Night of the Juggler (1980)

R | 118 mins | Drama | 9 May 1980

Director:

Robert Butler

Producer:

Jay Weston

Cinematographer:

Victor J. Kemper

Editor:

Argyle Nelson

Production Designer:

Stuart Wurtzel

Production Company:

Jay Weston Productions
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HISTORY

       A 19 Feb 1975 Hollywood Press brief stated that Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. had purchased the film rights to the William P. McGivern novel, The Night of the Juggler, before G. P. Putnam’s Sons published it in Apr 1975. According to a news item in the 6 Jan 1975 Publishers Weekly, McGiven received $200,000 from the sale of film rights. A 25 Feb 1975 DV brief reported that McGivern would develop his novel into a screenplay, but he did not receive onscreen credit. Although a news item in the 30 Jun 1975 DV stated that John Frankenheimer had been hired to direct and Pete Hamill to write a screenplay, neither man remained with the project.
       Although an Apr 1975 start of principal photography was first announced in a 29 Nov 1975 LAT brief, a 8 Mar 1978 DV news item stated that filming would begin 1 Jun 1978 in New York City, and the 23 Jun 1978 DV, followed that principal photography was delayed until 5 Jul 1978. A 14 Aug 1978 LAT article, which confirmed that production had begun, stated that a ten-week schedule was planned for the $6 million picture. As reported in the 9 Aug 1978 LAT, actor James Brolin broke his foot during a chase scene on 13 Jun 1978. After shutting down for one week, director Sidney J. Furie resumed production the following week, shooting scenes where Brolin was not required. When Brolin returned to work, it was decided his foot cast would be an impediment to filming and the ... More Less

       A 19 Feb 1975 Hollywood Press brief stated that Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. had purchased the film rights to the William P. McGivern novel, The Night of the Juggler, before G. P. Putnam’s Sons published it in Apr 1975. According to a news item in the 6 Jan 1975 Publishers Weekly, McGiven received $200,000 from the sale of film rights. A 25 Feb 1975 DV brief reported that McGivern would develop his novel into a screenplay, but he did not receive onscreen credit. Although a news item in the 30 Jun 1975 DV stated that John Frankenheimer had been hired to direct and Pete Hamill to write a screenplay, neither man remained with the project.
       Although an Apr 1975 start of principal photography was first announced in a 29 Nov 1975 LAT brief, a 8 Mar 1978 DV news item stated that filming would begin 1 Jun 1978 in New York City, and the 23 Jun 1978 DV, followed that principal photography was delayed until 5 Jul 1978. A 14 Aug 1978 LAT article, which confirmed that production had begun, stated that a ten-week schedule was planned for the $6 million picture. As reported in the 9 Aug 1978 LAT, actor James Brolin broke his foot during a chase scene on 13 Jun 1978. After shutting down for one week, director Sidney J. Furie resumed production the following week, shooting scenes where Brolin was not required. When Brolin returned to work, it was decided his foot cast would be an impediment to filming and the production took another hiatus until Brolin’s cast was removed. Meanwhile, Furie resigned from the production on 4 Aug 1978 for reported “personal reasons,” although Furie’s resignation letter was not made public. The 14 Aug 1978 LAT brief announced that Robert Butler was hired to replace Furie, and filming would resume 16 Aug 1978.
       According to the 9 Aug 1978 LAT, producer Jay Weston and executive producer Arnold Kopelson planned to take legal action against Furie for breach of contract. A 4 Oct 1978 Var news item reported that Jay Weston Productions and Night of the Juggler Inc. filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Furie for leaving the production after approximately twenty-three days. The suit alleged the director’s walkout cost an estimated $500,000 loss in profits and $300,000 loss in overhead. Furie was paid $211,000 for his time on the film. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.
       According to a 3 Oct 1978 HR article, filming took place in various New York City locations including 42nd Street, Manhattan’s Westside, Central Park, the Fifth Avenue shopping district used for a shootout, and the Brooklyn animal shelter. In addition, the production filmed interiors at the home of theatrical producer Arthur Canton in the Dakota apartment building. Production designer Stuart Wurtzel built the set of a peep show parlor at an old Kodak warehouse, modeled after an actual adult entertainment venue called “Peepland,” when the logistics of filming at the real location proved too difficult. “Two-way telephones, [and] private love booths” were installed, and Peepland performers were hired to recreate the ambience of 42nd Street.
       A 16 May 1980 NYT article suggested that the delay of the film’s NY opening was largely due to Norman Levy’s departure from Columbia Pictures to Twentieth Century-Fox. Levy had purchased the film rights, but in his absence, Columbia had put considerably less effort into promotion and distribution.
       A 26 Jan 1978 Var brief announced that the movie marked the theatrical film debut of thirteen-year-old Abby Bluestone in the role of “Kathy Boyd.”

