Leonard Part 6 (1987)

PG | 80 mins | Comedy, Fantasy | 18 December 1987

Director:

Paul Weiland

Producer:

Bill Cosby

Cinematographer:

Jan de Bont

Editor:

Gerry Hambling

Production Designer:

Geoffrey Kirkland

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures
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HISTORY

       Leonard Part 6 was intended as a spoof of secret agent and spy movies. During opening narration, the character of the butler, “Frayn,” tells the audience that the first five installments of Leonard’s espionage adventures were confiscated for world security reasons.
       The movie marked the feature film debut for director Paul Weiland, who had previously directed commercials in Great Britain. Promotional information in AMPAS library files indicates that actor-producer-writer Bill Cosby conceived the movie while on vacation in Southern France in Jul 1987. He sold the idea to Steve Sohmer, the president of the Columbia Pictures, who put the story into development.
       As reported in a 28 Apr 1987 HR production chart, principal photography began 15 Apr 1987, and by that time Sohmer was no longer the president of Columbia, but was serving as a producer for the film. Sohmer receives the unusual title of “executive producer for Mr. Cosby” in the opening credits. A spokesperson for Columbia said the credit was negotiated between Cosby, Sohmer, and Columbia Pictures, according to the 18 Oct 1987 LAT. However, a spokesperson for Cosby suggested the credit either was ego-based or was the result of a feud with David Putnam, who replaced Sohmer as the president of Columbia Pictures.
       The film was shot entirely on location in the San Francisco, CA, Bay Area. Four mansions in the town of Piedmont, CA, near Oakland, were used for the mansions of "Leonard" and his estranged wife, while the set for the exterior of the International Tuna company was built in the shipyards of Alameda, CA. Sound stages were constructed in an unused factory in ... More Less

       Leonard Part 6 was intended as a spoof of secret agent and spy movies. During opening narration, the character of the butler, “Frayn,” tells the audience that the first five installments of Leonard’s espionage adventures were confiscated for world security reasons.
       The movie marked the feature film debut for director Paul Weiland, who had previously directed commercials in Great Britain. Promotional information in AMPAS library files indicates that actor-producer-writer Bill Cosby conceived the movie while on vacation in Southern France in Jul 1987. He sold the idea to Steve Sohmer, the president of the Columbia Pictures, who put the story into development.
       As reported in a 28 Apr 1987 HR production chart, principal photography began 15 Apr 1987, and by that time Sohmer was no longer the president of Columbia, but was serving as a producer for the film. Sohmer receives the unusual title of “executive producer for Mr. Cosby” in the opening credits. A spokesperson for Columbia said the credit was negotiated between Cosby, Sohmer, and Columbia Pictures, according to the 18 Oct 1987 LAT. However, a spokesperson for Cosby suggested the credit either was ego-based or was the result of a feud with David Putnam, who replaced Sohmer as the president of Columbia Pictures.
       The film was shot entirely on location in the San Francisco, CA, Bay Area. Four mansions in the town of Piedmont, CA, near Oakland, were used for the mansions of "Leonard" and his estranged wife, while the set for the exterior of the International Tuna company was built in the shipyards of Alameda, CA. Sound stages were constructed in an unused factory in Berkeley, CA.
       Many animals were cast for the film, including sheep, cows, horses, dogs, cats, deer, rabbits, frogs, ostriches, geese, and pigeons, plus a zebra, an anteater and a large rodent known as a cappiberra. The film also cast many lobsters, but they did not respond as needed, so fifty mechanical lobsters were constructed for the critical scene in which Cosby’s character is attacked by lobsters.
       The movie opened on 18 Dec 1987 on 1,142 screens, but took in a mere $1.3 million in its first three days of release, according to the 22 Dec 1987 DV box-office chart. Reviews tended to be scathingly negative, and Bill Cosby distanced himself from the film before it opened by appearing on the Larry King Live talk show on Cable News Network (CNN), advising people not to see it, according to the 22 Dec 1987 WSJ. Cosby said he was unhappy with the final version and placed much of the blame on Columbia Pictures president David Putnam, who had installed employees loyal to him in key positions, including as director and producer. Putnam was fired from Columbia shortly before the film’s release. The 10 Dec 1987 LAHExam reported a rumor that Cosby offered Columbia $10 million in cash and another $10 million in personal endorsement time not to release the film. That $20 million offer would have covered most of the film’s $23 million production costs, including Cosby’s $6 million salary, but not the $5 million promotional campaign.
       Box-office also suffered when theatres owned by Cineplex Odeon refused to run it in retaliation for Columba changing release plans for The Last Emperor (1987) just days before it was scheduled to open, as reported in the 10 Dec 1987 DV. Instead of the originally planned nationwide release, Columbia opted to do a limited-release pattern, starting in larger cities just before Christmas, and then gradually opening The Last Emperor across the country in Jan 1988, according to the 14 Dec 1987 LAT. As a result, many theaters that had booked The Last Emperor for Christmas suddenly did not have a film to play, so Cineplex Odeon, the fourth largest theater chain in the nation, opted not to play Leonard Part 6 either.
       Leonard Part 6 won three “Razzies” from the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation that year: Worst Picture, Worst Actor for Bill Cosby, and Worst Screenplay for Jonathan Reynolds and Bill Cosby. Gloria Foster was also nominated for Worst Supporting Actress and Paul Weiland for Worst Director. While Cosby did not attend the award ceremony, he did display his three awards a few months later on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, announcing, “I swept the awards!” In 2005, Leonard Part 6 also earned a Razzie nomination in the category of “Worst Comedy of Our First 25 Years.”
       In 1988, stagehand John Chaplin filed a lawsuit against Cosby and others for injuries sustained while working on Leonard Part 6. According to the 20 Jul 1988 DV, Chaplin had been out of work for more than a year after hurting himself while reaching for equipment on a raised forklift palate. No further information about the lawsuit could be found. Chaplin is not listed in the film’s on-screen credits.


