The Woman in Red (1984)

PG-13 | 86 mins | Romantic comedy | 15 August 1984

Director:

Gene Wilder

Writer:

Gene Wilder

Producer:

Victor Drai

Cinematographer:

Fred Schuler

Production Designer:

David L. Snyder

Production Company:

Woman in Red Productions
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HISTORY

The Woman in Red was based of the 1976 hit French film, Un eléphant ça trompe énormément, which was released in the U.S. as Pardon Mon Affaire. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Moroccan-born producer Victor Drai convinced Gene Wilder to write, direct, and star in a remake after Wilder initially passed on the project. One of the factors that encouraged the actor-comedian to undertake the adaptation was the story’s portrayal of infidelity. To Wilder, the lead character appeared more American rather than French since he was “filled with guilt,” unlike the stereotypical Frenchman for whom having a mistress is “not such a big deal.” As Wilder stated, “the American male, so nurtured by the concept of the ‘perfect woman’ and ‘perfect love’ [must] convince himself that this gorgeous, sexy, new young body ‘is the first woman who understands the real me.’”
       A 16 May 1983 DV article explained that the project marked Drai’s debut as a film producer, following business ventures in the French clothing industry and Los Angeles, CA, real estate. Unable to compete with Hollywood studios and producers for popular source material, Drai embarked on a more “original approach” by acquiring French literary properties and developing relationships with French filmmakers such as Yves Robert, who wrote, directed, and produced Un eléphant ça trompe énormément, and another popular French comedy, The Tall Blonde Man With One Black Shoe (1972), for which Drai also acquired remake rights.
       As noted in a 16 Sep 1983 HR article, model-actress Kelly Le Brock made her feature film debut as ... More Less

