1: Endless Love

This week, we discuss the melodramatic (and controversial) excesses of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film Endless Love. What has changed in our depiction of teen sexuality? How badly can a director misunderstand his source material? What kind of impression can Tom Cruise make in forty-five seconds?

Spoiler for the last one: it’s a lot.

Content Warnings: sexual exploitation and abuse of a child; insensitive treatment of mental illness; sexual assault; incest themes

Endless Love (1981) movie poster

Unanswered Questions:

  • What are the biggest movies to misunderstand the novels from which they were adapted?
  • Is the a negotiated reading, per Hall, which lets us connect Zeffirelli’s vision with that of Spencer?
  • The song “Endless Love” was nominated for an Academy Award, alongside “For Your Eyes Only” from the 12th James Bond film, “The First Time It Happens” from The Great Muppet Caper and “One More Hour” from Ragtime. The winner was “Arthur’s Theme” from Arthur. Did it deserve to win?

Further reading:

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Join us next time for a discussion of Harold Becker’s 1981 movie, Taps.

The Last Star In Hollywood is an independent podcast produced
by Elizabeth Rae and Alastair Stephens.

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