Undercover Blues (1993)

PG-13 | 89 mins | Comedy, Romance, Adventure | 10 September 1993

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Ian Abrams

Producer:

Mike Lobell

Cinematographer:

Donald E. Thorin

Production Designer:

Ken Adam

Production Companies:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , Lobell/Bergman Productions, Hera Productions
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HISTORY

End credits state: “The producers wish to thank: Cole Haan; DTK Computers; Mitsubishi Electronics America, Inc.; Partmeirion; Akza Salt Inc., Avery Island Mine; The City of New Orleans; New Orleans Police Department; Louisiana Film Commission; French Market Corporation, New Orleans, LA; The Crew of U.S. Coast Guard Station, New Orleans, LA”; and, “Filmed on location in Louisiana and on the stages at Culver Studios & Sony Studios.” A disclaimer also reads: “Animal action was monitored by the American Humane Association with on set supervision by the Louisiana S.P.C.A. No animal was harmed in the making of this film.”
       Actor Dave Chappelle is credited onscreen as “David Chappelle.”
       On 15 Feb 1991, HR announced that Demi Moore had been offered the lead role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) comedy, Cloak and Diaper, which the 27 Sep 1991 Screen International claimed was to be directed by Eugene Levy. The following year, however, the 20 Mar 1992 Screen International reported that Kathleen Turner had been cast instead, with Harrison Ford considered to co-star in the role that eventually went to Dennis Quaid.
       The 18 Mar 1992 DV indicated that Herbert Ross had previously joined the project as director and executive producer. Despite its financial instability at the time, Ross brought the property to MGM due to his established relationship with studio co-chairman Alan Ladd, Jr. The budget was estimated at $20 million.
       Although the 8 Apr 1992 DV reported that filming was set to begin 15 Jun 1992, a 23 Jun 1992 HR production chart indicated that principal photography finally got underway in New Orleans, LA, the previous day. ... More Less

