Magnolia Pictures, 1984 Films, Anna Purna Productions
& Fixed Point Films Productions Present
A MAGNOLIA PICTURES RELEASE MAIN STREET
A film by John Doyle
93 min., 1.85, 35mm
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From Horton Foote, Oscar winning screenwriter of To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, comes MAIN STREET, a moving ensemble drama starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Orlando Bloom, Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, and Andrew McCarthy. The lives of the residents of a small Southern city are changed forever by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown.
ABOUT THE FILM
Ellen Burstyn, Colin Firth, Patricia Clarkson, Amber Tamblyn and Orlando Bloom star with Andrew McCarthy, Tom Wopat, Margo Martindale and Victoria Clark in the film production of celebrated screenwriter Horton Foote’s final screenplay, MAIN STREET. Tony Award-winning director John Doyle (the 2004 revival of “Sweeney Todd”) makes his feature film debut, with Donald M. McAlpine (Oscar nominee for Moulin Rouge!, Predator) serving as director of photography. Other members of the creative team include production designer Christopher Nowak (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Basketball Diaries), costume designer Gary Jones (Spider-Man 2, The Talented Mr. Ripley), editor Richard Francis-Bruce (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Shawshank Redemption), and composer Patrick Doyle (Thor, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). MAIN STREET is produced by Jonah Hirsch, Megan Ellison and Spencer Silna. Adi Shankar, Douglas Saylor Jr. and Ted Schipper are the executive producers.
MAIN STREET is a contemporary drama about several residents of a small Southern city whose lives are changed by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown. In the midst of today's challenging times, each of the colorful citizens of this close-knit North Carolina community -- from its Mayor to a local police officer to a once-wealthy tobacco heiress -- will search for ways to reinvent themselves, their relationships and the very heart of their neighborhood.
Filmed entirely in Durham, North Carolina, Foote’s tale follows the intertwining stories of several Durham residents as well as newcomers which will intersect in ways none of them could ever imagine at an essential juncture in their lives. Georgiana Carr (Ellen Burstyn), one of the last members of a once-powerful Durham tobacco manufacturing family, is facing the prospect of losing her family’s mansion due to the world’s fallen economy. She desperately agrees to lease her family’s empty downtown tobacco warehouse to Gus Leroy (Colin Firth) a Texan representing a waste storage conglomerate. Prodded by her grown niece, Willa Jenkins (Patricia Clarkson), Georgiana discovers that toxic waste has been placed in her warehouse by Leroy and is guarded by a group of wary Mexican workmen. Alarmed, she calls local policeman Harris Parker (Orlando Bloom) to investigate. Parker, a local boy also studying for his law degree, is distracted by his longing for high school first love Mary Saunders (Amber Tamblyn), a young woman yearning to leave her current job in nearby Raleigh for the prospects of living in a larger city (perhaps Atlanta) after a failed affair with a married co-worker, Howard Mercer (Andrew McCarthy).
Once Leroy’s canisters of hazardous materials are discovered, their existence becomes a concern not only for Georgiana and Willa, but the town of Durham as well. Caught up in the nation’s economic downturn, every citizen will have to make this decision: “do I do what is right, or what is needed?” when Gus Leroy promises that the city could become the future site of a larger waste depository that, while enriching the town, would place all of it inhabitants in peril.
Screenwriter Horton Foote, who passed away in March, 2009 at the age of 92, completed work on this, his final screenplay, in 2008. Typical of Foote’s past film work (Tender Mercies, The Trip to Bountiful), MAIN STREETfocuses on the dreams and aspirations of everyday people, reflecting his early upbringing in the small town of Wharton, Texas. It was this love of simple folk and their beloved hometowns that led to the writer focusing on the plight of Durham, North Carolina five years before filming took place.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION A group of producers conceived of several ideas five years ago that could be brought to fruition and filmed in Durham. North Carolina had long been a center of film production, especially in the studio town of Wilmington. But with the economy shifting, the state had not been as active as it had been years before.
“We made a list of writers to approach with the task of capturing the essence of the city,” recalled producer Jonah Hirsch. “And on the top of our list was Horton Foote.”