      End credits include, “Thanks to David Garfath and Glynis Murray.” End credits also state, “This Motion Picture was made on location in Berkeley and San Francisco, Northern California.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Dec 1987
p. 1, 27.
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1987
p. 3, 30.
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1987.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1987
p. 3, 20.
LAHExam
10 Dec 1987
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Dec 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Dec 1987
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 1987
p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
20 Dec 1987.
---
New York Times
18 Dec 1987
p. 30.
Variety
16 Dec 1987
p. 11.
WSJ
22 Dec 1987.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Picture presents
A SAH Enterprises, Inc., production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod for Mr. Cosby
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam op
2d cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Video synch
Key grip
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Leadperson
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Swing crew
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Const coord
Swing crew
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Key costumer
Women's costumer
Men's costumer
Mr. Cosby's dresser
Bird cost by
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Boom op
Cable op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
(UK)
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff prod by
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff by
Matte opticals
Eff supv
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Visual mech eff and props
Visual mech eff and props
Model supv, Oxford Scientific Films
Eff cam, Oxford Scientific Films
Underwater cam, Oxford Scientific Films
Animatronics sculptor, Oxford Scientific Films
Foam latex supv, Oxford Scientific Films
Animatronics eng, Oxford Scientific Films
Animatronics eng, Oxford Scientific Films
Make-up, Oxford Scientific Films
Model dresser, Oxford Scientific Films
Clapper loader, Oxford Scientific Films
Focus puller, Oxford Scientific Films
Chief elec, Oxford Scientific Films
Prod asst, Oxford Scientific Films
Underwater set const, Oxford Scientific Films
Diver, Oxford Scientific Films
Diver, Oxford Scientific Films
Diver, Oxford Scientific Films
Pyrotechnics, Oxford Scientific Films
Pyrotechnics, Oxford Scientific Films
Visual eff in 65mm by
Los Angeles, California
Dir of photog, Boss Film Corporation
Visual eff art dir, Boss Film Corporation
Visual eff ed, Boss Film Corporation
Chief financial officer, Boss Film Corporation
Spec eff foreman, Boss Film Corporation
Opt supv, Boss Film Corporation
Model shop supv, Boss Film Corporation
Spec projects supv, Boss Film Corporation
Chief eng, Boss Film Corporation
Asst to Richard Edlund, Boss Film Corporation
Prod coord, Boss Film Corporation
Opt cam op, Boss Film Corporation
Opt cam op, Boss Film Corporation
Opt line-up, Boss Film Corporation
Head lab tech, Boss Film Corporation
1st asst photog, Boss Film Corporation
1st asst photog, Boss Film Corporation
Still photog, Boss Film Corporation
Anim prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Anim prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Anim prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Tech anim supv, Boss Film Corporation
Spec projects asst, Boss Film Corporation
Asst ed, Boss Film Corporation
Eff tech, Boss Film Corporation
Chief lighting tech, Boss Film Corporation
Grip, Boss Film Corporation
Asst spec eff foreman, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Intl. Tuna miniature crew chief, Boss Film Corpora
