Jinxed! (1982)

R | 103 mins | Comedy | 22 October 1982

Director:

Don Siegel

Producer:

Herb Jaffe

Cinematographer:

Vilmos Zsigmond

Editor:

Douglas Steward

Production Designer:

Edward S. Haworth

Production Company:

United Artists
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HISTORY

End credits include thanks from producers to the city of Reno, NV, and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Reno and Lake Tahoe, CA. Special thanks are given to the state of NV, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, and the U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe, Basin Management Unit.
       The name of stunt person Richard Humphreys is misspelled in end credits as “Humphrys.” Production credits found in AMPAS library files listed the following crewmembers whose names conflict with what is provided onscreen: Carol Siegel as associate producer, Joe Cavalier as associate producer/production manager, Dan McCauley as first assistant director, Les Boyle as script supervisor, Donald P. Boebel as electrician, Chuck Sherlock as boom man, Rainer Greutzmacher and Noel Butcher as propmakers, and Jim Moffett as first aid.
       Although onscreen credits and production materials credited Bert Blessing with the original story, the 28 Jul 1981 LAT claimed the film was adapted from an unpublished Frank D. Gilroy novel, The Edge, which had been originally purchased by The Ladd Company. After Ladd dropped the project, which tentatively shared its name with the source material, producer Herb Jaffe and United Artists (UA) purchased the property for $300,000. On 28 Oct 1980, HR announced that Jaffe had hired Gilroy to write and direct the motion picture version of his original, Las Vegas, NV-set screenplay, titled Jackpot, and expected to begin filming early 1981. The 28 Jul 1981 LAT, however, reported that Jaffe hired David Newman to rewrite the script, and Gilroy receives no onscreen credit.
       The 11 Feb 1981 Var stated that Don Siegel ...