The producers managed to convince the writer to fly to Durham and see the city for himself. “He spent a week in Durham meeting people and being taken all over town,” recalled Hallie Foote, the screenwriter’s daughter. “He was fascinated with these empty tobacco warehouses. I know he was thinking about what it would mean if someone decided to use them for something else.”
Foote connected another idea he had been struck with years ago, when his own hometown faced a threat from a former sulfur mine that had been proposed as a potential toxic storage dump by a French company. “People in Wharton went crazy,” said Hallie Foote. “The French ultimately had to give up and move on. I think my dad remembered that when looking at these immense tobacco warehouses, and this sowed a seed for the story that became MAIN STREET.”
“Within hours, Horton was at work on his screenplay, writing in his Durham hotel room,” said Jonah Hirsch. “He saw there was a very interesting story to tell about this city and its decline. His vision was ahead of its time.”
“To Mr. Foote, Durham was the embodiment of every small city in the US,” added Spencer Silna. “He envisioned what Durham once was and what it could be again. Incredibly, he was able to see the economic decline of our country many years in advance.”
The script went through many revisions. “Horton wrote new drafts of the screenplay right up until he passed away,” said Jonah Hirsch. “Probably twenty to thirty in all. He constantly revised and edited, crafting each scene in order to create his perfect script. But he was such a gentleman. He never let his stature get in the way of listening to others’ ideas.”
Foote walked around Durham, meeting as many people as he could in order to understand the rhythm and demeanor of its citizens. “I know he came to love the town,” said Hallie Foote. “He met the mayor and townspeople, and they were lovely to him. I know he felt that was totally unexpected and he was intrigued by their decency. And then he came home, staying up all night writing. I know he would be happy seeing this film being made.”
Once the script was finished the producers concentrated on finding a director and cast. John Doyle, an acclaimed British-born stage director, got the nod to guide the film.
“John was obviously familiar with Mr. Foote’s work,” said Spencer Silna. “Although, he had never directed one of his plays, John had certainly been a fan of Mr. Foote, and the themes his work explored, for many years. He was immediately intrigued by the prospect of directing this piece.”
“Horton’s story is what attracted me,” recalled John Doyle. “It is a great piece of writing. I can’t believe I have the honor of directing his last movie. This is also an actor’s film, and I love working with actors. This film had real scenes in it, with real people really speaking to one another. Other films I had been approached to direct were action films. This one, for once, was about humanity.”
With Foote’s script and Doyle’s participation assured, the producers went about attracting their dream cast. For one character, only one actress was considered: Ellen Burstyn as the lonely spinster ‘Georgiana Carr’. “As arguably the greatest living American actress of her generation, Ellen Burstyn was an obvious choice. She has the rare ability to bring a terrifying, raw quality to the characters she portrays, while remaining grounded and simple.”
Ellen Burstyn had actually played the lead in two Horton Foote plays on Broadway: “The Trip to Bountiful” and “The Death of Papa”. An Academy Award winner herself for her performance in 1975 in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and a Tony Award winner as well for “Same Time, Next Year”, the actress was pleased to be a part of Horton Foote’s most recent work. Little did she know then that it would become his final screenplay.
“I always had a lot of admiration for Horton’s works,” said Ellen Burstyn, who most recently portrayed former First Lady Barbara Bush in director Oliver Stone’s W. “I always felt he ranks with Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams as the greatest American playwrights. I didn’t know that when I signed on to this film I would be doing the last thing he wrote. I always loved his very subtle way of writing, where there is so much going on underneath the characters so there is so much to play.”
According to Hallie Foote, Burstyn’s character ‘Georgiana Carr’ would be based by the writer, in a sense, on himself. “I think she is my father,” surmised Hallie Foote. “I asked him ‘Georgiana is you, isn’t she?’ He said ‘yes’. She isn’t exactly my father, but she characterized his experience with change and letting go of things once you are older. He wrote ‘Georgiana’ as an optimist, someone who makes adjustments when their life inevitably changes and they have to move on.”
Once Ellen Burstyn and John Doyle were involved, an exciting cast was quickly assembled of actors yearning to work with both on a Horton Foote script. One of the first was British leading man, Colin Firth, who relished the idea of speaking with a Texan accent playing the enigmatic ‘Gus Leroy’.
