Taking Care of Business (1990)

R | 106 mins | Comedy | 17 August 1990

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HISTORY

According to studio production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 13 Nov 1989 in a newly constructed maximum-security section of the Peter J. Pritchess Wayside Honor Rancho in Saugus, CA, north of Los Angeles. However, a month earlier, filmmakers shot footage of the California Angels’ last game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA, which was edited into stadium scenes filmed later with the principals. The “Bentley” mansion, which appears prominently throughout the film, was located at 33440 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and also served as a home to cast and crew for several weeks. Other Los Angeles locations included the distinctive art moderne Bullocks Wilshire department store at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard; the United Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport; the downtown Sheraton Grande Hotel at 711 S. Hope Street; the Bel-Air Bay Club and Riviera Country Club; and the Gaslight bar behind the Ivar Theater at 1605 Ivar Avenue in Hollywood.
       The 21 Nov 1989 HR noted that Brooke Adams was signed to play “Elizabeth Barnes,” but the role eventually went to Victoria Hamel.
       Taking Care of Business was the first produced film by screenwriter Jeffrey Abrams. He later became known as writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams.
       The 8 Sep 1989 DV reported that the film, titled Filofax, was slated to be the first production by Walt Disney’s new Hollywood Pictures. The title was changed to Taking Care of Business several months before release, according to the 28 Apr 1990 Screen International. Filofax was a British company that made ... More Less

According to studio production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 13 Nov 1989 in a newly constructed maximum-security section of the Peter J. Pritchess Wayside Honor Rancho in Saugus, CA, north of Los Angeles. However, a month earlier, filmmakers shot footage of the California Angels’ last game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA, which was edited into stadium scenes filmed later with the principals. The “Bentley” mansion, which appears prominently throughout the film, was located at 33440 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and also served as a home to cast and crew for several weeks. Other Los Angeles locations included the distinctive art moderne Bullocks Wilshire department store at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard; the United Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport; the downtown Sheraton Grande Hotel at 711 S. Hope Street; the Bel-Air Bay Club and Riviera Country Club; and the Gaslight bar behind the Ivar Theater at 1605 Ivar Avenue in Hollywood.
       The 21 Nov 1989 HR noted that Brooke Adams was signed to play “Elizabeth Barnes,” but the role eventually went to Victoria Hamel.
       Taking Care of Business was the first produced film by screenwriter Jeffrey Abrams. He later became known as writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams.
       The 8 Sep 1989 DV reported that the film, titled Filofax, was slated to be the first production by Walt Disney’s new Hollywood Pictures. The title was changed to Taking Care of Business several months before release, according to the 28 Apr 1990 Screen International. Filofax was a British company that made a leather-bound portable daily planner called Filofax (from file of facts) popular with executives.
       The 3 Jun 1990 NYT reported the budget was $15 million. Initially rated PG-13, Taking Care of Business was re-edited into an R rating, according to the 18 Jul 1990 Var. Reviews were mixed, and the 21 Aug 1990 DV reported “the comedy’s dismal opening will have Disney executives sharpening their red pencils.”
       End credits contain the following acknowledgments: “The producers wish to thank Filofax, Incorporated; Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.; California Angels; Chicago Cubs.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Sep 1989
p. 1.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1989
p. 3.
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1990
p. 2, 12.
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1990
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1990
p. 8, 16.
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1990
Calendar, p. 6.
New York Times
3 Jun 1990
Section A, p. 16.
New York Times
17 Aug 1990
p. 15.
Screen International
28 Apr 1990.
---
Variety
6 Dec 1989
p. 20.
Variety
15 Aug 1990
p. 45.
Variety
18 Jul 1990
p. 21.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Hollywood Pictures Presents
In Association with Silver Screen Partners IV
An Arthur Hiller Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
B cam op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Leadman
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Scenic artist
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Orig mus score mixed and co-prod by
SOUND
Prod sd
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv Foley ed
Foley ed
ADR asst
Sd eff rec
Foley rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Title des
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Addl make-up
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Helicopter pilot
Scr supv
Prod assoc
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to the prod
Asst to Mr. Hiller
Asst to Mr. Hiller
Asst to Mr. Belushi
Asst to Mr. Belushi
Mr. Belushi's trainer
Asst to Mr. Grodin
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Addl casting by
Extras casting
ADR voice casting
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
ANIMATION
Title anim
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Takin’ Care Of Business,” written by Randy Bachman, performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” written by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth
“Mean Old World,” written and performed by T-Bone Walker, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
“Takin’ Care Of Business,” written by Randy Bachman, performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” written by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth
“Mean Old World,” written and performed by T-Bone Walker, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Yo Baby Yo,” written by Baber [sic], Lewis, Mallison, Isaacs, Constant, performed by Party Posse, courtesy of Zomba Recording Corp.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Filofax
Release Date:
17 August 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 17 August 1990
Production Date:
began 13 November 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Hollywood Pictures Company a.a.d.o. the Walt Disney Company
Copyright Date:
17 August 1990
Copyright Number:
PA476045
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30597
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the Milton K. Prochik Correctional Facility near Los Angeles, California, kitchen worker Jimmy Dworski prepares for his release. Inmates give a party, but Warden Frank Toolman breaks it up, reminding Jimmy he still has sixty hours left on his sentence. Going back to work, Jimmy hears sports announcer Stu Nahan offer two tickets to the upcoming World Series in Anaheim, California, between the Chicago Cubs and California Angels, to anyone who can answer a trivia question. A die-hard Cubs fan, Jimmy runs to a telephone, correctly answers the question, and is told to pick up his tickets at Los Angeles International Airport. Meanwhile, in Chicago, IL, advertising executive Spencer Barnes prepares to leave his house with his Filofax organizer book, which contains credit cards, addresses, and appointments. His wife, Elizabeth, chides him for obsessively relying on it. He promises to take her on a weekend trip to Lake Winnebago and leave his Filofax at home. Spencer goes to the hospital where his boss, Walter Bentley, is recovering from a heart attack. Bentley wants Spencer to fly to Los Angeles over the weekend to get the High Quality Food Company account for Bentley Advertising. The company has just been purchased by Japanese magnate, Mr. Sakamoto, who will meet Spencer at the Malibu Tennis Club. If Spencer gets the account, Bentley will make him a senior vice president. Spencer agrees to cancel his weekend getaway with his wife. Meanwhile, Jimmy wants an early release to go the World Series, but the warden refuses, and when Jimmy calls him a name, Warden Frank Toolman takes away all the inmates’ privileges. Meanwhile, Spencer Barnes’ secretary prepares his Filofax for the trip. It ... +


