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HISTORY

       The 7 Jan 1976 DV announced that principal photography began with locations in Nassau, Bahama Islands, and would continue for another thirteen weeks in New York City, Europe, and the Middle East. According to news items in the 13 Jan 1976 HR and the 9 Feb 1976 Box, the production was set to move to Europe on 15 Feb 1976. The 4 May 1976 HR stated that principal photography had been completed in New York City, and would resume in the Bahama Islands and in the Middle East. A release was planned for Oct 1976.
       An article in the 24 Mar 1976 DV reported that producer Martin Bregman, “the head of a special committee working with the N. Y. City Office of Motion Pictures & Television,” began planning the film’s shooting schedule during Jul 1975, and anticipated another six weeks of shooting in New York City before returning to Nassau. The Next Man, budgeted at $3.5 million, was financed through two separate business arrangements involving Artists Entertainment Complex, Best International Films, and the film’s North American distributor, Allied Artists Pictures, Inc.
       Brooklyn College film students observed the production of The Next Man at the Astoria Pictorial Center in New York City, as part of an educational program established by the City University of New York, according to the 8 Apr 1976 HR. The program marked an effort to revive the former New York location of Paramount Pictures and to promote film production in the city. Bregman was the first producer to participate.
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       The 7 Jan 1976 DV announced that principal photography began with locations in Nassau, Bahama Islands, and would continue for another thirteen weeks in New York City, Europe, and the Middle East. According to news items in the 13 Jan 1976 HR and the 9 Feb 1976 Box, the production was set to move to Europe on 15 Feb 1976. The 4 May 1976 HR stated that principal photography had been completed in New York City, and would resume in the Bahama Islands and in the Middle East. A release was planned for Oct 1976.
       An article in the 24 Mar 1976 DV reported that producer Martin Bregman, “the head of a special committee working with the N. Y. City Office of Motion Pictures & Television,” began planning the film’s shooting schedule during Jul 1975, and anticipated another six weeks of shooting in New York City before returning to Nassau. The Next Man, budgeted at $3.5 million, was financed through two separate business arrangements involving Artists Entertainment Complex, Best International Films, and the film’s North American distributor, Allied Artists Pictures, Inc.
       Brooklyn College film students observed the production of The Next Man at the Astoria Pictorial Center in New York City, as part of an educational program established by the City University of New York, according to the 8 Apr 1976 HR. The program marked an effort to revive the former New York location of Paramount Pictures and to promote film production in the city. Bregman was the first producer to participate.
       The film premiered 11 Nov 1976 in Jacksonville, FL, at an invitational screening, according to the 11 Oct 1976 Box. The proceeds benefited Hope Haven Children's Hospital. Martin Bregman and actress Cornelia Sharpe were in attendance.
       Allied Artists stated in the 13 Oct 1976 Var that The Next Man prefigured the then-current disagreement between Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations over an increase in the price of crude oil.
       Cornelia Sharpe revealed in the 9 Nov 1976 WWD that she supplied all of her own wardrobe for the film and performed all of her own stunts.
       Reviews for The Next Man were generally negative, although several cited actor Sean Connery’s performance as rising above the confusing narrative.
       A novelization of the screenplay was written by Michael Z. Lewin for Warner Paperback Library, as reported in the 12 Apr 1976 DV and the 30 Apr 1976 HR. The soundtrack album of composer Michael Kamen’s score for the film was released on Buddha Records, according to the 10 Jan 1977 Box.
      The end credits include the written statement: “We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance given to us by Lewis Rudin and the Association for a Better New York. And: The Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Hotels International, B.A. Production/Munich, Concorde/British Aircraft Corp., Sotheby Parke Bernet, La Vieille Russie, Mercedes Benz.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Jan 1976.
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Box Office
25 Feb 1976.
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Box Office
8 Mar 1976.
---
Box Office
10 May 1976.
---
Box Office
11 Oct 1976.
---
Box Office
8 Nov 1976.
---
Box Office
10 Jan 1977.
---
Daily Variety
7 Jan 1976.
---
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1976.
---
Daily Variety
23 Mar 1976.
---
Daily Variety
24 Mar 1976.
---
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1976
p. 3.
LAHExam
12 Jan 1976.
---
LAHExam
10 Nov 1976.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1976
p. 1.
