Something Wild (1986)

R | 115 mins | Comedy | 7 November 1986

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

E. Max Frye

Cinematographer:

Tak Fujimoto

Editor:

Craig McKay

Production Designer:

Norma Moriceau

Production Company:

Religioso Primitiva Productions
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HISTORY

Production notes in AMPAS library files state that after reading the first few pages of writer E. Max Frye’s script, director Jonathan Demme was sent it to Orion Pictures Corp. Orion executives reportedly purchased the screenplay from the novice writer a day later. As Demme read the script, he claimed that he made mental notes regarding casting choices.
       A 19 Feb 1986 DV item noted that the film had been promoted in the trade papers under the working title, Cross Cut.
       According to a 3 Jan 1986 LADN news item, actor Jeff Daniels left his role in the off-Broadway production of Lemon Sky on 18 Jan 1986 in order to begin principal photography, which was set to take place in North Carolina. However, the 9 Apr 1986 DV reported that filming did not start until two months later, on 19 Mar 1986, with locations in New York City and Florida. End credit acknowledgments indicate that Florida locations included the towns of Quigley and Tallahassee. A 14 May 1986 Var brief and a 3 Sep 1986 Var article stated that the $7 million film had an eight-week shooting schedule.
       An article in the 17 Oct 1991 HR noted that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by Orion Pictures Corp. to dismiss a case under arbitration between the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and Orion for failing to pay residuals to writers on Something Wild, Making Mr. Right, (1987, see entry) and No Way Out (1987, see entry). Although Orion argued it was ... More Less

