Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)

PG | 95 mins | Comedy-drama, Screwball comedy | February 1977

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HISTORY

The film ends with this caption: "Bulletin, February 11, 1977 . . . The board of directors of Taft Aerospace announced today the appointment of Richard Harper as president, replacing Charles Blanchard who resigned . . . The board praised Harper, 42, for displaying 'The imagination and ingenuity that has made American industry what it is today.'"
       A 29 Dec 1975 HR news item announced that filming was scheduled to begin 30 Dec 1975 in Los Angeles, CA. In the 9 Jan 1976 DV, Army Archerd visited the cast and crew of Fun With Dick and Jane at the Colonial Drug Store at 1812 N. Vermont Avenue in Hollywood, CA, where George Segal’s character was staging a robbery.
       The 27 Jan 1976 issue of DV noted that the $4.25-million production was filming at a $250,000 home in the Benedict Hills area of Beverly Hills, CA, and principal photography was expected to last forty-three days.
       Fun With Dick and Jane ’s theme song, “Ahead Of The Game,” was written and recorded by The Movies, an Arista Records pop trio. Arista released “Ahead Of The Game” on a single but did not include the song on the group’s only album. ... More Less

The film ends with this caption: "Bulletin, February 11, 1977 . . . The board of directors of Taft Aerospace announced today the appointment of Richard Harper as president, replacing Charles Blanchard who resigned . . . The board praised Harper, 42, for displaying 'The imagination and ingenuity that has made American industry what it is today.'"
       A 29 Dec 1975 HR news item announced that filming was scheduled to begin 30 Dec 1975 in Los Angeles, CA. In the 9 Jan 1976 DV, Army Archerd visited the cast and crew of Fun With Dick and Jane at the Colonial Drug Store at 1812 N. Vermont Avenue in Hollywood, CA, where George Segal’s character was staging a robbery.
       The 27 Jan 1976 issue of DV noted that the $4.25-million production was filming at a $250,000 home in the Benedict Hills area of Beverly Hills, CA, and principal photography was expected to last forty-three days.
       Fun With Dick and Jane ’s theme song, “Ahead Of The Game,” was written and recorded by The Movies, an Arista Records pop trio. Arista released “Ahead Of The Game” on a single but did not include the song on the group’s only album.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Dec 1975.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1976.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1977
p. 3, 20.
LAHExam
9 Feb 1977
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
9 Feb 1977
p. 1.
New York Times
10 Feb 1977.
---
Variety
31 Oct 1975.
---
Variety
2 Feb 1977
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Ted Kotcheff film
A Peter Bart - Max Palevsky production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Gaffer
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus ed
Addl mus
Addl mus
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Illustrations
MAKEUP
Make-up
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Prod secy
Transportation co-ord
Asst to the prod
STAND INS
Stunt co-ord
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Color by]
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss.
SONGS
"Ahead Of The Game," written by Peter Barnes and Michael Morgan, performed by The Movies
"Life Ain't Nothing But A Game," "While The Cat's Away," "Straw Boss," "Puerto Rican Pastry, "Sho' Like To Ride In Your Car" and "Funky Livin'," written by Lamont Dozier and Gene Page.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Dick and Jane
Release Date:
February 1977
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 9 February 1977
Production Date:
began late December 1975 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 February 1977
Copyright Number:
LP46953
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision Equipment®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24682
SYNOPSIS

When Taft Aerospace executive Dick Harper unexpectedly loses his cushy, high-salaried job, his life goes into a tailspin. First his friend and boss, Charlie Blanchard, fires Dick almost as an afterthought over a friendly drink; then Blanchard’s secretary tells him to turn in his company credit cards now and his company car in two weeks. Dick drives home to find his wife, Jane Harper, supervising a crew of landscapers, renovators and swimming pool construction workers, and gives her the bad news. That night over dinner, Jane tells Dick that she’s willing to cut back on expenses: She won’t heat the swimming pool, serve French wine at home, or resume their son’s ski lessons until Dick finds another job. After their checks bounce, the landscape crew returns to the Harper house to dig up the new bushes and trees and roll up the sod. To avoid the shame of having her lawn repossessed in front of the neighbors, Jane shouts at the landscapers as if she’s firing them for incompetence, and finally sits down with Dick to discuss their predicament. They have been living beyond their means, and Dick lost money on high-risk stocks. They have no savings or life insurance, and owe $77,000 on the house. Jane says it’s time for Dick to apply for unemployment insurance and food stamps. For her part, she can get a job at an upscale department store as a clothing model. When Dick arrives at the unemployment office, he meets Raoul, a former Taft Aerospace custodial worker who used to clean Dick’s office. Anxious to be Dick’s friend, Raoul shows him the ropes and walks him through the unemployment system. Afterward, Raoul takes ... +


