The Mighty Quinn (1989)

R | 99 mins | Drama | 17 March 1989

Director:

Carl Schenkel

Writer:

Hampton Fancher

Cinematographer:

Jacques Steyn

Editor:

John Jympson

Production Designer:

Roger Murray-Leach

Production Company:

A & M Films
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HISTORY

A 29 Oct 1971 Var news brief stated that producer Robert Rosenthal had hired Larry Cohen to write a script based on A. H. Z. Carr’s posthumous novel, Finding Maubee.”- One month later, a 29 Nov 1971 Var news item reported that actor Sammy Davis, Jr. had been signed to appear in the film, and Sy Marsh and Robert Rosenthal were scheduled to produce. The 2 Nov 1971 HR reported that actor Lou Gossett was also cast.
       The project went dormant. Years later, a 13 May 1988 Publishers Weekly news item reported movie rights to the book had been purchased by A & M Films for $75,000.
       Rita Marley, who appears as a wedding band singer, was married to famed reggae singer Bob Marley.
       An 11 Dec 1988 LAT piece claimed that the title was changed to The Mighty Quinn, after the song written by Bob Dylan. This was done after a test audience thought the title Finding Maubee and the credit “Robert Townsend as Maubee” implied Townsend was the star of the film. As A&M was contractually obliged not to change Townsend's character’s name, they changed the title.
       A 10 Jun 1988 HR brief announced that principal photography had been completed in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
       The following written statement appears in end credits: “Special Thanks: Jampro Film Office, Jamaica Defense Force ... More Less

A 29 Oct 1971 Var news brief stated that producer Robert Rosenthal had hired Larry Cohen to write a script based on A. H. Z. Carr’s posthumous novel, Finding Maubee.”- One month later, a 29 Nov 1971 Var news item reported that actor Sammy Davis, Jr. had been signed to appear in the film, and Sy Marsh and Robert Rosenthal were scheduled to produce. The 2 Nov 1971 HR reported that actor Lou Gossett was also cast.
       The project went dormant. Years later, a 13 May 1988 Publishers Weekly news item reported movie rights to the book had been purchased by A & M Films for $75,000.
       Rita Marley, who appears as a wedding band singer, was married to famed reggae singer Bob Marley.
       An 11 Dec 1988 LAT piece claimed that the title was changed to The Mighty Quinn, after the song written by Bob Dylan. This was done after a test audience thought the title Finding Maubee and the credit “Robert Townsend as Maubee” implied Townsend was the star of the film. As A&M was contractually obliged not to change Townsend's character’s name, they changed the title.
       A 10 Jun 1988 HR brief announced that principal photography had been completed in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
       The following written statement appears in end credits: “Special Thanks: Jampro Film Office, Jamaica Defense Force Airwings.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Dec 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Mar 1989
p. 6.
New York Times
17 Feb 1989
p. 14.
Publishers Weekly
13 May 1988.
---
Variety
29 Oct 1971.
---
Variety
29 Nov 1971.
---
Variety
15 Feb 1989
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
MGM presents
An A & M Production
A Film by Carl Schenkel
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Chief lighting tech
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Lighting and cam equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
MUSIC
Orig score by
Mus supv
Mus ed
Orig score mixed by
Reggae mus consultant
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Titles by
DANCE
MAKEUP
Makeup and hair des
Makeup supv
Hair supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Capoeira stunts
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod asst
Prod coord (London)
Exec prod's asst
Prod accountant
Transportation coord
Casting assoc
Dialect coach
Unit pub
Prod coord, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
Crew in Jamaica
STAND INS
Capoeira stunts
Capoeira stunts
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Finding Maubee by A. H. Z. Carr (New York, 1971).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," written and performed by Michael Rose, co-produced by Tyrone Downie and Michael Rose
