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HISTORY

Originally titled For Better or For Worse, the $5-million film was scheduled to begin principal photography in Argentina in Nov 1987, according to the 16 Sep 1987 Var and 22 Sep 1987 HR. Sally Maslansky, wife of the president of Paul Maslansky Productions, was slated to produce, but she is not credited in the final film, and Argentina was abandoned as a location. Shooting finally began on 16 May 1988 in Spain, the 20 May 1988 DV announced. The original star—comedian and television actor Paul Reiser—suffered a torn tendon three weeks into production and had to be replaced by Robert Hays. Seventy percent of everything filmed up to that point was reshot, at a cost of $1 million. Actor Jonathan Bank, who played “Mr. Pitt,” was also sidelined for several weeks because of an injury, but was able to complete his role. The final budget, according to the 9 Nov 1988 Newsday, was $5 million.
       In its 16 May 1990 review, Var reported that after a year and a half sitting on the shelf, the film was “dumped unceremoniously” into a few theaters, and that no paying customers showed up opening night in New York City. Part of the blame lay in the last-minute title, Honeymoon Academy, which Paul Maslansky Productions hoped would connect the film to its more popular movie, Police Academy (1984, see entry), even though there was no “academy” in the story. One of the villains, “Lance,” was played by Lance Kinsey, who had an ongoing role as “Lt. Proctor” in the Police Academy franchise. Reviews were generally ... More Less

Originally titled For Better or For Worse, the $5-million film was scheduled to begin principal photography in Argentina in Nov 1987, according to the 16 Sep 1987 Var and 22 Sep 1987 HR. Sally Maslansky, wife of the president of Paul Maslansky Productions, was slated to produce, but she is not credited in the final film, and Argentina was abandoned as a location. Shooting finally began on 16 May 1988 in Spain, the 20 May 1988 DV announced. The original star—comedian and television actor Paul Reiser—suffered a torn tendon three weeks into production and had to be replaced by Robert Hays. Seventy percent of everything filmed up to that point was reshot, at a cost of $1 million. Actor Jonathan Bank, who played “Mr. Pitt,” was also sidelined for several weeks because of an injury, but was able to complete his role. The final budget, according to the 9 Nov 1988 Newsday, was $5 million.
       In its 16 May 1990 review, Var reported that after a year and a half sitting on the shelf, the film was “dumped unceremoniously” into a few theaters, and that no paying customers showed up opening night in New York City. Part of the blame lay in the last-minute title, Honeymoon Academy, which Paul Maslansky Productions hoped would connect the film to its more popular movie, Police Academy (1984, see entry), even though there was no “academy” in the story. One of the villains, “Lance,” was played by Lance Kinsey, who had an ongoing role as “Lt. Proctor” in the Police Academy franchise. Reviews were generally poor. The 15 May 1990 LAT declared Honeymoon Academy a “stale, repetitive” film with “nothing to recommend it.” The 15 May 1990 DV predicted it was heading for “a quickie divorce” at the box office.
       A “notice of sale of collateral” that ran in the 27 Apr 1993 IHR announced that For Better or For Worse (a/k/a Honeymoon Academy) and other films owned by TWE Group, Inc., the parent company of Emerald Films International, had been put on the auction block by Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V.
       End credits contain the following acknowledgments: “Special Thanks to: Richard Kraft; American Airlines; Norm Marshall & Associates; Hotel Tryp Fenix; Estudios Exa S.A.; Fotofilm Madrid, S.A.; E.P.C. Camera Equipment; Gecisa, Lighting Equipment; Mateos Mengibar, Props; Corneio, Wardrobe; Castor Films, Madrid.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 May 1988
p. 10
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1988
p. 123
Daily Variety
15 May 1990
p. 4
Daily Variety
16 May 1990
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 1993.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
13 Aug 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 May 1990
Calendar, p. 4
Newsday (Long Island, NY)
9 Nov 1988
p. 11
Variety
16 Sep 1987
p. 9, 22
Variety
11 May 1988
p. 64
Variety
24 Aug 1988
p. 20
Variety
16 May 1990
p. 29
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Sarlui/Diamant Presentation
of a Fidelity Films--Paul Maslansky Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
3rd asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
Clapper/Loader
Still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Cam op, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Dir of photog, Washington unit
1st asst, Washington unit
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des (U.S.A.)
Cost des (Spain)
Ward asst
Seamstress
Athletic footwear supplied by
Leigh Taylor-Young's final outfit by
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus ed
Mus eng and mixed by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Sd supervision
Sd supervisor
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley stepper
Foley stepper
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Chief spec eff
Spec eff asst
Titles & opticals
Title des
DANCE
MAKEUP
Key make-up
Make-up
Make-up
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Exec in charge of prod
Prod controller
Prod auditor
Prod auditor
Prod accountant (Spain)
Loc mgr, Washington unit
Prod coord, Washington unit
Asst prod mgr, Washington unit
Prod asst, Washington unit
Prod asst, Washington unit
Prod asst, Washington unit
Prod secy, Washington unit
Prod secy, Washington unit
Asst to the prod
Prod coord (U.S.A.)
Transportation
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
CFI col timer
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
For Better or For Worse
Release Date:
11 May 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 May 1990
Production Date:
16 May--late August 1988
Copyright Claimant:
TWE Group, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 March 1991
Copyright Number:
PA513640
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Washington, D.C., beautiful Chris Nelson, a U.S. State Department contract agent, is in the middle of a secret transaction in a library when writer Sean McDonald falls in love at first sight, follows her through book shelves, and believes a man has stolen her purse. His attempt to stop the man is thwarted by another agent, but Chris appreciates Sean’s concern and his act of bravery. She also falls in love at first sight, but must return to work, so she gives Sean her travel agency business card and asks him to telephone her tomorrow. Returning to the agency, Chris gives her boss, Mrs. Doris Kent, the photographic negatives she received at the library and explains that a dashing young man almost upset the exchange. Doris hopes he was not from the Central Intelligence Agency. When Chris returns to her desk, Sean McDonald is there, claiming he could not wait until tomorrow because he is in love. Five weeks later, they marry. As a “honeymoon gift,” Doris Kent gives Chris two first-class airline tickets to Madrid, Spain, “from all of us,” and reminds Chris that she cannot reveal to Sean she works for the “agency.” When the couple arrives in Madrid, a customs official ushers Chris into a room, where Alex Desbains, a fellow agent, needs a favor. The airline tickets were a ruse to get Chris to Spain, because Lazos, a famous counterfeiter, is back in operation, and he trusts only her. His newest plates for $100 bills look so authentic, they could wreck the U.S. economy, but he is willing to sell them for $1 million. Alex Desbains insists that Chris only has to meet Lazos ... +


