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Falling from Grace (1992) More at IMDbPro »

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Writer (WGA):
Larry McMurtry (written by)
View company contact information for Falling from Grace on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 February 1992 (USA) See more »
Rock singer John Mellencamp makes his screen and directorial debut in this story by "Lonesome Dove" author... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
As real a movie as I've ever seen. See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

John Mellencamp ... Bud Parks

Mariel Hemingway ... Alice Parks

Claude Akins ... Speck Parks

Dub Taylor ... Grandpa Parks

Kay Lenz ... P.J. Parks
Larry Crane ... Ramey Parks
Kate Noonan ... Linda

Deirdre O'Connell ... Sally Cutler

John Prine ... Mitch Cutler

Brent Huff ... Parker Parks
Joanne Jacobson ... Marian Parks
Tracy Cowles ... Bobby Tucker
Melissa Ann Hackman ... Terri Jo Parks
Mary Tom Crain ... Grandma Parks
Sigmund Balaban ... Country Club Manager
Gary Boebinger ... Turdis
Toby Myers ... Luke
Margie Hopper ... Mrs. Pendergrass
Donna Cowles ... Mrs. Sacks
Elizabeth Anne Bowen ... Checker Girl
Hilda Marie Bolden ... Checker Girl
Edna Ryan Booker ... Mrs. Green
Matthew J. Correll ... Parking Attendant
Mary Cowles ... Waitress
Thomas Judd ... P.J.'s Child
Aaron White ... P.J.'s Child
Eric White ... P.J.'s Child
Terra Cowles ... Sally's Child
Derek Davis ... Sally's Child
Bentley Austin ... Pure Jam Band

Craig Austin ... Pure Jam Band
Eric Austin ... Pure Jam Band
Glenn Dalton ... Pure Jam Band

Directed by
John Mellencamp 
Writing credits
Larry McMurtry (written by)

Produced by
Fay Greene .... line producer
Richard Mellencamp .... associate producer
Harry Sandler .... producer
Original Music by
John Mellencamp 
Cinematography by
Victor Hammer 
Film Editing by
Dennis Virkler 
Production Design by
George Costello 
Art Direction by
Todd Hatfield 
Set Decoration by
Sandi Cook 
Makeup Department
Angela Nogaro .... hair stylist
Angela Nogaro .... makeup artist
Elizabeth S. Tieman .... assistant hair stylist
Production Management
Charles S. Carroll .... production manager: second unit
Greg Malone .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Curtis .... first assistant director
Holly Fraser .... second assistant director
Art Department
David C. Engelking .... property master
Douglas Meyer .... assistant property master
Eric Miller .... swing gang
David Pirinelli .... art department production assistant
Sound Department
James Borgardt .... adr editor
Jim Borgardt .... adr supervisor
Joaquin Elizalde .... foley editor
Stanley Kastner .... sound re-recording mixer (as Stan Kastner)
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Karnig Mahakian .... sound effects editor
Kevin O'Connell .... sound re-recording mixer
Jerry Pirozzi .... assistant sound editor
Drew Ponder .... boom operator
Charleen Richards .... adr mixer
Don Scales .... production sound mixer
David A. Whittaker .... dialogue editor
Jay Wilkinson .... supervising sound editor
Special Effects by
Drew Jiritano .... special effects
Eddie Hice .... stunts
William T. Lane .... stunt coordinator
Matthew Taylor .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Ben Beaird .... key grip
Carter Campbell .... second electric
Jeff Case .... dolly grip
Michael A. FauntLeRoy .... first assistant camera
Jon Gerard .... assistant camera: second unit
Keith A. Hall .... assistant camera: second unit
Marc Hauser .... still photographer
Robert C. Holstein .... assistant camera: second unit
Karl Hall Koch .... gaffer
Mark La Bonge .... assistant camera: second unit
Robert LaBonge .... camera operator (as Robert La Bonge)
Jerry Layton .... video assist operator (as Layton Video Systems)
Jeff Lint .... best boy electric
Marc Margulies .... assistant camera: second unit
Wayne Maser .... still photographer
Danny McDermott .... dolly grip
Danny McDermott .... grip
David Morenz .... assistant camera: second unit
Edward Morey III .... assistant camera: second unit
Randy Nolen .... assistant camera: second unit
Arnaud Peiny .... company grip
Thomas Pielemeier .... grip
Craig Somers .... assistant camera: second unit
Neil Toussaint .... second assistant camera
Joseph F. Valentine .... Steadicam operator: second unit
Thom Zimmerman .... assistant camera: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kathy Spencer Ankelein .... wardrobe
Debbie Burns .... wardrobe assistant
Clark Foster .... costumer
Julie Weiss .... costume: Ms. Hemingway
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Rolf Fleischmann .... first assistant editor
Deborah Keefer .... apprentice editor
Ray Martin .... color timer
Tara Timpone .... assistant editor
Music Department
John Mellencamp .... music producer
Transportation Department
Rick Fettig .... transportation coordinator
Bruce Wilds .... transportation captain
Other crew
Ron Burrus .... dialogue coach
Jan Clark .... production accountant
Janice Clark .... production accountant
George Corsillo .... title designer
Rosemarie DiPaola .... production assistant
Diana Dupuis .... production assistant
Diane Durant .... script supervisor
Courtney Durham .... production assistant
Tim Elsner .... production accountant: Little b
Diana Greenberg .... production assistant
Anna Harper .... production coordinator
Todd Kiel .... wrangler
Jonathan Leffel .... production assistant
Lolly Mahaney .... craft service
Eric 'Erc' Miller .... production assistant
Kyle Mims .... production assistant
Christopher Moreman .... production assistant
Tom Morrison .... wrangler
David Pirinelli .... production assistant
Cathy Shoemaker .... assistant: Mr. Sandler
Jeff Skora .... location manager
Joel S. Tieman .... wrangler
Tony Tingle .... assistant: Mr. Mellencamp
Richard Trezona .... dog trainer
Donna F. Vissing .... craft service

