Jennifer Eight (1992)

R | 127 mins | Mystery | 6 November 1992

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson

Cinematographer:

Conrad L. Hall

Editor:

Conrad Buff

Production Designer:

Richard MacDonald
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HISTORY

According to the 2 Aug 1991 DV, the under-$20 million picture was greenlit by Paramount Pictures, with principal photography set to begin on 16 Sep 1991 in Vancouver, B.C. However, production began on 23 Sep 1991, as announced in the 1 Oct 1991 HR production chart.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files confirm locations in Vancouver, B.C., and list additional locations in Eureka, CA, Trinidad, CA, and the sound stages of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA.
       In an interview with actor Andy Garcia in the Sep 1995 Movieline, Garcia reported the alternate title, A Policeman’s Story, and noted that twenty minutes of the picture had been cut before its release. The scenes, which Garcia deemed “the heart” of the picture, included his character's “all-night alcohol binge,” and sections of the interrogation sequence between Garcia’s and John Malkovich’s character. The edits, Garcia argued, made it “a totally different movie” with no policeman’s story left intact.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special Thanks to: The City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, The City of Eureka, Robert McMinn, Romi Straussman.” Also noted: “Filmed at North Shore Studio [sic], North Vancouver, British ... More Less

According to the 2 Aug 1991 DV, the under-$20 million picture was greenlit by Paramount Pictures, with principal photography set to begin on 16 Sep 1991 in Vancouver, B.C. However, production began on 23 Sep 1991, as announced in the 1 Oct 1991 HR production chart.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files confirm locations in Vancouver, B.C., and list additional locations in Eureka, CA, Trinidad, CA, and the sound stages of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA.
       In an interview with actor Andy Garcia in the Sep 1995 Movieline, Garcia reported the alternate title, A Policeman’s Story, and noted that twenty minutes of the picture had been cut before its release. The scenes, which Garcia deemed “the heart” of the picture, included his character's “all-night alcohol binge,” and sections of the interrogation sequence between Garcia’s and John Malkovich’s character. The edits, Garcia argued, made it “a totally different movie” with no policeman’s story left intact.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Special Thanks to: The City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, The City of Eureka, Robert McMinn, Romi Straussman.” Also noted: “Filmed at North Shore Studio [sic], North Vancouver, British Columbia.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Aug 1991
p. 1, 10.
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1992
p. 8, 14.
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1992
p. 4.
Movieline
Sep 1995
p. 50.
New York Times
6 Nov 1992
p. 6.
Variety
9 Nov 1992
p. 63.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures presents
A Scott Rudin production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op/Steadicam op
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
Steadicam op
Film loader
Still photog
Still photog
Video playback op
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
1st company grip
1st company grip
2d company grip
2d company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Rigging grip
Rigging gaffer
2d unit dir/Dir of photog
DGC trainee
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed - Canada
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Lead person
Asst set dec
Set dec buyer
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Prop person
Const coord
Const coord
Const foreperson
Const foreperson
Labor foreperson
Prop maker foreperson
Prop maker foreperson
Head scenic artist
Lead hand painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Supv mus ed, Triad Music, Inc.
Supv mus ed
Mus preparation
Mus scoring mixer
Score rec at
Mus cond by
Orchestra contractor
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Boom op
Sd ed
Dial ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Supv foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Title des by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Body makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Airplane pilot
Asst to Mr. Rudin
Asst to Mr. Lucchesi
Police adv to Mr. Robinson
Asst to Mr. Garcia
Voice casting
Computer/Video supv
Computer programmer/Op
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Canadian casting
Extras casting-Canada
Extras casting-Canada, The Casting Group
New York casting assoc
Los Angeles casting assoc
Cello teacher
Cello teacher
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Craft service
Craft service/First aid
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt driver
Stunt driver
Stunt driver
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
“Since I Fell For You,” by Buddy Johnson, performed by Lenny Welch, courtesy of Barnaby Records Inc. by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me),” by Dimitri Tiomkin & Ned Washington, performed by Frankie Laine, courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Humming Chorus” from Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Orchestra & Chorus of The Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, courtesy of Angel/EMI Classics by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
+
SONGS
“Since I Fell For You,” by Buddy Johnson, performed by Lenny Welch, courtesy of Barnaby Records Inc. by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me),” by Dimitri Tiomkin & Ned Washington, performed by Frankie Laine, courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Humming Chorus” from Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Orchestra & Chorus of The Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, courtesy of Angel/EMI Classics by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“Handy Man,” by Otis Blackwell & Jimmy Jones, performed by Del Shannon, courtesy of Mole Hole Records
“Louie Louie,” by Richard Berry, performed by The Kingsmen, courtesy of Highland Music by arrangement with Sounds of Film
“Two Lovers,” by William Robinson, Jr., performed by Mary Wells, courtesy of Motown Record Company, LP by arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
“Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” by F. Gruber & J. Mohr, performed by Thomanerchor Leipzig, courtesy of Delta Music by arrangement with Sounds of Film
“Someone To Watch Over Me,” by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin, performed by Willie Nelson, courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Jennifer 8
A Policeman's Story
Release Date:
6 November 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 6 November 1992
New York opening: week of 6 November 1992
Production Date:
began 23 September 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
7 December 1992
Copyright Number:
PA596505
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
Prints by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
127
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31597
SYNOPSIS

