Almost an Angel (1990)

PG | 97 mins | Allegory, Comedy | 19 December 1990

Director:

John Cornell

Writer:

Paul Hogan

Producer:

John Cornell

Cinematographer:

Russell Boyd

Editor:

David Stiven

Production Designer:

Henry Bumstead

Production Company:

Ironbark Films, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

End credits contain the following information: “Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, CA. and on location in Fillmore, CA, and Los Angeles, CA.”
       According to the 9 Jan 1990 HR and the 6 Apr 1990 DV, principal photography began 3 Jan 1990 and ended on schedule, in early Apr 1990. The film’s budget, according to the Jun 1990 Los Angeles Magazine, was $20 million. The magazine stated further that executive producer-writer-actor Paul Hogan maintained a closed set throughout production in both Los Angeles and Santa Paula, CA; however, filming occurred in Fillmore, CA, not in the neighboring town of Santa Paula. According to the 8 Mar 1990 and 12 Jun 1990 editions of the LAT, Santa Paula temporarily blocked all filming there because residents complained about Hollywood crews. Fillmore had similarly resisted filming, but agreed to accommodate Almost an Angel if Hogan’s company, Ironbark Productions, paid up to $15,000 per day to compensate merchants for lost business. In all, the production spent nearly two months in Fillmore, but apparently had to pay $15,000 only on the one day it closed down the town’s main street, Central Avenue. At least one location scene was filmed in an alleyway at Cherokee Avenue, just off Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, CA.
       Los Angeles Magazine credited Hogan’s son, Brett Hogan, as a contributing writer, but no other source has that information. However, the 21 Jan 1990 LAT mentioned Paul Hogan “co-wrote” the film.
       The 9 May 1990 DV noted that actor Charlton Heston completed his “one-day part as God” in makeup recreating “the Godlike look from the Michelangelo ... More Less

End credits contain the following information: “Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, CA. and on location in Fillmore, CA, and Los Angeles, CA.”
       According to the 9 Jan 1990 HR and the 6 Apr 1990 DV, principal photography began 3 Jan 1990 and ended on schedule, in early Apr 1990. The film’s budget, according to the Jun 1990 Los Angeles Magazine, was $20 million. The magazine stated further that executive producer-writer-actor Paul Hogan maintained a closed set throughout production in both Los Angeles and Santa Paula, CA; however, filming occurred in Fillmore, CA, not in the neighboring town of Santa Paula. According to the 8 Mar 1990 and 12 Jun 1990 editions of the LAT, Santa Paula temporarily blocked all filming there because residents complained about Hollywood crews. Fillmore had similarly resisted filming, but agreed to accommodate Almost an Angel if Hogan’s company, Ironbark Productions, paid up to $15,000 per day to compensate merchants for lost business. In all, the production spent nearly two months in Fillmore, but apparently had to pay $15,000 only on the one day it closed down the town’s main street, Central Avenue. At least one location scene was filmed in an alleyway at Cherokee Avenue, just off Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, CA.
       Los Angeles Magazine credited Hogan’s son, Brett Hogan, as a contributing writer, but no other source has that information. However, the 21 Jan 1990 LAT mentioned Paul Hogan “co-wrote” the film.
       The 9 May 1990 DV noted that actor Charlton Heston completed his “one-day part as God” in makeup recreating “the Godlike look from the Michelangelo painting in the Sistine Chapel.”
       Paul Hogan and his costar, Linda Kozlowski, were married several weeks after completing Almost an Angel, the 6 May 1990 LAT reported. She had previously costarred with him in Crocodile Dundee (1986) and “Crocodile” Dundee II (1988, see entry).
       The 10 Dec 1990 Var announced the film would open on 1,400 screens nationwide on 19 Dec 1990. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1989.
---
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1990.
---
Daily Variety
9 May 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1990
p. 6, 24.
Los Angeles Magazine
Jun 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Dec 1989
p. 45R.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1990
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1990
Ventura County edition, Section J, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
6 May 1990
Section A, p. 19A.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jun 1990
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
19 Dec 1990
Section F, p. 6.
New York Times
19 Dec 1990
p. 18.
Variety
10 Dec 1990.
---
Variety
17 Dec 1990
pp. 43-44.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Special appearance by
as
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
An Ironbark Films Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
Panaglide® op
Panaglide® op
Still photog
Still photo coord
Cam loader
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Elec
Musco Light tech
1st company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Video playback
Video assist
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Processing by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Prod illustrator
Cont artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Set des
Leadperson
Leadperson
Set dresser
Set dresser
Const coord
Const foreperson
Paint supv
Standby painter
Lead carpenter
Labor foreperson
Greenperson
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost sketch artist
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Asst mus ed
Mus rec eng
Mus rec eng
Mus mixer
Asst to Mr. Jarre
Contractor/Mus coord
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd mixer
Cableperson
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mech eff supv
Mech eff foreperson
Mech eff
Visual eff
Visual eff
Visual eff
Opt eff coord
Titles by
MAKEUP
Make-up artist to Mr. Hogan and Ms. Kozlowski
Key make-up artist
Key hairstylist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Make-up & hair for "Probation Officer?"
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod's asst
Coord exec
Casting assoc
Voice casting
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst-Fillmore, CA
Financial controller
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Extra casting
Wheelchair tech consultant
Caterer
Caterer
Craftservice
Loc projectionist
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Set asst
Set asst
Set asst
Set asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Post-prod asst Australia
Scr supv, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Payroll company
Loc equip by
Insurance provided by
STAND INS
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Some Wings," music by Maurice Jarre, lyric by Ray Underwood, performed by Vanessa Williams, conducted and produced by Maurice Jarre, Vanessa Williams courtesy of Wing/PolyGram Records, Inc.
"Santa Barbara Theme," by Joe Harnell
"To All The Girls I've Loved Before," by Hal David and Albert Hammond
+
SONGS
"Some Wings," music by Maurice Jarre, lyric by Ray Underwood, performed by Vanessa Williams, conducted and produced by Maurice Jarre, Vanessa Williams courtesy of Wing/PolyGram Records, Inc.
"Santa Barbara Theme," by Joe Harnell
"To All The Girls I've Loved Before," by Hal David and Albert Hammond
"That Spells Trouble," by Lane Caudell and Anthony Smith, performed by Benny McNeil
"Ball And Chain," written and performed by John Northrup
"Young Turks," by Rod Stewart, Carmine Appice, Kevin Savigar & Duane Hitchings, performed by Rod Stewart, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Love Theme From The Godfather," by Nino Rota
"Moon River," by Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 December 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 19 December 1990
New York opening: week of 19 December 1990
Production Date:
3 January -- early April 1990, in Los Angeles, Santa Paula, and Fillmore, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Ironbark Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 January 1991
Copyright Number:
PA506279
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® at selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras and lenses
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
97
Length(in feet):
8,569
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30011
SYNOPSIS

