The Grasshopper (1970)

R | 95 mins | Drama | 27 May 1970

Director:

Jerry Paris

Cinematographer:

Sam Leavitt

Editor:

Aaron Stell

Production Designer:

Tambi Larsen
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HISTORY

Working titles included Angel and Angel Baby. The Grasshopper was announced as the final title in the 26 Dec 1968 issue of DV.
       The project originated in the spring of 1967, when National General Pictures Corporation optioned screen rights to Mark McShane’s 1961 novel, The Passing of Evil, as reported in the 31 May 1967 Var. Joseph Sargent was initially attached to direct as part of a multiple-picture deal he made with National General, according to an announcement in the 12 Jul 1967 DV.
       An item in the 23 Aug 1967 DV stated that the screenplay adaptation by Mel Chaitlin was nearly finished. Several months later, Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson were hired to re-write the script and produce, as noted in a 21 Feb 1968 Var brief.
       The budget was cited as $1.7 million in a 6 Sep 1967 Var article. Production was scheduled to take place in London, England, beginning in Dec 1967, through National General’s British subsidiary, Carthay Center Productions. However, filming was delayed, and the following year, location shooting was moved from London to Las Vegas, NV. Don Medford, a veteran television director, was announced as Joseph Sargent’s replacement in a 29 Jan 1969 DV item. Although John Astin was considered for a co-starring role, according to the 13 May 1969 DV, he was not cast.
       Prior to the start of filming, National General moved its production headquarters from Culver City, CA, to Goldwyn Studios in Hollywood, CA. The Grasshopper was set to be its first film ... More Less

Working titles included Angel and Angel Baby. The Grasshopper was announced as the final title in the 26 Dec 1968 issue of DV.
       The project originated in the spring of 1967, when National General Pictures Corporation optioned screen rights to Mark McShane’s 1961 novel, The Passing of Evil, as reported in the 31 May 1967 Var. Joseph Sargent was initially attached to direct as part of a multiple-picture deal he made with National General, according to an announcement in the 12 Jul 1967 DV.
       An item in the 23 Aug 1967 DV stated that the screenplay adaptation by Mel Chaitlin was nearly finished. Several months later, Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson were hired to re-write the script and produce, as noted in a 21 Feb 1968 Var brief.
       The budget was cited as $1.7 million in a 6 Sep 1967 Var article. Production was scheduled to take place in London, England, beginning in Dec 1967, through National General’s British subsidiary, Carthay Center Productions. However, filming was delayed, and the following year, location shooting was moved from London to Las Vegas, NV. Don Medford, a veteran television director, was announced as Joseph Sargent’s replacement in a 29 Jan 1969 DV item. Although John Astin was considered for a co-starring role, according to the 13 May 1969 DV, he was not cast.
       Prior to the start of filming, National General moved its production headquarters from Culver City, CA, to Goldwyn Studios in Hollywood, CA. The Grasshopper was set to be its first film shot at Goldwyn after the move, as noted in the 30 Apr 1969 DV. Principal photography began there on 9 Jun 1969, according to a 27 Jun 1969 DV production chart. In the first week of Jul 1969, Jerry Paris reported to Goldwyn Studios to take over directing from Don Medford, the 9 Jul 1969 Var stated. Medford reportedly withdrew from the project over creative differences. Following his departure, director of photography Richard Kline also left, citing artistic differences and “other commitments” in a 29 Jul 1969 DV item, which announced that Sam Leavitt had replaced him. Filming moved to Las Vegas, NV, sometime that month, and the 28 Jul 1969 DV noted that cast and crew had just returned from Las Vegas to resume shooting at Goldwyn. One scene was shot on location at a bank in Beverly Hills, CA, which stayed open during filming, according to a 25 Sep 1969 Los Angeles Sentinel brief announcing the end of production.
       Prior to theatrical release, the proposed ending of the film sparked controversy, due to its depiction of an obscene two-word epithet shown in skywriting. An item in the 30 Jul 1969 DV stated that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) would give The Grasshopper an X-rating if it was not excised. The scene was kept, however, and the film was given an R-rating. The 4 Feb 1970 Var noted that, coincidentally, another movie scheduled to be released that month, Zabriskie Point (see entry), also contained a skywriting scene in which “a profane comment” was written in the sky.
       DV items published between Feb and Jun 1969 listed Maurice Suess as unit production manager, Peggy Phillips as unit publicist, and Fred Ahern as production supervisor. The following actors were listed as cast members in DV items issued between Jul and Sep 1969: Marty May; Alice Frost; Biff Elliot; Harry Holcombe; Vern Rowe; Margaret Field and Peter Forster, who were set to play “Christine Adams’s” mother and father; Bob Homel; KTLA news reporter Johnny Williams ; Ben Aliza; and Crane Jackson. On 19 Dec 1969, DV noted that Vicki Lawrence, known for her role on The Carol Burnett Show (CBS, 11 Sep 1967—29 Mar 1978), had been hired to sing Bobby Russell’s song, “Used To Be,” for the soundtrack due to be released by Buddah Records, according to the 13 Feb 1970 LAT. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1967
p. 1.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1967
p. 10.
Daily Variety
26 Dec 1968
p. 8.
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1969
p. 9.
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
13 May 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
25 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Jun 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
14 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Jul 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1969
p. 11.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1969
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
2 Sep 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1969
p. 25.
Los Angeles Sentinel
1 May 1969
Section F, p. 2.
Los Angeles Sentinel
25 Sep 1969
Section E, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
3 Feb 1969
Section H, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
26 Apr 1969
Section B, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
7 Dec 1969
Section A, p. 36.
Los Angeles Times
8 Feb 1970
Section Q, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1970
Section C, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
27 May 1970
Section E, p. 12.
New York Times
28 May 1970.
---
Variety
31 May 1967
p. 11.
Variety
31 May 1967
p. 22.
Variety
6 Sep 1967
p. 3.
Variety
21 Feb 1968
p. 13.
Variety
9 Jul 1969
p. 20.
Variety
23 Jul 1969
p. 22.
Variety
4 Feb 1970
p. 1, 61.
Variety
20 May 1970
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Bisset's ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup supv
Jacqueline Bisset's hair styles
Hair styles
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Casting
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Passing of Evil by Mark McShane (London, 1961).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"The Grasshopper," composer undetermined, sung by Bobby Russell
"As Far as I'm Concerned" and "Used to Be," words and music by Bobby Russell
"Look Again," words and music by Billy Goldenberg, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Angel
Angel Baby
Release Date:
27 May 1970
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 May 1970
Production Date:
9 June--September 1969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
182
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Bored, 19-year-old Christine Adams leaves her home in British Columbia and journeys to Los Angeles to join her old boyfriend, Eddie. Forced to hitchhike when her car breaks down in Utah, she is picked up by nightclub comedian Danny Raymond, who takes her to Las Vegas. In spite of her attraction to the city, Christine follows through with her original plan but soon becomes bored with the rather unexciting Eddie and her own mundane bank teller's job. She returns to Las Vegas, becomes a hotel showgirl, and meets such new friends as homosexual chorus boy Buck Brown, rock musician Jay Rigney, and Tommy Marcott, a black ex-football star who does promotional work for the same hotel. Christine and Tommy get married, but their happiness is marred by Tommy's realization that his job merely exploits his past. Christine accepts an invitation to the room of tycoon Rosie Dekker in the hopes that he can advance her husband's career. Dekker beats her brutally when she refuses his advances, and Tommy later retaliates by assaulting Dekker on the golf course. Christine and Tommy then move to Los Angeles and look for new jobs; but Christine tires of domesticity and writes a farewell note to her husband. As she prepares to leave, Tommy is murdered by one of Dekker's associates. Afterwards Christine begins to use drugs heavily. She returns to Las Vegas, but Dekker's blackballing prevents her from finding work, and she becomes first a high-priced call girl and then mistress to millionaire Richard Morgan, who wants to marry her. She takes up with her old friend Jay and permits him to pimp for her, in hopes of earning enough money to purchase ... +