"Groove Master," written and performed by Arrow, courtesy of 4th & B'way Records, a division of Island Records, "Ain't Nothing Going On But The Rent," written by Gwen Guthrie, adapted by Lloyd James, performed by Conroy Smith
"Mary Jane," written by John Engerman, Joseph Engerman, Funk Gumbs, Jerry Meyers and Wilfredo Michael, performed by Seventeen Plus
+
SONGS
"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," written and performed by Michael Rose, co-produced by Tyrone Downie and Michael Rose
"Groove Master," written and performed by Arrow, courtesy of 4th & B'way Records, a division of Island Records, "Ain't Nothing Going On But The Rent," written by Gwen Guthrie, adapted by Lloyd James, performed by Conroy Smith
"Mary Jane," written by John Engerman, Joseph Engerman, Funk Gumbs, Jerry Meyers and Wilfredo Michael, performed by Seventeen Plus
"John Public," written and performed by Gregory Isaacs, courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd. and African Museum
"(I'm) Hurting Inside," written by Bob Marley, performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph with Cedalla Marley and Sharon Marley Prendergast, produced by Tyrone Downie
"Giving/Sharing," written and performed by Half-Pint, produced by Tyrone Downie
"Black Cinderella," written and performed by Errol Dunkley
"Your Eyes Only," written and performed by The Pinchers
"Girl Watcher," written by Buck Killette, adapted by Winston Foster, performed by Yellowman
"Principle," written and performed by Sister Carol
"Murderer," written by Lloyd James, performed by Pad Anthony
"The Mighty Quinn," written by Bob Dylan, adapted by Michael Rose, performed by Michael Rose, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Cedella Marley and Sharon Marley Prendergast, produced by Tyrone Downie
"Send Fi Spanish Fly," written by Lloyd James, performed by Little Twitch
"La Habanera," written by Boris Blank and Dieter Meier, performed by Yello, courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
"Cakewalk Into Town," written by Taj Mahal, performed by Denzel Washington, produced by Tyrone Downie
"House," written and performed by Tyrone Downie
"Yellow Moon," written by Aaron Neville and Joel Neville, performed by the Neville Brothers, courtesy of A&M Records
"I Gotta Keep Moving On," written by Curtis Mayfield, performed by UB40, courtesy of A&M Records and Virgin Records Ltd.
Cedella Marley and Sharon Marley Prendergast appear courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Finding Maubee
Release Date:
17 March 1989
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 February 1989
Los Angeles opening: 17 March 1989
Production Date:
ended early summer 1988
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27309
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While attending a wedding, the chief of police of a small Caribbean island, Xavier Quinn, receives a radio transmission that there has been a murder at a luxury resort. The resort owner, Donald Pater, was found with his neck slit floating in a hot tub. As Quinn speeds to the scene he almost runs into his friend Maubee, who is racing a motorcycle down the steep mountain road with his girl friend in the sidecar. Quinn steps out to berate his friend’s carelessness when he sees a suitcase in the road. Quinn hands the suitcase to his friend, stating he does not have time to open it. When Quinn gets to the hotel, Thomas Elgin, manager of the resort, informs him the body was removed from the hot tub so a doctor could examine it. Also, a notebook owned by Maubee was found in the dead man’s room. Elgin demands that Quinn wait to search the room, but Quinn ignores him and discovers a suitcase identical to the one Maubee was carrying. He orders his assistant, Sergeant Jump Jones, to have the body brought to the hospital. Elgin protests, claiming Governor Chalk has given him permission to send the body back to the U.S. for burial. Quinn insists an autopsy is a mandatory procedure for a homicide. Quinn finds Hadley Elgin, who found the body, but before he can ask any pertinent questions, Elgin, interrupts. He accuses his wife of sleeping around and she slaps him. Elgin slaps her back, then demands that Quinn arrest Maubee. Quinn goes to the police station and orders his ... +


