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Driving Miss Daisy

Theatrical movie poster
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Produced by Lili Fini Zanuck
Richard D. Zanuck
Written by Alfred Uhry
Starring Morgan Freeman
Jessica Tandy
Dan Aykroyd
Esther Rolle
Patti LuPone
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Peter James
Editing by Mark Warner
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date(s) December 15, 1989 (1989-12-15)[1]
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7.5 million
Gross revenue $145.8 million[1]

Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 film adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same title for Warner Bros. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford with Morgan Freeman reprising Hoke's role and Jessica Tandy playing Miss Daisy. The story defines Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears, and concerns. Hoke is rarely seen out of Miss Daisy's presence, although the title implies that the story is told from his perspective. Driving Miss Daisy won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Contents

Plot

It is 1948 and Mrs. ("Miss") Daisy Werthan, a 72-year-old widow, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, alone except for an African American housemaid named Idella (Rolle). After a driving mishap where her Chrysler automobile is totaled, Miss Daisy’s son Boolie (Aykroyd) tells her she will have to get a chauffeur because no insurance company will insure her. She refuses, but Boolie is determined to find her one. Meanwhile, she is stuck at home and is unable to run errands or visit friends.

Boolie finds a man named Hoke Colburn (Freeman), who had driven for a local judge until he died, and he decided to remain in the area rather than accompany the widow when she moved away.

Miss Daisy at first refuses to let Hoke drive her, going so far as to walk to the local Piggly Wiggly. It is revealed that her reluctance to be driven around is because she is embarrassed. People might think she is either too old to drive, or so well off that she can afford a driver.

Daisy comes to accept Hoke and the fact that she needs him to drive her around. Miss Daisy finds out that Hoke cannot read, so she teaches him how to read. Over the years Hoke drives Daisy in a succession of vehicles including a Hudson Commodore and a series of Cadillacs. When it became time to trade in the car for a new vehicle, Hoke often purchases the previous car and uses it as his personal vehicle.

Miss Daisy has Hoke drive her to her brother's 90th birthday party in Mobile, Alabama. Hoke reveals, during the trip, that it is the first time that he has left his home state of Georgia. During their trip from Atlanta to Mobile, Daisy realizes in several circumstances that Hoke's race affects how others treat him; her eyes are further opened to the social aspects of racial prejudice. As Daisy and Hoke spend time together, she gains appreciation for Hoke's many skills.

One day in 1963, while watching The Edge of Night in the kitchen, Idella dies. Miss Daisy is saddened because Idella was very close to her. She and her family attend the funeral, and are given a place of honor in the seating arrangements, and are the only white people in attendance.

The racism and prejudice that permeated American society during the time period in which the story takes place is explored in this movie, especially when Hoke is questioned by a pair of Alabama highway patrolmen, who make out-of-earshot comments about Miss Daisy being an "old Jew woman" and Hoke being an "old nigger". After her synagogue, The Temple, is bombed Daisy realizes that she, as a Jew, is subject to many of the same prejudices as Hoke. But in the course of the movie, American society undergoes radical changes, and Miss Daisy soon attends a dinner in which Dr. Martin Luther King gives a speech. She initially invites Boolie to the dinner, but he declines, and suggests that Miss Daisy invite Hoke. Miss Daisy does not mention the invitation to Hoke until he is driving her to the dinner.

One morning in 1971, Hoke comes to her house to find her in a confused and agitated state. He calls Boolie and tells him his mother is upset. Before her son arrives Miss Daisy tells Hoke that he's her best friend and holds his hand. Her son arranges for her to enter a retirement home.

Two years later, in 1973, the family home is sold, and Hoke has given up driving. Hoke is now 85 and Miss Daisy is 97. Boolie and Hoke meet at Miss Daisy's house one final time before the new owner takes possession, and they drive over to the retirement home to visit Miss Daisy. The movie ends on Thanksgiving with Hoke feeding Miss Daisy a piece of pie.

Awards

Academy Awards

At the 62nd Academy Awards for 1989, Driving Miss Daisy received a total of four awards from nine nominations. The four awards included: Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Tandy), Best Makeup, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The remaining five nominations included: Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Best Supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd), Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.