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End credits include thanks from producers to the city of Reno, NV, and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Reno and Lake Tahoe, CA. Special thanks are given to the state of NV, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, and the U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe, Basin Management Unit.
       The name of stunt person Richard Humphreys is misspelled in end credits as “Humphrys.” Production credits found in AMPAS library files listed the following crewmembers whose names conflict with what is provided onscreen: Carol Siegel as associate producer, Joe Cavalier as associate producer/production manager, Dan McCauley as first assistant director, Les Boyle as script supervisor, Donald P. Boebel as electrician, Chuck Sherlock as boom man, Rainer Greutzmacher and Noel Butcher as propmakers, and Jim Moffett as first aid.
       Although onscreen credits and production materials credited Bert Blessing with the original story, the 28 Jul 1981 LAT claimed the film was adapted from an unpublished Frank D. Gilroy novel, The Edge, which had been originally purchased by The Ladd Company. After Ladd dropped the project, which tentatively shared its name with the source material, producer Herb Jaffe and United Artists (UA) purchased the property for $300,000. On 28 Oct 1980, HR announced that Jaffe had hired Gilroy to write and direct the motion picture version of his original, Las Vegas, NV-set screenplay, titled Jackpot, and expected to begin filming early 1981. The 28 Jul 1981 LAT, however, reported that Jaffe hired David Newman to rewrite the script, and Gilroy receives no onscreen credit.
       The 11 Feb 1981 Var stated that Don Siegel had stepped in to direct Bette Midler in the project, which would feature the actress in two or three musical numbers. The following week, an 18 Feb 1981 Var reported that the working title had been changed to Hot Streak and was scheduled to begin principal photography Apr 1981. According to a 10 Jul 1981 HR article, producers believed that Las Vegas had been “overexposed in films and on television,” and decided to move the setting to Reno, NV.
       A 26 May 1981 HR brief claimed that Benson Fong had joined the cast as a veterinarian, but the film does not include a veterinarian character, and he is credited onscreen as “Mr. Wing.” According to the 10 Jul 1981 HR, Bette Milder personally recommended Ken Wahl for the role of “Willie Brodax,” while a 27 Sep 1981 LAT article suggested that, despite earlier reports, Milder was also responsible for hiring Siegel and director of photography Vilmos Zsigmond.
       The title was changed back to Jackpot when an undated, spring 1981 DV estimated that filming would commence 22 Apr 1981 at the Harrah’s Reno and Lake Tahoe hotels and automobile museum. A 27 Sep 1981 LAT article indicated that principal photography began 5 May 1981 in Lake Tahoe, while production notes stated that the first four weeks of filming were dedicated to the climactic blackjack game between Ken Wahl and Rip Torn’s characters. Both actors reportedly observed and studied card playing under professional Harrah’s employees. According to the 8 Jun 1981 DV, the hotels’ cooperation helped shorten the initial production schedule by one day, before the crew returned for three additional weeks of filming on 30 Jun 1981. The 10 Jul 1981 HR noted that, although various scenes were shot during the Harrah’s hotels’ busiest gambling hours, crowds prevented the crew from filming on Saturdays. As a result, weekend filming took place at Heavenly Valley, CA, and Sand Beach, NV, locations. Harrah’s public relations executives allowed filmmakers to duplicate the casinos’ security surveillance rooms on a studio set.
       Despite the 8 Jun 1981 DV news item stating that Snuff Garrett was writing two songs for Midler, he does not receive onscreen credit for the compositions, and the 10 Jul 1981 HR stated that Midler’s only musical number was a performance of “Cowgirl’s Dream,” at Reno’s M-G-M Grand Hotel. Production notes indicated that filming in Reno lasted four weeks, and included use of a specially built trailer park outside town.
       On 26 Jun 1981, HR stated that Midler would complete filming in Bodie, CA, that week, but would return to Culver City, CA, to film several weeks of interior scenes beginning 29 Jun 1981. The 10 Jul 1981 HR noted that filmmakers finished location shooting in order to avoid the possible 1 Jul 1981 Directors Guild of America (DGA) strike, before continuing with an additional seven weeks of principal photography around Southern CA in preparation for an Easter 1982 release. According to the 28 Jul 1981 LAT, Sam Peckinpah, who shared an established professional relationship with Siegel, would begin two weeks of uncredited second unit directing. A 15 Sep 1981 DV report claimed that Peckinpah was involved in nine days of production, and the 27 Sep 1981 LAT indicated that Peckinpah filmed the trailer destruction scene in Tujunga Canyon, CA, and the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, CA. Production materials noted that members of the Los Angeles Fire Department supervised the scene by portraying Reno firemen, although they do not receive onscreen credit.
       A 13 Aug 1981 Var article noted that although rumors suggested that Midler’s on-set behavior pushed the film three days over schedule and led to cost overruns, the film had not exceeded its $13,483,000 budget. The 15 Sep 1981 DV reported that Siegel struggled with the actress, who, with the support of UA, frequently demanded repeated takes to be filmed and printed; as a result, the director expressed his doubt in completing the picture in time for its scheduled opening, and the 18 Sep 1982 Var announced that the film’s release had been moved to 21 Oct 1982. On 23 Sep 1981, Var indicated that UA production vice president, Anthea Sylbert, took personal responsibility for the film’s $305,166 budget overrun, claiming that she suggested the addition of a musical number, which required an additional three days of shooting and brought the final cost to $13.4 million. According to production notes, Midler underwent more than a week of twelve-hour rehearsal days at M-G-M and La Marita Civic Auditorium, which was redecorated as a Reno nightclub for filming. However, the 27 Sep 1981 LAT anticipated filmmakers to conclude production two days ahead of the four-and-a-half month schedule and $125,000 under the estimated $13,443,000 cost.
