Gotcha! (1985)

PG-13 | 101 mins | Comedy | 1985

Director:

Jeff Kanew

Writer:

Dan Gordon

Producer:

Paul G. Hensler

Cinematographer:

King Baggot

Production Designer:

Norman Newberry

Production Companies:

Universal, Michael I. Levy Enterprises
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HISTORY

A 5 Sep 1984 Var item noted that Michael Levy first brought Gotcha! to 20th Century-Fox as part of a “two-year first-refusal production deal” he signed in July with Joe Wizan, who had been head of production. Levy said that Larry Gordon put the picture into turnaround after replacing Wizan. Frank Price at Universal then picked it up. Gotcha! was the first picture produced by Michael Levy Enterprises.
       According to the 5 May 1985 Chicago Tribune, Jeff Kanew had directed Anthony Edwards in Revenge of the Nerds. The Movie Magazine, Spring 1985, noted that some top executives did not think the star of Revenge of the Nerds would be believable as the romantic lead, but Kanew was very persuasive. Production notes from the AMPAS library reported that producer Paul G. Hensler wrote and executive produced an AFI project, The Silence, which starred Nick Corri.
       The credits list only “Sasha” but the character claims her name is Sasha Banicek, and that Sasha is a nickname for Alexis. Sasha’s true identity is revealed as Cheryl Brewster.
       The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin. According to production notes, the largest set was built a few feet from the Berlin Wall, and was an “authentic duplicate” of the East German side. On the West German side, where they were filming, there was graffiti on the Wall but the East German side was “stark and unblemished.” An article in the Spring 1985 The Movie Magazine added that because Kanew wanted the film’s East German ... More Less

A 5 Sep 1984 Var item noted that Michael Levy first brought Gotcha! to 20th Century-Fox as part of a “two-year first-refusal production deal” he signed in July with Joe Wizan, who had been head of production. Levy said that Larry Gordon put the picture into turnaround after replacing Wizan. Frank Price at Universal then picked it up. Gotcha! was the first picture produced by Michael Levy Enterprises.
       According to the 5 May 1985 Chicago Tribune, Jeff Kanew had directed Anthony Edwards in Revenge of the Nerds. The Movie Magazine, Spring 1985, noted that some top executives did not think the star of Revenge of the Nerds would be believable as the romantic lead, but Kanew was very persuasive. Production notes from the AMPAS library reported that producer Paul G. Hensler wrote and executive produced an AFI project, The Silence, which starred Nick Corri.
       The credits list only “Sasha” but the character claims her name is Sasha Banicek, and that Sasha is a nickname for Alexis. Sasha’s true identity is revealed as Cheryl Brewster.
       The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin. According to production notes, the largest set was built a few feet from the Berlin Wall, and was an “authentic duplicate” of the East German side. On the West German side, where they were filming, there was graffiti on the Wall but the East German side was “stark and unblemished.” An article in the Spring 1985 The Movie Magazine added that because Kanew wanted the film’s East German Wall to “suggest oppression,” it was a stark cement gray. An item in the 19 Nov 1984 People reported that Kanew’s wall, situated ten feet from the real Wall, was approximately twelve feet high and a few hundred feet long. The East German guards were photographing them, so the production had to film around these “undesirable extras.” Production notes reported Checkpoint Charlie was also recreated close to the actual Wall, and this proximity assured that little traffic could get in the way of filming. Also according to production notes, the East German government controlled the waterways of West Berlin. One of those canals was necessary for a scene where Jonathan jumps from the Spandau Citadel during a chase sequence. Filmmakers requested permission from the East German authorities, and were surprised when it was immediately approved because another film company had recently been denied a similar request.
       An item in the 1 Apr 1985 DV reported Gotcha! was originally rated R, but after a MPAA’s Classification & Ratings Appeal Board hearing, it was changed to PG-13.
       According to a 22 Sep 1985 Outtakes item, actress Linda Fiorentino had achieved “celebrity” status in February when she “she disappeared during a Warner Bros. publicity tour for Vision Quest.” Similarly, when Gotcha! was released, Fiorentino was “unavailable” for publicity.
       A 20 Nov 1985 Var item reported the Zimbabwean government banned Gotcha! and Rambo: First Blood Part II in the capital Harare after the East German and Soviet embassies protested. Gotcha! had a two week run before the Soviet Embassy labeled it “anti-Soviet” and claimed the film was “harmful to the development of friendly Zimbabwe-Soviet relations.”
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
5 May 1985.
---
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1985
p. 3, 26.
Los Angeles Times
3 May 1985
p. 6.
New York Times
3 May 1985
p. 5.
Outtakes
22 Sep 1985.
---
People
19 Nov 1984.
---
The Movie Magazine
Spring 1985
p. 13.
Variety
5 Sep 1984.
---
Variety
1 May 1985
p. 13.
Variety
20 Nov 1985.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Michael I. Levy Enterprises Production
A Jeff Kanew Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Prod mgr, Paris
1st asst dir, Paris
2d asst dir, Paris
Prod mgr, Berlin
Unit mgr, Berlin
1st asst dir, Berlin
2d asst dir, Berlin
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Chief lighting tech
1st asst cam
Still photog
1st asst cam, Paris
Gaffer, Paris
Key grip, Paris
Laboratory, Paris
1st asst cam, Berlin
Still photog, Berlin
Light & grip crew & equip, Berlin
Gaffer, Berlin
Dolly grip, Berlin
Key grip, Berlin
Laboratory, Berlin
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir, Paris
Art dir, Berlin
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Set dec
Prop master, Paris
Prop buyer, Berlin
Buyer set dressing, Berlin
Prop master, Berlin
Const company, Berlin
Const mgr, Berlin
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost, Paris
Cost, Berlin
Mr. Edward's wardobe in part supplied by
MUSIC
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
TItles and opt eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Makeup, Paris
Hairdresser, Paris
Makeup & hair, Berlin
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Scr supv
Unit pub
Prod accountant
Loc mgr, Paris
Asst loc mgr, Paris
Prod accountant, Paris
Casting, Paris
Catering, Paris
Loc mgr, Berlin
Casting, Berlin
Asst to Mr. Macgregor-Scott
Asst to Mr. Hensler
Casting assoc
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod office asst
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Gotcha," performed by Thereza Bazar
"Never Too Late," performed by Giuffria, written by David G. Eisley and Gregg Russell Giuffria
"What's Your Name," performed by Camelflage, written by David G. Eisley and Gregg Russell Giuffria
+
SONGS
"Gotcha," performed by Thereza Bazar
"Never Too Late," performed by Giuffria, written by David G. Eisley and Gregg Russell Giuffria
"What's Your Name," performed by Camelflage, written by David G. Eisley and Gregg Russell Giuffria
"Angel 07," performed by Hubert Kah, written by Hubert Kemmler, Michael Kunze and Timothy Touchton, courtesy of MCA/Curb/Wheatley/Intercord Records
"Wouldn't It Be Good," performed by Nik Kershaw, written by Nicholas David Kershaw, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"Say It Ain't True," performed by Giuffria, written by David G. Eisley and Gregg Russell Giuffria
"Gotcha Where I Want Ya," performed by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, written by Janna M. Allen, Joan Jett and Kenneth Laguna
"Small Town Boy," performed by Bronski Beat, written by Steven William Bronski, Lawrence Charles Anthony Cole and James William Somerville, courtesy of London Records and MCA Records, Inc. U.S.A.
"Relax," performed by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, written by Peter Gill, Holly Johnson and Mark O'Toole, produced by Trevor Horn, courtesy of ZTT/Island Records, Inc.
"Two Tribes," performed by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, written by Peter Gill, Holly Johnson and Mark O'Toole, produced by Trevor Horn, courtesy of ZTT/Island Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gotcha
Release Date:
1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 3 May 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 August 1985
Copyright Number:
PA272177
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Lenses
Camera and Lenses by Moviecam®
Duration(in mins):
101
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27733
SYNOPSIS

