Rooftops (1989)

R | 95 mins | Drama | 17 March 1989

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HISTORY

According to a 23 Mar 1989 LAT article, Rooftops was the first produced script of writer Terence Brennan.
       A 25 May 1988 Var news item stated that Rooftops was the first film produced under a new joint venture comprising New Visions Pictures, New Century Entertainment and Cineplex Odeon. The scheduled budget was $7 million, but a 9 Dec 1988 DV news item claimed it to be $8 million. A 17 Aug 1988 Var reported that principal photography had begun on 16 Aug 1988 in New York City.
       The following written statements appear in end credits: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the following for their assistance: City of New York, Edward I. Koch, Mayor; Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, Patricia Reed Scott, Director; Deputy Chief Inspector Joseph L. Venditto, Explosive Unit, the City of New York Fire Department; Lt. John D. Gasperin and the members of the Movie and TV Unit, N.Y.C. Police Dept.; Rapp Art Center; Silvercup Studios; Residents, businessmen and artists of the Lower East Side of New York City, including mural artists; Financing: Pierson, Heldring & Pierson, N. V., Credit Lyonnais Bank, Nederland, N. V.; Paul Klizer; Frans Afman”; and “Special thanks to Indian Neck ... More Less

According to a 23 Mar 1989 LAT article, Rooftops was the first produced script of writer Terence Brennan.
       A 25 May 1988 Var news item stated that Rooftops was the first film produced under a new joint venture comprising New Visions Pictures, New Century Entertainment and Cineplex Odeon. The scheduled budget was $7 million, but a 9 Dec 1988 DV news item claimed it to be $8 million. A 17 Aug 1988 Var reported that principal photography had begun on 16 Aug 1988 in New York City.
       The following written statements appear in end credits: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the following for their assistance: City of New York, Edward I. Koch, Mayor; Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, Patricia Reed Scott, Director; Deputy Chief Inspector Joseph L. Venditto, Explosive Unit, the City of New York Fire Department; Lt. John D. Gasperin and the members of the Movie and TV Unit, N.Y.C. Police Dept.; Rapp Art Center; Silvercup Studios; Residents, businessmen and artists of the Lower East Side of New York City, including mural artists; Financing: Pierson, Heldring & Pierson, N. V., Credit Lyonnais Bank, Nederland, N. V.; Paul Klizer; Frans Afman”; and “Special thanks to Indian Neck Productions.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Mar 1989
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
23 Mar 1989
Section VI, p.1, 12.
New York Times
18 Mar 1989
p. 16.
Variety
17 Aug 1988.
---
Variety
25 May 1988.
---
Variety
22 Mar 1989
p. 22, 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Visions Pictures presents
A Koch Company production
In association with Mark/Jett Productions
A film by Robert Wise
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Clapper/Loader
Cam intern
Still photog
Best boy
Elec
Dolly grip
Cam equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod illustrator
Asst art dir
Asst to prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
"Squeak's" murals des by
Master scenic artist
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Draftsman
Standby scenic artist
Scenic artist
Asst scenic artists
Asst scenic artists
Asst scenic artists
Key set dresser
Set dresser
Set dressing PA
Prop asst
Prop asst
Key const grip
2d const grip
Key set builder
2d set builder
2d set builder
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Asst ward supv
Asst cost des
Ward PA
MUSIC
Orig score
Orig score
Exec mus prod
Master recordings prod by
Supv mus ed
Playback mus ed
Mus coord
Mus marketing by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd asst
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Sd eff rec
Sd eff coord
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff asst
