See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

R | 103 mins | Comedy | 12 May 1989

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HISTORY

A 9 Jun 1986 DV item suggested that Jim Belushi was attached to the project before it was reimagined for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, who previously co-starred in Silver Strek (1976, see entry) and Stir Crazy (1980, see entry).
       While working on the screenplay, actor-writer Gene Wilder worked with psychologist-audiologist Dr. Ronald Reiter who was the director of the University California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Hope for the Hearing Research Foundation. According to a 7 May 1989 UCLA Daily Bruin article, Reiter helped Wilder work on his character’s background, including giving him a list of ailments that could lead to hearing loss. He also coached the actor on mannerisms and movements commonly associated with the deaf. Another article in the 7 May 1989 LAT stated that Wilder also worked with Kim Webb, a clinical supervisor at the New York League for the Hard of Hearing. Likewise, actor Richard Pryor took orientation and mobility tests at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, CA.
       A 17 Nov 1988 HR news item reported principal photography began 29 Aug 1988 in New York and New Jersey.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, director of photography Victor Kemper noted the biggest problem he faced was matching scenes shot early in the filming schedule to those shot later. The story unfolds over two days. However, principal photography took nearly three months, covering the late summer to early winter.
       Locations included a Zen monastery in Pound Ridge, NY; the New York City Police Department’s eighteenth precinct, which was closed for renovations; ... More Less

A 9 Jun 1986 DV item suggested that Jim Belushi was attached to the project before it was reimagined for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, who previously co-starred in Silver Strek (1976, see entry) and Stir Crazy (1980, see entry).
       While working on the screenplay, actor-writer Gene Wilder worked with psychologist-audiologist Dr. Ronald Reiter who was the director of the University California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Hope for the Hearing Research Foundation. According to a 7 May 1989 UCLA Daily Bruin article, Reiter helped Wilder work on his character’s background, including giving him a list of ailments that could lead to hearing loss. He also coached the actor on mannerisms and movements commonly associated with the deaf. Another article in the 7 May 1989 LAT stated that Wilder also worked with Kim Webb, a clinical supervisor at the New York League for the Hard of Hearing. Likewise, actor Richard Pryor took orientation and mobility tests at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, CA.
       A 17 Nov 1988 HR news item reported principal photography began 29 Aug 1988 in New York and New Jersey.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, director of photography Victor Kemper noted the biggest problem he faced was matching scenes shot early in the filming schedule to those shot later. The story unfolds over two days. However, principal photography took nearly three months, covering the late summer to early winter.
       Locations included a Zen monastery in Pound Ridge, NY; the New York City Police Department’s eighteenth precinct, which was closed for renovations; and the marshlands of the Hackensack Environmental Center in New Jersey.
       An 8 Aug 1990 DV reported that actor-writer Joe Bologna and his wife, writer Renee Taylor, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures and producer Marvin Worth for allegedly using their screenplay without permission. Bologna and Taylor claimed they had come up with the idea for a film in which a blind black man was the principal character and contemplated using actor Richard Pryor to play the part.
       In 1984, Columbia agreed to pay the couple $200,000 for the first draft of their screenplay and were to be paid $500,000 more if Pryor was cast in the film. They also were to receive $25,000 for each script revision and five percent of the film’s net profit. In 1985, Taylor and Bologna were paid the $200,000, but were informed the studio was not going ahead with the project. Talyor and Bologna requested $5 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million for punitive damages. The result of this suit could not be determined.
       According to an undated DV item, the Los Angeles premiere took place 7 May 1989 as a benefit for the Blind Children's Center, followed by a 10 May 1989 New York City event for the League for the Hard of Hearing. The 3 Jun 1989 LAT stated that the latter screening was outfitted with devices for the hearing impaired, and an onscreen statement at the end of the film acknowledged that "a captioned version of this film [was] available for hearing impaired audiences" for general showings around the country.
