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Hook (film)

Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Frank Marshall
Kathleen Kennedy
Gerald R. Molen
Screenplay by James V. Hart
Malia Scotch Marmo
Story by James V. Hart
Nick Castle
Based on Characters created 
by J. M. Barrie
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Robin Williams
Julia Roberts
Bob Hoskins
Maggie Smith
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Michael Kahn
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • December 11, 1991 (1991-12-11)
Running time
144 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[1]
Box office $300.9 million

Hook is a 1991 American Neverland in order to save his children and along the journey unknowingly reclaims his youthful spirit.

Spielberg began developing the film in the early 1980s with Walt Disney Productions and Paramount Pictures, which would have followed the storyline seen in the 1924 silent film and 1953 animated film. Peter Pan entered pre-production in 1985, but Spielberg abandoned the project. James V. Hart developed the script with director, Nick Castle and TriStar Pictures before Spielberg decided to direct in 1989. Hook was shot almost entirely on sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, and while it was a commercial success, its box office intake was lower than expected. Hook was nominated in five categories at the 64th Academy Awards. It also spawned merchandise, including video games, action figures, and comic book adaptations.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Inspiration 3.1
    • Pre-production 3.2
    • Filming 3.3
  • Soundtrack 4
  • Reception 5
    • Box office 5.1
    • Critical response 5.2
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Peter Banning is a successful corporate lawyer who spends more time at work than with his wife Moira and children Jack and Maggie. The Bannings fly to London to visit Moira's grandmother, an older Wendy Darling, to celebrate her charity work for orphans, which once included Peter. During the visit, Peter is distracted by phone calls from his office and on one occasion, shouts at his children when they interrupt him, leading Moira to throw his cellphone out of an open window. Later, while Peter, Moira, and Wendy attend a banquet ceremony hosted by Great Ormond Street Hospital, a strange presence abducts Jack and Maggie. Tootles, another of Wendy's orphans who lives at her house, informs Peter that Captain Hook took the children to Neverland. Peter dismisses Tootles' warning and calls the police instead. With no sign of the children anywhere, Wendy informs Peter that he is actually Peter Pan and that he lost his memories of Neverland when he decided to stay in London with Wendy many years ago. Once again, Peter dismisses these claims and waits for the police to find his children.

That night, Tinker Bell arrives at the house and, after trying and failing to convince Peter about Neverland, she knocks him out and carries him away. After Peter arrives in Neverland, he confronts Captain Hook, who is holding the children hostage. Hook is disgusted by Peter's adult self and becomes depressed that his foe is no longer capable of providing a good fight. Tinker Bell and Hook make a deal to give Peter three days to be trained to his former self for a climactic battle. Tinker Bell takes Peter to meet the Lost Boys, led by a new leader, Rufio. After some convincing, the boys agree to train Peter, and he begins to rediscover his sense of fun.

Meanwhile, Mr. Smee suggests to Hook that he manipulate Jack and Maggie into loving him in order to break Peter's spirit. Maggie despises Hook, but Jack begins to see Hook as a father figure. Peter witnesses Jack playing baseball with Hook, who treats him as a son, and walks off in shame. Knowing that he must learn to fly to beat Hook, Peter unsuccessfully tries to remember until he encounters his own shadow, which leads him to the old tree home of the Lost Boys. He reunites with Tinker Bell and regains the memories of his past, recalling how he fell in love with Moira as a teenager and chose to grow up. Realizing being a father is his new happy thought, Peter once again learns to fly and dons his childhood outfit.

On the third day, Peter and the Lost Boys launch an attack on the pirates. During the battle, Peter rescues Maggie and promises to be a better father to Jack. When Hook kills Rufio, Peter and Hook face off in a final duel, ending in Peter's victory. Refusing to leave honorably, Hook attacks Peter when his back is turned, but he gets swallowed up by the stuffed crocodile that once tormented him. Peter gives the lost boy Thud Butt his sword, asking him to look after the other boys. He then departs from Neverland with his children, waking up in Kensington Gardens, where he says a final goodbye to Tinker Bell.

