3 Men and a Baby (1987)

PG | 99 mins | Comedy | 25 November 1987

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HISTORY

       3 Men and a Baby is based on the French comedy Trois hommes et un couffin, which translates into English as “Three Men and a Cradle.” According to the 22 Dec 1987 DV, Flach Films, the producer of the French version which became a “sleeper” hit after opening there in Sep 1985, sold the rights to remake the film to Touchstone Pictures in summer 1986. The sale stipulated that Flach Films would be a coproducer on the American version, going in fifty-fifty with Touchstone, the 11 Aug 1986 DV noted.
       As part of the agreement, Flach films also stipulated that Coline Serreau, who wrote and directed the French version, would also direct the American version. However, shortly before filming was due to begin, Leonard Nimoy replaced Serreau as director. The 25 Mar 1987 Var said Serreau left the film for “health reasons.” However, the 22 Dec 1987 DV stated she was fired after clashing repeatedly with screenwriters and studio executives.
       Principal photography began on 20 Apr 1987 in Toronto, Canada, according to the 8 May 1987 DV production chart. Interiors were shot in Toronto, while the exteriors were shot in New York City.
       3 Men and a Baby opened on 1,006 screens on 25 Nov 1987, taking in $10.4 million in its first five days, according to the 2 Dec 1987 DV box-office report. Three months into its release, the film had grossed $136 million, according to the 23 Feb 1988 DV box-office report.
       After the film was released on home video, reports surfaced ... More Less

