Somebody Killed Her Husband (1978)

PG | 96 mins | Mystery | 29 September 1978

Director:

Lamont Johnson

Writer:

Reginald Rose

Producer:

Martin Poll

Cinematographers:

Ralf Bode, Andrew Laszlo

Editor:

Barry Malkin

Production Designer:

Edward S. Haworth
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HISTORY

       A 20 Aug 1977 LAT article announced that producer Martin Poll cast Farrah Fawcett-Majors as the film’s lead for an estimated $1 million. Fawcett-Majors accepted the role despite a threatened lawsuit from television producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg who disputed that she violated her contract with them by abruptly ending her role on the series Charlie’s Angels (ABC, 22 Sep 1976--19 Aug 1981). Because of the pending legal injunctions, film studios were deterred from hiring Fawcett-Majors but Poll took a chance and moved forward with Somebody Killed Her Husband, which was scheduled for principal photography late-Oct 1977 in New York City.
       Principal photography began 28 Nov 1977 and ended 3 Feb 1978 as stated in 19 Dec 1977 Box and 6 Feb 1978 DV news items, respectively. A 3 May 1978 HR article noted the project cost $5 million.
       On 22 May 1978, HR announced that Columbia Pictures had purchased the distribution rights.

      The end credits include the following statements: “We would like to thank the following companies and locations: Gabriel Industries, Inc.; Western Publishing Company Inc.; Parker Brothers; Effanbee Doll Corp.; Macy’s New York; Maxwell’s Plum; The Museum of Modern Art; Juro Novelty Company Inc.; Random House, Inc.; Hanson Industries; Trudy Toys Company Inc.; Ben Cooper, Inc.; Fisher-Price Toys”; and, "Filmed entirely on location in New York ... More Less

       A 20 Aug 1977 LAT article announced that producer Martin Poll cast Farrah Fawcett-Majors as the film’s lead for an estimated $1 million. Fawcett-Majors accepted the role despite a threatened lawsuit from television producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg who disputed that she violated her contract with them by abruptly ending her role on the series Charlie’s Angels (ABC, 22 Sep 1976--19 Aug 1981). Because of the pending legal injunctions, film studios were deterred from hiring Fawcett-Majors but Poll took a chance and moved forward with Somebody Killed Her Husband, which was scheduled for principal photography late-Oct 1977 in New York City.
       Principal photography began 28 Nov 1977 and ended 3 Feb 1978 as stated in 19 Dec 1977 Box and 6 Feb 1978 DV news items, respectively. A 3 May 1978 HR article noted the project cost $5 million.
       On 22 May 1978, HR announced that Columbia Pictures had purchased the distribution rights.

      The end credits include the following statements: “We would like to thank the following companies and locations: Gabriel Industries, Inc.; Western Publishing Company Inc.; Parker Brothers; Effanbee Doll Corp.; Macy’s New York; Maxwell’s Plum; The Museum of Modern Art; Juro Novelty Company Inc.; Random House, Inc.; Hanson Industries; Trudy Toys Company Inc.; Ben Cooper, Inc.; Fisher-Price Toys”; and, "Filmed entirely on location in New York City."
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Dec 1977.
---
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1977.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1978.
---
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1978.
---
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1978
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Sep 1978
p. 1.
New York Times
6 Nov 1978.
---
Variety
27 Sep 1978
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Melvin Simon Presents
A Martin Poll Production
A Fawcett-Majors Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Steady-cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Master scenic
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward man
Ward woman
Jewelry by
MUSIC
Mus comp and adapted by
Mus ed
Orch
Mus rec by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec supv
Supv sd ed
Dubbing ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles designed by
MAKEUP
Farrah Fawcett-Majors make-up designed by
Farrah Fawcett-Majors hair styled by
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Pub coord
Asst to prod
Extra casting
Transportation capt
Prod office coord
Loc mgr
Asst to prod mgr
Asst to Mr. Johnson
Prod auditor
Scr supv
Unit pub
Post prod services by
STAND INS
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
MUSIC
"The Flying Dutchman Overture," by Richard Wagner, performed by The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Horst Stein, courtesy of London Records, Inc. and the Decca Record Company Ltd.
SONGS
"Love Keeps Getting Stronger Every Day," written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, arranged and conducted by Artie Butler, Neil Sedaka courtesy of Elektra Records.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 September 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 September 1978
Production Date:
28 November 1977--3 February 1978 in New York City
Copyright Claimant:
Simon Productions 7, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1978
Copyright Number:
PA17503
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25209
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Jerry Green, an aspiring children’s book author, recites story ideas into a hand held tape recorder as he commutes to his job at Macy’s department store in New York City. At work, Jerry spots Jenny Moore walking through the store with her toddler son, Benjamin. Instantly smitten, Jerry rushes over and helps Jenny when she drops her bags, then invites her to lunch. In the park, Jerry tells Jenny about his work, but he notices her wedding ring and is disappointed she is not single. That evening, Jerry goes to dinner with Helene, a co-worker he casually dates. When Helene brings up marriage, Jerry balks. He ignores her when Jenny arrives at the restaurant with her husband, Preston Moore. Annoyed, Helene leaves. Meanwhile, a bored Jenny listens to Preston brag about his insurance job then leaves the restaurant without him. Jerry follows Jenny outside and they go for a walk, where Jerry inquires if she is in an unhappy marriage. When she says yes, he kissers her, but Jenny’s neighbor, Ernest Van Santen, jogs by and says hello and Jerry worries that he will tell Preston. When Jenny seems unconcerned, Jerry blurts out “I love you!” Flattered, Jenny asks Jerry out on a date. The next evening, Jenny takes Jerry back to her apartment and confesses she has a loveless marriage. Proclaiming their love for each other, Jerry and Jenny kiss and Jerry notices neighbors watching through the window. When Preston returns home, Jerry and Jenny hide upstairs but hear Preston talking with another man downstairs. When the man leaves, they go downstairs to ... +


