Twenty Bucks (1993)

R | 91 mins | Comedy-drama | 22 October 1993

Director:

Keva Rosenfeld

Producer:

Karen Murphy

Cinematographer:

Emmanuel Lubezki

Editor:

Michael Ruscio

Production Designer:

Joseph T. Garrity

Production Company:

Big Tomorrow Productions
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HISTORY

Articles in the 17 Oct 1993 LAT and 21-27 Oct 1993 Hollywood Drama-Logue reported that the script for Twenty Bucks was originally written in 1935 by Endre Bohem, a Hungarian-American screenwriter who then worked under contract for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Supposedly inspired by the 1932 picture, If I Had a Million (see entry), which shows the various lives of people who have each received $1 million, Bohem decided that writing a story about a $20 bill was more interesting, since the sum “can mean nothing to one person but life or death for another.”
       More than forty years later, Bohem gave the script to his son, Leslie, who had decided to quit his career as a bass player for the rock band, Sparks, to pursue writing. Producer Karen Murphy joined the project, and documentary filmmaker Keva Rosenfeld, who previously worked on the reality television series, Unsolved Mysteries (20 Jan 1987— ), signed on as director. For his first feature, Rosenfeld was invited to workshop the script at the Sundance Institute, but the LAT claimed Bohem’s original script was rejected for being “too dated.” Attempting to stay true to his father’s vision, Leslie Bohem and Rosenfeld revised the story by adding details that paralleled his life, such as “Jack Holiday’s” experience as an immigrant. Although Endre died before production began, father and son share screenwriting credit on the film.
       According to a 27 Mar 1992 Screen International item, principal photography was expected to begin the following month, and the 20 Oct 1993 HR review named Minneapolis, MN, as the primary location.
       A 100-minute cut of ... More Less