       3 Men and a Baby is based on the French comedy Trois hommes et un couffin, which translates into English as “Three Men and a Cradle.” According to the 22 Dec 1987 DV, Flach Films, the producer of the French version which became a “sleeper” hit after opening there in Sep 1985, sold the rights to remake the film to Touchstone Pictures in summer 1986. The sale stipulated that Flach Films would be a coproducer on the American version, going in fifty-fifty with Touchstone, the 11 Aug 1986 DV noted.
       As part of the agreement, Flach films also stipulated that Coline Serreau, who wrote and directed the French version, would also direct the American version. However, shortly before filming was due to begin, Leonard Nimoy replaced Serreau as director. The 25 Mar 1987 Var said Serreau left the film for “health reasons.” However, the 22 Dec 1987 DV stated she was fired after clashing repeatedly with screenwriters and studio executives.
       Principal photography began on 20 Apr 1987 in Toronto, Canada, according to the 8 May 1987 DV production chart. Interiors were shot in Toronto, while the exteriors were shot in New York City.
       3 Men and a Baby opened on 1,006 screens on 25 Nov 1987, taking in $10.4 million in its first five days, according to the 2 Dec 1987 DV box-office report. Three months into its release, the film had grossed $136 million, according to the 23 Feb 1988 DV box-office report.
       After the film was released on home video, reports surfaced of a ghost appearing in the film. The 24 Dec 1990 People magazine reported that urban legend had it that a young boy killed himself in the house where the film was shot, and that his ghost could be observed in the background of a scene with Ted Danson and Celeste Holm. However, studio officials quickly refuted the legend, pointing out that film was shot on a soundstage in Toronto, not a house. The ghost-like figure viewers noticed in the background was actually a cardboard cutout of Ted Danson’s character dressed in tuxedo and tophat, a prop which is seen in the foreground of other scenes.
      End credits include “special thanks” to: “Campbeau Corp. and PCL Construction Eastern, Inc.; The West 56 Street Association; The Ontario Film Development Association; The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; The New York City Police Department Movie and Television Unit; Medallion Film Laboratories, Ltd.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1986.
---
Daily Variety
8 May 1987.
---
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1987
p. 3, 13.
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1987.
---
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1987.
---
Daily Variety
23 Feb 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 1987
p. 3, 16.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
25 Nov 1987
p. 24.
People
24 Dec 1990
p. 89.
Variety
25 Mar 1987.
---
Variety
25 Nov 1987
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Touchstone Pictures Presents
In Association with Silver Screen Partners III
A Jean Francois Lepetit/Interscope Communications, Inc. Production
A Leonard Nimoy Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
Unit prod mgr, New York crew
1st asst dir, New York crew
2d asst dir, New York crew
2d 2d asst dir, New York crew
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam op
2d asst cam op
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Cam op, New York crew
Cam op, New York crew
1st asst cam, New York crew
2d asst cam, New York crew
Key grip, New York crew
Best boy, New York crew
Gaffer, New York crew
Best boy, New York crew
Still photog, New York crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Comic character des
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Scenic artist
Set dec, New York crew
Prop master, New York crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus ed
Supv mus ed
Orch
Mus rec by
Asst scoring eng
Asst scoring eng
Asst scoring eng
Asst scoring eng
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley by
Foley by
Foley mixer
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby stereo consultant
Boom, New York crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Title des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Make-up artist, New York crew
Hair, New York crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr (Toronto)
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod consultant
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Prod auditor
Unit pub
Addl casting
Addl casting
Extras casting Canada
Loc mgr, New York crew
Prod coord, New York crew
Transportation capt, New York crew
Prod asst, New York crew
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the French film Trois hommes et un couffin written by Coline Serreau (Flach Film, Soprofilms, TF1 Films Production, 1985).
SONGS
“The Minute I Saw You (Theme From 'Three Men And A Baby')," written by Marvin Hamlisch, David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, John Parr, performed by John Parr, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp
“Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight,” written by James Hudson and Calvin Carter, performed by The Spaniels, courtesy of Vee Jay Records
“Conga,” written by Enrique E. Garcia, performed by The Miami Sound Machine, courtesy of CBS Records, Inc.
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SONGS
“The Minute I Saw You (Theme From 'Three Men And A Baby')," written by Marvin Hamlisch, David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, John Parr, performed by John Parr, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp
“Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight,” written by James Hudson and Calvin Carter, performed by The Spaniels, courtesy of Vee Jay Records
“Conga,” written by Enrique E. Garcia, performed by The Miami Sound Machine, courtesy of CBS Records, Inc.
“My Girl,” written by William Robinson and Ronald White
“Bad Boy,” written by Larry Dermer, Joe Galdo, Rafael Vigil, performed by The Miami Sound Machine, courtesy of CBS Records, Inc. The following by arrangement with Warner Special Projects: “Good Lovin,'” written by Rudy Clark & Arthur Resnick, performed by The Rascals, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
“Daddy’s Girl,” written by Mark Goldenberg & Peter Cetera, performed by Peter Cetera, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
“The Right Thing,” written by Mick Hucknall, performed by Simply Red, courtesy of Elektra Records.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
25 November 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 November 1987
Production Date:
began 20 April 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Touchstone Pictures, a.a.d.o. the Walt Disney Company
Copyright Date:
24 November 1987
Copyright Number:
PA344501
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe ®
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28696
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, three roommates, architect Peter Mitchell, artist Michael Kellam, and actor Jack Holden, live playboy lives in a penthouse apartment owned by Peter. During a lavish party celebrating Peter’s birthday, Jack’s friend Paul Milner, a director of television commercials, asks if he can have a package delivered to the penthouse as he is going to San Francisco, California for work. Two of Milner’s friends will be by to pick up the package on Thursday. Jack is leaving in the morning for ten weeks to film a television movie in Turkey, but tells Milner it is okay to leave the package. Jack forgets to tell his roommates about the package before he departs, but leaves a message on the answering machine just before boarding his plane. Sunday morning when Peter returns from jogging, he is stunned to find a bassinette with a six-month-old baby inside. The note attached to the bassinette reads, “Dear Jack, Here is our baby. I can’t handle this now. I don’t know where else to turn. Someday I hope you can both forgive me.” The note is from Sylvia, one of Jack’s ex-girl friends, and says the baby’s name is Mary. The two roommates assume this to be the package Jack was talking about on his message. Neither Peter nor Michael have any idea how to care for a baby and neither wants the responsibility. However, when Mary starts crying, they decide the best way to get her to stop is to feed her. Peter goes to the grocery store while Michael tries to entertain her by doing tricks and impressions. Mrs. Hathaway, who works in the apartment building office, comes by to ... +