As professional thief and electronics wizard Terry Dean prepares to leave prison, fellow inmates discuss why he never tried to escape, because everyone knows he could break into or out of any place. Later, as Terry walks to freedom through the prison gate, he presses a button on a remote control and triggers the prison’s electrical system, opening and closing doors and setting off alarms. Conducting business at a bank, he uses the remote to test a security monitor. Later, he returns disguised as country singer Willie Nelson, robs the bank, and leaves no video evidence because he changed the closed-circuit channel. Next, Terry disguises himself as rock singer Rod Stewart, but before reaching the bank, he is hit by a van when he pushes a young boy out of its path. Lying in hospital, where the television show Highway to Heaven is airing, he hears the show’s star, Michael Landon, say, “I’m an angel.” Opening his eyes, Terry appears to be surrounded by clouds, and actor Charlton Heston, wearing a robe and full beard, stands nearby. Calling himself the “Big Probation Officer,” Heston admonishes Terry for being a “scumbag” with a criminal record going back to age nine, but since he sacrificed his life for a child, he has earned a chance to redeem himself as a probationary “angel of mercy.” Terry awakens and later goes on another bank job dressed as Rod Stewart, but as he enters, three robbers in masks rush in behind him. They make Terry and everyone else lie on the floor, and rob the place. As they ... +