Jerry Green, an aspiring children’s book author, recites story ideas into a hand held tape recorder as he commutes to his job at Macy’s department store in New York City. At work, Jerry spots Jenny Moore walking through the store with her toddler son, Benjamin. Instantly smitten, Jerry rushes over and helps Jenny when she drops her bags, then invites her to lunch. In the park, Jerry tells Jenny about his work, but he notices her wedding ring and is disappointed she is not single. That evening, Jerry goes to dinner with Helene, a co-worker he casually dates. When Helene brings up marriage, Jerry balks. He ignores her when Jenny arrives at the restaurant with her husband, Preston Moore. Annoyed, Helene leaves. Meanwhile, a bored Jenny listens to Preston brag about his insurance job then leaves the restaurant without him. Jerry follows Jenny outside and they go for a walk, where Jerry inquires if she is in an unhappy marriage. When she says yes, he kissers her, but Jenny’s neighbor, Ernest Van Santen, jogs by and says hello and Jerry worries that he will tell Preston. When Jenny seems unconcerned, Jerry blurts out “I love you!” Flattered, Jenny asks Jerry out on a date. The next evening, Jenny takes Jerry back to her apartment and confesses she has a loveless marriage. Proclaiming their love for each other, Jerry and Jenny kiss and Jerry notices neighbors watching through the window. When Preston returns home, Jerry and Jenny hide upstairs but hear Preston talking with another man downstairs. When the man leaves, they go downstairs to find Preston dead, stabbed in the back. Stunned, Jenny wants to call the police but Jerry points out that they appear suspicious, as two lovers caught by a jealous husband. When Jerry has Jenny call Martin, the night doorman, to ask if a man came in with Preston, they learn that Preston came in alone. Jerry convinces his lover they need to investigate the murder to clear their names and stuffs Preston’s body in the kitchen freezer. The next day, Jenny calls Preston’s secretary, Herbert Little, and lies that Preston is home sick with the flu. Jerry babysits Benjamin while Jenny goes to Preston’s office and retrieves his appointment diary and briefcase. Back at the apartment, Frank Danzinger knocks on the door, identifying himself as a police detective and claiming there have been multiple break-ins in the building recently. Danzinger looks around the apartment. Jerry nervously follows and Benjamin crawls under the dining room table. After Danzinger leaves, Jerry retrieves Benjamin and finds a recording device under the table. When Jerry meets Jenny in the park, the lovers run into neighbors Ernest and his wife, Audrey, who insist Jerry and Jenny join them for a drink at their place. At the Van Santen’s apartment, Jerry excuses himself to the bathroom and discovers another tape recorder. He plays it back and hears a conversation he and Jenny had earlier, then insists they leave. Later, Jerry informs Jenny that the Van Santens are wire-tapping her apartment. As Jerry goes through Preston’s files, he questions if Jenny ever met Danzinger, but she does not remember him. Thinking the Van Santens have gone out for the evening, Jerry breaks into their place to steal the tape recordings but finds the couple stabbed to death. He runs to the bathroom and vomits in the toilet; upon flushing it, he hears a strange clanking noise. Checking the tank, Jerry finds a bag of expensive jewelry. Jerry takes Jenny and Benjamin to his apartment. As Benjamin sleeps, Jerry finds a file that insures the jewelry he found for $1.5 million. Jenny remembers Preston telling her his company had an illicit policy, where clients would claim their property was stolen to collect on its insurance, only to have the items returned with a fifty percent cut of the proceeds going to the insurance company. Jerry thinks Preston, the Van Santens and Danzinger were sharing the insurance company’s profits and Danzinger killed the others. The next day, Jerry hides the jewelry then returns to Jenny’s building in disguise. He plants a ransom note for the jewelry in Jenny’s apartment then climbs into the Van Santens’ apartment to do the same, but is shocked to find Danzinger inside, stabbed to death. As Jerry runs out, a mysterious man picks up the note, which instructs the reader to wear a beret and meet Jerry at Macy’s that afternoon. While at work, Jerry phones Jenny to tell her about Danzinger. Jenny think it is time to call the police but Jerry refuses because he has not yet proven his innocence by implicating the real killer. After she hangs up, Jenny leaves Jerry’s apartment with Benjamin. Meanwhile, Jerry leaves notes all over the city with the intent of luring the killer to the police. At Macy’s, Jerry sees a French man with a beret and sends Helene over with a second note as Preston’s secretary, Herbert, watches from afar. After trying to call Jenny back all afternoon, Jerry is relieved when she shows up at Macy’s after sending Benjamin to her maid’s house. Jerry tells Jenny of his plans to lure the killer to the police with his notes but Herbert eavesdrops and lies in wait until the store closes. After killing a security guard, Herbert corners the lovers as Jerry surreptitiously turns on the tape recorder in his pocket, documenting Herbert’s demand for the jewelry, confession to all of the murders, and to the insurance scheme. Jerry tackles Herbert and disarms him long enough for he and Jenny to escape. They run to the store’s basement, where Herbert chases them through a maze of giant toys, but they eventually overpower Herbert and knock him unconscious. Jerry pulls out his tape recorder, confirming that he captured Herbert’s confession and the couple goes to the police. +

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

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