Looker (1981)

PG | 99 mins | Drama, Science fiction | 30 October 1981

Director:

Michael Crichton

Producer:

Howard Jeffrey

Cinematographer:

Paul Lohmann

Editor:

Carl Kress

Production Designer:

Dean Edward Mitzner

Production Company:

The Ladd Company
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HISTORY

       An item in the 30 Oct 1980 DV noted that Joseph Stern was cast in the film, but he does not receive onscreen credit.
       The 18 Mar 1980 DV reported that Frank Yablans was producing Looker, and moved the $8 million production from Twentieth Century-Fox to Paramount Pictures, due to creative differences, with plans to start principal photography 5 Jul 1980. The 3 Nov 1980 DV noted that the film subsequently moved from Paramount to The Ladd Company with producer Howard Jeffrey. The 6 May 1980 HR reported The Ladd Company planned to start principal photography in late Aug 1980, and the 24 Jul 1980 DV stated filming was scheduled to begin 15 Sep 1980. However, according to the 6 Aug 1980 LAT, filming would likely be delayed by the 1980 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike. The 19 Dec 1980 HR reported principal photography began 27 Oct 1980, and production notes in AMPAS library files noted completion of filming in Jan 1981. An item in the 24 Oct 1980 HR reported Looker was filmed at the Goldywn Studios, the Burbank Studios and on location in the Los Angeles, CA, area.
       An article in the 14 Jan 1981 HR reported that Looker was tentatively scheduled for release in the “second summer wave” of films, starting in mid-July. However, the 21 Oct 1981 HR announced the film would be released on 30 Oct 1981.
       Looker marked the feature film debuts of Terri Welles, 1981 ... More Less

       An item in the 30 Oct 1980 DV noted that Joseph Stern was cast in the film, but he does not receive onscreen credit.
       The 18 Mar 1980 DV reported that Frank Yablans was producing Looker, and moved the $8 million production from Twentieth Century-Fox to Paramount Pictures, due to creative differences, with plans to start principal photography 5 Jul 1980. The 3 Nov 1980 DV noted that the film subsequently moved from Paramount to The Ladd Company with producer Howard Jeffrey. The 6 May 1980 HR reported The Ladd Company planned to start principal photography in late Aug 1980, and the 24 Jul 1980 DV stated filming was scheduled to begin 15 Sep 1980. However, according to the 6 Aug 1980 LAT, filming would likely be delayed by the 1980 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike. The 19 Dec 1980 HR reported principal photography began 27 Oct 1980, and production notes in AMPAS library files noted completion of filming in Jan 1981. An item in the 24 Oct 1980 HR reported Looker was filmed at the Goldywn Studios, the Burbank Studios and on location in the Los Angeles, CA, area.
       An article in the 14 Jan 1981 HR reported that Looker was tentatively scheduled for release in the “second summer wave” of films, starting in mid-July. However, the 21 Oct 1981 HR announced the film would be released on 30 Oct 1981.
       Looker marked the feature film debuts of Terri Welles, 1981 Playboy magazine Playmate of the Year, and Catherine Parks, a former “Miss Florida.”

