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HISTORY

       A 25 Dec 1985 Var brief announced that Vibes was being developed along with “several new feature dramas,” with actor-director-producer Ron Howard as a possible producer. Six months later, the 5 Jun 1986 DV, reported actor Dan Aykroyd as being Ron Howard’s first choice to star in the film. Five months later, an article in the 18 Nov 1986 DV reported the film was set with an $11 million budget, and listed Bernie Brillstein as a producer. However, Brillstein is not credited onscreen. By the end of the year, a 15 Dec 1986 People item listed Aykroyd and singer Cyndi Lauper as the picture’s leads. An article in the 8 Aug 1988 edition of Us magazine revealed that Lauper had initially passed on the film before Aykroyd signed on. Actress and comedienne Tracey Ullman was cast to star opposite Aykroyd, but left the production to work on her television series. Afterward, Lauper was again approached and accepted a role. However, Aykroyd did not remain with the project after meeting Lauper, and actor Jeff Goldblum was brought in to replace him.
       An article in the 28 Jan 1987 DV announced that Imagine Films Entertainment planned to begin filming in early Apr 1987, with an estimated budget of $12 million and possible locations in South America and Mexico.
       As previously scheduled, the 28 Apr 1987 HR production chart noted that principal photography began on 9 Apr 1987, with filming locations in Ecuador and Los Angeles, CA. Production notes in AMPAS library files stated filming took ... More Less

       A 25 Dec 1985 Var brief announced that Vibes was being developed along with “several new feature dramas,” with actor-director-producer Ron Howard as a possible producer. Six months later, the 5 Jun 1986 DV, reported actor Dan Aykroyd as being Ron Howard’s first choice to star in the film. Five months later, an article in the 18 Nov 1986 DV reported the film was set with an $11 million budget, and listed Bernie Brillstein as a producer. However, Brillstein is not credited onscreen. By the end of the year, a 15 Dec 1986 People item listed Aykroyd and singer Cyndi Lauper as the picture’s leads. An article in the 8 Aug 1988 edition of Us magazine revealed that Lauper had initially passed on the film before Aykroyd signed on. Actress and comedienne Tracey Ullman was cast to star opposite Aykroyd, but left the production to work on her television series. Afterward, Lauper was again approached and accepted a role. However, Aykroyd did not remain with the project after meeting Lauper, and actor Jeff Goldblum was brought in to replace him.
       An article in the 28 Jan 1987 DV announced that Imagine Films Entertainment planned to begin filming in early Apr 1987, with an estimated budget of $12 million and possible locations in South America and Mexico.
       As previously scheduled, the 28 Apr 1987 HR production chart noted that principal photography began on 9 Apr 1987, with filming locations in Ecuador and Los Angeles, CA. Production notes in AMPAS library files stated filming took place for three weeks in Ecuador within the villages of Cojitambo and Azogues, the Las Cajas area of the Andes mountain range, and headquartered in the city of Cuenca. Returning to the U.S., filming continued in Los Angeles for ten weeks. According to production notes, California locations included: the interior of Los Angeles City Hall; Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History; Marinello’s School of Beauty; Mission Inn located in Riverside, CA; Patriotic Hall; Santa Anita Park race track; and the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club. Filming also occurred at Burbank Studiosdios where the set of an ancient Incan city was constructed on three sound stages. The 10 Jul 1987 DV announced that principal photography was complete.
       A 19 Mar 1987 DV item and a 31 Mar 1988 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release in AMPAS library files list Brian Grazer as an executive producer on the film. However, Grazer is not credited onscreen. The HR production chart listed Mark L. Fabus and Diane Wager as set decorators, but neither individual are credited onscreen.
       Although the Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release listed 22 Jul 1988 as a possible release date, a 28 Jun 1988 DV item announced the film would open on 5 Aug 1988. Vibes opened as planned on 5 Aug 1988, as noted in the NYT review published that day.
       The picture marked the motion picture acting debut of singer Cyndi Lauper. A 2 Jul 1987 LAT interview revealed that while researching the role of “Sylvia Pickel,” Lauper “studied under a psychic,” followed by visits “at a beauty school and at various beauty parlors to see what that world was like.”
       The film was the feature directorial debut of Ken Kwapis.
      End credits state: “Special Thanks To: The United States Diplomatic Mission to Ecuador; The Government of Ecuador; The People of Cuenca, Azogues and Cojitambo, Ecuador; Wilfred Beauty Academy.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Jun 1986
p. 3.
