Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)

R | 106 mins | Drama | 9 October 1987

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writer:

Howard Franklin

Cinematographer:

Steven Poster

Editor:

Claire Simpson

Production Designer:

Jim Bissell

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures
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HISTORY

Someone to Watch Over Me began development in 1982 when director Ridley Scott met writer Howard Franklin at a party and listened to Franklin’s detailed story pitch about a policeman who falls in love with the woman he is assigned to protect. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate that Scott liked the story and Franklin finished his screenplay in late 1982. However, Scott spent the next two years in England filming the fantasy adventure Legend (1985, see entry), during which time the project was suspended.
       In late 1984, when Legend was completed, Scott pitched Someone to Watch Over Me to Columbia Pictures, but the studio passed on it, the 4 Oct 1987 LAHExam reported. When David Puttnam took over as Columbia’s head in 1986, Scott pitched it to him. Puttnam green-lighted the film as the first project he approved during his yearlong tenure at the studio. Scott also hired writers Danilo Bach and David Seltzer to do a final draft of the screenplay, although neither received onscreen credit.
       Principal photography began in New York City on 8 Dec 1986, according to the 30 Jan 1987 DV production chart. Locations used include the Bergdorf Goodman department store, the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, and various streets on the Upper East Side. Exteriors to “Mike” and “Ellie’s” house were shot in Long Island City.
       On 19 Jan 1987, production moved to Los Angeles, CA, where interior sets for “Claire’s” luxury apartment and “Mike” and “Ellie’s” house were created on a soundstage at the Burbank Studios. The discotheque was filmed on the Queen Mary ocean liner, permanently docked ... More Less

