Quick Change (1990)

R | 88 mins | Comedy | 13 July 1990

Writer:

Howard Franklin

Cinematographer:

Michael Chapman

Editor:

Alan Heim

Production Designer:

David Gropman

Production Companies:

Devoted Productions, Geffen Film Company
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HISTORY

According to an item in the 26 Dec 1984 Var, Jay Cronley's 1981 novel, Quick Change, was being adapted into a French film of the same name. It was later retitled Hold-Up, upon its release in 1985. That picture, directed by Alexandre Arcady, and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Kim Cattrall, was filmed in Montreal, Canada. The 29 Jun 1990 HR noted that while pursuing production of an American version, executive producer Frederic Golchan learned that actor-director-producer Bill Murray was also interested in the project. Murray had reportedly received a copy of Cronley’s novel from Helen Scott, the renowned American collaborator with French director François Truffaut. Golchan and Murray eventually teamed up.
       The picture marked Bill Murray’s directorial feature film debut, as well as screenwriter Howard Franklin’s first picture. On 20 Jul 1990, Entertainment Weekly announced that co-directors Murray and Franklin had flown to Los Angeles, CA, to receive a "special waiver from the [Director’s Guild of America’s] council” granting them directorial approval. Murray used his own finances to purchase film rights and fund the screenplay. He also paid for the first two weeks of production, before securing studio involvement.
       Principal photography began on 13 Jun 1989 in New York City, as reported in the 21 Jun 1989 Var production chart. The 24 Aug 1989 NYT indicated a $17 million budget.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Park Slope; Jamaica, Queens; the South Bronx; and midtown Manhattan, where the bank robbery was filmed at the corner of 41st Street and Park Avenue, with Grand Central Station ... More Less