      End credits include the following statements: “Scene from The Lucy Show furnished by Paramount Pictures Corporation;” “Baseball Footage courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers;” and “Commercials courtesy of Andrea Robb Corporation, Anheuser-Busch Inc., Converse Athletic Shoes, Union Underwear Company, Inc., Shakey’s, Inc., United Van Lines.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1980.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1980.
---
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1980.
---
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Aug 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Oct 1981
p. 6.
New York Times
30 Oct 1981
p. 10.
Variety
28 Oct 1981
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Reston's girls:
Windsurfers:
[and]
New wave models:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Michael Crichton Film
A Ladd Company Release
Thru Warner Bros
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Prod, Looker commercials, "Liberty," "Ravish," "Be
Co-prod, Looker commercials, "Liberty," "Ravish,"
WRITERS
Wrt, Looker commercials, "Liberty," "Ravish," "Bel
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Key grip
Still photog
3-D photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop man
Asst prop man
Const coord
Spec props supv by
Leadman
Leadman
Const foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
Women`s cost
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Sd asst
Boom op
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Opt services, Looker commercials, "Liberty," "Ravi
Titles and opt by
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Body makeup
Ms. Dey's hair des
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Process coord
Pub
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod asst
Asst to Mr. Jeffrey
Asst to Mr. Crichton
Asst to Mr. Crichton
Asst auditor
Prod services by
Video coord
Video consultant
Worldstage
24 frame video services
Creative supv
Marketing services
Technical services
Creative asst
Creative asst
Creative asst
Tech asst
Tech asst
Tech asst
Film processed by
Supv, Looker commercials, "Liberty," "Ravish," "Ne
VPR playback consoles courtesy of
Studio monitors courtesy of
Multi-picture systems courtesy of
300 series prod switcher courtesy of
Promotional services courtesy of
Dodge Omni courtesy of
Asst to dir
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunt coord
ANIMATION
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Looker," music and lyrics by Barry DeVorzon and Michael Towers, performed by Sue Saad
"High Wire," music and lyrics by Barry DeVorzon and Michael Towers, performed by Sue Saad.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 October 1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 30 October 1981
Production Date:
27 October 1980--January 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
The Ladd Company
Copyright Date:
19 November 1981
Copyright Number:
PA122710
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26274
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Noting that plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Roberts performed similar surgery on three other models, Susan Wilson, Tina Cassidy, and Cindy Fairmont, Lisa Convey presents Dr. Roberts with a list of minor changes that will make her “perfect.” Post-surgery, Lisa readies for a date, but when she opens her door, a flash of light immobilizes her. Seconds later, she snaps out of the trance and hears something inside. She investigates, but another light flash freezes her again, and she does not see the man with a moustache in her apartment. Lisa falls to her death, a seeming suicide. The man plants a pen and a button in her apartment before leaving. On Friday, when Dr. Roberts arrives at work, his secretary informs him that Cindy Fairmont awaits her final checkup, and, although her file was misplaced, she filled out a new patient card. Cindy’s appointment is interrupted by the arrival of Lieutenant Masters, who questions Dr. Roberts about Lisa and Susan, who have both recently died. Dr. Roberts agrees to give their files to Masters, but his secretary cannot find their paperwork either. Masters asks if Roberts had a personal relationship with either woman, but the doctor says he does not date his patients. Masters takes the pen found at Lisa’s apartment and pretends to find it on the floor. Roberts pockets the pen, admitting it has been missing for a week. Later, Dr. Roberts discovers that the files of all four models are missing, and Tina Cassidy waits to see him. She begs to be changed back to her previous measurements, insisting the “perfect” models are ... +