End credits state: “The producers wish to thank: Cole Haan; DTK Computers; Mitsubishi Electronics America, Inc.; Partmeirion; Akza Salt Inc., Avery Island Mine; The City of New Orleans; New Orleans Police Department; Louisiana Film Commission; French Market Corporation, New Orleans, LA; The Crew of U.S. Coast Guard Station, New Orleans, LA”; and, “Filmed on location in Louisiana and on the stages at Culver Studios & Sony Studios.” A disclaimer also reads: “Animal action was monitored by the American Humane Association with on set supervision by the Louisiana S.P.C.A. No animal was harmed in the making of this film.”
       Actor Dave Chappelle is credited onscreen as “David Chappelle.”
       On 15 Feb 1991, HR announced that Demi Moore had been offered the lead role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) comedy, Cloak and Diaper, which the 27 Sep 1991 Screen International claimed was to be directed by Eugene Levy. The following year, however, the 20 Mar 1992 Screen International reported that Kathleen Turner had been cast instead, with Harrison Ford considered to co-star in the role that eventually went to Dennis Quaid.
       The 18 Mar 1992 DV indicated that Herbert Ross had previously joined the project as director and executive producer. Despite its financial instability at the time, Ross brought the property to MGM due to his established relationship with studio co-chairman Alan Ladd, Jr. The budget was estimated at $20 million.
       Although the 8 Apr 1992 DV reported that filming was set to begin 15 Jun 1992, a 23 Jun 1992 HR production chart indicated that principal photography finally got underway in New Orleans, LA, the previous day. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, locations included Avery Island, LA, and the Akzo Salt Mine, located 1,300 feet below sea level. Interior scenes were shot at the MGM studio in Culver City, CA. On 14 Aug 1992, DV reported that the title was changed to Undercover Blues. Principal photography concluded a month later, on 15 Sep 1992.
       According to the 10 Sep 1992 DV, the film premiered 9 Sep 1993 at the Bruin Theatre in Westwood, CA.
       In a 4 Sep 1992 DV article, producer Mike Lobell compared the film’s concept to that of The Thin Man (1934, see entry), and suggested that MGM was interested in producing additional films that would emulate the “Thin Man” sequels, After the Thin Man (1936, see entry) and Another Thin Man (1939, see entry). However, due to the mixed critical reception for Undercover Blues, MGM did not pursue the series. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1992
p. 1, 18.
Daily Variety
8 Apr 1992.
---
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1992.
---
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 1993
p. 5, 31.
Los Angeles Times
11 Sep 1993
Calendar, p. 12.
New York Times
11 Sep 1993
Section I, p. 13.
Screen International
27 Sep 1991.
---
Screen International
20 Mar 1992.
---
Variety
20 Sep 1993
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Presents
A Lobell-Bergman-Hera Production
a film by Herbert Ross
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir (New Orleans)
2d 2d asst dir (Los Angeles)
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
"A" cam op
"B" cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Tech lighting adv
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Rigging grip
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Best boy elec, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Best boy grip, 2d unit
Elec, New Orleans crew
Elec, New Orleans crew
Grip, New Orleans crew
Grip, New Orleans crew
Grip, New Orleans crew
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Addl film ed
Dailies asst ed
Apprentice ed
Post prod coord
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Weapons specialist
Weapons specialist
Leadman
2d leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Lead scenic artist
Set dresser, New Orleans crew
Set dresser, New Orleans crew
Set dresser, New Orleans crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer (Ms. Turner)
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Supv mus ed
Temp score mus ed
Temp score mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Mus consultant
Mus consultant
New Orleans mus consultant
New Orleans mus consultant
Guitar
Guitar
Trumpet
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Cableman/Playback
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Stage rec
Loader
Stage eng
ADR supv
ADR ed
ADR asst ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Post prod sd services provided by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Main title des by
Graphic des
Graphic des, for Cimity Art
Main title opticals by
Opticals by
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup (Ms. Turner)
Key makeup
Makeup
Body makeup
Hairstylist (Ms. Turner)
Key hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Accountant
Accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Asst to Mr. Ross
Asst to Mr. Lobell
Asst to Mr. Lobell
Asst to Ms. Turner
Asst to Mr. Quaid
Asst to Mr. Finkelman
Trainer for Ms. Turner
Casting assoc
New Orleans extras casting
Catering
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Welfare worker
Animals provided by
Animals provided by, Brocketts Film Fauna
Animals provided by, Brocketts Film Fauna
Animals provided by, Brocketts Film Fauna
Animals provided by, Brocketts Film Fauna
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
Helicopter pilot, 2d unit
New Orleans loc liaison, New Orleans crew
Nurse, New Orleans crew
Projection equip provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Film processed at
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Grandpa’s Stomp,” written by Wilson “Willie Tee” Torbinton, performed by New Orleans Jazz All-Stars
“Down Yonder,” written by Milton Batiste, performed by The Olympia Serenaders, courtesy of Mardi Gras Records
“Christopher Columbus,” written by Andy Razaf and Leon Berry, performed by The New Orleans All-Stars, courtesy of Dixieland Jubilee Records, a division of GNP Crescendo Record Co., Inc.
+
SONGS
“Grandpa’s Stomp,” written by Wilson “Willie Tee” Torbinton, performed by New Orleans Jazz All-Stars
“Down Yonder,” written by Milton Batiste, performed by The Olympia Serenaders, courtesy of Mardi Gras Records
“Christopher Columbus,” written by Andy Razaf and Leon Berry, performed by The New Orleans All-Stars, courtesy of Dixieland Jubilee Records, a division of GNP Crescendo Record Co., Inc.
“If You Came Here To Jam,” written by Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton, performed by Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton and George French
“Big Chief,” written by E. Gaines, pseudonym for Earl S. Johanson, a.k.a. Earl King, performed by Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton, Emile Vinett, and George French, Jr.
“Last Chance Blues,” written by Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton, performed by New Orleans Jazz All-Stars
“New Orleans Samba,” written by Steve Deutsch, performed by J. B. Davis
“Uptown Blues,” written by Steve Deutsch, performed by J. B. Davis
“Black Bottom Stomp,” written by Ferdinand Joseph Morton, performed by Jelly Roll Morton, courtesy of RCA Records Label, a division of BMG Music
“Someday Sweetheart,” written by Benjamin Spikes and John Spikes, performed by Paul Barbarin and His New Orleans Jazz Band, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Didn’t He Ramble,” performed by Excelsior Brass Band
“Crosseyed Cat,” written by McKinley Morganfield, performed by Muddy Waters, courtesy of Blue Sky/Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Blues In E Flat,” performed by The ReBirth Brass Band and The Little Rascals
“Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” written by Lloyd Price, performed by James Booker, courtesy of Rounder Records
“La Valse Des Cajuns,” written by Irv Lejune, performed by David Doucet, courtesy of Rounder Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Cloak and Diaper
Release Date:
10 September 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 9 September 1993
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 September 1993
Production Date:
22 June--15 September 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 September 1993
Copyright Number:
PA662442
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32402
SYNOPSIS