Spec eff apprentice
Titles des by
DANCE
Choreog
Capoeira choreog
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
Capoeirista
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Hairstylist
Asst makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Asst to Mr. Carrafa
Asst to Mr. Vieira
Extra casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Prod auditor
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Teamster capt
Set nurse
Asst coord
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc scout
Casting asst
Casting intern
Unit pub
Loc projectionist
Teamster co-capt
Parking coord
Security coord
Dailies synching
Craft service
Craft service
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr trainee
Accounting asst
Sign language consultant
Asst to prod and dir
Asst to Howard W. Koch, Jr.
Prod equip
Film laboratory
Prod vehicles
Prod vehicles
Catering by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Avenue D,” written by David A. Stewart, Etta James & Richard Feldman, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Etta James, featuring David A. Stewart, Etta James appears courtesy of Island Records, Inc., David A. Stewart appears courtesy of RCA Records, Ltd.
“Drop,” written by George Chandler, Jimmy Chambers, Jimmy Helms & Liam Hensall, produced by David A. Stewart and Willy M., performed by London Beat, courtesy of Anxious Records
“Freedom,” written by Pat Seymour, produced by Pat Seymour, performed by Pat Seymour, courtesy of Anxious Records
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SONGS
“Avenue D,” written by David A. Stewart, Etta James & Richard Feldman, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Etta James, featuring David A. Stewart, Etta James appears courtesy of Island Records, Inc., David A. Stewart appears courtesy of RCA Records, Ltd.
“Drop,” written by George Chandler, Jimmy Chambers, Jimmy Helms & Liam Hensall, produced by David A. Stewart and Willy M., performed by London Beat, courtesy of Anxious Records
“Freedom,” written by Pat Seymour, produced by Pat Seymour, performed by Pat Seymour, courtesy of Anxious Records
“Rooftops,” written by David A. Stewart, Pat Seymour & Richard Feldman, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Jeffrey Osborne, courtesy of A&M Records
“Keep Runnin’,” written by Robert Reed and James Avery, produced by Robert Reed and James Avery, performed by Trouble Funk, courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
“Loving Number One,” written by Vince Hudson and Jude Hudson, co-produced by BIM and Bud Sinclair and Kisses From The Kremlin, performed by Kisses From The Kremlin, courtesy of Anxious Records
“Revenge,” (Part II), written by David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Eurythmics, courtesy of RCA Records, Ltd.
“Stretch,” written by Charlie Wilson and David A. Stewart, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Charlie Wilson, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
“Meltdown,” written by David A. Stewart and Michael Kamen, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by Joniece Jamison
“Bullet Proof Heart,” written by Grace Jones and Chris Stanley, produced by Grace Jones and Chris Stanley, performed by Grace Jones, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
“Jack The Rapper,” written by J. D. Hall, David A. Stewart, Olle Romo and Pat Seymour, produced by David A. Stewart, performed by J. D. Hall (J. D. The D. J.)
“Humpty Dumpty,” written by Eddie Palmieri, produced by Kip Hanrahan, performed by Eddie Palmieri, courtesy of Intuition/ Capitol Records, Inc.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
17 March 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 17 March 1989
Production Date:
began 16 August 1988
Copyright Claimant:
New Visions Pictures
Copyright Date:
25 April 1989
Copyright Number:
PA415394
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo®
Lenses
Camera and lenses by Panavision ®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29647
SYNOPSIS