Sergeant John Berlin moves from Los Angeles to Eureka, California, at the prompting of his friend and former sergeant, Freddy Ross, who hopes that the small town will be good for John, who is getting over a painful divorce. John arrives at the town dump, where the body of a man was discovered. John declares that the man committed suicide by cutting his own throat, and Freddy orders the officers to search the trash heap for the knife. Amid the rubble, a human hand and a dead dog are found, and a new investigation gets underway. When local reporter, Mike Blattis, asks if the hand was frozen, John’s interest is piqued. He asks Officer Venables about the significance of a frozen hand, and learns that a few years before, a woman was murdered and her body was found without a head or hands. Venables suspects that if the hand was frozen, it may have come from the unsolved crime, which resulted in a lengthy and costly investigation for local police. John is directed to search the file with the code name “Jennifer,” for more information, and told that Sergeant John Taylor was in charge of the case. Sometime later, John Berlin greets Freddy’s wife, Margie, who is like a sister to him. She embraces him warmly, and later helps him move into his new house, with the help of Freddy and their son, Bobby. At the station, John determines the hand came from an eighteen-year-old woman, and was cut off within the past two-weeks. He notes several scars on the young victim’s hand, and unusual wear on her fingertips, and approaches Chief Citrine with his theory that the apparent ... +