Lobster crew chief, Boss Film Corporation
Ostrich puppet sculptor, Boss Film Corporation
Chief moldmaker, Boss Film Corporation
Head painter, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Ostrich anim, Boss Film Corporation
Model shop coord, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Des eng, Boss Film Corporation
Electronics supv, Boss Film Corporation
Prod accountant, Boss Film Corporation
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod office coord
Local casting
Casting asst
Extras casting
Asst to Mr. Cosby
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Mr. Sohmer
Asst to Mr. Weiland
Loc mgr
Craft service
Animals trained by
Animal trainer
Wrangler
Horse trainer
Prod auditor
Auditor's asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Local capt
Col dye tech asst
STAND INS
Leonard's dance double
Stunt coord
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
San Francisco
SOURCES
SONGS
"Without You (Love Theme From 'Leonard Part 6')," written by Lamont Dozier, produced by Michael J. Powell and Sir Gant, performed by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, Peabo Bryson appears courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records, Regina Belle appears courtesy of CBS Records
"Positive," written by Peter Quigley and Alaster Campbell, produced by Michael J. Powell and Sir Gant, performed by Peabo Bryson, Peabo Bryson appears courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
"Hurt," written by Jimmie Crane and Al Jacobs, produced by Michael J. Powell and Sir Gant, performed by Peabo Bryson, Peabo Bryson appears courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 December 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York release: 18 December 1987
Production Date:
began 15 April 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 January 1988
Copyright Number:
PA359244
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Release prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
80
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28794
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) super-spy, Leonard Parker, now runs an upscale restaurant in San Francisco, California. Leonard retired from the CIA seven years ago when his wife, Allison, left him after finding him in bed with a nineteen-year-old girl. Leonard still hopes to win Allison back, but so far has been unsuccessful. When criminal mastermind and committed vegetarian, Medusa Johnson, discovers a way to control ordinary animals and turn them into killers, the CIA tries to lure Leonard back in service. Medusa has killed several CIA agents with her killer animals. The CIA fears Medusa will launch a full-scale assault on the Bay Area sometime in the next three days. Despite an offer of $6 million for his services, Leonard refuses to help the CIA. He returns to his mansion where he finds his twenty-year-old daughter, Joan, waiting for him. A budding actress, Joan introduces him to the director of her new play, sixty-six-year-old Giorgio Frann Dorsey, who tells Leonard he intends to marry Joan. Leonard is not pleased and refuses to pay for the wedding. He tries to talk Joan out of the marriage, reminding her that a month ago, she believed her life’s calling was to be a sculptor, and a month before that, she wanted to be a Buddhist. However, Joan is intent on marrying Giorgio. Leonard persuades his estranged wife to meet him to discuss the matter. Over dinner at her mansion, just a few doors from Leonard’s mansion, Allison says she has never loved a man as much as she loved Leonard, but is still hurt by his infidelity of seven years ago. Allison dumps soup and a plate of pasta on Leonard’s ... +


Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) super-spy, Leonard Parker, now runs an upscale restaurant in San Francisco, California. Leonard retired from the CIA seven years ago when his wife, Allison, left him after finding him in bed with a nineteen-year-old girl. Leonard still hopes to win Allison back, but so far has been unsuccessful. When criminal mastermind and committed vegetarian, Medusa Johnson, discovers a way to control ordinary animals and turn them into killers, the CIA tries to lure Leonard back in service. Medusa has killed several CIA agents with her killer animals. The CIA fears Medusa will launch a full-scale assault on the Bay Area sometime in the next three days. Despite an offer of $6 million for his services, Leonard refuses to help the CIA. He returns to his mansion where he finds his twenty-year-old daughter, Joan, waiting for him. A budding actress, Joan introduces him to the director of her new play, sixty-six-year-old Giorgio Frann Dorsey, who tells Leonard he intends to marry Joan. Leonard is not pleased and refuses to pay for the wedding. He tries to talk Joan out of the marriage, reminding her that a month ago, she believed her life’s calling was to be a sculptor, and a month before that, she wanted to be a Buddhist. However, Joan is intent on marrying Giorgio. Leonard persuades his estranged wife to meet him to discuss the matter. Over dinner at her mansion, just a few doors from Leonard’s mansion, Allison says she has never loved a man as much as she loved Leonard, but is still hurt by his infidelity of seven years ago. Allison dumps soup and a plate of pasta on Leonard’s suit. Meanwhile, a CIA agent is keeping surveillance on Medusa’s headquarters at the International Tuna company on the waterfront. However, Medusa’s men spot him and send in an army of frogs which get under his car, then hop in unison, lifting the car up with each hop and dumping the car in the bay where the agent drowns. CIA head Nick Snyderburn continues to contact Leonard, begging him to take the Medusa case. Leonard finally agrees, and has his butler, Frayn, drive him to see an Albanian fortune-teller named Nurse Carvalho, who speaks no English. Leonard visits the medium before each assignment because he believes she can foresee what he needs to complete his missions. After this visit, Carvalho gives Leonard ballet slippers and a ring box. Back at his mansion, Leonard suits up with various spy gadgets and takes his customized sports car to International Tuna, where he is unable to break through the reinforced metal front door with missiles launched from his armory of gadgets. Amused by his antics, Medusa has her men open the door for him. Once Leonard is inside, Medusa has her men perform a dance. Leonard puts on the ballet slippers and joins them, but they start attacking him. Leonard eludes them and goes to the “bee room,” inhabited by a swarm of bees. Leonard opens the ring box Carvalho gave him, which has a single bee inside. He releases that bee and soon the swarm of bees attacks Medusa’s men. Leonard grabs the sphere the bees were protecting and makes his escape. Back home, Leonard performs surgery on himself and removes the bullet in his chest, adding it to a large collection of other bullets he has been hit with over the years. Leonard and Allison sit together at Joan’s play, Rage for Cousin Jamie, in which their daughter appears nude on stage. Leonard confronts the director, Giorgio, about the nudity, but when he goes to the dressing rooms, Leonard finds Joan and the other actors bound and gagged. Joan reports a group of men kidnapped her mother. Leonard knows immediately that Medusa is responsible. He goes to CIA headquarters to take back the sphere, knowing he can trade it for Allison. CIA agents attempt to control animals with the three vials of liquid contained in the sphere, but are unsuccessful. However, Leonard figures out how to make the rabbits attack the agents and then steals the sphere. Driving home, Frayn the butler comments that the vials look like they contain colored dishwashing detergent, so they stop at a grocery store and buy liquid dish detergent to substitute for the liquid in the vials. They also stop to consult with Nurse Carvalho, who gives him Alka-Seltzer tablets, a hot dog, raw hamburger patties and sticks of butter. Leonard returns to Medusa’s, gives her the sphere and demands his wife back. Medusa laughs at his attempt to substitute dishwashing liquid, saying that is what was in the vials to begin with. She reports that a “meliptium chromium” catalyst is needed to make the ingredients work. Medusa brags that she intends to release the liquid into San Francisco Bay and “liberate” all the animals in the area. She locks Leonard in a cell with Allison, then releases killer lobsters into their cell. However, Leonard breaks one of the ropes binding his hands and pulls out the sticks of butter, threatening to use it on the lobsters to make lobster thermidor. The lobsters back away and the couple escapes. Leonard rides a horse into the control room where he stops the countdown just before the liquid is released into the bay. Medusa’s men attack him, but realizing they are all vegetarians, Leonard throws the raw hamburger patties at them and the patties burn their bodies. When another man confronts him, Leonard puts a hot dog in his adversary’s mouth, causing the man’s head to explode. Seeing the vats of liquid, Leonard throws the Alka-Seltzer tablets into the vats, which causes them to fizz and overflow. The liquid hits electrical outlets and starts fires throughout the warehouse. Leonard hops on an ostrich and rides to safety just before the building explodes. Afterward, Joan quits the theater and joins the animal rights organization, Greenpeace. Meanwhile, Leonard and Allison have dinner and she pours soup on his suit, dumps a plate of spaghetti on his head and smears a cake in his face. They kiss and reconcile.
+

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

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