Bored, 19-year-old Christine Adams leaves her home in British Columbia and journeys to Los Angeles to join her old boyfriend, Eddie. Forced to hitchhike when her car breaks down in Utah, she is picked up by nightclub comedian Danny Raymond, who takes her to Las Vegas. In spite of her attraction to the city, Christine follows through with her original plan but soon becomes bored with the rather unexciting Eddie and her own mundane bank teller's job. She returns to Las Vegas, becomes a hotel showgirl, and meets such new friends as homosexual chorus boy Buck Brown, rock musician Jay Rigney, and Tommy Marcott, a black ex-football star who does promotional work for the same hotel. Christine and Tommy get married, but their happiness is marred by Tommy's realization that his job merely exploits his past. Christine accepts an invitation to the room of tycoon Rosie Dekker in the hopes that he can advance her husband's career. Dekker beats her brutally when she refuses his advances, and Tommy later retaliates by assaulting Dekker on the golf course. Christine and Tommy then move to Los Angeles and look for new jobs; but Christine tires of domesticity and writes a farewell note to her husband. As she prepares to leave, Tommy is murdered by one of Dekker's associates. Afterwards Christine begins to use drugs heavily. She returns to Las Vegas, but Dekker's blackballing prevents her from finding work, and she becomes first a high-priced call girl and then mistress to millionaire Richard Morgan, who wants to marry her. She takes up with her old friend Jay and permits him to pimp for her, in hopes of earning enough money to purchase a ranch where they can live happily forever. In time, Jay absconds with their large bankroll. Now completely alone and with no hopes for the future, Christine gets stoned on marijuana and entices a skywriter to write the work "fuck" in the air. Arrested and booked by the police, Christine, now 22 years old, has the haggard, down-and-out appearance of one who has been through it all. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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