The In-Laws (1979)

PG | 103 mins | Comedy | 1979

Director:

Arthur Hiller

Writer:

Andrew Bergman

Cinematographer:

David M. Walsh

Editor:

Robert E. Swink

Production Designer:

Pato Guzman

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
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HISTORY

The end credits carry the following statement: “Filmed at Burbank Studiosdios, Burbank, California.”
       A 5 Jan 1979 DV article stated that Alan Arkin was unhappy about the quality of scripts he had received to the time and he decided to generate stories in which he could collaborate with actors that he admired. With Peter Falk high on his list, Arkin set up meetings with creative executives at film studios. Arkin pitched an idea in which Falk would drag him into a situation, which was yet to be determined, that would take the pair overseas. The two actors had met casually and had mutual friends, although they had never worked together. Warner Bros. executives recommended writer Andrew Bergman once they agreed to Arkin’s story pitch. Arkin was also given his first executive producer credit for his initial involvement in the film’s development.
       The film began shooting 16 Oct 1978 in Washington, D.C., and afterward, moved on to New York City. According to Warner Bros. production notes from AMPAS library some filming for The In-Laws took place in Herald Square in New York City. Director Arthur Hiller stated in a Jun 1979 Millimeter article that the advantage to filming in New York City was the ability to treat the city as another character in the film. For the Herald Square location: “…We did a high shot to tie the character into the crowds from Macy’s. I had the Sanitation Department open a sewer so I could shoot up and get those high buildings towering over the character.” In another instance, Hiller chose a Chock Full o’ Nuts luncheonette for a tense scene ... More Less

The end credits carry the following statement: “Filmed at Burbank Studiosdios, Burbank, California.”
       A 5 Jan 1979 DV article stated that Alan Arkin was unhappy about the quality of scripts he had received to the time and he decided to generate stories in which he could collaborate with actors that he admired. With Peter Falk high on his list, Arkin set up meetings with creative executives at film studios. Arkin pitched an idea in which Falk would drag him into a situation, which was yet to be determined, that would take the pair overseas. The two actors had met casually and had mutual friends, although they had never worked together. Warner Bros. executives recommended writer Andrew Bergman once they agreed to Arkin’s story pitch. Arkin was also given his first executive producer credit for his initial involvement in the film’s development.
       The film began shooting 16 Oct 1978 in Washington, D.C., and afterward, moved on to New York City. According to Warner Bros. production notes from AMPAS library some filming for The In-Laws took place in Herald Square in New York City. Director Arthur Hiller stated in a Jun 1979 Millimeter article that the advantage to filming in New York City was the ability to treat the city as another character in the film. For the Herald Square location: “…We did a high shot to tie the character into the crowds from Macy’s. I had the Sanitation Department open a sewer so I could shoot up and get those high buildings towering over the character.” In another instance, Hiller chose a Chock Full o’ Nuts luncheonette for a tense scene in which Arkin and Falk had an argument. According to Hiller, Warner Bros. had suggested that he shoot the scene in Houston, TX, where it would be quieter but Hiller lobbied for New York City given the comedic possibilities inherent in the densely packed location. Other New York City sites included 74th Street and Amsterdam, O’Keefe Bar at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, and Central Park.
       From there, the production relocated to Cuernavaca, Mexico, for a month, where set designers transformed parts of the city to be “Tijada, a South American ‘Banana Republic.’” Locations used to simulate “General Garcia’s” palace included: Hacienda San Gaspar, Hacienda San Gabriel, and Hacienda Vista Hermosa, located on property once owned by the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes and used for the open-air banquet and firing squad scenes. Afterward, the production returned to Los Angeles, CA, in which the family wedding was shot at a La Canada-Flintridge location, whereby Falk and Arkin made a grand entrance in the scene by helicopter. Principal photography was finished by mid-Jan 1979. A Warner Bros. press release announced that the film opened in Los Angeles in twenty-two theatres on 15 Jun 1979.
       According to a 16 Nov 2000 DV article, Warner Bros. executives were eyeing Michael Douglas and Billy Crystal to star in an updated version of “the 1979 comedy The In-Laws with a working title of Til Death Do Us Part .” Although the studio was negotiating with Donald Petrie as director, no offers were made to the actors, who both had firm film commitments beginning in Dec 2000. In addition, the entertainment industry was anticipating possible WGA/SAG strikes by the summer that would impact upcoming projects. Many studios rushed to sign talent to projects before the strike was called. A 14 Mar 2002 DV article stated that director Andrew Fleming was attached to the project starring Douglas as a CIA agent and that Albert Brooks had assumed the role of the podiatrist previously offered to Crystal. The film was released in 2003 under the original title The In-Laws (2003, see entry).
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Jan 1979
p. 16, 26.
Daily Variety
16 Nov 2000.
---
Daily Variety
14 Mar 2002.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Jun 1979
p. 37.
Millimeter
Jun 1979
p. 119.
New York Times
15 Jun 1979
p. 10.
Variety
13 Jun 1979
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Arthur Hiller film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Secy to dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Key grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Still photog
1st asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Set dec
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Choral supv
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Sd eff ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Title opt
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting dir
Script supv
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Asst dir trainee
Prod secy
Secy to dir
Secy to prod
STAND INS
Stunt
Stunt
Stunt
Stunt
Stunt
Stunt
Stunt
DETAILS
Release Date:
1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 June 1979
Production Date:
16 October 1978 -- mid January 1979
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA50009
Physical Properties:
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25649
SYNOPSIS

