So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

PG-13 | 110 mins | Comedy, Romance | 1993

Director:

Thomas Schlamme

Writer:

Robbie Fox

Cinematographer:

Julio Macat

Production Designer:

John Graysmark

Production Company:

TriStar Pictures
Full page view
HISTORY

       According to a 4 Jun 1992 DV article, the film was in development for over four years after its genesis during an informal discussion at Columbia Pictures involving writer Robbie Fox and producer Rob Fried. Two years prior to the film’s release, Mike Medavoy acquired the project for TriStar. The same DV article and a 31 Jan 1993 LAT article reported that many directors considered the project during pre-production, among them, Howard Zieff, Michael Lehman, Rod Daniel, Woody Allen and Wolfgang Petersen. Garry Shandling, Chevy Chase and Kim Basinger were involved in negotiations, and Sharon Stone considered the role of “Harriet,” although she did not commit to a deal. A 29 Sep Screen International news item reported that that actor Martin Short and writer Leon Capetanos would work on the project under Zieff’s direction, however, a 6 Oct 1990 Screen International news item stated that the three filmmakers had moved to other projects. The 4 Jun 1992 DV and 14 Jun 1992 LAT articles and a 14 June 1992 LAT news item reported that Zieff, Barbara Benedek, Mike Myers, Neil Mullarkey, Sally Robinson, Conan O’Brien and Carrie Fisher were involved in rewrites of various drafts, but according to a 31 Jan 1993 LAT article, WGA awarded Robbie Fox sole story and screenplay credits.
       Studio production notes reported that the film was shot on location in San Francisco, among them, Alcatraz Island, the Palace of Fine Arts, the North Beach area, Alamo Square Park, Fort Point, and the Fog City Diner in the Embarcadero district. Several sets were built ... More Less

       According to a 4 Jun 1992 DV article, the film was in development for over four years after its genesis during an informal discussion at Columbia Pictures involving writer Robbie Fox and producer Rob Fried. Two years prior to the film’s release, Mike Medavoy acquired the project for TriStar. The same DV article and a 31 Jan 1993 LAT article reported that many directors considered the project during pre-production, among them, Howard Zieff, Michael Lehman, Rod Daniel, Woody Allen and Wolfgang Petersen. Garry Shandling, Chevy Chase and Kim Basinger were involved in negotiations, and Sharon Stone considered the role of “Harriet,” although she did not commit to a deal. A 29 Sep Screen International news item reported that that actor Martin Short and writer Leon Capetanos would work on the project under Zieff’s direction, however, a 6 Oct 1990 Screen International news item stated that the three filmmakers had moved to other projects. The 4 Jun 1992 DV and 14 Jun 1992 LAT articles and a 14 June 1992 LAT news item reported that Zieff, Barbara Benedek, Mike Myers, Neil Mullarkey, Sally Robinson, Conan O’Brien and Carrie Fisher were involved in rewrites of various drafts, but according to a 31 Jan 1993 LAT article, WGA awarded Robbie Fox sole story and screenplay credits.
       Studio production notes reported that the film was shot on location in San Francisco, among them, Alcatraz Island, the Palace of Fine Arts, the North Beach area, Alamo Square Park, Fort Point, and the Fog City Diner in the Embarcadero district. Several sets were built on soundstages near Candlestick Park. The Dunsmuir House and Gardens in the East Oakland foothills served as Charlie and Harriet’s honeymoon hotel. A 16,224-foot ground level replica of the mansion’s rooftop was built by production designer John Graysmark and his construction crew for the climactic rooftop chase. Portions of the rooftop replica were later donated to the Dunsmuir Foundation and used in the mansion’s renovation.
       According to a 9 Mar 1993 DV news item, rumors indicated that the project suffered from “massive problems and reshoots.” However, Myers denied any problems, although he stated that he was involved in filming pickup shots the week before to enlarge the role of Stuart, a role similar to one he portrayed on the television show, Saturday Night .