New York Times
11 Nov 1976
p. 52.
Time
20 Dec 1976.
---
Variety
13 Oct 1976.
---
Variety
3 Nov 1976
p. 26.
WWD
9 Nov 1976.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Allied Artists Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir, United Kingdom
Asst dir, United Kingdom
Asst dir, Ireland
Asst dir, Ireland
Asst dir, Germany/Austria
Asst dir, Morocco
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr
Based on a story by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Key grip
Cam, Overseas personnel
Stills, Overseas personnel
Asst cam
Still cam
Dolly grip
2d asst cam
Cam asst, United Kingdom
Elec, Germany/Austria
Grip, Germany/Austria
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
Asst ed
Ed and sd facilities
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Chief carpenter
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Const grip
Prop man
Prop man
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser, Ireland
Set dec, Germany/Austria
Set dec, France
Prop man, Bahamas
Prop man, Bahamas
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward, Morocco
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Re-rec supv
Sd, Overseas personnel
Sd boom
Sd ed
Sd, United Kingdom
Post-prod sd by
Ed and sd facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff, Bahamas
Titles des by
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Hairstyles created by
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv, U.S.A.
Prod supv, United Kingdom
Prod supv, United Kingdom
Prod supv, Bahamas
Prod supv, Bahamas
Prod supv, Germany/Austria
Prod supv, Germany/Austria
Prod supv, Germany/Austria
Prod supv, Ireland
Prod supv, France
Prod supv, France
Prod supv, Morocco
Prod supv, Morocco
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Cont, Overseas personnel
Tech, Overseas personnel
Casting
Prod asst
Prod trainee
Unit pub
Casting overseas
Background casting
Prod asst, Ireland
Loc coord, Bahamas
Loc coord, Bahamas
Prod asst, Morocco
Casting, Morocco
Loc coord, Morocco
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
MUSIC
"The Next Man Theme," French lyrics by Rosko Mercer, sung by Robert Fitoussi
"Stay With Me," sung by Tasha Thomas.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Arab Conspiracy
Double Hit
Release Date:
10 November 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 November 1976
Jacksonville, FL premiere: 11 November 1976
Production Date:
Januaryuary 1976--May-early Junee 1976
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the morning of 1 November in New York City, a consortium of business leaders are informed that Salah Ibn Sidki of Kuwait, Mahdi Al Taleb of Saudi Arabia, and Rashid Al Sharif of Tunisia, all members of the Arab Organization of Oil Producing States, are conspiring to create a petrochemical infrastructure in the Middle East that would offer fierce competition to the American oil industry. That same day, in Moscow, Russia, an economist explains that the Arab petrochemical enterprise would share its wealth with oil-producing nations of the Third World, virtually eliminating Russian influence. Both groups conclude that countermeasures must be taken. The following day, in London, England, Ibn Sidki and his wife are thrown from their hotel room window by a pair of assassins disguised as waiters. As the assassins make their escape in the stairwell, one stabs his comrade to death before removing his disguise and boarding a bus outside. Gregory Zolnikov later murders the remaining assassin. A short time later, Al Taleb, the Saudi Arabian Minister of State, is shot to death by a soldier in the streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In Nice, France, Al Sharif spends a romantic evening with a beautiful young British woman named Nicole Scott. They arrive at a villa the following morning, where Nicole sedates Al Sharif and covers his head with a plastic bag. Nicole takes a shower while Al Sharif quietly suffocates. Two days later, Khalil Abdul-Muhsen is appointed as the new Saudi Minister of State. His friend, Hamid, a colonel in the army, will accompany him on his first mission: delivering a statement on changes ... +


On the morning of 1 November in New York City, a consortium of business leaders are informed that Salah Ibn Sidki of Kuwait, Mahdi Al Taleb of Saudi Arabia, and Rashid Al Sharif of Tunisia, all members of the Arab Organization of Oil Producing States, are conspiring to create a petrochemical infrastructure in the Middle East that would offer fierce competition to the American oil industry. That same day, in Moscow, Russia, an economist explains that the Arab petrochemical enterprise would share its wealth with oil-producing nations of the Third World, virtually eliminating Russian influence. Both groups conclude that countermeasures must be taken. The following day, in London, England, Ibn Sidki and his wife are thrown from their hotel room window by a pair of assassins disguised as waiters. As the assassins make their escape in the stairwell, one stabs his comrade to