Hanky Panky (1982)

PG | 103 or 105 mins | Comedy, Adventure | 4 June 1982

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HISTORY

The producers include thanks to the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for “making possible the aerial photography in Grand Canyon National Park.” In addition, producers also thank the Motion Picture Development Office of the State of Arizona and the Tucson Film Commission for their cooperation during location filming in Tucson, AZ.
       The roles of "Robert Hellman" and hypnotherapist "Dr. Peter Nowak" are not credited onscreen and the actors remain unknown.
       Over a year after the initial 31 Jul 1979 HR announcement that producer Martin Ransohoff had begun preparations on the film under its working title, Traces, a 16 Dec 1980 HR news item stated that the picture would reunite Ransohoff and Silver Streak (1976, see entry) star Gene Wilder. A 22 Dec 1980 DV news story indicated that Columbia anticipated for a spring 1981 production start date under director Sidney Poitier, following his successful collaboration with Wilder on Stir Crazy (1980, see entry). While DV suggested that the studio was simultaneously preparing a separate project to reteam Wilder with Silver Streak and Stir Crazy co-star Richard Pryor, a 17 Feb 1981 HR brief indicated that Pryor had “not been asked to join” Traces. The 24 Feb 1981 HR labeled Traces as the “sequel” to Stir Crazy, and noted that Larry Cohen was rewriting the script, although he does not receive onscreen credit.
       Principal photography was originally scheduled to begin Aug 1981, but the 24 Jul 1981 DV confirmed that production began that day in ... More Less