       Despite negative reviews, the reteaming of Wilder and Pryor proved popular with audiences. The Jul 1989 Box reported a $23.6 million gross in just three weeks. However, an article published in the 29 May 1989 LAT indicated that members of the handicapped community criticized the film for making fun of disabilities and casting able-bodied actors in the lead roles.
       The following written statements appear in end credits: “Grateful acknowledgement to: New York League for the Hard of Hearing and Karen Webb; The Braille Institute-Los Angeles, Roberta Mineo, Paul Porelli, Robert Perrone, Marguerite Guardino; Ed Kelly, actor; Ronald S. Reiter, PhD.”; “Special Thanks to Great Gorge Mountain View Resort, The Zeckendorf Organization; Wellspring Monastery and its architect, James T. Best; Integrated Resources, Inc.; NYC Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Television; Movie Unit of the NYC Police Department; New Jersey Film Commission; McAllister Brothers, Inc.; Shuster Meats”; “'Studio With Man Standing in Doorway,' oil on canvas 1983, courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, artist; Viola Frey”; and, “Daily News used with permission of New York News Inc.”
       A dedication reads: "This film is dedicated in memory of Arne Sultan." Sultan was credited as a writer and executive producer. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jul 1989
Section R, p. 40.
Daily Bruin
7 May 1989.
---
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1986.
---
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 1989
p. 4, 56.
Los Angeles Times
7 May 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1989
Calendar, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
29 May 1989
Section VI, p. 8.
New York Times
12 May 1989
p. 8.
New York Times
3 Jun 1989.
---
Variety
17 May 1989
p. 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures Presents
A Marvin Worth Production
An Arthur Hiller Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Asst unit prod mgr
2d unit dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Elec best boy
Best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed, 2d unit
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
MUSIC
Score co-prod and eng
SOUND
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR asst
Foley ed
Sd eff rec
Sd eff coord
Foley by
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles by
MAKEUP
Mr. Wilder's makeup
Mr. Pryor's makeup
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Voice casting by
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Loc coord
Unit pub
Extras casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod office coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Hiller
Asst to Mr. Worth
Asst to Mr. Worth
Asst to Mr. Worth
Asst to Mr. Pryor
Asst to Mr. Pryor
Asst to Mr. Pryor
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Craft service
Catering by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Anything Can Happen," written by Don Was, David Was and Aaron Zigman, performed by Was Not Was, pop version produced by Paul Staveley O'Duffy, dance version produced by Don Was, David Was and David McMurray
"Twilight Zone Theme," written by Marius Constant.
PERFORMER
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 May 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 7 May 1989
New York premiere: 10 May 1989
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 May 1989
Production Date:
began 29 August 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 August 1989
Copyright Number:
PA423103
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29427
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dave Lyons, a deaf man, steps off the curb, then stops when he sees the signal light blink “Don’t Walk.” A van drives up behind him and beeps its horn. It is not until Dave turns and sees the van that he jumps back. He reads the lips of the driver calling him a “Dumb idiot.” He screams that the driver is the dumb idiot. Wallace “Wally” Karue, a blind man, thinks Dave is yelling at him and tries to pick a fight. Unable to hear, Dave walks away; unable to see, Wally swings wildly into the air until his sister, Adele, pulls him into a subway station. Wally sits on the train pretending to read a newspaper while Adele berates him for trying to pass as a seeing person. After losing his money at the racetrack, Wally has his sister drive him to a job interview. He refuses to let Adele escort him and gets out of the car. Another blind man steps up to him, and asks Wally to escort him across the street. Wally walks them into a moving van. He enters Dave Lyons’s store to asks for a job. Dave is distracted and he misses reading Wally’s lips. Wally becomes infuriated and demands to know if Dave is deaf. Dave screams, “Yes. Are you blind?” steps on a big man’s coat, and does not respond to the man’s request to move. The man pushes Dave over, and Wally throws a punch. He misses and gets hit in the face. Dave yells out the man’s location using ... +


