Switch (1991)

R | 104 mins | Comedy | 10 May 1991

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writer:

Blake Edwards

Producer:

Tony Adams

Cinematographer:

Dick Bush

Production Designer:

Rodger Maus

Production Companies:

HBO, Cinema Plus, Beco
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HISTORY

       A news item in the 12 May 1989 HR announced filmmaker Blake Edwards’ plan to begin principal photography in autumn 1989. Odyssey/Cinecom International had already secured foreign sales rights. On 17 May 1989, DV reported that Morris Eisenman was developing a project titled To Hell & Back for Producers Representatives Organization, before learning from Arnon Milchan of Odyssey/Cinecom that the plot was similar to that of Switch. As stated in the 17 Sep 1989 LAT, actress Kelly McGillis was cast in the leading role. According to the 19 Dec 1989 HR, Edwards was making final revisions to the screenplay in Gstaad, Switzerland. On 3 Mar 1990, Screen International reported that pregnancy prevented McGillis from appearing in the film, and actress Ellen Barkin was cast as her replacement. The 29 Mar 1990 HR announced the start of principal photography on 18 Apr 1990. The film had a $14 million budget, estimated by producer Tony Adams as being slightly more than half of guaranteed foreign pre-sales. Switch was the first Home Box Office (HBO) release through Warner Bros. Pictures. Regency International Pictures shared foreign rights with Odyssey. The 4 Apr 1990 Var revealed that production was delayed due to incomplete financing, which was later remedied by HBO’s partnership with Cinema Plus. The latter was expected to supply a minimum of $5 million for prints and advertising. Edwards and Adams would be directly involved in creating the film’s marketing campaign.
       According to the 7 Aug 1990 HR, ... More Less

