52 Pick-Up (1986)

R | 114 mins | Drama | 7 November 1986

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Cinematographer:

Jost Vacano

Production Designer:

Phillip Harrison

Production Company:

Cannon Films, Inc.
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HISTORY


       A 14 Sep 1972 DV news item reported that principal photography would begin 1 Jan 1973 in “various west coast locations.” Tomorrow Entertainment planned to finance and produce the project for $1 million, but it stalled, and according to a 8 Jun 1986 LAT article, when the Canon Group, Inc. co-producers, Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan, optioned Elmore Leonard’s novel, 52 Pick-Up, in 1974, they had Leonard change the setting to Tel Aviv, Israel, from Detroit, MI. The storyline was also changed: the wife of an American ambassador to Israel has an affair for which the couple is blackmailed, threatening the ambassador’s job. This version was released in 1984 under the title, The Ambassador.
       The LAT article and production notes in AMPAS library files stated that director John Frankenheimer told his agent he wanted to option Leonard’s novel after reading it. When he learned that Canon owned the rights, he approached them and asked if he could direct the picture.
       A 20 Feb 1986 HR brief stated filming would begin 9 Apr 1986 in Pittsburgh, PA, standing in for Detroit. However, according to production notes, weather conditions and budgetary concerns lead filmmakers to relocate the production and the story's setting to Los Angeles, CA. The 9 Jun 1986 HR noted that the film had a ten-week shooting schedule.
       The production spent two weeks shooting in Los Angeles’s Hancock Park to film a residence used as the "Mitchell" home. Production designer Philip Harrison decided to build the live nude model parlor at the corner of Vine Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, ... More Less


       A 14 Sep 1972 DV news item reported that principal photography would begin 1 Jan 1973 in “various west coast locations.” Tomorrow Entertainment planned to finance and produce the project for $1 million, but it stalled, and according to a 8 Jun 1986 LAT article, when the Canon Group, Inc. co-producers, Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan, optioned Elmore Leonard’s novel, 52 Pick-Up, in 1974, they had Leonard change the setting to Tel Aviv, Israel, from Detroit, MI. The storyline was also changed: the wife of an American ambassador to Israel has an affair for which the couple is blackmailed, threatening the ambassador’s job. This version was released in 1984 under the title, The Ambassador.
       The LAT article and production notes in AMPAS library files stated that director John Frankenheimer told his agent he wanted to option Leonard’s novel after reading it. When he learned that Canon owned the rights, he approached them and asked if he could direct the picture.
       A 20 Feb 1986 HR brief stated filming would begin 9 Apr 1986 in Pittsburgh, PA, standing in for Detroit. However, according to production notes, weather conditions and budgetary concerns lead filmmakers to relocate the production and the story's setting to Los Angeles, CA. The 9 Jun 1986 HR noted that the film had a ten-week shooting schedule.
       The production spent two weeks shooting in Los Angeles’s Hancock Park to film a residence used as the "Mitchell" home. Production designer Philip Harrison decided to build the live nude model parlor at the corner of Vine Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, CA, when arrangements could not be made with area establishments for a week’s shooting. For the sequence at Dodger Stadium, Frankenheimer filmed during an actual baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets, and hired 400 background actors.
      In end credits, actor Doug McClure’s character is listed as “Mark Averson,” but in the film, the character is referred to as “Mark Arveson.” Opening credits also misspell the name of production designer Philip Harrison as "Phillip Harrison."

