Bad Influence (1990)

R | 90 mins | Melodrama | 9 March 1990

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writer:

David Koepp

Producer:

Steve Tisch

Cinematographer:

Robert Elswit

Editor:

Bonnie Koehler

Production Designer:

Ron Foreman
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HISTORY

End credits contain the following information: “Film clip of Alphaville starring Eddie Constantine and Anna Karina written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard.” Also, “Special thanks to: Credit Lyonnais Bank, Nederland, N.V. for their financing and assistance.”
       The 23 Jan 1989 HR noted that actor Matthew Broderick was Trans World Entertainment’s (TWE) “first choice” to star in Bad Influence. TWE was a partnership of producers Eduard Sarlui and Moshe Diamant that originally set up financing for the film, according to the 1 Jun 1988 Var, the 21 Mar 1989 DV, and the 3 May 1989 Var. TWE is not listed onscreen, but Sarlui and Diamant appear in opening credits as presenters.
       Principal photography began 6 Jul 1989, according to the 18 Jul 1989 HR, but the 9 Jul 1989 Chicago Tribune placed the date at 5 Jul. The scene in which James Spader’s character, “Michael Boll,” was videotaped having sex with Lisa Zane’s character, “Claire,” was actually shot during the two previous days: 3-4 Jul 1989.
       Among the film’s Los Angeles, CA, locations were the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard and the Glen-Donald apartments at 2121 W. Ninth Street.
       The film’s reliance on voyeurism, including a sexual indiscretion videotaped by costar Rob Lowe’s character, “Alex,” provided a parallel to Lowe’s off-screen notoriety. Tabloids recently revealed that he videotaped himself in bed with two women, including an underage girl, according to the 7 Jul, 8 Jul, and 22 Jul 1989 editions of the LAHExam. At the time, the teenager’s mother was suing Lowe in Atlanta, GA, federal court, even ... More Less