Articles in the 17 Oct 1993 LAT and 21-27 Oct 1993 Hollywood Drama-Logue reported that the script for Twenty Bucks was originally written in 1935 by Endre Bohem, a Hungarian-American screenwriter who then worked under contract for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Supposedly inspired by the 1932 picture, If I Had a Million (see entry), which shows the various lives of people who have each received $1 million, Bohem decided that writing a story about a $20 bill was more interesting, since the sum “can mean nothing to one person but life or death for another.”
       More than forty years later, Bohem gave the script to his son, Leslie, who had decided to quit his career as a bass player for the rock band, Sparks, to pursue writing. Producer Karen Murphy joined the project, and documentary filmmaker Keva Rosenfeld, who previously worked on the reality television series, Unsolved Mysteries (20 Jan 1987— ), signed on as director. For his first feature, Rosenfeld was invited to workshop the script at the Sundance Institute, but the LAT claimed Bohem’s original script was rejected for being “too dated.” Attempting to stay true to his father’s vision, Leslie Bohem and Rosenfeld revised the story by adding details that paralleled his life, such as “Jack Holiday’s” experience as an immigrant. Although Endre died before production began, father and son share screenwriting credit on the film.
       According to a 27 Mar 1992 Screen International item, principal photography was expected to begin the following month, and the 20 Oct 1993 HR review named Minneapolis, MN, as the primary location.
       A 100-minute cut of the film screened 22 Jan 1993 at the Sundance Film Festival. The 17 Oct 1993 LAT stated that Twenty Bucks was also well received at festivals in Seattle, WA; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Deauville, France, where it received the International Critics’ Prize. Hollywood Drama-Logue suggested that a West Coast premiere was held at the Fox theater in Westwood Village in mid or late Oct 1993, and the 24 Sep 1993 DV stated that the film opened 22 Oct 1993 in New York City, Seattle, and Los Angeles, CA. The theatrical running time was ninety-one minutes, which matches the print viewed for this record. Reviews were generally positive.
       End credits state: ”Twenty Bucks was developed with the assistance of the Sundance Institute,” and, “The Filmmakers would like to salute Larry Estes for his enthusiasm, determination and generous support.”
       “Special Thanks” are also given to: “Hilda Bohem; Michelle Satter; Tim Newman; Steven Keeva; Peter Hankoff; Leslie Leitner; Peter Turner; Tom McGuire; Celeste Jundt; Larry & Leslie; Marcus Jundt; J. D. Salinger; Charlene Jundt; Bill Meurer; Romy Jundt; Jim Angle; John Mankiewicz; Carmella V. Richards; Acme Sound; Holiday Plus; Visa, USA; AT&T; Ocean Spray; The Catalyst Group; Rogers & Cowan; David A. Silverman; Valuevision International, Inc.; Juniper Studio, Burbank, CA; Marriott Bloomington & Tom Stroik; Marquette Bank Minneapolis; Blue Diamond Almonds; Hawaiian Tropic, Inc.; Creative Entertainment Services; Premier Entertainment Services; UPP Entertainment Marketing; Sandra Grandt Berney.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Sep 1993.
---
Hollywood Drama-Logue
21-27 Oct 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1993
p. 5, 9.
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Oct 1993
Calendar, p. 6.
New York Times
22 Oct 1993
Section C, p. 8.
Screen International
27 Mar 1992.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1993
pp. 98-99.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Big Tomorrow Productions Presents
A Keva Rosenfeld Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
Key 2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Line prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Addl photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
Cam loader
Steadicam op
Asst Steadicam
Still photog
Video playback services
Video playback services
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Arriflex cams provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Prod illustrator
Art dept coord
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Art intern
Art intern
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Ed intern
Ed intern
Post-prod coord
Asst post-prod coord
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Co-set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Lead woman
On-set dresser
On-set dresser
Swing gang
Swing
Set const
Const coord
Const foreman
Key scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Key costumer
Costumer
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus prod by
Mixed at
Los Angeles
Rec and mixed by
Radio spots, Tileface Music
Radio spots
SOUND
Sd mixer
Addl sd mixing
Sd des
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd eff ed
Sd eff intern
Foley artist
Foley artist
Post-prod sd services by
A Division of LucasArts Entertainment Company
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR/Foley rec
ADR/Foley mixer
Twenty dollar bill sounds and addl programming
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup/Hair supv
Makeup and hair
Makeup and hair intern
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst auditor
