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HISTORY


       From the Hip marked the debut feature screenplay from David E. Kelley, who was an attorney in Boston, MA. According to promotional materials in AMPAS library files, Kelley showed his script to his law firm’s client, Indian Neck Productions, which optioned it. Indian Neck representatives brought in director Bob Clark, who worked with Kelley on the final draft. Based on the strength of his script, producer Steven Bochco hired Kelley to be a story editor on his long-running television legal series L.A. Law (NBC, 15 Sep 1986--19 May 1994).
       Principal photography began on 9 Jul 1986 in Charlotte, NC, according to production charts in the 15 Jul 1986 HR. The crew shot exteriors there for three days. Locations included the front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, which substituted for Boston’s Suffolk County Courthouse. The production then moved to the DEG Film Studios in Wilmington, NC, for interior filming and wrapped there on 5 Sep 1986. The crew was scheduled to shoot exterior shots around Boston Common in Boston, MA for two days, with filming scheduled to finish on 10 Sep 1986, according to the 5 Sep 1986 HR. . The 11 Jun 1986 DV reported the film’s budget was $9 million.
       From the Hip opened nationwide on 6 Feb 1987 to mixed reviews. After seventeen days of release, it had earned $6,990,000, according to box office charts in the 24 Feb 1987 DV.

      End credits include “special thanks” to: “The North Carolina Film Commission and the People of Wilmington and Charlotte; The Massachusetts Film Bureau and the People of Boston; Videobase ... More Less


       From the Hip marked the debut feature screenplay from David E. Kelley, who was an attorney in Boston, MA. According to promotional materials in AMPAS library files, Kelley showed his script to his law firm’s client, Indian Neck Productions, which optioned it. Indian Neck representatives brought in director Bob Clark, who worked with Kelley on the final draft. Based on the strength of his script, producer Steven Bochco hired Kelley to be a story editor on his long-running television legal series L.A. Law (NBC, 15 Sep 1986--19 May 1994).
       Principal photography began on 9 Jul 1986 in Charlotte, NC, according to production charts in the 15 Jul 1986 HR. The crew shot exteriors there for three days. Locations included the front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, which substituted for Boston’s Suffolk County Courthouse. The production then moved to the DEG Film Studios in Wilmington, NC, for interior filming and wrapped there on 5 Sep 1986. The crew was scheduled to shoot exterior shots around Boston Common in Boston, MA for two days, with filming scheduled to finish on 10 Sep 1986, according to the 5 Sep 1986 HR. . The 11 Jun 1986 DV reported the film’s budget was $9 million.
       From the Hip opened nationwide on 6 Feb 1987 to mixed reviews. After seventeen days of release, it had earned $6,990,000, according to box office charts in the 24 Feb 1987 DV.

      End credits include “special thanks” to: “The North Carolina Film Commission and the People of Wilmington and Charlotte; The Massachusetts Film Bureau and the People of Boston; Videobase International, New York, N.Y., who coordinated the editorial cartoons; The Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company; and Don Wright, The Miami News, for the original drawing of ‘Lady Justice.’”

              End credits state “Filmed at DEG Film Studios Inc., Wilmington, North Carolina.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1986.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 1987
p. 3, 19.
Daily Variety
24 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1987
p. 3, 87.
Los Angeles Times
6 Feb 1987
p. 2.
New York Times
6 Feb 1987
p. 10.
Variety
4 Feb 1987
p. 23.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Presents
An Indian Neck Production
A Bob Clark Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Asst grip
Lenses and cameras
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Video ed system
Video ed system consultants
Video ed system consultants
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Draftperson
Lead man
Prop master
Const supv
Head carpenter
Head painter
Scenic artist
Portrait painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus score by
SOUND
Sd boom
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
New York casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Asst to prod
Prod secy
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“The March Of The Toreadors” from ‘Hooked on Classics II,” written by Bizet, arranged and performed by Louis Clark conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, courtesy of RCA Records, published and administered by Eaton Music, Ltd.
“In The Mood,” music by Joe Garland, published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc.
Theme adapted from “Waltz of Eugen Onegin,” by Tchaikovsky.
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 February 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 6 February 1987
Production Date:
9 July--10 September 1986 in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC, and Boston
Copyright Claimant:
DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 May 1987
Copyright Number:
PA333106
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
111
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28417
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Boston, Massachusetts, first year attorney Robin Weathers is bored researching cases and filing papers; he wants to practice law in a courtroom. He deliberately slips a letter announcing a trial start date between the filing cabinets of his boss, Craig Duncan, then conveniently finds the letter the day before the trial’s start. When Duncan says he is not prepared, Robin volunteers to take the case as he knows it well. Since it is a one-day trial, simple assault case, Duncan and the other partners agree to let him do it. When Robin goes over the case with his client, Raymond Torkenson, a bank executive accused of hitting another employee, Torkenson tells him to stretch the case to three days. That night, when Robin tells his fiancée, Jo Ann, how he got the case, she congratulates him on his “creative sneakiness.” Robin is nervous and admits he does not know how to stretch the case. At the trial, Robin gets Phil Ames, the man suing Torkenson for $50,000, to admit that he considers Torkenson an “asshole.” The judge rules the word is inadmissible, but Robin argues the judge’s ruling is a violation of his client’s First Amendment rights and that no other word has those same connotations. The judge agrees to consider allowing the word “ass” during a hearing to be held the next day. At that hearing, Robin produces hundreds of books where the word “ass” is used, including Shakespeare. The judge agrees to allow it. Torkenson is impressed, but the law firm partners think Robin is embarrassing the firm. They plan to fire him after the trial, but Torkenson threatens to take all his business away ... +


