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HISTORY

       A title card at the opening of the film states, “Edfu, Egypt. A really long time ago right before lunch.” A title card following the opening credits states, “Philadelphia, today.”
       According to promotional information in AMPAS library files, the inspiration for the movie came in 1982 when Michael Gottlieb was walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City and thought he saw a mannequin move in the window of Bergdorf Goodman department store. Although Paramount Pictures initially bought the script by Gottlieb and his friend Ed Rugoff, when the company had a change in management, the first-time screenwriters got the script back during turnaround and subsequently sold it to producer David Begelman’s Gladden Entertainment Corporation, according to the 24 Apr 1987 HR. In addition to writing the screenplay, Rugoff served as the film’s executive producer while Gottlieb was the director.
       The movie was initially titled Perfect Timing, according to a notice in the 19 Feb 1986 Var, but the title changed to Mannequin by the time principal photography began on 17 Mar 1986, as reported in the 10 Apr 1986 HR. The movie shot on location in Philadelphia, PA, filming many scenes in the city’s iconic John Wanamaker downtown department store, which became Price & Company in the movie. A Boscov’s department store in a shopping mall near Harrisburg, PA, stood in for the rival Illustra department store, according to promotional materials
       The first three weeks of filming were done at night at Wanamaker, after the last customer left. Other scenes were shot in Rittenhouse Square, along the Schuylkill River and the South Street commercial section. ... More Less

       A title card at the opening of the film states, “Edfu, Egypt. A really long time ago right before lunch.” A title card following the opening credits states, “Philadelphia, today.”
       According to promotional information in AMPAS library files, the inspiration for the movie came in 1982 when Michael Gottlieb was walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City and thought he saw a mannequin move in the window of Bergdorf Goodman department store. Although Paramount Pictures initially bought the script by Gottlieb and his friend Ed Rugoff, when the company had a change in management, the first-time screenwriters got the script back during turnaround and subsequently sold it to producer David Begelman’s Gladden Entertainment Corporation, according to the 24 Apr 1987 HR. In addition to writing the screenplay, Rugoff served as the film’s executive producer while Gottlieb was the director.
       The movie was initially titled Perfect Timing, according to a notice in the 19 Feb 1986 Var, but the title changed to Mannequin by the time principal photography began on 17 Mar 1986, as reported in the 10 Apr 1986 HR. The movie shot on location in Philadelphia, PA, filming many scenes in the city’s iconic John Wanamaker downtown department store, which became Price & Company in the movie. A Boscov’s department store in a shopping mall near Harrisburg, PA, stood in for the rival Illustra department store, according to promotional materials
       The first three weeks of filming were done at night at Wanamaker, after the last customer left. Other scenes were shot in Rittenhouse Square, along the Schuylkill River and the South Street commercial section. For a romantic scene shot in Boathouse Row where the Philadelphia skyline is visible, the filmmakers requested that on 3 May 1986, offices and residences on the tenth story or higher of skyscrapers in the City Center leave all their lights on from twilight to midnight, according to a 15 May 1986 HR brief. Filming wrapped on 10 May 1986 according to the 14 May 1986 Var. .
       Although Rugoff did not state a total budget for the film, he did tell HR in its 24 Apr 1987 issue that the film came in “on time and $300,000 under budget.” That $300,000 was then used to create the animated opening credits.
       Distributor Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. initially planned to release the film in early Mar 1987, but pushed the release date up to 13 Feb 1987 after positive test screenings, according to the 15 Jan 1987 HR.
       In 1995 when Credit Lyonnais was auctioning off the assets of Gladden Entertainment Corporation in an effort to recover the $104.4 million debt owed them, Mannequin was one of the titles sold, according to a 26 Apr 1995 HR brief.