Retired spies Jane and Jefferson “Jeff” Blue crash a wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana, while on maternity leave with their eleven-month-old daughter. They befriend Vern and Bonnie Newman, another couple staying at their hotel, and bicker over whether to name the baby Louise Jane or Jane Louise. While Jeff takes the infant for a walk in her stroller, he encounters a small-time criminal who goes by the name of “Muerte.” Holding his daughter in one arm, Jeff effortlessly blocks Muerte’s attacks, leaving him humiliated. Later, New Orleans Police Lieutenant Theodore “Ted” Sawyer and Detective Sergeant Halsey follow up with the Blues about the attempted mugging, but Jeff feigns ignorance to avoid getting into trouble with Jane. Suspicious of Jeff’s background, Sawyer telephones his connections at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and learns that the Blues were previously fired from both organizations. He remains determined to figure out who they are working for, and keeps close watch over them during their stay. One morning, Frank, the Blues’ agent handler, stops by their hotel room and begs them to come out of retirement to help recover a shipment of “C-22,” a highly volatile plastic explosive stolen by Paulina Novacek, the former head of the Czech Secret Police. In exchange for six months paid leave and a hefty salary bonus, the Blues agree to investigate, beginning with Foster, Novacek’s anxious collaborator. Realizing he is being tracked, Foster alerts Novacek that the Blues are working on the case. This worries Novacek, since she encountered the couple in Budapest, Hungary, several years earlier. After Sawyer and Halsey continue to prod Jane and Jeff for information, the Blues admit ... +


Retired spies Jane and Jefferson “Jeff” Blue crash a wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana, while on maternity leave with their eleven-month-old daughter. They befriend Vern and Bonnie Newman, another couple staying at their hotel, and bicker over whether to name the baby Louise Jane or Jane Louise. While Jeff takes the infant for a walk in her stroller, he encounters a small-time criminal who goes by the name of “Muerte.” Holding his daughter in one arm, Jeff effortlessly blocks Muerte’s attacks, leaving him humiliated. Later, New Orleans Police Lieutenant Theodore “Ted” Sawyer and Detective Sergeant Halsey follow up with the Blues about the attempted mugging, but Jeff feigns ignorance to avoid getting into trouble with Jane. Suspicious of Jeff’s background, Sawyer telephones his connections at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and learns that the Blues were previously fired from both organizations. He remains determined to figure out who they are working for, and keeps close watch over them during their stay. One morning, Frank, the Blues’ agent handler, stops by their hotel room and begs them to come out of retirement to help recover a shipment of “C-22,” a highly volatile plastic explosive stolen by Paulina Novacek, the former head of the Czech Secret Police. In exchange for six months paid leave and a hefty salary bonus, the Blues agree to investigate, beginning with Foster, Novacek’s anxious collaborator. Realizing he is being tracked, Foster alerts Novacek that the Blues are working on the case. This worries Novacek, since she encountered the couple in Budapest, Hungary, several years earlier. After Sawyer and Halsey continue to prod Jane and Jeff for information, the Blues admit that Novacek is suspected of running an industrial theft operation out of New Orleans. Later, the Blues threaten to torture a corrupt banker named Mr. Ferderber, until he divulges contacts within Novacek’s chain of command. Meanwhile, Muerte remains disgraced by his defeat and Jeff’s tendency to call him “Morty.” He stalks the Blues around town with the intent of exacting revenge, but each effort ends in further embarrassment. Hoping to use this to their advantage, Jane disguises herself as a homeless woman and feeds information to Muerte, which he then passes to Novacek’s collaborators. While Jane stays home with the baby, Jeff follows Muerte to Novacek’s hideout downriver. Although he attempts to evade Sawyer’s careful watch, the belligerent lieutenant follows closely behind. Moments after their arrival, Novacek reveals that she has taken Jane and her child hostage and intends to kill them. However, Jeff knows that Jane left the baby with the Newmans, and the bundle in her arms is actually a doll rigged with explosives. Jane tosses the bomb into the air as it detonates, creating enough of a diversion for her, Jeff, and Sawyer to escape. They chase Novacek through a mining facility, where she retrieves the suitcase of C-22. As Novacek’s getaway helicopter hovers overhead, she jumps onto a rope ladder, but drops the suitcase into a mud pit below. Jane races to retrieve the suitcase, and the two women fight. Jeff proudly watches from the sidelines and decides they will name their daughter Jane Louise, after her mother. Novacek eventually absconds with the C-22 and boards the helicopter, unaware that it is piloted by undercover U.S. agents. Frank handcuffs her, and the Blues explain the set-up to a bewildered Sawyer. After returning to the hotel, the couple packs their belongings and departs on a sailboat. Once at sea, Muerte emerges from below deck holding a switchblade knife, but the mast swings askew and knocks him overboard. Jane throws him a lifesaver, and Jeff waves goodbye as they steer toward Cuba for their next mission. +

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

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