Gunn (1967)

94-95 mins | Mystery | 28 June 1967

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HISTORY

Gunn was based on the television series Peter Gunn, created by writer-director Blake Edwards, which aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network from Sep 1958 to Sep 1960, and on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network from Oct 1960 to Sep 1961. Feature film rights were first acquired by Official Films, whose vice-president, Bob Blees, discussed with the star of the television series, Craig Stevens, the possibility of reprising his role in the movie version, according to a 14 Jul 1965 Var brief. The 28 Mar 1966 LAT later reported that Blake Edwards would produce the film for Paramount Pictures, with whom he had just signed a four-picture deal. Edwards envisioned the project as the start of a series in the vein of the “James Bond” pictures, as noted in various sources including the 7 Oct 1966 DV. He did not plan to re-use the Peter Gunn title, and instead suggested The Murder Bag to Paramount, but the studio insisted on simply shortening it to Gunn, the 29 Mar 1967 DV noted. A budget of $1.5 million was set, according to the 5 Dec 1966 DV. Craig Stevens was promised a percentage of the profits in addition to his salary.
       Although an item in the 11 Apr 1966 DV stated that Boris Sagal was “on call to direct,” the 17 Apr 1966 NYT named Edwards as director and William Bowers as the screenwriter. Three months later, the 18 Jul 1966 DV announced that William Friedkin would direct. However, Friedkin soon left ... More Less

Gunn was based on the television series Peter Gunn, created by writer-director Blake Edwards, which aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network from Sep 1958 to Sep 1960, and on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network from Oct 1960 to Sep 1961. Feature film rights were first acquired by Official Films, whose vice-president, Bob Blees, discussed with the star of the television series, Craig Stevens, the possibility of reprising his role in the movie version, according to a 14 Jul 1965 Var brief. The 28 Mar 1966 LAT later reported that Blake Edwards would produce the film for Paramount Pictures, with whom he had just signed a four-picture deal. Edwards envisioned the project as the start of a series in the vein of the “James Bond” pictures, as noted in various sources including the 7 Oct 1966 DV. He did not plan to re-use the Peter Gunn title, and instead suggested The Murder Bag to Paramount, but the studio insisted on simply shortening it to Gunn, the 29 Mar 1967 DV noted. A budget of $1.5 million was set, according to the 5 Dec 1966 DV. Craig Stevens was promised a percentage of the profits in addition to his salary.
       Although an item in the 11 Apr 1966 DV stated that Boris Sagal was “on call to direct,” the 17 Apr 1966 NYT named Edwards as director and William Bowers as the screenwriter. Three months later, the 18 Jul 1966 DV announced that William Friedkin would direct. However, Friedkin soon left the project over creative differences. He was quoted in the 1 Nov 1966 DV as saying, “Blake Edwards is ‘Peter Gunn’ and he should direct it.” DV added that the split was amicable. Edwards, along with co-writer William Peter Blatty, also took over script writing duties from William Bowers.
       The role of “Samantha” was first filled by June Fairchild, a former go-go dancer at the Sunset Strip nightclub Gazzarri’s, who was set to make her feature film debut, the 14 Nov 1966 DV announced. However, a 21 Dec 1966 Var brief indicated that Fairchild was injured during production and had to be replaced by Sherry Jackson.
       An 18 Nov 1966 DV production chart noted that filming began on 14 Nov 1966. Location shooting was done in Los Angeles, CA, where one sequence was staged on a handball court at the Westside Jewish Community Center. Following the completion of principal photography in early 1967, a day of re-shoots took place on 25 Apr 1967, according to that day’s DV. The scene to be re-shot, showing Sherry Jackson in a “skimpy baby doll nightie,” was considered too racy by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which threatened to withhold a Production Code seal if no change was made.
       Lola Albright, who had originated the role of “Edie” in the Peter Gunn television series, had wanted to reprise her role in the film, as stated in a 26 Jul 1967 interview with LAT. However, when she was not cast early in the process, she gave up hope and took a part in The Way West (1967, see entry). Edwards subsequently offered it to her but she was unavailable. Larry Dobkin was also offered a part, according to the 4 Oct 1966 DV, and the following actors and actresses were identified as cast members in items published in LAT between Nov 1966 and Jan 1967: Jim Halbroeder; Bruce Jacobs; Martha Friedrich; Joni Webster; Walter Maslow; Jack Bernardi; George Sawaya; and Bill Bennett, a Minneapolis, MN, disc jockey who was set to make his motion picture debut.
       Henry Mancini, who had composed the score for the television series and incorporated its main theme into the film score, performed as a piano player in a bordello sequence, as noted in a 15 Dec 1966 DV item. Appearing as a band in nightclub sequences was the real-life band The Gordian Knot; an item in the 22 Dec 1966 DV identified the band members as Jim Weatherly, Pat Kincade, Leland Russell, J.D. Lobue, and Dulin Lancaster. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1966
p. 7.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1966
p. 1.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1966
p. 13.
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
4 Oct 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
7 Oct 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Nov 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1966
p. 10.
Daily Variety
28 Nov 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1966
p. 7.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1966
p. 10.
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Jan 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
29 Mar 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1967
p. 1.
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1967
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1966
Section C, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
28 Nov 1966
Section C, p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jan 1967
Section C, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jan 1967
p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jul 1967
Section D, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
30 Aug 1967
Section D, p. 11.
New York Times
17 Apr 1966.
---
New York Times
29 Jun 1967.
---
Variety
14 Jul 1965
p. 31.
Variety
30 Mar 1966
p. 11.
Variety
21 Dec 1966
p. 61.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Blake Edwards Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the television series Peter Gunn created by Blake Edwards (NBC, 22 Sep 1958--Sep 1960
ABC, Oct 1960--25 Sep 1961).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"I Like the Look," words and music by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse
"Dreamsville," words and music by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
all songs sung by Laura Devon.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Peter Gunn
The Murder Bag
Release Date:
28 June 1967
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 Jun 1967; Los Angeles opening: week of 30 Aug 1967
Production Date:
began 14 Nov 1966; re-shoots on 25 Apr 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Geoffrey Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 June 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34616
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
94-95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While attending the funeral of gang czar Julio Scarlotti, private detective Peter Gunn meets the murdered gangster's likely successor, Nick Fusco. That evening, Gunn visits his girl friend, Edie, who is a singer at Mother's waterfront nightclub, and learns that Fusco has upped protection rates to fifty percent of the "take." And Daisy Jane, the owner of an elegant bordello anchored in mid-river, has a similar complaint; convinced that Fusco was responsible for Scarlotti's killing, she offers Gunn $10,000 to prove her theory. To assist in the investigation, Gunn pays an alcoholic hobo named Tinker to see what he can learn along the waterfront. Adding to Gunn's already complicated life are the frequent appearances of Samantha, a seductive young brunette who succeeds only in provoking Edie's jealous nature. After several attempts have been made upon Gunn's life, Tinker dies from poisoning by cleaning fluid mixed with alcohol, and Mother's place is blasted by a bomb explosion. Piecing together what clues he has, Gunn's sleuthing leads him to an address belonging to one George Gethers. While searching the mirrored apartment, he is attacked by an assailant armed with a tommy gun. Gunn shoots down his would-be assassin, but before dying, the man identifies himself as Harry Ross and gives Gunn the solution to the mystery: George Gethers is actually Daisy Jane, a transvestite who hoped to eliminate Fusco by framing him for Scarlotti's death. With the case solved, Gunn is reunited with Edie when the luscious Samantha turns out to be the gang czar's daughter who had ingratiated herself with Gunn in an effort to learn the identity of her father's ... +


