Wednesday, October 24, 2018

EP95: The Anatomy of a Movie: The story of VOLUNTEERS, starring Tom Hanks & John Candy.


It’s typical for a movie to take years to get made.  Ken takes you through the saga of VOLUNTEERS, from the initial idea to all the studios, ups and downs, production, release, and how it not only closed a theater but it closed a bowling alley as well.  Not many movies can say that!


Listen to the Hollywood & Levine podcast!

8 comments :

slgc said...

One day you should have David Isaacs as a podcast guest. We hear so many stories about the two of you from your perspective; it would be interesting hearing his take on your history, writing process, etc.

cjdahl60 said...

I enjoyed this episode very much. Near the end of the episode, you said that "Volunteers" has enjoyed a long run on multiple networks over the years and is still going strong.

Do you and David still get residuals on "Volunteers"? I'd be interested in a blog post or podcast episode describing how the creative talent gets paid for their work both initially and on an ongoing basis.

Barry in Portland said...

Great podcast. You can watch on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhOqOs5WQJ0

Joe said...

Hi Ken. Great podcast! I have a couple of Friday questions about it:

You said you couldn't be there for shooting because of "The Jewel of the Nile." In hindsight, do you wish you had been there, and do you think it would have made the movie better -- especially the scene where it was supposed to be played frenetically but was shot a lot slower?

Also, I am a big fan of John Candy. You said you loved him and he loved your script and told you not to change a word. Did you ever think of writing a script specifically for him? John Hughes wrote great parts for Candy, but otherwise it seemed like he was saddled with a lot of mediocre scripts. I would have loved to see him in another Levine-Isaacs script.

scottmc said...

This was a wonderful edition of your podcast. I liked hearing the names of the three finalists for the part that went to Rita Wilson. I also enjoyed learning that Julia Roberts is a fan of the film. Since she has worked with Tom Hanks on two films I wonder if they quoted lines from the movie while on the set. I remember two stories that you've told in the past about the film; that some people thought that you put the Coca-Cola joke in because they owned the studio that was making the film.You said that this was not true. I also remember that Tom Hanks told you that he listened to you when you were on the radio in the Bay Area.

VincentS said...

GREAT story, Ken. I've always been curious about what, if any, rewrites you and David Isaacs did on VOLUNTEERS. It's one of my favorite movies and I've met Nicholas Meyer. That was also an excellent screenwriting tutorial. Totally agree about the reading the subtitle part. I always felt that turned the movie into a cartoon and should have been cut. But I must confess it really hurts whenever I hear Tom Hanks say, "If Mr. Mee were here. Or if I were Mee." Ouch! And Long Live Ted Tuttle from Tacoma!

Mike Barer said...

I ironically, I worked with a Tom Tuttle in the early 90s in Redmond, Wa and he told me about the movie and the character. A few weeks ago on twitter, there was a Seattle topic and a Tom Tuttle chimed in. I mentioned the character, not knowing what his reaction would be and we talked about the character.

MDL1 said...

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Volunteers is one of my favorite films. Not only did I watch it during its theatrical release (thrice!) but also have owned it on VHS,laserdisc (!) and DVD. This was a very enjoyable podcast. So, um, thanks!