The Couch Trip (1988)

R | 98 mins | Comedy | 15 January 1988

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HISTORY

       During opening credits, clips from radio and television broadcasts are heard with corresponding images. Onscreen text describes the programs as: “John J. Anthony, ‘The Goodwill Hour’ 1945”; “A. L. Alexander, ‘The Court of Human Relations’ 1954”; “Dr. Joyce Brothers, ‘Consult Dr. Joyce’ 1960." The final broadcast shown is a fictional program referred to as “Dr. George Maitlin, ‘News Scene,’ Therapy Documentary 1987.”
       According to the 31 Mar 1987 HR production chart, principal photography began on 6 Feb 1987 on location in Los Angeles, CA, and Chicago, IL. An article in the 6 Feb 1987 HR noted filming was scheduled for nine weeks.
       An 18 Mar 1987 DV item noted actress Kathleen Hughes as attached to the production, but Hughes is not credited onscreen. An article in the 12 May 1987 LAT mentioned singer and actress Monica Lewis had “a small part” in the picture. However, Lewis is not credited onscreen.
       While an 18 Jun 1987 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release in AMPAS library files listed the picture’s possible release date during the 1987 Christmas season, the 16 Dec 1987 HR reported the film would open on 15 Jan 1988 on over 1,000 screens. The HR also noted that the film had been previously test-screened on 11 Dec 1987 in Paramus, NJ, and received “absolutely fantastic” numbers from the audience. The following month, the 7 Jan 1988 HR reported that the picture would receive preview screenings on 1,000-plus screens across the country on 9 Jan 1988.
       The film opened on 15 Jan 1988, ... More Less