Production notes in AMPAS library files state that after reading the first few pages of writer E. Max Frye’s script, director Jonathan Demme was sent it to Orion Pictures Corp. Orion executives reportedly purchased the screenplay from the novice writer a day later. As Demme read the script, he claimed that he made mental notes regarding casting choices.
       A 19 Feb 1986 DV item noted that the film had been promoted in the trade papers under the working title, Cross Cut.
       According to a 3 Jan 1986 LADN news item, actor Jeff Daniels left his role in the off-Broadway production of Lemon Sky on 18 Jan 1986 in order to begin principal photography, which was set to take place in North Carolina. However, the 9 Apr 1986 DV reported that filming did not start until two months later, on 19 Mar 1986, with locations in New York City and Florida. End credit acknowledgments indicate that Florida locations included the towns of Quigley and Tallahassee. A 14 May 1986 Var brief and a 3 Sep 1986 Var article stated that the $7 million film had an eight-week shooting schedule.
       An article in the 17 Oct 1991 HR noted that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by Orion Pictures Corp. to dismiss a case under arbitration between the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and Orion for failing to pay residuals to writers on Something Wild, Making Mr. Right, (1987, see entry) and No Way Out (1987, see entry). Although Orion argued it was not responsible for payments because it had not entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the guild, the appellate court’s decision allowed arbitration to resume.
       The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Thank you Chip Taylor,” and “We would like to thank: Irving Azoff and Steve Baker and John ‘Tim’ Bowling and Jay Chattaway and Percy Chin and Tony Fitzpatrick and Jim Hall and Jah Life and Jerry Masucci and Kathy Nelson and Quincy, Florida, and The Shotmaker, and Tallahassee, Florida, and Mark Wolfson for their invaluable assistance”; and, "Thanks to the filmmakers for the excerpts from Brian Hansen's Speed of Light and David Boone's Invasion of the Aluminum People."
       Actress Sister Carol is listed in end credits as "'Sister Carol' East." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Feb 1986.
---
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 1986
p. 3, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 1991
---
Los Angeles Daily News
3 Jan 1986
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1986
Section J, p. 1, 8.
New York Times
7 Nov 1986
p. 8.
Variety
14 May 1986
---
Variety
3 Sep 1986
---
Variety
29 Oct 1986
p. 11.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Religioso Primitiva presents
A Jonathan Demme picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
N.Y. 2d A.D.
N.Y. 2d A.D.
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Grip
Video eng
Cams provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Const supv
Carpenter
Carpenter
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Opening song by
Mus score
Mus score
Mus consultant
Mus supv
Mus ed
SOUND
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd apprentice
A.D.R. ed
A.D.R. ed
A.D.R. asst
A.D.R. rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles by
Opticals by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Const supv
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Asst auditor
Creative consultant
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Video eng
Unit pub
Asst to Ken Utt
N.Y. loc mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Casting asst
Casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting
Caterers
STAND INS
Stunt double, Lulu
Stunt double, Charlie
Stunt double, Ray
Stunt double, Ray
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Loco De Amor,” written by David Byrne, performed by David Byrne with Celia Cruz, David Byrne appears courtesy of Sire Records/EMI Records Ltd., Celia Cruz appears courtesy of Fania Records
“Si Por Mi Llueve,” written by Cheo Feliciano, performed by Cheo Feliciano, courtesy of Vaya Records
“Wozani Mahipi,” written by N. S. Bopare, E. Piliso, performed by The Mahotella Queens, courtesy of Gallo Africa Records
+
SONGS
“Loco De Amor,” written by David Byrne, performed by David Byrne with Celia Cruz, David Byrne appears courtesy of Sire Records/EMI Records Ltd., Celia Cruz appears courtesy of Fania Records
“Si Por Mi Llueve,” written by Cheo Feliciano, performed by Cheo Feliciano, courtesy of Vaya Records
“Wozani Mahipi,” written by N. S. Bopare, E. Piliso, performed by The Mahotella Queens, courtesy of Gallo Africa Records
“Feel It,” written by Manley Buchanan, Herbie Miller, performed by Big Youth, courtesy of Heartbeat Records
“With You Or Without You,” written by Steve Jones, performed by Steve Jones, courtesy of Gold Mountain Records
“Highlife,” written by Sonny Okossun, performed by Sonny Okossun, courtesy of EMI (Nigeria) Limited/Serengeti Records
“Ohh! Aah!,” written by Ashley Cooper, Sidonia Thorpe, Harold Baile, Richard Walters, Alvin Campbell, Louis Marriot, Franklyn Campbell, performed by The Fabulous Five, courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
“Nice Up Dancee,” written by L. Palmer, L. McQueen, J. White, performed by Natural Beauty, courtesy of Ras Records/Must Dance Records
“Medicine Show,” written by M. Jones, D. Letts, performed by Big Audio Dynamite, courtesy of CBS Records
“Wild Thing,” written by Chip Taylor, performed by The Troggs, courtesy of DJM Records, Limited
“Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt,” written by Yellowman, performed by Yellowman, courtesy of Greensleeves Records Ltd.
“Yahooo Eeeee!,” written by Wazmo Nariz, performed by Wazmo Nariz
“Minuet In G Major,” written by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Dana Preu