Driving Miss Daisy also achieved the following distinctions at the 62nd Academy Awards ceremony:

  • it is the only film based on an off Broadway production ever to win an Academy Award for Best Picture;[2]
  • it is the last Best Picture winner to date to receive a PG rating;
  • it is the last film to date (and one of only three films ever) to win Best Picture without having received a Best Director nomination;[3]and
  • Jessica Tandy, at age 80, became both the oldest winner and the oldest nominee ever in the history of the Best Actress category.[2]

Other awards

Driving Miss Daisy also won three Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor Morgan Freeman, and Best Actress Jessica Tandy) in the Comedy/Musical genre. At the 1989 Writers Guild of America Awards, the film won in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Rounding out its United States awards, the film won both Best Picture and Best Actor from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. In the United Kingdom, Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for four British Academy Film Awards, with Jessica Tandy winning in the Best Actress category.

Filming locations

Media

Soundtrack

The film's score was composed by Hans Zimmer, who won a BMI Film Music Award and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television for his work. The score was performed entirely by Zimmer, done electronically using samplers and synthesizers, and did not feature a single live instrument. There is a scene, however, in which the "Song to the Moon" from the opera Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák is heard on the car radio as sung by Gabriela Beňačková. The soundtrack was issued on Varese Sarabande.

DVD
  • U.S. release: April 30, 1997
  • Special edition: February 4, 2003

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rain Man
Academy Award for Best Picture
1989
Succeeded by
Dances With Wolves

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 film about the relationship between an elderly Southern Jewish widow and her African American chauffeur, reflecting the changing times from 1948 to 1973.

Directed by Bruce Bereford. Written by Alfred Uhry, based on his play.
The comedy that won a Pulitzer Prize. Taglines

Contents

Hoke Colburn

  • [on a pay phone calling Boolie after taking Daisy to the Piggy Wiggly] Hello, Mr. Werthan? Yeah, it's me. Guess, where I am? I jus' finished drivin' yo mama to to da store. [laughs] Oh, yeah, she flap around some, but she's all right, she in da store. Oh, Lord, she jus' looked out da window an' seen me on da phone... prob'ly gonna throw a fit right there at da chechout! You sho' right about that! Only took me six days. Same time it took the Lord to make the world! All right, 'bye now!

Boolie Werthan

  • [after Florene storms out when Katie Bell makes a mistake] Don't worry, Katie Bell, it's not quite the end of the world.

Others

Idella: [to Hoke on his first day on the job] I wouldn't be in your shoes if the Sweet Lord Jesus come down and asked me himself.
Georgia State Patrol officer #1: [watching Daisy and Hoke leave after checking them out] An old nigger and an old Jew woman takin' off down the road together... that is one sorry sight!

Dialogue

Daisy Werthan: Hoke?
Hoke Colburn: Yes'm?
Daisy Werthan: You're my best friend.
Hoke Colburn: No, go on Miss Daisy.
Daisy Werthan: No, really, you are... [takes Hoke's hand] You are.
Hoke Colburn: Yes'm.

[Hoke and Idella are walking to Daisy house and notice Boolie's car in the driveway]
Hoke Colburn: Now what do you suppose he's doin' here this early in the morning?
Idella: Dunno... can't be good, I promise you that!

[Hoke walks in, Boolie and Daisy are there to confront him about a missing can of salmon]
Hoke Colburn: Morning, Miss Daisy. I think it's gettin' ready to clear up out there! Oh, 'scuse me, Mr. Werthan!
Boolie Werthan: Hoke, I think we're gonna have to have a little talk.
Hoke Colburn: All right, sir. Just let me get outta my coat. [pauses, then turns to Daisy] Oh, Miss Daisy, yesterday, while you were out visitin', I went and ate a can of your salmon. Now, I know you said eat the left-over pork chops, but they was kinda stiff. So, I stopped at the Piggly Wiggly and got you another can. You want me just to go on and put it in the cupboard?
Daisy Werthan: [embarrased] Yes, that'll be fine... thank you, Hoke. Well, I guess I'd better get dressed now!

Daisy Werthan: Did you have the air-conditioning checked? I told you to have the air-conditioning checked.
Hoke Colburn: I had the air-conditioning checked. I don't know what for. You never allow me to turn it on
Daisy Werthan: Hush up!

Daisy Werthan: You should have let me keep my old LaSalle. It never would've behaved this way and you know it.
Boolie Werthan: Mama, cars don't behave. They are behaved upon. Fact is, you demolished that Chrysler all by yourself.
Daisy Werthan: Say what you want, I know the truth.
Boolie Werthan: The truth is, you just cost the insurance company $2,700. You're a terrible risk. Nobody's gonna issue you a policy after this.
Daisy Werthan: You're just saying that to be hateful!
Boolie Werthan: OK. I am. I'm makin' it all up. Look out there in the driveway! Every insurance company in America is out there, waving their fountain pen, trying to get you to sign up!