Dave Lyons, a deaf man, steps off the curb, then stops when he sees the signal light blink “Don’t Walk.” A van drives up behind him and beeps its horn. It is not until Dave turns and sees the van that he jumps back. He reads the lips of the driver calling him a “Dumb idiot.” He screams that the driver is the dumb idiot. Wallace “Wally” Karue, a blind man, thinks Dave is yelling at him and tries to pick a fight. Unable to hear, Dave walks away; unable to see, Wally swings wildly into the air until his sister, Adele, pulls him into a subway station. Wally sits on the train pretending to read a newspaper while Adele berates him for trying to pass as a seeing person. After losing his money at the racetrack, Wally has his sister drive him to a job interview. He refuses to let Adele escort him and gets out of the car. Another blind man steps up to him, and asks Wally to escort him across the street. Wally walks them into a moving van. He enters Dave Lyons’s store to asks for a job. Dave is distracted and he misses reading Wally’s lips. Wally becomes infuriated and demands to know if Dave is deaf. Dave screams, “Yes. Are you blind?” steps on a big man’s coat, and does not respond to the man’s request to move. The man pushes Dave over, and Wally throws a punch. He misses and gets hit in the face. Dave yells out the man’s location using clock directions and Wally beats the man silly. Later, the two disabled men sit in a park eating ice cream and exchanging life stories. Wally was blinded by a drunk driver, but refuses to let blindness define his life. Dave caught scarlet fever as a teenager, but his hearing loss was gradual. He was an actor until he became deaf. His biggest fear is doing something foolish and having everyone stare at him. Wally claims he can cure Dave of his fear and sticks his ice cream cone onto Dave’s head. No one seems to notice. A few days later, Wally is outside the shop retrieving newspapers when his bookie, Scotto, arrives. Scotto realizes Eve, a beautiful mafia “hit” woman is standing outside with her assistant, Kirgo. He asks Dave to read a medicine label for him. When Dave turns his back, he tosses a gold coin into the tip box. Eve comes in, and orders Scotto to come see her boss, Mr. Sutherland. When Scotto refuses, Eve shoots him. Knowing Dave is deaf and did not hear her, Eve grabs Scotto’s briefcase, drops her gun, and passes the blind Wally on her way out. Wally comments on her perfume before tripping over Scotto’s body. Dave turns in time to see Eve’s shapely legs go out the door. He comes around the counter to find Wally lying on Scotto and picks up the gun. Police rush in. Unable to hear the commands to drop the gun, Dave is almost shot, but Wally screams that Dave is deaf. As Dave is arrested, he yells for Wally to empty the tip box and close up. Wally puts the money, including the gold coin in his pocket. At the police station, the two men are told they are suspected of murdering Scotto because Wally owed him $28,000. Across town, Eve and Kirgo discover the briefcase is empty. Realizing Scotto tossed the gold coin into the tip box, Eve proposes she and Kirgo pretend to be the boys’ lawyers and arrange bail for them. Wally recognizes Eve’s perfume, and Dave recognizes her legs. They tell Police Captain Braddock that their lawyers are the murderers, but Braddock thinks they are crazy. After Wally walks into a wall, Braddock removes his handcuffs. Dave insists they escape and the two disabled men drink from a water fountain. In the elevator, they spit the water into Braddock’s and another detective’s eyes and rush out. They run into a crowd of political protesters and leave the building with them, walking past Eve, who is arguing with Kirgo. The killers nab the pair, and Eve searches Wally’s pocket to find the gold coin. Dave reads Eve’s lips when she calls Sutherland and arranges to meet him at “Grace George” the next day. When Eve tells Dave he is going to die, he asks her to scratch his nose as his last request. Instead, she gives him a passionate kiss. She drives off, leaving Dave and Wally with Kirgo. Dave calls out to Wally, helping him knock out Kirgo. Dave and Wally then find a police cruiser with its engine running. The blind Wally leaps behind the wheel, as Dave shouts directions. Soon they are chased by Eve. Kirgo appears in a stolen taxicab followed by Capt. Braddock. The pursuers shoot at the police cruiser, but Wally loses them, only to drive off a pier onto a garbage scow. The scow dumps them in New Jersey. After Wally cuts off Dave’s handcuffs, they push the cruiser into a marsh and argue which of them is more maladjusted regarding their handicaps. They telephone Wally’s sister, Adele, who drives to the hotel, unaware she is being followed by police. Braddock leads thirty squad cars into the hotel parking lot. He charges into the room to find it empty. When he leaves, however, Adele, Wally and Dave climb out a ventilation shaft. Dave informs Adele the crooks are at Grace George, Adele corrects him, noting that he means “Great Gorge,” a large resort. The resort is hosting a medical convention, so Wally and Dave pretend to be Swedish doctors to gain entrance. After locating Kirgo’s room, Adele drives into Kirgo’s car. While the man rushes out to deal with her, Dave sneaks into the room leaving Wally in the hall as lookout. The hotel manager finds Wally, and thinking he is one of the Swedish doctors, takes him to deliver a lecture at a gynecology symposium. Not hearing the shower running, Dave enters the bathroom and sees Kirgo’s suitcase. As he grabs it, Eve steps out of the shower with soap in her eyes. She grabs a face cloth and returns to the shower, allowing Dave to sneak into the other room to search the case. He finds the coin as Eve steps into the room wrapped only a towel. Pretending he has a gun in his pocket, Dave orders Eve to raise her hands, causing the towel to drop. Dave kisses her before running out the door. Eve sprints to the parking lot, recognizes Adele, and orders Kirgo to grab her. At the symposium, Wally has trouble fielding questions, and pretends he has a blinding headache. Dave bursts into the conference, claims Wally has “Blindness Anginas,” and drags him out of the room. In the parking lot, they are given a note ordering them to go to Sutherland’s estate, if they wish to see Adele again. Dave drives to Sutherland’s mansion and sees Adele being held in a greenhouse. Wally whistles to distract the guard dogs as Dave scales the wall and smashes a window to get inside, not hearing that he has set off an alarm. Eve and a henchman named Herman come into the greenhouse. Eve searches Dave for the coin, but Adele smashes a pot over Herman’s head. Dave cannot bring himself to hit Eve, so Adele punches the assassin unconscious. Adele climbs over the wall, but Eve revives and captures Dave. Inside, Kirgo presents Wally and the gold coin to Sutherland, who explains the coin is really a room temperature superconductor. Kirgo points his gun at Sutherland and demands more money, but Sutherland turns off the lights, pulls a pistol from his desk and shoots Kirgo dead. Wally asks what happened and learns that Sutherland is blind. Wally grabs Kirgo’s gun and the two sightless men have a gunfight using only their hearing to guide their aim. Wally drops his gun as Eve and Dave appear. Eve points her revolver at Sutherland and demands to know what happened to Kirgo. Sutherland tells her, and again kills the lights, but Eve fires first. The force of the blow sends Sutherland through a wall. Wally hears sirens and suggests Eve give up just as a helicopter appears. She locks Dave and Wally in, but they crawl out the broken wall, toss their coats over a power line and zip-line down the hill, crashing into Eve and the helicopter pilot as police arrive. Days later, the two are eating ice cream when Dave says he wants to give Wally something. Before Dave can smash his ice cream cone onto Wally’s head, Wally does it to him. +

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

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