Other People's Money (1991)

R | 101 mins | Drama, Romantic comedy | 18 October 1991

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HISTORY

The 29 Aug 1988 HR announced the acquisition of the award-winning stage play, Other People’s Money, by Warner Bros. Pictures, to be produced and directed by Norman Jewison for the filmmaker’s Yorktown Productions. The 25 May 1991 LAT reported that playwright Jerry Sterner sold the rights for “$325,000 plus a percentage deal,” with a possible share of net profits, for which he thanked essayist Art Buchwald. The 7 Aug 1989 HR credited executive producer Ellen Krass with buying the film rights in Mar 1988. On 24 Feb 1990, Screen International reported the hiring of Alvin Sargent as screenwriter.
       As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, Jewison and Sargent retained the play’s original five characters, while adding factory workers, stockholders, townspeople, and “Wall Street types,” among others, to the cast. They also created characters representing those who would be directly affected by the liquidation of “New England Wire & Cable,” the fictional company depicted in the film. Although the play opened in New York City in 1989, Sargent and his producers wanted to make it relevant for contemporary audiences, and added a “surprise ending,” based on a recent news item. While Jewison saw the story as an examination of ruthless business practices and the abandonment of “traditional American values,” businessman-turned-playwright Jerry Sterner told the 25 May 1991 LAT that his “honest play” was a response to negative theatrical stereotypes of businesspeople by “a conspiracy of left-wing college dropouts.”
       The 23 Apr 1990 DV announced that actors Dustin Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer ... More Less

