Lookin' to Get Out (1982)

R | 105 mins | Comedy | 8 October 1982

Full page view
HISTORY

End credits include “Special thanks to Robert C. Jones for being there and Michael Haller for being here,” as well as “Special Thanks and Appreciation to the MGM Grand Hotel And Their Representative Steve Pelzer For His Invaluable Assistance.”
       According to a 14 Apr 1980 LAT article, development began when writer Al Schwartz showed his friend, Jon Voight, thirty-three pages of a script, to which Voight gradually made plot and dialogue additions. The story claimed that Voight initially did not want to star in the film, and production notes in AMPAS library files indicated that upon completion of the first draft, Voight and Schwartz began searching for an actor to play “Alex Kovac.” After Voight finished production on Coming Home (1978, see entry) and The Champ (1979, see entry), he and Schwartz wrote a second draft of the screenplay, at which point the actor decided to star in the film. The 14 Jul 1980 DV stated that Voight offered the script to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) while filming The Champ, but studio passed on the project, concerned that the story “might offend their then-hotel-gaming-arm, the M-G-M Grand,” in Las Vegas, NV.
       A 19 Dec 1979 DV brief announced the participation of director Hal Ashby, who had worked with Voight on Coming Home, Ann-Margret, Burt Young, and actor-drama teacher, Lee Strasberg. The 29 Feb 1980 HR suggested that Voight convinced Strasberg to join the project after writing a role especially for him. Strasberg, however, does not appear in the onscreen credits.
       Following the 19 Dec 1979 DV item stating that the picture ... More Less

End credits include “Special thanks to Robert C. Jones for being there and Michael Haller for being here,” as well as “Special Thanks and Appreciation to the MGM Grand Hotel And Their Representative Steve Pelzer For His Invaluable Assistance.”
       According to a 14 Apr 1980 LAT article, development began when writer Al Schwartz showed his friend, Jon Voight, thirty-three pages of a script, to which Voight gradually made plot and dialogue additions. The story claimed that Voight initially did not want to star in the film, and production notes in AMPAS library files indicated that upon completion of the first draft, Voight and Schwartz began searching for an actor to play “Alex Kovac.” After Voight finished production on Coming Home (1978, see entry) and The Champ (1979, see entry), he and Schwartz wrote a second draft of the screenplay, at which point the actor decided to star in the film. The 14 Jul 1980 DV stated that Voight offered the script to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) while filming The Champ, but studio passed on the project, concerned that the story “might offend their then-hotel-gaming-arm, the M-G-M Grand,” in Las Vegas, NV.
       A 19 Dec 1979 DV brief announced the participation of director Hal Ashby, who had worked with Voight on Coming Home, Ann-Margret, Burt Young, and actor-drama teacher, Lee Strasberg. The 29 Feb 1980 HR suggested that Voight convinced Strasberg to join the project after writing a role especially for him. Strasberg, however, does not appear in the onscreen credits.
       Following the 19 Dec 1979 DV item stating that the picture was expected to begin principal photography 17 Feb 1980 in New York City and Las Vegas, the 20 Dec 1979 LAT reported that a majority of the film would be shot around New York City beginning Mar 1980. Referring to the film by the title, Looking for a Way Out, the 7 Jan 1980 HR stated that Ann-Margret was to begin shooting at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in six weeks’ time.
       A story in the 24 Jan 1980 HR anticipated a late Mar 1980 production start date, following Lorimar’s agreement to distribute the film domestically through United Artists. However, a 26 Nov 1980 Var article indicated that Lorimar’s three-year deal with United Artists would not be renewed before expiring at the end of that year. As a result, Paramount Pictures would assume domestic distribution responsibilities for eight Lorimar features, including Lookin’ to Get Out.
