Man Trouble (1992)

PG-13 | 101 mins | Romantic comedy | 17 July 1992

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writer:

Carole Eastman

Cinematographer:

Stephen H. Burum

Production Designer:

Mel Bourne

Production Company:

Penta Pictures
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HISTORY

According to the 27 Oct 1991 LAT, writer-producer Carole Eastman conceived the story in 1971, and mentionied the idea to a friend while they were both buying German Shepherds from a pair of “weird, funny guys” who owned a kennel in Los Angeles, CA. She wrote the part with Jack Nicholson in mind, as reported in the 3 Mar 1991 LAT. In the early 1980s, Eastman took the script to David Geffen of the Geffen Film Co., but spent much of the decade rewriting the property while searching for a star and director. A news item in the Apr 1983 Playboy announced that Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson had been cast, and LAT reported that Jonathan Demme was attached to direct. Sometime later, director Lawrence Kasdan was hired, with lead actors Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange. According to the 3 Mar 1991 DV, however, Geffen put the picture into turnaround in 1989. At that time, Eastman convinced Geffen to release his option so she could shop it around, and the screenplay found its way to Meryl Streep, who loved the project. Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson was making The Two Jakes (1990, see entry), and was unavailable, so Al Pacino was offered the role. Pacino reportedly agreed to co-star only if rewrites were made. When he stalled, Nicholson approached the filmmakers and asked if they would delay principal photography until he finished his latest picture, to which they agreed. The 13 Aug 1990 DV announced that Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson would be co-starring, noting Nicholson’s reunion with Carole Eastman and director Bob Rafelson, whom he ... More Less