When Taft Aerospace executive Dick Harper unexpectedly loses his cushy, high-salaried job, his life goes into a tailspin. First his friend and boss, Charlie Blanchard, fires Dick almost as an afterthought over a friendly drink; then Blanchard’s secretary tells him to turn in his company credit cards now and his company car in two weeks. Dick drives home to find his wife, Jane Harper, supervising a crew of landscapers, renovators and swimming pool construction workers, and gives her the bad news. That night over dinner, Jane tells Dick that she’s willing to cut back on expenses: She won’t heat the swimming pool, serve French wine at home, or resume their son’s ski lessons until Dick finds another job. After their checks bounce, the landscape crew returns to the Harper house to dig up the new bushes and trees and roll up the sod. To avoid the shame of having her lawn repossessed in front of the neighbors, Jane shouts at the landscapers as if she’s firing them for incompetence, and finally sits down with Dick to discuss their predicament. They have been living beyond their means, and Dick lost money on high-risk stocks. They have no savings or life insurance, and owe $77,000 on the house. Jane says it’s time for Dick to apply for unemployment insurance and food stamps. For her part, she can get a job at an upscale department store as a clothing model. When Dick arrives at the unemployment office, he meets Raoul, a former Taft Aerospace custodial worker who used to clean Dick’s office. Anxious to be Dick’s friend, Raoul shows him the ropes and walks him through the unemployment system. Afterward, Raoul takes Dick to a barrio pool hall to seal their friendship, but when Immigration agents arrive, they arrest Dick as an illegal immigrant. Meanwhile, during a lunch hour fashion show at the department store, Jane knocks over glasses and falls against a food cart, starting a chain reaction that wrecks half of the tables. Dick invites Jim Weeks from another aerospace company to the Harper home in hopes of getting another executive job. Jane prepares an expensive dinner, and Dick tries to convince Weeks that he’s doing well on his investments and isn’t desperate for a job. He explains that the front yard is nothing but dirt because they’re putting in a new lawn. When Weeks offers Dick a job at a reasonable salary, Dick pretends to mull it over, but just as it looks like he might get hired, the landscape contractor shows up outside with a bullhorn and demands the return of the Harpers’ indoor plants. Forced to return to the unemployment office, Dick again gets advice from Raoul. The ex-janitor tells Dick that he has set up jobs for both of them as “spear carriers” in a local opera production for $40 a night, but again everything goes wrong because the unemployment clerk happens to be in the audience with opera glasses, spots Dick under the makeup and, the next day, disqualifies him for unemployment. When Jane reluctantly goes to her wealthy parents for money, her father proclaims that poverty is wonderful opportunity for self-sufficiency and moral uplift. Desperate, Dick and Jane visit a small loan agency, but the loan officer tells them that since they’re already in debt and have no collateral, he can only allow them $1,000 at a high rate of interest. Dick and Jane agree. Moments after they sign the papers and the loan officer puts the money in their hands, two robbers rush into the office with shotguns and gather up the cash. The loan officer reminds Dick and Jane that the ownership of the $1,000 has already transferred to them, and therefore they still owe him $1,000 plus interest. As police answer the alarm, one of the robbers drags Jane out the back door. She falls down during an exchange of gunfire and lands on $2,000 that slips out of the robber’s hands. Rather than report the money to the police or give it back to the loan officer, Dick and Jane splurge on champagne, an expensive dinner at home and the utility bill, which allows them to enjoy their meal under electric illumination. During the dinner, an “income maintenance technician,” or food stamp inspector, arrives at the house to make sure Dick and Jane are valid applicants and not cheating the system. Dick and Jane try to explain away the champagne, the prime meat and their expensive house, but the inspector scorns their sense of entitlement. As a last resort, Dick plans a robbery. He gets hold of a pistol and talks Jane into driving him to a drug store in another suburb. Looking through the window and seeing only the pharmacist there, Dick tucks the gun in his belt, covers it with his jacket and walks inside. When the gun slips down into Dick’s underwear and he tries to retrieve it, the pharmacist thinks Dick is bashfully trying to ask for prophylactics. Realizing that the gun is hopelessly lost in his trousers, Dick runs out to the car before it slips out his pant leg. His robbery attempts improve, however, and he robs a sleazy motel. He robs a record store, a restaurant and even the pay clerk at the local phone company office, which makes him a hero among the irate customers waiting in line. Now flush with money, Dick and Jane throw a party to show their old friends, including Charlie Blanchard, their new pool and new lawn. Charlie confides that he has to fly to Washington, D.C., in a few days to testify before a congressional committee investigating aerospace corporation kickbacks. To maintain their new prosperity, Dick and Jane continue their crime spree. Attending a sermon by an evangelist who preaches that God wants people to have money, Dick and Jane rob him of the thousands of dollars he gathered in the collection plate. The evangelist chases them in his speaker-equipped van, admonishing “the sinners” over the sound system. As a police car joins the chase, Jane grabs most of the loose money and tosses it out the window. A flurry of people run into the street, blocking the police and the preacher. Sitting at home, Jane wonders if they should give up their life of crime. Suddenly, they see Charlie, being grilled on television by politicians. Dick tells Jane that if Charlie hadn’t made payoffs over the years, Taft Aerospace would have gone bankrupt and reports that Charlie kept a safe in his office for secret money. Jane reminds Dick that they’ve been invited to an upcoming Taft Aerospace party, and suggests they find sneak into Blanchard’s office to steal the money. That week, Jane practices pick-pocketing items in Dick’s clothes while they dance, and Dick buys a drill and other safe-cracking tools. When the big night arrives, Jane flirts with Charlie, agrees to meet him up in his office in a couple of hours, and steals the keys from his pocket. Dick and Jane slip up a stairwell to the ninth floor. Once inside Charlie’s office, Dick drills through the combination dial into the tumblers. Inside the safe are stacks of thousand dollar bills, which Dick and Jane stuff into their clothing. As Charlie comes upstairs for his rendezvous, he sees Jane in the hallway, and she tells him that Dick has followed her. They all return to the party, but before Dick and Jane can leave, a security officer comes to their table and whispers to Charlie that his safe has been robbed. Already suspicious of Jane’s heavy handbag and the bulges in Dick’s clothes, Charlie confronts them, but Dick has called the police and reported a robbery. As Charlie threatens Dick and Jane with an arrest, Dick tells him that the police are on the way and reminds Charlie that if the police found the kickback money, he would be the one going to jail. Dick’s counter offer is that when the police arrive, Charlie allows Dick and Jane to leave. Realizing that he has no other choice, Charlie agrees and Dick and Jane get away with hundreds of thousands of dollars stuffed in their clothes, waving goodbye triumphantly. +

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

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