“I liked the idea that not only would I play a Texan, but a man whose life was so full of blanks I could fill in”, said Colin Firth. “He has no mother, father or siblings, and he is divorced. He tends to stick to his sales pitch, which reveals very little about him. Also, I was quite interested that this was a Horton Foote piece even before I read it. He is responsible for some of my favorite plays and screenplays. Once Ellen was cast, it was somewhat irresistible.”
The film’s gentle plot intrigued Firth, devoid, in his mind, of so many of the clichés found in recent cinema. “It has a very powerful sense of mood and a strong sense of mystery,” explained Firth. “People’s lives are overturned by the arrival of this man from Texas. He is offering something that, on one hand, is very appealing to a town hungry for economic growth. He wants to breathe life back into their town. But he does that by bringing a form of death—hazardous waste—to them.”
This dichotomy of life and death also attracted the participation of revered actress Patricia Clarkson, an Oscar nominee herself for Pieces of April. “I think it is about the loss of a town, the loss of innocence, the loss of love and yet, rebirth,” said Patricia Clarkson. “It is a very topical subject today, with the foreclosures and the decay of towns everywhere in America. I think ‘Gus’ comes to represent a whole different world and life for my character, ‘Willa’. She had a wonderful life at some point, but lost it all along the way. I think in him she sees hope and decency, as well as redemption.”
Younger actors Orlando Bloom and Amber Tamblyn were the last to join the cast. Bloom, known for such blockbusters as Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings, was smitten with not only working with his fellow actors but by playing, for the first time, a policeman.
“I liked the idea of playing a cop,” said Orlando Bloom. “I liked doing the detailed kind of thinking about what a cop is and what he does in his daily life. I also enjoyed the craft of Horton Foote’s screenplay. When I spoke with John Doyle about the role, he described the film as a poem about people. And I liked the idea of being involved in that poem.”
Amber Tamblyn was the final piece of the casting puzzle. Very busy starring in her own television series, “The Unusuals,” she carved out some free time to play ‘Mary Saunders’, a complex Durham girl whose dreams of a new life in a big city had led her to a disappointing job and tragic love life in nearby Raleigh.
“I saw ‘Mary’ as being a parallel to ‘Georgiana’,” explained Amber Tamblyn. “Both are facing changes in their lives, but one wants to stay and the other wants to leave. She is in a place in her life where she feels she can only be happy elsewhere. But she is still in love with a very decent hometown boy, ‘Harris’, who is convinced that he wants to stay and live his life in Durham. He is comfortable with who he is, and she has yet to really discover herself.”
Experienced stage and film actors such as Andrew McCarthy, Margo Martindale, Victoria Clark, Tom Wopat and Isiah Whitlock Jr. were chosen for the film’s smaller, but just as integral, roles.
But before the film could start shooting, Horton Foote died in his sleep on March 4, 2009, at the home of daughter Hallie Foote in Connecticut at the age of 92. “I am happy he was able to write until the end,” said Hallie Foote. “He really loved writing. He never wanted to stop. I am also happy the last production he saw was a play he liked: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which I narrated. He died a week and a half later.”
Although saddened, the cast and filmmakers resolved to create MAIN STREETas a homage to Horton Foote, breathing life into his story as they believed he would have wanted them to. “I would have loved to have met Horton,” said Colin Firth. “It is sad to have come this close to having actually worked with him and to have missed at the last minute. This story needed to be kept alive, and it turned out to be a wonderful thing for us to do this final work of his with love and accuracy.”
John Doyle also missed meeting Foote face to face when a dinner had to be
re-scheduled at the last moment in New York City prior to the film’s first cast rehearsals. “I did see his most recent play on Broadway (“Dividing the Estate”) but did not really experience him until I read this new material,” said John Doyle. “The humanity of this story was so extraordinary. He has thought through so eloquently how one character’s journey affects the journey of another, yet they never meet. It is poetry, really.”
Perhaps Doyle’s biggest challenge was setting foot on a movie set for the first time in his career as a director. “I had actually been an extra when I was sixteen on a film shot in England by Billy Wilder,” said John Doyle. “But I had no idea what to expect when we rolled camera for the first time. I felt like the only person who showed up with no clothes on, because they were all speaking a technical language I could not understand. Every day was a challenge, especially those spent outdoors. As a theatre director, I have always thought of mounting a play inside the theatre box on stage. Those exterior days were much more complex for me.”
