Scissors (1991)

R | 107 mins | Drama | 22 March 1991

Director:

Frank De Felitta

Cinematographer:

Anthony B. Richmond

Production Designer:

Craig Stearns

Production Company:

DDM Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The 12 Dec 1989 HR announced that actor Steve Railsback was preparing for his role by training with boxer Randy Shields.
       According to the 31 Dec 1989 LAT, principal photography was set to begin on 15 Jan 1990. The screenplay for Scissors was reportedly a collaboration between writer-director Frank De Felitta and the late Joyce Selznick. The 14 Jan 1990 LAT noted that filming would occurr at Sidewinder Studios in Culver City, CA.
       The film was acquired for foreign distribution by Vidmark International, and would be available for presale at the 1990 American Film Market, as reported in the 12 Feb 1990 HR.
       Scissors opened on 22 Mar 1991 at the Laemmle Monica theater in Santa Monica, CA, where it was “four-walled” by producers. The tactic refers to the occasional practice where filmmakers rent out an entire theater and share the proceeds from ticket sales with distributors. Reviews were generally negative.
       End credits include the following statement: “The producers wish to express their sincere appreciation to: The Los Angeles Police Department; Los Angeles Motion Picture/Television Coordinating Office; Tekla Morgan and Cohen Insurance; Film Finances, ... More Less

The 12 Dec 1989 HR announced that actor Steve Railsback was preparing for his role by training with boxer Randy Shields.
       According to the 31 Dec 1989 LAT, principal photography was set to begin on 15 Jan 1990. The screenplay for Scissors was reportedly a collaboration between writer-director Frank De Felitta and the late Joyce Selznick. The 14 Jan 1990 LAT noted that filming would occurr at Sidewinder Studios in Culver City, CA.
       The film was acquired for foreign distribution by Vidmark International, and would be available for presale at the 1990 American Film Market, as reported in the 12 Feb 1990 HR.
       Scissors opened on 22 Mar 1991 at the Laemmle Monica theater in Santa Monica, CA, where it was “four-walled” by producers. The tactic refers to the occasional practice where filmmakers rent out an entire theater and share the proceeds from ticket sales with distributors. Reviews were generally negative.
       End credits include the following statement: “The producers wish to express their sincere appreciation to: The Los Angeles Police Department; Los Angeles Motion Picture/Television Coordinating Office; Tekla Morgan and Cohen Insurance; Film Finances, Inc.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 1991
p. 12, 14.
Los Angeles Times
31 Dec 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Jan 1990
p. 32.
Los Angeles Times
22 Mar 1991
p. 4.
Variety
25 Mar 1991
p. 90.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
D. D. M. Film Corp. Presents
"Scissors" from D. D. M. Film Corp.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
Cam trainee
Video playback
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Asst leadman
Swing gang
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Lead scenic artist
Angie's doll collection by
Architectural model by
Bailey loft artwork by
Cole's artwork
COSTUMES
Cost des
Set costumer
Asst to cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus for party comp and performed by
Rec at
Ljubljana, Yugoslavia
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec Gemini visual eff by
Optical eff and titles
MAKEUP
Key make-up artist
Key hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Polaire
Asst to Mr. Pearl
Const driver
Unit pub
Financial consultant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Extras casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Craft service
Craft service, Craft West
Catering by
Prod intern
Security officer
Animals provided by
Animals provided by
STAND INS
Stand-in for Ms. Stone
Stand-in for Mr. Railsback
Stunt coord
Stunt double-Ms. Stone
Stunt double-Mr. Railsback
Photo double-Ms. Stone
Photo double-Mr. Railsback
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 March 1991
Premiere Information:
Santa Monica opening: 22 March 1991
Production Date:
began 15 January 1990
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30370
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, Angela “Angie” Anderson buys a pair of fabric scissors, and enters a thrift store to buy an antique doll, which she intends to repair and resell. Upon returning to her apartment, Angie is attacked in the elevator by a man with a red beard. She wounds him with the scissors, which he confiscates, along with her purse. Television actor Alex Morgan discovers Angie in the elevator and takes her to his apartment, which he shares with his wheelchair-bound brother, Cole. After Angie is questioned by police, Alex walks her home, where she reveals that she recently moved to the city from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and spends much of her time repairing dolls. The next day, during hypnotherapy at the office of Dr. Stephan Carter, Angie calls out the name, “Billy.” However, when Angie regains consciousness, she denies knowing anyone by that name. Dr. Carter believes Angie is repressing a childhood trauma, which explains her virginity at age twenty-six. While leaving the office, Angie passes the doctor’s wife, congressional candidate Ann Carter, who appears to have little time for her husband. Shortly after Angie returns home, Alex invites her to his cocktail party, where she is introduced to Nancy Leahy, his former lover. Cole, an artist, shows Angie his paintings, all of which depict nude, faceless women. When Cole unveils his latest work, the image of a bearded man raping a woman holding a doll, he admits to spying on Angie for months, and intends to have sex with her, as he has with all the women who inspired his paintings. As Angie runs from ... +