AFI Academic Network: Brittany Shelton Staiger Tex fks More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1992
pp. 1, 15.
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1993.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1993
pp. 4, 13.
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1993
pp. 6, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1993
Calendar, pp. 21-22.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1993
p. 1.
New York Times
30 Jul 1993
p. 3.
People
8 Mar 1993.
---
Screen International
29 Sep 1990.
---
Screen International
6 Oct 1990.
---
Screen International
10 Apr 1992.
---
Variety
1 Aug 1993
p. 44.
Variety
9 Aug 1993.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Butchershop customers:
Wedding Reception:
[and]
John Taylor
Poet's Corner:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Fried/Woods Films production; A Thomas Schlamme film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Stunt coord/2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
Cam op
Helicopter cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
24-frame video
Chief lighting tech
Elec best boy
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Cam equip supplied by
Cranes and dollies by
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prod illustrator
Set des
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Head scenic artist
Const coord
Asst const coord
Const liaison
MUSIC
Mus supv
Orchestrator
Mus scoring mixer
Mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Group ADR coord
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sound facilities provided by
Sd eff editing by
Culver City, California
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Charlie's hand puppeteer
Charlie's hand puppeteer
Title des
Titles and opticals by
Visual eff supv, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver
Visual eff supv, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver
Visual eff prod, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver
Visual eff prod, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver
VFX ed, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver City, Cal
Visual eff coord, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver
DANCE
Choreog
Choreog
MAKEUP
Special make-up and key make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist for Mr. Myers
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist for Mr. Myers
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting assoc - Los Angeles
Local casting - San Francisco
Extras casting
Extras casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst. to Mr. Fried & Mr. Woods
Asst to Mr. Williams
Asst to Mr. Schlamme
Asst to Mr. Myers
Asst to Miss Travis
Asst to Mr. LaPaglia
Post prod supv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Cessna pilot
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
DGA trainee
Paramedic coord
Craft service
Craft service
Caterers
Loc equip provided by
Stills from "The Flinstones" and "Josie and the Pu
STAND INS
Charlie double
Stuart double
Rose stunt double
Charlie stunt double
ANIMATION
Anim, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver City, Calif
Anim, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver City, Calif
Anim/painter, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver Cit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"There She Goes," written by L.A. Mavers, produced by Booi Productions, performed by The Boo Radleys, courtesy of Creation/Columbia Records
"Saturday Night," written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, performed by Bay City Rollers, courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"The Most Beautiful Girl," written by Rory Bourke, Billy Sherrill and Norris Wilson
+
SONGS
"There She Goes," written by L.A. Mavers, produced by Booi Productions, performed by The Boo Radleys, courtesy of Creation/Columbia Records
"Saturday Night," written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, performed by Bay City Rollers, courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"The Most Beautiful Girl," written by Rory Bourke, Billy Sherrill and Norris Wilson