At the Milton K. Prochik Correctional Facility near Los Angeles, California, kitchen worker Jimmy Dworski prepares for his release. Inmates give a party, but Warden Frank Toolman breaks it up, reminding Jimmy he still has sixty hours left on his sentence. Going back to work, Jimmy hears sports announcer Stu Nahan offer two tickets to the upcoming World Series in Anaheim, California, between the Chicago Cubs and California Angels, to anyone who can answer a trivia question. A die-hard Cubs fan, Jimmy runs to a telephone, correctly answers the question, and is told to pick up his tickets at Los Angeles International Airport. Meanwhile, in Chicago, IL, advertising executive Spencer Barnes prepares to leave his house with his Filofax organizer book, which contains credit cards, addresses, and appointments. His wife, Elizabeth, chides him for obsessively relying on it. He promises to take her on a weekend trip to Lake Winnebago and leave his Filofax at home. Spencer goes to the hospital where his boss, Walter Bentley, is recovering from a heart attack. Bentley wants Spencer to fly to Los Angeles over the weekend to get the High Quality Food Company account for Bentley Advertising. The company has just been purchased by Japanese magnate, Mr. Sakamoto, who will meet Spencer at the Malibu Tennis Club. If Spencer gets the account, Bentley will make him a senior vice president. Spencer agrees to cancel his weekend getaway with his wife. Meanwhile, Jimmy wants an early release to go the World Series, but the warden refuses, and when Jimmy calls him a name, Warden Frank Toolman takes away all the inmates’ privileges. Meanwhile, Spencer Barnes’ secretary prepares his Filofax for the trip. It contains a key to Bentley’s Malibu beach house, the alarm password, an itinerary, and other information. A limousine will pick him up at LAX and take him to the tennis club. Elizabeth is enraged when she learns he cancelled their weekend. Meanwhile, prisoners are angry at losing television privileges during the World Series. Jimmy decides to escape, but to cover him over the weekend, he needs the convicts to strike for better conditions and take him prisoner, since he is the one who cost them their privileges. During their strike, the inmates play an audiotape of Jimmy begging for his life, while Jimmy hides under a bus and rides out of the prison. When Spencer Barnes gets on an airplane, he meets old schoolmate Debbie Lipton, who once had a crush on him and now cannot stop talking. Meanwhile, Jimmy steals clothes, including a Cubs cap and a baseball mitt, at a charity drop-off and gets to the airport terminal in time to collect his tickets from Stu Nahan. Nearby, Debbie gives Spencer her Los Angeles telephone number and insists he call her. When Spencer’s bag gets lost and he rushes to catch his limousine, he leaves his Filofax at the pay phone. Jimmy finds it moments later. Inside is an offer of a $1,000 reward. By the time Spencer runs back to get his Filofax, it is gone. Jimmy hitches a ride to Bentley’s empty Malibu beach mansion and makes himself at home. In the Filofax he reads a list of executive “power words” like “first-rate” and “phenomenal. He watches the televised “World Series strike” at the prison. A delivery truck brings Spencer’s luggage. Meanwhile, Spencer is able to rent a car, but gang members rough him up and steal it. At the mansion, Ted Bradford and Mike Steward from High Quality Food arrive to take Spencer to the tennis club to meet Mr. Sakamoto. Assuming Spencer’s identity, Jimmy gets tennis whites out of Spencer’s suitcase and changes clothes. On the way to the club, as Bradford and Steward suggest marketing ideas, Jimmy repeats power words from the Filofax. At the tennis court, Bradford and Steward whisper to Jimmy to lose to Sakamoto, but Jimmy, despite not knowing the game, uses his racket like a baseball bat, wins, and displeases Sakamoto. Meanwhile, when Spencer telephones Debbie Lipton, she picks him up, convinced that fate has brought them together, especially now that