       A news item in the 12 May 1989 HR announced filmmaker Blake Edwards’ plan to begin principal photography in autumn 1989. Odyssey/Cinecom International had already secured foreign sales rights. On 17 May 1989, DV reported that Morris Eisenman was developing a project titled To Hell & Back for Producers Representatives Organization, before learning from Arnon Milchan of Odyssey/Cinecom that the plot was similar to that of Switch. As stated in the 17 Sep 1989 LAT, actress Kelly McGillis was cast in the leading role. According to the 19 Dec 1989 HR, Edwards was making final revisions to the screenplay in Gstaad, Switzerland. On 3 Mar 1990, Screen International reported that pregnancy prevented McGillis from appearing in the film, and actress Ellen Barkin was cast as her replacement. The 29 Mar 1990 HR announced the start of principal photography on 18 Apr 1990. The film had a $14 million budget, estimated by producer Tony Adams as being slightly more than half of guaranteed foreign pre-sales. Switch was the first Home Box Office (HBO) release through Warner Bros. Pictures. Regency International Pictures shared foreign rights with Odyssey. The 4 Apr 1990 Var revealed that production was delayed due to incomplete financing, which was later remedied by HBO’s partnership with Cinema Plus. The latter was expected to supply a minimum of $5 million for prints and advertising. Edwards and Adams would be directly involved in creating the film’s marketing campaign.
       According to the 7 Aug 1990 HR, the original working title was Change. The project took eleven months to complete because of difficulties with financing, with only eight weeks devoted to photography. Ellen Barkin was reportedly Edwards’ first choice for the leading role, but he was compelled by his financiers to cast “A-list” actresses Kelly McGillis and Michelle Pfeiffer, neither of whom were able to commit. Edwards told the 18-24 Apr 1991 Hollywood Drama-Logue that he was considering four actresses, but preferred Barkin because there was “a lot of maleness to her.” While developing the screenplay, Edwards consulted his wife, actress Julie Andrews, for an accurate female perspective. Despite the story’s New York City setting, location filming yielded only two days of New York exteriors, with the bulk of photography taking place in Culver City, CA, as stated in the 7 Aug 1990 HR. The 12 Jun 1990 DV noted that eighty background actresses were hired for the “gay club” scene, which was filmed at the St. James Club in West Hollywood, CA.
       The 2 Jul 1990 DV reported completion of principal photography at Culver Studios in Culver City. However, the 22 Sep 1990 Long Beach Press-Telegram stated that “reshoots and retakes” continued at intervals throughout the summer. Actor Perry King believed the final scenes were completed in mid-Sep 1990, but could not be certain. On 19 Jul 1990, DV reported that composer Henry Mancini had begun work on the score. Switch marked the twenty-sixth collaboration between Mancini and Edwards, and the sixteenth between Edwards and Tony Adams.
       A news item in the 7 Mar 1991 HR announced a preview screening that day at the American Film Institute, followed by a question-and-answer session with Edwards. According to the 15 Mar 1991 HR, a 19 Apr 1991 release date was scheduled, then changed to 10 May 1991, as noted in the 16 Apr 1991 HR.
       In Jul 1991, Box reported gross receipts of $11,661,000 from more than 1,000 screens. Reviews were mixed.
       End credits include the following statement: “Special Thanks to American Airlines, ITT Sheraton”; “ Today Show courtesy of NBC, Inc.”; and, “Filmed at Culver Studiosdios and on location in New York City.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jul 1991.
---
Daily Variety
17 May 1989.
---
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1990
p. 2.
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1990.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1990.
---
Hollywood Drama-Logue
18-24 Apr 1991
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1990
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1990
Section S, pp. 28-29.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 1991
pp. 9-10.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 1991.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
22 Sep 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Sep 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 May 1991
Calendar, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
31 May 1991.
---
New York Times
10 May 1991
p. 13.
Screen International
3 Mar 1990.
---
Screen International
14 Jul 1990.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1990.
---
Variety
25 Apr 1990.
---
Variety
4 Jul 1990.
---
Variety
8 Apr 1991
p. 67.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
HBO in association with
Cinema Plus, L. P. Presents
A Beco Production
From Beco
This has been an HBO Presentation
in association with Cinema Plus, L.P.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Asst unit prod mgr, New York
1st asst dir, New York
2d asst dir, New York
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" cam op
1st asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Unit still photog
Video assist op
Video services
Rigging best boy
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Rigging grip
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Const paint boss
Labor foreman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Drapery foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Jewelry courtesy of
Key costumer
Cost shopper
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus supv
Scoring mixer
Ms. Barkin's hair & wig consultant
Mus preparation
Mus preparation
Mus contractor
Solo violinist
Soundtrack business affairs
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Spec sd eff
Sd mixer
Boom man
Utility sd
VISUAL EFFECTS
Addl spec visual eff by
A division of LucasArts Entertainment Company, Marin County, California
Visual eff supv, ILM
Visual eff prod, ILM
Opt photog supv, ILM
Visual eff art dir, ILM
Visual eff ed, ILM
Visual eff coord, ILM
Matte artist, ILM
Plate cam op, ILM
Plate cam asst, ILM
Opt cam op, ILM
Opt cam op, ILM
Opt cam op, ILM
Opt line-up, ILM
Opt line-up, ILM
Opt processing, ILM
Eff anim supv, ILM
Eff anim, ILM
Eff cam supv, ILM
Eff cam op, ILM
Eff cam op, ILM
Rotoscope supv, ILM
Rotoscope artist, ILM
Rotoscope artist, ILM
Asst visual eff ed, ILM
Asst visual eff ed, ILM
Anim coord, ILM
Prod asst, ILM
MAKEUP
Ms. Barkin's hair & wig dresser