Someone to Watch Over Me began development in 1982 when director Ridley Scott met writer Howard Franklin at a party and listened to Franklin’s detailed story pitch about a policeman who falls in love with the woman he is assigned to protect. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate that Scott liked the story and Franklin finished his screenplay in late 1982. However, Scott spent the next two years in England filming the fantasy adventure Legend (1985, see entry), during which time the project was suspended.
       In late 1984, when Legend was completed, Scott pitched Someone to Watch Over Me to Columbia Pictures, but the studio passed on it, the 4 Oct 1987 LAHExam reported. When David Puttnam took over as Columbia’s head in 1986, Scott pitched it to him. Puttnam green-lighted the film as the first project he approved during his yearlong tenure at the studio. Scott also hired writers Danilo Bach and David Seltzer to do a final draft of the screenplay, although neither received onscreen credit.
       Principal photography began in New York City on 8 Dec 1986, according to the 30 Jan 1987 DV production chart. Locations used include the Bergdorf Goodman department store, the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, and various streets on the Upper East Side. Exteriors to “Mike” and “Ellie’s” house were shot in Long Island City.
       On 19 Jan 1987, production moved to Los Angeles, CA, where interior sets for “Claire’s” luxury apartment and “Mike” and “Ellie’s” house were created on a soundstage at the Burbank Studios. The discotheque was filmed on the Queen Mary ocean liner, permanently docked in Long Beach, CA.
       Filming took thirteen weeks, one week longer than originally planned, according to the Oct 1987 American Cinematographer magazine.
       Sneak previews were held on approximately 600 screens nationwide on 26 Sep and 3 Oct 1987, the 30 Sep 1987 HR reported.
       Someone to Watch Over Me opened on 892 screens on 9 Oct 1987, the Columbus Day holiday weekend, earning $2.9 million in its first four days of release, according to a 14 Oct 1987 DV box-office report.
       Someone to Watch Over Me marked the first starring role for actress Lorraine Bracco, who played “Ellie Keegan.” Bracco had previously appeared in small roles in a handful of movies and television shows.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks: Men’s Clothing furnished by Hugo Boss, New York City; Clothing furnished by Cerutti, 1881.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Oct 1987
p. 56-58, 60, 62, 63.
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1987.
---
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1987
p. 3, 16.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1987
p. 3, 75.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
4 Oct 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Oct 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
9 Oct 1987
p. 40.
Variety
30 Sep 1987
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures presents
A Thierry de Ganay production
A Ridley Scott film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Prod mgr, New York crew
2d asst dir, New York crew
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Key grip
Dolly grip
Video op
Still photog
Chief lighting tech, New York crew
Key grip, New York crew
Still photog,New York crew
Best boy, New York crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir, New York crew
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
Trainee ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Const coord
Leadman
Paint foreman
Prop master, New York crew
Set dec, New York crew
Set dresser, New York crew
Scenic artist, New York crew
Head carpenter, New York crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv/women's
Cost supv/men's
MUSIC
Orig score by
SOUND
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Sd mixer
Asst sd ed
Asst re-rec mixer
ADR ed
Boom op, New York crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles des by
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
Hair and makeup for Miss Rogers and Miss Bracco cr
Hairstylist, New York crew
Makeup artist, New York crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod auditor
Prod coord
Transportation coord
Loc mgr, New York crew
Prod auditor, New York crew
Prod coord, New York crew
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Someone To Watch Over Me,” written by George and Ira Gershwin, performed and arranged by Sting, courtesy of A&M Records
“Johnny Come Home,” written by David Steele and Roland Gift, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of I. R. S. Records and London Records Limited
“Suspicious Minds,” written by Mark James, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of I. R. S. Records and London Records United
+
SONGS
“Someone To Watch Over Me,” written by George and Ira Gershwin, performed and arranged by Sting, courtesy of A&M Records
“Johnny Come Home,” written by David Steele and Roland Gift, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of I. R. S. Records and London Records Limited
“Suspicious Minds,” written by Mark James, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of I. R. S. Records and London Records United
“Eight Little Notes,” written by Audrey Hall, performed by Audrey Hall, courtesy of Germain Records
“Cry,” written by Churchill Kohlman, performed by Johnny Ray, courtesy of CBS Records
“Freedom Overspill,” written by Steve Winwood, George Flemming, and James Hooker, performed by Steve Winwood, coutesy of Island Records
“What More Can I Ask,” written by Ray Noble and Anona Winn, performed by Ray Noble and His Orchestra, courtesy of EMI Records, Ltd./Capitol Records, Inc.
“Aria From ‘La Wally,’” composed by Alfredo Catalani, performed by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Cosma, courtesy of DEG Records, Inc.
“Marie, Marie,” written by Dave Alvin, performed by The Blasters, courtesy of Slash Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Viens Mallika,” composed by Delibes, conducted by Lombard, performed by Mady Mesple, courtesy of EMI Pathe-Marconi/Capitol Records, Inc.
“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” written by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, performed by Irene Dunne, courtesy of MCA Records
“Memories Of Green,” written by Vangelis, performed by The New American Orchestra, courtesy of Full Moon Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Walk Right In,” written by Gus Cannon and H. Woods, performed by Tex Beneke, courtesy of Ardee Music Inc.
“Someone To Watch Over Me,” written by George and Ira Gershwin, performed by Gene Ammons with Richard Wyands, Doug Watkins and J. C. Heard, courtesy of Prestige Records
“Someone To Watch Over Me,” written by George and Ira Gershwin, performed by Roberta Flack, produced by Michael Kamen, Roberta Flack appears courtesy of Atlantic Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 October 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 9 October 1987
Production Date:
8 December 1986--early March 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Asahi Film Enterprises
Copyright Date:
20 November 1987
Copyright Number:
PA351147
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28735
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, while attending a society event at a fashionable new discotheque, wealthy socialite Claire Gregory witnesses the murder of her childhood friend, Win Hockings, by his former business associate, Joey Venza. Police detective Mike Keegan is assigned to protect Claire until she can identify Venza in a police lineup. Claire’s live-in boyfriend, wealthy Neil Steinhart, is not happy that police are invading their luxury apartment and tells Mike Keegan, who has the night shift, that he is only allowed in the foyer, kitchen, and bathroom, so that the couple can maintain some semblance of their normal lives. Mike’s boss, Lieutenant Garber, tells Mike and the others assigned to the case to be discreet, as they do not want Claire to think she is in any real danger. However, they fear Venza, who is still at large, will come after her. Neil Steinhart does not want Claire to testify, saying that Venza has mob connections and that when he gets out of prison, he will come after her. Claire says that Win Hocking was one of her oldest friends and the only thing standing between Venza getting a life sentence and going free is her testimony. Neil goes out of town on business for a few days. Claire plans on going to a reception at the Guggenheim Museum. Mike Keegan tries to dissuade her, but she insists, so he accompanies her. En route, they stop at Bergdorf Goodman department store to buy a new necktie for Mike because Claire feels the tie he is wearing is inappropriate for the occasion. Claire insists on paying for the tie, adding that if they had time, she would also buy ... +


