The Super (1991)

R | 85 mins | Comedy | 4 October 1991

Director:

Rod Daniel

Writer:

Sam Simon

Producer:

Charles Gordon

Cinematographer:

Bruce Surtees

Editor:

Jack Hofstra

Production Designer:

Kristi Zea
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HISTORY

A 24 Sep 1990 Var item noted The Super would be Largo Entertainment’s second feature film production. Reuniting producer Charles Gordon and director Rod Daniel, who had worked together previously on K-9 (1989, see entry), the film was also said to mark Joe Pesci’s first starring role, according to the 17 Sep 1990 HR “Rambling Reporter” column. In a 15 Oct 1991 USA Today article, Pesci was quoted as saying The Super began as a drama but “got funnier and funnier” in re-writes.
       Principal photography was initially scheduled to begin 15 Oct 1990, as noted in 16 Oct 1990 HR and 22 Oct 1990 Var production charts, but was pushed back to 29 Oct 1990, according to production charts dating 29 Oct 1990 and later. Filming took place in the New York City neighborhoods of Bushwick, Brooklyn; Harlem; and the East Village, where exteriors were shot on East 11th Street, as noted in a 7 Jan 1991 NYT article. The budget was cited as $15-$20 million. According to producer Charles Gordon, shooting on location in New York City increased expenses by fifteen percent, but director Rod Daniel insisted on it for the city’s atmosphere and “sense of danger and excitement.”
       The film was initially slated to open in theaters on 23 Aug 1991, but the release date was pushed back to 4 Oct 1991, as noted in a 9 Aug 1991 DV brief.
       The 14 Oct 1991 Var reported box-office earnings of $730,647 in the first week in release on ninety-eight screens. A 27 ... More Less

