Out Cold (1989)

R | 89 mins | Comedy | 3 March 1989

Director:

Malcolm Mowbray

Cinematographer:

Tony Pierce-Roberts

Editor:

Dennis M. Hill

Production Designer:

Linda Pearl

Production Company:

Hemdale Film Corporation
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HISTORY

Closing credits include the statement: "Filmed entirely in San Pedro & Mt. Baldy, California." The following "Special Thanks" appear in end credits: Office of Mayor Tom Bradley, The People of San Pedro, The Los Angeles Police Department, The Los Angeles Film Office, The Cadillac Motor Car Division"; and, "The Producers & Director Wish to Thank: Nan Blitman, Guiseppe Catalano, John Diemer, Franko's Restaurant, Al Galletti, Frank Gruber, Anthony Jones, Dorian Langdon, Jon Levin, Richard Lovett, Mike Marcus, Rick Nicita, Gary and Jane Shapiro, Anna St. Johns, Mario A. Tapanes"
       It was first announced in the 22 Dec 1986 issue of DV that John Lithgow and Teri Garr had been signed to star in the film, then titled Stiffs . By the time the film went into production, the title had been changed to Out Cold . Different start dates are noted, with 23 jun 1987 HR production charts stating that shooting commenced 27 Apr 1987 and 3 Jun 1987 Var marking 4 May 1987 as the start date.
       Release was held up for over a year after completion, and critical reaction was tepid, with HR's Duane Byrge calling the film "a thin and tasteless comedy," and Var's Lor. calling it a "pointless, unfunny attempt at black ... More Less

Closing credits include the statement: "Filmed entirely in San Pedro & Mt. Baldy, California." The following "Special Thanks" appear in end credits: Office of Mayor Tom Bradley, The People of San Pedro, The Los Angeles Police Department, The Los Angeles Film Office, The Cadillac Motor Car Division"; and, "The Producers & Director Wish to Thank: Nan Blitman, Guiseppe Catalano, John Diemer, Franko's Restaurant, Al Galletti, Frank Gruber, Anthony Jones, Dorian Langdon, Jon Levin, Richard Lovett, Mike Marcus, Rick Nicita, Gary and Jane Shapiro, Anna St. Johns, Mario A. Tapanes"
       It was first announced in the 22 Dec 1986 issue of DV that John Lithgow and Teri Garr had been signed to star in the film, then titled Stiffs . By the time the film went into production, the title had been changed to Out Cold . Different start dates are noted, with 23 jun 1987 HR production charts stating that shooting commenced 27 Apr 1987 and 3 Jun 1987 Var marking 4 May 1987 as the start date.
       Release was held up for over a year after completion, and critical reaction was tepid, with HR's Duane Byrge calling the film "a thin and tasteless comedy," and Var's Lor. calling it a "pointless, unfunny attempt at black comedy." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1989
p. 4, 14.
Los Angeles Times
3 Mar 1989
p. 6.
New York Times
3 Mar 1989
p. 14.
Variety
3 Jun 1987.
---
Variety
15 Feb 1989
p. 20, 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
John Daly and Derek Gibson present for Hemdale Film Corporation
A Braunstein and Hamady Production
A Malcolm Mowbray Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
1st cam ast
2d cam asst
Clapper/loader
Still photog
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
Best boy elec
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Cameras by
Grip & elec equip by
Stills cameras courtesy of
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Hemdale post-prod supv
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Scenic painter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Best boy prop
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Supv mus ed
Mus coord
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
Asst sd ed
Sd transfers by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Ernie dummy & spec makeup eff
Spec eff asst
Titles and opt eff by
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Transportation coord
Extra casting
Police coord
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Scr supv
Butcher shop adv
Craft service
Unit pub
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prod coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
LA casting asst
Teamster capt
Intern
Intern
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Security
Security
Security
Motion picture banking by
Prod attorney
Set physician
Insurance provided by
Insurance provided by
Completion bond services
Promotional products by
Prod trucks by
Catering by
Ice cream bars courtesy of
Still cameras courtesy of
Hardwood floors courtesy of
Bally Lifecycles courtesy of
Excerpts from "Santa Barbara" courtesy of
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Protect And Serve" written by Marco Fox, Aaron Price and Steve Bidrowski, performed by The Denver Mexicans
"She's My Girl" written and performed by Mark Moulin and Grady Walker.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Stiffs
Release Date:
3 March 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 3 March 1989
Production Date:
began late April or early May 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Hemdale Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
13 March 1989
Copyright Number:
PA412271
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28880
SYNOPSIS