In Washington, D.C., beautiful Chris Nelson, a U.S. State Department contract agent, is in the middle of a secret transaction in a library when writer Sean McDonald falls in love at first sight, follows her through book shelves, and believes a man has stolen her purse. His attempt to stop the man is thwarted by another agent, but Chris appreciates Sean’s concern and his act of bravery. She also falls in love at first sight, but must return to work, so she gives Sean her travel agency business card and asks him to telephone her tomorrow. Returning to the agency, Chris gives her boss, Mrs. Doris Kent, the photographic negatives she received at the library and explains that a dashing young man almost upset the exchange. Doris hopes he was not from the Central Intelligence Agency. When Chris returns to her desk, Sean McDonald is there, claiming he could not wait until tomorrow because he is in love. Five weeks later, they marry. As a “honeymoon gift,” Doris Kent gives Chris two first-class airline tickets to Madrid, Spain, “from all of us,” and reminds Chris that she cannot reveal to Sean she works for the “agency.” When the couple arrives in Madrid, a customs official ushers Chris into a room, where Alex Desbains, a fellow agent, needs a favor. The airline tickets were a ruse to get Chris to Spain, because Lazos, a famous counterfeiter, is back in operation, and he trusts only her. His newest plates for $100 bills look so authentic, they could wreck the U.S. economy, but he is willing to sell them for $1 million. Alex Desbains insists that Chris only has to meet Lazos for an hour and buy the plates. When Chris turns down the job, Alex informs her that $1 million is being placed in her bag. She hurries back to Sean, but the $1 million has already been slipped inside her bag. After they arrive at their hotel, she is separated from the luggage. Three mysterious agents sit in the lobby: Lance, Sack, and their boss, Marlis. Another agent named Pitt, who accompanied the couple from Washington, D.C., is lurking nearby. Sean wants to retreat to their honeymoon suite and make love, but Chris becomes concerned when the luggage is brought to their room without the bag containing the $1 million. Chris goes downstairs, where Alex awaits, and tells him she does not have the money. Alex responds that she will still have to make the exchange, or the State Department will be informed she lost the money and Sean will learn her secret past. Sean has followed Chris wearing nothing but a towel and is knocked over a railing by a maid’s cart, leaving him hanging naked from a balcony. Chris takes Sean back to their suite and explains that Alex is a former coworker. Later, when Sean and Chris go to a nightclub, Alex joins them and asks Sean if he can borrow Chris for a couple hours the next day. As Alex tangos with Chris on the dance floor in order to speak privately, Sean goes to the men’s room. A Spanish agent, Isabella, and her female translator waylay Sean with a gun and demand the plates. He evades them, but on his way out, he passes Pitt, who slips into the men’s room and shoots both women. Lance, one the three bumbling agents, breaks into the honeymooners’ room to search for the plates, but when the couple returns, he hides in a closet and spends the night listening to them make love. In the morning, Chris discovers Lance while Sean is in the bathroom, finds out he works for Marlis, and throws him into the hallway without alerting her husband. She meets Alex downstairs, and since she does not have the $1 million, he gives her a suitcase full of paper to give to Lazos. Alex and Chris drive off together. Sean sees them leave, and follows them in a taxicab to an old walled town. Entering on foot, Sean comes upon a festival in the square and sees Chris. She tells him she will explain everything later, but for now she must be left alone. She kisses Chris in parting, and walks on alone with the suitcase. The counterfeiter Lazos, hiding in a nearby doorway, grabs Chris and discusses the terms of the exchange, but two men on a motorbike snatch Chris’s suitcase. Lance jumps out of a