In Boston, Massachusetts, first year attorney Robin Weathers is bored researching cases and filing papers; he wants to practice law in a courtroom. He deliberately slips a letter announcing a trial start date between the filing cabinets of his boss, Craig Duncan, then conveniently finds the letter the day before the trial’s start. When Duncan says he is not prepared, Robin volunteers to take the case as he knows it well. Since it is a one-day trial, simple assault case, Duncan and the other partners agree to let him do it. When Robin goes over the case with his client, Raymond Torkenson, a bank executive accused of hitting another employee, Torkenson tells him to stretch the case to three days. That night, when Robin tells his fiancée, Jo Ann, how he got the case, she congratulates him on his “creative sneakiness.” Robin is nervous and admits he does not know how to stretch the case. At the trial, Robin gets Phil Ames, the man suing Torkenson for $50,000, to admit that he considers Torkenson an “asshole.” The judge rules the word is inadmissible, but Robin argues the judge’s ruling is a violation of his client’s First Amendment rights and that no other word has those same connotations. The judge agrees to consider allowing the word “ass” during a hearing to be held the next day. At that hearing, Robin produces hundreds of books where the word “ass” is used, including Shakespeare. The judge agrees to allow it. Torkenson is impressed, but the law firm partners think Robin is embarrassing the firm. They plan to fire him after the trial, but Torkenson threatens to take all his business away if they do. Meanwhile, television news reports cover the case, attracted by Robin’s theatrics. The next day in the courtroom, Robin demands to see the journal in which Ames wrote the details of his conversation with Torkenson that led to the alleged assault. Upon reading it, Robin asks Ames personal questions from the journal under oath. When the judge wonders about Robin’s line of questioning, he replies that all this information demonstrates Ames’s character. When the jury returns the verdict, they find Torkenson not guilty. In celebration, Torkenson throws a lavish party, but Robin and Matt Cowens, the attorney who represented Ames, get into an argument and go to the boat house to fight. Once there, the two start celebrating how their plan to get noticed succeeded. The two shared information with each other before and during the trial. As a result, Cowens has an interview in the district attorney’s office and Robin is bringing lots of clients to the firm. The partners make Robin a partner when they learn how much money he is bringing into the firm. Client Douglas Benoit insists he wants Robin to represent him at his murder trial. Benoit, a professor of English Literature at Boston University, is charged with murdering Liza Williams, a prostitute who was blackmailing him. Even though her body was never found, police discovered her blood splattered clothes and a hammer believed to have been used to murder her under the seat of Benoit’s car. The firm initially declined the case, viewing it as unwinnable, but Benoit has put down a $75,000 retainer on the stipulation Robin represent him. Benoit says Robin is the “messiah of the blue collar” and therefore his story will be better served if Robin presents it. Robin responds that he is a creation of the media, but Benoit says the Torkenson jury liked Robin and that’s what he needs for his case. An upset Robin goes home and confesses to a sleeping Jo Ann the deceit behind the Torkenson case. He says he feels like a fraud and cannot properly represent Benoit, but he loves the limelight and attention. Jo Ann only pretends to be asleep. After Robin leaves, she finds she has doubts about their relationship. With the media now calling him “Stormy” Weathers, the trial begins. Robin takes the hammer believed to be the murder weapon and bangs it against the table repeatedly, saying that is what it sounds like hitting wood. He tells the jury he doubts anyone knows what a hammer hitting bones sounds like. While this antic goes over well with the audience, the judge chastises him for the stunt and makes him pay for the table. The next day, pathologist Dr. Charles Peckham testifies that it would be impossible for Benoit not to know the hammer and blood-stained clothes were sitting under the seat of his car. Robin asks why, pointing out that Peckham is completely unaware that he is sitting over a rabbit. Robin then takes a caged rabbit out from under the witness chair. This stunt also goes over well with the jury and the audience. That night, Jo Ann presents Robin with a small sculpture of Lady Justice and gives him a pep talk. The next day, Robin calls Liza Williams to testify, saying she did not die and is going to come into the courtroom. All heads turn toward the door looking for Liza to enter, but she does not. Robin explains that the fact that everyone looked should be enough to establish reasonable doubt since Liza’s body has not been found. Later, during a private consultation, Benoit congratulates Robin on his courtroom stunts. However, Robin believes Benoit is guilty and badgers him in an attempt to get his client to confess. Benoit insists he is innocent and threatens to have Robin disbarred. Benoit then makes several comments implying that he is indeed guilty and suggesting that Robin could be murdered, too. Later, Jo Ann advises Robin to do his best to make the truth come out. Robin goes to senior law partner Roberta Winnaker, worried that he is helping a psychotic man to go free. She says he must do the job he was hired to do or find a way to make Benoit confess. At trial, Benoit does confess to the affair with Liza Williams, but insists he loves his wife of nineteen years. When district attorney Scott Murray gets Benoit to hold the hammer, Robin objects, saying the jury now has a mental image of what Benoit might have looked like murdering Liza. Robin shouts out that Benoit is impotent and therefore a weak man. Benoit becomes upset and attacks Robin with the hammer. Robin ducks to avoid being hit, then makes a motion for a mistrial. The judge denies that motion, saying the trial will continue, and Benoit’s sanity will be determined at another time. When the jury comes back from deliberations, they find Benoit guilty. The judge also cites Robin for contempt, but Jo Ann is there to congratulate him on doing a good job. +

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.