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1986
p. 1, 12.
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1987
p. 1, 23.
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1987
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1987
p. 22.
Daily Variety
10 Jul 1987
p. 3.
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1988
p. 36.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 1988
p. 3, 41.
Los Angeles Times
2 July 1987
Calendar, p. 1, 8.
Los Angeles Times
5 Aug 1988
Calendar, p. 11.
New York Times
5 Aug 1988
Section C, p. 6.
People
15 Dec 1986.
---
Us Magazine
8 Aug 1988
p. 41.
Variety
25 Dec 1985
p. 12.
Variety
10 Aug 1988
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures presents
An Imagine Entertainment production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
Prod mgr, Ecuador
Unit prod mgr, New York
1st asst dir, New York
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Lighting gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Panaglide op, Ecuador
Panaglide asst, Ecuador
Dir of photog, New York
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
Art dir, New York
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Const coord
Const foreman
Leadman
Greensman
Stand-by painter
Prop master
Asst prop master
Scenic artist, New York
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
Ms. Lauper's ward provided by
Cost des, New York
Ward for Cyndi Lauper
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Andean mus consultant, Ecuador
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Spec sd processing
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff prod
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
Title des
Dir of photog, Boss Film Corporation
Visual eff art dir, Boss Film Corporation
Visual eff ed, Boss Film Corporation
Chief financial officer, Boss Film Corporation
Spec eff foreman, Boss Film Corporation
Plate photog, Boss Film Corporation
Opt supv, Boss Film Corporation
Model shop supv, Boss Film Corporation
Spec projects supv, Boss Film Corporation
Chief eng, Boss Film Corporation
Chief matte artist, Boss Film Corporation
Prod coord, Boss Film Corporation
Asst to Mr. Edlund, Boss Film Corporation
Opt cam op, Boss Film Corporation
Opt cam op, Boss Film Corporation
Opt line-up, Boss Film Corporation
Head lab tech, Boss Film Corporation
1st asst photog, Boss Film Corporation
1st asst photog, Boss Film Corporation
Matte painter, Boss Film Corporation
Still photog, Boss Film Corporation
Anim prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Anim prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Tech anim supv, Boss Film Corporation
Spec projects asst, Boss Film Corporation
Asst ed, Boss Film Corporation
Eff tech, Boss Film Corporation
Chief lighting tech, Boss Film Corporation
Grip, Boss Film Corporation
Asst spec eff foreman, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew chief, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew chief, Boss Film Corporation
Head painter, Boss Film Corporation
Modeshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop crew, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop foreman, Boss Film Corporation
Sculptor, Boss Film Corporation
Sculptor, Boss Film Corporation
Sculptor, Boss Film Corporation
Modelshop coord, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Prod asst, Boss Film Corporation
Des eng, Boss Film Corporation
Electronics supv, Boss Film Corporation
Prod accountant, Boss Film Corporation
DANCE
Tango choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Ms. Lauper's hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist, New York
Makeup artist, New York
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Consultant to Mr. Kwapis
Scr supv
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Transportation capt
Transportation coord
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Prod asst
Post prod asst
Image consultant to Ms. Lauper
Image consultant to Ms. Lauper
Casting asst
Quechua translator
Craft services
Caterer, Variety Caterers
Caterer, Variety Caterers
Loc mgr, Ecuador
Transportation mgr, Ecuador
Prod office coord, New York
Scr supv, New York
Extras casting
Extras casting, DISC
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“I”ve Got A Hole In My Heart,” written by Richard Orange, produced by Cyndi Lauper and Lennie Petze, performed by Cyndi Lauper, courtesy of Epic Records
“Berta,” written by Marcos Loya
“Mona,” written by Marcos Loya
+
SONGS
“I”ve Got A Hole In My Heart,” written by Richard Orange, produced by Cyndi Lauper and Lennie Petze, performed by Cyndi Lauper, courtesy of Epic Records
“Berta,” written by Marcos Loya
“Mona,” written by Marcos Loya
“Arturo,” written by Marcos Loya
“Retango,” written by Osvaldo Barrios
+
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 August 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 5 August 1988
Production Date:
