Directed by: Mel Damski
Written by: Noel Black
Starring: Doug McKeon as Jonathan
Kelly Prestonas Mailyn
Catherine Mary Stewart as Bunny
By Rob R.
Pre-screening memories: Every kid has a list of films they can recall that were placed near the top of their parents blacklist.
Mischief was one that was vaulted to the top upon its release.
Perhaps it was the timing. The early 1980s had saturated the screen with temptations of “t and a” and the promise of illicit thrills for the hormone-drenched males.
Or, perhaps it was this trailer…
“There’s no time like the first time,” was the end tag. Seven words the sealed the deal for my parent’s watchful eyes.
The film could have walked off with more Oscars than Titanic, but there was no way in hell their son was going to see it. They would happily accompany me to another screening of Rambo, where flesh was on display the way it was meant to be seen: sweaty, bloody and being shredded apart by shrapnel.
Throughout the years, I was able to catch pieces of the film, but never in its entirety, only through late-night,interrupted airings and watered-down made-for-TV edits.
When I was old enough to see it, it had faded from memory and was no longer help the illicit thrill that it had been for the underage version of myself.
Post-screening memories:I cannot express how wildly off the mark not only my parents were, but the entire marketing department at 20th Century Fox. For it was not the Porky’s-esque romp in raunch that it was purported to be, but possessed a tenderness uncommon for films of the era. Even today, its Wikipedia entry unfairly classifies this as a “teen comedy,” noted for a “full frontal” by one of its female stars.
Sure, as a youngster, this may have been the only mental notes I would have taken during a screening, but its grossly underselling a film that could soundly stand toe-to-toe with similar comedies at the box office today.
This crass bio unjustly lumped a film that overflows with heart, humanity, and male bonding seldom seen since.
A note about the Natsukashi‘Mischief’ podcast:We had such a great time chatting with the fim’s leads, we had to break it into two podcasts. BothDoug and Cathy were more than gracious with their time, so we had to break it up and make it a two-parter. We think their tales will make it well worth the listen.
or listen in our player below
or listen to part two in our player below
Our featured guests: Doug McKeon and Catherine Mary Stewart
Doug McKeon: Breaking into show business at an early age, McKeon had worked with the a number of industry legends before he was even old enough to graduate high school.
After starring in the soap The Edge of Night, Doug graduated to television films, in which he co-starred with Burt Young, Susan Dey and John Ritter. And for his first two cinematic projects (Night Crossing and On Golden Pond), he shared the screen with John Hurt, Jane Alexander, Jane Fonda, Kathryn Hepburn and Henry Fonda.
Mischiefwas his next big-screen role, but McKeoncontinued to share his demonstrate his talents on the small screen as well, starring as Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and co-starring with Jason Robards and Eva Marie Saint in Breaking Home Ties.
Doug has since ventured behind the camera, writing and directing the well-received The Boys of Sunset Ridge and directing the family drama Come Away Home.
Catherine Mary Stewart: If there was a cult-classic poster girl for the 80s, if Stewart did not have the crown, she was certainly in the running, starring in such beloved films as The Apple, The Last Starfighter, Night of the Comet, Dudes and Weekend at Bernies.
On television, she starred alongside Anthony Hopkins, Roddy McDowall, Candice Bergen, Angie Dickinson and Rod Steiger in the popular Jackie Collins mini-series Hollywood Wives.
Stewart continued to star in film and television in the years following, starring alongside some of the greats, but her primary focus was on raising her children. She has recently starred in the controversial The Girl Next Door and 2009’s Love N Dancing with Amy Smart and Billy Zane.
Thanks to both Doug and Catherine for lending us their time to chat about their film.