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According to an 11 Nov 1985 NYDN article, the movie was originally conceived as a vehicle for actress Shelley Long about a female computer whiz who becomes enmeshed with a Russian spy. Director Howard Zieff commissioned numerous script rewrites, and reportedly story changes were still being done at the start of principal photography.
       A 29 Dec 1985 LAT article reported that at least ten writers were hired to work on the script although actress Whoopi Goldberg told the 30 Dec 1985 issue of Newsweek that the number was closer to eighteen. A draft dated 10 Dec 1985 listed seven writers: Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (“the originals”), David H. Franzoni, Diane Hammond, M. J. Milworth, Richard Price, and Steven DeSouza. Later, writer Leon Capetanos did rewrites in New York for a $10,000 per day fee. After taking the helm, director Penny Marshall brought in Marty Kurzfeld and Christopher Thompson to further rework the screenplay.
       An 8 Nov 1985 DV production chart announced that principal photography would begin 11 Nov 1985 in various locations including New York City and Los Angeles, CA. As reported in an 8 Nov 1985 DV article, the movie was scheduled for a twelve-week shoot – nine weeks in Los Angeles and three weeks in New York City.
       News items in the 22 Nov 1985 DV and the 27 Nov 1985 Var stated that creative differences caused Zieff to leave the project after ten days of filming in New York City. Production shut down 21 Nov 1985 with director Marshall taking charge on 25 Nov ... More Less

According to an 11 Nov 1985 NYDN article, the movie was originally conceived as a vehicle for actress Shelley Long about a female computer whiz who becomes enmeshed with a Russian spy. Director Howard Zieff commissioned numerous script rewrites, and reportedly story changes were still being done at the start of principal photography.
       A 29 Dec 1985 LAT article reported that at least ten writers were hired to work on the script although actress Whoopi Goldberg told the 30 Dec 1985 issue of Newsweek that the number was closer to eighteen. A draft dated 10 Dec 1985 listed seven writers: Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (“the originals”), David H. Franzoni, Diane Hammond, M. J. Milworth, Richard Price, and Steven DeSouza. Later, writer Leon Capetanos did rewrites in New York for a $10,000 per day fee. After taking the helm, director Penny Marshall brought in Marty Kurzfeld and Christopher Thompson to further rework the screenplay.
       An 8 Nov 1985 DV production chart announced that principal photography would begin 11 Nov 1985 in various locations including New York City and Los Angeles, CA. As reported in an 8 Nov 1985 DV article, the movie was scheduled for a twelve-week shoot – nine weeks in Los Angeles and three weeks in New York City.
       News items in the 22 Nov 1985 DV and the 27 Nov 1985 Var stated that creative differences caused Zieff to leave the project after ten days of filming in New York City. Production shut down 21 Nov 1985 with director Marshall taking charge on 25 Nov 1985 and producer Joel Silver replacing producer Marvin Worth. It is unknown whether the New York footage already shot was incorporated into the final film.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, stages at Twentieth Century Fox were used to build sets of the "Elizabeth Arden Beauty Salon" with its iconic “red door,” Jack’s Soho loft, the roof of the British Consulate, and a dock with an adjacent pool in which the actors could be filmed for their close-ups in the water. Sequences involving the British Consulate were shot at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, CA, a 1920s-era residence, containing fifty-five rooms over a nearly fifty-thousand-square-feet area. Other Southern California locations used for filming included downtown Los Angeles, Brentwood, and San Pedro.
       According to an Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release in AMPAS library files, the picture marked Penny Marshall’s theatrical directorial debut.
       The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Special thanks to: James L. Brooks, Battle Davis, Bruce Feirstein, Penny Lee Hallin, Monica Johnson, Sheryl Longin, Garry K. Marshall, Melissa Shestack, James Signorelli, Paul Slansky, Stuart Werbin, Gio Coppola,” and, “Howard Kaplan Antiques, Keytronics Corporation, Showtime Video Ventures, Sony Corporation of America, Sperry Corporation, STB Systems, Inc., Tatung Company of America, Taxan Corporation, Viasyn Corporation.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1985.
p. 1, 10.
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1985.
---
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 1986
p. 3, 62.
Los Angeles Times
29 Dec 1985
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
10 Oct 1986
Section H, p. 1, 8.
New York Daily News
11 Nov 1985.
---
New York Times
10 Oct 1986
p. 7.
