Hot to Trot (1988)

PG | 83 mins | Comedy | 26 August 1988

Director:

Michael Dinner

Producer:

Steve Tisch

Cinematographer:

Victor J. Kemper

Production Designer:

William Matthews

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures
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HISTORY

The film opens with a dictionary definition of the word “horse,” read by actor John Candy, who provides the voice of “Don.” The voice-over narration continues, accompanied by historical depictions of horses in art: “Some anthropological type guys claim that prehistoric horses had larynx muscles in their throats. Recent findings suggest that this gene may actually have been passed down from generation to generation. Some primitive cultures believe that the equine was created in God’s image--noble, mighty, brilliant, sublime!--and it was only after he finished perfecting his masterpiece known as ‘horse’ that God turned his attention to the lesser animal. Look at this guy!”
       On 25 Jun 1986, Var announced that Joan Rivers had signed to star in Hot to Trot. According to the 15 Oct 1986 LADN, the leading male role had been rewritten for Rivers, who intended to film the picture around her evening schedule as host of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers (Fox, 1986--1987). A few months later, however, the 19 Jan 1987 DV reported that Rivers had been replaced by Bob Goldthwait.
       A 7 Apr 1987 HR production chart indicated that principal photography began 30 Mar 1987 in Los Angeles, CA. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the climactic horse race was filmed at the Hollywood Park Race Track. Additional Southern California locations included the Warner Bros. Ranch in Valencia, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Hidden Valley, and the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank.
       The studio reportedly suggested hiring unit production manager Phil Rawlins based on his previous experience working with horses in Western films. Rawlins then ... More Less

The film opens with a dictionary definition of the word “horse,” read by actor John Candy, who provides the voice of “Don.” The voice-over narration continues, accompanied by historical depictions of horses in art: “Some anthropological type guys claim that prehistoric horses had larynx muscles in their throats. Recent findings suggest that this gene may actually have been passed down from generation to generation. Some primitive cultures believe that the equine was created in God’s image--noble, mighty, brilliant, sublime!--and it was only after he finished perfecting his masterpiece known as ‘horse’ that God turned his attention to the lesser animal. Look at this guy!”
       On 25 Jun 1986, Var announced that Joan Rivers had signed to star in Hot to Trot. According to the 15 Oct 1986 LADN, the leading male role had been rewritten for Rivers, who intended to film the picture around her evening schedule as host of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers (Fox, 1986--1987). A few months later, however, the 19 Jan 1987 DV reported that Rivers had been replaced by Bob Goldthwait.
       A 7 Apr 1987 HR production chart indicated that principal photography began 30 Mar 1987 in Los Angeles, CA. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the climactic horse race was filmed at the Hollywood Park Race Track. Additional Southern California locations included the Warner Bros. Ranch in Valencia, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Hidden Valley, and the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank.
       The studio reportedly suggested hiring unit production manager Phil Rawlins based on his previous experience working with horses in Western films. Rawlins then recruited renowned Hollywood horse trainers Glenn and Corky Randall after a two-week trial period, during which a horse was trained to appear as if it were talking. According to the 26 Oct 1987 issue of People magazine, Elliott Gould originally provided the voice of Don before John Candy was hired to re-dub the vocal track. Producer Steve Tisch allegedly considered Jack Nicholson, Dudley Moore, and Peter Falk as Gould’s replacement, while the 2 May 1987 Long Beach Press-Telegram also named singer-songwriter Tom Waits.
       According to a 6 Mar 1988 LAT article, the film opened in 1,200 theaters to unanimously negative reviews.
       The actor who provides the voice of Don’s brother, “Lou,” is not listed in onscreen credits. The film uses footage from “The Three Stooges” short, Calling All Curs (1939); Them! (1954, see entry); and a television commercial for Meow Mix, none of which are included in onscreen acknowledgments. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Jan 1987
p. 3.
Daily Variety
23 Jun 1987
p. 9, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 1988
p. 5.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
2 May 1987.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
15 Oct 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Mar 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Aug 1988
Calendar, p. 5.
New York Times
27 Aug 1988
p. 11.
People
26 Oct 1987.
---
Variety
25 Jun 1986
p. 38.
Variety
31 Aug 1988
p. 89.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. presents
a Steve Tisch production
Distributed by Warner Bros.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Lead man
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Set estimator
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Paint foreman
Standby painter
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Key costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR asst
Sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Opticals by
Title des
Asst eff
Horsefly puppet by
MAKEUP
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Prod assoc
Asst to Mr. Tisch and Ms. Finerman
Loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Horse trainer
Horse trainer
Don's vocal coach
Animal trainer
Craft service
Unit pub
Asst prod accountant
Casting asst
Horse trainer
Caterer
Atmosphere casting
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Tutti Frutti," written by Richard Penniman, Dorothy La Bostrie and Joe Lubin, performed by Little Richard, courtesy of CBS Records
"Fight For Your Right," written by Adam Yauch, Adam Horowitz and Rick Rubin, performed by Beastie Boys, courtesy of Def Jam/CBS Records
"Shooting Dirty Pool," written by Paul Westerberg, Thomas Stinson and Christopher Mars, performed by The Replacements, courtesy of Sire Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Tutti Frutti," written by Richard Penniman, Dorothy La Bostrie and Joe Lubin, performed by Little Richard, courtesy of CBS Records
"Fight For Your Right," written by Adam Yauch, Adam Horowitz and Rick Rubin, performed by Beastie Boys, courtesy of Def Jam/CBS Records
"Shooting Dirty Pool," written by Paul Westerberg, Thomas Stinson and Christopher Mars, performed by The Replacements, courtesy of Sire Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Heartbreak Hotel," written by Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley
"Off To See The Wizard," written by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
"Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
"We're In The Money," written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 August 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 26 August 1988
Production Date:
began 30 March 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1988
Copyright Number:
PA383404
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
83
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29209
SYNOPSIS

