Oliver's Story is a 1978 American romantic drama film and a sequel to Love Story (1970) based on a novel by Erich Segal published a year earlier. It was directed by John Korty and again starred Ryan O'Neal, this time opposite Candice Bergen. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge and Francis Lai. It was released by Paramount Pictures on December 15, 1978.
This film's promotional tagline is: "It takes someone very special to help you forget someone very special."
Oliver Barrett IV is emotionally devastated by the death of his young wife Jenny, who succumbed to leukemia. As he tries to lose himself in his work as a lawyer, the long hours don't ease his pain, especially when he finds that his leftist views conflict with those of the senior partners at the firm.
Oliver's inconsolable grief begins to alienate those around him, at least until he finds new love with Marcie Bonwit, the wealthy and beautiful heiress to the Bonwit Teller fortune. Despite his affection for her, Oliver finds it difficult to leave the memory of Jenny behind, which causes many problems in their relationship, even as he concurrently begins a reconciliation with his autocratic father. Though Oliver and Marcie eventually part, Oliver and his father reconcile when both men discover things they never knew about each other.
A number of scenes were filmed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Stanley Woolen Mill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and other locations in that community were used for this film. Oliver's law offices were those occupied at the time by the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. The Bonwit Teller store in Eastchester, N.Y. was also used as a shoot location.Ryan O'Neal – Oliver Barrett IVCandice Bergen – Marcie BonwitNicola Pagett – Joanna StoneEd Binns – Phil CavilleriBenson Fong – John HsiangCharles Haid – Stephen SimpsonKenneth McMillan – Jamie FrancisRay Milland – Oliver Barrett IIIJosef Sommer – Dr. DienhartSully Boyar – Mr. GentilanoSwoosie Kurtz – Gwen SimpsonMeg Mundy – Mrs. BarrettBeatrice Winde – Waltereen
Ryan O'Neal was offered a reported $3 million for his role. He originally turned it down, saying he was unhappy with the script. "It was just a rehash of the book, which hadn't interested me," he said. "I just don't think Segal did a good job of catching him. Oliver is a real hard guy to follow."
He changed his mind after director John Korty rewrote the script. O'Neal says he was paid less than $3 million, although he received $1 million up front and a share of the profits.
O'Neal says that Candice Bergen was reluctant to appear in the film and he had to persuade her by giving her one of his points in the film.
John Marley did not reprise his role as Ali MacGraw's father from the original. He and Paramount had come to terms on money but not billing; he was replaced by Edward Binns.
Unlike the original film, Oliver's Story was poorly reviewed and was not successful at the box office. The film currently holds a 20% "Rotten" rating with an average score of 4.1/10 at Rotten Tomatoes.
O'Neal thought a major reason behind the film's failure was the fact the character played by Nicola Pagett was cut out of the last third.
Oliver's Story Soundtrack was released on vinyl and cassette tape by ABC Records in December 1978.
Side 1:"Prologue" – Francis Lai (1:58)"Theme from Love Story" – Francis Lai (2:06)"Love Theme from Oliver's Story (Oliver's Theme)" – Francis Lai (2:12)"Night Drive to Cambridge" – Lee Holdridge (4:35)"Oliver's Childhood Room" – Lee Holdridge (1:25)"Love at the Red Apple (Oliver's Theme)" – Francis Lai (3:51)
Side 2:"Love Theme From Oliver's Story (Oliver's Theme)" – Francis Lai (3:02)"Hong Kong Park" – Lee Holdridge (0:53)"Tentative Feelings (Oliver's Theme)" – Francis Lai, Lee Holdridge (1:59)"Tennis, Jogging, and Singles Bars (Oliver's Theme)" – Francis Lai, Lee Holdridge (2:14)"Montage of Moments" – Francis Lai, Lee Holdridge (5:40)