Returning to Wendy's house, Peter reunites with his family and hands a bag of marbles to Tootles, who discovers they contain pixie dust and flies off out the window. Wendy asks Peter if his adventures are over, but Peter replies, "To live would be an awfully big adventure."




Spielberg found close personal connection to the film. The troubled relationship between Peter and his son echoed Spielberg's relationship with his father. Previous films of Spielberg that explored a dysfunctional father-son relationship included E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Peter Banning's "quest for success" paralleled Spielberg starting out as a film director and transforming into a Hollywood business magnate. [2] "I think a lot of people today are losing their imagination because they are work-driven. They are so self-involved with work and success and arriving at the next plateau that children and family almost become incidental. I have even experienced it myself when I have been on a very tough shoot and I've not seen my kids except on weekends. They ask for my time and I can't give it to them because I'm working."[3] Like Peter Banning at the beginning of Hook, Spielberg has a fear of flying. He feels that Peter Pan's "enduring quality" in the storyline is simply to fly. "Anytime anything flies, whether it's Superman, Batman, or E.T., it's got to be a tip of the hat to Peter Pan," Spielberg reflected in a 1992 interview. "Peter Pan was the first time I saw anybody fly. Before I saw Superman, before I saw Batman, and of course before I saw any superheroes, my first memory of anybody flying is in Peter Pan."[3]


J. M. Barrie considered writing a story in which Peter Pan grew up; his 1920 notes for the latest stage revival of Peter Pan included possible titles for another play: The Man Who Couldn't Grow Up or The Old Age of Peter Pan.[4] The genesis of Hook started when director Steven Spielberg's mother often read him Peter and Wendy as a bedtime story. Spielberg explained in 1985, "When I was eleven years old I actually directed the story during a school production. I have always felt like Peter Pan. I still feel like Peter Pan. It has been very hard for me to grow up, I'm a victim of the Peter Pan syndrome."[5]

In the early 1980s, Spielberg began to develop a film with

External links

  • Charles L.P. Silet (2002). The Films of Steven Spielberg. Scarecrow Press.  

Further reading

  1. ^ a b c d  
  2. ^ McBride, p. 413.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ana Maria Bahiana (March 1992). "Hook", Cinema Papers, pp. 67—69.
  4. ^  
  5. ^ McBride, p.42—43
  6. ^ a b c d McBride, p. 409.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Myra Forsberg (1988-01-10). "Spielberg at 40: The Man and the Child".  
  9. ^ a b McBride, p. 410.
  10. ^ Medavoy, Mike and Young, Josh (2002). You're Only as Good as Your Next One: 100 Great Films, 100 Good Films, and 100 for Which I Should Be Shot (p. 230). New York City: Atria Books
  11. ^ a b DVD production notes
  12. ^ a b McBride, p. 412.
  13. ^ "HOOK 2CD Set Includes ‘Over 65 minutes of Music Previously Unreleased’". JWFan. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ - John Williams"Hook".  
  15. ^ "Hook".  
  16. ^ "Pirate Movies".  
  17. ^ "1991 Domestic Totals".  
  18. ^ "1991 Worldwide Grosses".  
  19. ^ Dretzka, Gary. "Medavoy's Method." Chicago Tribune (December 8, 1996).
  20. ^ Medavoy, Mike and Young, Josh (2002). You're Only as Good as Your Next One: 100 Great Films, 100 Good Films, and 100 for Which I Should Be Shot (p. 234-235). New York City: Atria Books
  21. ^ "Hook".  
  22. ^ "Hook".  
  23. ^  
  24. ^  
  25. ^ Hal Hinson (1991-12-11). "Hook".  
  26. ^ "Hook".  
  27. ^ "Past Saturn Awards".  
  28. ^ "7th Annual Awards".  
  29. ^ "49th Golden Globe Awards".  
  30. ^ "Grammy Awards of 1991".  
  31. ^ "Twelfth Annual RAZZIE Awards".  
  32. ^ Breznican, Anthony (December 2, 2011), "Steven Spielberg: The EW Interview",  .
  33. ^ "Steven Spielberg interviewed by Kermode and Mayo". 26 January 2013. .