       During opening credits, clips from radio and television broadcasts are heard with corresponding images. Onscreen text describes the programs as: “John J. Anthony, ‘The Goodwill Hour’ 1945”; “A. L. Alexander, ‘The Court of Human Relations’ 1954”; “Dr. Joyce Brothers, ‘Consult Dr. Joyce’ 1960." The final broadcast shown is a fictional program referred to as “Dr. George Maitlin, ‘News Scene,’ Therapy Documentary 1987.”
       According to the 31 Mar 1987 HR production chart, principal photography began on 6 Feb 1987 on location in Los Angeles, CA, and Chicago, IL. An article in the 6 Feb 1987 HR noted filming was scheduled for nine weeks.
       An 18 Mar 1987 DV item noted actress Kathleen Hughes as attached to the production, but Hughes is not credited onscreen. An article in the 12 May 1987 LAT mentioned singer and actress Monica Lewis had “a small part” in the picture. However, Lewis is not credited onscreen.
       While an 18 Jun 1987 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release in AMPAS library files listed the picture’s possible release date during the 1987 Christmas season, the 16 Dec 1987 HR reported the film would open on 15 Jan 1988 on over 1,000 screens. The HR also noted that the film had been previously test-screened on 11 Dec 1987 in Paramus, NJ, and received “absolutely fantastic” numbers from the audience. The following month, the 7 Jan 1988 HR reported that the picture would receive preview screenings on 1,000-plus screens across the country on 9 Jan 1988.
       The film opened on 15 Jan 1988, as noted in the NYT review published the same date. An article in the 20 Jan 1988 NYT reported that after opening on 1,333 screens, the film took in $3.3 million at the box-office.
       A draft of the screenplay dated 11 Feb 1987 in the AFI Library listed Jerry Belson and Walter Bernstein as part of the picture’s “following writers” with Steven Kampmann and Will Porter. However, Bernstein and Belson are not credited as writers onscreen. Belson does receive credit as an actor for his voice-over performance as the character “Yuri V.O.”
       Although there is a 1987 copyright statement on the film for Orion Pictures Corporation, copyright was formally registered on 14 Mar 1988.
      End credits acknowledge “Archival footage courtesy of: John M. Lyons Radio Archives; Mr. A. L. Alexander—‘The Court of Human Relations’; The Joyce Brothers Archives, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cornell University Libraries.” End credits state: “The Producers wish to thank: Televideo Systems, Inc.; Okidata Printers; Steve’s Ice Cream; Conroy Flowers; Furs provided by Somper Furs of Beverly Hills; The Sharper Image of San Francisco; Costa Del Mar Sunglasses; Caswell-Massey; Formalwear from the Robert Wagner Collection by Raffinati.” End credits also state: “A special thank-you to Anthea.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1987
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 1987
p. 1, 77.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 1988
p. 3, 6.
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1987
Calendar, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
15 Jan 1988
Calendar, p. 10.
New York Times
15 Jan 1988
Section C, p. 8.
New York Times
20 Jan 1988
Section C, p. 15.
Variety
13 Jan 1988
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
as "Becker"
Susan Kellerman
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Orion® Pictures Release
A Lawrence Gordon Production
A Michael Ritchie Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
"B" cam asst
"B" cam asst
"B" cam asst
Film loader
Best boy
Key grip
Grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Video playback op
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead person
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Women`s costumer
Men`s costumer
MUSIC
Performed by
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Boom op
Cableman
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd asst
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Visual eff and titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Post prod supv
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod auditor
Asst prod auditor
Post prod auditor
Loc liaison
Unit pub, PMK
Unit pub
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Craft service
First aid
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Police coord
Police coord
Promotion coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Lawrence Gordon
Asst to Lawrence Gordon
Asst to Lawrence Gordon
Catering
Aerial coord, 2d unit
Pilot, 2d unit
Pilot, 2d unit
Prod liaison, London unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a novel The Couch Trip by Ken Kolb (New York, 1970).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Fever,” by John Davenport and Eddie Cooley, Hudson Bay Music, Inc. on behalf of Fort Knox Music, Inc./Trio Music Company, Inc.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 January 1988
Premiere Information:
Preview screenings: 9 January 1988
Nationwide release: 15 January 1988
Production Date:
began 6 February 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
14 March 1988
Copyright Number:
PA360069
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28769
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the State Correctional Mental Facility in Cicero County, Illinois, Psychiatric Director Dr. Lawrence Baird tells inmate John Burns that he does not believe John is mentally ill, and threatens to transfer him back to prison if John crosses him again. In Los Angeles, California, Dr. George Maitlin, a psychiatrist and host of the popular radio program “Mind Your Mind,” recovers from a nervous breakdown. Maitlin tells his lawyer, Harvey Michaels, to find a psychiatrist to temporarily take over his practice and radio show while he recuperates in London, England, with his wife, Vera. Michaels’s assistant, Perry Kovin, has found Dr. Lawrence Baird to be Maitlin’s replacement. Meanwhile after causing a commotion, John Burns is placed in a straitjacket and sent to Dr. Baird’s office. Baird informs John he is being sent to Statesville Sanitarium the following day. After Baird is paged away, the telephone rings, and John Burns answers. Michaels offers the doctor the job to take over Maitlin’s practice and radio program during his recuperation. Pretending to be Baird, John agrees. John escapes with assistance of Robin, Dr. Baird’s secretary. At the airport, John steals an overcoat and a scarf to cover up his prison jumpsuit and picks up the ticket left waiting for Dr. Baird. Upon arriving at the Los Angeles airport, John is met by Maitlin’s associate, Dr. Laura Rollins, and Hendricks, radio station manager and producer of “Mind Over Mind.” Just then, Donald Becker, a former priest wearing a cardboard sign reading “People For The Ethical Treatment of Plants” approaches and recognizes John’s prison-issued pants. However, Hendricks has a nearby police officer ... +