To aid the first time director in his day to day race to complete the film on time, a cadre of experienced hands was assembled: director of photography Donald M. McAlpine (Moulin Rouge!, Predator), Christopher Nowak (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Basketball Diaries), costume designer Gary Jones (Spider-Man 2, The Talented Mr. Ripley), editor Richard Francis-Bruce (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Shawshank Redemption), and composer Patrick Doyle (Thor, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
“John’s innate authority with the actors made my job easy,” said cinematographer Donald M. McAlpine. “He controlled them very firmly. You could see his stage experience shining through. I know the actors enjoyed his positive and direct approach to the material.”
Colin Firth echoed the experiences of all of his fellow actors in working under John Doyle’s expert hand. “He clearly understood the nature of storytelling, the nature of performance, the nature of using the text as a guide,” said Colin Firth. “Plus his personality is positive and engaging. I fell as long as you have that and you understand the material, you can delegate well.”
The film shot for five weeks in downtown Durham, exciting local fans with scenes that took place in the city’s core: near the central town square; among its salmon-red brick warehouses; inside several residences -- all very close to one another. Although several films had been shot in Durham (including the beloved Bull Durham in 1987), very few had been written about the city itself.
“Durham has a great deal of character,” said producer Spencer Silna. “It is a fascinating blend of natives and immigrants, with trademark buildings from its glorious past standing alongside the new structures of the Research Triangle. The city provided our production designer with a wonderful assortment of locations, which he did a fantastic job transforming into the iconic visions found in Mr. Foote’s screenplay. ‘Georgiana’s house, for example, was a working residence that Christopher had to completely redress. The red brick warehouse was one of two still standing that had not been already turned into lofts or businesses by the people of Durham. We were able to bring back some of the grandeur of this town, from an era that is gone. We were able to address its history and put some of that on the screen for posterity.”
Production designer Christopher Nowak found that the dilapidated Durham of Horton Foote’s original screenplay had, in most cases, been already gentrified by the proud residents of the city since Foote first visited five years before.
“Horton was writing at a time when Durham had been more dangerous, and, in a way, falling apart. And those things are gone. This city is vital and growing again. It is somewhat like what happens in the film: the light grows brighter for the town and its people as the story progresses,” said Christopher Nowak.
By the time filming was ended, the cast and crew had bonded closely with the city of Durham and its hundreds of fans who eagerly watched filming every day on location. For Ellen Burstyn, the finished film would hopefully echo this synergy.
“It is a movie about people and their relationships, how they affect one another,” said the Oscar-winning actress. “I hope that its audience will be able to slow down, just sit and be with other people in the theatre, and truly experience the human exchange found in Horton Foote’s story.”
“It is about a small town in America,” added director John Doyle. “It could be any small town in the western world, I suppose. I think it is about change, and whether or not any one of us can achieve it. It is a delicate film, something that is rare and beautiful – and quite universal in subject thanks to today’s global economy. This film isn’t just about America. It is about what the world is facing as well.
ABOUT THE ACTORS
ELLEN BURSTYN (Georgiana) is one of the most celebrated American leading ladies currently working in films and on stage. She won both the Tony Award (Neil Simon’s “Same Time, Next Year”) and the Academy Award (Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) in 1975, a high point in a career that spans six decades of quality performances.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, she worked as a model and actress in such classic television series as “The Jackie Gleason Show,” “The Doctors” and “Ben Casey” among many others. She made her Broadway debut in 1957 in “Fair Game”, balancing stage and television roles until making her film debut in 1964’s Goodbye, Charlie. Her breakthrough film role followed in 1971 when director Peter Bogdanovich cast her in The Last Picture Show, leading her to her first Academy Award nomination.
Many major film performances soon followed, including Oscar-nominated leads in such features as The Exorcist, Same Time, Next Year and Resurrection. She remained just as active in theatre, starring on Broadway in productions that included two written by Horton Foote: “The Trip to Bountiful” and “The Death of Papa”.
Her more recent film work includes starring roles in the features The Cemetery Club, How to Make an American Quilt, The Babysitters Club, The Spitfire Grill, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Requiem for a Dream (which earned her a fifth Oscar nomination), Greta, W and The Elephant King.