her beloved pet Dalmatian has died. Spencer is afraid to telephone Mr. Bentley because he might have another heart attack, so he asks Debbie to drive him to Malibu. As Jimmy Dworski leaves the tennis club, Spencer gets out of Debbie’s car, bumps into him, and knocks the Filofax to the ground. Barely saying “excuse me,” Spencer hurries inside, but is told that the real Spencer Barnes just left and he is thrown out of the club. Stealing a sweatshirt and shorts from the club shop, Spencer makes his way to the club accountant’s office and gets Walter Bentley’s Malibu address. Meanwhile, Jimmy returns to the mansion and finds Walter Bentley’s young daughter, Jewel Bentley, swimming in the pool. Joining her, he lets Jewel take him into her confidence, because her father’s heart attack has made her reassess her relationship with him. When she tells him her father has always been hard to talk to, Jimmy suggests she confront him directly. Jewel compliments Jimmy on not being the usual “anal yuppie” from the agency, and offers to pick him up that evening for dinner. At that moment, Elizabeth Barnes telephones her husband at the mansion, but Jewel tells her “Spencer” is in the Jacuzzi and she should call back later. Elizabeth tells Jewel to tell Spencer “don't bother.” Later, using one of Spencer’s credit cards, Jimmy orders a big-screen TV from a shopping channel and arranges for it to be delivered to the prison. Bradford and Steward arrive in a helicopter to take him to a meeting with High Quality Foods president Diane Connors. Jimmy dresses in one of Walter Bentley’s expensive suits. As they take off, Debbie arrives at the mansion with Spencer, but he is unable to get the helicopter pilot’s attention. Without the Filofax, he is unable to disarm the alarm, so he sneaks in through an upper window and finds his opened suitcase. Walter Bentley telephones, upset because Spencer did not lose the tennis game to Sakamoto, but when Spencer tries to explain that it was somebody else, Bentley hangs up. Suddenly, police arrive and arrest him. Jimmy, Bradford, and Steward join Diane Connors at a restaurant. At first she likes him because he beat Sakamoto, and when Sakamoto arrives, he compliments Jimmy on his competitive spirit. However, Jimmy’s tactlessness soon puts off Diane. When he complains that High Quality Food tastes terrible, Diane is outraged, but Sakamoto wants to hear more. Jimmy suggests calling their food “Affordable” instead of “High Quality.” He compliments Diane on her large breasts, leaves for his “hot date” with Jewel, and steals a Rolls Royce in front of the restaurant. Diane Connors telephones Walter Bentley to complain. Meanwhile, Debbie Lipton gets Spencer out of jail, but refuses to take him anywhere until he agrees to have dinner at her place. Jimmy meets Jewel at a bar, listens to her problems, and earns her trust. At Debbie’s apartment, Spencer telephones his wife, gets no answer, then telephones the Bentley mansion, where Jewel and Jimmy are in bed together. When Jimmy answers as Spencer Barnes, Spencer slams down the telephone, but when he demands that Debbie drive him to the mansion, she calls him a selfish creep and throws him out in the rain. Spencer walks a dozen miles to the Malibu mansion and, arriving in the morning, sees Jimmy fixing breakfast. He walks inside and attacks the imposter, but Jimmy punches him in the stomach and explains that he has done Spencer a favor by standing in for him. He gives Spencer the Filofax. The telephone rings, Jimmy answers, and gives it to Spencer. On the other end, Ted Bradford tells Spencer that Diane Connors has turned down his agency and will not take his calls. Spencer hangs up and again attacks Jimmy, who tosses him on the floor. Jimmy is ready to get out of Spencer’s life, but first he wants his World Series tickets from the Filofax. Spencer puts them in his mouth and refuses to give them back until he makes things right. Stealing an expensive car, Jimmy takes Spencer to Diane Connors’ office. Walter Bentley telephones