In 2011, Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly: "There are parts of Hook I love. I'm really proud of my work right up through Peter being hauled off in the parachute out the window, heading for Neverland. I'm a little less proud of the Neverland sequences, because I'm uncomfortable with that highly stylized world that today, of course, I would probably have done with live-action character work inside a completely digital set. But we didn't have the technology to do it then, and my imagination only went as far as building physical sets and trying to paint trees blue and red."[32] Spielberg gave a more blunt assessment in a 2013 interview on Kermode & Mayo's Film Review Show: "I wanna see Hook again because I so don't like that movie, and I'm hoping someday I'll see it again and perhaps like some of it."[33]

Hook was nominated for five categories at the 64th Academy Awards. This included Best Production Design (Norman Garwood, Garrett Lewis) (lost to Bugsy), Best Costume Design (lost to Bugsy), Best Visual Effects (lost to Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Best Makeup (lost to Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and Best Original Song ("When You're Alone", lost to Beauty and the Beast).[26] Hook lost the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film to Aladdin, in which Robin Williams co-starred,[27] while cinematographer Dean Cundey was nominated for his work by the American Society of Cinematographers.[28] Dustin Hoffman was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (lost to Robin Williams for The Fisher King).[29] John Williams was given a Grammy Award nomination for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media;[30] Julia Roberts received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress (lost to Sean Young as the dead twin in A Kiss Before Dying).[31]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 30% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 40 reviews, certifying it "Rotten", with an average rating of 4.4/10.[21] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the "failure in Hook was its inability to re-imagine the material, to find something new, fresh or urgent to do with the Peter Pan myth. Lacking that, Spielberg should simply have remade the original story, straight, for the '90s generation."[22] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine felt Hook would "only appeal to the baby boomer generation" and highly criticized the sword-fighting choreography.[23] Vincent Canby of The New York Times felt the story structure was not well balanced, feeling Spielberg depended too much on art direction.[24] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post was one of few who gave the film a positive review. Hinson elaborated on crucial themes of children, adulthood and loss of innocence. However, he observed that Spielberg "was stuck too much in a theme park world".[25]

Critical response

Spielberg, Williams and Hoffman did not take salaries for the film. Their deal called for the trio to split 40% of TriStar Pictures' gross revenues. They were to receive $20 million from the first $50 million in gross theatrical film rentals, with TriStar keeping the next $70 million in rentals before the three resumed receiving their percentage.[1] Hook was released in North America on December 11, 1991, earning $13.52 million in its opening weekend. The film went on to gross $119.65 million in North America and $181.2 million in foreign countries, accumulating a worldwide total of $300.85 million.[15] It is the fifth-highest-grossing "pirate-themed" film, behind all four films in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.[16] In North America totals, Hook was the sixth-highest-grossing film in 1991,[17] and fourth-highest-grossing worldwide.[18] While Hook ended up making a profit of $50 million for the studio, it was still declared a financial disappointment,[19] having been overshadowed by the release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and a decline in box-office receipts compared to the previous years.[20]

Box office


Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack

The original 1991 issue was released by Epic Records. In 2012, a limited edition of the soundtrack, called Hook: Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, was released by La-La Land Records and Sony Music. It contains almost the complete score with alternates and unused material. It also contains liner notes that explain the film's production and score recording.