The 29 Aug 1988 HR announced the acquisition of the award-winning stage play, Other People’s Money, by Warner Bros. Pictures, to be produced and directed by Norman Jewison for the filmmaker’s Yorktown Productions. The 25 May 1991 LAT reported that playwright Jerry Sterner sold the rights for “$325,000 plus a percentage deal,” with a possible share of net profits, for which he thanked essayist Art Buchwald. The 7 Aug 1989 HR credited executive producer Ellen Krass with buying the film rights in Mar 1988. On 24 Feb 1990, Screen International reported the hiring of Alvin Sargent as screenwriter.
       As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, Jewison and Sargent retained the play’s original five characters, while adding factory workers, stockholders, townspeople, and “Wall Street types,” among others, to the cast. They also created characters representing those who would be directly affected by the liquidation of “New England Wire & Cable,” the fictional company depicted in the film. Although the play opened in New York City in 1989, Sargent and his producers wanted to make it relevant for contemporary audiences, and added a “surprise ending,” based on a recent news item. While Jewison saw the story as an examination of ruthless business practices and the abandonment of “traditional American values,” businessman-turned-playwright Jerry Sterner told the 25 May 1991 LAT that his “honest play” was a response to negative theatrical stereotypes of businesspeople by “a conspiracy of left-wing college dropouts.”
       The 23 Apr 1990 DV announced that actors Dustin Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer were under consideration for lead roles. However, Hoffman had a scheduling conflict due to his appearance in Billy Bathgate (1991, see entry), and Danny DeVito was given the part, as reported in the 12 Sep 1990 DV. A news item in the 26 Nov 1990 HR stated that Penelope Ann Miller was cast in the role intended for Michelle Pfeiffer.
       According to the 31 Oct 1990 DV, principal photography began the previous weekend in New York City, and temporarily wrapped early that morning, in anticipation of a strike by the New York chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), whose contract expired at midnight. In the 9 Jan 1991 HR, Norman Jewison commended director of photography Haskell Wexler for his use of remote-controlled hidden cameras, resulting in realistic footage of New York City without interference from bystanders. Jewison anticipated the completion of photography by 15 Feb 1991. The 14 Nov 1990 HR announced the resumption of filming that day in CT. A feature article in the 13 Jan 1991 LAT noted that DeVito’s character, “Larry Garfield,” was named “Larry Garfinkle” in the play, but was changed at the behest of Jewison, hoping to avoid charges of anti-Semitism. However, Jerry Sterner told the 28 Oct 1991 New York that it was a futile gesture, as every “Garfield” he knew used to be named “Garfinkle.” Although DeVito is seen throughout the picture eating Dunkin’ Donuts, he often substituted sugarless donuts supplied by Mani’s Bakery in Los Angeles, as reported in the 18 Nov 1991 People. The 17 Dec 1990 People included singer Nick Apollo Forte among the cast of background actors. Forte considered his ten days working with Danny DeVito to be “an honor and a privilege.” According to production notes, factory scenes were filmed at the Seymour Specialty Wire Company in Seymour, CT, and the former Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Company mill in Georgetown, CT. The latter building, constructed in 1818, featured an empty loft that accommodated the creation of office sets and a conference room. At the Seymour location, the office of “Andrew ‘Jorgy’ Jorgenson” was built on a platform overlooking the furnace. Employees appeared as background actors, and local carpenters and technicians were hired as crewmembers. The 8 Feb 1991 HR estimated that the production contributed between $3.5 million and $5 million to the local economy. However, Seymour Specialty Wire Company ultimately suffered the same fate as the fictional “New England Wire & Cable.” On 22 Aug 1992, the Norwalk, CT, Hour reported that the struggling, employee-owned factory was taken over by a creditor, which was in the process of liquidating its assets.
       The American Express Corporation sponsored a private screening of the film on 17 Oct 1991, as advertised in the 4 Oct 1991 LAT. Hosting the event was producer Ric Kidney.
       Other People’s Money opened 18 Oct 1991 to lukewarm reviews, several of which cited the inappropriate casting of youthful Penelope Ann Miller as a worldly corporate attorney. According to a “CinemaScore Movie Report” in the 22 Oct 1991 HR, audiences in Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix, AZ, Orlando, FL, and Los Angeles gave the picture an average rating.
End credits include the following statements: "In memoriam: William DeAcutis, 1937--1991"; "The Hartford Stage Company production of Other People's Money was originally produced in New York City by Jeffrey Ash and Susan Quint Gallin in association with Dennis Grimaldi"; "Product placement: Baldwin, Varela"; "Producers wish to thank: Connecticut State Film Commission; New York City Mayor's Office for Film, Television, Theatre and Broadcasting; Isaac Stern; 7 World Trade Center/Silverstein Properties, Inc." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
23 Apr 1990.
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 1990.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 1990
p. 1, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1988
p. 3, 161.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1991
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 1991
p. 5, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Jan 1991
p. 7, 36-39.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1991
Section F, p. 1, 11.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1991
p. 1.
New York
28 Oct 1991.
---
New York Times
18 Oct 1991
p. 10.
People
17 Dec 1990.
---
People
18 Nov 1991.
---
Screen International
24 Feb 1990.
---
The Hour (Norwalk, CT)
22 Aug 1992.
---
Variety
13 Sep 1988.
---
Variety
21 Oct 1991
p. 72.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. presents
A Yorktown Production
A film by Norman Jewison
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr, L.A.
Unit prod mgr, Connecticut
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGC trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op/ Steadicam, Connecticut
2d unit cam
Chief lighting tech
Key grip
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
Asst chief lighting tech
2d grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dept researcher
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Leadman
Swing gang
Asst prop master
Const supv
Const supv, Connecticut
Scenic artist
Stand-by painter
Stand-by painter
Stand-by painter, Connecticut
COSTUMES
Asst cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley artist
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Prod sd
Prod sd
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Opticals by
Asst spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Unit mgr, New York
Loc mgr
Loc mgr, Connecticut
Loc mgr, New York
Transportation coord
Unit pub
Prod accountant
Prod assoc
Asst to Mr. Jewison
Asst to Mr. Jewison
Asst to Mr. Kidney
Asst to Mr. DeVito
Asst prod accountant
Prod office coord
Prod office coord, Connecticut
Extras casting
Key set prod aide
DCC Trainee
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Prod aide
Transportation capt
Transportation capt, Connecticut
Transportation co-capt, Connecticut
Tech advisor
Tech advisor
Craft service
Craft service, Connecticut
Video Image
Video Image coord
Video Image crew
Video Image crew
Video Image crew
STAND INS
Stunt coord/Double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Prints by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Other People's Money written by Jerry Sterner (opened in New York City, 1989).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"I'm In The Mood For Love," written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields
"Solitude," written by Eddie De Lange, Irving Mills, and Duke Ellington, performed by Stephane Grappelli, courtesy of Polydor.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 October 1991
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles openings: 18 October 1991
Production Date:
late October 1990--February 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 March 1992
Copyright Number:
PA560623
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
101
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31448
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, Lawrence “Larry the Liquidator” Garfield, president of Garfield Investments, expresses his love for donuts and money, especially “other people’s money.” Lawrence receives daily updates from his computer, Carmen, as it tracks the rising stock value of New England Wire and Cable (NEWC). Meanwhile, NEWC chairman Andrew “Jorgy” Jorgenson elicits cheers from his employees as he announces the increased value of their stock, unaware of Lawrence’s plan to gain control of the company. After Lawrence arranges a visit to the NEWC plant in Seymour, Rhode Island, company president Bill Coles warns Jorgy of Lawrence’s intentions. Jorgy proudly reminds Bill of the hardships his family-run business has endured since 1910, and promises to prevent its liquidation. Lawrence estimates NEWC’s net value at approximately $100 million, with no debt or outstanding liabilities, then outrages Jorgy by advising him to close the failing wire-and-cable division, as it drains funds from more profitable divisions. Realizing he cannot reach an agreement with Jorgy, Lawrence proceeds with a hostile takeover. Meanwhile, Jorgy’s personal assistant and longtime companion, Bea Sullivan, asks her daughter, corporate attorney Kate Sullivan, for advice. Kate comes from New York City and offers several innovative solutions, but Jorgy balks, believing his traditional methods and twenty percent ownership of the company are adequate protection. The next day, Kate threatens Lawrence with a lawsuit while flirting with him. Lawrence is infatuated with Kate, and agrees to not buy NEWC stock for two weeks, until she can determine a course of action. Certain that Kate is acting in bad faith, Lawrence continues buying stock in the name of “OPM Holdings,” an ... +