As professional thief and electronics wizard Terry Dean prepares to leave prison, fellow inmates discuss why he never tried to escape, because everyone knows he could break into or out of any place. Later, as Terry walks to freedom through the prison gate, he presses a button on a remote control and triggers the prison’s electrical system, opening and closing doors and setting off alarms. Conducting business at a bank, he uses the remote to test a security monitor. Later, he returns disguised as country singer Willie Nelson, robs the bank, and leaves no video evidence because he changed the closed-circuit channel. Next, Terry disguises himself as rock singer Rod Stewart, but before reaching the bank, he is hit by a van when he pushes a young boy out of its path. Lying in hospital, where the television show Highway to Heaven is airing, he hears the show’s star, Michael Landon, say, “I’m an angel.” Opening his eyes, Terry appears to be surrounded by clouds, and actor Charlton Heston, wearing a robe and full beard, stands nearby. Calling himself the “Big Probation Officer,” Heston admonishes Terry for being a “scumbag” with a criminal record going back to age nine, but since he sacrificed his life for a child, he has earned a chance to redeem himself as a probationary “angel of mercy.” Terry awakens and later goes on another bank job dressed as Rod Stewart, but as he enters, three robbers in masks rush in behind him. They make Terry and everyone else lie on the floor, and rob the place. As they run to their van, Terry hurries out behind them, and a robber shoots at him point blank. As the robbers escape, their leader tells the gunman he put blanks in the gun because he was concerned about the shooter’s loose trigger finger, but Terry thinks the bullets passed harmlessly through him and believes he really is an angel. He flaps his arms, hoping to fly, but remembers he is on “probation.” At a Catholic church, Terry tells a priest that he is an angel appointed by a Godly look-alike of Charlton Heston, but confesses he is still unaware of his mission. The father plays along, saying God will give him a sign. Terry slips away, leaving a paper bag filled with a $62,000 donation from the “Willie Nelson” robbery. He walks around the city, reading the Bible and waiting to hear from God. He robs a Bonzo Burger fast-food restaurant of 200 sandwiches and distributes them to homeless people. When he sees a Moses Bros. Moving and Storage van, he remembers the Biblical passage: “Moses will lead them out of the wilderness.” He pays the driver to let him ride along, and the truck drops him off in Fillmore, California. Going into the Paradise Bar, Terry watches Steve Garner, a wheelchair-bound young man, act rudely toward customers. When Steve bumps him with the wheelchair, Terry challenges him to a fight. Sitting at Steve’s level, he parries a couple of punches, then hits Steve on the chin. The self-pitying cripple asks Terry what he sees, and he answers, “A jerk in a wheelchair.” Realizing the chip on his shoulder is part of his problem, Steve warms to Terry and invites him to sleep at the house he shares with his mother, Mrs. Garner, and his sister, Rose Garner. The next morning, the suspicious women ask Steve why he brought home a stranger. Challenging Terry’s claim to be an electronics expert, Rose invites him to repair old, donated video games at the recreational center she runs for disadvantaged children. Terry accompanies her there and fixes the games, and Rose apologizes for doubting him. Meanwhile, the priest identifies a police photograph of Terry as the man who left money at his church. Knowing that Terry was never involved in narcotics, police detective Sergeant Freebody guesses the $62,000 came from the “Willie Nelson” robbery. In Fillmore, Terry watches two suspicious–looking young men outside the rec center. He lures them by counting money, and when they try to rob him, he beats them up and takes their gun and a packet of drugs. Using a portable telephone, Terry pretends to talk with a local Mafioso named “Vito,” asking what to do with two guys cutting in on his territory. The two leave town immediately. When Steve asks where he came from, Terry admits having been in prison, but God has given him a “new chance.” That evening, Rose takes Steve and Terry to a party at the home of wealthy donors George and Irene Bealeman, but Mr. Bealeman tells her that because of the money he now sends to televangelist Reverend Barton, he cannot donate to the rec center this year. Afterward, Rose confides to Terry that Steve is dying from a malignant spinal tumor, but that working at the center takes his mind off his situation. More important, however, is Steve’s joy at having a good friend like Terry. Later, with Steve’s help, Terry re-edits a videotape of Reverend Barton’s TV broadcast and makes the preacher say, “I don’t want your money. Give it to the children.” At two o’clock in the morning, Terry sneaks into the Bealeman home, rewires the television next to their bed, crawls beneath the bed, and uses his remote to turn it on. The Bealemans awaken to the image of the televangelist exhorting them to give their money to the children, and Irene, seeing that the television set is unplugged, pronounces the preacher’s words to be a message from God. The next day, George telephones Rose to say he wants to visit the rec center the following night. She wonders aloud if Terry had anything to do with this sudden change in luck. That night, to give George Bealeman “another push,” Terry climbs to the steeple of an abandoned wooden church adjacent to the rec center, where a large white cross stands atop a cupola, and wires the steeple with lights. The next day, Mrs. Garner thanks Terry for helping Steve, and adds that he has “a mother’s blessing” if he wants to ask Rose out on a date. She explains that Rose gave up her career and social life to come home to Fillmore and look after Steve. That night, as they wait for George Bealeman, Rose accepts Terry’s request to join him for a celebration dinner afterward. He walks outside in the dark to help George from his car. Secretly using his remote control, Terry illuminates the cross above them to light the way, but pretends not to see it. He turns off the light, looks up, and tells George he must be mistaken. Elsewhere, Sergeant Freebody and Detective Bill show Terry’s photograph to the Paradise bartender, who tells them he is Steve’s friend. However, Steve slips away to warn Terry. Sergeant Freebody follows, but Steve evades him in a warehouse. Unfortunately, he crashes into a stack of lumber, smashing a bag of wine bottles in his lap and puncturing his stomach. At the rec center, Rose is overjoyed because George Bealeman has agreed to build a new facility. On their way to dinner, Terry and Rose see Steve struggling to reach them, weak from blood loss. As Rose telephones for an ambulance, Steve whispers to Terry that police are coming. Terry assures Steve he will become a real angel, not just a probationary one, and when Steve says he would believe it if he got a sign from God, Terry secretly turns on the lighted cross that Steve can see above them. Rose returns, and Steve dies in her arms. As a siren approaches, Terry confesses to Rose that he is an angel, and now must leave. The ambulance arrives and takes Steve’s body away. Rose runs after Terry, but as she calls out to him, he slips down an embankment into the path of a speeding truck. It passes harmlessly through him. Terry waves to Rose as a car stops to give him a ride. He shouts, “I’ll be back,” and she swells with happiness. +

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.