Who's That Girl (1987)

PG | 94 mins | Comedy, Adventure | 7 August 1987

Director:

James Foley

Cinematographer:

Jan de Bont

Production Designer:

Ida Random

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening credits feature an animated sequence involving "Johnny," "Nikki Finn's" boyfriend, which is the only time he appears onscreen, and explains why the character is not included among cast listings.
       Who’s That Girl marked the first theatrical feature film collaboration between director James Foley and singer-actress Madonna, although Foley had previously directed the pop singer’s acclaimed music videos for “Papa Don’t Preach,” “True Blue,” and “Live To Tell.” Additionally, Foley served as best man at Madonna’s 1985 wedding to Sean Penn, an actor whom he had directed in 1986’s At Close Range (see entry).
       Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986 in New York City with the working title Slammer, according to the 14 Nov 1986 DV production chart. The Sep 1987 AmCin reported that the film had a very short pre-production schedule because Warner Bros. green-lit the film late, forcing them to frequently improvise production design, props, cinematography and other aspects on the spot. While the production intended to film locations in New York City before moving to Los Angeles, CA, for interiors, rain and snow in New York in Dec 1986 forced the production to shut down before exterior shooting was completed. In CA, crews had a difficult time finding locations that resembled the New York City sites they had used. Consequently, Foley and location scouts would spend nights and weekends hunting for appropriate locations well after shooting resumed in Los Angeles. The film had a budget between $17 and $20 million, the 24 Sep 1987 Rolling Stone reported. According to the 6 Feb 1987 DV, production had recently ... More Less