She has also authored a best-selling memoir (“Lessons in Becoming Myself”) and served as president of Actors Equity Association and artistic director of the famed Actors Studio. The holder of four honorary collegiate doctorates, she currently teaches acting at Pace University in New York City for the Actors Studio Masters Program.
She has received two Emmy Award nominations for “The People vs. Jean Harris” and “Pack of Lies” as well as starred in her own television series, “The
Ellen Burstyn Show,” in 1986. Her other television work includes the productions “The Book of Daniel,” “That’s Life” and, most recently, HBO’s “Big Love”.
COLIN FIRTH (Gus) has become one of the world’s most popular leading men thanks to his performances in such blockbusters as Mamma Mia!, Bridget Jones’ Diary , Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Pride and Prejudice. He recently won this year’s Best Actor Academy Award for The Kings Speech, after having been nominated for the award last year for A Single Man.
The British native was born into a family of college lecturers and spent much of his early childhood in Nigeria living with his missionary grandparents. He returned to England to study acting and made his stage debut in the West End production of “Another Country”, which soon led to his screen debut in the film version of the play in 1984.
Roles in such films as Circle of Friends, Valmont, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love led to his career breakthrough in Pride and Prejudice in 1996. He went on to star in such features as Love Actually, The Importance of Being Earnest, Girl with the Pearl Earring and Nanny McPhee among others.
He has hosted “Saturday Night Live” on television as well as appeared in such productions as “Born Equal”, HBO’s “Conspiracy” (for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination) and “Tumbledown”.
Active in many charities, he is a supporter of Oxfam International, an organization that fights international poverty and injustice. He is co-director of Oxfam’s “Café Progreso”, a chain of coffee bars that supports fair trade coffee growers in Ethiopia, Honduras and Indonesia.
PATRICIA CLARKSON (Willa) is one of the busiest actresses in motion pictures, most recently starring in such films as Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Phoebe in Wonderland.
Born in New Orleans, she studied acting at Louisiana State University, Fordham University and Yale School of Drama before making her stage debut in the New York production of “The House of Blue Leaves” in 1986. She soon made her film debut as ‘Mrs. Elliot Ness’ opposite Kevin Costner in director Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables in 1987. Roles followed in the films The Dead Pool, Rocket Gibraltar, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Green Mile, Everybody’s All-American, Dogville, High Art, The Station Agent, Far From Heaven and Pieces of April (for which she earned nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award).
She won the Emmy Award twice for her role in HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and appeared on Broadway in the productions “Eastern Standard”, “Maidens Prayer”, “Raised in Captivity”, “Oliver Oliver” and “Three Days of Rain” among others.
Her most recent film work also includes roles in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Married Life, Elegy, Lars and the Real Girl and Goodnight and Good Luck. She was honored in 2009 by ShoWest with its “Independent Award for Acting Excellence” and won the Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize for her work in the films Pieces of April, The Station Agent and All the Real Girls in 2003.
ORLANDO BLOOM (Harris) has starred in two of the most successful film franchises in motion picture history: The Lord of the Rings (as blond archer ‘Legolas’) and Pirates of the Caribbean (as handsome adventurer ‘Will Turner’).
A native of Canterbury, England, he performed with the National Youth Theatre in London, which led to a scholarship to train with the acclaimed British American Drama Academy as well as London’s Guildhall School of Music. He made his film debut in Wilde (with Jude Law) which led to his casting in The Lord of the Rings, chosen by director Peter Jackson.
He quickly joined the cast of director Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, leading to roles in major films such as Blackhawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, Troy and Elizabethtown as well as the sequels to both Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings.
He recently made his London West End theatre debut in the revival of David Storey’s “In Celebration” while going on to star in the recent films Ned Kelly, Haven, New York, I Love You and Sympathy for Delicious.
AMBER TAMBLYN (Mary) has found considerable success in television (the series “The Unusuals” and “Joan of Arcadia”) as well as in motion pictures (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2).
Born in Los Angeles into a show business family that includes father Russ Tamblyn, she made her debut on the daytime drama “General Hospital” at age 11. She moved into film work in such features as 10 Minutes Older, The Grudge 2 and The Ring, starring most recently in such films as Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (opposite Michael Douglas), Spring Breakdown (alongside Amy Poehler and Parker Posey) and Stephanie Daley (with Tilda Swinton).