The producers include thanks to the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for “making possible the aerial photography in Grand Canyon National Park.” In addition, producers also thank the Motion Picture Development Office of the State of Arizona and the Tucson Film Commission for their cooperation during location filming in Tucson, AZ.
       The roles of "Robert Hellman" and hypnotherapist "Dr. Peter Nowak" are not credited onscreen and the actors remain unknown.
       Over a year after the initial 31 Jul 1979 HR announcement that producer Martin Ransohoff had begun preparations on the film under its working title, Traces, a 16 Dec 1980 HR news item stated that the picture would reunite Ransohoff and Silver Streak (1976, see entry) star Gene Wilder. A 22 Dec 1980 DV news story indicated that Columbia anticipated for a spring 1981 production start date under director Sidney Poitier, following his successful collaboration with Wilder on Stir Crazy (1980, see entry). While DV suggested that the studio was simultaneously preparing a separate project to reteam Wilder with Silver Streak and Stir Crazy co-star Richard Pryor, a 17 Feb 1981 HR brief indicated that Pryor had “not been asked to join” Traces. The 24 Feb 1981 HR labeled Traces as the “sequel” to Stir Crazy, and noted that Larry Cohen was rewriting the script, although he does not receive onscreen credit.
       Principal photography was originally scheduled to begin Aug 1981, but the 24 Jul 1981 DV confirmed that production began that day in NY. A 12 Aug 1981 HR brief noted that Lee Lighting America would supply lighting and grip equipment, and the 21 Aug 1981 DV reported the picture’s budget at $14 million.
       On 26 Aug 1981, Var stated that filming was underway at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA. According to the 16 Sep 1981 Var, actual fishing boat crewmembers and post office workers were among the 300 local extras hired for scenes shot on location in Boston and Cambridge, MA, from 24 Aug 1981 to 29 Aug 1981. A 9 Jun 1982 notice from the Massachusetts Film Bureau claimed that live sharks and “tons” of fish were used at the aquarium and on the Boston waterfront. As production continued into Oct 1981 in NY, the 5 Oct 1981 HR noted that Columbia had changed the release title to Hanky Panky. On 15 Oct 1981, a Columbia press release in AMPAS library files stated that location shooting had concluded in NY, CT, and Tucson, AZ, and would resume that day at The Burbank Studios in Burbank, CA. An undated press release included the Grand Canyon as a filming location.
       According to a 28 Oct 1981 DV report, actress Gilda Radner had declined offers to make films with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in order to star in Hanky Panky.
       The 7 Apr 1982 DV announced that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) re-rated the film from R to PG, following Columbia’s appeal to the Classification & Rating Appeals Board.
       A 2 Jun 1982 Columbia press release announced that Hanky Panky would open domestically that Friday, 4 Jun 1982, in 1,240 theaters.
       Although the 4 Jun 1982 NYT review, the 2 Jun 1982 Var review, and the official copyright report listed the film at 110, 105, and 107 minutes in length, respectively, the copy of Hanky Panky viewed for this record had a runtime of 103 minutes. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1980.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1981.
---
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1981.
---
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1981.
---
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1979
p. 1, 28.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1982
p. 2, 9.
Los Angeles Times
3 Jun 1982
Section VI, p. 4.
New York Times
4 Jun 1982
p. 12.
Variety
26 Aug 1981.
---
Variety
16 Sep 1981.
---
Variety
2 Jun 1982
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Presents
A Martin Ransohoff Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Video consultant
Gaffer
Key grip
2d unit dir of photog
Stillman
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Cond and orch
Addl orch
SOUND
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff, Effective Sound Unlimited
Sd eff, Effective Sound Unlimited
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles
MAKEUP
Ms. Radner's makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Consultant to Mr. Poitier
Transportation capt
Unit prod mgr, West
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Unit pub
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Prod coord
Transportation coord
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Traces
Release Date:
4 June 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 4 June 1982
Production Date:
24 July--late October 1981 in NY
Boston, MA
Cambridge, MA
CT
Tucson, AZ
and Burbank, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 June 1982
Copyright Number:
PA141420
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
103 or 105
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Banville, Maine, spring 1981, a man rises from his bed, passing a freshly-painted mural on his bedroom wall, and sleepwalks into a barn. He lowers a noose around his neck and hangs himself. That summer, head of the U.S. National Security Directory, Hiram Calder, orders a drink from the Vanderbilt gentleman’s club in New York City. A man at the bar discreetly garnishes the glass with poisoned olives, which Calder eats before he is interrupted by a woman named Janet Dunn, requesting to speak with him privately. When Calder begins choking, Janet runs away, and a suited man follows her down the street. She jumps into a cab, and discovers that the vehicle is already occupied by visiting Chicago, Illinois, architect Michael Jordon. While sharing the cab, Janet addresses a package to someone named “Terrance Martin,” and Michael mails the envelope for her. Janet gets out of the cab at the Roosevelt Hotel, despite Michael’s attempts to ask her for a date. That evening, Michael attends a circus show at Madison Square Garden, but is kidnapped by two men and taken to an abandoned train caboose parked on an underground railway. There, a man known as “Ransom” drugs Michael so he will reveal the recipient of Janet’s package. Once Ransom leaves with Terrance Martin’s address, Michael escapes, but fails to convince the police of his story. He then finds Janet in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, begging to know what was in the package. When she locks herself in her hotel room to call Terrance Martin, Ransom shoots her dead and escapes through the window. Michael hears the gunshot and picks up the weapon, causing the neighboring ... +