End credits contain the following information: “Film clip of Alphaville starring Eddie Constantine and Anna Karina written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard.” Also, “Special thanks to: Credit Lyonnais Bank, Nederland, N.V. for their financing and assistance.”
       The 23 Jan 1989 HR noted that actor Matthew Broderick was Trans World Entertainment’s (TWE) “first choice” to star in Bad Influence. TWE was a partnership of producers Eduard Sarlui and Moshe Diamant that originally set up financing for the film, according to the 1 Jun 1988 Var, the 21 Mar 1989 DV, and the 3 May 1989 Var. TWE is not listed onscreen, but Sarlui and Diamant appear in opening credits as presenters.
       Principal photography began 6 Jul 1989, according to the 18 Jul 1989 HR, but the 9 Jul 1989 Chicago Tribune placed the date at 5 Jul. The scene in which James Spader’s character, “Michael Boll,” was videotaped having sex with Lisa Zane’s character, “Claire,” was actually shot during the two previous days: 3-4 Jul 1989.
       Among the film’s Los Angeles, CA, locations were the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard and the Glen-Donald apartments at 2121 W. Ninth Street.
       The film’s reliance on voyeurism, including a sexual indiscretion videotaped by costar Rob Lowe’s character, “Alex,” provided a parallel to Lowe’s off-screen notoriety. Tabloids recently revealed that he videotaped himself in bed with two women, including an underage girl, according to the 7 Jul, 8 Jul, and 22 Jul 1989 editions of the LAHExam. At the time, the teenager’s mother was suing Lowe in Atlanta, GA, federal court, even though the videotape did not show him having sex with the girl. As producer Steve Tisch prepared for four days of filming at the Glen-Donald apartments, one of the tenants, a “fundamentalist preacher” named John Medford, objected on moral grounds, claiming the shoot endorsed Lowe’s “gross sexual immorality.” Medford first tried to persuade the five-member board of trustees to turn down the film company’s $1,500-a-day location fee, then unsuccessfully sought a restraining order. When that failed, he moved the film crew’s equipment during production. After his arrest, he said he objected to pornography being filmed in his building.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
31 May 1989
p. 18.
Chicago Tribune
9 Jul 1989
p. 5.
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1989
p. 2.
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1989
p. 3.
Daily Variety
8 Mar 1990
p. 2, 17.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 1990
p. 4, 34.
LAHExam
7 Jul 1989.
---
LAHExam
8 Jul 1989.
---
LAHExam
22 Jul 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Feb 1989
p. 357.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jul 1989
p. 70.
Los Angeles Times
9 Mar 1990
p. 1.
New York Times
9 Mar 1990
p. 10.
Variety
1 Jun 1988
p. 28.
Variety
3 May 1989
p. 9.
Variety
14 Mar 1990
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Epic Productions and Sarlui/Diamant Present
A Steve Tisch/Producer Representatives Organization Production
A Curtis Hanson Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Line prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Grip
Focus puller
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Cam equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Addl asst ed
Addl asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Scenic artist
1st carpenter
Set buyer
Draftsman
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Ward set supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Asst mus ed
Mus coord for Contemporary Media Productions Ltd.
Mus rec and mixed by
Wind synthesist
Mus supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed, Danetracks
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Loop group, The Looping Group
Loop group
ADR/Foley facilities
ADR/Foley mixer
Foley/ADR rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Key make-up
Key make-up
Make-up asst
Key hairdresser
Asst hairdresser
Asst hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Dialect coach
Scr supv
Scr supv
Exec for PRO
Exec in charge of prod
Prod exec
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst loc mgr
Casting assoc
Extra casting
Prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to Steve Tisch
Asst to Curtis Hanson
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Craft services
Craft services
Security
Security
Exec in charge of prod
