Life Stinks (1991)

PG-13 | 91 mins | Comedy, Romance | 26 July 1991

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HISTORY


       According to a 19 Jun 1990 HR film listing, principal photography started 14 Jun 1990. A 20 Feb 1990 DV article reported the film was budgeted at $14 million.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files revealed that most of the film was shot on location, primarily in downtown Los Angeles, CA, and other areas of the city. The construction site used in the concluding sequence had been the downtown home of the Los Angeles Soap Factory in the 1850s.
       Other CA locations included a Beverly Hills mansion used for the interior of "Goddard Bolt's" home; a mansion in Chatsworth for the exterior; the interior of the inoperative Queen of Angels hospital; a former Chinese Congregational Church that stood in for the rescue mission; and the lobby of the then-new First Interstate World Center, which doubled for Bolt's office lobby. The interior of Bolt's office was constructed on a soundstage at Culver Studios.
       Upon release, the film performed poorly, taking in $1.8 million in its first three days and prompting the 4 Aug 1991 LAT to call it one of the year's "quickest flops." Critics such as Janet Maslin in the 26 Jul 1991 NYT and Robert Osborne in the 16 May 1991 HR commented on the film's mostly disappointing mix of humor and seriousness. However, the 13 Oct 1991 LAT reported that distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. was giving the film a second, limited release in the U.S. after it "performed well" abroad. No report was found on how the film was received during this second release.
      In the end credits, "The Producer Gives Special Thanks" to Piper-Heidsieck, ... More Less


       According to a 19 Jun 1990 HR film listing, principal photography started 14 Jun 1990. A 20 Feb 1990 DV article reported the film was budgeted at $14 million.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files revealed that most of the film was shot on location, primarily in downtown Los Angeles, CA, and other areas of the city. The construction site used in the concluding sequence had been the downtown home of the Los Angeles Soap Factory in the 1850s.
       Other CA locations included a Beverly Hills mansion used for the interior of "Goddard Bolt's" home; a mansion in Chatsworth for the exterior; the interior of the inoperative Queen of Angels hospital; a former Chinese Congregational Church that stood in for the rescue mission; and the lobby of the then-new First Interstate World Center, which doubled for Bolt's office lobby. The interior of Bolt's office was constructed on a soundstage at Culver Studios.
       Upon release, the film performed poorly, taking in $1.8 million in its first three days and prompting the 4 Aug 1991 LAT to call it one of the year's "quickest flops." Critics such as Janet Maslin in the 26 Jul 1991 NYT and Robert Osborne in the 16 May 1991 HR commented on the film's mostly disappointing mix of humor and seriousness. However, the 13 Oct 1991 LAT reported that distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. was giving the film a second, limited release in the U.S. after it "performed well" abroad. No report was found on how the film was received during this second release.
      In the end credits, "The Producer Gives Special Thanks" to Piper-Heidsieck, Cole Haan Footwear, Kenneth Gordon New Orleans, Brioni Clothing, Hertling and Ruff Hewn.

              The end credits also include the following acknowledgements: "Filmed at Culver Studios" and "The Producers wish to express their grateful appreciation to the Los Angeles Mission for its help in the making of this motion picture." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1991
p. 6, 12.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jul 1991
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1991
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1991
p. 24.
New York Times
26 Jul 1991
p. 19.
Variety
27 May 1991
p. 80.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Newscasters:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Presents
A Brooksfilms Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Addl cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Video playback
Still photog
Cranes and dollies
Musco light tech
Musco light tech
Lighting and grip equip proved by the
Lighting and grip equip proved by the
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead man
Asst prop
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
Orch
Dance orch
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd utility
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR supv
Foley artist
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff model maker
Spec eff model maker
Titles & opt
DANCE
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Head make-up artist
Ms. Warren's make-up
Make-up
Ms. Warren's hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Voice casting
Scr supv
Post prod supv
Asst to Mr. Swerdlow
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Secy to the writers
Asst prod coord
Asst loc mgr
Asst to Mr. Brooks
Asst to Ms. Warren
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Craft service
Caterer
First aid
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Easy to Love," words and music by Cole Porter, ©1936 Chappell & Co. (Renewed), All Rights Reserved.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 July 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 26 July 1991
New York opening: week of 26 July 1991
Production Date:
began 14 June 1990 in Los Angeles, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Color by deluxe®
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30979
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In his extravagant office, ruthless businessman Goddard Bolt holds a meeting with his attorneys. As one lawyer, Pritchard, describes complications arising from business interests in South America and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Goddard acts completely disinterested. Goddard is preoccupied with his scale-model of two and a half square miles of a dilapidated section of downtown Los Angeles, California, that he is planning to buy for over $4 billion so he can transform it into a development called Bolt Center. The meeting is interrupted by rival developer Vance Crasswell, who attempts to buy out Goddard's share of the downtown slum. When Goddard refuses to sell, Crasswell tricks him into accepting a bet challenging Goddard to live on the streets without money or credit cards for a month. Goddard agrees to sell his share of the land to Crasswell if he loses the bet. When Goddard prepares by dumping his wallet and shaving his mustache, Crasswell rips off his rival's toupee to make him unrecognizable. An ankle bracelet monitor is placed on Goddard and Crasswell dumps him onto a filthy downtown street. When night falls, Goddard attempts to rent a room at a flophouse, but the manager kicks him out because he does not have any money. On the street, Goddard tries to sleep in an abandoned drainpipe in a back alley, but he is chased out by rats. The next morning, Sailor, an elderly homeless man, urinates on a flattened cardboard box, from under which Goddard pops out. Goddard spends his day trying to make money by cleaning car windshields and dancing for change. However, his efforts are fruitless. When two crooks, Mean Victor and Yo, steal Goddard's shoes off his ... +