A 24 Sep 1990 Var item noted The Super would be Largo Entertainment’s second feature film production. Reuniting producer Charles Gordon and director Rod Daniel, who had worked together previously on K-9 (1989, see entry), the film was also said to mark Joe Pesci’s first starring role, according to the 17 Sep 1990 HR “Rambling Reporter” column. In a 15 Oct 1991 USA Today article, Pesci was quoted as saying The Super began as a drama but “got funnier and funnier” in re-writes.
       Principal photography was initially scheduled to begin 15 Oct 1990, as noted in 16 Oct 1990 HR and 22 Oct 1990 Var production charts, but was pushed back to 29 Oct 1990, according to production charts dating 29 Oct 1990 and later. Filming took place in the New York City neighborhoods of Bushwick, Brooklyn; Harlem; and the East Village, where exteriors were shot on East 11th Street, as noted in a 7 Jan 1991 NYT article. The budget was cited as $15-$20 million. According to producer Charles Gordon, shooting on location in New York City increased expenses by fifteen percent, but director Rod Daniel insisted on it for the city’s atmosphere and “sense of danger and excitement.”
       The film was initially slated to open in theaters on 23 Aug 1991, but the release date was pushed back to 4 Oct 1991, as noted in a 9 Aug 1991 DV brief.
       The 14 Oct 1991 Var reported box-office earnings of $730,647 in the first week in release on ninety-eight screens. A 27 Dec 1991 Philadelphia Inquirer article listed The Super as one of 1991’s “box-office duds.” The film was routinely panned and named runner-up for the year’s worst movie in a 31 Dec 1991 Ottawa Citizen article.
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers wish to thank: Pepsi-Cola Company; Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated; Reebok International Ltd.; Techno-Therm; Novatel Communications, Ltd.; City of New York, David N. Dinkins, Mayor; Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; Jaynne Keyes” and, “The producers wish to express special thanks to: the residents of E. 11th Street, New York City.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Boston Globe
4 Oct 1991
p. 55.
Chicago Tribune
4 Oct 1991.
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1991
p. 7, 19.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1991
p. 6.
New York Times
7 Jan 1991
Section C, p. 11.
New York Times
4 Oct 1991
p. 10.
Philadelphia Inquirer
27 Dec 1991
Section D, p. 1.
The Ottawa Citizen
31 Dec 1991
Section E, p. 1.
USA Today
15 Oct 1991
Section D, p. 4.
Variety
24 Sep 1990.
---
Variety
22 Oct 1990.
---
Variety
29 Oct 1990.
---
Variety
4 Oct 1991
p. 3.
Variety
7 Oct 1991.
---
Variety
14 Oct 1991.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Largo Entertainment presents
A Charles Gordon production
A Rod Daniel film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d unit dir
2d unit 1st asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Video tech
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Elec
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead set dresser
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Const coord
Const grip
Set builder
Set builder
Set builder
Set builder
Master scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Asst cost
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward prod asst
MUSIC
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
Synthesizer programming
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Addl audio
Foley artist
Foley artist
Sd eff
Re-rec sd
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Title des
Titles and opticals
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Addl hair & makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Loc mgr
Loc coord
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Unit pub
Casting asst
Extras casting
Asst to Mr. Gordon
Asst to Mr. Gordon
Asst to Mr. Daniel
Asst to Mr. Frazier
Asst to Mr. Pesci
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
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Craft service
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Sh-Boom,” written by Carl Feaster, James Keys, Floyd McRae, Claude Feaster and James Edwards, performed by The Chords, courtesy of Atco Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Happy Birthday To You,” written by Mildred and Patty Hill
“Misty,” written by Johnny Burke and Errol Garner
+
SONGS
“Sh-Boom,” written by Carl Feaster, James Keys, Floyd McRae, Claude Feaster and James Edwards, performed by The Chords, courtesy of Atco Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Happy Birthday To You,” written by Mildred and Patty Hill
“Misty,” written by Johnny Burke and Errol Garner
“Sweet Georgia Brown,” written by Kenneth Casey, Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie, performed by Brother Bones, courtesy of Tempo Records
“Gonna Make You Sweat,” written by Robert Cuvilles and Frederick B. Williams, performed by C & C Music Factory, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Da Butt,” written by Marcus Miller and Mark Stevens, performed by E. U., courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with Cema Special Markets
“Bombero,” written by Magic Moreno and Treason, performed by Treason
“Bonriba,” written by Magic Moreno and Treason, performed by Treason
“U Can’t Touch This,” written by Kirk Burrell, Rick James and Alonzo Miller, performed by M. C. Hammer, courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with Cema Special Markets
“The Super,” written and performed by Kenny Blank.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 October 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 4 October 1991
Production Date:
began 29 October 1991
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31178
SYNOPSIS

As a birthday gift, Louis “Louie” Kritski, Jr. receives a rundown New York City apartment building from his father, millionaire landlord “Big Lou” Kritski. When he first visits the building, Louie is met with an onslaught of complaints about the derelict apartments, which are riddled with plumbing and electrical problems and overrun with rats. However, Louie has been taught by Big Lou never to make repairs, so he ignores the tenants’ grievances and demands rent. On his way out, Louie is accosted by Naomi Bensinger, an attorney for the New York City Housing Authority. Bensinger informs him that several complaints have been filed against him, but the wisecracking Louie seems unfazed and suggests she join him for lunch sometime. Over dinner, Louie tells his father about the Housing Authority charges. Big Lou assures his son that millions of complaints are filed every year, but none of them lead to convictions. Days later, Louie is found guilty of multiple housing violations and sentenced to live in apartment 5C of his building for 120 days, or until the building is brought up to code. Big Lou forces his son to move as instructed, but forbids him from making any repairs. On a rainy night, Louie moves into the leaky apartment 5C and is disgusted by his surroundings. Foregoing the wet mattress, he sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor. In the morning, Louie finds Tito, a child who lives in the building, staring at him from the fire escape. Louie suspects Tito wants to rob him, but Tito denies it. Outside, Louie finds his sports car has been stripped for parts. At the local convenience store, he complains about the ... +