“Temptation,” written by New Order, performed by New Order, courtesy of Factory Communications Ltd.
“Ever Fallen In Love,” written by Pete Shelley, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of I.R.S. Records/London Records
“You Can Turn A Light On,” written by Lisa Chadwick, performed by Lisa Chadwick, D. C. Stringer
“I’m A Believer,” written by Neil Diamond, performed live by The Feelies
“Before The Next Teardrop Falls,” written by N. Peters, Vivian Keith, lead vocal by Gary Goetzman, performed live by The Feelies
“Crazy Rhythm,” written by Glen Mercer, Bill Million, performed live by The Feelies
“Fame,” written by Carlos Alomar, David Bowie, John Lennon, performed live by The Feelies
“Loveless Love,” written by Glen Mercer, Bill Million, performed live by The Feelies
“Not My Slave,” written by Danny Elfman, performed by Oingo Boingo, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
“More Fun In The New World,” written by John X. Doe, Exene Cervenka, performed by X, courtesy of Eleketra/Asylum, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Spring Rain,” written by Robert Forester, Grant McLennan, performed by The Go-Betweens, courtesy of Big Time Records (America) Inc./Beggars Banquet Records Ltd.
“The Candle Goes Away,” written by Bill Garvey, performed by Q. Lazarus
“The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades,” written by Pat McDonald, performed by Timbuk 3, courtesy of I.R.S. Records
“Total Control,” written by Martha Davis, Jeff Jourad, performed by The Motels, courtesy of Capital Records, Inc.
“Let The Big Dog Eat,” written by Bill Wharton, performed by Bill Wharton, courtesy of Peckerwood Records
“Riding In A UFO,” written by David Bean, performed by The Judy’s, courtesy of Wasted Talent Records
“One More Cup Of Coffee,” written by F. Ennui, Thomas Corey, performed by Electric Sheep
“Man With A Gun,” written by Jerry Harrison, performed by Jerry Harrison, courtesy of Sire Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc.
“Co-Il,” written by Sam Dotson, Ronald Harris, Ricky Harris, Jerry Johnson, performed by The Crew
“Slipping (Into Something),” written by Glen Mercer, Bill Million, performed by The Feelies, courtesy of Coyote-Twin/Tone Records
“Testimonial,” written by Tina Baker, Mitch Kaplan, performed by Tina Baker
“Secrets,” written by Stanton-Miranda, performed by Stanton-Miranda and Stephen Vitello
“I Really Love You,” written by Robert Dockett, Joan York, performed by Jiggs & Co.
“Time Talks,” written by Scott Rogness, performed by Scott Rogness
“One Day At A Time,” written by Marijohn Wilkin, Kris Kristofferson, performed by The Community Holiness Church Choir
“Black Sheep Of The Family,” written by Danny Darst, performed by Danny Darst
“Long Legged Woman,” written by Danny Darst, performed by Danny Darst
“Someone Like You,” written by John X. Doe, Exene Cervenka, performed by The Knitters, Dave Alvin appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records John Doe/Exene Cervenka/D. J. Bonesbreak appear courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
“Zero, Zero Seven Charlie,” written by James Brown, Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, Michael Virtue, Terence Wilson, performed by UB-40, courtesy of A&M Records, Inc./Virgin Records Ltd.
“My Watercolors,” written by Chuck Napier, performed by Chuck Napier
“Pili-Pili,” written by Jasper Van’t Hof, performed by Jasper Van’t Hof, courtesy of WEA Musik GMBH, Germany/Keynote productions BV
“Cherokee Chief,” written by Jerry Harrison, performed by Jerry Harrison, courtesy of Sire Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc.
“Ethnicolor,” written by Jean-Michel Jarre, performed by Jean-Michel Jarre, courtesy of Frances Dreyfus Records
“You Don’t Have To Cry,” written by Arthur Baker, Little Steven, performed by Jimmy Cliff, courtesy of CBS Records
“Wild Thing,” written by Chip Taylor, performed by Sister Carol
“R.U.O.K.?,” by “Rev.” Jim Roche.
+
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Cross Cut
Release Date:
7 November 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 November 1986
Production Date:
began 19 March 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
10 February 1987
Copyright Number:
PA327341
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
115
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28271
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As business executive Charles “Charlie” Driggs leaves a New York City coffee shop, another customer, Audrey Hankel, confronts him on the street for not paying his check. Audrey refuses his money, but senses that he is a "closet rebel," offers him a ride back to his office, and tells him that her name is Lulu. She claims she knows a short cut, but when they drive into the Holland Tunnel, he realizes he is being kidnapped. As he protests, she offers him a drink from a bottle of Scotch whiskey. In New Jersey, Lulu stops at a liquor store to buy more Scotch, and steals money from the cash register. As Charlie gives his secretary instructions at a payphone, Lulu disconnects the call and kisses him. In the car, Charles explains that his acts of rebellion are of the mainstream variety such as investing in long-term, tax free, municipal bonds, and earning fifteen percent interest against the advice of colleagues. Lulu stops at a motel, and persuades him to use cash allocated for his Christmas club account to pay for their room. As she throws Charlie on the bed and undresses him, he claims to have never done anything so outlandish. Lulu handcuffs him to the headboard, then calls his office, and forces him to lie to his boss about his whereabouts. Charlie also calls his wife to say he has been called away on business. At an Italian restaurant, Lulu offers to cover the bill as she leaves to bring up the car, but at the register, the owner informs Charlie that Lulu expects him to pay. Lulu pulls up to the curb. The restaurant ... +