Jonathan Moore is an active participant in “Gotcha,” a paintball shooting game played by students on the UCLA campus. Jonathan effectively stalks and “shoots” several players. In the process, he bumps into a girl, spilling her soda. He apologizes and asks her out but she stalks off. On his way to class, he asks out another girl but she would rather “do nothing” than go out with him. Jonathan is almost hit by another Gotcha player, but he escapes and goes to a class in Veterinary medicine. The professor demonstrates a tranquilizer gun on an actual tiger while Jonathan gets dating advice from his friend, Manolo. The boys are soon off to Paris and Spain for spring break. Manolo meets Heidi, a pretty Swedish girl, and pretends to be “Carlos,” a terrorist. He tells Jonathan that girls go crazy for the intrigue and asks that Jonathan give him two hours before coming back to their hotel room. Jonathan waits in a café where he attracts the attention of a sexy brunette. Sasha is a 24 year old Czechoslovakian grad student at Berkeley. Jonathan claims to be 23, but when Sasha says she likes younger men, he admits he is only 18. She asks if he is a virgin. He denies it until Sasha says she likes to be the first woman to have sex with a man. They head to Jonathan’s hotel and it is Manolo’s turn to get lost for a couple of hours. The couple spends the next few days romancing their way through Paris but Sasha is on a “working ... +