The Woman in Red was based of the 1976 hit French film, Un eléphant ça trompe énormément, which was released in the U.S. as Pardon Mon Affaire. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Moroccan-born producer Victor Drai convinced Gene Wilder to write, direct, and star in a remake after Wilder initially passed on the project. One of the factors that encouraged the actor-comedian to undertake the adaptation was the story’s portrayal of infidelity. To Wilder, the lead character appeared more American rather than French since he was “filled with guilt,” unlike the stereotypical Frenchman for whom having a mistress is “not such a big deal.” As Wilder stated, “the American male, so nurtured by the concept of the ‘perfect woman’ and ‘perfect love’ [must] convince himself that this gorgeous, sexy, new young body ‘is the first woman who understands the real me.’”
       A 16 May 1983 DV article explained that the project marked Drai’s debut as a film producer, following business ventures in the French clothing industry and Los Angeles, CA, real estate. Unable to compete with Hollywood studios and producers for popular source material, Drai embarked on a more “original approach” by acquiring French literary properties and developing relationships with French filmmakers such as Yves Robert, who wrote, directed, and produced Un eléphant ça trompe énormément, and another popular French comedy, The Tall Blonde Man With One Black Shoe (1972), for which Drai also acquired remake rights.
       As noted in a 16 Sep 1983 HR article, model-actress Kelly Le Brock made her feature film debut as “Charlotte/The Woman in Red.” A 2 Nov 1983 HR item indicated that actress Jacqueline Bisset, Drai’s former girl friend, was approached about the starring role, and Bisset’s boyfriend at the time, ballet dancer Alexander Godunov was also considered for a part.
       According to a 23 Sep 1983 DV production chart and a 21 Dec 1983 HR brief, principal photography on the $9 million production began 10 Oct 1983 under the working title Boys Will Be Boys and completed 19 Dec 1983. Production notes state that the 1984 rehabilitation of San Francisco, CA’s cable car system prompted Gene Wilder to use the city for the story’s setting. Location work took place at the following San Francisco landmarks: Golden Gate Park, Telegraph Hill, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Bay Bridge, and Nob Hill. A Victorian home in Alamo Square stood in for “Theodore and Didi Pierce’s” house. Cast and crew relocated to Southern California to shoot the horseback riding scene and the doubles match, which was filmed at the Los Angeles Tennis Club in Hancock Park.
       The Woman in Red received the Academy Award for Music (Original Song) for “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” but encountered controversy following the nomination. According to an 11 Jan 1985 LAT column, musician Stevie Wonder mentioned in a New York Daily News interview that he wrote the song seven years before the film was made, which prompted the AMPAS music branch to investigate since Academy rules state that the song must be written specifically for the film. After Wonder issued a formal reply, explaining that the music was “conceived” several years ago, but was not realized as a “concrete song” until the completion of the film, the music branch ruled that the tune qualified for a nomination. Later, on another matter in question, items in the 12 Jan 1987 People magazine and the 18 Aug 1992 HR reported that Wonder won a copyright claim, which was upheld in federal appeals court, proving that the song was his original composition and not the work of songwriters Lloyd Chiate and Lee Garrett.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “The producers wish to thank: Ford; Chrysler; Mitsubishi; Transworld Airlines; Paul Riser; Harry Mendell.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 May 1983
p. 2, 12.
Daily Variety
23 Sep 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1984
p. 4, 19.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1984
Section G, p. 4, 7.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jan 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Aug 1992.
---
New York Times
15 Aug 1984
p. 24.
People
12 Jan 1987.
---
Variety
15 Aug 1984
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Orion Pictures release
A Victor Drai production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Co-assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Dolly grip
Video playback op
Cam by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Modeling seq research
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Drapery
Prop master
Standby painter
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Paint foreman
Propmaker foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
Men's costumer
Jewelry by
MUSIC
Songs by
Performed by
Performed by
Mus supv
Orch
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Songs prod by
Asst eng