Asst auditor
Asst to prod/Dir
Prod secy
Prod secy
Unit pub
Key prod asst
Key prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Set nurse
Catering by
Craft service
Craft service
Craft service
Security
Security
Security
Casting assoc
Casting (Minneapolis)
Extras casting, The Casting Group
Extras casting
Loc consultant
Loc mgr (Los Angeles)
Loc mgr (Los Angeles)
Loc mgr (Los Angeles)
Loc mgr (Minneapolis)
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Limousine driver
Legal services, Browning, Jacobson & Klein
Legal services, Browning, Jacobson & Klein
Prod financing
Prod financing
Prod financing
Prod financing
Completion bond
Payroll services provided by
Payroll services provided by, Axium Entertainment
Travel services provided by
Travel services provided by, Just the Best Travel
Banking services provided by
Banking services provided by, First Interstate Ban
Banking services provided by, First Interstate Ban
Banking services provided by
Banking services provided by, Marquette Bank Bloom
Banking services provided by, Marquette Bank Bloom
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"For The Love Of Money," written by K. Gamble, L. Huff, A. Jackson, performed by The O'Jays, administered by Warner/Tamerlane Publishing Corp., courtesy of Sony Music, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing, © 1974 Mighty Three Music Group
"Money Honey," written by J. Stone, performed by The Drifters, Walden Music, Inc. administered by W.B. Musicorp. and Gladys Music, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"It's Money That I Love," written and performed by Randy Newman, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products, © 1979 Six Pictures Music. All rights reserved
+
SONGS
"For The Love Of Money," written by K. Gamble, L. Huff, A. Jackson, performed by The O'Jays, administered by Warner/Tamerlane Publishing Corp., courtesy of Sony Music, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing, © 1974 Mighty Three Music Group
"Money Honey," written by J. Stone, performed by The Drifters, Walden Music, Inc. administered by W.B. Musicorp. and Gladys Music, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"It's Money That I Love," written and performed by Randy Newman, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products, © 1979 Six Pictures Music. All rights reserved
"Funky Thang," written and performed by Johnny Reno and George Reiff, courtesy of Reno Beat Music
"Ray's Tune," written by Ray Brown, performed by Herb Ellis, published by Equity Music Corporation (ASCAP), as administered by Justice Music Corporation, courtesy of Justice Record Company
"First Idea," written by Stefan Karlsson and Gene Houck, performed by Nancy King and Stefan Karlsson, published by Equity Music Corporation (ASCAP), as administered by Justice Music Corporation, courtesy of Merlin Productions
"The Easy Life," by Ron Asprey, courtesy of Firstcom/Music House/Chappell
"Aloha Lei," by S. O'Connor, courtesy of Firstcom/Music House/Chappell
"Stamina," by Stephen & Darren Loveday, courtesy of Firstcom/Music House/Chappell
"Canon In D," by Pachebel, courtesy of Firstcom/Music House/Chappell
"The Best Things In Life Are Free," written by L. Brown, B. G. DeSylva, R. Henderson, Chappell Co., performed by The Ink Spots, Bienstock Publishing Company on behalf of Redwood Music Ltd., Songwriters Guild of America, courtesy of MCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 October 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles, New York and Seattle openings: 22 October 1993
Production Date:
began April 1992
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31989
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a busy city street, a woman absentmindedly drops a $20 bill after visiting an automated teller machine. As the bill floats away, a homeless woman named Angeline races into the street to retrieve it. Reciting the serial number aloud, she realizes she once played those same numbers in the lottery, and interprets the coincidence as a lucky sign. Seconds later, a teenager on a skateboard snatches the bill from her hand and exchanges it for an éclair at a bakery. The baker pockets the twenty and leads Saudi Arabian chewing gum magnate Jack Holiday into the kitchen to show him the progress on his daughter’s wedding cake. Jack pays an additional fee to make a modification to the cake, and the baker makes change by giving him the $20 bill. Later, Anna Holiday meets her fiancé, Sam Mastrewski, who loads boxes in her father’s warehouse. At the rehearsal dinner that evening, Jack gives a speech recounting his experience immigrating to the U.S. with no more than $20 in his pocket. Hoping to impart the same feelings of hope and ambition, Jack hands his future son-in-law the $20 bill as a wedding present. Insulted, Sam uses the bill to tip a stripper at his bachelor party, but the performance is interrupted when his fiancée Anna stops by. She reassures Sam that her father intends to give them more than $20, and suggests they have the bill framed as a sentimental token. As he stalls to think of an explanation for the bill’s absence, the stripper returns and attempts to hand it back to him. Furious that he misinterpreted her father’s symbolic gesture and hired a stripper for his party, ... +