Ms. Barkin's hair & wig consultant
Ms. Barkin's hair color
Key hairstylist
Dept head makeup
Ms. Barkin's makeup
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Exec in charge of prod and post-prod
Basketball seq
Asst loc mgr
Unit pub
Casting asst
Casting asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Mr. Edwards' driver
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod exec
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Adams
Asst to Mr. Adams
Asst to Ms. Barkin
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Ms. Barkin's trainer, N.Y.
Ms. Barkin's trainer, L.A. & basketball tech adv
Craft service
First aid
Prod asst
Completion guaranty provided by
Asst to Mr. Edwards
Accounting clerk
Loc scout
Loc scout
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Extras casting
Public relations
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
ANIMATION
Anim coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Both Sides Now,” written by Joni Mitchell, performed by Paul Young & Clannad, produced by Ciaran Brennan, published by Siquomb Publishing Corp. (BMI), Paul Young appears courtesy of Columbia Records, Clannad appears courtesy of BMG Records (UK) Ltd.
“Dream After Dream,” written by David Dixon & Michael Szumowski, performed by Indecent Obsession, produced by Michael Szumowski, published by MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP) & Melodian Music Pty. Ltd., courtesy of MCA Records & Melodian Records Pty. Ltd.
“Barren Ground,” written by Bruce Hornsby & John Hornsby, performed by Bruce Hornsby & The Range, produced by Don Gehman & Bruce Hornsby, remixed by Allen Meyerson, published by Zappo Music/Bob-A-Lew Songs/Basically Gasp Music (ASCAP), courtesy of RCA Records
+
SONGS
“Both Sides Now,” written by Joni Mitchell, performed by Paul Young & Clannad, produced by Ciaran Brennan, published by Siquomb Publishing Corp. (BMI), Paul Young appears courtesy of Columbia Records, Clannad appears courtesy of BMG Records (UK) Ltd.
“Dream After Dream,” written by David Dixon & Michael Szumowski, performed by Indecent Obsession, produced by Michael Szumowski, published by MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP) & Melodian Music Pty. Ltd., courtesy of MCA Records & Melodian Records Pty. Ltd.
“Barren Ground,” written by Bruce Hornsby & John Hornsby, performed by Bruce Hornsby & The Range, produced by Don Gehman & Bruce Hornsby, remixed by Allen Meyerson, published by Zappo Music/Bob-A-Lew Songs/Basically Gasp Music (ASCAP), courtesy of RCA Records
“It’s All There,” music by Henry Mancini, lyric by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, performed by Jody Watley, produced by Henry Mancini, published by L/T Music Inc. (ASCAP), Jody Watley appears courtesy of MCA Records
“Old Habits Are Hard To Break,” written by John Hiatt & Marshall Chapman, performed by Ronnie Milsap, produced by Ronnie Milsap & Rob Galbraith, published by Whistling Moon Traveller Music/Careers-BMG Music Publishing (BMI), courtesy of RCA Records
“Slam Dunk,” written by Kevin DuBrow & Harry Paress, performed by Pretty Boy Floyd, produced by Max Norman, published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Playfull Music/Fat Tunes/Kevin DuBrow Music (BMI), Pretty Boy Floyd appears courtesy of MCA Records
“You Can’t Resist It,” written & performed by Lyle Lovett, produced by Don Was, published by Michael H. Goldsen Inc./Lyle Lovett (ASCAP), Lyle Lovett appears courtesy of Curb/MCA Records
“Lover Man,” written by Roger Ram Ramirez, Jimmy Sherman, & James Davis, performed by Billie Holiday, published by MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP), courtesy of MCA Records
“Sendin’ Out A Message,” written by Antonina Armato & Rick Neigher, performed by The Jets, produced by Denny Diante, co-produced by Leroy Wolfgramm, published by Tom Sturges Music/Chrysalis Music/Irving Music Inc./Neigher Do Well Music (BMI), courtesy of MCA Records
“A Lifetime Of Love,” written by Tom Bocci, performed by Don Grady, produced by Tom Bocci & Don Grady, published by Big and Little Songs (ASCAP)
“So Quiet, So Still,” written by Nathalie Archangel, performed by Nathalie Archangel, produced by Greg Penny & Nathalie Archangel, published by WB Music Corp./Omnipresent Halo Music (ASCAP), courtesy of MCA Records
“Persuasion,” written and performed by Jim Chappell, Jim Chappell appears courtesy of Music-West Records
“Are You Listenin’ Lucky?” written, produced, and performed by Joe Ely, published by CRGI Music, Inc./Eiffel Tower Music (BMI), courtesy of MCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Change
Blake Edwards' Switch
Release Date:
10 May 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 May 1991
Production Date:
18 April--mid September 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Cinema Plus, L.P.
Copyright Date:
21 June 1991
Copyright Number:
PA526652
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30932
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, womanizing advertising executive Steve Brooks joins former lovers Margo Brofman, Liz, and Felicia for a hot-tub party, unaware that they conspire to drown him and save their gender from his predatory behavior. However, when Steve survives the attempt on his life, Margo shoots him three times in the chest and dumps his body in the East River. Steve finds himself in purgatory, halfway between heaven and hell. God, who speaks in both male and female voices, assures him that he has performed enough good deeds to enter heaven, but his treatment of women has condemned him to hell. His only chance for salvation is to find one female who “truly likes” him. As Steve awakens in his apartment the next morning, the Devil convinces God to neutralize Steve’s seductive ability by giving him the body of a woman. Steve is horrified by the change, and her screams draw the attention of Mack, the building security guard. Telling Mack that she is Steve’s half-sister, Amanda, she announces that she will be staying at the apartment in her brother’s absence. Amanda makes a lunch date with Steve’s best friend, Walter Stone, then goes to Margo Brofman’s townhouse, revealing she knows all about Steve’s murder. After convincing Margo that she is Steve reincarnated, Amanda demands the use of Margo’s clothes and makeup, and tips on how to behave as a woman. Later, Amanda staggers into the restaurant on high heels and tells Walter that she and Steve only learned of each other a few days earlier. She explains that Steve suffered from depression and left the city ... +