As business executive Charles “Charlie” Driggs leaves a New York City coffee shop, another customer, Audrey Hankel, confronts him on the street for not paying his check. Audrey refuses his money, but senses that he is a "closet rebel," offers him a ride back to his office, and tells him that her name is Lulu. She claims she knows a short cut, but when they drive into the Holland Tunnel, he realizes he is being kidnapped. As he protests, she offers him a drink from a bottle of Scotch whiskey. In New Jersey, Lulu stops at a liquor store to buy more Scotch, and steals money from the cash register. As Charlie gives his secretary instructions at a payphone, Lulu disconnects the call and kisses him. In the car, Charles explains that his acts of rebellion are of the mainstream variety such as investing in long-term, tax free, municipal bonds, and earning fifteen percent interest against the advice of colleagues. Lulu stops at a motel, and persuades him to use cash allocated for his Christmas club account to pay for their room. As she throws Charlie on the bed and undresses him, he claims to have never done anything so outlandish. Lulu handcuffs him to the headboard, then calls his office, and forces him to lie to his boss about his whereabouts. Charlie also calls his wife to say he has been called away on business. At an Italian restaurant, Lulu offers to cover the bill as she leaves to bring up the car, but at the register, the owner informs Charlie that Lulu expects him to pay. Lulu pulls up to the curb. The restaurant only accepts cash, but Charlie does not have enough to cover the bill. Charlie jumps into Lulu’s car to escape, and as they drive away, he lets his legs dangle out the side, and freely drinks Scotch. That night, they stop when Lulu crashes her car in a ditch next to a motel. In the morning, they see a tow truck ready to pry Lulu’s car from the ditch, and a motorcycle officer nearby. As Lulu walks past her car down the road, Charlie panics, and insists he has no interest in being arrested. Lulu tells him things will work out, and suggests they buy another car. When Lulu pays $600 in cash for a used car, Charlie wants to know where she got the money. She is evasive, and distracts him by picking up some hitchhikers. When they stop in a small town, the hitchhikers get out. Lulu outfits Charlie at a vintage clothing store with a blue suit, a bright yellow tie, and white buckskin shoes to replace his gray Wall Street attire. For herself, she purchases a white sundress printed with red and green flowers. Their next stop is a modest house in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Lulu removes Charlie’s handcuffs and tells him to call her “Audrey.” When Audrey’s mother “Peaches” answers the door, her daughter introduces Charlie as her husband. Audrey and Charlie lie about their courtship, and future plans as a couple. Later, Charlie finds some newspaper articles describing crimes committed by Audrey’s former husband, Ray Sinclair, as he looks through Audrey’s high school yearbook. While doing dishes after dinner, Peaches guesses that Charlie’s “marriage” is a temporary thing, and he probably has a real family elsewhere. She warns him that her daughter has funny notions about life. Audrey appears elegantly made up, and her bobbed dark brunette wig has been removed to show her natural blonde hair. Charlie is intrigued by her transformation, and Audrey announces that they are going to her ten-year high school reunion. At the reception desk, Charlie is a good sport and pretends to be Audrey’s husband. She answers questions about her married life, but Charlie supplies the names of his children when asked about their offspring. Suddenly, an accountant from Charlie’s office named Larry Dillman and his wife, Peggy, say hello. As Charlie awkwardly makes conversation, Audrey volunteers that they are lovers, and have a child. Audrey also explains that Charlie had to pay for a motel room on the company credit card. As Larry offers to handle similar transactions for Charlie in the future, Peggy Dillman suggests they leave. Charlie complains that when Larry gossips at the office, his career will be ruined. Audrey observes that Larry admires Charlie’s status as a vice president, and will keep his secret. Charlie panics when he realizes that his wallet, with his company credit cards and access codes, is gone. Audrey tells him she found it when it fell out of his pocket, and put it in the glove compartment for safekeeping. Charlie would like to return to his boring, safe