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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Danny Huston|
|Produced by||John Huston|
|Screenplay by||John Huston|
|Based on||Theophilus North|
by Thornton Wilder
|Music by||David McHugh|
|Edited by||Roberto Silvi|
Heritage Entertainment Inc.
Showcase Productions International
|Distributed by||The Samuel Goldwyn Company|
In 1920s Newport, Rhode Island, Theophilus North (Anthony Edwards) is an engaging, multi-talented, middle-class Yale graduate who spends the summer catering to the wealthy families of the city. He becomes the confidant of James McHenry Bosworth (Robert Mitchum), and a tutor and tennis coach to the families' children. He also befriends many from the city's servant class including Henry Simmons (Harry Dean Stanton), Amelia Cranston (Lauren Bacall), and Sally Boffin (Virginia Madsen).
Complications arise when some residents begin to ascribe healing powers to the static electricity shocks that Mr. North happens to generate frequently. Despite never claiming any healing or medical abilities, he is accused of quackery, and must, with the help of those he has befriended, defend himself.
In the end, Mr. North accepts a position of leadership at an educational and philosophical academy founded by Mr. Bosworth, and begins a romance with Bosworth's granddaughter Persis.
Director Danny Huston brought the original script by James Costigan to his father for feedback, and John Huston rewrote it with his Prizzi's Honor coauthor Janet Roach. Eugene Lee was the Production Designer.
Originally John Huston was to play James McHenry Bosworth; but just after filming began, the illness that eventually killed him forced his withdrawal. He was quickly replaced by family friend Robert Mitchum.