      End credits state, “The Producers wish to thank: John Wanamaker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Boscov’s Department Store, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; The Philadelphia Film Office and the people of the City of Philadelphia.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 1987
p. 3, 6.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1995.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1987
p. 6.
New York Times
13 Feb 1987
p. 8.
Variety
19 Feb 1986.
---
Variety
14 May 1986.
---
Variety
11 Feb 1987
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Gladden Entertainment Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst can
2d asst cam
2d unit dir of photog
2d unit asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip
Cam systems by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Story board artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
Prints by
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Asst set dec
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Labor foreman
Painter
Mannequins sculpted by
Mannequin research
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Asst costumer
MUSIC
Exec mus prod
Mus ed
Segue Music
Mus eng
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
ADR ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst spec eff
Asst spec eff
Titles & opticals
DANCE
Dance sequence choreog by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Asst make-up artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Post-prod supv
Scr supv
Prod office coord
Loc mgr
Dog trainer
Unit pub
Loc auditor
Asst loc auditor
Accounting services
Post prod assoc
Asst to Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Rugoff
Prod office asst
Loc projectionist
Casting assoc
Craft services
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod intern
Prod intern
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Philadelphia police liaison
Catering by
Addl casting by
Public relations rep (US and Canada)
Public relations rep (International)
Promotion coord by
Insurance provided by
Loc equip by
ANIMATION
Anim seq prod by
Anim by
Playhouse Pictures
Anim by
Playhouse Pictures
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” performed by Starship, produced by Narada Michael Walden, courtesy of RCA/Ariola International, words and music by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren
“In My Wildest Dreams,” performed by Belinda Carlisle, produced by Bob Crewe and Jerry Corbetta, courtesy of IRS Records, words and music by Bob Crewe, Jerry Corbetta, and Charlotte Caffey
“Do You Dream About Me,” performed by Alisha, produced by Mark Berry, courtesy of RCA Records, Polygram Records and Liberation Records, words and music by Diane Warren
+
SONGS
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” performed by Starship, produced by Narada Michael Walden, courtesy of RCA/Ariola International, words and music by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren
“In My Wildest Dreams,” performed by Belinda Carlisle, produced by Bob Crewe and Jerry Corbetta, courtesy of IRS Records, words and music by Bob Crewe, Jerry Corbetta, and Charlotte Caffey
“Do You Dream About Me,” performed by Alisha, produced by Mark Berry, courtesy of RCA Records, Polygram Records and Liberation Records, words and music by Diane Warren
“My Girl,” performed by The Temptations, produced by William Robinson and Ronald White, courtesy of Motown Records, Corp., words and music by William Robinson and Ronald White, published by Jobete Music Co., Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Perfect Timing
Release Date:
13 February 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 13 February 1987
Production Date:
17 March--10 May 1986 in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA.
Copyright Claimant:
Gladden Entertainment Corporation
Copyright Date:
13 March 1987
Copyright Number:
PA318233
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Du Art
Prints
DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28303
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In ancient Egypt, young Emma Hesiree dresses as a mummy and hides in a pyramid to avoid an arranged marriage to a camel dung salesman. Her mother finds her, but “Emmy,” as she is known, wants more out of life and prays to the gods to get her out of the situation. The earth shakes and suddenly Emmy disappears. In present day Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, artist Jonathan Switcher is fired from his job as a mannequin sculptor. He works various other jobs unsuccessfully until one day he is in front of Price & Company department store admiring the mannequins in the window, several of which are his creations. When storeowner Claire Timkin arrives, she chats with Jonathan, who notices the large sign advertising the store’s 100th anniversary as it starts to fall. Jonathan pushes Claire out of danger and she offers him a job. Although Price & Company was founded by her grandfather, Claire only took charge of the store two weeks earlier, following the death of her father. The store has very few customers and the board of directors is considering a buy-out offer from rival department store, Illustra, but Claire wants to find a way to make the store great again. She orders one of the store’s young executives, Mr. Richards, to find a job for Jonathan. Richards makes him a stock boy and soon Jonathan is restocking shelves and admiring the mannequins. Jonathan is drawn to one mannequin in particular and starts talking to it, even professing his love. Jonathan also meets the store window dresser, Hollywood Montrose, who lets him help with the displays. Additionally, Jonathan also meets the night security guard, Felix Maxwell, an ... +


