Griffin Dunne & Amy Robinson Revisit 1985’s ‘After Hours’

February 26, 2023

Creative gold — Dunne & Robinson (Images by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

On Sunday, actor Griffin Dunne, 67, and former actor Amy Robinson, 74, appeared at NYFCC's screening of After Hours (1985), one of many classic films the two produced as creative partners.

The film was the best-attended repertory event at the Paris in recent memory.

If you've never seen the film, it was director Martin Scorsese's foray into black comedy, a film he decided to direct when his passion project — The Last Temptation of Christ — fell apart (and wouldn't return from the dead until decade's end).

In it, Dunne plays a hapless, horny yuppie who meets an alluring, Monroe-ish young woman, Rosanna Arquette (b. 1959), accepts her invitation to come all the way down to SoHo from his 91st St. apartment (it was a different era) in the middle of the night and finds himself in a Kafka-esque web of suicide, sublimated sex, coincidence, art and theft, all the while being hunted by a rabid neighborhood watch in a Mister Softee truck.

The film builds into stressful hilarity, buoyed by Dunne's performance — enhanced by his adorably "is this really happening?" furled unibrow — and thanks to a supporting cast including Teri Garr (b. 1947), Linda Fiorentino (b. 1960), Verna Bloom (1938-2019), John Heard (1946-2017), Will Patton (b. 1954), Catherine O'Hara (b. 1954), Dick Miller (1928-2019), Robert Plunket (b. circa 1940), Bronson Pinchot (b. 1959) ... hell, even Cheech (b. 1946) & Chong (b. 1938) are in this thing!

All that, and directed by Scorsese (b. 1942)!

At the Q&A, Dunne and Robinson talked at length about putting the film together, testing different endings, brought up that Scorsese's long editing process allowed Arquette's other film — Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) — to come out first and eclipse it, and more.

Watch the whole Q&A:

After, I grabbed some photos and asked Dunne to sign a still I had from Who's That Girl; see, he was in After Hours with Rosanna, who then worked with Madonna (b. 1958) in Susan, and then he worked with her in Who's That Girl (1987). Patton was also in Susan, and Robinson noted Madonna had wanted to be in After Hours! Incestuous.

I re-watched WTG a few years ago — not a terrible little screwball comedy! (Image via Warner Bros.)

At any rate, he was very sweet and signed. I miss his unibrow, but we guys tend to lose our brows as we age, a process he is otherwise doing nicely:

If you call Dunne a nepo baby, he will sic a neighborhood watch on you.

By the way, the best news all night: Robinson confirmed a Criterion Collection release is forthcoming!

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