According to the 27 Oct 1991 LAT, writer-producer Carole Eastman conceived the story in 1971, and mentionied the idea to a friend while they were both buying German Shepherds from a pair of “weird, funny guys” who owned a kennel in Los Angeles, CA. She wrote the part with Jack Nicholson in mind, as reported in the 3 Mar 1991 LAT. In the early 1980s, Eastman took the script to David Geffen of the Geffen Film Co., but spent much of the decade rewriting the property while searching for a star and director. A news item in the Apr 1983 Playboy announced that Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson had been cast, and LAT reported that Jonathan Demme was attached to direct. Sometime later, director Lawrence Kasdan was hired, with lead actors Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange. According to the 3 Mar 1991 DV, however, Geffen put the picture into turnaround in 1989. At that time, Eastman convinced Geffen to release his option so she could shop it around, and the screenplay found its way to Meryl Streep, who loved the project. Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson was making The Two Jakes (1990, see entry), and was unavailable, so Al Pacino was offered the role. Pacino reportedly agreed to co-star only if rewrites were made. When he stalled, Nicholson approached the filmmakers and asked if they would delay principal photography until he finished his latest picture, to which they agreed. The 13 Aug 1990 DV announced that Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson would be co-starring, noting Nicholson’s reunion with Carole Eastman and director Bob Rafelson, whom he worked with on Five Easy Pieces (1970, see entry). Five months later, however, the 25 Jan 1991 Screen International reported that Meryl Streep was forced to drop out of the project when she became pregnant, and was replaced by Ellen Barkin. According to the 3 Mar 1991 DV, Streep was willing to continue with the project if it could be delayed until the fall, but Nicholson was scheduled to begin filming Hoffa (1992, see entry) at that time.
       The 3 Mar 1991 DV announced that Penta Pictures would fully finance the $26 million picture, set to begin a twelve-week shoot in Los Angeles, CA. On 29 Apr 1991, DV confirmed that principal photography would begin that day and continue for a week at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, off of Mulholland Drive on Errol Flynn Ranch Road, which stood in for “Andy Ellerman’s” home. Filmmakers were expected to return there for an additional three weeks. Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations, including the Yamashiro restaurant in Hollywood; the University of Southern California (USC) campus; an abandoned hospital building on the Veterans Administration property in West Los Angeles; and on Las Palmas Boulevard in Hollywood, where interior and exteriors for “The House of Bliss” were created. Filming occurred for four nights at a lookout point in Griffith Park, and finally at the Los Angeles Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for two days, where 1,500 background actors served as audience members for the opera sequence.
       According to the 20 Jul 1992 Var, distributor Twentieth Century Fox elected not to hold press screenings before the release of Man Trouble.
       The 20 Jul 1992 DV reported box-office earnings of just over $2 million after its opening weekend on 1,007 screens. The 6 Aug 1992 DV reported that second weekend receipts on the same number of screens had dropped to $667,830. After reducing the release to 117 theaters, third weekend totals decreased to $66,000, at which point Fox stopped tracking earnings.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: "The producers wish to thank: Watches by Cartier; Bunny Andrews; Rogers & Cowan, Inc.; California Pizza Kitchen; Miller Brewing Company; Pepsi-Cola Company; Chrysler Corporation; silk bedding by Cocoon, Inc.; Reinstein/Ross, New York; Apple Computer, Inc.; Dr. David M. Lesman." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1990
p. 1, 27.
Daily Variety
3 Mar 1991.
p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1991
p. 1, 16.
Daily Variety
8 Mar 1991
p. 14.
Daily Variety
29 Apr 1991.
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1991
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1991
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1991
p. 6.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1991
p. 14.
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1992
p. 10.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 1992
p. 1, 19.
Daily Variety
7 Sep 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 1992
p. 5, 18.
Los Angeles Times
3 Mar 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 1991
p. 4-5, 80, 82.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jul 1992
p. 1.
New York Times
18 Jul 1992
p. 18.
Playboy
Apr 1983.
---
Screen International
24 Nov 1990.
---
Screen International
25 Jan 1991.
---
Variety
20 Jul 1992
p. 1.
Variety
20 Jul 1992
p. 20.
Variety
20 Jul 1992
p. 63.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
The chorus:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario & Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Silvio Berlusconi present
An American Filmworks/Budding Grove production
A Bob Rafelson movie
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Assoc prod
Co-exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
Spec seq illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst to set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
On-set dresser
Standby painter
Greensman
Greensman
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Ward asst
MUSIC
Vocal rec supv
Vocal coach & coord
Cond coach
Piano coach
Mus supv for Penta Pictures
Mus supv for Penta Pictures
Mus consultant
Supv mus ed
Mus ed
Scoring consultant
Mus preparation
Orch mgr
Scoring eng
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable man
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Supv ADR ed
Foley ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd apprentice
Foley walker
Foley walker
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec
Re-rec
ADR group coord
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals by
Main title seq by
MAKEUP
Makeup dept head
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Body makeup
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Animal action by
Dog trainer
Dog trainer asst
Dog trainer asst
Scr supv
Chorus casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Office receptionist
Casting asst
Casting asst
Asst to Bruce Gilbert
Asst to Bruce Gilbert
Asst to Carole Eastman
Personal asst to Bob Rafelson
Asst to Bob Rafelson
Office P.A.
Personal asst to Jack Nicholson
Personal asst to Ellen Barkin
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
First aid
Catering
Catering, Guinea Up
Asst cook
Craft service
Craft service
Craft service
Security
Transportation coord
Driver capt
Driver capt
Co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
Post prod accountant
Post prod coord
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter co-pilot
Public relations
Insurance provided by
Completion bond by
Payroll service
STAND INS
Stunt coord/Stuntperson
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Every Breath You Take," written by Sting, Magnetic Publishing/Reggatta Music Ltd., c/o Illegal Songs, Inc. (BMI)
"Mass In B Minor" (Bach), performed by Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin-In the Fields, courtesy of Phillips Classics, a division of Polygram Classics.
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 July 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 17 Jul 1992
Production Date:
began 29 Apr 1991
Copyright Claimant:
PentAmerica Communications, Inc., and Penta Entertainment Ltd., A.V.V.
Copyright Date:
14 July 1992
Copyright Number:
PA572493
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
Prints by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
101
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31574
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, opera singer Joan Spruance is going through a divorce with her husband, Lewie Duart. When she returns home to find that her apartment has been broken into, she tells police that Lewie, who is also her choral conductor, would have no reason to commit the crime. Joan’s sister, Antonia “Andy” Ellerman, arrives during the investigation, and asks if Joan received the manuscript she sent her. Andy reveals she has written a story about her former billionaire boyfriend, Redmond “Red” Layls, whose business practices are questionable. Joan warns her against writing the exposé, but Andy insists on meeting a publisher in New York City. When Joan frets about her safety following the break-in, Andy offers to let her stay at her home while she is away. Elsewhere, guard dog trainer Harry Bliss attends a counseling session with his estranged wife, Adele. She is angry that he mistreats her and owes her several months’ rent on an office space. At work, Harry dodges several bill collectors and has his secretary lie about his whereabouts. Joan stays at her sister’s gated Hollywood Hills home, but worries when Andy’s live-in housekeeper, Socorro, also leaves for vacation. Alone in the house, Joan decides to get an dog for protection, and telephones Harry’s company, House of Bliss Guard Dogs. He arrives with a German Shepherd, “Duke,” and teaches the commands to Joan. At choral practice, Joan’s friend, Eddy Revere, offers consolation, and wonders why she no longer confides in him. Sometime later, Harry returns for more dog training. When Joan breaks down in tears, he invites her to dinner. Harry shares that he has been divorced for eight years, and he ... +