Completion bond guarantee
Insurance provided by
Payroll services provided by
STAND INS
Stunts, Coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Spiritual Healing," written by F. Hibbert, performed by Toots, produced by Chris Blackwell & Sly Dunbar, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records Company
"Corruption," written, performed and produced by Thomas Mapfumo, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records Company
"He Got What He Wanted," written and performed by Gavin Friday and The Man Seezer, produced by Hal Willner, courtesy of Island Records
+
SONGS
"Spiritual Healing," written by F. Hibbert, performed by Toots, produced by Chris Blackwell & Sly Dunbar, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records Company
"Corruption," written, performed and produced by Thomas Mapfumo, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records Company
"He Got What He Wanted," written and performed by Gavin Friday and The Man Seezer, produced by Hal Willner, courtesy of Island Records
"The Highway," written by Inger Lorre and jet freedom, performed by The Nymphs, produced by Earl Mankey, courtesy of the David Geffen Company
"Out Of The Rain," written by Tony Joe White, performed by Etta James, produced by Barry Beckett/additional production: Kim Buie & Etta James, courtesy of Island Records
"Bird Boy," written by Don Cherry & Nana Vasconcelos, performed by Nana Vasconcelos & The Bushdancers, produced by Gragg Lunsford and The Bushdancers, courtesy of Antilles/New Directions, an Island Records Company
"Almost Like Heaven," written and performed by Scott Cossu, produced by George Winston, courtesy of Windham Hill Records
"Orane," written and performed by Les Negresses Vertes, produced by Clive Martin and Sodi, courtesy of Sire Records and Off the Track Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"N'Sel Fik," written by C. Sahraoui/Fadela/R. Baba Ahmed, performed by Chaba Fadela, produced by Rachid Baba-Ahmed/A Rashid and Fethi Production, courtesy of Mango Records, an Island Records Company
"Downtown," written by Lloyd Cole and Blair Cowan, performed by Lloyd Cole, produced by Lloyd Cole, Fred Maher and Paul Hardman, courtesy of Polydor Ltd. and Capitol Records
"Who's Laughing Now?" written and performed by Skinny Puppy, produced by David Ogilvie and cEvin Key, courtesy of Nettwork Productions Ltd. and Capitol Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 March 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 9 March 1990
New York opening: week of 9 March 1990
Production Date:
began 3 July 1989 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Epic Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 October 1990
Copyright Number:
PA488083
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Alex awakens, packs his belongings into two bags, gathers photos of him firing a gun with a woman, and leaves as the woman sleeps. Outside, he tosses one of the bags into the back of a trash truck. Meanwhile Michael Boll, a stressed-out trade analyst at a securities company on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, complains to his coworker, Patterson, that somebody has removed the material for his upcoming presentation from the company computer system, and only three other people had access to it. When Michael’s fiancée, Ruth Fielding, arrives at his office to talk about changing their wedding date, he suffers stomach cramps. Later, Michael drinks beer at a bar in Manhattan Beach, California. After he buys a young woman a drink, her boyfriend, Willie, storms in, and tells Michael to get lost. When Michael objects, Willie slams his head against the bar. Suddenly, Alex appears and scares Willie away with a broken bottle, but before Michael can thank him, Alex disappears. Going home, Michael realizes his wallet is missing. Frank “Pismo” Boll, Michael’s older brother, comes to his apartment to borrow money. He complains that nobody will hire him because of his time in prison, but Michael blames Frank's unemployment on his marijuana habit. During an evening run, he sees Alex and offers to buy him a drink. Michael complains about his job, and Alex suggests that Patterson, his co-worker, is sabotaging him, and challenges Michael to beat Patterson at his own game. Alex takes Michael to a trendy nightclub and encourages him to talk to two attractive women. The two ignore Michael, but one of them, Claire, warms to Alex and dances with him. Feeling ... +


