Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

PG-13 | 98 mins | Comedy | 5 July 1989

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HISTORY

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 13 Aug 1988 in New York City. Locations used over the twelve days spent in the city included the Metropolitan Life Building on Madison Avenue, the AT&T building off Canal street, the intersection of Park Avenue and 52nd Street, Grand Central Station, and restaurant exteriors in Chinatown and the upper East Side. On 31 Aug 1988, the company moved to Wilmington, NC, for seven weeks of coastal exteriors standing in for New York’s Long Island at Wrightsville Marina and Bald Head Island. Interiors were shot at North Carolina Film Studios [the former DEG Studio]. Bernie's two-story beach house was a set built in Fort Fischer Outdoor Recreation Area state park. Director Ted Kotcheff made a first time cameo appearance in one of his own films playing the father of “Richard Parker,” the character played by Jonathan Silverman. Actor Andrew McCarthy directed this scene. Principal photography wrapped on 23 Oct 1988.
       According to an article in the 16 Jun 1988 issue of DV, the thirty-three acre DEG Studio, which opened in 1984, was one of the largest studio facilities on the east coast with seven sound stages varying in size from 4,800 to 20,000 square feet. However, the studio had been unused since Mar 1988, before four productions settled in at the facility. Cyborg (1989, see entry) began shooting 6 Jun 1988, followed in close succession by The Von Metz Incident [1990, released as Loose Cannons, see entry] which was scheduled to begin principal photography in mid-Jul 1988, Little Monsters (1989, ... More Less

       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 13 Aug 1988 in New York City. Locations used over the twelve days spent in the city included the Metropolitan Life Building on Madison Avenue, the AT&T building off Canal street, the intersection of Park Avenue and 52nd Street, Grand Central Station, and restaurant exteriors in Chinatown and the upper East Side. On 31 Aug 1988, the company moved to Wilmington, NC, for seven weeks of coastal exteriors standing in for New York’s Long Island at Wrightsville Marina and Bald Head Island. Interiors were shot at North Carolina Film Studios [the former DEG Studio]. Bernie's two-story beach house was a set built in Fort Fischer Outdoor Recreation Area state park. Director Ted Kotcheff made a first time cameo appearance in one of his own films playing the father of “Richard Parker,” the character played by Jonathan Silverman. Actor Andrew McCarthy directed this scene. Principal photography wrapped on 23 Oct 1988.
       According to an article in the 16 Jun 1988 issue of DV, the thirty-three acre DEG Studio, which opened in 1984, was one of the largest studio facilities on the east coast with seven sound stages varying in size from 4,800 to 20,000 square feet. However, the studio had been unused since Mar 1988, before four productions settled in at the facility. Cyborg (1989, see entry) began shooting 6 Jun 1988, followed in close succession by The Von Metz Incident [1990, released as Loose Cannons, see entry] which was scheduled to begin principal photography in mid-Jul 1988, Little Monsters (1989, see entry) with a 1 Aug 1988 start, and Weekend at Bernie’s [then titled Heat Wave ].
       ”Movie Notes” in the 14 Nov 1988 issue of the Long Beach Press Telegram, reported that Heat Wave, the original title for the film, was changed when the production company could not clear rights to the Motown Records song of the same title. The title was first changed to Weekend at Bernie’s, then to Hot and Cold, and finally back to Weekend at Bernie’s before release. The 12 Jul 1988 DV reported that director Kotcheff had a preference for the title Weekend at Bernie’s.
       A "successful" sneak preview of the film was held in Pasadena, CA, on 2 Apr 1989, according to an item in the 4 Apr 1989 DV.
       The 25 Apr 1995 HR carried a Notice of Sale of Collateral scheduled for 1 Jun 1995 in which Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V. would auction the motion picture assets of Gladden Entertainment and other related entities “to the highest bidder for cash or otherwise acceptable terms,” in an attempt to recoup $104,375,957.87 owed to the bank as of 31 Mar 1995. Among the films to be auctioned was Weekend at Bernie’s. The outcome of the auction has not been determined as of this writing.
      Acknowledgments in end credits include: "Filmed on location in New York City & Wilmington, North Carolina";"The Producers Wish to Thank The State of North Carolina; Governor James Martin; Film Office - Bill Arnold and Paula Wyrick; Dept. of Natural Resources & Community Development - S. Thomas Rhodes, Secretary; Dept. of Administration - James F. Lofton, Secretary; Dept. of Transportation, Ferry Division; Division of Coastal Management (CAMA); Fort Fisher State Recreation Area - Leo Dillard, Superintendent; North Carolina Aquarium - Dr. James Lanier & Andy Wood; Wilmington City Manager's Office - Mitzi York; U. S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office - Lt. Commander Barrett; Bald Head Island, North Carolina; Roy Lichtenstein; Pittsburgh Corning; Associated Film Promotion, North Hollywood, CA; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York City; Glastron Incorporated"; and "MONOPOLY is a registered trademark of Parker Brothers used under permission."