In Los Angeles, California, opera singer Joan Spruance is going through a divorce with her husband, Lewie Duart. When she returns home to find that her apartment has been broken into, she tells police that Lewie, who is also her choral conductor, would have no reason to commit the crime. Joan’s sister, Antonia “Andy” Ellerman, arrives during the investigation, and asks if Joan received the manuscript she sent her. Andy reveals she has written a story about her former billionaire boyfriend, Redmond “Red” Layls, whose business practices are questionable. Joan warns her against writing the exposé, but Andy insists on meeting a publisher in New York City. When Joan frets about her safety following the break-in, Andy offers to let her stay at her home while she is away. Elsewhere, guard dog trainer Harry Bliss attends a counseling session with his estranged wife, Adele. She is angry that he mistreats her and owes her several months’ rent on an office space. At work, Harry dodges several bill collectors and has his secretary lie about his whereabouts. Joan stays at her sister’s gated Hollywood Hills home, but worries when Andy’s live-in housekeeper, Socorro, also leaves for vacation. Alone in the house, Joan decides to get an dog for protection, and telephones Harry’s company, House of Bliss Guard Dogs. He arrives with a German Shepherd, “Duke,” and teaches the commands to Joan. At choral practice, Joan’s friend, Eddy Revere, offers consolation, and wonders why she no longer confides in him. Sometime later, Harry returns for more dog training. When Joan breaks down in tears, he invites her to dinner. Harry shares that he has been divorced for eight years, and he and Joan flirt. Intoxicated, Joan invites Harry to one of her concerts. In time, Harry is visited by Red Layls’s attorney, Laurence Moncrief, who asks him to steal the incriminating manuscript from Joan. When Harry refuses, Moncrief calls him by his real name, “Eugene Earl Axline,” and threatens to reveal he is living under a false identity to avoid creditors and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Before leaving, he gives Harry a check for $15,000 to obtain the manuscript. Joan receives a death threat in her sister’s mail, and her former husband, Lewie, asks her to move back home with him. Joan dismisses him and reveals she is seeing someone else. Later, she invites Harry over for dinner and receives a frantic telephone call from her sister, who reveals that Red kidnapped her to prevent her book from being published. Andy had gone to a hospital to have a bone spur removed before leaving for New York, but while there, Red had her drugged and abducted. She woke up in an unknown hospital. Harry offers to help Joan locate her sister, and she searches Andy’s house for the missing manuscript. Harry prepares to mail the payoff check back to Red’s attorney, but changes his mind at the last moment, and returns to Andy’s home to look for the document. When he finds a present Joan bought for him with a letter professing her love, he feels guilty. Sometime later, Joan’s friend, Helen Dextra, comes to visit as Joan fills out a “missing persons” police report for her sister. Joan prepares to drive Helen home, but a masked assailant wielding an axe attacks them in the garage. With the guard dog locked in the house, Joan fends for herself, beating their attacker with a wooden stick. As the intruder chokes her, Helen comes to her rescue. Joan bites the man’s hand and beats him until he flees. Later, Harry chastises Joan for not having Duke by her side, but they make love. In time, Joan gives him a wristwatch, and he is touched by the gift. Harry tries to admit his connection to Red Layls, but she interrupts him to watch a television news report about her sister’s disappearance. The story reveals that Red is being treated for a minor illness at a hospital, prompting Joan to search the same facility for her sister. Harry tries to stop her, but reluctantly goes along. After arriving, they steal lab coats, pretend to be doctors, and are directed to Andy’s room. Joan dresses her sister in her own clothes, and Andy leaves through the front door with Harry, while Joan stays behind in a hospital gown. While Andy waits outside, Harry returns for Joan, but he is locked out as Red’s men arrive. When Andy sees Red step out of his limousine, she verbally attacks him for kidnapping her. Meanwhile, Laurence Moncrief visits Andy’s room to get her to sign legal papers that would protect Red’s innocence, and is surprised to see Joan under the covers. As Harry shouts up to his lover, Moncrief reveals that Harry works for him. Joan is stunned, but Harry rips up the $15,000 check. Andy returns to her hospital room and tells her sister that Red tearfully professed his love for her. Joan chastises her sister for forgiving him. Red and Harry attempt to sort out their differences, and Red denies responsibility for the attacks on Joan. Although Harry begs Moncrief to defend him, his lie is exposed, and Joan learns he is still married. On their drive home, Harry explains that his marriage was a mistake and begs for forgiveness, but Joan ends their relationship. After a dress rehearsal for an upcoming concert, Joan accepts a ride from her friend, Eddy Revere, and Harry follows. In his car, Eddy expresses anger that Joan rebuffed his advances years before, and Joan notices the bite mark on his hand, realizing he is her attacker. On a dirt road, Harry’s van gets stuck, and Eddy drives to a remote hillside. Joan pretends to be sympathetic, but plans her escape. When she tries to flee, Eddy lunges at her. However, Harry comes to her rescue. Eddy pulls a knife on Harry, and the men tumble down the hill. On the cliff side, Harry knocks Eddy unconscious. As police helicopters hover overhead, Harry criticizes Joan for her choice of friends, and Joan throws rocks at him. Finally, Harry professes his love, and reveals that his real name is Eugene. Joan forgives Harry and kisses him. The next night, Harry attends Joan’s concert with a large bouquet of flowers. +

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

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