On a busy city street, a woman absentmindedly drops a $20 bill after visiting an automated teller machine. As the bill floats away, a homeless woman named Angeline races into the street to retrieve it. Reciting the serial number aloud, she realizes she once played those same numbers in the lottery, and interprets the coincidence as a lucky sign. Seconds later, a teenager on a skateboard snatches the bill from her hand and exchanges it for an éclair at a bakery. The baker pockets the twenty and leads Saudi Arabian chewing gum magnate Jack Holiday into the kitchen to show him the progress on his daughter’s wedding cake. Jack pays an additional fee to make a modification to the cake, and the baker makes change by giving him the $20 bill. Later, Anna Holiday meets her fiancé, Sam Mastrewski, who loads boxes in her father’s warehouse. At the rehearsal dinner that evening, Jack gives a speech recounting his experience immigrating to the U.S. with no more than $20 in his pocket. Hoping to impart the same feelings of hope and ambition, Jack hands his future son-in-law the $20 bill as a wedding present. Insulted, Sam uses the bill to tip a stripper at his bachelor party, but the performance is interrupted when his fiancée Anna stops by. She reassures Sam that her father intends to give them more than $20, and suggests they have the bill framed as a sentimental token. As he stalls to think of an explanation for the bill’s absence, the stripper returns and attempts to hand it back to him. Furious that he misinterpreted her father’s symbolic gesture and hired a stripper for his party, Anna storms out. The next morning, a holistic shop owner sells the stripper a potion that will bring good fortune and success. While eating at a diner, Mrs. McCormac writes a message on the $20 bill and mails it to her teenage grandson, Bobby, for his birthday. Next to her at the counter, a small-time criminal named Frank nervously distracts waitress Emily Adams, and steals a few dollars. His obvious clumsiness attracts the attention of a more experienced thief named Jimmy, who proposes they team up to rob a liquor store the following night. Before their heist, Jimmy gives Frank a gun and they drive to a suburban bodega, where Angeline the homeless woman buys a lottery ticket. When they pull out their guns, Angeline flees, and the attendant fills a bag with cash. At a gas station food mart, Jimmy shoots the clerk when she attempts to press the alarm. Meanwhile, Bobby McCormac’s girl friend, Peggy, gives two men $20 to buy them wine to celebrate Bobby’s birthday, but the store cashier sees Peggy waiting outside and refuses to make the sale. High on an adrenaline rush, Frank insists on robbing one more store even though Jimmy does not want to push their luck. Jimmy reluctantly follows, and Bobby asks him if he will buy them alcohol. The robber pockets the money, but brings the children a bottle of champagne while Frank flubs the theft and shoots the cash register in frustration. Although they escape unnoticed, Jimmy tells Frank that he is unprofessional and does not intend to work with him again. As they divide their earnings, Frank sees Bobby’s $20 bill in Jimmy’s coat pocket and accuses him of withholding money. Jimmy shoots Frank and reminds him to always “quit while you’re ahead” before getting out of the car and boarding a bus. Later, police find Frank’s body and file the $20 bill among the crime scene evidence. Meanwhile, Sam Mastrewski resumes life as a bachelor following his break-up with Anna, and starts a new job delivering boxes to Neil Campbell, a struggling entrepreneur. That afternoon, Neil and his girl friend, waitress and aspiring writer Emily Adams, go to the police station to claim items stolen from his apartment. While the property clerk rummages in the storage room, the bag of evidence containing the $20 bill falls into Neil’s box. On the way home, Emily stops by her parents’ house to drop off a copy of the local newspaper, which has just published her first short story. Although the achievement impresses her mother, Emily’s father Bruce belittles her ambition as a writer. Hurt, Emily speeds away, and the $20 bill blows from her convertible. The wind carries it to a slum on the outskirts of town, and a homeless family uses it to buy food. Moments later, a wealthy woman receives the bill as change and uses it to snort a line of cocaine she purchased from her drug dealer. The drug dealer takes the bill with him to his day job as a camp counselor, and stuffs it into a dissolvable capsule, which he force-feeds to a fish. A boy named Patrick catches the fish, cuts the bill from its stomach, and later exchanges the money for quarters at a bowling alley. The owner gives the $20 to his boyfriend, who then offers it to Sam Mastrewski sitting near the dumpster outside. Sam politely declines, and the man continues to the local church to play bingo. When he wins, he enthusiastically grabs Bruce Adams, who is seated next to him. The excitement causes Bruce to have a heart attack, and he later dies at the hospital. Now the owner of a mortuary, the former stripper from Sam’s party helps the Adams family select a casket, and returns a box of Bruce’s belongings. After the funeral, Emily sorts through the box and finds the $20 bill in his wallet, along with a newspaper clipping of her short story. Emily’s mother confesses that Bruce also wanted to be a writer, but his career never flourished and he struggled with the shame of his failure. Inspired to follow her dreams, Emily books a flight to Spain. Her patronizing and hardnosed older brother follows her to the airport to convince her she is making a foolish mistake, but Emily demonstrates her carefree attitude by tearing up her father’s $20 bill into tiny pieces and throwing them into the air. At the airport bar, Sam meets with his former future father-in-law, Jack Holiday, to explain that although the speech about the $20 bill ultimately ended his engagement to Anna, Jack’s words motivated him to reevaluate his life and ambitions. Upon hearing his boarding call, Sam bumps into Emily and knocks her bags to the floor. He notices a piece of the bill and tucks it into the pages of his travel guidebook, but the paper flutters to the floor as they walk together toward the gate. Moments later, Angeline picks up the pieces and reassembles them, recognizing the serial number. Just then, a nearby television projects the day’s winning lottery numbers that exactly match the serial number on the bill in front of her. Cursing her luck, she exchanges it for a crisp new $20 bill at the bank and studies the serial number, which she plans to play as the numbers on her next lottery ticket. +

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

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