The Pick-Up Artist (1987)

PG-13 | 82 mins | Comedy-drama, Romance | 18 September 1987

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HISTORY


       Ultimately, Beatty, who would have been forty-nine by the time the film went into production, decided he was too old to play the part. Additionally, Jack Jericho, a character driven by his erotic impulses, was too similar to the role he played in Shampoo (1975, see entry). Toback suggested his friend Robert De Niro for the part and De Niro had a successful reading. However, Beatty, Toback and De Niro each came to the realization that Jack Jericho was better played by someone in his early twenties. Thus, the lead role went to Robert Downey, Jr., who is credited onscreen as “Robert Downey.”
       Principal photography got underway on 19 May 1986 in New York City, according to the 27 May 1986 DV production chart. The 29 Jun 1987 People magazine stated the film’s budget was $8 million. The 13 Jul 1986 LAT noted that even though they were filming on location throughout New York City, the set was closed, per the order of Beatty, who was serving as producer. However, Beatty’s name is not included in onscreen credits. Instead, Beatty’s first cousin, David L. MacLeod, is listed as the producer.
       The film also shot in Atlantic City, NJ, on the Boardwalk and at the Resorts International Casino Hotel, where a special arrangement had to be worked out to allow actress Molly Ringwald onto the casino floor. New Jersey state law forbids anyone under the age of twenty-one on the casino floor and Ringwald was only nineteen at the time. To get past this law, the 26 Jul 1986 LAHExam reported the casino had to hire ... More Less


       Ultimately, Beatty, who would have been forty-nine by the time the film went into production, decided he was too old to play the part. Additionally, Jack Jericho, a character driven by his erotic impulses, was too similar to the role he played in Shampoo (1975, see entry). Toback suggested his friend Robert De Niro for the part and De Niro had a successful reading. However, Beatty, Toback and De Niro each came to the realization that Jack Jericho was better played by someone in his early twenties. Thus, the lead role went to Robert Downey, Jr., who is credited onscreen as “Robert Downey.”
       Principal photography got underway on 19 May 1986 in New York City, according to the 27 May 1986 DV production chart. The 29 Jun 1987 People magazine stated the film’s budget was $8 million. The 13 Jul 1986 LAT noted that even though they were filming on location throughout New York City, the set was closed, per the order of Beatty, who was serving as producer. However, Beatty’s name is not included in onscreen credits. Instead, Beatty’s first cousin, David L. MacLeod, is listed as the producer.
       The film also shot in Atlantic City, NJ, on the Boardwalk and at the Resorts International Casino Hotel, where a special arrangement had to be worked out to allow actress Molly Ringwald onto the casino floor. New Jersey state law forbids anyone under the age of twenty-one on the casino floor and Ringwald was only nineteen at the time. To get past this law, the 26 Jul 1986 LAHExam reported the casino had to hire the studio as a “vendor.” Since a vendor, such as a janitorial service, can send an underage employee onto the floor, this arrangement allowed Ringwald to film her part. However, she had to leave the gaming area immediately after her scenes were finished.
       After principal photography was completed, Twentieth Century Fox financed additional filming. In the Mar 2014 Vanity Fair, James Toback explained that “holes” were found during the editing process, so the crew reassembled for three days of shooting in downtown Los Angeles, CA. However, on the last of the three days, Downey did not show up for work. The final scenes were scrapped, and the production made a claim against its completion insurance.
       The film earned an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The 3 Sep 1987 DV reported that distributor Twentieth Century Fox appealed the decision, but the R-rating was upheld. The studio subsequently trimmed several minutes of footage, bringing it to an unusually short running time of eighty-two minutes, and obtained a PG-13 rating, as reported in the 9 Sep 1987 DV.
       The Pick-Up Artist opened 18 Sep 1987 on 1,129 screens, taking in $4.5 million in its first three days of release, according to the 22 Sep 1987 DV box-office report. After six weeks in theaters, the film had grossed $12.1 million, according to the 27 Oct 1987 DV box-office report.
      End credits state: “The producers wish to thank: New York City Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; New York City Police Department, MTV Unit; Resorts International Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey; The New Jersey Film Commission; American Museum of Natural History; The Hayden Planetarium; Ethical Culture School, New York City; Stevie Wonder; Keith John; Charlie ‘Jazzbo’ Collins; Gary Harris; Lee Lighting America, Ltd.; General Camera; Sound One Corporation; Donna Motors.”