Newsweek
30 Dec 1985.
---
Variety
27 Nov 1985.
---
Variety
15 Oct 1986
p. 21.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Lawrence Gordon/Silver Pictures Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Prod mgr, Addl photog
1st asst dir, Addl photog
2d asst dir, Addl photog
Dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
2d dolly grip
Key gaffer
Best boy
Still photog
Dir of photog, Addl photog
Cam op, Addl photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Ultracam 35 cam and lenses provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Addl ed
1st asst ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Const coord
Const foreman
Prod painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
Men's set costumer
Women's set costumer
Ms. Goldberg's dresser
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus scoring mixer
Scoring eng
Scoring eng
Scoring eng
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec
Re-rec
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Maintenance eng
Vocal eff supv
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Computer eff supv
Computer eff op
Computer eff op
Code breaking graphics by
Main and end titles des by
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting
Extras casting
Pub coord
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst auditor
Creative consultant
Prod coord, Addl photog
Prod exec, 2d unit
Prod coord, 2d unit
Asst to Larry Gordon
Asst to Larry Gordon
Asst to Joel Silver
Asst to Joel Silver
Asst to Penny Marshall
Asst to Whoopi Goldberg
Prod consultant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Police coord
Craft service
Craft service
Caterer
Caterer
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord, Addl photog
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” performed by Aretha Franklin, produced by Keith Richards, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, published by ABKCO Music, Inc., courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” performed by The Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, published by ABKCO Music, Inc., courtesy of ABKCO Records, Inc.
“Set Me Free,” performed by The Pointer Sisters, produced by Richard Perry, written by Allee Willis, Danny Sembello & Cynthia Weill, courtesy of RCA Records, Inc.
+
SONGS
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” performed by Aretha Franklin, produced by Keith Richards, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, published by ABKCO Music, Inc., courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” performed by The Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, published by ABKCO Music, Inc., courtesy of ABKCO Records, Inc.
“Set Me Free,” performed by The Pointer Sisters, produced by Richard Perry, written by Allee Willis, Danny Sembello & Cynthia Weill, courtesy of RCA Records, Inc.
“You Can’t Hurry Love,” performed by The Supremes, written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
“Window To The World,” performed by Face To Face, written by Lauren Sargent & Angelo, courtesy of PolyGram Records
“Trick Of The Night,” performed by Bananarama, written by Steve Jolley & Tony Swain, courtesy of London Records
“Hold On,” written and performed by Billy Brannigan, courtesy of PolyGram Records
“Misled,” performed by Kool & The Gang, written by Robert Bell, James Taylor and Kool & The Gang, courtesy of De-Lite Records
“Rescue Me,” performed by Fontella Bass, written by Carl William Smith & Raynard Miner, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Knock, Knock
Sweet Dreams
Release Date:
10 October 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 October 1986
Production Date:
began 11 November 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
31 October 1986
Copyright Number:
PA305601
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27449
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

First Interstate Bank employee and computer whiz Terry Doolittle listens as her coworker, Cynthia, describes her latest date. Terry does a quick transaction involving the transfer of international funds and a pregnant colleague, Jackie Valentine, requires help adjusting her faulty chair. Soon, Mr. Page, the boss, summons Terry to his office, and warns her not to discuss music, give out recipes or offer love advice to customers if she wants to keep her job. At the end of the day, she receives a computer message reading, “Knock knock.” Cynthia believes Mr. Page is testing Terry to see if she can stick to company policy. Terry does not think so. Her mystery message writer calls himself “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Terry reminds him that personal chitchat is prohibited on the international bank transponder but Jack Flash claims he is communicating on a “clamshell terminal” that is not secure. When she asks for his code key or password, he writes she will find it in the song and schedules to communicate again the next night at 7:00 p.m. At home, Terry cannot stop thinking about Jumpin’ Jack Flash. She finds a tape of a Rolling Stones album and listens to the song of the same name for clues. After trying to record the song’s lyrics, she buys the sheet music and sits at her computer terminal at work. However, Mr. Page is spying to make sure she is on task. She distracts him until he leaves. Terry tries several passwords and fails until she types in “B-flat,” and the screen springs to life. “Jack Flash” warns her to destroy all paper transmissions and keep the code key secret. He reveals ... +