In his extravagant office, ruthless businessman Goddard Bolt holds a meeting with his attorneys. As one lawyer, Pritchard, describes complications arising from business interests in South America and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Goddard acts completely disinterested. Goddard is preoccupied with his scale-model of two and a half square miles of a dilapidated section of downtown Los Angeles, California, that he is planning to buy for over $4 billion so he can transform it into a development called Bolt Center. The meeting is interrupted by rival developer Vance Crasswell, who attempts to buy out Goddard's share of the downtown slum. When Goddard refuses to sell, Crasswell tricks him into accepting a bet challenging Goddard to live on the streets without money or credit cards for a month. Goddard agrees to sell his share of the land to Crasswell if he loses the bet. When Goddard prepares by dumping his wallet and shaving his mustache, Crasswell rips off his rival's toupee to make him unrecognizable. An ankle bracelet monitor is placed on Goddard and Crasswell dumps him onto a filthy downtown street. When night falls, Goddard attempts to rent a room at a flophouse, but the manager kicks him out because he does not have any money. On the street, Goddard tries to sleep in an abandoned drainpipe in a back alley, but he is chased out by rats. The next morning, Sailor, an elderly homeless man, urinates on a flattened cardboard box, from under which Goddard pops out. Goddard spends his day trying to make money by cleaning car windshields and dancing for change. However, his efforts are fruitless. When two crooks, Mean Victor and Yo, steal Goddard's shoes off his feet, a homeless woman named Molly chases them away. After giving Goddard another pair of shoes, Molly leads him to the Mission so he can eat a decent meal. They find a table and dine with Sailor and his friend, Fumes. Afterward, Molly and Goddard walk past a bride and groom leaving a rundown chapel. While Goddard is sentimental, Molly becomes irate, because her ex-husband ruined her life and made her homeless. Returning to Molly's makeshift alley "home," she and Goddard watch all of her possessions burn after being ignited by Mean Victor and Yo. Molly convinces Goddard they need to get revenge against the men. Goddard entices the culprits to chase him to a spot where Molly, Sailor and Fumes dump a vat of boiling water on them from a fire escape above. At night, Goddard and Molly sleep in a cardboard box, but a rainstorm floods them out. They attempt to find shelter at the Mission, but Crasswell has ordered his advisors to have the building closed for the night. Sailor complains that the rain is making him feel ill, so he walks by himself to a clinic. The next morning, Goddard finds Sailor dead on the sidewalk. Elsewhere, Crasswell visits Goddard's attorneys and bribes them to betray their client. At last, when the bet is over, Goddard shares a bottle of stolen champagne with Molly. They retire to an abandoned warehouse where they dance then make love. Afterward, they go to Goddard's Beverly Hills, California, mansion where a party is in full swing. Inside, Crasswell denies knowledge of the bet while Goddard's attorneys keep silent. Crasswell then announces that Goddard has lost his entire fortune because he was assumed dead. Security guards throw Molly and Goddard out of his home. The next day, as Goddard wanders the streets and mumbles to himself about his predicament, he meets another homeless man who claims to be J. Paul Getty, the richest man in the world. As the two men get into an altercation over their respective wealth, the police break up the fight. Paramedics haul Goddard to a hospital where he is overmedicated with Thorazine. As Goddard lies unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit, Molly attempts to cheer him up by saying that she loves him. He awakens and is pleased to see her. Across town, Crasswell presides over the groundbreaking ceremony for his new downtown development. The Los Angeles elite applaud when Crasswell orders bulldozers plow over a "tent city" populated by the homeless. Released from the hospital, Goddard witnesses the demolition and grabs a bullhorn, with which he encourages the scattering transients to fight back against the developers. Although the homeless do not heed Goddard's call to action, they stop to listen to Molly who gives a rousing speech about needing to show the world how badly the rich treat the poor. Inspired, the homeless swarm over the elite party, wreaking havoc as they grab food and champagne. Goddard commandeers an excavator and knocks down Crasswell's banners and signs. Crasswell jumps into another excavator and the two men fight each other with their machines' claws. Goddard wins the duel, grabs Crasswell with his claw and dangles him high above the ground. When Crasswell continues to deny the bet, Goddard shakes him wildly in the claw's grip. Crasswell finally confesses as television news cameras capture him admitting that Goddard won their bet. Two weeks later, a female news anchor reports that Goddard plans to turn the downtown area into a no-cost housing development for the homeless, complete with a park, a free medical clinic and other services. Meanwhile, Goddard and Molly are married at the rundown chapel. +

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

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