Jonathan Moore is an active participant in “Gotcha,” a paintball shooting game played by students on the UCLA campus. Jonathan effectively stalks and “shoots” several players. In the process, he bumps into a girl, spilling her soda. He apologizes and asks her out but she stalks off. On his way to class, he asks out another girl but she would rather “do nothing” than go out with him. Jonathan is almost hit by another Gotcha player, but he escapes and goes to a class in Veterinary medicine. The professor demonstrates a tranquilizer gun on an actual tiger while Jonathan gets dating advice from his friend, Manolo. The boys are soon off to Paris and Spain for spring break. Manolo meets Heidi, a pretty Swedish girl, and pretends to be “Carlos,” a terrorist. He tells Jonathan that girls go crazy for the intrigue and asks that Jonathan give him two hours before coming back to their hotel room. Jonathan waits in a café where he attracts the attention of a sexy brunette. Sasha is a 24 year old Czechoslovakian grad student at Berkeley. Jonathan claims to be 23, but when Sasha says she likes younger men, he admits he is only 18. She asks if he is a virgin. He denies it until Sasha says she likes to be the first woman to have sex with a man. They head to Jonathan’s hotel and it is Manolo’s turn to get lost for a couple of hours. The couple spends the next few days romancing their way through Paris but Sasha is on a “working vacation” and must go to Berlin. She asks Jonathan to come with her instead of going to Spain with Manolo. They check into a Berlin hotel and head out for beers. Sasha steps away to make a phone call, confirming to the person on the other end that she has Jonathan with her and he is “like a Boy Scout.” That night Sasha surprises Jonathan with the news that she is a courier and her work will take them to East Berlin. Getting through the checkpoint is nerve-wracking. They check into an East Berlin hotel for the night and, after Jonathan falls asleep, Sasha sneaks out for a secretive meeting. A man gives her the kiosk location of a meeting at noon the next day. Sasha heads back to the hotel and, unknowingly, passes Vlad, a suspicious looking man. The next day, Vlad follows Jonathan and Sasha as they walk around East Berlin. Sasha tells Jonathan that if he ever gets a message from her to meet at the Café Friedrichstrasse, he must leave East Berlin immediately. Jonathan waits in a cafeteria while she goes to her meeting. At the kiosk rendezvous, Sasha receives a roll of film. She joins Jonathan and hands him a package of strudel to carry in his backpack. He wants to know what is inside. She tells him it is only strudel but Jonathan is sure it contains something else. Sasha notices Vlad following them and tells Jonathan she has one more thing to do and will meet him in an hour. Vlad chases her and Sasha barely escapes. She meets with a mysterious man and is ordered to “use the boy.” Sasha doesn’t want to, but the film is too important to risk letting it fall into the hands of Vlad, the Russian. When she finally calls Jonathan, he rushes to meet her at a subway station. Sasha sneaks the roll of film into his backpack and says she will meet him at the hotel in forty-five minutes. Instead, she calls and tells Jonathan to meet her at the Café Friedrichstrasse. He runs for the border. Sasha is caught by Vlad and strip-searched, but she does not have the film. Jonathan is also strip searched at the East Berlin checkpoint, and has to buy another day’s visa before they let him out. Jonathan crosses into West Berlin as Vlad arrives at the checkpoint. Jonathan returns to their West Berlin hotel and receives a message to meet Sasha at the Spandau Citadel tower the next day. Their hotel room has been ransacked and his luggage, including his traveler’s checks, is gone. Another woman waits at the Citadel, and asks Jonathan for the package Sasha gave him in East Berlin. She is surprised when Jonathan gives her the strudel. Before she can question Jonathan, Vlad shoots her. Vlad and his henchmen chase Jonathan around the Citadel, but he escapes to a nearby town. Three punk rockers, headed to Hamburg, offer Jonathan a ride and disguise him as a punk rocker to get through an East Berlin checkpoint. Jonathan arrives back in Los Angeles and finds the extra roll of film in his backpack. Suddenly, the window shatters but it is only fraternity guys playing football. Jonathan tells his parents about his adventure, but they think he must be on drugs. After leaving his parents’ house, Jonathan believes a car is following him. When the car pulls up beside him, Jonathan sideswipes it and gets arrested. He returns home the next day to find three men searching his apartment. Jonathan goes to the CIA for help but is stunned to see Sasha talking to one of the men who searched his apartment. Manolo returns home and Jonathan asks for his help. Sasha calls and Jonathan arranges to meet her, but Manolo and his “homeboys” send Sasha and the CIA agents on a wild goose chase around Los Angeles. Eventually, Manolo drops Sasha off at UCLA where Jonathan waits in the sculpture garden. Sasha’s accent disappears when she admits she is really Cheryl Brewster, a CIA agent. Suddenly, Vlad shoots at them and, with his henchmen, chases them through the campus. Jonathan races to the Veterinary classroom to get the tranquilizer gun and darts. Sasha calls for help while Jonathan takes down Vlad’s henchmen. Vlad catches Sasha, holds her hostage and orders Jonathan to hand over the film. Another Gotcha player arrives and shoots Jonathan with a paint pellet. Vlad is momentarily distracted and Jonathan shoots him with a tranquilizer dart. Jonathan gives the film to the CIA. Sasha apologizes for setting him up and they kiss. Later, Jonathan runs into the girl he previously spilled soda on. She is obnoxious to him, so Jonathan pulls out the tranquilizer gun, shoots a dart and “gotcha.” +

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

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