      The following acknowledgments appear in the end credits: “The Producer wishes to thank the Department of Parks and Recreation; the Department of Water Resources; The City of New York, and special thanks to the Motion Picture and Television Unit of the New York City Police Department for their exceptional cooperation.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Feb 1975.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1975.
---
Daily Variety
8 Mar 1978.
---
Daily Variety
23 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Press
19 Feb 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1980
p. 3, 7.
Los Angeles Times
29 Nov 1975.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Aug 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Aug 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 May 1980
p. 1.
New York Times
16 May 1980.
---
New York Times
6 Jun 1980
p. 11.
Publishers Weekly
6 Jan 1975.
---
Variety
26 Jan 1978.
---
Variety
16 Aug 1978.
---
Variety
4 Oct 1978.
---
Variety
14 May 1980
p. 19.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Also Starring:
Introducing:
as
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Arnold Kopelson Presents
A Jay Weston Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam op, 2d cam
1st asst cam, 2d cam
Key grip
Best boy
Gaffer
Best boy
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Standby ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Scenic chargeman
Scenic artist
Prop master
Outside prop
Props
Const grip
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus mixer
Mus ed
La Da Productions
SOUND
Re-rec
Eff mixer
Sd eff supv
Loop dial ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff - looping
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Scr supv
Teamster capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Extra casting
Unit pub
Asst to prod
Prod assoc
Secy to Mr. Weston
Secy to Mr. Weston
Prod office coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Financial consultant
Financial controller
STAND INS
Stunt unit mgr
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Night of the Juggler by William P. McGivern (New York, 1975).
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 May 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 9 May 1980
New York opening: 6 June 1980
Production Date:
summer 1978
Copyright Claimant:
GCC Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 May 1980
Copyright Number:
PA69224
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
118
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a New York City outdoor café, Gus Soltic drowns his eggs with ketchup, stabs his plate with an inverted ketchup bottle, and leaves without eating. Later, Gus telephones the wealthy Clayton residence, pretending to be a school attendance officer to find out if young Virginia Clayton will be at school. Elsewhere, truck driver Sean Boyd makes a warehouse delivery, and returns to his apartment. There, Sean presents his daughter, Kathy, with ballet tickets for her birthday, then jogs with her in Central Park on her way to summer school. Meanwhile, Gus hotwires a car and watches Virginia, dressed in blue overalls, leave for class. Halfway to school, Kathy, also wearing overalls, tells her father she will walk alone so he can go home and sleep. Gus abducts Kathy, mistaking her for Virginia. Although Sean sees Kathy kidnapped, he is unable to rescue her, but he follows in a taxicab. The chase continues on the sidewalk until the taxicab crashes, and Sean reaches Gus’s car on foot. He momentarily grabs Gus through the window, but gets thrown to the pavement when the car drives off. When Gus crashes and abandons his car, he forces Kathy into the subway. Sean follows, evading the transit police as they try to arrest him for hopping the turnstile. Meanwhile, Gus and Kathy drive away in a stolen telephone repair truck. Sean “borrows” a street preacher’s station wagon with the clergyman inside and pursues the kidnapper. As both vehicles approach the waterfront, the repair truck squeezes past a rig and disappears, while Sean crashes the station wagon. Sean emerges from the vehicle and collapses on the street. Elsewhere, Det. Fogarty and ... +