In New York City, while attending a society event at a fashionable new discotheque, wealthy socialite Claire Gregory witnesses the murder of her childhood friend, Win Hockings, by his former business associate, Joey Venza. Police detective Mike Keegan is assigned to protect Claire until she can identify Venza in a police lineup. Claire’s live-in boyfriend, wealthy Neil Steinhart, is not happy that police are invading their luxury apartment and tells Mike Keegan, who has the night shift, that he is only allowed in the foyer, kitchen, and bathroom, so that the couple can maintain some semblance of their normal lives. Mike’s boss, Lieutenant Garber, tells Mike and the others assigned to the case to be discreet, as they do not want Claire to think she is in any real danger. However, they fear Venza, who is still at large, will come after her. Neil Steinhart does not want Claire to testify, saying that Venza has mob connections and that when he gets out of prison, he will come after her. Claire says that Win Hocking was one of her oldest friends and the only thing standing between Venza getting a life sentence and going free is her testimony. Neil goes out of town on business for a few days. Claire plans on going to a reception at the Guggenheim Museum. Mike Keegan tries to dissuade her, but she insists, so he accompanies her. En route, they stop at Bergdorf Goodman department store to buy a new necktie for Mike because Claire feels the tie he is wearing is inappropriate for the occasion. Claire insists on paying for the tie, adding that if they had time, she would also buy him a new suit. At the reception, Mike’s police friends tease him about being on “gigolo” duty, while Claire’s friends question whether she is “stepping out” on Neil with Mike. When Claire goes to the bathroom, Joey Venza sneaks in behind her, threatens her life, punches her in the mouth and tells her not to identify him. Venza then walks out of the party and turns himself into police. The next night, with Venza in jail, Mike’s assignment is due to be over when Claire identifies him the next day. She suggests they go out for goodbye drinks. The two get along well and do not return until 3 a.m., only to find a jealous Neil has returned. With Mike by her side, Claire identifies Venza in a line-up and he is booked on murder charges. Mike returns home to Queens, where his wife, Ellie, is relieved to have him back home. Venza’s lawyers get him released on a technicality. Mike worries about Claire’s safety and goes to her apartment. Claire is upset, believing that Mike has put her life in danger by persuading her to identify Venza, but Mike promises he will not let anything happen to her. He kisses Claire several times and the two make love. When he returns home, police cars are on the scene after Ellie reported a prowler. Fearing it was Venza, Mike suggests Ellie and their ten-year-old son, Tommy, stay with his mother, but she refuses.The next night, back on duty, things are awkward between Mike and Claire. She says she knows he has a wife and family, but asks him to hold her because she is afraid. He obliges her. A few days later, Mike and Ellie go out to dinner. Ellie has spoken with the wife of Mike’s commanding officer, Lt. Garber, about switching him to the day shift. Mike becomes angry at her interference. Ellie accuses Mike of being involved with Claire and the guilt on his face reveals that it is true. Ellie tells him to get assigned to a different case or not come home, then slaps him and drives off. Mike asks his colleague, T. J., to take his shift at Claire’s apartment, but later shows up there anyway. He and Claire spend the evening together and make love again, while T. J. remains on duty. During the night, one of Venza’s henchmen sneaks into Claire’s apartment and shoots T. J. Mike shoots and kills the gunman. While T. J. is in surgery, Lt. Garber suspends Mike for getting involved with Claire. Garber says Mike is not to go near Claire until the case is closed. Ellie kicks Mike out of the house and he moves in with Scotty, a work colleague. Claire’s boyfriend, Neil, breaks up with her over the affair with Mike. A few days later, Claire telephones Mike inviting him to accompany her to an event at the music school her father founded in Queens. He declines, but then shows up anyway. As Claire and Mike dance, he tells her that it could never work out between them because he would miss his wife too much. Claire plans to go on vacation the next day, hoping time away will help her forget about Mike. Joey Venza telephones Mike at the event, announcing that he is holding Ellie and his son, Tommy, hostage. As Mike rushes to the house, Claire gets in the car with him, noting that the police guarding her with have to follow. When Mike sees Venza holding Tommy at gunpoint, he offers to trade Claire for his wife and son’s release. Venza agrees and a policeman wearing Claire’s coat and scarf comes into the house. Venza pushes Tommy to the ground and holds Mike at gunpoint. Tommy spots the pistol Mike has hidden under a table and pulls it out, handing it to his mother. Ellie shoots Venza in the chest multiple times, killing him. Once the “all clear” is given, Claire comes into the house and sees Mike hugging his wife and son tightly. She leaves without a word. Mike tells Ellie he loves her and wants to come home. Ellie says she loves Mike too and hugs him. +

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

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