       Following a 14 Feb 1980 DV announcement that the scheduled New York City production start date had been delayed until 14 Apr 1980, the 9 Apr 1980 DV reported that principal photography had again been postponed to 12 May 1980. The 12 May 1980 HR reported that filming was expected to take place that week at Caesar’s Palace, the M-G-M Grand, and various Las Vegas locations. In his 14 Jul 1980 DV “Just for Variety” column, Army Archerd reported that Burt Young had helped secure the M-G-M Grand Hotel as a location for the film through “friends up there.” The hotel granted filmmakers permission to work in the casino over the course of a month. Conflicting reports in the 24 Jan 1980 HR and the 14 Jul 1980 DV estimated the projected budget at $10 million and $12 million, respectively.
       On 28 Jul 1980, an LAHExam news story reported that Lookin’ to Get Out had been filming on Soundstage 14 of the M-G-M studio lot in Culver City, CA, which contained hotel suite sets built to recreate those of the M-G-M Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Production, however, was interrupted by a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike. The 21 Aug 1980 Var announced that filming had resumed 20 Aug 1980, under a new SAG interim agreement. According to the 23 Sep 1980 HR, the film was currently shooting at Laird International Studios in Culver City, CA, and the company remained unaffected by the strike.
       The 10 Jul 1980 HR, 17 Jul 1980 DV, and 27 Jan 1981 HR included David Schroeder, Bill Cameron, and Martin Garner, respectively, among the cast, although the actors are not credited onscreen. In addition, the 9 Sep 1980 Var mentioned that retired M-G-M studio guard Alfred Mariorenzi had been hired to portray an M-G-M Grand Hotel guard in the film, but he is not cited in cast credits.
       Over a year after principal photography concluded, a 13 Oct 1981 DV news item stated that Hal Ashby was forced to drop out of directing Tootsie (1982, see entry) for Columbia Pictures, due to unfinished editing and post production work on Lookin’ to Get Out, which was expected to open Feb 1982. The 3 Sep 1982 HR claimed that during the lengthy post production process, Ashby also completed work on his Rolling Stones documentary, Let’s Spend the Night Together (1983, see entry), then titled Time is on Our Side. Near the completion of Lookin to Get Out, the 4 Mar 1982 DV reported that the release date had been rescheduled from Apr 1982 to late summer 1982. A 29 Apr 1982 LAHExam story estimated the final production cost at $27 million, and suggested that, following multiple box office disappointments, Lorimar would take a temporary hiatus from production and search for new co-financing opportunities in theatrical distribution.
       While the 3 Sep 1982 HR stated that the film had been scheduled for limited release Oct 1982, the 22 Sep 1982 Var announced an 8 Oct 1982 opening in 850 theaters. On 1 Oct 1982, an HR brief claimed that composer John Beal was recording a score for the film, although he does not receive onscreen credit and his involvement in the project has not been determined.
       In the wake of generally poor reviews and box office returns, an 8 Dec 1982 DV story indicated that Lorimar took a $6.2 million write-off on the film; the 6 Oct 1982 Var review suggested that the budget actually totaled $17 million.
       In addition to being Voight’s screenwriting debut, Lookin’ to Get Out marked the motion picture debut of Voight’s daughter, actress Angelina Jolie, who is credited onscreen as “Angelina Jolie Voight.”
       A 28 Jun 2009 LAT article announced that a director’s cut of Lookin’ to Get Out was to be released on DVD that week, as part of Warner Home Video’s Directors Showcase series “devoted to underappreciated work by major filmmakers.” The director’s cut is about fifteen minutes longer than the theatrical version.
       The VHS print viewed for this record was titled, Looking to Get Out. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1979.
---
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1980.
---
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1980.
---
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1980.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
13 Oct 1981.
---
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1982.
---
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1982
p. 1.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 1982
p. 1, 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1982
p. 3, 9.
LAHExam
28 Jul 1980.
---
LAHExam
29 Apr 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Dec 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Apr 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1982
p. 1, 9.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 2009.
---
New York Times
8 Oct 1982
p. 13.
Variety
26 Nov 1980
p. 4.