Noting that plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Roberts performed similar surgery on three other models, Susan Wilson, Tina Cassidy, and Cindy Fairmont, Lisa Convey presents Dr. Roberts with a list of minor changes that will make her “perfect.” Post-surgery, Lisa readies for a date, but when she opens her door, a flash of light immobilizes her. Seconds later, she snaps out of the trance and hears something inside. She investigates, but another light flash freezes her again, and she does not see the man with a moustache in her apartment. Lisa falls to her death, a seeming suicide. The man plants a pen and a button in her apartment before leaving. On Friday, when Dr. Roberts arrives at work, his secretary informs him that Cindy Fairmont awaits her final checkup, and, although her file was misplaced, she filled out a new patient card. Cindy’s appointment is interrupted by the arrival of Lieutenant Masters, who questions Dr. Roberts about Lisa and Susan, who have both recently died. Dr. Roberts agrees to give their files to Masters, but his secretary cannot find their paperwork either. Masters asks if Roberts had a personal relationship with either woman, but the doctor says he does not date his patients. Masters takes the pen found at Lisa’s apartment and pretends to find it on the floor. Roberts pockets the pen, admitting it has been missing for a week. Later, Dr. Roberts discovers that the files of all four models are missing, and Tina Cassidy waits to see him. She begs to be changed back to her previous measurements, insisting the “perfect” models are being killed. Anxious to return home to Chicago, Illinois, to hide, Tina rushes out, leaving her purse behind, containing a print-out from Digital Matrix Inc. (DMI) with a list of measurement specifications. Dr. Roberts rushes to Tina’s building and sees flashes of light in her apartment before she falls to her death. The moustached man, wearing dark glasses, stands on her balcony, but when Roberts reaches the apartment, it is empty. Worried about Cindy’s safety, Roberts invites her to a fundraising dinner held by John Reston, whose company is a $6 billion conglomerate. At dinner, Reston offers $4 million dollars to fund Dr. Roberts’s proposed burn unit, and introduces Jennifer Long, the head of DMI. Dr. Roberts mentions that he performed surgery on four models, based on lists provided by DMI, and three of them are dead. Jennifer admits DMI took the measurements for a visual technology experiment, but dropped the project, and the deaths must be coincidental. Later, Jennifer worries about Roberts discovering what they are up to, but Reston insists the doctor will not discover anything before Sunday. Dr. Roberts takes Cindy to his home, where she expects romance, but gets the guest room. On Saturday morning, Roberts accompanies Cindy to the filming of a television commercial. DMI technicians monitor the action on a computer, and feed the director exact measurements that Cindy must match while playing volleyball. When she cannot do it, the technicians insist the commercial will be completed through computer animation at DMI. While Cindy’s measurements are scanned for the computer, Jennifer Long gives Dr. Roberts a tour of the facility. In a research room, a monitor scans the doctor’s eye movements while watching a commercial and reveals that he looked at the model, not the product. After analyzing his specific responses, the computer recalibrates the commercial to place the product within his visual fixation points. Jennifer admits they tried to sculpt models’ physical measurements for visual impact, but it only worked for still photographs. The models could not maintain perfection in movement. As Jennifer continues the tour, Roberts notices light flashes coming from the “Looker” lab, but Jennifer claims that her electronic security card will not access maintenance areas. Inside another lab, Roberts observes the results of Cindy’s scan as her measurements are converted into a three dimensional computer model and her voice is synthesized. He steals a technician’s security card before he and Cindy leave the facility. Jennifer informs Reston of the theft and wants Dr. Roberts’s home searched with the Looker device, arguing that no one knew they stole items from his office the previous week. Reston agrees, but cautions that nothing must disrupt their corporate meeting on Sunday. At Roberts’s home, Cindy watches the news and learns of the other models’ deaths. She is angry that he did not inform her, and questions if he can protect her, then leaves to get clean clothes at her parents’ home. Dr. Roberts hides the stolen security card in a picture frame before the moustached man sneaks inside and searches, using the Looker gun’s light pulses to place Roberts in short trances. When Cindy returns hours later, Roberts realizes he was unaware of time passing, and sees that his place has been searched, but the DMI card is still in its hiding place. They use the security card to enter DMI, but it denies access to the Looker lab. However, an automated maintenance unit approaches and they climb aboard as it enters the room. At the guard’s station, the moustache man sees a computer alert that the stolen card was scanned. In the lab, Dr. Roberts studies a manual and learns Looker stands for “light ocular-oriented kinetic emotive responses,” and its high intensity light flashes cause auto-hypnotic suggestible trances. As he reads, Cindy watches a commercial on a monitor and, when the actor’s eyes pulse with blue light, she slips into a trance. Dr. Roberts pulls her away from the television and she snaps back into consciousness. Roberts discovers “Looker” concerns more than commercials, and the Looker gun creates the illusion of invisibility while putting its victims in a hypnotic trance. He also finds a smoke-emitting machine to counter the gun. The moustache man arrives, flashes the Looker gun, and attacks Roberts, who takes a beating during several short trances. When he finds a pair of mirrored sunglasses, they reflect a light flash back at moustache man, immobilizing him. Roberts steals the Looker gun, and escapes with Cindy. Reston orders the moustache man to kidnap Cindy and kill Dr. Roberts. At his office, Cindy sleeps while Roberts attempts to call Lt. Masters, but the telephone is dead. Moustache man and an accomplice break in, capture Cindy, and hunt for Roberts. However, he flashes the Looker gun, and the men leave with Cindy. On Sunday morning, Lt. Masters surveys the damage in Roberts’ office, and confides to his partner that they are closing in on Reston, and hopefully Roberts will stay alive. Meanwhile, moustache man follows Dr. Roberts as he speeds through city streets. They flash Looker weapons at each other, and Dr. Roberts is able to shield his eyes, but is caught by a reflection in his rearview mirror. He awakens from his trance after having crashed into a fountain. He escapes and hides nearby as moustache man and police surround the car. He hides in the back seat of a Reston Industries security car, sitting up as they drive away. The guards believe they have captured Roberts, and follow orders to return him to Reston’s building. However, they are unaware of the Looker gun, and Roberts immobilizes them, steals a uniform and sneaks into the building. Outside, Masters notes Roberts’ arrival, but does not stop him. Onstage, Reston introduces his guests to the company’s ability to create commercials using a combination of live sets and computer-generated actors. Dr. Roberts takes an elevator to the nineteenth floor where Cindy is held hostage by Jennifer Long, who sits at the computer console overlooking the commercial stage. An automated camera moves among the empty sets, and the computer adds Looker-enhanced animation for the viewing audience, causing the crowd to fall into a trance. As the commercials air, Reston and moustache man follow Roberts to the nineteenth floor. As they sneak through the sets, the men are caught on camera, disrupting viewers’ attention on the computer-generated action. Downstairs, Masters realizes what is happening and rushes for the elevator. Upstairs, when Jennifer leaves the console, moustache man mistakes her for Roberts and kills her. When moustache man fights Roberts, Reston shoots at them, accidentally killing moustache man. Reston takes aim at Dr. Roberts, but Masters arrives and kills Reston before he can kill the doctor. As they leave, Roberts asks Cindy for a date. +

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

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