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Jun 1988.
---
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1988.
---
Daily Variety
4 Apr 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1989
p. 4, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 1995.
---
Long Beach Press Telegram
14 Nov 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1989
p. 4.
New York Times
5 Jul 1989
p. 17.
Variety
28 Jun 1989
pp. 16-17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Victor Drai Production
A Ted Kotcheff Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
Key 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Prod mgr, New York crew
Unit mgr, New York crew
2d 2d asst dir, New York crew
Dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Company grip
Company grip
Company grip
Musco Light tech
Key grip, New York crew
Gaffer, New York crew
Still photog, New York crew
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
Gaffer, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Key grip-second unit
Best boy grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
Storyboard artist
Art dir, New York crew
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Post prod supv
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Set des
Set des
Const coord
Const foreman
Head scenic artist
Scenic artist
Artist
Const. foreman-Fort Fisher
Leadman-Fort Fisher
Standby painter
Paint foreman
Set dec, New York crew
Set dresser/Leadman, New York crew
Propmaster, New York crew
Propmaster, New York crew
Const coord, New York crew
Head scenic, New York crew
COSTUMES
Cost consultant
Key costumer
Costumer
Ward supv, New York crew
Cost asst, New York crew
MUSIC
Mus comp and perf by
Mus supv
Mus tech
[Special credit]
Courtesy of Private Music
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Sd mixer, New York crew
Boom op, New York crew
Supv sd ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst ADR ed
Asst dial ed
Asst dial ed
Asst foley ed
1st asst sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Asst spec eff
Asst spec eff
Spec eff coord, New York crew
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Add'l makeup artist
Add'l makeup artist
Add'l makeup artist
Key hair stylist
Add'l hair stylist
Add'l hair stylist
Hairstylist, New York crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Unit pub
Asst loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Accounting asst
Post prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Kotcheff
Asst to Mr. Kotcheff
Asst to Mr. Drai
Local casting
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation co-captain
Prod van driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver for Mr. Kotcheff
Boat coord
Craft service
Craft service
First aid
Loc mgr, New York crew
Loc asst, New York crew
Prod coord, New York crew
Asst to Peter McIntosh, New York crew
Asst accountant, New York crew
Office mgr Gladden NY, New York crew
Extras casting, New York crew
Catering, New York crew
Craft service, New York crew
Craft service, New York crew
Transportation capt, New York crew
Prod assoc, New York crew
Script supv, 2d unit
Prod assoc, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Grip and lighting equipment by
Public relations rep
(U. S. and Canada)
Public relations rep
(International)
Insurance provided by
Completion bond by
Financial consultant
Credit Lyonnais Bank, Nederland N. V.
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stunt man
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Vissi D'Arte, Viss D'Amore" by Giacomo Puccini
Eva Marton with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Giuseppe Patane, Director, from the album "Pucccini Arias" (IMT 42167) appears courtesy of CBS Masterworks, under license from CBS Special Products
"Hot And Cold" (End Title Song), written by Andy Summers and Winston "Pipe" Matthews, published by Andy Summers, Inc. d/b/a, Evoke Music administered worldwide by Listen Room Music, Inc. (BMI), produced by Dick Rudolph and Michael Sembello, performed by Jermaine Stewart, Jermaine Stewart appears courtesy of Virgin Records Limited and Arista Records, Inc.
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SONGS
"Vissi D'Arte, Viss D'Amore" by Giacomo Puccini
Eva Marton with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Giuseppe Patane, Director, from the album "Pucccini Arias" (IMT 42167) appears courtesy of CBS Masterworks, under license from CBS Special Products
"Hot And Cold" (End Title Song), written by Andy Summers and Winston "Pipe" Matthews, published by Andy Summers, Inc. d/b/a, Evoke Music administered worldwide by Listen Room Music, Inc. (BMI), produced by Dick Rudolph and Michael Sembello, performed by Jermaine Stewart, Jermaine Stewart appears courtesy of Virgin Records Limited and Arista Records, Inc.
"Night On Bald Mountain," by Modest Mussorgsky, arranged by Randy Waldman.