death before removing his disguise and boarding a bus outside. Gregory Zolnikov later murders the remaining assassin. A short time later, Al Taleb, the Saudi Arabian Minister of State, is shot to death by a soldier in the streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In Nice, France, Al Sharif spends a romantic evening with a beautiful young British woman named Nicole Scott. They arrive at a villa the following morning, where Nicole sedates Al Sharif and covers his head with a plastic bag. Nicole takes a shower while Al Sharif quietly suffocates. Two days later, Khalil Abdul-Muhsen is appointed as the new Saudi Minister of State. His friend, Hamid, a colonel in the army, will accompany him on his first mission: delivering a statement on changes in Saudi Arabian foreign policy before a special session of the United Nations General Assembly. On November 15, Khalil and Hamid are escorted through New York City by Frank Dedario, a police detective assigned to head their security detail. Khalil states that he was educated in the city and has visited several times since. The following day, Khalil arrives at the United Nations building, where he is greeted by Fouad, a delegate from Syria, who expresses his hope for friendship between their countries, though Khalil is somewhat skeptical. In his statement to the general assembly, Khalil announces Saudi Arabia’s intention of partnering with any nation in the research and development of new energy sources, including nonmembers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He also says that his country denounces hostility toward Israel and will only support the creation of a Palestinian state through peaceful means. Delegates from other Arab countries are not pleased with the speech, and reporters in the pressroom predict that Khalil will be assassinated. However, most of the delegates give Khalil a standing ovation. At a reception that evening, when Fouad argues the futility of a dialogue between Israel and Palestine, Khalil reminds him that the hostilities are fueled by outside forces, including the communist nations that supply aid to several Arab states. Nicole appears at the reception, escorted by the British attaché, and she compliments Khalil on his speech. He is transfixed by her beauty and has Hamid inquire as to her identity. Khalil’s speech has made him a popular guest on news broadcasts, but has also placed him at greater risk of assassination, so a group of federal agents, led by a man named Justin, is added to his security detail. Sometime later, Nicole attends an antiques auction where Khalil outbids her for a gold snuffbox. At the end of the auction, Nicole compliments Khalil on his taste, admonishes him on his extravagance, and refuses to join him for cocktails. However, when Khalil sends the snuffbox to Nicole, she refuses the gift but accepts his invitation. After spending a pleasant day together, Khalil invites Nicole to spend the weekend with him in the Bahama Islands. Hamid and the security detail accompany them, and additional guards are posted around their rented villa. Khalil and Nicole enjoy a romantic, carefree weekend until four assassins attack their villa on Sunday morning. Although several of the guards have been killed, Khalil and Nicole require little assistance in annihilating the invaders. Khalil and his entourage return to New York City, where he is to address the United Nations once again. He enters the General Assembly to a standing ovation, which excludes delegates from several Arab states. Upon hearing Khalil’s announcement that Saudi Arabia has invited Israel to partner with OPEC as a “nonproducing member,” the Syrian and Iraqi delegations walk out. Khalil explains that the partnership will reduce the influence held over the Middle East by the world’s superpowers. Another standing ovation follows, but neither the Russians nor the Americans show any enthusiasm. Nicole, who has been observing the speech from the pressroom, receives a note, containing only the word, “Now!” Later, after relocating Khalil to the Saudi Arabian consulate, Justin and Frank discover the presence of several foreign assassins in New York City, including Gregory Zolnikov, and recommend that Khalil return to his country. Khalil tells Nicole that he is in love with her and asks her to join him in Saudi Arabia. Nicole is reluctant, saying that she would “clutter up” his life, but Khalil convinces her. As he and the others leave the consulate, four bombs are placed among the crowd of demonstrators outside. Frank, who is driving a decoy car, is killed by one of the bombs. Khalil and Nicole escape the mayhem, but hear about it on the car radio as Hamid drives them to the airport. When stopped in a traffic jam, Hamid draws a gun and tells Nicole, “Kill him now.” She hesitates for a moment, then shoots Hamid through the head, before shooting Khalil. Nicole arrives in London on 11 December with a new identity. Zolnikov follows her as she leaves the airport. +

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.