The opening credits feature an animated sequence involving "Johnny," "Nikki Finn's" boyfriend, which is the only time he appears onscreen, and explains why the character is not included among cast listings.
       Who’s That Girl marked the first theatrical feature film collaboration between director James Foley and singer-actress Madonna, although Foley had previously directed the pop singer’s acclaimed music videos for “Papa Don’t Preach,” “True Blue,” and “Live To Tell.” Additionally, Foley served as best man at Madonna’s 1985 wedding to Sean Penn, an actor whom he had directed in 1986’s At Close Range (see entry).
       Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986 in New York City with the working title Slammer, according to the 14 Nov 1986 DV production chart. The Sep 1987 AmCin reported that the film had a very short pre-production schedule because Warner Bros. green-lit the film late, forcing them to frequently improvise production design, props, cinematography and other aspects on the spot. While the production intended to film locations in New York City before moving to Los Angeles, CA, for interiors, rain and snow in New York in Dec 1986 forced the production to shut down before exterior shooting was completed. In CA, crews had a difficult time finding locations that resembled the New York City sites they had used. Consequently, Foley and location scouts would spend nights and weekends hunting for appropriate locations well after shooting resumed in Los Angeles. The film had a budget between $17 and $20 million, the 24 Sep 1987 Rolling Stone reported. According to the 6 Feb 1987 DV, production had recently completed.
       Following the title change to Who’s That Girl, the film opened on 944 screens on 7 Aug 1987, taking in $2.5 million in its first three days of release, according to the 11 Aug 1987 DV box-office report.
       Reviews were mostly negative. The 10 Aug 1987 HR called it a “crude attempt at new-style screwball comedy,” and the 10 Aug DV noted Griffin Dunne’s “charm” and Madonna’s “strangely fascinating persona” as the only positive things going for the film.
       Musician-actor Coati Mundi had his first major acting role in a feature film playing the pimp, “Raoul.” Mundi was best known as a singer and vibraphone player in the Latin-rock fusion band Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Mundi also wrote and performed the song “El Coco Loco (So So Bad)” for the soundtrack.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: The California Film Office; Board of Public Works; city of Los Angeles; and the city of New York.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Sep 1987
p. 28-34.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1986.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1987.
---
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1987
p. 3, 6.
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1987
p. 3, 12.
Los Angeles Times
10 Aug 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
8 Aug 1987
p. 1, 16.
Rolling Stone
24 Sep 1987.
---
The Wall Street Journal
18 Aug 1987.
---
Variety
12 Aug 1987
p. 13.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Featuring:
and
as
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
A Guber-Peters Company Production
A James Foley Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Unit prod mgr, New York crew
2d asst dir, New York crew
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Elec best boy
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
1st asst cam, New York crew
2d asst cam, New York crew
Gaffer, New York crew
Elec best boy, New York crew
Key grip, New York crew
Dolly grip, New York crew
Still photog, New York crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, New York crew
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Set dec, New York crew
Prop master, New York crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Addl mus
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Matte artist
Matte artist
Vis eff
Vis eff supv
Spec eff, New York crew
MAKEUP
Makeup artist for Madonna
Makeup artist
Hairstylist for Madonna
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod secy
Asst to James Foley
Asst to Rosilyn Heiler
Asst to Bernard Williams
Personal asst to Madonna
Prod assoc
Prod accountant
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
"Murray" trained by
Prod runner
Prod runner
Prod runner
Craft service
Loc mgr, New York crew
Prod office coord, New York crew
Prod accountant, New York crew
Extras casting, New York crew
Transportation capt, New York crew
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord, New York crew
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Who’s That Girl,” performed by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, courtesy of Sire Records
“The Look Of Love,” performed by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, courtesy of Sire Records
“Causing A Commotion,” performed by Madonna, produced by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, courtesy of Sire Records
+
SONGS
“Who’s That Girl,” performed by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, courtesy of Sire Records
“The Look Of Love,” performed by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, courtesy of Sire Records
“Causing A Commotion,” performed by Madonna, produced by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, courtesy of Sire Records
“Can’t Stop,” performed by Madonna, produced by Madonna, written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, courtesy of Sire Records
“Step By Step,” performed by Club Nouveau, written and produced by Jay King, Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, and David Agent, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
“Best Thing Ever,” performed by Scritti Politti, produced by Green Gartside, David Gamson, and John ”Tokes” Potoker, written by Green Gartside and David Gamson, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records and Virgin Records
“Turn It Up,” performed by Michael Davidson, written by Michael Davidson and Frederica Mercier, produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, courtesy of Sire Records
“24 Hours,” performed by Duncan Faure, produced by Stephen Bray, written by Mary Kessler and Joey Wilson
“El Coco Loco (So So Bad),” performed by Coati Mundi, produced by Huvert Eaves, written by Coati Mundi
“New York, New York,” written by John Kander and Fred Edd
“What The World Needs Now Is Love,” written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
“Wedding Bell Blues,” written by Laura Nyro
“Chapel Of Love,” written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry
“We’ve Only Just Begun,” written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols
“Papa Oom Mow Mow,” written by Al Frazier, Carl White, Turner Wilson, Jr., and John Harris
“The Girl That I Marry,” written by Irving Berlin.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Slammer
Release Date:
7 August 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 August 1987
Production Date:
27 October 1986--early February 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 August 1987
Copyright Number:
PA341858
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theaters
Color
Duration(in mins):
94
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28551
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A New York City bookie named Johnny finds evidence of crimes that high-powered businessman Simon Worthington has committed. Johnny locks the incriminating photos and financial records crimes in a bank safe deposit box and gives the key to his girl friend, Nikki Finn. When he tries to blackmail Worthington, the industrialist has Johnny killed, and stuffs his body in the trunk of Nikki’s car. Sometime later, Nikki is arrested for the murder. The judge rules it a crime of passion and sentences her to seven years in the Rockford Correctional Institute. Four years later, Nikki is paroled on good behavior. Simon Worthington orders his soon-to-be son-in-law, tax attorney Loudon Trott, to pick up Nikki upon her release, and make sure she gets on a bus for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Worthington does not explain Nikki’s background, merely stating it is a charitable mission for the company known as: “Operation Prisoner Shuttle.” En route to the prison, Loudon Trott stops at the docks to pick up a package for another client, millionaire Montgomery Bell. Loudon is stunned to find the package is a full grown cougar, a rare, nearly extinct Patagonia felis concolor, which only mates every twenty-six months. With the cougar locked in a cage in the back seat of Simon Worthington’s Rolls Royce convertible, Loudon picks up Nikki Finn. The young woman insists on stopping at a shopping mall to buy presents for her family before getting on the bus. Meanwhile police detectives Bellson and Doyle follow Nikki. They arranged for her early release in hope that she would lead them to the evidence Johnny had and the identity of the real murderer. After leaving the shopping mall, Nikki ... +