"You're In My Heart," written by Rod Stewart
"Rush," written by Mick Jones, performed by Big Audio Dynamite, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"There She Goes," written by L.A. Mavers, performed by The Las, courtesy of Goi Discs/London Records, by arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
"Insatiable One," written by B. Anderson and B. Butler, produced by Ed Buller, performed by Suede, courtesy of Nude/Columbia Records
"Two Princes," written and performed by The Spin Doctors, courtesy of Epic/Associated Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Starve To Death," produced by David Kahne, written and performed by Chris Whitley, courtesy of Columbia Records
"Long Day In The Universe," written by Harley Farr, Chris McDonagh, Andrea Lewis and Paul Watkins, performed by The Darling Buds, courtesy of Chaos/Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Maybe Baby," written by Joan Jones and David Russo, produced by David Russo, performed by Sun-60, courtesy of Epic Records
"Stand By Your Man," written by Billy Sherrill and Tammy Wynette
"This Poem Sucks," written by Mike Myers, David Knowles, Carl Rusk & Paul Sanchez, poetry reading by Mike Myers, musical backing by David Knowles, Carl Rusk & Paul Sanchez
"The Break," written by David Pirner, performed by Soul Asylum, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," written by Rod Stewart, Carmine Appice and Duane Hitchings
"A Touch of Gaelic," written and performed by Ron Gonnella on Scotdisc Records, courtesy of Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
"Only You," written by Buck Ram and Ande Rand
"Saturday Night," written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, performed by Ned's Atomic Dustbin, courtesy of Chaos/Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Brother," written by Glen Phillips and Toad, produced by Marvin Etzioni, performed by Toad The Wet Sprocket, courtesy of Columbia Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 July 1993
New York opening: week of 30 July 1993
Production Date:
began 29 June 1992
Copyright Claimant:
TriStar Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 August 1993
Copyright Number:
PA642927
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex cameras by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
110
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32511
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During an open-mike session at a coffeehouse in San Francisco, Charlie Mackenzie recites a poem he has written about his most recent romantic failure. In the audience is his best friend, police detective Tony Giardino, who chides him about his inability to commit to one woman. Charlie argues that one woman he rejected had ties to the mafia, another smelled like beef vegetable soup, and that his most recent girlfriend stole his cat. Tony doubts these excuses, but Charlie admits he is afraid of marriage and says he has not yet met the right person. The next day, Charlie sees a beautiful woman working at the specialty butcher shop, Meats of the World, where he purchases haggis for his Scottish parents, Stuart and May. That night before dinner, May expresses regret that Charlie broke up with his most recent girlfriend, then shows him an article in the Weekly World News about a serial killer, dubbed “Mrs. X-Honeymoon Killer.” According to the article, the axe murderer, who has not been apprehended, killed three husbands: a lounge singer in Atlantic City who specializes in the song “Only You,” a Russian martial artist in Miami and a plumber in Dallas named Ralph Elliot. Convinced that the story is contrived tabloid fodder, Charlie suggests that May read a newspaper that reports facts. Charlie is unable to get the beautiful butcher, Harriet, off his mind and returns to her shop. Finding the shop crowded, he offers to help her serve the large number of customers. After a hectic day working together, Charlie and Harriet spend the evening eating hot dogs and walking around the city. When Russian sailors ... +