In New York City, Lawrence “Larry the Liquidator” Garfield, president of Garfield Investments, expresses his love for donuts and money, especially “other people’s money.” Lawrence receives daily updates from his computer, Carmen, as it tracks the rising stock value of New England Wire and Cable (NEWC). Meanwhile, NEWC chairman Andrew “Jorgy” Jorgenson elicits cheers from his employees as he announces the increased value of their stock, unaware of Lawrence’s plan to gain control of the company. After Lawrence arranges a visit to the NEWC plant in Seymour, Rhode Island, company president Bill Coles warns Jorgy of Lawrence’s intentions. Jorgy proudly reminds Bill of the hardships his family-run business has endured since 1910, and promises to prevent its liquidation. Lawrence estimates NEWC’s net value at approximately $100 million, with no debt or outstanding liabilities, then outrages Jorgy by advising him to close the failing wire-and-cable division, as it drains funds from more profitable divisions. Realizing he cannot reach an agreement with Jorgy, Lawrence proceeds with a hostile takeover. Meanwhile, Jorgy’s personal assistant and longtime companion, Bea Sullivan, asks her daughter, corporate attorney Kate Sullivan, for advice. Kate comes from New York City and offers several innovative solutions, but Jorgy balks, believing his traditional methods and twenty percent ownership of the company are adequate protection. The next day, Kate threatens Lawrence with a lawsuit while flirting with him. Lawrence is infatuated with Kate, and agrees to not buy NEWC stock for two weeks, until she can determine a course of action. Certain that Kate is acting in bad faith, Lawrence continues buying stock in the name of “OPM Holdings,” an abbreviation for “other people’s money.” Kate advises Jorgy to buy stock through an out-of-state broker, using borrowed funds if necessary. Jorgy refuses to incur debt or take his business out of state, so he buys through a local broker using company funds. Kate returns home to find a delivery of flowers and donuts, with a note from Lawrence, asking, “Are you as hungry as I am?” In the morning, Kate confronts Lawrence with information about “OPM Holdings,” declining to comment on her own treachery. After they argue their disparate views on capitalism, Kate spends the night researching Lawrence’s business practices, and discovers an indictment from his past. Although the charges were dismissed on a legal technicality, Kate uses the information to place a temporary restraining order on Garfield Investments. Lawrence berates his seventeen attorneys for failing to stop the injunction, then happily agrees to a dinner meeting with Kate. That evening, Lawrence is giddy with anticipation of Kate’s visit, but uninterested in her offer to buy his NEWC stock. He counters by proposing a night of lovemaking, prompting Kate to leave. Lawrence telephones later that night, offering his shares in exchange for the wire-and-cable division, followed by an inept performance of “I’m In The Mood For Love” on his violin. In the morning, Kate flies to Rhode Island to consult with Jorgy, who rejects the proposal as unfair to his employees. Exasperated with Jorgy’s stubbornness, Kate declares that he deserves to lose his company. Jorgy also dismisses advice from Bill Coles, who fears losing his job without compensation for his years of service. At Thanksgiving dinner, Jorgy and Kate agree to put the takeover to a vote at the annual shareholders’ meeting in late December. After Kate convinces Lawrence to accept the deal, he realizes that they share a passion for winning, regardless of the stakes. Kate kisses Lawrence, further enticing him with the promise of making him a laughing stock among his peers. Later, Lawrence promises the disgruntled Bill Coles half a million dollars for his support, but refuses Bea Sullivan’s offer of $1 million to abandon the takeover. Realizing he will never see Kate again following the vote, Lawrence interrupts her date with another man to propose marriage. Although Kate is sympathetic, her silence discourages Lawrence. Weeks later, shareholders gather at NEWC, while factory workers and their families picket outside in support of Jorgy. However, Jorgy believes he may lose, and expresses doubts about his ability to compete in the modern business world. He addresses the stockholders, describing Lawrence as a force of destruction, and receives a standing ovation when he states that NEWC cares more about people than money. Lawrence’s address is greeted with derision, but he gradually convinces the shareholders of the company’s imminent demise, and promises them a fair return on their investment. Although Lawrence wins by an overwhelming majority, he is saddened over losing Kate. Weeks later, Kate telephones Lawrence with news that a Japanese automobile company has offered NEWC a long-term contract to manufacture airbags using stainless steel wire. On behalf of the employees, Kate proposes buying back the company, and makes a lunch date with Lawrence to negotiate a purchase price. Lawrence is ecstatic with anticipation and exclaims, “We’re back in business!” +

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

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