While attending a wedding, the chief of police of a small Caribbean island, Xavier Quinn, receives a radio transmission that there has been a murder at a luxury resort. The resort owner, Donald Pater, was found with his neck slit floating in a hot tub. As Quinn speeds to the scene he almost runs into his friend Maubee, who is racing a motorcycle down the steep mountain road with his girl friend in the sidecar. Quinn steps out to berate his friend’s carelessness when he sees a suitcase in the road. Quinn hands the suitcase to his friend, stating he does not have time to open it. When Quinn gets to the hotel, Thomas Elgin, manager of the resort, informs him the body was removed from the hot tub so a doctor could examine it. Also, a notebook owned by Maubee was found in the dead man’s room. Elgin demands that Quinn wait to search the room, but Quinn ignores him and discovers a suitcase identical to the one Maubee was carrying. He orders his assistant, Sergeant Jump Jones, to have the body brought to the hospital. Elgin protests, claiming Governor Chalk has given him permission to send the body back to the U.S. for burial. Quinn insists an autopsy is a mandatory procedure for a homicide. Quinn finds Hadley Elgin, who found the body, but before he can ask any pertinent questions, Elgin, interrupts. He accuses his wife of sleeping around and she slaps him. Elgin slaps her back, then demands that Quinn arrest Maubee. Quinn goes to the police station and orders his men to contact every woman in Maubee’s notebook to see if they know where he is. He receives a message from his wife, Lola, to pick up their young son, Henry, after school. Two officers discover Maubee at a makeshift bar. Maubee kicks a support beam, causing the shack to collapse, and escapes by jumping into the river. After meeting with the governor, who also insists that Quinn arrest Maubee, Quinn goes to the bar to find Nick, a bar patron, vomiting. An officer explains that Maubee bet Nick a $10,000 bill that he could not drink a beer filled with marijuana cigarette stubs. Quinn laughs that there are no $10,000 bills in existence, but Nick insists he saw it. He is handed a message that Gov. Chalk has ordered Donald Pater's body to be shipped home. It is dark when Quinn arrives to pick up Henry, who relates a lesson from school, that the fer-de-lance is the deadliest snake in the world; it is so poisonous that a man dies fifteen seconds after being bit. Quinn drives the boy home and is reprimanded by Lola for being late. When Quinn explains what is happening, Lola defends Maubee. Quinn visits Dr. Raj, the medical examiner, who, with the help of Jump Jones, breaks into the hangar and autopsies Pater’s body. That night, Quinn naps in the jail and awakens to find a picture of himself and Maubee as children on a windowsill. Recognizing the beach in the picture, he drives there and sees Maubee. However, Maubee runs away, seemingly disappearing into thin air. Later, Quinn learns that Maubee’s newest girlfriend is Isola, the niece of a witch named Uba Pearl. Before Quinn can go see her, he is pulled into the governor’s office and introduced to Fred Miller, a representative of Pater Enterprises, and is told to help the man “tie up loose ends.” Miller tags along as Quinn visits Uba Pearl. She blocks the door with her wheelchair, threatening to curse the men if they enter her house, but Quinn informs her he is already cursed. In the back room, Quinn sees a baby and realizes it is Isola’s. Finding a large trunk, Quinn opens it to discover a bag of snakes. Stopping at a bar, Quinn is informed that a white man in a cowboy hat is also looking for Maubee. Quinn drops Miller off at the resort only to have Thomas Elgin threaten to throw him out. He suggests Elgin call the police and searches the grounds. He picks the locks to Elgin’s suite and finds a wall of antique weapons with a dagger missing. Hadley appears and claims the knife was stolen by Maubee after she had sex with him. As Quinn drives away, he sees a car following him. He stops around a corner, leaps out with his gun drawn and stops the driver, Jose Patina, who is packing a pistol with a silencer. Quinn takes him to jail. When Patina refuses to talk, Quinn removes the silencer from his gun and shoots the wall inches from the man’s head. Patina does not flinch. Quinn leaves to see Dr. Raj, who tells him Pater died of a snakebite, and his throat was slit after his death. Quinn returns to the police station and is infuriated to learn Gov. Chalk ordered Patina released. Quinn storms into Chalk’s office, declaring Maubee is innocent as the victim died of snakebite. The governor refuses to listen and threatens to fire Quinn unless Maubee is detained. That night, Quinn goes to watch his estranged wife, Lola, sing at a hotel. She sings a mocking version of the “Mighty Quinn,” to the crowd’s amusement. Later, he receives a telephone call from Hadley. When he sees her, he sees bruises on her neck and asks who strangled her. She tells him it was Patina and attempts to seduce him. Quinn turns her down. Downtown, Miller sits in Patina’s hotel room and explains that Washington is pulling out of the operation to supply arms funds to a Central American revolution. The killer refuses to give up on the revolution, however, and declares he will find Maubee and the money on his own. Miller salutes his dedication before shooting him in the head. Quinn goes to a casino and silences the players by climbing onto a stage and playing “The Mighty Quinn” on piano. Soon, everyone sings along with him, including Lola. A drunken Quinn walks out to the street and is met by the governor’s car driven by Maubee. The two men drive to the beach, where Quinn handcuffs his friend to him. After spending the night drinking, Quinn wakes up alone. His car is swamped by salt water from the rising tide. Back in town, Quinn learns of Patina’s murder. He drives to a countryside church and spots Isola, who declares Maubee is innocent of murder. Quinn convinces her to reveal Maubee’s whereabouts. Unaware Miller is following him, Quinn goes to the dilapidated house he and Maubee grew up in. On the wall is scrawled “10,000.” Later, Quinn discovers the U.S. issued $10,000 bills in the 1920s and again in the 1950s. He theorizes to Gov. Chalk that the U.S. President used the old bills to bank Central American guerrillas without anyone knowing. When the money was stolen, Washington, D.C., officials sent a hired killer to retrieve it. Chalk declares it an American problem and orders Quinn to “stay out of the way.” Instead, Quinn instructs Jump to drive him to Uba Pearl’s. Miller gets there first. When Pearl refuses to disclose Isola’s or the money’s location, he punches her in the face, ties her to her wheelchair, sticks a broom in its wheels, and lights her shack on fire. Quinn arrives to find the shack engulfed in flames and Isola hiding in the bushes. She tells Quinn where Maubee is hiding. Quinn races over to an abandoned school house where Maubee confesses that Isola’s baby’s father was Donald Pater. When Pater refused to acknowledge the child, Uba Pearl put a spell on him. When that did not work, she ordered Isola to leave a poisonous snake in Pater’s room. Maubee found out, but he arrived too late to stop Isola. So, he slit the man’s throat to confuse the police. He then discovered the suitcase of money and fled with it and Isola. Maubee goes to retrieve the loot, when a helicopter lands nearby and Miller emerges holding a machine gun. Miller orders Maubee to show himself. When Maubee does not, Miller shoots Quinn, purposely only grazing him. Maubee appears and tosses the bag to Miller. Miller gets back in the helicopter, but as it pulls up, Maubee leaps onto the aircraft’s landing skid. As the helicopter flies over the ocean, Miller shoots Maubee dead. His body falls into the water, and a fer-de-lance snake crawls out of the moneybag and bites the pilot. The helicopter crashes into the school and explodes. That night, Quinn visits Lola, who takes him into her arms. +

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

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