In New York City, Angela “Angie” Anderson buys a pair of fabric scissors, and enters a thrift store to buy an antique doll, which she intends to repair and resell. Upon returning to her apartment, Angie is attacked in the elevator by a man with a red beard. She wounds him with the scissors, which he confiscates, along with her purse. Television actor Alex Morgan discovers Angie in the elevator and takes her to his apartment, which he shares with his wheelchair-bound brother, Cole. After Angie is questioned by police, Alex walks her home, where she reveals that she recently moved to the city from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and spends much of her time repairing dolls. The next day, during hypnotherapy at the office of Dr. Stephan Carter, Angie calls out the name, “Billy.” However, when Angie regains consciousness, she denies knowing anyone by that name. Dr. Carter believes Angie is repressing a childhood trauma, which explains her virginity at age twenty-six. While leaving the office, Angie passes the doctor’s wife, congressional candidate Ann Carter, who appears to have little time for her husband. Shortly after Angie returns home, Alex invites her to his cocktail party, where she is introduced to Nancy Leahy, his former lover. Cole, an artist, shows Angie his paintings, all of which depict nude, faceless women. When Cole unveils his latest work, the image of a bearded man raping a woman holding a doll, he admits to spying on Angie for months, and intends to have sex with her, as he has with all the women who inspired his paintings. As Angie runs from the room, she is horrified by the sight of a red-bearded man. Alex assures her that the man is a fellow actor, and apologizes for Cole’s behavior. He also claims responsibility for his brother Cole’s condition, the result of an automobile wreck while he was driving. Alex attempts to kiss Angie, but she is afraid to be touched by a man. At Angie’s next psychotherapy session, she acknowledges a red-bearded man, named Billy, in her past. She also expresses her attraction to Dr. Carter, secure in the fact that he is a faithful husband. The session is interrupted when Ann telephones Dr. Carter to say that she will be out of town for the next three days. Afterward, Angie wanders into a movie theater and is threatened by a bearded man wielding a pair of scissors. She returns home and telephones Dr. Carter, who suggests that her panic over the attempted rape is “attracting these encounters.” Angie meets Alex in the hallway and invites him into her bedroom. As Nancy Leahy and Cole Morgan spy on the couple, she warns that a romance between Alex and Angie may ultimately create a rift between the brothers. Meanwhile, Angie is haunted by a childhood memory and abandons her attempt to make love to Alex. Undaunted, Alex invites her to join him for dinner the next evening. She steps onto her balcony and sees Cole through a window, walking about the room. Realizing his secret has been revealed, Cole threatens Angie and she locks herself inside. Moments later, she receives a telephone call from her employment agency and accepts a temporary job with real estate developer Richard Bailey. The following day, Angie enters Bailey’s office-apartment, and finds a note on the door, saying he will return shortly. She is given an automated presentation describing Bailey’s soundproofing process, and a lighting system designed to affect the occupant’s moods. After several minutes, Angie decides to leave, but discovers she is locked inside. Realizing the telephone is not functional, Angie searches for an exit, and finds Richard Bailey in the bedroom, wearing a red beard, and stabbed to death with her fabric scissors. She tries in vain to break the plastic windows, hoping to alert people on the street below. When Alex arrives at Angie’s door for their date, he hears the cries of her cat, Midnight, and suspects his neighbor may be in trouble. At the Bailey building, a talking doll instructs Angie to “look for the bird.” She discovers a caged raven in the bedroom, and becomes dismayed as it repeats the phrase “you killed him.” Telegrams, purportedly from Angie, are delivered to the employment agency and Alex, claiming she has left town for several days. Alex becomes increasingly suspicious, while Cole attributes Angie’s disappearance to her mental illness. Angie continues her quest for freedom, writing the word “help” on the window in lipstick, and releasing the raven through a ceiling vent with a note attached to its leg. Unable to get assistance from the building manager, Alex risks his life breaking into Angie’s apartment from the balcony. After feeding Midnight, Alex aquires the address of the Bailey building by rubbing a pencil over the latent writing on Angie’s note pad. Cole accosts Alex at the door and rises from his wheelchair, expressing his resentment toward his brother and their mother. At the Bailey building, Angie discovers a triple-screen television monitor, displaying segments of Alex’s show, and surveillance video from the thrift store, the employment agency, Dr. Carter’s office, and herself screaming for help from the window. In the kitchen, she finds Richard Bailey’s corpse sitting at the table, with the dead raven on a plate. Angie suddenly recalls witnessing the murder of her stepfather, Billy, by her mother, who stabbed him with a pair of scissors. Later, Ann Carter enters in search of her lover, Richard Bailey, and finds her husband, wearing a red beard. Dr. Carter reveals that he knew of the affair and killed Bailey. Aware that a scandal would jeopardize her political career, Ann agrees to comply with her husband’s plan to blame Angie for the murder. As Angie wanders through the rooms in a psychotic stupor, Dr. Carter explains how he was able to manipulate his patient by forcing her to relive her childhood traumas, including her rape by Billy. While the doctor and his wife search for the missing murder weapon, Angie walks through the open door and locks the Carters inside. Alex arrives by taxicab and offers to take her home. Angie gets into the taxicab and stares up at Dr. Carter as he pounds on the window, screaming for help. +

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

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