Boolie Werthan: How're you, Idella.
Idella: Livin'.
Boolie Werthan: Where's that vacuum cleaner I brought over here?
Idella: In the closet.
Boolie Werthan: [turning to Hoke] She won't touch it.
Idella: I would if it didn't give me a shock every time I come near it!
Boolie Werthan: It works for me!
Idella: Fine... you clean and I'll go down and run your office!

Idella: I'm goin' Miss Daisy.
Daisy Werthan: [from upstairs] Alright, Idella, see you tomorrow.
Hoke Colburn: I'm goin' too, Miss Daisy.
Daisy Werthan: Good.

[Hoke and Boolie are walking thru Daisy now vacant discussing how Hoke and Daisy have been since Daisy had to be put in the nursing home]
Boolie Werthan: I suppose you don't get out to see her very much.
Hoke Colburn: No, sir, I don't... it's hard not drivin' Miss Werthan anymore. Every now and then I takes a taxi cab, but don't too many taxi go out yonder.
Booile Werthan: I'm sure she appreciates it.
Hoke Colburn: Yes, sir. [pauses] Some days, she better than others... but then, who ain't?
[Hoke and Boolie both laugh]

[Hoke and Boolie are at the nursing home visiting Daisy. Daisy appears unwilling to speak much]
Boolie Werthan: Hoke, I thought about you the other day on the road. I saw an Avondale Milk truck.
Hoke Colburn: Is that right?
Boolie Werthan: Monster of a thing, looked to have about eighteen wheels.
Hoke Colburn: You don't say!
Boolie Werthan: I was wondering how you'd like drivin' that thing around!
Daisy Werthan: [to Boolie] Hoke came to see me, not you!
Hoke Colburn: Look like one o' her good days!
Daisy Werthan: Boolie, go charm the nurses!
Boolie Werthan: [smiling] She wants you all to herself. [to Daisy] You're a doodle, Mama.

[Hoke is trailing Daisy in the car as she walks to the supermarket]
Daisy Werthan: What are you doing?
Hoke Colburn: I'm tryin' to drive you to the store!

Daisy Werthan: [on the phone, trying to get a ride to her hair appointment] Well, I need you now, I have to be at the beauty parlor in half an hour... no, I most certainly did not know you have to call a minimum of three hours ahead! I don't know why you call yourselves a taxicab company if you can't provide taxicabs!
Idella: [in the other room, polishing a table] Why don't you call your son down at the mill? He'll send someone for you.
Daisy Werthan: That won't be necessary... I'll just cancel the appointment and fix my own hair!
Idella: Sometimes I think you ain't got the sense God gave a lemon!

Daisy Werthan: You know your letters, don't you?
Hoke Colburn: Oh yeah, yeah I know my ABCs pretty good, just can't read.
Daisy Werthan: Stop saying that, you're making me mad! If you know you're letters, you can read. You just don't know you can read.
Hoke Colburn: Ma'am?
Daisy Werthan: I taught some of the stupidest children God ever put on the face of this earth, and all of them could read well enough to find a name on a tombstone.

Hoke Colburn: Hey, there, Oscar, Junior... how you boys doin' this morning?
Oscar: How the old lady treatin' you, Hoke?
Hoke Colburn: Lord, I tell you one thing... she sho' know how to throw a fit!
[Hoke, Oscar, and Junior break out in laughter]
Daisy Werthan: What's so funny?
Hoke Colburn: Nothin', Miss Daisy. We jus' carryin' on.

Boolie Werthan: What I need is for somebody to drive my mother around.
Hoke Colburn: Well, if you don' mind my askin', sir. How come she's not hirin' for herself?
Boolie Werthan: See, it's kind of a delicate situation.
Hoke Colburn: Oh, yessir, yessir... done gone around the bend a little bit. Well, now, that'll happen as they get old...
Boolie Werthan: Oh, no, she's all there. Too-much-there is the problem!
[Hoke laughs]

Taglines

  • The comedy that won a Pulitzer Prize.
  • The funny, touching and totally irresistable story of a working relationship that became a 25-year relationship.

Main cast

Actor Role
Morgan Freeman Hoke Colburn
Jessica Tandy Daisy Werthan
Dan Akyroyd Boolie Werthan
Patti LuPone Florine Werthan
Esther Rolle Idella

External links

Wikipedia
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