While attending the funeral of gang czar Julio Scarlotti, private detective Peter Gunn meets the murdered gangster's likely successor, Nick Fusco. That evening, Gunn visits his girl friend, Edie, who is a singer at Mother's waterfront nightclub, and learns that Fusco has upped protection rates to fifty percent of the "take." And Daisy Jane, the owner of an elegant bordello anchored in mid-river, has a similar complaint; convinced that Fusco was responsible for Scarlotti's killing, she offers Gunn $10,000 to prove her theory. To assist in the investigation, Gunn pays an alcoholic hobo named Tinker to see what he can learn along the waterfront. Adding to Gunn's already complicated life are the frequent appearances of Samantha, a seductive young brunette who succeeds only in provoking Edie's jealous nature. After several attempts have been made upon Gunn's life, Tinker dies from poisoning by cleaning fluid mixed with alcohol, and Mother's place is blasted by a bomb explosion. Piecing together what clues he has, Gunn's sleuthing leads him to an address belonging to one George Gethers. While searching the mirrored apartment, he is attacked by an assailant armed with a tommy gun. Gunn shoots down his would-be assassin, but before dying, the man identifies himself as Harry Ross and gives Gunn the solution to the mystery: George Gethers is actually Daisy Jane, a transvestite who hoped to eliminate Fusco by framing him for Scarlotti's death. With the case solved, Gunn is reunited with Edie when the luscious Samantha turns out to be the gang czar's daughter who had ingratiated herself with Gunn in an effort to learn the identity of her father's murderer. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.