Alex awakens, packs his belongings into two bags, gathers photos of him firing a gun with a woman, and leaves as the woman sleeps. Outside, he tosses one of the bags into the back of a trash truck. Meanwhile Michael Boll, a stressed-out trade analyst at a securities company on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, complains to his coworker, Patterson, that somebody has removed the material for his upcoming presentation from the company computer system, and only three other people had access to it. When Michael’s fiancée, Ruth Fielding, arrives at his office to talk about changing their wedding date, he suffers stomach cramps. Later, Michael drinks beer at a bar in Manhattan Beach, California. After he buys a young woman a drink, her boyfriend, Willie, storms in, and tells Michael to get lost. When Michael objects, Willie slams his head against the bar. Suddenly, Alex appears and scares Willie away with a broken bottle, but before Michael can thank him, Alex disappears. Going home, Michael realizes his wallet is missing. Frank “Pismo” Boll, Michael’s older brother, comes to his apartment to borrow money. He complains that nobody will hire him because of his time in prison, but Michael blames Frank's unemployment on his marijuana habit. During an evening run, he sees Alex and offers to buy him a drink. Michael complains about his job, and Alex suggests that Patterson, his co-worker, is sabotaging him, and challenges Michael to beat Patterson at his own game. Alex takes Michael to a trendy nightclub and encourages him to talk to two attractive women. The two ignore Michael, but one of them, Claire, warms to Alex and dances with him. Feeling out of his league, Michael leaves. At work, he enters baseball statistics into Patterson’s “section report.” Later, after telephoning Ruth to tell her that he cannot accompany her to her parents’ home that evening, Michael returns to the nightclub and discovers that Alex, known to everyone there as “Tony,” lives upstairs. When Alex takes Michael to an art gallery opening, he introduces himself to several well-heeled patrons as “Maxwell Cunningham,” but when he sees Claire, he speaks with a French accent, whispers to Michael to call him “Franco,” and introduces Michael as “Dominic,” whose wife recently passed away. The three go back to Michael’s apartment, where Alex convinces Claire to go to bed with Michael, whom he now calls “Mick.” However, Michael later discovers that Alex videotaped them making love. When Michael reveals his indifference toward Ruth and his desire to get a promotion over Patterson to senior analyst, Alex tells him to “make it happen.” At lunch at the La Brea Tar Pits, across the street from his office, Michael tells Alex he could make a killing in the stock market if he sells just before closing, but if the next day’s figures are down, his decision would be a disaster. At Alex’s suggestion to take a chance, Michael sells, and the next morning he makes a huge profit for the company. Imbued with confidence, he tells his secretary, Leslie, to call him Mick. That night, he accompanies Ruth to a party at her parents’ estate and is surprised to find Alex there, portraying a Frenchman named “François” from the “Paris office” of Michael’s company. Alex leads everyone into the family den and plays the videotape of Michael having sex with Claire. Ruth becomes hysterical, and her father chases Michael from the house. As Alex hurries him away, he declares that Michael’s problem with his fiancée is solved. They drive to a party, where Claire greets Michael warmly. He admits that his real name is “Kirk,” not “Dominic,” and he does not have a dead wife. After Michael gets high on cocaine and liquor, Alex takes him to a hamburger stand, puts a fake gun to the clerk’s head, and orders the compliant Michael to rob the cash register. As they drive away, Michael realizes what happened and becomes sick, but when Alex stops at a liquor store and robs it too, Michael more willingly participates. Afterward, he tells Alex they are in Patterson’s neighborhood. The next morning, they awaken in Michael’s apartment with a pile of money, and Michael notices scrapes on his knuckles. At work, Michael hears that Patterson was badly beaten last night. Later, Michael orders Alex out of his apartment, but as Alex leaves, he says, “You got what you wanted.” The next day, Michael’s boss, Howard, tells him that Patterson withdrew from competition for the senior analyst job. Returning home, Michael finds his furniture gone. At the nightclub, Alex confesses he took it as payment for getting Michael his promotion, and Michael declares them “even.” He goes to brother Pismo’s rundown apartment and spends the night. At the office, the battered Patterson avoids him. Alex telephones to say he sold Michael’s furniture, but still has his photos, computer discs, passport, and the lost wallet, all which can be found in a box near Well #43 in the Baldwin Hills oil fields off La Cienega Boulevard. Michael drives to the well and gets the box. Returning to his apartment, he finds his television there, along with a video camera and a cassette, ready to play. On the videotape: Alex says Michael “asked for this.” There is a knock on the door, and Claire enters, asking for Michael. Alex takes her into Michael’s room, and screams are heard. Running into the bedroom, Michael finds Claire’s bloody body. He returns to the camera, but Alex appears, knocks him down, and takes the videotape on his way out. Later, Michael explains his dilemma to Pismo, who agrees he cannot go to the police. They wrap Claire’s body in a curtain, take an elevator down to the garage, and break into the La Brea Tar Pits to hide her in the dark, oily water. The next day, as he looks out his office window, Michael sees an ambulance arrive at the tar pits. Running over, he watches workers pull Claire’s body from the murk, then sees Alex nearby, watching. Realizing that Alex saw them dump the body, Pismo fears he will be sent back to prison. They devise a plan to get Alex’s fingerprints in order to discover his real identity. Using underground newspaper advertisements for the type of “fun-loving couples” parties Alex regularly attends, Michael sends Pismo to find him. Spotting Alex at a club, Pismo waits until he goes to the bathroom, then steals his beer bottle and glimpses Alex’s driver’s license, with a Manhattan Beach address. However, Alex sees Pismo leaving, and follows. Meanwhile, Michael borrows a pistol from Rito, a guard at his office building, claiming he must protect his company’s $40,000 over the weekend until the Monday deposit. When Pismo arrives home, Alex chases him onto a fire escape, but runs away as Michael arrives. Michael hurries upstairs, but when he returns to his car, he finds that Alex has smashed a tail light and hooked it up to a wire in his gas tank, set to explode when he puts on the brake. Michael drives to the Manhattan Beach address on Alex’s driver’s license and finds him in bed with two women. Michael confronts him, then escapes and lures Alex to a nearby pier. As Alex catches him, Michael pulls Rito’s gun. Alex confesses he beat Patterson when Michael was passed out, then scraped Michael’s knuckles on the pavement. He also admits he killed Claire to show Michael that he, like most people, was a hypocrite feigning innocence. Suddenly, Pismo appears with a videotape camera, saying he recorded every word. Alex lunges, Michael fires the gun, blowing Alex into the water. Pismo calls police. As police cars approach, Michael goes to tell them what happened. +

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

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