In New York City, three roommates, architect Peter Mitchell, artist Michael Kellam, and actor Jack Holden, live playboy lives in a penthouse apartment owned by Peter. During a lavish party celebrating Peter’s birthday, Jack’s friend Paul Milner, a director of television commercials, asks if he can have a package delivered to the penthouse as he is going to San Francisco, California for work. Two of Milner’s friends will be by to pick up the package on Thursday. Jack is leaving in the morning for ten weeks to film a television movie in Turkey, but tells Milner it is okay to leave the package. Jack forgets to tell his roommates about the package before he departs, but leaves a message on the answering machine just before boarding his plane. Sunday morning when Peter returns from jogging, he is stunned to find a bassinette with a six-month-old baby inside. The note attached to the bassinette reads, “Dear Jack, Here is our baby. I can’t handle this now. I don’t know where else to turn. Someday I hope you can both forgive me.” The note is from Sylvia, one of Jack’s ex-girl friends, and says the baby’s name is Mary. The two roommates assume this to be the package Jack was talking about on his message. Neither Peter nor Michael have any idea how to care for a baby and neither wants the responsibility. However, when Mary starts crying, they decide the best way to get her to stop is to feed her. Peter goes to the grocery store while Michael tries to entertain her by doing tricks and impressions. Mrs. Hathaway, who works in the apartment building office, comes by to drop off a package left for them. She holds the baby who immediately stops crying. Realizing Mary has pooped in her diaper, Mrs. Hathaway offers to help change her diaper, but Michael turns down her offer. Peter returns with several grocery bags of baby supplies including disposable diapers. Peter and Michael fumble through changing the diaper, feeding her and giving her a bath in the bathroom sink. By the time they get Mary to sleep, they are both exhausted and angry at Jack for doing this to them. The next day, Peter goes to work at the construction site of his new building, while Michael stays home to care for Mary. However, Michael is so busy with the baby, he has no time to work on the newspaper comic strip, “Johnny Cool,” that he writes and draws. Peter invites his girlfriend, Rebecca Davidson, a lawyer, to come by the apartment and asks her to take care of the baby. She refuses, explaining that just because she is a woman does not mean she knows what to do with a baby. Since Jack’s message said people would be by to pick up the package on Thursday, Peter and Michael cancel their plans so they can care for Mary until then. On Thursday morning, two men come by to pick up the package. Peter and Michael give them Mary in the bassinette and also offer care instructions which they have learned in their five days of looking after her. The two men seem dumbfounded, but leave with the baby nonetheless. Just before they get in the elevator, Michael realizes he forgot to give them a can of powdered milk, which seems to relieve the two men. Peter says he has a funny feeling about sending Mary off with them, then discovers the package Mrs. Hathaway brought up wedged between the sofa cushions. Realizing this was the package Jack was talking about, Peter rushes downstairs to catch them. Peter trips on the stairs and drops the package which falls open to reveal plastic bags containing drugs. Outside the apartment building, Peter tries to trade the package for the baby, but a policeman stops them, wanting to know what’s going on. The two men speed off in their car, leaving Peter with the baby and the drugs. Back in the apartment, Peter shows the officer his identification, while quietly passing the package of drugs off to Michael, who hides the tiny plastic bags of drugs inside a dirty diaper. A few moments later, narcotics officer Detective Sergeant Melkowitz comes to the door inquiring about Jack’s friend Paul Milner, saying that he is a heroin smuggler. Peter and Michael claim they do not know anything about drugs, but police assign two undercover officers to follow them nonetheless. As both men have to go to work, they persuade Mrs. Hathaway to babysit, but when Peter returns that afternoon, he finds the woman bound and gagged and the apartment ransacked. A note on Mary’s bassinette reads, “Next time, we’ll take the baby.” A few days later, Jack returns home, his part in the movie cut from the script. He knows nothing about the baby or the drugs, but does vaguely remember having a fling with actress Sylvia Bennington a year and a half ago while doing a Shakespearean play in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Peter and Michael turn over responsibility for Mary to Jack. Since he is an actor, Jack believes he can certainly play a father. However, he has great difficulty and invites his mother over to meet Mary. Jack’s mother is delighted to have a granddaughter, but refuses to take care of her, saying she will not deny him the pleasure of getting to know his daughter, nor will she allow him to run away from his responsibilities as he has in the past. Jack gradually learns how to care for Mary, with his roommates’ help. One night, Peter and Michael have dates for a play, and during intermission, Peter telephones home. However, Jack does not answer as he is in the shower with Mary and cannot hear the phone, causing a worried Peter and Michael to rush home. Peter finds a newspaper clipping about Paul Milner being hospitalized after a mugging, with an attached note advising not to let something similar happen to them. When the drug dealers make contact, Peter threatens to flush the heroin down the toilet unless they follow his terms, telling them to meet at his construction site. Knowing undercover cops are watching them, Jack dresses like a pregnant woman and leaves the building on foot, while Peter and Michael leave in a taxi. Police follow the taxi, but Peter and Michael switch taxis and elude police. At the construction site, Jack telephones Det. Sgt. Melkowitz while Peter passes the heroin to the drug dealers and Michael secretly videotapes them acknowledging that the three roommates are not part of the drug ring. The three trap the drug dealers in an elevator and give the videotape to police. The drug dealers are arrested and the men cleared. The three guys come to love caring for Mary, but one day Sylvia Bennington comes to the apartment wanting her baby back. She says her family in London, England, is going to help her care for the infant. Although upset, Peter and Michael pack the baby supplies and say their goodbyes. Peter offers that he would never let Mary go, but it is Jack’s decision since he is her father. Once Mary is gone, the men miss her terribly. They rush to Kennedy Airport to stop Sylvia, but the plane has already left. When they return home, they find Sylvia waiting at the door with Mary. She says she is foolish to think she can work and care for a baby alone, adding that she would prefer to continue her acting career in New York rather than London. Peter suggests that Sylvia move in and then all four can raise Mary.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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