According to an item in the 26 Dec 1984 Var, Jay Cronley's 1981 novel, Quick Change, was being adapted into a French film of the same name. It was later retitled Hold-Up, upon its release in 1985. That picture, directed by Alexandre Arcady, and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Kim Cattrall, was filmed in Montreal, Canada. The 29 Jun 1990 HR noted that while pursuing production of an American version, executive producer Frederic Golchan learned that actor-director-producer Bill Murray was also interested in the project. Murray had reportedly received a copy of Cronley’s novel from Helen Scott, the renowned American collaborator with French director François Truffaut. Golchan and Murray eventually teamed up.
       The picture marked Bill Murray’s directorial feature film debut, as well as screenwriter Howard Franklin’s first picture. On 20 Jul 1990, Entertainment Weekly announced that co-directors Murray and Franklin had flown to Los Angeles, CA, to receive a "special waiver from the [Director’s Guild of America’s] council” granting them directorial approval. Murray used his own finances to purchase film rights and fund the screenplay. He also paid for the first two weeks of production, before securing studio involvement.
       Principal photography began on 13 Jun 1989 in New York City, as reported in the 21 Jun 1989 Var production chart. The 24 Aug 1989 NYT indicated a $17 million budget.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Park Slope; Jamaica, Queens; the South Bronx; and midtown Manhattan, where the bank robbery was filmed at the corner of 41st Street and Park Avenue, with Grand Central Station in the background. The warehouse where the bank robbers stumble into an organized crime operation was filmed at 175 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg.
       Production concluded on 2 Sep 1989, following five days of filming at the Disney-MGM Studios near Orlando, FL, where a full-sized, breakaway Delta Air Lines L-1011 jetliner fuselage was permanently installed on Soundstage Two.
       On 29 Jun 1990, HR announced a 13 Jul 1990 release date on over 1,300 screens. Despite positive reviews, the film grossed “a disappointing $10.1 million” during its first two weekends, as noted in the Sep 1990 Box. In a year-end wrap-up, the 31 Dec 1990 Var deemed the film one of 1990’s “notable flops.” The following year, Bill Murray blamed Warner Bros. and its marketing department for its “dismal” box-office performance, the 21 May 1991 HR reported.
       End credits state: “This film is dedicated to Helen Scott.” End credits also contain the following acknowledgments: “The producers wish to thank the following for their assistance: The New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development; The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting; New York City Transit Authority; Island Helicopter Corporation, Al Cerullo, Jr.; Albert G. Ruben Insurance Co., Inc.; General Camera Corp.; Star Lighting Enterprises, Ltd.; Giorgio Pappas Furs; Joe Fargardo & Bill Hollander.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Sep 1990
---
Daily Variety
23 Apr 1985
p. 3
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1990
p. 2, 23
Entertainment Weekly
20 Jul 1990
pp. 44-47
Hollywood Drama-Logue
27 Jul 1989
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1990
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1990
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1990
p. 10, 29
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 1991
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1990
p. 1
New York Times
24 Aug 1989
Section C, p. 15, 22
New York Times
13 Jul 1990
p. 12
Variety
26 Dec 1984
p. 28
Variety
21 Jun 1989
p. 28
Variety
11 Jul 1990
pp. 30-31
Variety
18 Jul 1990
p. 18
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Devoted Production
Distributed by Warner Bros.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam asst trainee
Still photog
Video eng
Video prod
Key grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Panaflex® cams
Grand Central Station photog courtesy of
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept research
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
2d asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Set dec
