The Ride Home
A Short Film by Sam Hoffman

Premiere: August 3, 2000

Palm Springs International

Short Film Festival

Running Time: 12min

Film Synopsis
| Cast | Crew | Director Bio | Press Release | Interview with the Director

* Film Synopsis *

What is it like inside a mind addled with Alzheimerís disease? "The Ride Home" exists entirely in the point-of-view of eighty year old Clara Kaufman. As her son drives her to the nursing home, Clara confuses him with his deceased father. The movie, a visual stream-of-consciousness, examines the liquid boundaries between memory and reality. Can any familial bonds cut through the haze of a failing mind?

* Cast *

John Slattery

John has appeared regularly on network hits such as Sex and the City, Law & Order, and Judging Amy. He has also done substantial feature work (Sleepers, City Hall) and starred on Broadway in Neil Simonís Laughter on the 23rd Floor. He will be seen on stage this season in the upcoming revival of Harold Pinterís Betrayal.

Elizabeth Lawrence
(Clara Age 80)

Elizabeth had an amazing twelve-year run as Myra Murdoch Sloan on All My Children. She also played Rebecca Nurse in the film version of The Crucible and Julia Robertsí mom in Sleeping with the Enemy. Her 50+ year acting career began in radio plays shortly after she served in World War II. Elizabeth passed away on June 11, 2000.

Jessica Steen

Jessica is probably best known for having been a regular on the critically acclaimed Homefront and the science fiction show Earth 2.  She also appeared in the films: Armageddon and Trial and Error.

* Director Bio *

Sam Hoffman has learned his trade from some of Americaís foremost directors. His impressive credits (listed below) include stints as an Assistant Director for Woody Allen, Nicholas Hytner, Stanley Tucci, Carl Franklin, Barry Levinson, Tim Robbins, Brian DePalma, Penny Marshall and others.

"The Ride Home" is Hoffmanís second short film and it is loosely based on his grandmotherís experience. Hoffman often lectures on film and has consulted as a guest expert on film scheduling. He lives in New York City with his wife Andrea Crane. 

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, Hoffman began work as a Production Assistant and rose through the production ranks. He has been a member of the Directorís Guild of America since 1991. 


Woody Allen Fall Project 2000 (First Assistant Director)
The Ride Home (Director/Writer)

Small Time Crooks (Reshoots First Assistant Director)

Center Stage (First Assistant Director)

Joe Gouldís Secret (First Assistant Director)

Earthly Possessions (First Assistant Director)

One True Thing (First Assistant Director)

Object of My Affection (First Assistant Director)

The Proposition (First Assistant Director)

Donnie Brasco (Second Assistant Director)

Sleepers (Second Assistant Director)

Dead Man Walking (Second Assistant Director)

Now and Then (Second Assistant Director)

Strange Days (Second 2nd Assistant Director)

Carlito's Way (Second 2nd Assistant Director)

Rudy (Second 2nd Assistant Director)

Groundhog Day (Second 2nd Assistant Director)

A League of Their Own (Second 2nd Assistant Director)

Regarding Henry (Production Assistant)

True Colors (Production Assistant)

Awakenings (Production Assistant)

She-Devil (Production Assistant)

* Crew *

Michael Steele (Producer) is an in industry veteran, with more than 20 years experience as a producer and Asst. Director. His credits include The First Wivesí
Club, In & Out, Roxanne, Return of the Jedi, Return to Paradise and Beautiful Joe.

Florian Ballhaus (Director of Photography) has operated camera for features such as Robert Redfordís forthcoming Legend of Bagger Vance, One Fine Day, Men In Black, Sleepers and Quiz Show. He has directed the photography of several German films and the upcoming Alan Rudolph project.

Sheri Bylander (Editor) edited the Cannes hit Fast Food, Fast Women. She was also the first assistant on Woody Allenís last two films Sweet and Low Down and Small Time Crooks.

Peter Rogness (Production Designer) has art directed films including The Cider House Rules (Academy Award Nomination for Production Design,) The Cradle Will Rock, Center Stage and the upcoming Pollack.

Laura Jean Shannon (Costume Design) recently designed John Favreauís debut feature Made. She also designed Niagara Niagara and the upcoming Requiem for a Dream.

Erin OíHara (Composer) has composed for Cinemax, HBO and PBS. She has a solo artist deal at Arista Records and her rendition of Down in the Valley was featured as a single on the soundtrack for Two Days in the Valley

Naomi Donne (Hair and Makeup Design) has designed makeup and/or hair for Nicole Kidman, Winona Ryder, Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sydney Pollack, Nicholas Hytner, Fred Schepisi, Stephen Frears, Lasse Halstrom and others.

Kathleen Chopin (Casting Director) - well known in New York City casting circles for feature films and television, Chopin is currently casting Ben Stillerís Zoolander and has cast Joe Gouldís Secret, Arlington Road, and Liberty Heights.

Lori Johnson (Co-ProducerlUPM) originally a commercial producer, Johnson has spent the past 8 years working on major feature films in New York City. Her credits include In Dreams, The Mirror Has Two Faces and A Perfect Murder. 






New York, NY, September 17...Sam Hoffman, one of New York's premiere First Assistant Directors, has written and directed "The Ride Home." It will screen at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival in October.

Hoffman, currently the A.D. on Woody Allen's new project, says that "The Ride Home" is based on personal experience. "My grandmother, Clara, has had Alzheimer's for several years. She experiences a memory in the same way she experiences the present, as if it is occurring at that moment. It is heartbreaking at times but also fascinating. I thought it would be interesting to try and make the film from her point of view."

The 12-minute film explores how different realities collide in Claraís failing mind. "The movie is a visual stream-of-consciousness," Hoffman says. "I tried to melt away the boundaries between memory and reality."

The film was produced by Michael Steele and photographed by Florian Ballhaus, son of legendary cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. It stars John Slattery, who recently guest starred as Sarah Jessica Parkerís love interest on "Sex in the City." Also starring is Jessica Steen, of "Home Front" fame and the late Elizabeth Lawrence, who passed away shortly after "The Ride Home" was completed. She may be best known for her role as Julia Robertís blind mother in "Sleeping with the Enemy."

"As a first A.D. I've had the opportunity to collaborate with great directors, watch them work with actors, and help execute their movies," says Hoffman. "I can't think of any better education for a young director."

In addition to Woody Allen, other directors Hoffman has assisted include: Stanley Tucci, Carl Franklin, Nicholas Hytner, Barry Levinson, Brian DePalma, Tim Robbins, James Lapine and Mike Newell.

For more information please contact Andrea Crane at


Film Synopsis
| Cast | Crew | Director Bio | Press Release

Last update:
August 26, 2002 7:57 PM