An accomplished writer, she has published several books of poetry and is the co-founder of The Best Contemporary Poets Series and the Write Now Poetry Series, which feature unknown performance artists from around the USA.
ANDREW McCARTHY (Howard) has built his versatile career, from ‘Brat Pack’ member to “Gossip Girl”, over a prolific three decades on stage, in films and on television.
He most recently starred in and directed episodes of the television series “Lipstick Jungle” and appeared in the series “E Ring”, “Kingdom Hospital” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, as well as starred in the motion pictures The Good Guy, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Camp Hope among others.
Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, the actor attended New York University, where his studies were interrupted by his winning the lead in the film Class in 1983. He quickly became a sought after leading man, starring in such films as Heaven Help Us, St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, Less Than Zero, Fresh Horses and Weekend at Bernie’s.
He stayed active in New York theatre, starring in such plays as “A Long Day’s Journey into Night” and “Boys of Winter”. Among his other film roles are those in the films Weekend at Bernie’s 2, Year of the Gun, The Joy Luck Club, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Mulholland Falls and Standard Time.
MARGO MARTINDALE (Myrtle) has created scores of memorable performances in major roles throughout the entertainment world, on stage (a Tony Award nominee for 2004’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”), on television (from the Downey ‘foot tickler’ commercials to recent roles in “The Riches” and “Dexter”) and in films (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Hannah Montana: The Movie).
The Texas-born actress found early stage success originating the role of beauty shop operator ‘Truvy’ in Robert Harling’s first mounting of his classic play “Steel Magnolias” in New York City. She made her film debut in director Tony Scott’s Days of Thunder in 1990 and went on to appear in the films The Rocketeer, Ghosts of Mississippi, The Firm, Lorenzo’s Oil, Nobody’s Fool, Sabrina, Dead Man Walking, Practical Magic, Proof of Life, Million Dollar Baby, The Pleasure of Your Company and The Winning Season among many others.
VICTORIA CLARK (Miriam) is a renowned stage performer who has starred on Broadway in “The Light at the Piazza”, for which she won the Tony Award in 2005, as well as the plays “Titanic” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (with Matthew Broderick).
The Texas-born actress studied at Yale University before making her Broadway debut in “Sunday in the Park with George”. Her film work includes the features Cradle Will Rock, The Happening and Tickling Leo.
TOM WOPAT (Frank) is perhaps best known to American audiences as ‘Luke Duke’ of the beloved television series “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Although his early television work overshadowed his other talents, few of his fans knew he had begun his career on stage as a singer and actor in such plays as “South Pacific”, “I Love My Wife,” “The Robber Bridegroom” and “Oklahoma!”
Born in Wisconsin, he attended the University of Wisconsin before going to New York City. His success in TV led him to other careers as a recording artist as well as a television director. He recently found more success on Broadway as the star of “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Chicago” among other stage productions.
ISIAH WHITLOCK JR. (Mayor) has starred on the television series “The Wire”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “Law & Order” and “Liberty! The American Revolution” among many other productions.
The South Bend, Indiana native attended the American Conservatory of Music after graduating from Southwest State University in Minnesota. He made his television debut in a 1987 episode of “Cagney & Lacey”, followed by his film debut in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. He soon went on to appear in the films Goodfellas, Eddie, Everyone Says I Love You, The Spanish Prisoner, Pieces of April, She Hate Me, Enchanted and, most recently, Twelve.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS JOHN DOYLE (Director) has enjoyed a celebrated stage direction career that includes his winning the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his 2004 Broadway staging of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd”.
MAIN STREET is his film directorial debut. The English native trained in theatre at the University of Georgia in the United States. He created a resume of over 200 major stage productions in England, including a decade as associate director of the famed Watermill Theatre in Berkshire, England.
As a director, he has worked extensively in ‘actor/muso’ musical theatre wherein the performers accompany themselves on musical instruments as well as each other while playing their roles.
Among his many recent accomplishments are taking “Sweeney Todd” from the Watermill to the West End of London to Broadway; creating a new version of Sondheim’s “Company” at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park starring Raul Esparza and moving it to Broadway (where it won the Tony Award as Best Revival of a Musical), and staging an actor/musician version of “Mack and Mabel” in London’s West End.