       Following a 17 Sep 1981 DV brief stating that Howard Jeffries was expected to score the film, the 5 Sep 1982 LAT announced that Lalo Schifrin had composed the music after the film was screened in Bakersfield, CA, Toronto, Canada, and at M-G-M studios. However, the article suggests that Midler and the studio disapproved of Schifrin’s score, and, without consulting Schifrin, Sylbert ordered a replacement soundtrack that would emphasize the film’s comedic tone. At this time, Midler had not decided how she would contribute to the new soundtrack, due to the actress’s reported nervous breakdown following production. The article detailed various scenes that the studio removed, despite Siegel’s protests; Siegel also filmed three alternate endings, one of which included another musical number by Midler.
       A 20 Nov 1981 DV story announced that Midler was expected to return to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M.G.M. studio for sound looping. The 16 Feb 1982 edition of Us magazine noted that the film was scheduled to return to its original release date in Mar 1982. However, on 24 Mar 1982, LAT claimed that the picture had been re-titled after one of Midler’s musical numbers, It’s All In The Game, which the studio felt would be more profitable. A 27 Apr 1982 Var brief referred to the picture by the working name, The Bette Midler Movie, suggesting that M-G-M had not yet decided on a title. The 21 May 1982 LAT reported the name as Three of a Kind, and confirmed the opening for 6 Aug 1982. The following month, an 18 Jun 1982 LAT story announced that the studio settled on the title, Jinxed, and a 2 Oct 1982 release date. The 5 Sep 1982 LAT estimated the final budget at $15 million, with an additional $5 million in marketing costs.
       A 22 Oct 1982 UA press release found in AMPAS library files indicated that the film opened that day in 800 domestic theaters. On 3 Nov 1982, LAT reported that the film collected $1.25 million opening weekend.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Jun 1981.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1981.
---
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1981.
---
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1981.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 1982
p. 3, 17.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jul 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1981
p. 1, 20.
Los Angeles Times
24 Mar 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Jun 1982.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Sep 1982
p. 85, 87.
Los Angeles Times
22 Oct 1982
p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
3 Nov 1982.
---
New York Times
22 Oct 1982
p. 16.
Us
16 Feb 1982
p. 50.
Variety
11 Feb 1981.
---
Variety
18 Feb 1981.
---
Variety
28 Feb 1981.
---
Variety
13 Aug 1981
p. 3.
Variety
23 Sep 1981
p. 39.
Variety
27 Apr 1982.
---
Variety
18 Sep 1982.
---
Variety
13 Oct 1982
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Herb Jaffe Production
a Siegel film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
Best boy grip
Best boy gaffer
Elec
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Ted Haworth
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set dec
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Prop maker
Standby painter
Greensman
Paint foreman
Leadman
Swing gang [MGM]
Const foreman
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Robert de Mora
Cost des
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
Mus supv of Cowgirl's Dream
Arr and orch by, Reunion scene
Mus supv, Reunion scene
Radio source mus by
Radio source mus by
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd rec
Boom man
Cable man
Cable man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
2d unit spec eff
2d unit spec eff
Titles and opticals by
Title des
Asst eff
DANCE
Dancer
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
Ms. Midler's makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Ms. Midler's personal asst
Scr supv
Process coord
Cat trainer
First Aid
Craft service
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Prod office coord
Prod office coord
Assoc to Ms. Midler
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Loc extra casting
Secy to Mr. Jaffe
Secy to Mr. Jeffrey
Secy to Mr. Siegel
Prod asst
Loc projectionist
Loc consultant
Tech adv
U A rep
Secy to Don Siegel
Extra casting New York
Cat trainer
Tech adv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
Stunt person
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"No Jinx," music and lyrics by Bruce Roberts, Allee Willis, Brock Walsh, performed by Bette Midler, production assistant Joel W. Moss, produced by Bruce Roberts.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hot Streak
It's All in the Game
Jackpot
Jinxed
The Bette Midler Movie
The Edge
Three of a Kind
Release Date:
22 October 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 Oct 1982
Production Date:
began 5 May 1981 in Lake Tahoe, CA; Reno, NV; Heavenly Valley, CA; Sand Beach, NV; Bodie, CA; and Culver City, CA
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
United Artists Corporation
22 November 1982
PA155259
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Bonita Friml performs a country music song for casino gamblers. Meanwhile, Bonita’s husband, Harold Benson, wins a round of blackjack against the table’s young dealer, Willie Brodax, who recognizes his opponent from a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon viewing the game over security footage, the casino owners conclude that Willie is “jinxed” and fire him. As Willie leaves town, Bonita and her husband, Harold, follow in their trailer. Later, Harold discovers that Willie has taken a job at a new casino in Reno, Nevada, and instructs Bonita to seek employment as a lounge singer there. Unable to convince the stage manager to hire her, however, Bonita gets a job working on the casino floor. Harold plays at Willie’s table and wins again. The casino overseer, Milt Hawkins, observes Willie’s loss and says that he believes Willie is jinxed. In the morning, Willie follows Harold and Bonita to their trailer and watches as Howard hits her. Howard leaves, and Willie drives his car up to the door, pretending to have a broken radiator. He asks Bonita for water and removes his shirt while attending to the vehicle. Worried that Howard will return, Bonita becomes uncomfortable, but Willie re-enters the trailer and seduces her. After making love, they exchange names and Willie leaves. That evening, Howard returns home intoxicated and attempts to rape Bonita, but she eludes his advances. He claims that they will move to Acapulco, Mexico, as soon as he “wins big.” At the casino, the stage manager asks Bonita to perform in a special show, and she agrees to telephone him that afternoon with her decision. In the morning, Harold announces his plans ...