A young boy named “Squeak,” spray paints graffiti in a subway tunnel when he is accosted by gang of thugs. Squeak sprays paint in the leader’s eyes and runs out the tunnel into the streets with the gang in pursuit. He climbs a building rooftop and encounters “T,” a teenage boy who orders Squeak to give him his coat. The gang chases T thinking he is Squeak, but T eludes them. After returning Squeak’s coat, T climbs down to the streets to find Lobo Santiago and his two thugs beating up a rival drug dealer. Lobo offers to hire T, but the boy refuses. Lobo laughs and says T will change his mind. T spends his day selling old pipes for scrap. He hides the money he earns in an old water tower he has converted into a home. Meanwhile, Squeak goes home, but runs into his mother's boyfriend, Martinez, who orders him to leave. That night, T and Squeak attend a party in the park and notice a new girl, Elana. Before T can talk to her, Kadim, a tall, muscular youth challenges T to a “dance combat“ contest. The two throw kicks, trying to force each other out of the ring without making actual contact. Soon, police arrive and break up the party. Later, Elana’s friend, Amber, shows off a pigeon coop on top of the partially demolished building she calls home. Squeak shows T a shed on another rooftop and declares it to be his new home. T tries to convince Squeak to make amends with Martinez, but the younger ... +


A young boy named “Squeak,” spray paints graffiti in a subway tunnel when he is accosted by gang of thugs. Squeak sprays paint in the leader’s eyes and runs out the tunnel into the streets with the gang in pursuit. He climbs a building rooftop and encounters “T,” a teenage boy who orders Squeak to give him his coat. The gang chases T thinking he is Squeak, but T eludes them. After returning Squeak’s coat, T climbs down to the streets to find Lobo Santiago and his two thugs beating up a rival drug dealer. Lobo offers to hire T, but the boy refuses. Lobo laughs and says T will change his mind. T spends his day selling old pipes for scrap. He hides the money he earns in an old water tower he has converted into a home. Meanwhile, Squeak goes home, but runs into his mother's boyfriend, Martinez, who orders him to leave. That night, T and Squeak attend a party in the park and notice a new girl, Elana. Before T can talk to her, Kadim, a tall, muscular youth challenges T to a “dance combat“ contest. The two throw kicks, trying to force each other out of the ring without making actual contact. Soon, police arrive and break up the party. Later, Elana’s friend, Amber, shows off a pigeon coop on top of the partially demolished building she calls home. Squeak shows T a shed on another rooftop and declares it to be his new home. T tries to convince Squeak to make amends with Martinez, but the younger boy refuses. T spots Elana being harassed by a drunk, and rushes to help her. He takes her to an underground club and as they dance, the lights go out and they kiss. T borrows a motorcycle and drives Elana home. She coyly tells him her telephone number is in the telephone book. The next day, as Elana helps her sick father get out of bed, their cousin, Lobo Santiago, visits. Elana attempts to ban Lobo from her home, but he insists he is family. Later, T and Lobo cross paths and get into a fight. That night, Squeak takes T to see a friend who works in a nightclub kitchen. T hears music and looks into the club to see some men practicing capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. When he returns home, he finds his garden ripped apart. He searches for Lobo, unaware that police are doing the same thing. A squad of narcotics police swarms the rooftop near T's makeshift home. From the streets, Elana spots the officers and presses a remote control that causes a light to go on inside the building. Alerted, Lobo grabs his drugs and dumps them into a toilet. The cops arrest everyone including Elana, but T insists she had nothing to do with the drug operation. Officer Rivera asks T to help him rid the neighborhood of Lobo, but he refuses. That evening, Elana visits T on the roof to warn him that Lobo thinks T set up the drug raid. T expresses disappointment in Elana for helping Lobo, but she explains her father needs the money. She tries to leave T's water tower, but the door is stuck. One of Lobo’s men blocked the door and set fire to the water tower. T and Elana escape from a hatch in the roof and climb to safety as the tower collapses. A frustrated T gets drunk and goes to the Brazilian nightclub. He leaps onstage with the capoeira dancers and performs his dance combat. The lead dancer easily avoids the teenager's blows and tells him he needs to practice discipline. Across town, Lobo warns Elana that he will hurt her if he hears she has been seeing T again. The next day, Squeak and Kadim sift through the tower rubble, and Squeak finds a metal box of T’s mementos. Lobo and his crew arrive and hang Squeak over the ledge by his ankles, demanding to know where T is. Just then, T arrives. A fight ensues. T is hurled off the roof and slams onto the fire escape two stories below. Elana asks Amber and Kadim to take the semi-conscious T to Amber’s pigeon coop. Squeak insists they fight Lobo, but no one will join him. Later, Squeak sneaks into his mother’s house and finds Martinez’s gun. Martinez arrives and Squeaks points the gun at him, before running off. Squeak returns to his roof top, and is dismayed to find his mural defaced with black paint. Over at Amber’s, Elana brings T his memento box, and he shows her pictures of his parents. He reminisces that when he was six years old, his father got drunk and threw his mother out of the house. She tried to climb to the second floor, but accidentally touched an electric wire and was electrocuted. A month later, T’s father hung himself. Elana takes T into her arms and they make love. The next morning, Elana declares she is going to quit working for Lobo. On the rooftop, Squeak is fixing his mural when Lobo and his men appear. Squeak takes out the gun and pulls the trigger, but it is unloaded. Lobo's thugs chase the boy into the building. T hears commotion, but it is too late. Squeak is thrown out a window, and falls to his death. After spending the night mourning Squeak, T seeks revenge on Lobo. He makes preparations to fight his nemesis, and when Lobo and his men rush into the building, they are ambushed. Lobo shoots at T, but misses. Elana begs her cousin to leave T alone, but Lobo hits her. On the rooftop, T and Lobo face off. T uses his new capoeira moves to battle Lobo. When a portion of the roof gives way, Lobo falls down an elevator shaft to his death. That night, T celebrates in the park.

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

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