9 April--10 July 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 August 1988
Copyright Number:
PA383117
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28965
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, the Department of Para-Normal Studies Testing Laboratory at New York University tests people with psychic abilities for Dr. Harrison Steele. Included in the study are Nick Deezy, a museum curator who is able to sense the history of objects and people by touch, known as psychometry; and Sylvia Pickel, a beauty school student with trance-medium powers and a connection to a spirit named “Louise.” During lunch, Nick and Sylvia dine with other psychic subjects: Dave, Jane, Lyle, and Ingo Swedlin. Dr. Harrison Steele informs the group that Nick and Sylvia’s abilities are the most impressive he has ever seen. Sylvia informs Nick that “Louise” told her his girl friend, Hillary, is cheating on him. In the afternoon, Steele asks Nick if he would become a permanent part of his project. However, Nick declines. Returning to his job at the museum, Nick is bombarded by co-workers to use his abilities. Elsewhere, Sylvia meets Fred, her former boyfriend, at the racetrack. After telling Sylvia he needs money to pay back loans, Fred begs her to ask “Louise” to tell which horses to bet on. Sylvia reminds Fred that “Louise” does not like him, but agrees to help him. After Fred wins five races, he thanks Sylvia and “Louise.” While leaving the racetrack, Fred is approached by his current girl friend, Gloria, and leaves with her. Sylvia returns to her apartment, questioning her bad taste in men. Arriving home, she sees a stranger standing in her kitchen. The man introduces himself as Harry Buscafusco, and offers her $50,000 to help him find his ... +


In New York City, the Department of Para-Normal Studies Testing Laboratory at New York University tests people with psychic abilities for Dr. Harrison Steele. Included in the study are Nick Deezy, a museum curator who is able to sense the history of objects and people by touch, known as psychometry; and Sylvia Pickel, a beauty school student with trance-medium powers and a connection to a spirit named “Louise.” During lunch, Nick and Sylvia dine with other psychic subjects: Dave, Jane, Lyle, and Ingo Swedlin. Dr. Harrison Steele informs the group that Nick and Sylvia’s abilities are the most impressive he has ever seen. Sylvia informs Nick that “Louise” told her his girl friend, Hillary, is cheating on him. In the afternoon, Steele asks Nick if he would become a permanent part of his project. However, Nick declines. Returning to his job at the museum, Nick is bombarded by co-workers to use his abilities. Elsewhere, Sylvia meets Fred, her former boyfriend, at the racetrack. After telling Sylvia he needs money to pay back loans, Fred begs her to ask “Louise” to tell which horses to bet on. Sylvia reminds Fred that “Louise” does not like him, but agrees to help him. After Fred wins five races, he thanks Sylvia and “Louise.” While leaving the racetrack, Fred is approached by his current girl friend, Gloria, and leaves with her. Sylvia returns to her apartment, questioning her bad taste in men. Arriving home, she sees a stranger standing in her kitchen. The man introduces himself as Harry Buscafusco, and offers her $50,000 to help him find his missing son in Ecuador. Sylvia agrees, and decides to ask for Nick’s help. Meanwhile, Nick finds out Hillary cheated on him after he touched a pair of her underwear. Unable to forgive her, he breaks up with her. The next day at work, Nick hides from his boss, Mr. Van Der Meer, who wants Nick to entertain museum trustees with his psychometric talents. Sylvia arrives and tells Nick she will split Harry’s money with him if he joins her in Ecuador. Nick has never liked his abilities, even as a child, and Sylvia admits she got her connection with “Louise” after falling off of a ladder and being in a coma for two weeks. She also professes she is capable of astral projection. Mr. Van Der Meer finds them, and orders Nick to “perform” for the trustees. Frustrated, Nick informs Van Der Meer he is taking a sabbatical to Ecuador. Van Der Meer will not allow Nick to leave, so he quits and leaves with Sylvia. Arriving in Ecuador, Harry Buscafusco takes Nick and Sylvia to a hotel. After unpacking, Harry insists they go to the village where his son, “Harry, Jr.,” was last seen. At the village, Harry hands Nick a shirt to get a reading of where his son may have gone. From the shirt, Nick leads Harry and Sylvia to a pathway up the mountains. However, Nick senses the shirt belongs to an older man. Harry changes his story, saying he is looking for his father “Harry, Sr.,” but Nick insists the shirt’s owner is not that old. Harry confesses he is actually searching for a hidden Incan city that houses the mythical Room of Gold, and the shirt belongs to Burt Wilder, his associate, who was searching for the city with