Set dresser
Const coord
Standby carpenter
Chief const grip
Master scenic artist
Standby scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost asst
Cost asst
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Addl mus by
Asst mus ed
Mus contractor
Orch for Mr. Edelman
Orch for Mr. Edelman
Mus rec eng
Mus rec eng
Mus rec at
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Assoc sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Asst ADR ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Make-up artist & Clown make-up des
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Loc mgr
Loc scout
Loc scout
Loc scout
Loc scout
Loc scout
Asst prod coord
Asst prod auditor
Asst to Mr. Murray & Mr. Franklin
Asst to Mr. Edelman
Post-prod asst
Addl casting
Addl casting
Asst to Mr. Feuer
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Studio mgr
Craft service
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
Video prod
Monster truck courtesy of
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Prints by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Quick Change by Jay Cronley (Garden City, 1981).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"L-O-V-E," written by Bert Kaempfert & Milt Gabler, performed by Nat King Cole, courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with Cema Special Markets
"Baila Mi Ritmo," written by C. Valdes & B. de Coteaux, performed by Irakere, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
"Tive Um Coracao Perdi-O," written by Amalia Rodriguez & Joe Fontes Rocha, performed by Amalia Rodriguez, courtesy of EMI Portugal
+
SONGS
"L-O-V-E," written by Bert Kaempfert & Milt Gabler, performed by Nat King Cole, courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with Cema Special Markets
"Baila Mi Ritmo," written by C. Valdes & B. de Coteaux, performed by Irakere, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
"Tive Um Coracao Perdi-O," written by Amalia Rodriguez & Joe Fontes Rocha, performed by Amalia Rodriguez, courtesy of EMI Portugal
"Dertfik Confiance (Nakara)," written by Cheb Mami, performed by Cheb Mami, courtesy of Shanachie Records Corp.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 July 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 13 July 1990
New York opening: week of 13 July 1990
Production Date:
13 June--2 September 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 August 1990
Copyright Number:
PA477420
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® cameras: Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
88
Length(in feet):
7,961
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30359
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Grimm rides a New York City subway dressed as a circus clown in full makeup. He arrives at a bank at closing time, points a gun in the guard’s face, and opens the front of his costume to show that he is wired with dynamite. When he announces he is robbing the bank, none of the customers or tellers take him seriously until he fires his gun in the air. The bank manager, Princeton, presses a silent alarm button. Grimm orders a teller to fill up a bag with money, and to give a customer his receipt so that he can prove he deposited money into his account. He herds everyone into the vault and shoots the bank’s security cameras, as police arrive outside and set up barricades. New York Police Department Chief Dennis Rotzinger telephones Grimm to negotiate. Grimm identifies himself as “Chip,” and demands that a city bus, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a “monster” truck, and two helicopters be delivered in thirty minutes. He agrees to release one hostage for every demand that Rotzinger meets. In the vault, hostages turn their anger on Loomis, an hysterical young man who weeps because he thinks they are going to die. When Grimm informs them he is going to trade a hostage, a “yuppie” in a business suit elects himself to be the first, but Grimm lets the hostages vote. They all point to Loomis, the crybaby, and Grimm sends him out. When Grimm ogles Phyllis, a statuesque blonde hostage, she belittles him in a torrent of insults. Frightened that Phyllis’s contempt might inspire the clown to blow them up, Princeton suggests that Grimm release her in return for the next ... +