              The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “The Producers wish to thank: Chapman and Leonard Studio Equipment, The Sharper Image, Proton U.S.A., Professional Video Communications Division JVC Company of America,” and, “Film clip courtesy of Ron Jeremy Hyatt.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 1986
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 1986
p. 9, 15.
Los Angeles Times
8 Jun 1986
Calendar.
Los Angeles Times
7 Nov 1986
Section I, p. 8.
New York Times
7 Nov 1986
p. 10.
Variety
12 Nov 1986
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Cannon Group, Inc. Presents
In A Golan-Globus Production
Of A John Frankenheimer Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Helicopter cam op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec rigger
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutting
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Scenic artist
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
2d asst props
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus comp and performed by
Mus supv
Mus ed
Mus mixed by
Mus rec by
SOUND
Boom op
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR supv
ADR supv
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Main titles and opticals
Title des
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup and spec eff makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Helicopter pilot
Head of lab prosthetics
Lab tech
Lab tech
Prod coord
Asst loc mgr
Loc scout
Loc scout
Prod auditor
Scr supv
Unit pub
Asst to Mr. Frankenheimer
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod supv
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transport co-capt
Extras casting
Craft services
Prod services and equip provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel 52 Pick-Up by Elmore Leonard (New York, 1974).
SONGS
"Stratusphunk," written by George Russell, published by Russ-Hix Music (BMI), courtesy of Soul Note Records
"Ezz'Thetic," written by George Russell, published by Russ-Hix Music (BMI), courtesy of Soul Note Records
"Happy Days Are Here Again," words by Jack Yellen, music by Milton Ayer, published by CBS Robins Catalogue, performed by The Gary Tole Orchestra
+
SONGS
"Stratusphunk," written by George Russell, published by Russ-Hix Music (BMI), courtesy of Soul Note Records
"Ezz'Thetic," written by George Russell, published by Russ-Hix Music (BMI), courtesy of Soul Note Records
"Happy Days Are Here Again," words by Jack Yellen, music by Milton Ayer, published by CBS Robins Catalogue, performed by The Gary Tole Orchestra
"Gotta Have You," written by Michael Bishop and Scott Page, published by Cannon Film Music (BMI), performed by The Lucas Sisters, produced by Michael Bishop.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 November 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 November 1986
Production Date:
began 9 April 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Cannon Films, Inc., Cannon International, B.V.
Copyright Date:
18 December 1986
Copyright Number:
PA314226
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28294
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, industrialist Harry Mitchell drives his Jaguar XKE to work as his wife, Barbara, a clean air commissioner, leaves in her car. After Harry takes care of a few perfunctory things at his office, he drives to a secret apartment to meet his mistress, Cynthia “Cini” Frazier. Cini is missing, but two masked gangsters force Harry at gunpoint to watch video footage of his vacation with Cini in Palm Springs, California, when he was supposedly attending a convention. The blackmailers want $105,000 in exchange for the incriminating video. As they leave, they demand the first payment of $10,000 the following day. Harry will receive the tape after the last installment is paid. At home, Barbara announces that political colleagues want her to run for a Los Angeles City Council seat. Harry meets with his attorney, Jim O’Boyle, to discuss his options. O’Boyle wants to go to the police, but Harry protests that the scandal will hurt Barbara’s political ambitions. O’Boyle advises Harry that if he pays blackmailers, the situation will not end. At a political dinner, the host introduces Barbara as a city council candidate, and she announces her support for Mark Arveson, candidate for L.A. County district attorney. Back at home, when Barbara asks Harry’s opinion of Mark Arveson, he confesses his affair and announces that he will stop seeing Cini. Barbara claims she has known about the affair for a month, and remarks that it hurts her to the core. At a wild Hollywood party hosted by Alan Raimy, former accountant and pornographic theater manager, an inebriated Cini tells her friend, Doreen, she is tired of her life. Doreen reminds Cini ... +