              Writer-director James Toback completed his script for The Pick-Up Artist in 1984 and actor Warren Beatty quickly purchased it, initially intending to star in it. While many assumed the womanizing lead character of “Jack Jericho” was based on Beatty, who had a real-life reputation of being a playboy, Toback denied it. He told the 20 Sep 1985 NYT that the character was not based on Beatty, saying that Jack Jericho chases after people, but Beatty “always has people chasing after him.” However, in a Mar 2014 Vanity Fair article, Toback acknowledged that the script was written with Beatty in mind. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 May 1986.
---
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1987.
---
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1987.
---
Daily Variety
16 Sep 1987
p. 3, 11.
Daily Variety
22 Sep 1987.
---
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1987
p. 3, 16.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
26 Jul 1986
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Sep 1987
Calendar, p. 9.
New York Times
20 Sep 1985.
---
New York Times
18 Sep 1987
Section C, p. 21.
People
29 Jun 1987.
---
Vanity Fair
Mar 2014
p. 210, 215-216, 218, 222.
Variety
23 Sep 1987
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
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PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Twentieth Century Fox Presents
Produced in association with Amercent Films and American Entertainment Partners L. P.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
D.G.A. trainee
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Cam trainee
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Steadicam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Prop person
Prop person
Const coord
Standby carpenter
Head const grip
Const grip
Carpenter
Carpenter
Chargeman scenic artist
Standby scenic
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Women's ward supv
Men's ward supv
Asst to cost des
Addl ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus ed
Addl mus score
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
ADR asst
Foley ed
Asst foley ed
Asst foley ed
Asst foley ed
Sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Atlantic City loc corrd
Loc scout
Loc scout
Asst to Mr. Toback
Extras casting
Prod office coord
Prod office coord
Asst to Paul Sylbert
Prod auditor
Asst prod auditor
Accounting asst
Stage mgr
Transportation capt
Transportation coord
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod facilities by
New York City, New York
SOURCES
SONGS
“Da Doo Ron Ron,” written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, performed by The Crystals, produced by Phil Spector, courtesy of Phil Spector International
“The Pickup Artist,” written by Stevie Wonder, performed by Keith John, produced by Stevie Wonder, courtesy of Taurus Productions
“Don’t Hang Up,” written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, performed by The Orlons, courtesy of Abkco Records, Inc.
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SONGS
“Da Doo Ron Ron,” written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, performed by The Crystals, produced by Phil Spector, courtesy of Phil Spector International
“The Pickup Artist,” written by Stevie Wonder, performed by Keith John, produced by Stevie Wonder, courtesy of Taurus Productions
“Don’t Hang Up,” written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, performed by The Orlons, courtesy of Abkco Records, Inc.
“Susie Darlin’,” written & performed by Robin Luke, courtesy of MCA Records
“Lonely Boy,” written by Paul Anka
“(The Best Part Of) Breaking Up,” written by Phil Spector, Vincent Poncia and Pete Andreoli, performed by The Ronettes, produced by Phil Spector, courtesy of Phil Spector International
“Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, performed by The Exciters, courtesy of EMI America/Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
“Under The Boardwalk,” written by Arthur Resnick and Kenny Young
“She’s Crafty,” written by R. Rubin, A. Yauch, and The King, performed by The Beastie Boys, courtesy of Def Jam Recordings/Columbia
“Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home,” written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, performed by Darlene Love, produced by Phil Spector, courtesy of Phil Spector International
“Casanova,” written by Reggie Calloway, performed by LeVert, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Blue Suede Shoes,” written by Carl Perkins.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
18 September 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 September 1987
Production Date:
began 19 May 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
12 January 1988
Copyright Number:
PA359165
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
82
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27920
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, twenty-two-year-old, elementary school teacher Jack Jericho flirts outrageously with women. He practices his pick-up lines constantly, his favorite being, “Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Dégas?” He cruises through the city in his vintage 1968 red Chevrolet Camaro convertible, always on the lookout for another conquest, and has no hesitation about double parking on the street when he spies a beautiful lady. He sleeps with many of those women and has the telephone numbers of many more on a sheet of paper that he keeps with him at all times. One night when Jack goes into a trendy club, he sees a beautiful, nineteen-year-old redhead named Randy Jensen, chatting with Alonzo Scolara, a mob boss owed money by her father. Alonzo wants Randy to sleep with a Colombian drug lord, Fernando Portacarrero, who has taken a shine to her. Despite this being a way of reducing her father’s debt, she refuses, saying sex and money do not mix. The next day, Jack Jericho spies Randy at an Off Track Betting office, making wagers on the day’s horse races. When she comes out, Jack rushes to introduce himself. Randy at first resists his flirtations, but soon is in the backseat of his car having sex. Afterward, when he asks for her telephone number, Randy sees his large list of women’s numbers and refuses to give hers to him. Randy gets out of the car and walks to her job at the American Museum on Natural History in Central Park, where Alonzo waits, demanding his money. Jack follows to learn where Randy works, then books ... +