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DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Heat Wave
Hot and Cold
Release Date:
5 July 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 5 July 1989
Production Date:
13 August--23 October 1988 in New York City and Wilmington, NC
Copyright Claimant:
Gladden Entertainment Corporation
Copyright Date:
1 August 1989
Copyright Number:
PA420918
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres®
Color
Prints
Deluxe
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29403
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Accountants Larry Wilson and Richard Parker discover the source of a $2 million discrepancy—multiple payouts made against the same life insurance policy. They agree to tell their boss, Bernie Lomax, on Monday morning. When they arrive at work Monday, they see Gwen Saunders, a summer intern on whom Richard has a crush. Larry urges his colleague to ask Gwen out on a date before she returns to college, but Richard is too shy, and gets tongue-tied, and can only tell the bemused Gwen that his aunt is ill when Larry pushes him into talking to her. Bernie Lomax shoos the two young men out of his office before they can tell him about the multiple payments, and tells them to come back after lunch. As Larry and Richard eat lunch at a sidewalk hotdog cart, they see the well-dressed Lomax and a beautiful blonde get out of a Porsche sports car and enter an expensive restaurant. Back at the office, Gwen runs into Richard and Larry coming out of the elevator as she is about to get in. Larry shoves Richard back into the elevator with Gwen. A short time latter, at Larry’s desk, Richard boasts that he has made a dinner date with Gwen. When they finally see their boss and tell him of the fraud, Lomax asks Richard and Larry to call him Bernie, suggests they keep quiet until he can check their figures, and invites them to his beach house for Labor Day Weekend. Larry and Richard are elated, thinking that Bernie loves them. However, when Bernie joins Vito, a mafia boss, for dinner, he asks the ... +


Accountants Larry Wilson and Richard Parker discover the source of a $2 million discrepancy—multiple payouts made against the same life insurance policy. They agree to tell their boss, Bernie Lomax, on Monday morning. When they arrive at work Monday, they see Gwen Saunders, a summer intern on whom Richard has a crush. Larry urges his colleague to ask Gwen out on a date before she returns to college, but Richard is too shy, and gets tongue-tied, and can only tell the bemused Gwen that his aunt is ill when Larry pushes him into talking to her. Bernie Lomax shoos the two young men out of his office before they can tell him about the multiple payments, and tells them to come back after lunch. As Larry and Richard eat lunch at a sidewalk hotdog cart, they see the well-dressed Lomax and a beautiful blonde get out of a Porsche sports car and enter an expensive restaurant. Back at the office, Gwen runs into Richard and Larry coming out of the elevator as she is about to get in. Larry shoves Richard back into the elevator with Gwen. A short time latter, at Larry’s desk, Richard boasts that he has made a dinner date with Gwen. When they finally see their boss and tell him of the fraud, Lomax asks Richard and Larry to call him Bernie, suggests they keep quiet until he can check their figures, and invites them to his beach house for Labor Day Weekend. Larry and Richard are elated, thinking that Bernie loves them. However, when Bernie joins Vito, a mafia boss, for dinner, he asks the mobster to have the two young men killed, suggesting it could be made to look like a murder-suicide. Vito seems to go along, but when Bernie leaves, Vito tells his associate, Paulie, to kill Bernie, instead, because he is getting careless and having an affair with his girl friend, Tina. Outside, the restaurant, Tina, insists on seeing Bernie over the weekend, and he tells her to come to his beach house Friday night. After their date, Gwen tells Richard she is sorry he did not ask her out sooner, because this was her last day at the office before returning to college—and she is unable to spend the weekend because she is going out of town to be with her parents. When they want to go someplace quiet to talk, Gwen suggests they go to Richard’s apartment. Too embarrassed to tell her he lives with his parents, Richard takes Gwen home hoping they will be asleep. As Gwen and Richard start to kiss, Richard’s father comes to the kitchen in his underwear to get a drink. Richard tries to pass “Monroe” off as his butler, but Gwen is unimpressed and bids him good-bye. Friday, Bernie arrives on Hampton Island by speedboat, followed by Paulie, who comes by ferry. Paulie calls Bernie from the dock to get his address, and Bernie picks up his phone as the answering machine kicks in. As Richard and Larry make their way to the island on a later ferry, Paulie injects Bernie with a fatal dose of drugs, and leaves a baggie filled with the drug behind to suggest Bernie accidentally overdosed. Paulie then disguises himself as a clergyman and returns to the mainland by ferry, bumping into Richard and Larry as they get off. Arriving at Bernie’s house, they find their host dead, and discover the planted drugs. Fearful the police might think they were involved, Larry and Richard panic—and their panic increases when denizens of the island come in to party. Although Larry and Richard try to tell the newcomers Bernie is dead, they merely think their host is drunk, and talk to the corpse as if Bernie was still alive. When Richard attempts to call the police, Larry tells him it