A U. S. Treasury truck, driving through an industrial area, stops when another truck blocks its path. A magnetized pulley lifts the armored car over the fence, where six masked men steal several engravers’ plates wrapped in foil packets. Later, a man delivers the engravers’ plates to Vince Ricardo on a building rooftop and Vince learns that he must come up with $1.5 million within twenty-four hours to pay for the heist despite his preparations for his son’s wedding that weekend. Later, dentist Sheldon Kornpett, the father of the bride, and his wife, Carol, host a dinner for the groom, Tommy Ricardo, and his parents, who arrive an hour late. Vince makes a sentimental toast to the happy couple but the mood shifts when Vince places a mysterious phone call. When Vince asks Ralph, his supplier, for more time to make a payment while his major international deal is pending, Ralph hangs up on him. Vince realizes he is in trouble and hides a packet of engraver’s plates in the basement conduit of his future in-laws. After the Ricardo family leaves, Sheldon wants to cancel the wedding because he dislikes Vince and is disturbed by the man’s outlandish stories, but Barbara, Sheldon’s daughter, calms him. Later, when Vince sees a couple of Ralph’s henchmen waiting outside his office building, he detours to Sheldon’s dental office to persuade Sheldon to leave his office for five minutes to grab a black bag from Vince’s office safe. When the henchmen see how nervous Sheldon is, they follow him. Sheldon grabs Vince’s bag and exits through the fire escape as the henchmen break into Vince’s office. One ... +