In New York City, womanizing advertising executive Steve Brooks joins former lovers Margo Brofman, Liz, and Felicia for a hot-tub party, unaware that they conspire to drown him and save their gender from his predatory behavior. However, when Steve survives the attempt on his life, Margo shoots him three times in the chest and dumps his body in the East River. Steve finds himself in purgatory, halfway between heaven and hell. God, who speaks in both male and female voices, assures him that he has performed enough good deeds to enter heaven, but his treatment of women has condemned him to hell. His only chance for salvation is to find one female who “truly likes” him. As Steve awakens in his apartment the next morning, the Devil convinces God to neutralize Steve’s seductive ability by giving him the body of a woman. Steve is horrified by the change, and her screams draw the attention of Mack, the building security guard. Telling Mack that she is Steve’s half-sister, Amanda, she announces that she will be staying at the apartment in her brother’s absence. Amanda makes a lunch date with Steve’s best friend, Walter Stone, then goes to Margo Brofman’s townhouse, revealing she knows all about Steve’s murder. After convincing Margo that she is Steve reincarnated, Amanda demands the use of Margo’s clothes and makeup, and tips on how to behave as a woman. Later, Amanda staggers into the restaurant on high heels and tells Walter that she and Steve only learned of each other a few days earlier. She explains that Steve suffered from depression and left the city to begin a new life, and she has no knowledge of his whereabouts. Walter is skeptical, so Amanda accompanies him to Steve’s office at the Friedkin & Brooks advertising agency, where she produces a note explaining her “brother’s” sudden departure. Amanda shares the news with company president Arnold Friedkin, and persuades him to give her Steve’s job at a higher salary. In return, she promises to keep secret the apartment Arnold rents for his extramarital affairs, and to secure the coveted Faxton Cosmetics advertising account. Afterward, Amanda coerces Margo into financing $41,600 in clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry from Bloomingdale’s department store. That evening, Amanda and Walter meet at their favorite bar, Duke’s, and reminisce about Steve. When Amanda declares herself to be Steve reincarnated, Walter is too drunk to take her seriously. She telephones Margo, a major stockholder in Faxton Cosmetics, telling her to arrange a meeting with company president Sheila Faxton the following afternoon. In the morning, Amanda telephones some of Steve’s former lovers, hoping for a kind word about him, but only encounters vitriol. During a staff meeting, Amanda proposes an innovative advertising campaign, for which Arnold Friedkin takes credit. Afterward, Amanda expresses her low opinion of Arnold, knowing that his desire for the Faxton account outweighs his self-respect. Later, Amanda delivers her sales pitch to Sheila Faxton, promising to give the account her personal attention. Sheila is attracted to Amanda and invites her to cocktail party that evening. With Margo’s assistance, Amanda dons a sexy outfit and wears a fragrance created by Sheila’s former lover. Shortly after Amanda arrives, Sheila invites her to the bedroom to make love, but when they kiss, Amanda faints. In the morning, Margo attributes Amanda’s reaction to Steve’s homophobia, which apparently transcends gender. That evening, Amanda takes Sheila to Duke’s, and as they get drunk on margaritas, Amanda admits to her former life as a man. When a male patron interrupts the conversation and insults her femininity, Amanda punches him in the stomach. They leave Duke’s for an elegant lesbian bar, where Sheila announces her decision to give her account to Friedkin & Brooks. Amanda is unable to continue the deceit, and admits she only flirted with Sheila to win the account. Sheila runs toward the door, but when Amanda tries to stop her, a large woman named Nancy intervenes and gives Amanda a black eye. Late that night, the Devil appears at Amanda’s bedside and warns her of the difficulties she faces as a woman. He offers a reprieve from damnation if she is willing to carry his child, but she refuses. The next day, Sheila meets with the Friedkin & Brooks staff, and places Amanda’s chauvinistic coworker, Dan Jones, in charge of the account. Amanda and Walter Stone meet at Duke’s that evening, and a brawl ensues when Amanda is confronted by the man she struck the previous night. She wakes in the morning to find Walter next to her in bed, and is appalled to learn that they made love. Although Walter assures her that she consented, Amanda has no memory of the incident and denounces him as a rapist. Margo appears and informs them that a fisherman accidentally recovered Steve’s body early that morning. Before leaving, Margo hides the murder weapon under a sofa cushion, resulting in Amanda’s arrest. Testifying at her trial, Amanda maintains that she is the reincarnation of Steve Brooks, and is sentenced to a mental hospital. Five months later, Amanda is pregnant with Walter’s child, and continues to resent him for taking advantage of her. However, she refuses to get an abortion, believing God wants her to have the baby, despite warnings that she may not survive giving birth. In the event of her death, Amanda bequeaths the child to Walter, who wants to legalize their relationship with a wedding. Amanda agrees, and reluctantly kisses Walter when the ceremony concludes. Months later, Amanda gives birth to a baby girl, whom she believes genuinely likes her. Within seconds, Amanda dies and enters heaven. God promises Amanda the ability to observe her child’s progress, and asks her to decide what her gender will be for eternity. Five years later, Amanda remains undecided as she watches Walter and their child place flowers on her grave. +

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

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