First Interstate Bank employee and computer whiz Terry Doolittle listens as her coworker, Cynthia, describes her latest date. Terry does a quick transaction involving the transfer of international funds and a pregnant colleague, Jackie Valentine, requires help adjusting her faulty chair. Soon, Mr. Page, the boss, summons Terry to his office, and warns her not to discuss music, give out recipes or offer love advice to customers if she wants to keep her job. At the end of the day, she receives a computer message reading, “Knock knock.” Cynthia believes Mr. Page is testing Terry to see if she can stick to company policy. Terry does not think so. Her mystery message writer calls himself “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Terry reminds him that personal chitchat is prohibited on the international bank transponder but Jack Flash claims he is communicating on a “clamshell terminal” that is not secure. When she asks for his code key or password, he writes she will find it in the song and schedules to communicate again the next night at 7:00 p.m. At home, Terry cannot stop thinking about Jumpin’ Jack Flash. She finds a tape of a Rolling Stones album and listens to the song of the same name for clues. After trying to record the song’s lyrics, she buys the sheet music and sits at her computer terminal at work. However, Mr. Page is spying to make sure she is on task. She distracts him until he leaves. Terry tries several passwords and fails until she types in “B-flat,” and the screen springs to life. “Jack Flash” warns her to destroy all paper transmissions and keep the code key secret. He reveals that he is in serious trouble, asks her to deliver a message to the British Consulate: “Dog’s barking, Can’t fly w/o umbrella,” and signs off. Later, Terry delivers the message to consulate official Jeremy Talbot, who immediately makes the connection to the Rolling Stones song when she says Jumpin’ Jack Flash sent her but otherwise does not appear to understand Jack’s cryptic message. At the bank, Mr. Page introduces a new worker, Marty Phillips, to Terry’s department. Once all the employees are gone, Terry contacts Jack, and explains the events at the consulate. He is confused by the outcome, and confesses that he works for British Intelligence and is trapped in Eastern Europe. When she asks what else she can do, he requests that she contact other agents by retrieving a frying pan from his New York City apartment. A Sperry computer repairman claims he has an order to fix Terry’s computer terminal. When she asks him to wait while she double checks his credentials, he disappears. Later, Terry finds Jack’s hidden apartment key and lets herself in. As she listens to his answering machine messages, she realizes she is not alone and quickly returns to the waiting taxicab with the frying pan. However, the driver is gone and the Sperry repairman has taken his place. When he points a gun at her, she screams, hits him with the frying pan, and escapes from the moving cab as it crashes and flips over. At home, Terry cleans the bottom of the pan, and discovers the names and telephone numbers of Jack’s four agent friends. One agent, Mark Van Meter, requests that she meet him at the dock in twenty minutes. After Van Meter frisks her, he finds that she is a civilian. She gives him the silly message she relayed to the British consulate, but someone has followed them and chases them off the pier. Van Meter is shot and his dead body floats past Terry in the water. The gunman disappears at the sound of sirens in the distance. Terry ends up at the police station speaking to a detective, who does not believe her story and whose men did not find Van Meter’s dead body. The police summon Terry’s coworker, Marty Phillips, to take her home because she was carrying his business card. Days later, when Terry complains that no newspaper articles about the murder have surfaced. Marty finds an obituary for Van Meter and Terry attends the funeral. There, consulate official Jeremy Talbot briefly greets her, and Liz Carlson informs Terry that her agent husband Harry is in the field with Jack and cannot be reached. As they talk, a third agent, Archer Lincoln, says hello, but avoids speaking to Terry. Liz believes the Soviet spy organization, KGB, is intent on scaring Terry so that she will surrender Jack’s code key. Back at her workstation, Terry updates Jack as to the status of his fellow agents: Peter Caen: unavailable, Archer Lincoln: uncooperative, Harry Carlson: His wife said he was working with Jack. According to Jack, he lost contact with Harry and thought he returned home. However, he realizes that he needs more help, and asks Terry to attend the British Consulate’s Queen’s Ball and hack into consulate computers. When Jack realizes that Terry is a woman he wants to forget the whole thing, but after she is both annoyed and offended by his sexism, he apologizes and sends her on the computer-hacking mission. At the ball, Terry finds guards outside the computer room, and climbs down the roof to access a window into the room. She inserts a