A New York City bookie named Johnny finds evidence of crimes that high-powered businessman Simon Worthington has committed. Johnny locks the incriminating photos and financial records crimes in a bank safe deposit box and gives the key to his girl friend, Nikki Finn. When he tries to blackmail Worthington, the industrialist has Johnny killed, and stuffs his body in the trunk of Nikki’s car. Sometime later, Nikki is arrested for the murder. The judge rules it a crime of passion and sentences her to seven years in the Rockford Correctional Institute. Four years later, Nikki is paroled on good behavior. Simon Worthington orders his soon-to-be son-in-law, tax attorney Loudon Trott, to pick up Nikki upon her release, and make sure she gets on a bus for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Worthington does not explain Nikki’s background, merely stating it is a charitable mission for the company known as: “Operation Prisoner Shuttle.” En route to the prison, Loudon Trott stops at the docks to pick up a package for another client, millionaire Montgomery Bell. Loudon is stunned to find the package is a full grown cougar, a rare, nearly extinct Patagonia felis concolor, which only mates every twenty-six months. With the cougar locked in a cage in the back seat of Simon Worthington’s Rolls Royce convertible, Loudon picks up Nikki Finn. The young woman insists on stopping at a shopping mall to buy presents for her family before getting on the bus. Meanwhile police detectives Bellson and Doyle follow Nikki. They arranged for her early release in hope that she would lead them to the evidence Johnny had and the identity of the real murderer. After leaving the shopping mall, Nikki refuses to leave town until she picks up a gun in Harlem, NY. Loudon agrees to placate her, and lets Nikki drive the Rolls Royce. However, her reckless driving prompts police to pull her over, and causes Loudon to collapse. Police take Loudon to the hospital, believing he is having a heart attack. There, Nikki tells hospital authorities that she is Loudon’s wife, and while he is unconscious, she takes his wallet and clothes, and flees in his automobile. When Loudon awakens, he takes a taxicab to Harlem, where he finds vandals spray painting graffiti on the Rolls Royce and stealing its parts. The cougar, which Nikki has named “Murray,” has escaped. Loudon finds Nikki buying a gun, as police raid the gun dealer’s apartment. Nikki and Loudon escape via the roof and avoid arrest. Afterward, Nikki whistles, and Murray comes running to her. She flirts with Loudon as she insists on clearing her name. Nikki still has the key to Johnny’s bank deposit box, but does not know the the name of the bank or the box number. However, she tells him that Raoul, the pimp who killed her boyfriend Johnny, does. Simon Worthington telephones Loudon, demanding that he get Nikki on the bus. Loudon promises to carry out the assignment, even though he has come to despise the free-spirited woman. When Nikki and Loudon find Raoul, a fight ensues. Eventually, Raoul reveals the name of the bank in Manhattan. En route, Loudon stops at Cartier to pick up his wedding rings. As Nikki tries on a necklace, she takes off the chain with the safe deposit key on it. The store clerk notices that the clasp on her chain is broken, and as he tries to fix it, the key falls into a package. However, a delivery man takes the package away before they can retrieve it. Nikki and Loudon follow the delivery truck, which coincidentally arrives at the apartment of Loudon’s fiancée, Wendy Worthington. His betrothed is holding a bridal shower, and Nikki introduces herself as Loudon’s cousin from Atlanta. They retrieve the key, but by the time they get to the bank, it has closed for the day. Sometime later, Loudon meets with co-op board of an apartment he and Wendy hope to move into. When Wendy is late for the meeting, Loudon convinces Nikki to pose as his girlfriend. As the meeting gets underway, Raoul and his henchman, Benny, arrive, holding Wendy at knifepoint. Nikki convinces Raoul to let Wendy go and take her instead. Afterward, Nikki whistles for Murray, who scares Raoul and Benny, and Nikki flees with the cougar. Loudon goes to millionaire Montgomery Bell’s townhouse to report that he has lost Murray, but he is surprised to find Nikki and the cougar already there. Montgomery shows them the Brazilian rainforest-style refuge for endangered species that he is building in his backyard, already filled with exotic animals. Enchanted by the magical refuge, Loudon and Nikki kiss, while Murray and another cougar begin mating. The next morning, Loudon takes Nikki to the bank where she retrieves the envelope from the safe deposit box, but she does not examine the evidence. Loudon puts her on a bus headed to Philadelphia, then goes to the Worthington estate where his wedding is about to take place. Once on the bus, Nikki looks opens the envelope and is stunned to see it incriminates Simon Worthington, Loudon’s soon-to-be father-in-law. Nikki convinces the bus driver to turn around and take her to the Worthington estate, where she climbs the fence and interrupts the ceremony, announcing that Simon Worthington is an embezzler and a murderer. Nikki demands that the ceremony cannot continue because Loudon is in love with her. Loudon admits it is true and calls off the wedding. When Simon Worthington tries to escape, he is arrested by police, along with Raoul. Unfazed, Wendy leaves with a hunky delivery man. Later, Nikki and Loudon take the bus to Philadelphia, where they plan to open an animal hospital. +

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

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