressman) October 25, 1989.)