Grimm rides a New York City subway dressed as a circus clown in full makeup. He arrives at a bank at closing time, points a gun in the guard’s face, and opens the front of his costume to show that he is wired with dynamite. When he announces he is robbing the bank, none of the customers or tellers take him seriously until he fires his gun in the air. The bank manager, Princeton, presses a silent alarm button. Grimm orders a teller to fill up a bag with money, and to give a customer his receipt so that he can prove he deposited money into his account. He herds everyone into the vault and shoots the bank’s security cameras, as police arrive outside and set up barricades. New York Police Department Chief Dennis Rotzinger telephones Grimm to negotiate. Grimm identifies himself as “Chip,” and demands that a city bus, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a “monster” truck, and two helicopters be delivered in thirty minutes. He agrees to release one hostage for every demand that Rotzinger meets. In the vault, hostages turn their anger on Loomis, an hysterical young man who weeps because he thinks they are going to die. When Grimm informs them he is going to trade a hostage, a “yuppie” in a business suit elects himself to be the first, but Grimm lets the hostages vote. They all point to Loomis, the crybaby, and Grimm sends him out. When Grimm ogles Phyllis, a statuesque blonde hostage, she belittles him in a torrent of insults. Frightened that Phyllis’s contempt might inspire the clown to blow them up, Princeton suggests that Grimm release her in return for the next demand. Police deliver a bus and a motorcycle, and Grimm releases Phyllis from the vault and, out of sight of the hostages, changes into another disguise as a redheaded man. He and Phyllis run out the door into the arms of the police and tell Chief Rotzinger that the robber is acting crazy and has placed dynamite throughout the building. When a monster truck arrives, the chief telephones Chip, but no one answers. He decides to storm the bank at five o’clock if the robber does not call back or release another hostage. At five o’clock, Grimm telephones Chief Rotzinger from a booth in Brooklyn and asks for more time. Now, without their wigs, Grimm and Phyllis are joined by the crying hostage, Loomis, who is actually Grimm’s boyhood friend and also in on the robbery. Hoping to stall for time, Grimm telephones the chief to complain that the monster truck does not have a “hydraulic-lift body,” but Loomis, sitting in the nearby getaway car, honks the horn. After analyzing a tape of the conversation to make sure the sound is not a clown horn, Chief Rotzinger orders his men to break into the bank and free the hostages. Meanwhile, Phyllis has something to tell Grimm, but she is continuously interrupted. Loomis becomes lost in the slums of Brooklyn because street workers have temporarily moved signs pointing to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. When they ask a man on the street for directions, he pulls a gun, steals Grimm’s wallet, and drives away. They return to Phyllis’s apartment and change their clothing, taping their $1 million loot to their bodies. Suddenly, a fire engine arrives outside to douse a fire across the street, but Loomis’s car blocks the hydrant. Just then, Hal Edison, who is about to move into the soon-to-be-vacated apartment, enters and pulls a gun on the group, believing they are there to rob him. By the time Grimm convinces him otherwise, the firemen have pushed Loomis’s car out of the way, and it rolls down the hilly street, crashing into a park. Meanwhile, as Chief Rotzinger gathers the hostages, he realizes that the three captives released were actually the criminals. Rushing to the airport, Grimm announces that he made a back-up airline reservation for an eleven p.m. flight to Martinque when the three crooks miss their scheduled flight out of town. Phyllis argues with Grimm, accusing him of being a liar, as well as being a bank robber. He reminds her that they planned the robbery in her bedroom. They flag down a taxicab, but the Arabic driver does not speak English, and repeatedly runs red lights. Loomis becomes hysterical, jumps out of the moving taxi to catch another one, and slams into a kiosk, knocking himself out. When Rotzinger hears a police report about two men and a woman who jumped from a taxicab, he sends police units to the scene. As sirens approach, Loomis revives and Grimm and Phyllis help him to his feet and hurry away. They stumble into a warehouse where several gangsters are counting money. Grimm talks quickly and, utilizing the information he gleans from the gangsters’ comments, convinces them he is the man they have been expecting, Vince Lombino’s bagman. The boss, Mike Skelton, gives Grimm a bag containing $6,000. Grimm, Phyllis, and Loomis hurry to catch a passing bus, but the driver demands exact change. When Grimm returns from a convenience store with the exact bus fare, both the real bagman, Mario Minetti, and the Arabic taxi driver see him and give chase. Grimm climbs on the bus as several police officers stop Minetti, recognizing him as a member of the Lombino mob. In the confusion, the police believe Minetti was one of the bank robbers. En route to John F. Kennedy [JFK] International Airport, Phyllis confides to Loomis that she has been trying to tell Grimm she is pregnant. However, now that she has seen him “con” the police, the mob, and the gun-toting renter, she fears he will be unable to live a “normal” existence. At police headquarters, Rotzinger interrogates Minetti and asks if the clown works for Lombino, and orders an interpreter for the Arabic cabbie. Finally, the chief learns that Minetti was chasing Grimm onto the bus before police arrested him. Meanwhile, Grimm gives the mob’s six thousand dollars to an annoying, drugged-up passenger in return for him getting off the bus. At the nearest stop to the airport, the three criminals get off the bus and find themselves in a desolate barrio. Phyllis finally tells Grimm she is pregnant as an airplane flies overhead. They sneak into a JFK baggage cart to enter the airport. Elsewhere, Minetti shares that Lombino is catching an eleven o’clock flight to Martinique, and Rotzinger, believing the mob boss masterminded the robbery, alerts the head of airport police. Grimm, Phyllis, and Loomis pay the baggage cart driver $1,200, and Grimm hurries to the check-in counter where Vince Lombino and his wife are also checking in, under the pseudonyms, “Russ” and “Mrs. Crane.” Phyllis again complains about Grimm’s behavior and insists on staying in New York City. Grimm orders her to meet him on the airplane in two minutes, and pushes Loomis in a wheelchair toward a bathroom, where they remove the money and put it in a bag. Loomis advises Grimm that he should have told Phyllis he loved her. When they board the airplane, Phyllis’s assigned seat is empty, and Grimm decides to get off and search for her. However, Rotzinger steps forward with his gun drawn, but instead of nabbing Loomis and Grimm, he arrests Vince Lombino. When the gangster puts up a fight, Grimm helps Rotzinger subdue him. Phyllis steps out of the airplane bathroom, and the metal door hits Lombino on the head, dazing him. Rotzinger and his officers escort the mobster off the plane. Rotzinger thanks Grimm for his help and wants to award him a formal commendation. Grimm identifies himself as “Jan Chipowski.” Reporters hail Rotzinger for capturing the mobster, but when he mentions to his assistant that they need to thank Jan Chipowski, the chief recalls that the bank robber’s name was Chip. On the airplane, Loomis sleeps while Grimm and Phyllis kiss. +

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

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