As a birthday gift, Louis “Louie” Kritski, Jr. receives a rundown New York City apartment building from his father, millionaire landlord “Big Lou” Kritski. When he first visits the building, Louie is met with an onslaught of complaints about the derelict apartments, which are riddled with plumbing and electrical problems and overrun with rats. However, Louie has been taught by Big Lou never to make repairs, so he ignores the tenants’ grievances and demands rent. On his way out, Louie is accosted by Naomi Bensinger, an attorney for the New York City Housing Authority. Bensinger informs him that several complaints have been filed against him, but the wisecracking Louie seems unfazed and suggests she join him for lunch sometime. Over dinner, Louie tells his father about the Housing Authority charges. Big Lou assures his son that millions of complaints are filed every year, but none of them lead to convictions. Days later, Louie is found guilty of multiple housing violations and sentenced to live in apartment 5C of his building for 120 days, or until the building is brought up to code. Big Lou forces his son to move as instructed, but forbids him from making any repairs. On a rainy night, Louie moves into the leaky apartment 5C and is disgusted by his surroundings. Foregoing the wet mattress, he sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor. In the morning, Louie finds Tito, a child who lives in the building, staring at him from the fire escape. Louie suspects Tito wants to rob him, but Tito denies it. Outside, Louie finds his sports car has been stripped for parts. At the local convenience store, he complains about the lack of fresh food. He buys groceries in preparation for a visit from his girl friend, Heather. He finds Tito waiting for him outside the store. Tito suggests Louie should not walk around the tough neighborhood alone, but Louie insists he is unafraid. Just then, Louie hears a gunshot and dives for cover. That evening, Heather arrives for their date, but is repulsed by Louie’s apartment and leaves only minutes later. Louie’s plumbing fails. He asks Tito’s grandmother, Eleanor, if he might use her bathroom, but she refuses him. He goes outside to find a parking ticket on the remnants of his car. Visiting on behalf of the Housing Authority, Naomi Bensinger pesters Louie about his lack of progress on repairs. Louie points to an electrician’s van parked on the street and claims he has made progress. However, the electrician emerges from the building and inadvertently reveals he is only there to fix Louie’s unit. A tenant named Marlon invites Louie to play basketball. Unaware that Marlon is hustling him, Louie loses a bet on a three-on-three basketball game. He hobbles home and finds Big Lou and his mother, Irene, waiting outside. Big Lou reprimands Louie for fraternizing with his tenants, and delivers the bad news he cannot be bailed out and must finish his sentence. Later, Louie paces in his apartment while one of his tenants hosts a loud dance party. Louie calls Heather, but she hangs up on him. Losing his temper, he stomps on the floor until it gives out, and he falls to the apartment below. The next day, Louie calls a contractor to patch the hole in his floor and complains about how much it costs. Later, he wakes up to find a rat staring at him and screams in terror. He calls an exterminator for the entire building, and gains the approval of Naomi Bensinger. When the building’s boiler breaks, Louie tells his freezing tenants that all the heating contractors are busy for the winter, then huddles in front of a space heater in his own unit. At night, he overhears Tito’s grandmother, Eleanor, fighting with the boy’s father, Eddie, a drug dealer. Tito retreats to the roof, and Louie follows. Tito compares his father to Louie’s, and accuses Louie of being a “slumlord” who cannot stand up to Big Lou. The conversation prompts Louie to change his ways. He buys space heaters for his tenants, who show their gratitude by inviting him to a party in the building. That night, Louie awakes to the sound of his father pounding on the door and learns that he has finally been granted bail. Louie packs his things and gets in Big Lou’s car. As they drive away, Louie realizes his father plans to burn down the building in order to have it condemned. Louie returns to the building and stops an arsonist from rigging a gas tank on the roof. Sometime later, the building is much improved. Louie moves out of apartment 5C, and finds his tenants awaiting him on the sidewalk. The crowd parts to reveal Louie’s sports car, which appears to have been reassembled. Louie is moved by the gesture. He announces Marlon will be the new superintendent and speeds away. Just then, a large man emerges from a neighboring building and demands to know who took his car. The tenants innocently point in the direction Louie drove. +

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

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