In ancient Egypt, young Emma Hesiree dresses as a mummy and hides in a pyramid to avoid an arranged marriage to a camel dung salesman. Her mother finds her, but “Emmy,” as she is known, wants more out of life and prays to the gods to get her out of the situation. The earth shakes and suddenly Emmy disappears. In present day Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, artist Jonathan Switcher is fired from his job as a mannequin sculptor. He works various other jobs unsuccessfully until one day he is in front of Price & Company department store admiring the mannequins in the window, several of which are his creations. When storeowner Claire Timkin arrives, she chats with Jonathan, who notices the large sign advertising the store’s 100th anniversary as it starts to fall. Jonathan pushes Claire out of danger and she offers him a job. Although Price & Company was founded by her grandfather, Claire only took charge of the store two weeks earlier, following the death of her father. The store has very few customers and the board of directors is considering a buy-out offer from rival department store, Illustra, but Claire wants to find a way to make the store great again. She orders one of the store’s young executives, Mr. Richards, to find a job for Jonathan. Richards makes him a stock boy and soon Jonathan is restocking shelves and admiring the mannequins. Jonathan is drawn to one mannequin in particular and starts talking to it, even professing his love. Jonathan also meets the store window dresser, Hollywood Montrose, who lets him help with the displays. Additionally, Jonathan also meets the night security guard, Felix Maxwell, an unfriendly man who makes derogatory comments. While working on a window display, Jonathan notices that the scarf on his favorite mannequin has fallen off. He picks it up, asking, “Didn’t you like your new scarf?” A moment later, the mannequin comes to life and responds, “Not especially.” Jonathan is stunned, thinking he must be dreaming, but the mannequin continues moving and talking. She introduces herself as “Emmy,” explaining that she was born in Edfu, Egypt, in 2514 BC and has lived many lives. She helped guide Jonathan in sculpting the perfect body for her so she could come to life once again. Jonathan spends the rest of the evening with Emmy, chatting with her and showing her around the store. The next morning, he wakes up in the store window with people staring at him, while Emmy has returned to being a mannequin. Jonathan wonders if he imagined everything, then realizes he stood up his girlfriend, Roxie, to be with Emmy. He rushes to meet Roxie, but she tells him their relationship is over and rides to work with her boss, B.J. Wert, the owner of Illustra department store. Convinced he imagined Emmy coming to life, Jonathan phones his mother asking about a family history of insanity. However, when he returns to Price & Company, he finds a large crowd admiring his window display. Meanwhile, Wert’s assistant tells him about the crowds at Price & Company. Wert worries it could affect the sale of the store to him and contacts his spy at the store, Mr. Richards, who assures him the window display was a fluke and the sale will go through. However, at the board of director’s meeting, Claire reminds the board that the Illustra offer is only for ten percent of the store’s value. She makes an impassioned speech about doing more bold window displays and drawing in more customers. The board votes to postpone the sale for six weeks. After the meeting, Claire promotes Jonathan to the position of visual merchandiser and tells him to do more bold, innovative window displays. Entering the window display, Jonathan closes the curtain and Emmy comes to life. She explains that only Jonathan can see her alive. He kisses her and the two spend the evening dancing around the store dressed in various outfits. The next morning, a crowd is once again gathered, admiring Jonathan’s latest window display. At Wert’s urging, Roxie invites Jonathan to lunch where she offers him a job as chief window dresser at Illustra. He declines, saying he has found where he belongs. That night, Wert and Roxie hide in the store until after closing, hoping to discover who Jonathan’s new window dressing partner is. Meanwhile, security guard Felix, whom Richards has told to keep an eye on Jonathan, catches Jonathan kissing Emmy, who turns back into a mannequin when Felix appears. Jonathan makes excuses about getting inspiration via the kiss, but Roxie also witnessed the incident and snapped a photograph. Felix begins badgering Jonathan and hits him in the face. The two get into a fight, tumbling over many items and destroying several displays. Just as Felix is about to hit Jonathan with a billy club, Emmy comes to life long enough to knock the club out of his hand. Jonathan hits Felix, knocking him out. Emmy hang-glides in the store atrium and Jonathan promises never to leave her side. The next morning, employees find Felix knocked out. Claire orders Richards to fire Felix and then fires Richards. The newspapers report that Price & Company’s profits are up due to Jonathan’s window displays. Meanwhile Illustra’s profits are down forty-eight percent and the store is virtually empty. Roxie gives Wert the photos of Jonathan making out with a mannequin. Wert plans to use them to blackmail Jonathan into working for him. When Claire offers to make Jonathan a vice president, he takes the Emmy mannequin into the women’s bathroom so she can come to life and he can discuss the offer. He says he will not take the job unless they can be together, but Emmy tells him he cannot worry about what will happen to the two of them. Meanwhile, other employees gather outside the restroom listening to their conversation. Hollywood walks in and catches Jonathan kissing Emmy, who reverts to mannequin form. Hollywood asks Jonathan for help in becoming a better window dresser. Jonathan offers to talk about designs with him, but says he must work alone. Meanwhile, Wert realizes that Jonathan has one special mannequin and heads to the store to steal it. However, as they arrive, they see Jonathan leave on his motorcycle with the Emmy on the back. They give chase, but Jonathan easily eludes them. Jonathan and Emmy kiss in the park, then return to the store where they make love. The next morning, a crowd gathers around Jonathan asleep in the mattress department. When he wakes up, Hollywood tells him someone broke into the store and stole all the female mannequins. Jonathan rushes to Illustra where Wert offers him $60,000 a year to work for him. Jonathan ignores the offer and rushes through the store looking for Emmy. Meanwhile, Roxie goes to the stock room and puts all the stolen mannequins on a conveyer belt to be cut up and compacted. Jonathan dashes to the conveyer belt and pulls Emmy off just before she goes down the chute into the buzz saw. The act of rescuing her brings Emmy to life and she remains alive even in the presence of others. Claire arrives at Illustra with a security tape of Felix and Richards stealing the mannequins. She has them arrested and rejects Wert’s offer to buy the store. Soon after, Jonathan and Emmy are married in a store window ceremony. When Emmy throws the bouquet, Hollywood catches it.
+

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.