At the State Correctional Mental Facility in Cicero County, Illinois, Psychiatric Director Dr. Lawrence Baird tells inmate John Burns that he does not believe John is mentally ill, and threatens to transfer him back to prison if John crosses him again. In Los Angeles, California, Dr. George Maitlin, a psychiatrist and host of the popular radio program “Mind Your Mind,” recovers from a nervous breakdown. Maitlin tells his lawyer, Harvey Michaels, to find a psychiatrist to temporarily take over his practice and radio show while he recuperates in London, England, with his wife, Vera. Michaels’s assistant, Perry Kovin, has found Dr. Lawrence Baird to be Maitlin’s replacement. Meanwhile after causing a commotion, John Burns is placed in a straitjacket and sent to Dr. Baird’s office. Baird informs John he is being sent to Statesville Sanitarium the following day. After Baird is paged away, the telephone rings, and John Burns answers. Michaels offers the doctor the job to take over Maitlin’s practice and radio program during his recuperation. Pretending to be Baird, John agrees. John escapes with assistance of Robin, Dr. Baird’s secretary. At the airport, John steals an overcoat and a scarf to cover up his prison jumpsuit and picks up the ticket left waiting for Dr. Baird. Upon arriving at the Los Angeles airport, John is met by Maitlin’s associate, Dr. Laura Rollins, and Hendricks, radio station manager and producer of “Mind Over Mind.” Just then, Donald Becker, a former priest wearing a cardboard sign reading “People For The Ethical Treatment of Plants” approaches and recognizes John’s prison-issued pants. However, Hendricks has a nearby police officer arrest Donald Becker. In London, Maitlin tells Vera that his nervous breakdown was caused by guilt over having an affair with a patient. Afterward, Maitlin receives a telephone call from Harvey Michaels passing on John Burns’s request for $200,000. Maitlin reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, John hosts Maitlin’s radio program and becomes a huge success, impressing listeners with his candor and obscene language. Before the end of the program, he invites callers to visit him the next day at Maitlin’s office in Beverly Hills, California, for free therapy. As he leaves the station, John is informed that Donald Becker called from the Los Angeles Psychiatric Hospital to speak to him. John goes to the hospital and signs Becker’s release forms. Afterward, John lets Becker stay with him at his hotel. The following day, they arrive at Maitlin’s office and see a crowd of people waiting. Dividing patients by their ailments, John Burns rents buses and takes them to a baseball game. Later, Harvey Michaels lets John know that he is more popular than Maitlin, and wants him to accept an award on Maitlin’s behalf from the Greater Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Society (GLANS). Donald Becker tells John that although he has not trusted anyone in a long time, he trusts John. Later, Becker finds an airline ticket to Mexico City, Mexico, that John planned to use once he received his $200,000 cash payment. Disgusted by John’s deception, Becker leaves. In London, Vera confesses to Maitlin that she has been having an affair for a year and a half with his friend, but Maitlin believes she is lying to get back at him for his own affair. Later, Maitlin attends a lunch at the International Psychiatric Convention and meets the real Dr. Lawrence Baird. Confused, the men call Maitlin’s office and learn that John Burns has been passing himself off as Baird. Maitlin tells Vera he is going to kill Harvey Michaels, but Vera thinks he is referring to her affair with Michaels instead of his mistake in hiring John Burns, and confesses. Confused, Dr. Baird and Maitlin to fly to Los Angeles. At his office, Maitlin finds his handgun, planning to get revenge on John Burns and Michaels, but Baird insists they call the police. To stop Baird from phoning, Maitlin knocks him unconscious. That evening, John Burns goes to pick up Dr. Laura Rollins for the award ceremony. However, Laura tells him she is not going, as she learned he is a fraud. At the ceremony, Harvey Michaels gives John the promised $200,000 in a briefcase. As John accepts the evening’s award, Maitlin arrives demanding his $200,000. John escapes to the airport. Meanwhile, Dr. Baird regains consciousness and goes to the award ceremony. However, without identification, no one believes him to be the real Dr. Lawrence Baird, and he is arrested. While John waits for his departure, television news reports that Donald Becker is threatening to jump off the standing on the “Y” of the Hollywood sign. Feeling guilty, John stores the briefcase in an airport locker and heads to the Hollywood sign, followed by Maitlin and Michaels. John confesses to Becker that he did escape from a mental facility for prisoners, and gives Becker the locker key, telling him the money is now his. Afterward, they are both arrested, but John convinces police to release Becker. While John is driven to jail, Maitlin, upset over his missing money, fires his gun at Michaels. When he misses, the police arrest Maitlin as television news cameras record the incident. Maitlin is sent to the Los Angeles Psychiatric Hospital as a patient, along with Dr. Baird. Later, John is being transported to Lompoc prison in a police van. Along the way, the van stops at the sight of an accident. When the guards go to investigate, Donald Becker and Dr. Laura Rollins steal the van, rescuing John. However, a guard shoots the van motor. Pulling over, Laura wishes them good luck and catches a bus home. Becker and John hop on a motorcycle Becker purchased with part of John’s $200,000 and escape together. +

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

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