Addl eng
Song coord for the film
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom man
Cable man
Supv sd ed
1st asst sd ed
2d asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Vocal eff by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Key spec eff
Title des by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Craft services
Prod controller
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
S.F. loc mgr
S.F. prod secy
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Wrangler
Secy to Mr. Wilder
Asst to Mr. Drai
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the screenplay, Un éléphant ça trompe énormément by Jean-Loup Dabadie and Yves Robert (Les Productions de la Guéville and Gaumont, 1976).
SONGS
“It’s You,” written by Stevie Wonder, piano, synthesizers, harmonica: Stevie Wonder, bass: Nathan Watts, drums: James Allen, string arrangement: Jeremy Lubbock, vocals: Dionne Warwick & Stevie Wonder
“The Woman In Red,” written by Stevie Wonder, drums, synthesizers: Stevie Wonder, background vocals: Stevie Wonder, Larry Gittens, Timothy Hardaway, James Allen, Abdoulaye Soumare, Dennis Morrison, Bruce Connole, & Bradley Buxer, vocals: Stevie Wonder
“Moments Aren’t Moments,” written by Stevie Wonder, drums, synthesizers: Stevie Wonder, trumpet: Larry Gittens, vocals: Dionne Warwick
+
SONGS
“It’s You,” written by Stevie Wonder, piano, synthesizers, harmonica: Stevie Wonder, bass: Nathan Watts, drums: James Allen, string arrangement: Jeremy Lubbock, vocals: Dionne Warwick & Stevie Wonder
“The Woman In Red,” written by Stevie Wonder, drums, synthesizers: Stevie Wonder, background vocals: Stevie Wonder, Larry Gittens, Timothy Hardaway, James Allen, Abdoulaye Soumare, Dennis Morrison, Bruce Connole, & Bradley Buxer, vocals: Stevie Wonder
“Moments Aren’t Moments,” written by Stevie Wonder, drums, synthesizers: Stevie Wonder, trumpet: Larry Gittens, vocals: Dionne Warwick
“Don’t Drive Drunk,” written by Stevie Wonder, synthesizers, drums: Stevie Wonder, background vocals: Lynn Davis, Windy Barnes, Alex Brown, & Susaye Greene, vocals: Stevie Wonder
“Love Light In Flight,” written by Stevie Wonder, synthesizers, drums: Stevie Wonder, background vocals: Antoinette Wood, Finis Henderson III, Gene Van Buren, Portia Griffin
“Weakness,” written by Stevie Wonder, piano, synthesizers: Stevie Wonder, bass: Nathan Watts, drums: James Allen, synthesizer: Isaiah Sanders, saxophone: Bob Malach, string arrangement: Greg Poree, background vocals: Lynn Davis, Windy Barnes, Alex Brown, & Susaye Greene, vocals: Dionne Warwick & Stevie Wonder
“I Just Called To Say I Love You,” written by Stevie Wonder, synthesizers, drums, vocoder: Stevie Wonder, background vocals: Stevie Wonder, vocals: Stevie Wonder
“Let’s Just…,” written by Larry Gittens & Ben Bridges, piano: Larry Gittens, drums: James Allen, bass: Ben Bridges, vocals: Larry Gittens
“It’s More Than You,” written by Ben Bridges, piano, synthesizer, drums: Isaiah Sanders, guitar: Ben Bridges, bass: Nathan Watts.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Boys Will Be Boys
Release Date:
15 August 1984
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York opening: 15 August 1984
Production Date:
10 October--19 December 1983
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
12 October 1984
Copyright Number:
PA227411
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses by Zeiss
Duration(in mins):
86
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In San Francisco, CA, Theodore “Teddy” Pierce, director of information at an advertising agency, stands outside a high window ledge and thinks back to four weeks ago when his boring, but comfortable life suddenly changed: As he parks his car in the underground garage at work, Teddy sees a beautiful woman in a red dress and instantly becomes infatuated when she deliberately stands over an air vent, letting her dress billow up. A happily married man, Teddy was never interested in staring at pretty women, until now. At his office, he sees the “woman in red” again, waiting at the desk of his colleague, Ms. Milner, and telephones the extension to try and speak with her. The woman stands up as if she is reaching for the phone, but Milner returns and answers the call. However, Teddy, whose view of the desk is now blocked, mistakenly believes he is speaking to the woman in red and asks her to meet him that night at an Italian restaurant in North Beach. Milner, a plain-looking woman, recognizes Teddy’s voice and is surprised by the invitation, but accepts. In need of an excuse to leave the house without arousing his wife Didi’s suspicions, Teddy asks his friend Michael to call him at home at exactly 8:15 p.m. and pretend to be his assistant, requiring immediate help at the office. Meanwhile, Teddy’s philandering friend, Joe, has been caught cheating by his wife Theresa, who moves out of their house with all the furniture. Didi calls Joe a “rat” and tells Teddy she would go crazy if Teddy ever had an affair. ... +