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

All the Best (acoustic version)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
As real a movie as I've ever seen., 18 July 2008
Author: leczorn ( from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Despite being a lifelong Hoosier and having grown up on the rock music of the '80s, I have never been a John Mellencamp fan. But I liked the clips I saw of his 1992 movie "Falling from Grace" back around the time of its short and very small theatrical release. I missed it at the theaters but got the DVD recently. Having now watched it twice, I already rate it as one of my all time favorites and as real a movie as I've ever seen.

"Falling from Grace" stars Mellencamp – who also directed - as music superstar Bud Parks. Along with his wife, Alice (played by Mariel Hemingway), and their approximately eight-year old daughter, Terri Jo (Melissa Ann Hackman), Bud flies from Los Angeles to his fictional hometown, Doak City, Indiana, for his paternal grandfather's 80th birthday. Grandpa Parks (Dub Taylor), who remains girl crazy despite his age and the accompanying ailments, and being married, provides some early comic relief with his crude but jolly personality. But the movie quickly becomes very serious and stays so almost the entire rest of the way.

Bud receives a hero's welcome from family and fans. But what is supposed to be just a three day visit of fun turns into something much more. The night of the party, his high school sweetheart and now sister-in-law, P.J. (Kay Lenz), invites him out on a walk, which is met with curious suspicion by his father, Speck (Claude Aikins). During the walk, P.J. says she has sex with Speck, which is met with shock and disapproval by Bud.

Speck, a successful poultry farmer, is shown early on to be a chauvinistic and dominating womanizer. He fathered an illegitimate son but his wife, Marian (Joanne Jacobson), stayed with him. Speck refers to himself as a sire and the women who bore his children as fillies. And as the movie progresses, he's continually revealed to be even more dominating, violent, exploitive and shameless.

Bud and Alice seem to have a good marriage and she is clearly very devoted to him. But shortly after learning of P.J.'s affair with Speck, Bud has sex with her, too. P.J. seems to view her sexual encounters as conquests and take pride in simultaneously having three Parks men as lovers. She also seems to view her promiscuity, and the need to keep it secret, as a source of excitement for a housewife and mother who resides in what she considers to be a boring town.

Soon, the three days turn into several weeks. Bud's feelings of both love and lust for P.J. are rekindled and he neglects Alice. And, already disillusioned by the music business and thinking about leaving it, he realizes that he's a small town man at heart and wants to stay in Doak City, where many of his relatives still reside. His anger toward his father – over Speck's affair with P.J., sexual advance at Alice and lack of fatherly support over the years - also escalates.

Meanwhile, California bred Alice continues to love her husband but quickly becomes tired of small town life and his neglect. She suspects that he's cheating on her, which he doesn't deny. She decides to return to California with Terri Jo.

Shortly after Alice leaves, Bud tries to get P.J. back as the woman of his life. She reveals that she wanted that many years earlier but that he wouldn't make a commitment and it's too late now.

In response, Bud turns to the wild and reckless ways of his youth. And, as is often the case because of bad old human nature, it takes a traumatic and humbling experience to remind him what's most important in his life.

One mistake that rock star movies often make is turning the movie into little more than a music video. "Falling from Grace" completely avoids that trap. Throughout the movie, Bud is never shown in concert. And only in one brief scene on his father's porch is he shown playing guitar. And most of the music in the movie is performed by other artists. If you saw this movie and didn't know who Mellencamp was, you'd probably guess that he's a regular actor, not a musician.

Furthermore, a vast majority of the situations in the movie could easily happen to anyone in mid-America, not just someone famous. As I wrote above, this is as real a movie as I've ever seen. Every word of Larry McMurtry's screenplay, every character, every situation is completely believable and brought out to the fullest by Mellencamp's uncompromising direction.

Some might downplay Mellencamp's performance, saying that he is largely playing himself. And, indeed, he and Bud are very similar. Both are crass, cynical, modestly educated but very street smart, and bluntly honest. Two differences are that Bud is less arrogant – perhaps the result of having such a dominating father – and much better about signing autographs than is Mellencamp.

Still, even with the similarities, Mellencamp is outstanding in his role as is most of the cast. In particular, Aikins is chilling as the predator behind the smile is gradually revealed.

And to top it off, small town Indiana culture is portrayed with absolute perfection, right down to every detail – the accents, figures of speech, personalities, values, scenery and more. This movie was filmed in Seymour, Indiana, Mellencamp's hometown. I grew up in Madison, a similar town just 43 miles away. Every character in the movie reminds me strongly of people who I knew during my childhood.

Those who aren't very experienced with Indiana culture probably won't appreciate "Falling from Grace" stylistically as much as I do. But anyone with much life experience should appreciate it substantively. What a shame that this movie has gotten so little publicity over the years and that it didn't start a big movie career for Mellencamp. It's a buried treasure worth searching for. 9/10.

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