Dave, and Sunny and Ernie are friends. They open a butcher shop together, and although Dave loves Sunny, she marries Ernie. Ten years later, Dave and Ernie cannot stand each other, and neither can Sunny and Ernie. While Ernie believes that every woman who comes into the butcher shop is in love with him, Sunny is interested in money, which Ernie never gives her. Sunny’s latest boyfriend is a real estate agent who promises her house can sell quickly for big dollars. The walk-in freezer at the butcher shop has problems—the panic button (that allows someone stuck inside to get out) is loose and easily removed. One day, Ernie raids the cash register while Dave is in the freezer. He pulls out the panic button and locks Dave in. Dave panics, but Ernie relents and lets Dave out. As Sunny and her real estate broker are in bed for an afternoon tryst, Ernie comes home unexpectedly to take a shower in anticipation of meeting one of the store’s female customers sometime later. As her boyfriend hides under the bed, Sunny goes through Ernie’s wallet and finds the money he took from the store. Telling her never to touch his wallet again, Ernie slaps his wife, then storms out of the house. She retains private detective Lester Atlas to obtain incriminating evidence against her husband. As Dave’s sister, Phyllis, goes to her basement to use the washing machine, she notices the floor is wet. She calls out to Dave and her husband, Lew. The concrete floor is broken, and Lew tells Dave he did ... +


