The Stoolie (1974)

90 mins | Comedy-drama | 1974

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HISTORY

       A 21 Jul 1972 HR news item announced that Jackie Mason launched JaMa Productions, with plans to make five films for a total of $2.5 million over the next two years. Filming on JaMa’s first project, The Stoolie, was already complete, and the budget was listed as $675,000. A 10 Jun 1974 Box item stated that photography took place in New York City and Dade County, FL, where locales included the Parrot Jungle, Doral Beach Hotel, Vizcaya, the 36th Street Causeway, and downtown Miami. According to a 3 Jun 1974 New York review, the final scene was shot “in sequence” and directed by George Silano, as director John G. Avildsen had to leave the production to begin filming Save the Tiger (1973, see entry).
       The Stoolie marked comedian Jackie Mason’s feature film acting debut.

      The copy of this film viewed by AFI included some illegible credits, so cast and crew credits are incomplete. Singer Ann Marie’s name appears twice in the cast list. End credits include a “Special Thanks” to “Doral-On-the-Ocean, Miami Beach, ... More Less

       A 21 Jul 1972 HR news item announced that Jackie Mason launched JaMa Productions, with plans to make five films for a total of $2.5 million over the next two years. Filming on JaMa’s first project, The Stoolie, was already complete, and the budget was listed as $675,000. A 10 Jun 1974 Box item stated that photography took place in New York City and Dade County, FL, where locales included the Parrot Jungle, Doral Beach Hotel, Vizcaya, the 36th Street Causeway, and downtown Miami. According to a 3 Jun 1974 New York review, the final scene was shot “in sequence” and directed by George Silano, as director John G. Avildsen had to leave the production to begin filming Save the Tiger (1973, see entry).
       The Stoolie marked comedian Jackie Mason’s feature film acting debut.

      The copy of this film viewed by AFI included some illegible credits, so cast and crew credits are incomplete. Singer Ann Marie’s name appears twice in the cast list. End credits include a “Special Thanks” to “Doral-On-the-Ocean, Miami Beach, Fla.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Jan 1973
p. 4566.
Box Office
15 Apr 1974.
---
Box Office
10 Jun 1974.
---
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1972.
---
Films and Filming
Mar 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1972
pp. 2-3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1974.
---
New York
3 Jun 1974.
---
New York Times
22 May 1974
p. 36.
Playboy
Sep 1974.
---
Time
17 Jun 1974.
---
Variety
22 Nov 1972
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John G. Avildsen Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Addl scenes dir by
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Key grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATORS
Standby scenic
Standby scenic
COSTUMES
Mr. Mason's ward by
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Title des
Spec photog eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc coord
Scr clerk
Prod secy
Pub
Summit Publicity
Asst to the prod
Asst to prod
Casting
Cars provided for the prod by
DETAILS
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Miami Beach, FL: 12 Apr 1974; New York opening: 21 May 1974
Production Date:
1972 in New York City and Miami, FL
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by TVC
Duration(in mins):
90
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Weehawken, New Jersey, police informant Roger Pitman tips off a couple of hijackers who steal a truck full of color televisions. As they unload the televisions, Roger requests a payment of one thousand dollars, but the men give him fifty, and refuse his request for one of the TV sets. Roger goes to the home of Sgt. Alex Brogan and asks for his money. Brogan pays him $250 and tells him not to come back. At a billiard hall, Marco Ruiz offers to include Roger on a big job. At the bar, Roger slides money to the bartender, and a woman named Sylvia provides him with a package of illegal drugs. Sgt. Brogan appears with the police, who hold up everyone at the establishment. Later, Roger meets Marco at a Laundromat and sees his bag of stolen jewelry. Brogan enters from the back and pulls his gun. Marco runs away, frightened, but is hit by a truck outside. Roger runs to Marco’s side, admonishing Brogan for scaring the man. When Brogan insults Marco, calling him a small-time creep, Roger takes offense. Later, Roger is the only person to attend Marco’s burial. One day, Brogan gives Roger $7,500 from a police discretionary fund to frame one of Roger’s best friends, Lattimore, for a crime. However, Roger takes the money and flies to Miami, Florida, where he pretends to be “Roger Smith” when checking into the Doral-on-the-Ocean Hotel, taking another man’s reservation. Back in Weehawken, Brogan is reprimanded by his boss, Harry, for losing their department’s entire contingency budget. After Harry takes the sergeant's badge away, Brogan agrees to take a week’s leave. Knowing that Roger has gone to Miami, ... +