Variety
21 Aug 1980.
---
Variety
9 Sep 1980.
---
Variety
22 Sep 1982.
---
Variety
6 Oct 1982
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Co-Starring:
Shotsie's (Social club in Queens):
Sigmund Frohlich
Cashiers:
[Gave Jerry the money]
Smitty's gang:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Lorimar Presents
In Association With Northstar International, Voight/Schaffel Productions
A Hal Ashby Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Elec best boy
Rigging gaffer
2d company grip
Dolly grip
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
3d cam asst
Still photog
Spec photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Video tape ed asst
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set dec
Scenic & graphic des
Leadman
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Greensman
Const coord
Propmaker foreman
Labor foreman
Paint foreman
COSTUMES
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Addl mus
Mus ed
Mus rec
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op [and then some more]
Cable man
Dial ed
Post prod asst
Re-rec mixer
Sd transfer
Sd transfer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
DANCE
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
Dancer [backstage]
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr supv
Asst to Mr. Ashby
Asst to Mr. Ashby
Asst to Mr. Ashby
Asst to Mr. Ashby
Asst to Mr. Schaffel
Asst to Mr. Schaffel
Asst to Mr. Schaffel
Asst to Mr. Braunsberg
Loc mgr for Los Angeles
Consultant to Ann-Margret
Personal consultant to Jon Voight
Mr. Voight's asst
Mr. Voight's asst
Craft service
First aid
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Video tech
Unit pub
Unit pub
Consultant
Extra casting
Extra casting
Extra casting
Col prints by
Dispatcher
Lab-MGM
Insurance/Northstar
Insurance/Northstar
Insurance/Lorimar
Caterer
STAND INS
Stunts choreog
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Driver of taxi up on its side
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lookin' To Get Out," music and lyrics by Johnny Mandel, George Doering and Jo Ellen Doering, sung by Tommie Lee Bradley, David Palmer, Paul Delph, and Mark Burger.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Looking to Get Out
Looking for a Way Out
Release Date:
8 October 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 8 October 1982
Production Date:
began spring 1980 in New York City
Las Vegas, NV
and Culver City, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Lorimar Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 March 1983
Copyright Number:
PA169130
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Prints
Col prints by MGM
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25724
SYNOPSIS

As two magicians perform onstage in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alex Kovac sits in New York City traffic, flirting with a woman in the car next to him. He drives his Rolls Royce to a grungy apartment, where he joins a poker game run by a mobster named Harry. Although Alex claims to have unlimited cash on hand, the other players remain skeptical. The next morning, Alex leaves the apartment in debt, and discovers that his car has been vandalized. Meanwhile, a woman named Lillian Berman visits her former husband and Alex’s roommate, Jerry Feldman, to collect the money he owes her for child support. They laugh and kiss until Alex arrives home and forces Lillian to leave. Alex tells Jerry that despite winning $15,000 the previous evening, he lost the money in the card game, and now owes Harry $10,000. Later, Harry demands Alex pay him by 7:00 pm that day, prompting Alex and Jerry to run away. Harry and his accomplice, Joey, intimidate the elevator operator in Alex’s building to reveal that Alex and Jerry fled to Las Vegas. At the M-G-M Grand Hotel, Alex claims that Jerry is a longtime friend of the casino’s owner, Bernie Gold, and the clerk grants them complimentary use of a premier suite. That night, Patti Warner, one of Alex’s former acquaintances, enters the room to ask how the men know Bernie. When Patti explains that she has been working at the hotel for the past six years, Alex offends her by suggesting that she is a prostitute. Mistaking Jerry for a friend, Bernie Gold telephones to invite him to dinner the following evening. While Patti and Jerry attend a performance downstairs, ... +