In Banville, Maine, spring 1981, a man rises from his bed, passing a freshly-painted mural on his bedroom wall, and sleepwalks into a barn. He lowers a noose around his neck and hangs himself. That summer, head of the U.S. National Security Directory, Hiram Calder, orders a drink from the Vanderbilt gentleman’s club in New York City. A man at the bar discreetly garnishes the glass with poisoned olives, which Calder eats before he is interrupted by a woman named Janet Dunn, requesting to speak with him privately. When Calder begins choking, Janet runs away, and a suited man follows her down the street. She jumps into a cab, and discovers that the vehicle is already occupied by visiting Chicago, Illinois, architect Michael Jordon. While sharing the cab, Janet addresses a package to someone named “Terrance Martin,” and Michael mails the envelope for her. Janet gets out of the cab at the Roosevelt Hotel, despite Michael’s attempts to ask her for a date. That evening, Michael attends a circus show at Madison Square Garden, but is kidnapped by two men and taken to an abandoned train caboose parked on an underground railway. There, a man known as “Ransom” drugs Michael so he will reveal the recipient of Janet’s package. Once Ransom leaves with Terrance Martin’s address, Michael escapes, but fails to convince the police of his story. He then finds Janet in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, begging to know what was in the package. When she locks herself in her hotel room to call Terrance Martin, Ransom shoots her dead and escapes through the window. Michael hears the gunshot and picks up the weapon, causing the neighboring guests to assume he is the killer. Michael runs downstairs, where he attracts the attention of news cameras and police officers attending a separate event; he runs to his apartment and sees a television report naming him as the suspect. The doorman recognizes Michael and tells a policeman outside. Meanwhile, a woman named Kate Hellman breaks into Michael’s room, looking for her friend, Nathan Curry. After attacking her, Michael explains that he is staying in Nathan’s apartment, but plans to leave town immediately. When a police officer arrives, Michael explains the series of events leading up to Janet’s murder. Kate knocks the officer unconscious and drags Michael, clad only in a robe, outside. Evading two policemen, Michael and Kate run through the backstage hallways of a theater, grabbing costumes from the dressing room. While changing into a tuxedo, Michael realizes that his kidnappers at the circus must have found him by speaking to the cab driver. At the taxi car park, Michael discovers that his cab driver form earlier that day died of a heart attack, but Kate suspects he was murdered and suggests that they find the package. Michael reveals that he mailed it to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and she admits she is a reporter; she hopes to use this story to boost her career while clearing Michael’s name. In Boston, Massachusetts, Michael visits a hypnotherapist, who helps him remember Terrance Martin’s Cambridge address. Disguised as a mailman, Michael steals the package from a postal worker, and discovers that the envelope contains a roll of computer tape. To discover the meaning of the tape, Michael sends Kate to Terrance Martin’s apartment; there, she speaks with Ransom, who pretends to be Terrance Martin. Ransom agrees to meet Michael at a neutral location later that afternoon. As soon as Kate leaves, the real Terrance Martin returns home and is murdered by Ransom. Kate brings Michael to meet “Terrance” at an aquarium, but Michael realizes the deception and runs through the streets to escape Ransom’s henchmen. That evening, Kate brings Michael to her house in Maine, and they kiss. However, she admits that she purposefully broke into Michael’s rented apartment to find him, because her brother Robert, under the influence of experimental drugs, hanged himself in their barn. Janet, who was Robert’s girl friend, had called Kate, suspecting that Robert was killed to cover up a government conspiracy. Kate saw Michael get into Janet’s cab and followed him to find out if he was involved. Michael studies Robert’s mural and realizes that the painting depicts the Grand Canyon, covered in a grid. Kate’s family friend, computer analyst Dr. John “Jake” Wolff, offers to help them break the grid’s code by studying the computer tape. Suspicious of Wolff, Michael steals back the tape roll and insists they leave for Arizona that evening. Wolff telephones the hospitalized Hiram Calder to inform him about the “Milibar” tape, but Calder says is it a copy. In Arizona, Kate and Michael ride in an airplane over the Grand Canyon. The pilot falls ill, forcing Michael to take control of the plane and crash land in the desert. They are detained by officers and taken to a military base, where they notice copies of the grid from Robert’s mural. Calder and a boardroom full of men watch a recording of Michael in an interrogation room, begging to know who killed Kate’s brother. The men wonder how Michael gained access to the tape, which contains sensitive information. That night, someone unlocks the doors to Kate and Michael’s cells, allowing them to steal a Jeep and escape. Michael trades the Jeep for a dilapidated truck, and the couple spends the morning in a hotel. While Kate leaves to get breakfast, Ransom attacks Michael, threatening to kill Kate unless Michael returns the tape. After Michael picks up the tape at the post office, he is arrested and taken to the sheriff’s office, where Calder introduces himself and announces his plan to give Michael a new identity. Concerned that Calder will let Kate die, Michael escapes the office and drives his truck to Ransom’s designated meeting place: a shack in the desert. Calder, however, anticipates Michael’s actions and traces the truck’s location. Inside the building, Michael gives Ransom half of a fake tape, promising to deliver the remaining tape once Kate is retrieved. He finds Kate repairing an old gasoline truck, and Michael starts a fire, buying them time to drive away in a van. Ransom follows in a helicopter overhead, shooting holes into the vehicle. The couple jump out of the van, and Michael throws a blowtorch at the leaking tankard; as the helicopter descends, the truck explodes, and Ransom dies in the flames. When Calder lands in another helicopter and approaches the couple, Michael punches him in the stomach. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.