would be “disrespectful” to deny Bernie’s last wish to show them a good time, and suggests they pretend Bernie is still alive—at least for a little while. Richard will have none of Larry’s plan until he sees Gwen out on the porch coming to the party. Richard patches things up with Gwen and promises to never lie again, but when Gwen spots Bernie and wants to thank him for her summer job, Richard and Larry rush to “walk” the corpse out of the house as Gwen is waylaid by drunken guests. By accident they dump Bernie’s body off the balcony onto the beach below. Richard spots Gwen by the water. She tells him she does not like most of the people at the party, and invites him to come with her to a lighthouse where they can get a good view of the island. As Bernie’s body lies on the sand, the tide begins to come in. At the top of the lighthouse, Richard inadvertently stares at the high intensity light as it sweeps around and becomes temporarily blinded. Unable to see the trap door to the stairs, he stumbles and falls down several flights. Back on the beach with Gwen, limping and in pain, Richard makes light of his injuries, but as he and Gwen lie on the beach kissing, Bernie’s body washes up beside them. Richard distracts Gwen’s attention before she sees the body, and hustles her away. Richard then enlists Larry to help drag Bernie’s body back to the house. However, Vito’s girlfriend, Tina, shows up drunk looking for Bernie. Pulling a knife, and demanding to know where he is, the young men tell her Bernie is in bed upstairs. Outside the house, one of Vito’s thugs observes Tina enter Bernie’s bedroom. A half hour later, not wanting to be implicated in Bernie’s death, Tina comes back downstairs and tells Richard and Larry she had a wonderful time with Bernie, then leaves to return to the mainland. The thug reports to Vito by telephone that Bernie cannot be dead, because Tina just spent time in bed with him. The next morning, Larry props Bernie on a patio chair and rigs his arm with string so he can make Bernie wave when visitors stroll by and say hello. Paulie returns to the island to clean up loose ends. Gwen arrives at the house to have her delayed conversation with Bernie, but Richard finally informs her that Bernie is dead. In light of his past lies, however, she does not believe him. As they talk, Larry dumps Bernie’s body off the porch, and it lands on a startled Paulie, who believes Bernie is attacking him. He strangles the corpse and “kills” Bernie yet again. Upset with Richard, Gwen leaves. As he tries to call the police, Richard activates Bernie’s answering machine and plays back the conversation in which Bernie told Paulie to kill the young men after he is off the island and has an alibi. They discover a briefcase filled with money, and the murder-suicide note Bernie wrote, purporting to be Larry, claiming Richard and Larry stole the money to pay for Larry’s sex change operation, but that Richard has put an end to their relationship and Larry cannot live without his former lover. Richard and Larry decide they are in danger, but when they remember Bernie did not want them killed while he was on the island, they decide to “revive” Bernie so would-be killers will think he is still alive. They look over the patio banister and see a young boy burying Bernie in the sand. They chase the boy away, and as they vacuum the sand off Bernie back in the house, they hear gunfire, and hide. It turns out to be the boy exacting revenge with his cap gun. Larry and Richard hustle Bernie’s body back to the ferryboat and attempt to “walk” Bernie toward the ferry, as it leaves the dock. Paulie sees the man he killed twice seemingly very much alive. The young men return to the house with Bernie to get his speedboat key, but two tradesmen arrive. Taking the men for killers, Richard knocks them out and shoves them in a closet. Richard and Larry finally get to Bernie’s speedboat, but forget to cast off when they pull away. In the ensuing confusion they crash into several other boats dragging Bernie behind them at the end of a rope, before finally running out of gas in the open sea. Larry and Richard paddle back to the island with Bernie’s body, even as Paulie hires a boat to return and kill Bernie yet again. Gwen sees Larry, Richard and Bernie return and confronts Richard for lying about Bernie being dead. Larry Drags Bernie’s body out, tells her they are in danger, and asks if they can stay at her house. Gwen becomes terrified, but just then the tradesmen burst out of the closet. Richard knocks them out again, but Paulie shows up and pumps several bullets into Bernie’s corpse. Realizing there are witnesses, Paulie attempts to shoot Larry, Richard and Gwen, but discovers his handgun is out of ammunition. Paulie has a second gun, however, and chases after the three. As Richard and Gwen go to call the police, Larry stays behind and, in a struggle, manages to tie up Paulie with a telephone cord and knock him out. After the police wrap up the scene and the coroner is about to take Bernie’s body away, the ambulance bumps into the loading ramp, sending the gurney with Bernie’s body careening down a ramp. When it hits the sand, Bernie’s body tumbles and lands on the beach behind Richard, Gwen and Larry who are sitting on the sand. When a neighbor hollers, “Hi, Bernie,” and waves, they realize the corpse is still with them and run off. The little boy comes up with his sand pail and asks if he can bury Bernie again. The body falls over, and the boy takes this for a “yes,” and pours sand over the body.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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