life, but Audrey convinces him to wait until morning. They dance and kiss. However, when Audrey’s criminal ex-husband, Ray Sinclair, greets them, Audrey hustles Charlie off the dance floor without a word. Audrey wants to leave, but her car will not start. Ray and his girl friend, Irene, persuade the couple to join them for a drink. On the road, Ray hands Charlie an open liquor bottle. They stop at a gas station, where Audrey and Irene buy beer. Audrey wants to know how long Ray has been out of prison, but Irene claims he just showed up. In the car, Ray pumps Charlie for personal information, but Charlie is offended when Ray wants to know details about their love life. Ray apologizes, and soon corners Audrey in the convenience store. He wants to rekindle their relationship, but Audrey is not interested. To retaliate, Ray leaves Irene stranded, and stops at another convenience store for cigarettes. He persuades an inebriated Charlie to join him. Ray shoots and destroys the security camera before knocking out the clerk with the butt of his gun and taking money from the cash register. As they drive away, Audrey wipes Charlie’s bleeding, broken nose. Ray boasts about his past exploits as a thief, and takes them to a seedy motel, where he demands that Audrey explain her relationship with Charlie. She responds that she picked up Charlie to impress her mother, and go to the reunion, claiming it was just a joke that got out of hand. Ray does not believe her, and thinks Charlie left his wife to be with Audrey based on something Larry Dillman said in passing. As Charlie sobers up, he confesses he left his wife back in September, and Audrey is disappointed that Charlie is not as put-together as he seems. Ray tosses Charlie the keys to Audrey’s car. On foot, Charlie returns to the car parked outside the reunion hall, and escapes. The next day, Charlie stops for gas, and a change of clothing. At another gas station across the street, Charlie sees Ray and Audrey. He follows their car to a roadside motel in Virginia, buys a pair of binoculars from the motel gift shop, and spies on the couple. Although Audrey tries to escape, Ray captures her, and throws her in the pool. Charlie sleeps through the whole episode. After dark, Charlie observes as Ray and Audrey eat in the motel diner. When a few police officers stop to eat, Charlie makes his move, and joins Ray and Audrey in their booth. He declares that he wants Lulu, but Ray, who is not aware of the officers sitting nearby, adds that rescuing her will not be easy. Charlie makes Ray laugh when he claims he is going to walk out with Lulu and there is nothing Ray can do. Charlie then points to the officers, and observes that Ray is a convicted felon, driving a stolen car, and has probably violated his parole by leaving New Jersey. He demands Ray hand over his car keys. As Ray complies, he insists that Charlie will regret his actions. Charlie demands Ray’s wallet, offers to pay the check, then leaves him to pay the bill. As Charlie and Lulu escape, the gift shop clerk Ray flirted with earlier rescues him. He promises to return to her, and steals a car to track down Lulu and Charlie. They drive through the night to New York City, but decide to hide at Charlie’s home in Stony Brook, Long Island. Meanwhile, Ray uses the reunion booklet to find and break into Lulu’s apartment. With the help of an operator, he locates Charlie’s Stony Brook address, and attacks Charlie. Ray handcuffs Charlie to the pipes underneath the bathroom sink. However, Charlie breaks free, and attempts to strangle Ray with the handcuffs before he can harm Lulu. When Ray pulls a knife, Lulu hits him with a golf club, knocking him into the bathtub. Charlie seizes the opportunity to grab the knife. As Ray regains his footing, he spins around and walks straight into the blade. Ray pulls the dagger from his stomach and dies. Police take a report and drive Lulu to the station for additional questioning. A few days later, Charlie quits his job, and discovers that Lulu has moved out of her apartment without a trace. Charlie returns to the coffee shop where they first met. He leaves cash at the table, but the waitress follows him onto the street, claiming he has not paid. As they argue, Lulu appears with his money, wearing a chic but conservative black and white outfit. When she offers him a ride, he overpays the waitress, and they drive away in Lulu’s vintage station wagon. +

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

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