In Weehawken, New Jersey, police informant Roger Pitman tips off a couple of hijackers who steal a truck full of color televisions. As they unload the televisions, Roger requests a payment of one thousand dollars, but the men give him fifty, and refuse his request for one of the TV sets. Roger goes to the home of Sgt. Alex Brogan and asks for his money. Brogan pays him $250 and tells him not to come back. At a billiard hall, Marco Ruiz offers to include Roger on a big job. At the bar, Roger slides money to the bartender, and a woman named Sylvia provides him with a package of illegal drugs. Sgt. Brogan appears with the police, who hold up everyone at the establishment. Later, Roger meets Marco at a Laundromat and sees his bag of stolen jewelry. Brogan enters from the back and pulls his gun. Marco runs away, frightened, but is hit by a truck outside. Roger runs to Marco’s side, admonishing Brogan for scaring the man. When Brogan insults Marco, calling him a small-time creep, Roger takes offense. Later, Roger is the only person to attend Marco’s burial. One day, Brogan gives Roger $7,500 from a police discretionary fund to frame one of Roger’s best friends, Lattimore, for a crime. However, Roger takes the money and flies to Miami, Florida, where he pretends to be “Roger Smith” when checking into the Doral-on-the-Ocean Hotel, taking another man’s reservation. Back in Weehawken, Brogan is reprimanded by his boss, Harry, for losing their department’s entire contingency budget. After Harry takes the sergeant's badge away, Brogan agrees to take a week’s leave. Knowing that Roger has gone to Miami, Brogan sets out to find him. Meanwhile, Roger meets Sheila Morrison, a young woman sitting on a highway overpass. She asks if he is thinking about killing himself, and he asks her the same question. At a diner, Sheila confesses to Roger that no one has flirted with her since she has been in Miami. Roger offers to go to bed with her, but Sheila says she does not sleep with people that quickly, and mentions that she saved for a year to have a vacation, but nothing special has happened to her as she expected. Roger suggests they spend the day together and Sheila agrees. At a zoo, Roger admits that nothing seems to work out for him, and Sheila commiserates, saying she was recently heartbroken. Sheila encourages Roger to reveal personal information about himself, although Roger worries that if he tells her too much, she will not like him. The two go to a dog-racing track, where Roger loses one thousand dollars on a bet. When he admits to Sheila that he stole the money he is betting, she laughs in disbelief. At dinner, Roger insists he is a “hustler,” but Sheila thinks Roger is trying to seem more glamorous than he his. They return to Sheila’s hotel room, where Roger convinces a nervous Sheila that she is attractive, and they make love. The next day, Brogan provides the Miami Police Chief with mug shots of Roger, and the chief lectures Brogan on allowing Roger to steal from him. Walking in a park together, Roger insists he wants to marry Sheila, and she accepts his proposal. They return to Roger’s hotel room, where Brogan ambushes Roger and demands the money, but Roger says he spent it. Brogan kicks Roger to the ground, and informs Sheila that Roger is a criminal with a long record who just stole from the police force. Roger tries to give Sheila an engagement ring he bought, but Brogan takes it. At the jewelry store, Brogan tries to return the ring but the jeweler offers $600 in cash to buy it back, and Brogan takes it. Hoping to get a loan for the money he owes to Brogan, Roger seeks out his wealthy cousin Ralphie, who refuses to help and reminds Roger of his criminal past. Roger convinces Brogan to give him one hundred dollars, then buys a handgun. He attempts to hold up the gun store clerk but becomes scared and runs away when the clerk draws a gun on him. He returns to the boarding house where Brogan has secured two rooms for the threesome. Later, Roger attempts and fails to get a bank loan. That night, Brogan listens from the other room as Roger and Sheila stay up talking about their future. In the morning, Brogan reads aloud from a newspaper article about a rivalry in the local drug syndicate. Brogan suggests Roger steal from the syndicate, but Sheila rejects the idea. Nevertheless, the three stake out a drug deal that day, following the car with the money to the waterfront. Brogan holds up the money-handler, stealing his bag of cash, then speeds away with Sheila and Roger in the car. Pulling over, Brogan counts two thousand dollars and finds a package of heroin, guessing that its street value is fifteen thousand dollars. Sheila and Roger remind Brogan that he is a policeman and should not sell drugs, but he does not care. Agreeing to let Roger go, Brogan drops the couple off on the side of the road, insisting that Roger take one hundred dollars. Sheila and Roger laugh as they walk away. +

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.