on a TV teleconference call, enraged with Spencer for screwing up the High Quality account, and demanding that Spencer return to Chicago in twelve hours. Sakamoto arrives, and Jimmy accuses Walter Bentley of pushing people around. Spencer tries to convince Bentley that despite being mugged, beaten, jailed, and abandoned by his wife, he has obsessively given all his attention to his job. He confesses that when he is not working, he has no idea who he is, and realizes now that he hates his life and never wants to end up like Walter Bentley. He quits and walks out, followed by Jimmy. Diane Connors takes Bentley’s card out of her Filofax and cuts off his teleconference transmission. However, when Diane Connors tells Sakamoto she has another ad agency lined up, he informs her that she is fired for being too rude and unprofessional. Outside, Jimmy asks the jobless Spencer if he wants to go to the World Series. Spencer agrees, and Jimmy telephones Jewel from the car to cancel their date because a friend needs him. Elizabeth Barnes arrives at the mansion and tells Jewel she is Spencer’s wife. However, as Jewel describes her time with Jimmy, Elizabeth realizes she is not talking about her husband. Debbie Lipton telephones for Spencer and tells Elizabeth she is sorry for kicking him out last night. At the stadium in Anaheim, Jimmy and Spencer take their seats in the right field bleachers. Jimmy’s fellow inmates at the prison watch the game on TV, while riot police wait outside their cell block. Spencer muses that now he has time to have kids, and calls Elizabeth on another fan’s cell phone, but gets no answer. When a Cubs player hits a home run into the stands, Jimmy jumps onto a flagpole and makes a spectacular catch in front of television cameras. The inmates cheer seeing Jimmy at the game. Jewel and Elizabeth also see the catch at the mansion. When Jewel shouts, “Look at Spencer,” Elizabeth tells her that Jimmy is not Spencer. However, as Jimmy shows the ball to Spencer, Elizabeth says, "That’s Spencer.” When the sportscasters request that Jimmy come to the sports box for an interview, police are dispatched. Just as Jimmy tells Spencer that Elizabeth telephoned the previous day, he sees police coming and runs, and Spencer chases him to find out what Elizabeth wanted. They escape from the stadium by sliding down a cable and reach their stolen sports car just as the Cubs win the World Series. Jimmy admits he enjoyed being Spencer because people took him seriously, and now he is worried that Jewel will not like him as Jimmy Dworski. His bigger concern, however, is that he needs to break back into prison, so that he can be released. Spencer asks how he can get back in with all the reporters and guards outside. Elizabeth telephones the car, and she and Spencer proclaim their love for each other. Jewel asks Jimmy if they are still a couple, and Spencer assures her that Jimmy will see her tomorrow. Spencer takes Jimmy to Debbie’s makeup salon with a replacement puppy for her dead Dalmatian, and in return she makes up Jimmy as his own mother. With Spencer dressed as a priest, they go to the prison. Spencer makes a deal for better food at the prison in front of the press on condition the prisoners allow Jimmy’s mother inside. At that moment, Jimmy’s color television arrives from the TV shopping network. Using baseball signals, “Mrs. Dworski” lets the prisoners know who “she” really is, and they agree to let her and “Father Barnes” inside. Jimmy runs back out moments later as himself, praising Warden Toolman in front of the media. He is officially released later in the day. Spencer waits for him, because only Jimmy can start the car without a key. Sakamoto telephones and asks both Jimmy and Spencer to come work for him for $25,000 a month, but first he demands they take a vacation. Moments before they leave the prison, Jimmy throws the home-run ball through Warden Toolman’s window. +

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

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