At a New York City outdoor café, Gus Soltic drowns his eggs with ketchup, stabs his plate with an inverted ketchup bottle, and leaves without eating. Later, Gus telephones the wealthy Clayton residence, pretending to be a school attendance officer to find out if young Virginia Clayton will be at school. Elsewhere, truck driver Sean Boyd makes a warehouse delivery, and returns to his apartment. There, Sean presents his daughter, Kathy, with ballet tickets for her birthday, then jogs with her in Central Park on her way to summer school. Meanwhile, Gus hotwires a car and watches Virginia, dressed in blue overalls, leave for class. Halfway to school, Kathy, also wearing overalls, tells her father she will walk alone so he can go home and sleep. Gus abducts Kathy, mistaking her for Virginia. Although Sean sees Kathy kidnapped, he is unable to rescue her, but he follows in a taxicab. The chase continues on the sidewalk until the taxicab crashes, and Sean reaches Gus’s car on foot. He momentarily grabs Gus through the window, but gets thrown to the pavement when the car drives off. When Gus crashes and abandons his car, he forces Kathy into the subway. Sean follows, evading the transit police as they try to arrest him for hopping the turnstile. Meanwhile, Gus and Kathy drive away in a stolen telephone repair truck. Sean “borrows” a street preacher’s station wagon with the clergyman inside and pursues the kidnapper. As both vehicles approach the waterfront, the repair truck squeezes past a rig and disappears, while Sean crashes the station wagon. Sean emerges from the vehicle and collapses on the street. Elsewhere, Det. Fogarty and Lt. Tonelli learn of Kathy’s kidnapping, and that she is the child of a former police officer. Meanwhile, Gus drives the repair truck to a bombed out section of the South Bronx. He explains to Kathy that his family once owned many properties in the neighborhood. As minorities moved in and the area changed, Gus was unable to pay the taxes and the city repossessed the buildings. Gus is bitter that companies like Clayton Properties buy the land cheap and redevelop it. When Kathy explains that her name is not Clayton and her father is not wealthy, Gus accuses her of lying. Gus calls himself “the juggler,” claiming that the kidnapping is his way of getting even, and juggling the books. Soon, Kathy escapes and hides in a condemned building, where a homeless man offers to protect her, but Gus kills the man with a broken wine bottle and warns Kathy not escape again. At a hospital, Sean gets treatment but is eager to leave when Lt. Tonelli detains him. When Tonelli informs Sean that he is being charged with grand theft auto, hit and run, and assaulting a transit officer, Sean thinks he has the right to track down the kidnapper because of his former law enforcement status. However, Tonelli orders him to go to the police station to face charges. Meanwhile, Gus hides Kathy in a condemned apartment building. Gus calls the Clayton home to alert Marguerite Clayton that he has kidnapped her daughter, and wants $1 million in ransom. Marguerite is speechless because her daughter is safe in the apartment. After Gus hangs up, she contacts her husband and the police. At the police station, Sgt. Otis Barnes beats Sean in an interrogation room because the two men once worked together, and Sean reported Otis for corruption. However, Sean overpowers Otis and escapes. On the street, Sean climbs in the car of his former wife, Barbara, and gives her details of Kathy’s kidnapping. Barbara claims that if Kathy were living in Connecticut, she would still be safe. Sean leaves, but promises to find their daughter. Later, Tonelli and Fogarty wiretap the phones in the Clayton home. When Gus calls, he blames Hampton Richmond Clayton III’s company for ruining his neighborhood and getting rich from redevelopment. Unaware that he is speaking to Tonelli instead of Hampton, Gus orders the real estate tycoon to leave ransom money behind a concert stage in Central Park. When Tonelli wants proof that Gus really has Virginia, Gus threatens to cut off the girl’s hand and deliver it in a paper bag. Thus, Tonelli realizes Gus has kidnapped Sean’s daughter. Soon, Sean returns to Peepland, a sex show establishment, looking for evidence that Gus left behind during the morning chase. As Sean is thrown off the premises, a sex worker hands him Gus’s dog ID tag and medallion. As Sean leaves, he dodges Otis’s bullets and escapes in a taxicab. At Central Park, Tonelli and his colleagues strategize how to stop Gus, while Sean searches animal shelter records to identify the owner of the dog tag. However, Otis appears at the pound, trains his gun on Sean and grabs the record away. When Otis threatens to destroy the paper, Sean pushes Otis, whose trousers become caught on barbed wire, leaving him dangling precariously above a pen filled with Dobermans. With the kidnapper’s address, Sean and Maria, the pound records keeper, board a train to find Kathy. Returning to the street, Sean fights off Puerto Rican gang members and barely escapes by taxicab, but they follow him in their cars, and the fighting resumes. Police cars appear just as the violence escalates into a riot. When Sean is unable to reach Tonelli by police radio, he and Maria head to Central Park in a police car. Meanwhile, Gus drags Kathy through tunnels beneath the park. Above ground, the police wait for Gus to appear, as the concert begins. Sean arrives and warns Tonelli that Gus will elude the police, using underground passages. Just then, the police’s trap crumbles, as Gus wounds their sniper. Gus grabs the ransom money and heads back to the tunnels. Sean follows, telling Gus to keep the money; he just wants his daughter. However, Gus has developed a romantic attachment to Kathy, and is not about to release her. As the confrontation continues, Sean instructs Kathy to climb a nearby metal ladder to safety. He fights Gus, who tries to shoot, but runs out of bullets. After Sean shoots and wounds Gus, he is reunited with Kathy above ground. She admits that despite everything that has happened, she would rather live with her father in New York City than her mother’s home in Connecticut.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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