The film score was composed and conducted by John Williams. Williams was brought in at an early stage when Spielberg was considering making the film as a musical. Accordingly, Williams wrote around eight songs for the project at this stage. The idea was later abandoned. Most of Williams's song ideas were incorporated into the instrumental score, though two songs survive as songs in the finished film: "We Don't Wanna Grow Up" and "When You're Alone", both with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

Hook: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by John Williams
Released November 26, 1991 (1991-11-26) (original)
March 27, 2012 (2012-03-27) (reissue)[13]
Length 75:18 (original)
140:34 (reissue)
Label Epic Records (original)
La-La Land Records (reissue)
John Williams chronology
Home Alone Hook JFK


Stage 27 housed the full-sized pirate ship Jolly Roger and the surrounding Pirate Wharf.[11] Industrial Light & Magic provided the visual effects sequences. This marked the beginning of Tony Swatton's career, as he was asked to make weaponry for the film. Hook was financed by Amblin Entertainment and TriStar Pictures, with TriStar distributing the film. Spielberg brought on John Napier as a "visual consultant", having been impressed with his work on Cats. The original production budget was set at $48 million, but ended up between $60–80 million.[1][12] The primary reason for the increased budget was the shooting schedule, which ran 40 days over its original 76 day schedule. Spielberg explained, "It was all my fault. I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do."[12]

By 1989, Ian Rathbone changed the title of Peter Pan to Hook, and took it from Paramount to TriStar Pictures, headed by Mike Medavoy, who was Spielberg's first talent agent. Robin Williams signed on, but Williams and Hoffman had creative differences with Castle. Medavoy saw Hook as a vehicle for Spielberg and Castle was dismissed, but paid a $500,000 settlement.[9] Dodi Fayed, who owned certain rights to make a Peter Pan film, sold his interest to TriStar in exchange for an executive producer credit.[10] Spielberg briefly worked together with Hart to rewrite the script[3] before hiring Malia Scotch Marmo to rewrite Captain Hook's dialog and Carrie Fisher for Tinker Bell's dialogue. The Writers Guild of America gave Hart and Marmo screenplay credit, while Hart and Castle were credited with the story. Fisher went uncredited. Filming began on February 19, 1991, occupying nine sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.[1] Stage 30 housed the Neverland Lost Boys playground, while Stage 10 supplied Captain Hook's ship cabin. Hidden hydraulics were installed to rock the setpiece to simulate a swaying ship, but the filmmakers found the movement distracted the dialogue, so the idea was dropped.[11]


Meanwhile, Paramount and Hart moved forward on production with Nick Castle as director. Hart began to work on a new storyline when his son, Jake, showed his family a drawing. "We asked Jake what it was and he said it was a crocodile eating Captain Hook, but that the crocodile really didn't eat him, he got away," Hart reflected. "As it happens, I had been trying to crack Peter Pan for years, but I didn't just want to do a remake. So I went, 'Wow. Hook is not dead. The crocodile is. We've all been fooled'. In 1986 our family was having dinner and Jake said, 'Daddy, did Peter Pan ever grow up?' My immediate response was, 'No, of course not'. And Jake said, 'But what if he did?' I realized that Peter did grow up, just like all of us baby boomers who are now in our forties. I patterned him after several of my friends on Wall Street, where the pirates wear three-piece suits and ride in limos."[9]

[8].Empire of the Sun, feeling he expressed his childhood and adult themes in Peter Pan In 1987, Spielberg "permanently abandoned" [6].Peter Pan, which carried similar motifs and themes with Big Around this time, Spielberg considered directing [6]. I wanted to be home as a dad."blue screens and have seven kids on wires in front of London when I had my first child," Spielberg commented. "I didn't want to go to Peter Pan With the birth of his first son Max in 1985, Spielberg decided to drop out. "I decided not to make [3].production designer in England. Elliot Scott had been hired as sound stages in 1985 for filming to begin at pre-production entered Peter Pan [6].Captain Hook already cast as Dustin Hoffman wrote the first script with James V. Hart, where Paramount Pictures The project was taken to [7]

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