Table for Five (1983)

Table for Five (1983)

Taglines: He wants a second chance to love his children… but someone else has taken his place.

J. P. Tannen takes his three children for a vacation cruise. They usually live with their mother and step-father, but now J. P. feels capable of taking them. Emotional tragedy strikes, causing battles parent against parent, and parent against child. J. P. tries to show his children that he loves them.

Table for Five is a 1983 American theatrical dramatic film, starring Jon Voight, Richard Crenna, Marie-Christine Barrault, Millie Perkins, Roxana Zal, Robby Kiger, Maria O’Brien and Moria Turner.

About the Story

J.P. Tannen (Voight) is a former professional golfer residing in California. He is estranged from his three children, who live in New York with their mother Kathleen (Millie Perkins) and stepfather, attorney Mitchell (Crenna). In an effort to re-enter their lives, Tannen decides to take them on a Mediterranean cruise. Tannen, who still has feelings for Kathleen, wants her to believe he’s a changed man, but she’s not convinced.

On the cruise, Tannen is distracted by the prospect of picking up women, including French archaeologist Marie (Marie-Christine Barrault), often leaving the kids to fend for themselves for entertainment. He reserves a table for five in the dining room, secretly expecting to find an adult female companion for the fifth chair.

Youngest son Truman-Paul (Robby Kiger) has a learning disability, which Tannen impatiently pushes him to overcome. Adopted oldest son Trung (Son Hoang Bui) is caught stealing food from the ship’s galley and trying to order drinks with a phony ID. Their sister Tilde (Roxana Zal) is a sensible and sensitive girl, but much too young to act as a parental influence to the boys.

Tannen begins to feel he can’t function as a traditional father, so he suggests that the kids think of him as a “friend,” even calling him “J.P.” The trip temporarily gets back on track with the ship’s first port-of-call, Rome. The family has fun together and Marie is impressed by what she witnesses of Tannen as a caring parent.

But while en route to their next stop, Athens, Tannen receives devastating news. Kathleen has been killed in a car accident in New York while taking the family dog to the vet. Grief-stricken, he is met in Athens by the children’s stepfather, Mitchell, who explains that he went ahead and buried Kathleen, then flew to Europe to escort the children home, where a memorial service would later be held.

Table for Five Movie Poster (1983)

Table for Five (1983)

Directed by: Robert Lieberman
Starring: Jon Voight, Richard Crenna, Marie-Christine Barrault, Millie Perkins, Roxana Zal, Robby Kiger, Maria O’Brien, Moria Turner
Screenplay by: David Seltzer
Production Design by: Robert F. Boyle
Cinematography by: Vilmos Zsigmond
Film Editing by: Michael Kahn
Costume Design by: Vicki Sánchez
Set Decoration by: Arthur Jeph Parker
Art Direction by: Norman Newberry
Music by: Miles Goodman, John Morris
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: February 18, 1983