floppy disc to copy the information she needs. A guard walks in to investigate the machine as it downloads but does not notice what is happening. Terry emerges from her hiding place once he leaves but her evening dress gets caught in a paper shredder. Even so, she manages to escape. When she returns home, she finds her apartment has been ransacked. She hears footsteps and hits the intruder on the hand with a tennis racket. It is her coworker Marty, who came by to check on her when she did not return his calls. She gives him some ice for his hand, and kicks him out of the apartment. At the bank, Terry downloads the information Jack requested when the transmission jams. They suspect they have been compromised, and Jack writes that all his avenues have been exhausted. He writes that they are both in danger and abruptly signs off. However, Terry convinces Jack that she can get him out of his jam. The next night, she visits Liz Carlson’s house and finds it empty but a stranger appears and insists that Terry speak with Archer Lincoln. She resists until Archer explains that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has moved Liz and given her a new identity. As they ride in his car, Archer tells Terry that Harry Carlson is dead and Jack knew the day might come when he would be expendable. Archer advises Terry to stop playing secret agent. The next day, Terry makes a call from a phone booth and arranges to meet Jack’s former girl friend, Lady Sarah Billings, at the Elizabeth Arden salon. However, a tow truck driver hitches the payphone to his truck with Terry in it and drives off. She contacts police on the phone. A patrol car chases after the tow truck, which sends the pay phone crashing onto the sidewalk. Terry climbs out of the booth and walks over to the patrol car. When the officer grabs her arm, she realizes it is the Sperry repairman in disguise. He jabs her with a syringe filled with truth serum and demands to know Jack’s key code. As the drug takes effect, Terry will only say that the key is the key. She traps her oppressor’s arm in the car window and releases the emergency brake, causing an accident. However, at the Elizabeth Arden salon, Lady Sarah refuses to help. Later, at home, Terry believes someone is trying to break into her apartment. Upon opening the door, she finds Lady Sarah, who had a change of heart, and with her husband’s help, gives Terry an envelope with a contact name and a rendezvous point. She explains that if Jack is able to follow through, he should be back home in seventy-two hours. Terry relays the information to Jack, who is extremely grateful, and promises to take Terry to dinner at Orlando’s restaurant. On the street, Terry is abducted by Jeremy Talbot’s associate, Hunter, and shot with a tranquilizer dart. When she awakens, Talbot reveals he gave Lady Sarah false information. Terry bluffs, claiming she delivered a different message to Jack, knowing that Talbot is a mole with the KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti). Talbot admits that Jack discovered he was fraternizing with an unfriendly government. To cover his tracks, Talbot spread the word that Jack killed Carlson and defected. Talbot’s henchman, Carl, saws off the fingers of a mannequin with a chainsaw and drills a hole in its ear to intimidate Terry into talking. She wrestles a gun away from her captors and walks through the British Consulate halls until she reaches the reception desk. The receptionist sounds a silent alarm, and when two officers arrive to escort Terry to a patrol car, Talbot and Hunter allow her to leave. When the officers refuse to release her, Terry causes an accident so that she can return to her computer terminal in time to talk with Jack. As she logs on to her computer, Talbot and Hunter appear. Jack wants to know what is wrong. As Talbot orders Terry to answer, she insists Talbot respond instead. When Talbot pulls up a broken chair, he crashes to the ground. As Terry tries to communicate with Jack Flash, Talbot orders Hunter to keep her from handling the keyboard. Meanwhile, Carl fires off several rounds with his gun, enabling Terry to crawl back to her keyboard and informs Jack that her previous message was a set up. Hunter tries to stop her but Marty shoots Hunter dead. Talbot grabs Terry and orders her to cancel her message. Terry bites Talbot’s crotch, breaks free and sends the transmission. Suddenly, Marty insists Terry reveal Jack’s key code, and explains that he is a CIA agent. His real name is Peter Caen, the agent whose name was on Jack’s frying pan. Peter types Jack new contact and location information that will get him home. Later, Terry waits at Orlando’s but Jack never shows up. At closing, Peter Caen appears to say Jack was delayed and apologizes. She is very disappointed but refuses to let Peter pick up the check. The next day at work, Jack contacts her and apologizes. He offers to take her out again but she is hurt and drops her glasses on the desk in frustration. When Jack tells her to be careful not to break her glasses, she realizes he is nearby. He walks over and touches her shoulder. Then his hand strokes her cheek. They embrace and laugh. As they leave the office, Terry introduces Jack to her coworkers and everyone cheers. +

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.