In San Francisco, CA, Theodore “Teddy” Pierce, director of information at an advertising agency, stands outside a high window ledge and thinks back to four weeks ago when his boring, but comfortable life suddenly changed: As he parks his car in the underground garage at work, Teddy sees a beautiful woman in a red dress and instantly becomes infatuated when she deliberately stands over an air vent, letting her dress billow up. A happily married man, Teddy was never interested in staring at pretty women, until now. At his office, he sees the “woman in red” again, waiting at the desk of his colleague, Ms. Milner, and telephones the extension to try and speak with her. The woman stands up as if she is reaching for the phone, but Milner returns and answers the call. However, Teddy, whose view of the desk is now blocked, mistakenly believes he is speaking to the woman in red and asks her to meet him that night at an Italian restaurant in North Beach. Milner, a plain-looking woman, recognizes Teddy’s voice and is surprised by the invitation, but accepts. In need of an excuse to leave the house without arousing his wife Didi’s suspicions, Teddy asks his friend Michael to call him at home at exactly 8:15 p.m. and pretend to be his assistant, requiring immediate help at the office. Meanwhile, Teddy’s philandering friend, Joe, has been caught cheating by his wife Theresa, who moves out of their house with all the furniture. Didi calls Joe a “rat” and tells Teddy she would go crazy if Teddy ever had an affair. She also mentions that Joe tried an old trick by asking his secretary to call home one night to summon him for last-minute work at the office. When Michael telephones at 8:15 p.m., Teddy is now too nervous and abandons the scheme. Meanwhile, Ms. Milner waits for Teddy at the Italian restaurant in North Beach, until the place closes. When she sees Teddy arrive at work the next day, she vandalizes his car and gives him a hard stare. Later, Milner telephones Teddy and says she will give him another chance, but he is under the impression that the woman in red is calling. She asks him to meet her at a bar later that day, but when he arrives and sees Milner, he hastily leaves. Milner takes revenge for the rejection by continuing to vandalize Teddy’s car. At a meeting, Teddy learns that the woman in red is the fashion model for the new cable car campaign and was discovered by the head of the advertising agency horseback riding in Golden Gate Park. After repeated visits to the park where he struggles to ride a horse, Teddy finally encounters the woman. Although she appears confused by his apology for leaving her at the restaurant, she is impressed by his gallantry and charm. Later, the woman in red arrives at the advertising agency to give Teddy an earring he dropped on the horse trail. He pretends that he does not recognize the jewelry, which belongs to his wife, and convinces Charlotte, the woman in red, to meet him for dinner the following night. After Teddy anxiously prepares for the date, Charlotte telephones at the last minute to say that she had to travel to Los Angeles, CA, for work and asks him to meet her there. Teddy arranges for a fake telegram to be sent to his home, requesting him to immediately fly to San Diego, CA, for a conference. In Didi’s presence, he yells and pretends he does want to leave his wife and family, as she urges him to quit acting childish and go. Teddy is stunned when his Los Angeles flight is rerouted to San Diego due to bad weather. Although he spends the night in the airport, he appreciates that his life now has “adventure.” Returning to San Francisco, Teddy is relieved when Charlotte telephones and meets him for a walk. Meanwhile, Theresa has forgiven Joe for his infidelity, and Ms. Milner had received a makeover and flirts with Teddy’s assistant, Richard. On their first date, Teddy asks Charlotte if they can briefly drop by to see his grandmother, “Mama Dell,” and wish her a happy birthday. Buddy, Teddy’s friend, offers to chauffeur the couple for the evening since Teddy’s car remains a wreck. When they arrive at the apartment, Teddy is shocked to see his entire family there as a surprise for his birthday, which is the following day. As Didi looks at Charlotte with curiosity, Buddy quickly rescues the situation and introduces Charlotte as his “sweetheart.” Buddy and Charlotte leave the surprise party, while Teddy remains with his family. Later that evening, Joe, Michael, and Buddy, sneak Teddy away and take him to a rendezvous with Charlotte. After watching Charlotte pose for an all-night fashion shoot, Teddy returns with her to her apartment building. She tells him that despite his wife, two daughters, and poor horseback riding, she wants to be with him. After they undress and climb into bed, Charlotte’s husband unexpectedly rings the intercom. Teddy puts on a robe and prepares to face the jealous husband, but a panicking Charlotte tells Teddy to hide outside on the window ledge. Concerned that Teddy will jump, a crowd of onlookers gathers, and soon the fire department and media arrive in front of the apartment building. At home, Didi and her daughters see Teddy on television, sitting on the ledge and smoking a cigarette. As the fire department sets up a safety net trampoline to catch Teddy and yells for him to jump, he overhears Charlotte having sex with her husband. Suddenly, he realizes the ridiculousness of his near infidelity and thinks about his wonderful wife and family. Teddy jumps, believing that he has learned his lesson, but a cute, blonde reporter catches his eye while he falls. +

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

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