Dave, and Sunny and Ernie are friends. They open a butcher shop together, and although Dave loves Sunny, she marries Ernie. Ten years later, Dave and Ernie cannot stand each other, and neither can Sunny and Ernie. While Ernie believes that every woman who comes into the butcher shop is in love with him, Sunny is interested in money, which Ernie never gives her. Sunny’s latest boyfriend is a real estate agent who promises her house can sell quickly for big dollars. The walk-in freezer at the butcher shop has problems—the panic button (that allows someone stuck inside to get out) is loose and easily removed. One day, Ernie raids the cash register while Dave is in the freezer. He pulls out the panic button and locks Dave in. Dave panics, but Ernie relents and lets Dave out. As Sunny and her real estate broker are in bed for an afternoon tryst, Ernie comes home unexpectedly to take a shower in anticipation of meeting one of the store’s female customers sometime later. As her boyfriend hides under the bed, Sunny goes through Ernie’s wallet and finds the money he took from the store. Telling her never to touch his wallet again, Ernie slaps his wife, then storms out of the house. She retains private detective Lester Atlas to obtain incriminating evidence against her husband. As Dave’s sister, Phyllis, goes to her basement to use the washing machine, she notices the floor is wet. She calls out to Dave and her husband, Lew. The concrete floor is broken, and Lew tells Dave he did not lay down a thick enough layer of concrete when he fixed the floor—he only laid down one inch when he should have poured six inches. As Dave leaves to go back to the butcher shop, Lew promises to fix the basement leak the next day. While Dave works at the shop, Ernie arrives in a taxi and borrows $3 from the cash register to pay the cab driver. Ernie brags that he was out having sex with Dr. Rothstein’s nurse, and suggests Dave could have his way with her, too, if he was not so uncoordinated. Using a knotted-up rag for a ball, the ensuing discussion leads to an impromptu roughhouse football game. The two end up in the freezer, and when Dave asks how Ernie could treat Sunny the way he does, his business partner says that the way he treats Sunny is none of Dave’s business. Dave knocks Ernie down and leaves the store. The freezer closes, but does not lock. Soon, Sunny arrives wearing a dark-haired wig. She notices the freezer panic button on the floor, picks it up, and hears Ernie groaning inside. Ernie accuses his wife of having an affair with Dave, and says the wig makes her look like “Bozo the hooker.” Fed up, Sunny locks Ernie in the freezer and wipes her fingerprints from the panic button as she leaves. In the morning, Dave discovers Ernie’s body and believes it was he who killed Ernie. When Sunny telephones the shop to say that Ernie did not come home last night, Dave suggests that Ernie went hunting. Later, conscience-stricken, Dave goes to Sunny’s house to tell her he killed Ernie. Then he becomes sick to his stomach and runs upstairs to the bathroom. Just then, the private detective arrives at the front door to show Sunny photos he surreptitiously took of Ernie’s mistress arriving at the butcher shop. Lester does not realize, however, that the brunette in his photos is really Sunny wearing a wig. Sunny wants to keep the pictures, but Lester holds onto them for safekeeping. After Lester leaves, Dave fears that Sunny hates him, but she tells Dave she always liked him more than Ernie, but simply made a “wrong decision.” She kisses Dave and asks him to hold her, expressing her wish that the police will find Ernie’s death to be an accident. Startled, Dave asks, “Why wouldn’t they?” Sunny convinces Dave that he hit Ernie out of his love for her, and the police will take that as a motive for murder. She tells Dave he must get rid of Ernie’s body, and later goes to Lester’s office while the detective is out on an errand to try and get the photos from Lester’s secretary, Fran, who refuses to give them to her. When Lester returns, Fran tells him about Mrs. Cannald’s attempt to get the pictures. Becoming suspicious, Lester shows Fran one of the photos and asks if it is a picture of the woman who wanted the photos? Fran says yes, and Lester jumps to the wrong conclusion. It was not Mrs. Cannald who tried to snatch the pictures, he tells Fran, it was “the other woman.” That night, as Dave attempts to remove Ernie’s wrapped frozen body from the store, Lester arrives looking for Ernie, and pounds on the outside door, demanding to be let in. Lester tells Dave that Sunny was about to institute divorce proceedings. Dave barely manages to keep Lester from discovering the body, and the detective leaves his card, asking Dave to call him night or day should Ernie show up. Dave drives to Sunny’s house, upset that she did not tell him she was planning to divorce Ernie. Sunny is equally upset that Dave has not cut up Ernie’s body and disposed of the pieces. When Dave refuses to butcher Ernie’s remains, Sunny suggests he dump the body in the woods. When it is discovered, she reasons that people will think Ernie froze to death while hunting. However, Lester has the butcher shop under surveillance when Dave returns for the body early in the morning. Lester does not see Dave haul the body to the truck because he is busy calling Sunny from a pay phone. He tells her that he is certain that Dave will lead him to Ernie and his “bimbo.” Donning her dark-haired wig, Sunny takes off in her car. At a roadside motel and saloon, Dave sits at the bar talking up the story of the missing Ernie to make the story of his disappearance more widely known and believed. Sunny arrives and notices Lester watching Dave from across the room. She takes Dave’s motel room key and tells him to carry Ernie’s body into the woods while she distracts Lester. She walks quickly past Lester’s table, and he gets up and follows her outside, while Dave drives off. When he pulls into a secluded part of the woods, Dave sets up a campsite, but as he attempts to wrestle the corpse while holding a hunting rifle, he falls and the gun goes off. Nearby, Sunny and Lester hear the shot. She goes to investigate, and comes upon Ernie’s frozen body perched against a tree. When Lester also comes upon the body, Sunny takes one of Ernie’s hunting rifles and shoots him dead. Back at the bar, Sunny tells Dave what happened, adding that she “never meant to kill him, the gun just went off.” Dave asks if she is certain he is dead, and she replies that she believes so because she shot him twice. Lester’s body cannot be found near Ernie’s, and Sunny has Dave go back and move it. Twenty-four hours later, Dave returns to Sunny who waits in his motel room. He tells her that every time he tried to get rid of Lester’s body, people seemed to come out of the woodwork. Now, he tells Sunny, the body is in the trunk of Lester’s car outside the motel, and they have to get it back to the city and drop the car near Lester’s office at the harbor. Arriving at the dock, they push Lester’s car into the water. Afterward, Dave tells Sunny to call the police and report Ernie missing, and agree not to see each other until after Ernie is found. Later, Sunny phones Dave at the butcher shop to tell him the police have found Ernie’s body, and still later Sunny’s real estate agent boyfriend shows the house to a prospective buyer. He asks to use the phone and calls a plumber, then tells Sunny he has discovered some sort of sewer leak in the basement. Sunny goes to the butcher shop to inform Dave she has an offer of $600 thousand for the business, but he refuses to sell. She pulls the panic button from the freezer door, locks Dave inside, and leaves. Monday morning, plumbers arrive at Sunny’s house and go to the basement, where they discover something that causes them to panic and rush away. To bolster her alibi, Sunny telephones the butcher shop to leave a message on the answering machine for Dave, but is shocked when he answers the phone. In the basement she discovers Lester’s body buried under the concrete floor. Police detectives question Dave at the butcher shop, and tell him that Sunny’s burial of Atlas would have gone undetected if she’d known anything about concrete. She poured only one inch the cop says, and Dave volunteers that she should have poured at least six. The police come away finding Dave to be likeable and believable. When he goes back inside, Dave moves some boxes and reveals a second panic button he had stored on a shelf in the freezer. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

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

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