Eli Diamond. Harry believes the men found the city, but Eli vanished and Burt returned in a state of shock. From Burt’s shirt, Nick senses the men did find the Incan city and they need to speak to Burt to obtain more information. Harry says Burt is in the hospital near the hotel, and they can visit in the morning. Returning to the hotel, Nick and Sylvia go to the bar. Being told by “Louise” she is destined to meet the love of her life on the trip, Sylvia flirts with Alejandro De La Vivar, a Spanish Ambassador. Alejandro is charmed by Sylvia and asks her to join him in fifteen minutes after his business meeting. Suddenly, Ingo Swedlin, a psychic from Dr. Harrison Steele’s study, arrives. Nick and Sylvia tell Swedlin they just started dating, and kiss in front of him. After Swedlin excuses himself, Sylvia sees Alejandro and leaves with him. Meanwhile, Consuelo, a beautiful woman at the bar, flirts with Nick and invites him to her room. Consuelo hands Nick what she claims to be an aphrodisiac, but upon touching it, Nick senses it is meant to knock him out. Pulling out a knife, Consuelo tells Nick she and her associates will find the Room of Gold first. As Consuelo lunges, she cuts Nick’s arm, but falls off the balcony. Fearing Sylvia is in danger, Nick arrives at Alejandro’s room and sees him with his hands around Sylvia’s neck. He hits Alejandro on the head. However, Sylvia tells him Alejandro was only placing a necklace around her neck. After Alejandro awakens, he throws Nick and Sylvia out. After Nick and Sylvia find Harry, Nick threatens to leave the country, but Harry convinces Nick to go the hospital to see Burt and to check the cut on his arm. At the hospital, they find Burt is in a catatonic state. Sylvia asks “Louise” for help, and Burt starts talking, telling Harry that the Room of Gold is deep in the mountains surrounded by wind and dust. At Nick’s insistence, Burt tries to remember the location, but starts to shake. As Nick touches Burt, he gets thrown back after absorbing a large dose of psychic energy, which causes Burt to die. With a newfound desire to find the Incan city, Nick takes a stone in Burt’s hands and announces he will be going into the mountains. Ingo Swedlin appears and aims a gun at Nick, demanding to know what Burt told him. With “Louise’s” connection, Sylvia reveals that Swedlin’s dead mother, Gretchen, wants him to let them go. Swedlin is not convinced, until Sylvia is possessed by Gretchen’s spirit, and starts singing his favorite childhood song. While Swedlin is distracted, the group escapes. Guided by Burt’s stone, Nick leads Harry and Sylvia into the mountains. Wanting to do something nice for Nick after he tried to “save” her from Alejandro, Sylvia kisses him. However, Nick believes Sylvia only pities him, and they get into an argument. Later, Burt’s vibrating stone awakens Nick. Led by the stone, Nick finds the lost Incan city. In the morning, he returns and tells Sylvia and Harry about his discovery, but insists there is no gold, only an evil presence. Suddenly, Ingo Swedlin appears and throws a knife into Harry’s back. As Harry dies, Sylvia tells him “Louise” will take care of him on the other side. As Swedlin aims a gun at Nick and Sylvia, Dr. Harrison Steele arrives with his henchman, Carl. Steele announces that he has been working with Ingo and Carl to find the Incan city and the Room of Gold. Taking Sylvia and Nick hostage, Swedlin follows Nick’s path. Upon finding the city, the group sees the temple and a glowing pyramid, uncovered by Eli Diamond and Burt Wilder. Unknowingly, Sylvia begins reciting a message inscribed on the pyramid, but Nick stops her, telling Steele the pyramid was built long before the Incans built the city. As Swedlin deciphers the pyramid text, Nick and Sylvia are separated. After Sylvia learns that Steele plans to use the pyramid’s concentrated psychic energy to change the world, she astrally projects herself to Nick. As Nick sees her psychic presence, he asks “Louise” to help him escape. Pretending to be possessed by Carl’s father, Nick knocks Carl unconscious and takes his machine gun to stop Steele and Swedlin. After Sylvia’s energy returns to her body, Nick tells her to go get help. However, Sylvia hears a gunshot and sees Nick surrounded. Placing her hands on the pyramid, Sylvia absorbs the psychic energy. Around her, Swedlin vanishes, and Steele and Carl run away, but falling rocks kill them. Suddenly, Sylvia is thrown back, and tells Nick she saw “Louise” in the Room of Gold, entering the light to save Sylvia’s life. Nick and Sylvia return to the hotel, where she tells him she plans to stay in Ecuador for the time being, getting use to life without a connection to “Louise.” Not wanting to leave her, Nick kisses Sylvia and carries her to her bed. Sylvia hits her head on the headboard and senses a connection with new spirit, Harry Buscafusco. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.