Most recently, he directed Sondheim’s “Road Show” at the Public Theatre in New York City.
HORTON FOOTE (Screenwriter) is an American treasure. The Pulitzer Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter is responsible for some of the most celebrated works of fiction of his generation.
A native of Wharton, Texas, he often drew upon his memories of growing up in small town America, recalling vividly the voices and heartbreak of its decent, openhearted citizenry. Plays such as “The Young Man From Atlanta” (which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995), “The Trip to Bountiful” and the recent Broadway success “Dividing the Estate” (which earned both Foote and his daughter, actress Hallie Foote, 2009 Tony Award nominations) head a list of more than 50 plays produced within his lifetime, a span of 92 years that ended quietly with his passing on March 4, 2009.
Among his many career highlights were winning the Academy Award for Best Screenplay for his adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1962 as well as his own original screenplay for “Tender Mercies” in 1983; writing scripts for such films as “Baby, The Rain Must Fall”, “Alone”, “1918”, “On Valentine’s Day” and “Courtship”; having his play “The Chase” adapted by Lillian Hellman for its 1966 screen version starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford; winning the Emmy Award for his adaptation of William Faulkner’s “Old Man” in 1997; providing the voice of Jefferson Davis for director Ken Burns’ acclaimed PBS documentary series “The Civil War”, and, most recently, working with daughter Hallie Foote on mounting a new staging of his mammoth play cycle, “The Orphans’ Home”, at the Hartford Stage and the New York Signature Stage.
Along with his esteemed body of work, surviving him are his four children: Hallie, playwright Daisy, actor Horton Jr. and director Walter Foote.
MAIN STREETis Horton Foote’s final produced screenplay.
DONALD M. McALPINE (Cinematographer) most recently shot the box office hit X-Men Origins: Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and Ryan Reynolds.
A leading director of photography born and raised in Australia, he first acted as cinematographer on the film Gentle Strangers in 1972. He went on to lens some of the most popular films in recent times, including Moulin Rouge! (for which he received an Oscar nomination), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Time Machine and Anger Management.
Among his many other films as director of photography are Mrs. Doubtfire, Stepmom, The Edge, Romeo + Juliet, Nine Months, Clear and Present Danger, The Man Without a Face, Patriot Games, Medicine Man, Parenthood, Moon Over Parador, Predator, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, King David, Moscow on the Hudson, Breaker Morant, My Brilliant Career and Don’s Party.
CHRISTOPHER NOWAK (Production Designer) most recently created the design for the film Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and the television productions of “Exit 19” and “The Bedford Diaries”.
He began his career as an assistant art director on the mini-series “Kennedy” in 1983 and worked as a visual consultant on the series “Tales From the Darkside”. He worked as assistant art director on the film Legal Eagles and art director on Sliver, Deceived, Fort Apache: The Bronx, Coming to America, Parenthood, Green Card and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls before becoming a production designer on such films as The Basketball Diaries, The Real Blonde, The X Files and My Father the Hero among many others.
GARY JONES (Costume Designer) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for his work on The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999. Among his most recent assignments are the films Observe and Report, Underdog, Georgia Rule, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Spider-Man 2 and The Princess Diaries. Starting as an assistant costume designer in 1983 on the film Trading Places, he went on to assist on such films as Heartburn, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Postcards From the Edge, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Dave, Wolf and Love Affair before moving into costume design for the features The Mambo Kings, Sabrina, The English Patient, Primary Colors, Heartbreakers and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
CREDITS directed by JOHN DOYLE
written by HORTON FOOTE
produced by SPENCER SILNA, MEGAN ELLISON, JONAH HIRSCH
executive PRODUCERS ADI SHANKAR, DOUGLAS SAYLOR, JR., TED SCHIPPER
co-producer YVETTE BIKOFF
director of photography DONALD M. McALPINE ACS/ASC
production designer CHRISTOPHER NOWAK
edited by RICHARD FRANCIS BRUCE, A.C.E, NEIL FARRELL, TRUDY SHIP
costume designer GARY JONES
music by PATRICK DOYLE
casting by BERNARD TELSEY, CSA
WITH AMBER TAMBLYN
and ORLANDO BLOOM