In New York City, twenty-two-year-old, elementary school teacher Jack Jericho flirts outrageously with women. He practices his pick-up lines constantly, his favorite being, “Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Dégas?” He cruises through the city in his vintage 1968 red Chevrolet Camaro convertible, always on the lookout for another conquest, and has no hesitation about double parking on the street when he spies a beautiful lady. He sleeps with many of those women and has the telephone numbers of many more on a sheet of paper that he keeps with him at all times. One night when Jack goes into a trendy club, he sees a beautiful, nineteen-year-old redhead named Randy Jensen, chatting with Alonzo Scolara, a mob boss owed money by her father. Alonzo wants Randy to sleep with a Colombian drug lord, Fernando Portacarrero, who has taken a shine to her. Despite this being a way of reducing her father’s debt, she refuses, saying sex and money do not mix. The next day, Jack Jericho spies Randy at an Off Track Betting office, making wagers on the day’s horse races. When she comes out, Jack rushes to introduce himself. Randy at first resists his flirtations, but soon is in the backseat of his car having sex. Afterward, when he asks for her telephone number, Randy sees his large list of women’s numbers and refuses to give hers to him. Randy gets out of the car and walks to her job at the American Museum on Natural History in Central Park, where Alonzo waits, demanding his money. Jack follows to learn where Randy works, then books a tour of the museum, requesting Randy as tour guide. A few hours later, he shows up with the youngsters on the elementary school softball team he coaches. Randy is chilly toward Jack during the tour, but he keeps pressuring her to have dinner with him. She demands he throw his list of phone numbers away before she will consider it. He crumples the sheet up and tosses it away, but she is not impressed and walks away. He retrieves the sheet and then goes to his friend Phil’s coffee shop. Phil tries to set Jack up with some models who come in, but, surprisingly, Jack is not interested. He returns to the museum at closing time and, unbeknownst to Randy, follows her onto the subway, home to Coney Island. Through the apartment window, he sees Randy arguing with her intoxicated father, “Flash” Jensen, but assumes Flash is her boyfriend. Jack comes to her rescue, but she gets angry with him for being there. A moment later, Alonzo comes to the door, demanding the $25,481 Flash owes him. To impress her, Jack offers to pay the debt, but she refuses. Later, Jack and Randy go to the Coney Island amusement park, play some games, and get along well. He accompanies her back to the museum, where she picks up her paycheck, but she ditches Jack and gets on a bus to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jack goes to his friend, Phil, asking for the cash to pay off Alonzo. Phil says he does not have that kind of money, but is impressed that Jack is so much in love. Jack and Phil return to Coney Island, where Jack learns Flash is Randy’s father rather than her boyfriend and Flash suggests Randy went to Atlantic City. In Atlantic City, Randy cashes her $525 paycheck and starts playing blackjack. She wins hand after hand until she has $13,000 and decides to bet it all on a single hand. Unfortunately, she loses the money and rushes out, devastated. Jack follows her to the boardwalk and suggests she gamble on him. He trades in his vintage Camaro at a used car lot for $2,950. They return to the casino and go to the Roulette wheel, where he bets $1,000 on number thirteen, Jack’s lucky number, and $1,950 on number eleven, Randy’s lucky number. The ball lands on number thirteen. At thirty-five-to-one odds, Jack wins $35,000. When Jack goes to pay off Flash’s debt, Alonzo refuses to take the money, preferring Randy to sleep with Fernando Portacarrero. Jack causes a scene in the casino and threatens Alonzo until he accepts the money. Jack catches up to Randy on the boardwalk and says he intends to use the remaining $10,000 to buy back his car and spend the rest on her. However, Randy tells him they should not be together, saying they are both gamblers and cannot live their lives taking risks as they just did. Jack responds that you can only gamble when you have a choice, but he has no choice, because he wants to be with her forever. Randy is unswayed, so Jack tears up his list of phone numbers and throws it into the wind. He walks away but Randy does nothing to stop him. Jack returns to New York City and pays the back rent on the apartment he shares with his grandmother. The next day when he leaves, he finds Randy waiting on the sidewalk for him, wanting to get back together. Jack feigns having doubts, then agrees to have dinner with her. They two walk arm in arm down the street together.



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

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