A U. S. Treasury truck, driving through an industrial area, stops when another truck blocks its path. A magnetized pulley lifts the armored car over the fence, where six masked men steal several engravers’ plates wrapped in foil packets. Later, a man delivers the engravers’ plates to Vince Ricardo on a building rooftop and Vince learns that he must come up with $1.5 million within twenty-four hours to pay for the heist despite his preparations for his son’s wedding that weekend. Later, dentist Sheldon Kornpett, the father of the bride, and his wife, Carol, host a dinner for the groom, Tommy Ricardo, and his parents, who arrive an hour late. Vince makes a sentimental toast to the happy couple but the mood shifts when Vince places a mysterious phone call. When Vince asks Ralph, his supplier, for more time to make a payment while his major international deal is pending, Ralph hangs up on him. Vince realizes he is in trouble and hides a packet of engraver’s plates in the basement conduit of his future in-laws. After the Ricardo family leaves, Sheldon wants to cancel the wedding because he dislikes Vince and is disturbed by the man’s outlandish stories, but Barbara, Sheldon’s daughter, calms him. Later, when Vince sees a couple of Ralph’s henchmen waiting outside his office building, he detours to Sheldon’s dental office to persuade Sheldon to leave his office for five minutes to grab a black bag from Vince’s office safe. When the henchmen see how nervous Sheldon is, they follow him. Sheldon grabs Vince’s bag and exits through the fire escape as the henchmen break into Vince’s office. One gunman shoots at Sheldon as he escapes. When Sheldon returns to his getaway car, an empty, locked cab, the gunman shoots at him. Sheldon surrenders the bag to the gunman but before the man can grab it, Vince knocks the henchman out with the butt of his gun. Vince shoots a second gunman in the wrist and throws Sheldon in the cab. When Vince apologizes at Sheldon’s office, Sheldon is hysterical and tells Vince to leave. Instead, Vince explains that Sheldon has unknowingly transported engravers’ plates stolen from the U. S. Mint, and Sheldon passes out. Meanwhile, in the Kornpett basement, beverage deliverymen accidentally knock into the conduit and uncover Vince’s $500 bill engravers’ plates; Carol takes the find to her bank. At a diner, Sheldon struggles to understand his crime while Vince explains that he is a CIA agent who stole the plates independently when the CIA rejected his plan to stop a Latin-American syndicate from flooding the global economy with counterfeit money. Vince says Sheldon’s involvement will be over when Vince sends one of his associates to remove the hidden plates from Sheldon’s basement. When FBI agents grill Nancy and Barbara about Sheldon at the Kornpett house, Sheldon sees the parked convoy of government cars, panics and drives off. Later, Vince instructs Sheldon to drive to McGraw Airfield in New Jersey. According to Vince, they will fly to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and by the time they return in a few hours the entire situation will have blown over. In the plane, Vince informs Sheldon about a change in plans. They will fly first to Tihada, a tiny island near Honduras, where they will meet some corrupt Tihadan officials and General Garcia. Vince plans to hand over the plates, collect $20 million, and make an arrest. On a Tihadan runway, snipers kill Senator Jesus Braunschweiger when he greets Vince and Sheldon. The men run to Jesus’ car, escape and check into a hotel. When Sheldon finds a phone booth and calls the American Embassy, he learns from intelligence official Barry Lutz that Vince was thrown out of the CIA for erratic behavior a year ago. Lutz advises Sheldon to avoid Vince, but Vince argues that the Embassy would tell any stranger that he was crazy to cover their tracks and Sheldon agrees to hide at the hotel until Vince finishes his business. However, the plan is quickly scrapped when Vince is taken hostage by the snipers in a cab. Sheldon grabs on the roof of the vehicle and goes along for the ride. Soon, Sheldon and Vince gain control of the cab and it crashes at an outdoor fruit market. After a brief shoot out, Vince and Sheldon escape in the cab with the snipers in pursuit. On the highway, Vince crosses the divider several times and drives backwards, but he is unable to lose the pursuers until his gunshots cause a shipment of bananas on a truck to cascade on to the road, causing the snipers’ car to skid out of control. Sheldon is euphoric that Vince has triumphed over the bad guys and accompanies him to the General’s mansion. The General’s men give Vince an attaché case with $10 million and two smaller packages of $5 million. Vince, in turn, gives one of the $5 million bundles to Sheldon. When the General rips open the plates and gazes at them in admiration, he brags that he will flood the global economy with $300 billion, and the world monetary system will collapse in seventy-two hours like “a wet taco.” A lavish banquet hosted by the General is followed by a concert given by a chorus of soldiers, but the singers transform into a firing squad when Vince and Sheldon attempt to leave. With their execution imminent, Vince and Sheldon stall the General. Just before the firing squad shoots, the compound is swarmed by a CIA rescue team led by Barry Lutz. When Lutz claims the plates and the attaché filled with money, Vince informs him of his decision to quit the CIA now that his son is getting married. Vince and Sheldon, dressed in tuxedos, arrive late to the wedding by helicopter. Each father gives their child an envelope with $1 million. When Lutz arrives, Sheldon thinks they will have to return the money, but Lutz jokes with Vince about not receiving a wedding invitation. All is forgiven and the marriage takes place as planned. +

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

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