During an open-mike session at a coffeehouse in San Francisco, Charlie Mackenzie recites a poem he has written about his most recent romantic failure. In the audience is his best friend, police detective Tony Giardino, who chides him about his inability to commit to one woman. Charlie argues that one woman he rejected had ties to the mafia, another smelled like beef vegetable soup, and that his most recent girlfriend stole his cat. Tony doubts these excuses, but Charlie admits he is afraid of marriage and says he has not yet met the right person. The next day, Charlie sees a beautiful woman working at the specialty butcher shop, Meats of the World, where he purchases haggis for his Scottish parents, Stuart and May. That night before dinner, May expresses regret that Charlie broke up with his most recent girlfriend, then shows him an article in the Weekly World News about a serial killer, dubbed “Mrs. X-Honeymoon Killer.” According to the article, the axe murderer, who has not been apprehended, killed three husbands: a lounge singer in Atlantic City who specializes in the song “Only You,” a Russian martial artist in Miami and a plumber in Dallas named Ralph Elliot. Convinced that the story is contrived tabloid fodder, Charlie suggests that May read a newspaper that reports facts. Charlie is unable to get the beautiful butcher, Harriet, off his mind and returns to her shop. Finding the shop crowded, he offers to help her serve the large number of customers. After a hectic day working together, Charlie and Harriet spend the evening eating hot dogs and walking around the city. When Russian sailors walk past them, Harriet speaks to them in their language. Later that night, Charlie accompanies Harriet to her apartment, which she has decorated with a giant Atlantic City poster and a display of martial arts items. She explains that she used to live in Atlantic City and that she had a friend who was a martial arts expert. Invited to spend the night, Charlie is later awakened when Harriet screams the name, Ralph, in her sleep. In the morning, Charlie enters the shower and inadvertently walks in on Rose, Harriet’s eccentric sister, who says she lives there and warns him to “just be careful.” Although he finds Rose’s behavior odd and wonders about Ralph, Charlie later tells Tony that he is smitten with Harriet and wants the relationship to work. When Charlie takes Harriet to his parents’ house for dinner, he reads the Weekly World News article about Mrs. X that has been left in the bathroom, and notices similarities between Harriet’s background and that of the axe murderer. Shaken, Charlie questions Harriet about her ties to Atlantic City and her Russian martial artist “friend,” but Harriet brushes aside his questions. Charlie asks Tony to investigate the case, but his friend dismisses Charlie’s fears and presumes they are a manifestation of his commitment-phobia. That night, Charlie sees a news special about family members who intentionally poison loved ones, then suspects Harriet of trying to kill him when she offers him a “health shake.” When she talks about trust and vulnerability in relationships, he panics and makes her feel uneasy. The next day, Charlie places an announcement for his parents’ thirtieth wedding anniversary in the newspaper. At the newspaper office, he overhears two obituary writers discuss the death of plumber Ralph Elliot. In a moment of terror, Charlie recognizes the name as one of Mrs. X’s murdered husbands and asks the writers if they know anything about the man’s wife. They do not, which increases Charlie’s suspicion that Harriet is the serial killer. He asks her to meet him in a public park, where, claiming he has a fear of rejection, he breaks up with her. Although she does not believe his reason for severing the relationship, she says that at least he broke up with her early in the relationship. Days later, Tony informs Charlie that a woman confessed to the murder of Ralph Elliot. Believing Harriet is innocent, Charlie rushes to her apartment to profess his love. After some pleading, and serenading her with poetry and music, Charlie convinces Harriet to take him back. She introduces him to her friend, Ralph, who, Charlie is surprised to learn, is a woman. Harriet then accompanies Charlie to hi parents’ anniversary party, where Charlie, swept up by his mother and father’s continuing love affair, proposes. Although Harriet hesitates at first, she accepts and they later wed in a Scottish ceremony. At the reception, where a drunken Stuart sings vulgar songs accompanied by bagpipe, Harriet serenades Charlie with a bilingual rendition of “Only You.” The next day, Charlie and Harriet head off to their honeymoon at the secluded hotel, Poets Corner, as a massive storm approaches. Meanwhile, in town, Tony learns that the woman who confessed to killing Ralph Elliot also claimed to kill Abraham Lincoln and Julius Caesar. Unable to call Charlie due to the storm, Tony charters a plane to deliver the information in person. After the plane lands, Tony calls the hotel from a phone box and tells Charlie he believes Harriet is Mrs. X, but before he can provide more information, the phone line goes dead. Feeling trapped, the panicked Charlie tries to distance himself from Harriet, who becomes uneasy. Charlie invites the bellboy to their room for a drink, but is declined. When Harriet begins to confess that she has been married before, Charlie cuts her off and, without hearing her story, locks her in the closet. He then finds a forged note to Harriet, purporting to be from him and stating that he is leaving her. Suddenly Rose emerges from a shadowy corner of the room with an axe. She tells Charlie that it is time for her to get rid of him, as she did all the other husbands who took Harriet away from her. Charlie escapes out the window and onto the roof, but Rose follows, swinging the axe. Tony arrives at the hotel and, after releasing Harriet from the closet, puts her in handcuffs. Harriet manages to convince Tony of her innocence and directs him toward Charlie and Rose, who are struggling on the rooftop. Charlie fends off Rose’s attacks, but when she tumbles over the roof’s edge, he grabs her hand to keep her from falling to her death, and Tony pulls her to safety before arresting her. Some time later, at a coffeehouse performance, Charlie recites a poem about Harriet, who until recently believed her three husbands had abandoned her. With Rose in jail and Harriet finally aware of her sister’s murderous past, Charlie and Harriet are free to start their life together as a married couple in San Francisco. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.