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In Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Bonita Friml performs a country music song for casino gamblers. Meanwhile, Bonita’s husband, Harold Benson, wins a round of blackjack against the table’s young dealer, Willie Brodax, who recognizes his opponent from a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon viewing the game over security footage, the casino owners conclude that Willie is “jinxed” and fire him. As Willie leaves town, Bonita and her husband, Harold, follow in their trailer. Later, Harold discovers that Willie has taken a job at a new casino in Reno, Nevada, and instructs Bonita to seek employment as a lounge singer there. Unable to convince the stage manager to hire her, however, Bonita gets a job working on the casino floor. Harold plays at Willie’s table and wins again. The casino overseer, Milt Hawkins, observes Willie’s loss and says that he believes Willie is jinxed. In the morning, Willie follows Harold and Bonita to their trailer and watches as Howard hits her. Howard leaves, and Willie drives his car up to the door, pretending to have a broken radiator. He asks Bonita for water and removes his shirt while attending to the vehicle. Worried that Howard will return, Bonita becomes uncomfortable, but Willie re-enters the trailer and seduces her. After making love, they exchange names and Willie leaves. That evening, Howard returns home intoxicated and attempts to rape Bonita, but she eludes his advances. He claims that they will move to Acapulco, Mexico, as soon as he “wins big.” At the casino, the stage manager asks Bonita to perform in a special show, and she agrees to telephone him that afternoon with her decision. In the morning, Harold announces his plans to gamble at a different casino; he will be away for multiple days. After visiting Willie’s motel, Bonita takes him to a lake in the mountains; she admits that Harold purposefully follows Willie across the country, taking advantage of his winning streak against him. Fed up with her husband’s abuses, Bonita asks Willie to help her kill Harold, but Willie is hesitant. Backstage during her singing performance, Bonita explains to Willie that she plans to drug Harold before driving their trailer over a cliff, thereby collecting his $250,000 life insurance. Harold returns in the morning and announces he is going to “go for broke” the next day, prompting Bonita to telephone Willie and put their plan in motion. However, Harold decides to go to the casino that same evening, where he wins multiple hands against Willie. Convinced that the jinx will not end until Harold is dead, Willie telephones Bonita to confirm their scheme, but is called back to the table when Harold wants to bet all his winnings on one final hand. Although nervous, Willie wins the hand and Harold loses all his money. As Willie and Milt celebrate, Willie forgets to call Bonita to cancel their arrangement. Harold returns home, pretending he won, and Bonita fixes him a poisoned drink. While Harold showers, Bonita becomes nervous and dumps the beverage in the sink. As she is about to proclaim she is leaving him, Harold unscrews the bathroom lightbulb and electrocutes himself. Willie arrives, and Bonita recounts what happened, realizing that Harold lied about his winnings and committed suicide. As a result, the insurance policy’s suicide clause prevents her from collecting her benefits. However, she decides to go ahead with her original plan, and stages his death to look like an accident. As Willie parks his motorcycle inside the trailer, Bonita dresses Harold’s corpse. Willie follows their strategy and punches Bonita in her mouth, causing her to bleed. She runs to a nearby house, screaming that her drunken husband attempted to kill her. The neighbors watch as Willie erratically drives the trailer away. Near a ravine outside the city, Willie opens the door and Bonita’s black cat, Angus, jumps out. He removes his motorcycle and places Harold’s corpse in the driver’s seat before lighting the trailer on fire, rolling the vehicle over the rocks, and riding away. The next morning, Bonita gives tearful interviews to news reporters and visits Willie’s motel. She realizes that she forgot Angus inside the trailer, but Willie assures her the cat ran away. After returning to the wreckage site to find her pet, Bonita visits the insurance agency. A broker explains that Harold never made a second payment on his policy, thus rendering it void. A woman at the agency gives her a letter from Harold, in which he apologizes for the insurance policy, but lists an address in Carson City, Nevada, where he left her something. When Bonita confesses the situation to Willie, he says he no longer wants to see her, and Bonita drives away in his car. Discovering that the address is an adult video store, Bonita meets with an exotic dancer named Miss Nina. The women laugh about Harold’s death and Miss Nina gives Bonita an envelope, which contains instructions to visit a series of locations, including a convenience store and an automobile museum. Bonita ends up at an abandoned mining shaft, where Harold’s friend Otto forces her to have a drink with him before giving her a package. Frightened by Otto’s aggression, Bonita drugs his drink, and Otto falls unconscious. Bonita opens the package containing a book of anagrams; using the first letters of the five places Harold left her clues, she spells “Jonah,” which she recognizes as a reference to the Biblical story. She returns to Willie’s table at the casino and beats him in multiple hands. Although Willie is fired and prepares to leave town, Bonita appears in Willie’s car, holding her winnings. She declares that as long as they are together, they cannot lose. They kiss, driving into the sunset to begin their new life together.

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

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