|Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon|
|Directed by||Otto Preminger|
|Screenplay by||Marjorie Kellogg|
|Based on||Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon|
by Marjorie Kellogg
|Produced by||Otto Preminger|
|Edited by||Henry Herman|
Dean O. Ball
|Music by||Philip Springer|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon is a 1970 American comedy-drama film directed and produced by Otto Preminger. The film is based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Marjorie Kellogg.
Junie Moon is a girl whose face was scarred in a vicious battery acid attack by her boyfriend Jesse. In an institution, she meets Arthur, who lives with epilepsy, and Warren, a gay paraplegic who uses a wheelchair. The trio are disabled but not down, and they decide to live together in an older, rented house, determined to help one another and to prove themselves.
Preminger acquired the screen rights to the Marjorie Kellogg novel in September 1968 prior to its October release and hired her to write a screenplay. In the book, Junie's whole face was scarred but this was changed to only one side for the film. Rehearsals for the film took place in June 1969, during which time Minnelli's mother, Judy Garland, died. Filming started in July 1969 at the Salem Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts. Filming continued until September 1969 in Massachusetts, including Hammond museum, also Naples, Florida and the following California locations: Sequoia National Park, Santa Monica Pier and the Kona Kai Club on Shelter Island, San Diego.
The scene in the cemetery where Minnelli appeared nude was filmed at the Blue Hills Cemetery in Braintree, Massachusetts and resulted in a misdemeanor complaint from family members of those buried there. A "Liza Minnelli Bill" was introduced in Massachusetts the following year with a six month prison sentence and $1,000 fine for anyone shooting in cemeteries without permission.
The film was the debut of Ken Howard and Robert Moore and the first credited role for Wayne Tippit.
The film premiered at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival on May 10, 1970. The film opened at the Beekman Theatre in New York City on July 1, 1970.
Olive Films announced that it would release Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time on August 16, 2016.
Unlike Minnelli's previous film, 1969's The Sterile Cuckoo, which was successful artistically and financially, as well as netting Minnelli an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon was a disappointment to most critics and a financial failure at the box office. Roger Ebert was one of the few critics who did not dislike the film and particularly praised the performances of Minnelli, Coco and Moore.
Ebert summed up his review:
The ending is not convincing, alas; we're never quite sure what happened to the Howard character, or why. And surely in 1970 people don't make tender speeches and then die on cue in their lover's arms. But, on balance, the movie works and tells us something about three or four good people who are trying to cope. That's enough.
Otto Preminger was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.