Following the sudden death of his mother, hapless layabout Fred P. Chaney learns he has inherited partnership in the brokerage firm run by his morally corrupt step-father, Walter Sawyer. The will also includes his mother’s thoroughbred named Don, who possesses the ability to speak to humans. Following Don’s advice, Fred refuses to sell his shares in the company and quickly becomes a savvy businessman. Claiming responsibility for his success, Don insists on moving into Fred’s new luxury apartment and continues to give him stock tips. As a result, Fred invests in Don’s favorite oats manufacturer, unaware that a contaminated product supply has caused their stock value to plummet. Hoping to see Fred fail, Walter withholds this information, and Fred loses his job. After discovering Walter’s sabotage, Don proposes they recoup their losses by beating Walter in a horse race and collecting the prize money. Fred is unable to find a suitable jockey on such short notice, and is forced to ride in the competition. Despite a slow start, Don verbally harasses several of the other horses until they become intimidated and pull out of the race. After overtaking his competitors, Don narrowly beats Walter’s horse in a photo ... +


Following the sudden death of his mother, hapless layabout Fred P. Chaney learns he has inherited partnership in the brokerage firm run by his morally corrupt step-father, Walter Sawyer. The will also includes his mother’s thoroughbred named Don, who possesses the ability to speak to humans. Following Don’s advice, Fred refuses to sell his shares in the company and quickly becomes a savvy businessman. Claiming responsibility for his success, Don insists on moving into Fred’s new luxury apartment and continues to give him stock tips. As a result, Fred invests in Don’s favorite oats manufacturer, unaware that a contaminated product supply has caused their stock value to plummet. Hoping to see Fred fail, Walter withholds this information, and Fred loses his job. After discovering Walter’s sabotage, Don proposes they recoup their losses by beating Walter in a horse race and collecting the prize money. Fred is unable to find a suitable jockey on such short notice, and is forced to ride in the competition. Despite a slow start, Don verbally harasses several of the other horses until they become intimidated and pull out of the race. After overtaking his competitors, Don narrowly beats Walter’s horse in a photo finish. +

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

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