In Los Angeles, California, industrialist Harry Mitchell drives his Jaguar XKE to work as his wife, Barbara, a clean air commissioner, leaves in her car. After Harry takes care of a few perfunctory things at his office, he drives to a secret apartment to meet his mistress, Cynthia “Cini” Frazier. Cini is missing, but two masked gangsters force Harry at gunpoint to watch video footage of his vacation with Cini in Palm Springs, California, when he was supposedly attending a convention. The blackmailers want $105,000 in exchange for the incriminating video. As they leave, they demand the first payment of $10,000 the following day. Harry will receive the tape after the last installment is paid. At home, Barbara announces that political colleagues want her to run for a Los Angeles City Council seat. Harry meets with his attorney, Jim O’Boyle, to discuss his options. O’Boyle wants to go to the police, but Harry protests that the scandal will hurt Barbara’s political ambitions. O’Boyle advises Harry that if he pays blackmailers, the situation will not end. At a political dinner, the host introduces Barbara as a city council candidate, and she announces her support for Mark Arveson, candidate for L.A. County district attorney. Back at home, when Barbara asks Harry’s opinion of Mark Arveson, he confesses his affair and announces that he will stop seeing Cini. Barbara claims she has known about the affair for a month, and remarks that it hurts her to the core. At a wild Hollywood party hosted by Alan Raimy, former accountant and pornographic theater manager, an inebriated Cini tells her friend, Doreen, she is tired of her life. Doreen reminds Cini that when Harry pays the blackmailers her life will improve considerably. At work, Harry receives an anonymous package with two tickets to a Dodgers baseball game. There, Alan Raimy’s associate, Leo Franks, disguised as a food vendor, collects Harry’s envelope, then gives it to Bobby Shy, another partner. In a car, Shy hands Raimy the envelope, which Harry filled with worthless paper. Barbara returns home, and cautiously enters the house when she sees the front door unlocked. Dressed in business attire, Raimy launches into a speech about his company, Silver Lining Accounting Service, a firm that provides personalized monthly accounting. Barbara asks Raimy to leave, but he ignores her. When she threatens to call police, Raimy leaves but promises to be in touch. Later on the street, Bobby Shy holds a gun to Harry’s back, and forces him to drive to a deserted factory. There, in a dark room, Harry is seated in front of a television screen, and shown a film of Cini being held hostage. Raimy states it will cost $105,000 a year for the rest of Harry’s life to avoid scandal. As Cini’s blouse is torn off, Raimy’s camera pans to the opposite side of the room, where he has mounted Harry’s stolen gun to a table, and attached a string to the trigger to avoid leaving fingerprints. He also points out Harry’s stolen jacket with his name sewn on an inside label. The string is used to pull the trigger and Harry watches as several bullets are pumped into Cini’s chest, and Harry’s jacket is used to cover Cini’s limp body. Raimy warns the police will find the gun with Harry’s prints, and he will be sent to the gas chamber. Raimy gives Harry instructions to make his payments, orders him to cooperate, and leaves. When Harry returns home, Barbara asks where he has been. Instead of answering her, Harry asks if she has had a visit from a stranger. She refuses to answer, while he checks his closet and dresser drawers. He realizes Raimy’s story is true, then informs Barbara about the blackmailing. He knows he cannot go to police, and Barbara suggests she pull out of the city council race, but Harry believes they have a few days to straighten out the mess. He visits the nude model club where Cini worked. There, Harry rents a Polaroid camera, and asks for a session with Doreen. As he photographs her undressing, Harry questions her, and Doreen agrees to meet him outside of work. When Harry returns the camera, he photographs Leo Franks so his wife can identify it later. At Doreen’s apartment, Harry copie`s the name of her employer from one of her salary checks, and pays Doreen $1,000 in cash to reveal the names of Leo Frank’s associates. She tells him Alan Raimy’s name. Later, Harry shows Barbara the photo of Leo, but she tells him Leo was not the intruder. Barbara is able to get help from Mark Arveson’s office to track down Leo’s associate. The trail leads to Raimy’s porno theater that Raimy manages on Western Avenue. Harry surprises Raimy in his office, but when he mentions that he is there to pay the $10,000, Raimy pretends not to understand. As Harry leaves, Raimy says he will take the money. Harry slaps his face with the envelope, and orders Raimy to come to his plant after the last night shift. When Raimy asks for the envelope, Harry answers he is still not sure he has the right guy and leaves. Later, Raimy arrives at the plant, and Harry, allows Raimy to examine the financial statements from his business. Raimy realizes half of Harry’s profit is siphoned off in taxes, and he can only afford to pay $52,000 As they chat, Harry lies, saying Leo Franks revealed Raimy’s identity. Later, Raimy tells his cronies they will have to kill Harry, but Raimy orders Bobby Shy to do the killing. Shy breaks into Harry’s home at night, and Harry overpowers Shy and takes his gun. Harry learns that Raimy planned to cheat his partners out of the $52,000. He releases Shy so he can confront Raimy. Later, Shy confronts Raimy. They patch up their differences and agree to split Harry’s money. They also agree Leo Franks is expendable, and Shy will kill him. Meanwhile, Leo Franks calls Harry and they meet at a bar. Harry denies telling Raimy that Leo revealed his identity. Harry believes Leo participated in Cini’s murder, but Leo denies being complicit, and confesses important details about the crime. Soon, Leo realizes Raimy plans to double cross him, and says that if Harry goes to police, he will provide testimony in exchange for a lighter sentence. Harry responds he cannot go to police because of the murder tape, Cini’s body, and his gun. Leo reveals the tape and body were disposed of in a river, but Raimy has kept Harry’s gun. Leo wants to know what Harry is going to do. Harry says that he will wait until the partners make a decision about Leo’s future. Raimy kidnaps Barbara, locking her in the trunk of his car. Harry’s attorney, Jim O’Boyle, insists they go to the police. He says Bobby Shy spent three years in juvenile hall, when he was thirteen-years-old for bludgeoning his stepfather to death, Raimy is a twice-convicted rapist, but Leo is willing to testify on Harry’s behalf. However, they are too late. Shy kills Leo, while Raimy holds Barbara hostage in a seedy motel, and injects her with drugs. Raimy calls Harry and orders him to bring the money to the Old Terminal Island Railroad Bridge in Long Beach, California. Harry says he will also turn over his prized Jaguar for Barbara’s safe return, then tells Jim O’Boyle he will make the money drop alone. Raimy instructs Bobby Shy to meet at a warehouse, there he kills Shy, and Doreen. At the bridge, Raimy hands over a drugged Barbara, and instructs Harry to put the money on the Jaguar passenger seat. Harry warns that if Raimy tries to kill them, his attorney has Harry’s accounting ledgers with Raimy’s fingerprints and will go to police. As Harry and Barbara limp away, Raimy gleefully climbs into the Jaguar, and turns on the ignition and the radio. A recording of Harry’s voice tells him that this is the last ten seconds of his life. Harry has rigged the car with a bomb. The car doors lock electronically. As Raimy realizes he is trapped, he tries shooting his way out, but fails, and the car explodes. +

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

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