Sergeant John Berlin moves from Los Angeles to Eureka, California, at the prompting of his friend and former sergeant, Freddy Ross, who hopes that the small town will be good for John, who is getting over a painful divorce. John arrives at the town dump, where the body of a man was discovered. John declares that the man committed suicide by cutting his own throat, and Freddy orders the officers to search the trash heap for the knife. Amid the rubble, a human hand and a dead dog are found, and a new investigation gets underway. When local reporter, Mike Blattis, asks if the hand was frozen, John’s interest is piqued. He asks Officer Venables about the significance of a frozen hand, and learns that a few years before, a woman was murdered and her body was found without a head or hands. Venables suspects that if the hand was frozen, it may have come from the unsolved crime, which resulted in a lengthy and costly investigation for local police. John is directed to search the file with the code name “Jennifer,” for more information, and told that Sergeant John Taylor was in charge of the case. Sometime later, John Berlin greets Freddy’s wife, Margie, who is like a sister to him. She embraces him warmly, and later helps him move into his new house, with the help of Freddy and their son, Bobby. At the station, John determines the hand came from an eighteen-year-old woman, and was cut off within the past two-weeks. He notes several scars on the young victim’s hand, and unusual wear on her fingertips, and approaches Chief Citrine with his theory that the apparent murder is linked to the “Jennifer” case. Freddy Ross discourages John from pursuing the unsolved case, and tells him to hand it over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, after having an epiphany that the victim was blind, based on the markings on her hands, John convinces Freddy to help him investigate blind women in the area to see if any have gone missing. They visit “Shasta Trinity Institute,” and inquire about a blind student named Amber. Dean Goodridge tells them that she left for Christmas break with a male friend, but has not been reported missing. Afterward John and Freddy speak with music teacher, Helena Robertson, who was the last person to see Amber with the unknown male. Helena, who also happens to be blind, describes the man as seeming familiar with blind people by the way he shook her hand, and believes his name was “John.” After learning that Amber had a dog, John wants to return to the dump to retrieve the dead dog, but Freddy feels that they are wasting their time. John unearths the dead dog without Freddy’s help, and finds a .22 caliber bullet in its skull. After sending the bullet to forensics at his former precinct in Los Angeles, John learns that six blind women within 3,000 miles were killed with a .22 caliber gun, and their heads and hands were cut off. John asks Freddy to help him convince Chief Citrine that the hand found belongs to “Jennifer 8,” and is the latest victim of a serial killer. However, Freddy refuses to support John’s theory, due to lack of evidence. John returns to see Helena, and hears her playing the cello. He becomes infatuated with her, and invites her to lunch, where he alludes to his previous troubled marriage, and shares his personal demons. Sometime later, John appeals to Chief Citrine to allow him to pursue his investigation, but Citrine denies assigning a taskforce since no body has been discovered, and Amber has not been reported missing. In time, John takes Helena out on Freddy’s fishing boat with Freddy and his family. He tells Freddy that he now believes the man found at the dump was not a suicide victim, but was murdered after discovering the serial killer. When he tells Freddy that Helena was blinded at fourteen in an automobile accident, which killed her whole family, Freddy discourages him from getting involved with a witness. Margie tells Freddy that Helena looks like John’s former wife, Susanne. Later, Helena hears a vehicle that sounds like the one in which Amber and her male friend left. John identifies it as a Volkswagen van, and begins searching similar vehicles in the area. While illegally searching a van parked at bar, John finds an unusual capsule, and puts it in his pocket when the vehicle owner approaches. The young woman tells John that she owns an arts and crafts center with her mother in Oakland. In time, Dean Goodridge visits Chief Citrine and complains about John’s repeated visits to Helena. Citrine tells John to end his investigation, as no sufficient evidence has been uncovered, and gives John a postcard that Amber mailed to Goodridge, claiming she has left school and is living in Oakland. John still believes the girl is dead and the note is a fake. That night, he visits Helena and gives her the postcard from Amber, written in Braille. Helena declares that Amber could not have written it because she could not read or write Braille. When John leaves, Helena takes a bath, while an unseen man hides in her bathroom. The intruder watches her undress and takes flash photographs of her nude body in the dark room, just inches away from her. When Helena discovers his presence, he quickly flees, leaving her terrified. John is furious when he sees Helena’s picture on the front page of the local newspaper, listed as a possible witness to the serial killings. He accuses officer John Taylor of giving his case files to reporter, Mike Blattis, and making Helena a target. When Taylor insults his police work and insults Helena, John threatens him. Afterward, Freddy also doubts John’s investigation, and worries that he has become obsessed. John moves Helena into his house to keep her safe, and they make love. On Christmas Eve, they attend a party at Freddy’s home, where Margie Ross gives Helena a festive makeover. At the party, attended by several officers, John learns that a man has been calling the Institute asking for Helena. Helena asks Margie about John’s former wife, and learns about their destructive relationship, that resulted in John becoming an alcoholic. When Helena is inadvertently left alone at the party, she panics, and John finds her crying in a bedroom. He comforts her, and they fall asleep on the bed. John awakens in the middle of the night, and Freddy finds him gathering an arsenal. John tells Freddy he is going to the Institute to catch the killer. Freddy insists on joining him and they drive through a snowstorm and wait outside the Institute for the attacker to appear. When they see a flashlight shine in Helena’s room, John climbs up the fire escape while Freddy waits below. John instructs him to shoot anyone else who comes down the stairs. While pursuing the intruder, John is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, the unseen man climbs down the fire escape, shining a light in Freddy’s eyes. Seeing the man, Freddy shouts “John, not you!” and is shot to death by the intruder. In the weeks that follow, Helena and John comfort Margie. John is questioned by the FBI, and Citrine agrees to his request to assign officers to guard Margie and Helena. FBI agent, St. Anne, interrogates John, and questions his sobriety on the night of Freddy’s murder. When the agent reveals that the gun used to kill Freddy belonged to him, John claims he was unconscious, and the intruder must have taken it without his knowledge. St. Anne doubts his innocence, and reveals his plan to charge John with first-degree murder. Elsewhere, Helena leaves the grief-stricken Margie and returns to John’s house in a taxicab. Soon after, the killer arrives, revealing himself as Amber’s friend, and threatens Helena, but leaves without harming her. When she reports the incident to police, Chief Citrine believes she is lying to make John appear innocent. Returning home, John also accuses Helena of lying, insisting the killer would not have left her unharmed. Helena kisses John, and after professing her love for him, insists she is telling the truth. John returns for a second day of FBI questioning, and agent St. Anne reveals a recording captured from Freddy’s police radio, that was left on during the murder. After hearing Freddy scream, “John, not you!” John continues to claim his innocence. St. Anne tries to “break” John, by insulting his former wife and belittling his friendship with Freddy. When he questions John about an asthma medication found in his automobile, John remembers that he took the capsule from the back of the Volkswagen van belonging to the woman from Oakland, California. After his questioning, John tells Helena that the killer has asthma, and races to Oakland to find the woman. Margie tells John to call her when he discovers the name of the killer. John tracks down the woman, and breaks into her house when he leaves. When he hears an audio alarm clock used by blind people, John searches for evidence of a blind person, and looks through a stack of photographs. He recognizes his colleague, John Taylor, from a childhood photograph, standing amid a group of blind children. Suddenly, Taylor appears and attacks, holding him at gunpoint. He threatens John for coming to his mother’s house. Later, John is jailed for the murders, after evidence planted in his home by Taylor is found. John begs Citrine to let him out to protect Helena and Margie. Meanwhile, Taylor goes to John’s home and sends away the officers on guard duty. He tells the women that they are safe, and chastises Margie when he sees her collecting money for John’s bail. Helena prepares to return to the Institute, and Taylor offers to drive her, but Margie insists on taking her. Taylor returns to the station and observes John being questioned by St. Anne. John reveals that Taylor grew up with a blind mother and attended the blind school where his mother was a teacher. He argues that Taylor became obsessed with blind women, and when he felt rejected by them, became a killer. After Margie posts his bail, John races to the Institute to protect Helena. Meanwhile, Taylor breaks into the building and pursues Helena down a stairwell. When he finally reaches her, she turns around and reveals that she is Margie. Taking revenge for Freddy’s murder, Margie points a gun at Taylor and shoots him to death. +

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

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