As two magicians perform onstage in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alex Kovac sits in New York City traffic, flirting with a woman in the car next to him. He drives his Rolls Royce to a grungy apartment, where he joins a poker game run by a mobster named Harry. Although Alex claims to have unlimited cash on hand, the other players remain skeptical. The next morning, Alex leaves the apartment in debt, and discovers that his car has been vandalized. Meanwhile, a woman named Lillian Berman visits her former husband and Alex’s roommate, Jerry Feldman, to collect the money he owes her for child support. They laugh and kiss until Alex arrives home and forces Lillian to leave. Alex tells Jerry that despite winning $15,000 the previous evening, he lost the money in the card game, and now owes Harry $10,000. Later, Harry demands Alex pay him by 7:00 pm that day, prompting Alex and Jerry to run away. Harry and his accomplice, Joey, intimidate the elevator operator in Alex’s building to reveal that Alex and Jerry fled to Las Vegas. At the M-G-M Grand Hotel, Alex claims that Jerry is a longtime friend of the casino’s owner, Bernie Gold, and the clerk grants them complimentary use of a premier suite. That night, Patti Warner, one of Alex’s former acquaintances, enters the room to ask how the men know Bernie. When Patti explains that she has been working at the hotel for the past six years, Alex offends her by suggesting that she is a prostitute. Mistaking Jerry for a friend, Bernie Gold telephones to invite him to dinner the following evening. While Patti and Jerry attend a performance downstairs, Alex sneaks backstage to recruit professional gambler-turned-waiter, Smitty Carpenter, to help him win enough money to pay his debts. Alex returns to the performance hall and finds Jerry and Patti intoxicated. A maitre d’ informs Patti and Alex that Bernie Gold plans to surprise Jerry by arriving later that night. After Alex explains the plan to his friend, Jerry uses his status as Bernie Gold’s supposed friend to borrow $10,000 credit from the casino. While Alex waits in the casino for Jerry to return, Harry shows up, demanding his money. Instead of finding Alex, however, Jerry takes Patti upstairs to the suite and propositions her; she refuses, claiming to be in a relationship. Alex returns, and, upon realizing that Jerry was with “his girl” instead of delivering the cash, he punches Jerry in the mouth. Although Alex immediately apologizes, Jerry leaves to look for Harry, and Patti telephones the hotel physician to mend Alex’s bleeding hand. Patti tells Alex that Bernie Gold has been acting as a father figure and financial provider to her five-year-old daughter, Tosh. Meanwhile, Jerry fights with Harry in the hotel bathroom, refusing to give up the cash. After the doctor leaves, Alex kisses Patti. She promises to borrow the money from Bernie and urges Alex to leave Las Vegas as soon as possible. When Jerry returns, he announces that he still has the money, which Smitty can wager on a card game. Overjoyed, Alex and Jerry pick up Smitty at his apartment. After dropping Smitty off at the front door of the M-G-M Grand, Harry and Joey chase Alex and Jerry to the back kitchen entrance and through the hotel halls. Patti meets Bernie at the airport and alerts him of Alex’s arrival, admitting that they had a past relationship. Alex and Jerry outrun their pursuers and lead Smitty to a blackjack table. During the game, Smitty raises the stakes to $170,000. In the hotel security room, Bernie studies surveillance footage and realizes he does not know Jerry, after all. When Smitty wins $500,000, Alex’s excited yelling causes Harry and Bernie to approach the table. Alex offers to reimburse Bernie for the hotel suite charges, but Bernie refuses to be paid with his own money. At that moment, Smitty collapses and dies of a heart attack. Harry and Joey fight with Alex, Jerry, and multiple police officers. Harry pulls out a gun, but police tackle him and carry him away. Bernie insists that Alex cannot have the money that rightfully belongs to Smitty, and reveals that Tosh is Alex’s daughter. Jerry grabs a stray poker chip from the ground and uses it to pay for time with a prostitute. Before Alex and Jerry leave the hotel the next morning, Patti introduces Alex to Tosh. As the men drive away, laughing about their trip, Smitty walks up to the cashier and collects his $500,000 winnings. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.