doorway, shoots at and misses the bikers, then shoots and hits Lazos. Alex Desbains leaps out from another doorway and knocks Lance unconscious. He tells Chris to meet him at a safe house in the town of La Para. In the square, the mortally wounded Lazos sees Sean McDonald, recognizes him as the man Chris kissed, and with his last breath stuffs a snowglobe into Sean’s jacket and whispers, “Basilica Dolce at 12.” Meanwhile, Chris runs after the thieves on the bike and finds them opening the suitcase and discovering worthless paper. She leaps on their motorbike and rides back to the square. Sean climbs on the back of the bike, and as they leave, the three bumbling agents chase them in a car. Chris eludes them in a forest and, inadvertently, rides over a waterfall, but she and Sean save themselves by clinging to vines. Walking through the woods, she explains that her travel agency works for the U.S. State Department as an independent “courier service,” making hand-offs to people the State Department itself is not allowed to deal with. Sean shows her the snowglobe, which has a model church inside, and tells her Lazos’s last words. When the couple arrives at the so-called “safe house” the following morning, Marlis, Lance, and Sack take them prisoner. Marlis grabs the snowglobe and demands to know what it means. Sean tries to convince them he is a special agent using Chris as bait for a bigger caper, but Marlis does not believe him. When Sean tells Marlis what Lazos told him, the leader sends Sack to kill the newlyweds on a nearby cliff, but Sean and Chris outwit Sack and steal Marlis’s Mercedez-Benz. Sack returns to Marlis with the news that he killed the couple, but sent Marlis’s car over the cliff. Angry, Marlis hits Sack in the head with the snowglobe, smashing it. Inside, they find a key. Meanwhile, Sean and Chris return to their hotel and discover Alex’s body in the closet. When they call room service, the dinner tray arrives pushed by Pitt, the agent who followed them from Washington. He pulls his gun and demands to know where the plates are, but Alex’s body falls out of the closet and knocks him down, allowing Sean and Chris to run. As they are pursued through an alleyway, Doris Kent appears with a gun and tells them to duck before shooting Pitt. As they drive to a dock to await a boat, Doris pumps Chris for information and asks if Sean is holding anything back. When the boat arrives to pick them up, the pilot is Pitt. Doris explains that she fired blanks. Pitt and Doris tie up Sean and Chris, weight them down with concrete blocks, and drop them in the water. Sean unties Chris’s ropes with his teeth and they escape. Realizing he loves the excitement of the job, Sean wants to retrieve the counterfeit $100 plates. The three agents arrive at the basilica with the key and find the plates behind the wall of confessional booth number twelve, but as they leave with the plates in a bag, Doris puts a gun to Marlis’s head. The bag is tossed around the busy basilica, and as Sean and Chris arrive, everyone but Sack is shocked to see them alive. Grabbing the plates, Doris and Pitt kidnap Chris and steal a police car, but Sean hijacks a tourist bus and gives chase. Marlis and Lance also get on the bus, but a sharp turn throws Marlis into the road and Lance decides he is done with being an agent and gets off. At the pier, Pitt pushes Doris into the water and tries to escape in the boat with Chris and the $100 plates, but Sean drives the bus off the pier, leaping free at the last second. The bus slams into the boat moments after Chris jumps into the water. Pitt and the plates are destroyed in the explosion. When Sean and Chris return to Madrid, a diplomat thanks them for their service and drives off, leaving Chris angry at how poorly she has been treated. Suddenly, an elderly American tourist informs them the hotel gave her the wrong bag. She hands Chris the bag with the $1 million. Suddenly, a street thief runs by and grabs it. Sean and Chris chase after him. +

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

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