Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)

R | 99 mins | Adventure | 23 August 1991

Producer:

Jere Henshaw

Cinematographer:

David Eggby

Editor:

Corky Ehlers

Production Designer:

Paul Peters

Production Company:

MGM-Pathe Communications Co.
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HISTORY

The 2 May 1990 DV reported that actor-writer Don Michael Paul received $400,000 from Pathé Entertainment for his screenplay. Although casting was underway, the 2 Sep 1990 LAT noted that Pathé had not yet received permission to used the trademarked names, “Harley Davidson” and “Marlboro.” Principal photography began 29 Oct 1990 in Tucson, AZ, as stated in the 13 Nov 1990 HR. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the desert city was chosen to represent Burbank, CA, as it would appear in the drought-ridden world of 1996 depicted in the screenplay. Locations included the Bashful Bandit Bar, known for its “biker” clientele; Tucson International Airport; the Tucson Convention Center; and the Florence Rodeo Grounds. Filming in Tucson concluded after eight weeks before resuming in Las Vegas, NV, and Los Angeles, CA. Producer Jere Henshaw, a self-described “gun enthusiast,” credited the film with the first screen appearances by the Desert Eagle pistol and the Steyr-Aug rifle.
       The 31 Nov 1990 HR announced that the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) would represent the crew, the majority of which were non-union. The contract went into effect 26 Nov 1990, with welfare payments and pensions retroactive to 22 Oct 1990. The budget, supplied by Pathé, was estimated at $18-21 million.
       The 20 Nov 1990 DV reported that stand-ins for actors Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke were scheduled to leap from the twenty-eighth floor into a swimming pool at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. However, their landing was filmed at the Century City J. W. ... More Less

The 2 May 1990 DV reported that actor-writer Don Michael Paul received $400,000 from Pathé Entertainment for his screenplay. Although casting was underway, the 2 Sep 1990 LAT noted that Pathé had not yet received permission to used the trademarked names, “Harley Davidson” and “Marlboro.” Principal photography began 29 Oct 1990 in Tucson, AZ, as stated in the 13 Nov 1990 HR. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the desert city was chosen to represent Burbank, CA, as it would appear in the drought-ridden world of 1996 depicted in the screenplay. Locations included the Bashful Bandit Bar, known for its “biker” clientele; Tucson International Airport; the Tucson Convention Center; and the Florence Rodeo Grounds. Filming in Tucson concluded after eight weeks before resuming in Las Vegas, NV, and Los Angeles, CA. Producer Jere Henshaw, a self-described “gun enthusiast,” credited the film with the first screen appearances by the Desert Eagle pistol and the Steyr-Aug rifle.
       The 31 Nov 1990 HR announced that the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) would represent the crew, the majority of which were non-union. The contract went into effect 26 Nov 1990, with welfare payments and pensions retroactive to 22 Oct 1990. The budget, supplied by Pathé, was estimated at $18-21 million.
       The 20 Nov 1990 DV reported that stand-ins for actors Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke were scheduled to leap from the twenty-eighth floor into a swimming pool at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. However, their landing was filmed at the Century City J. W. Marriot Hotel in Los Angeles. Shooting of the “grand finale sequence” began 16 Jan 1991 at a converted foundry in Vernon, CA, according to the 17 Jan 1991 DV. Director Simon Wincer planned to return to his native Melbourne, Australia, following the 25 Jan 1991 completion of photography, to edit the picture from a laserdisc copy. Jere Henshaw hinted that a sequel was under consideration. Two months later, the 18 Mar 1991 issue of Time revealed that, in the final weeks of filming, Mickey Rourke and several crew members threatened to strike unless they were paid immediately. Pathé’s recent merger with MGM/UA Communications had left the studio financially compromised, causing chief executive officer Giancarlo Perretti to defer salaries and delay the release of completed films. Regardless, around the same time, Perretti was the guest of honor at a banquet benefiting the National Council on Aging, during which he pledged $500,000.
       As stated in the 11 Apr 1991 HR, neither the Harley-Davidson Motor Company nor Phillip Morris USA, owner of the Marlboro brand, approved the use of their trademarks in the title. Although Harley-Davidson threatened a lawsuit unless the title was changed, MGM-Pathé attorney Maren Christensen claimed protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and cited other recent film titles that incorporated trademarked brand names. Harley-Davidson also refused a cross-promotional deal, as the mention of “Marlboro” conflicted with their licensing agreement with Lorrilard Tobacco Company, a competitor of Philip Morris USA. In addition, Harley-Davidson had not approved the screenplay, a strict company requirement for use of its brand. Japanese distributor Nippon Herald Films was considering a promotion featuring a replica of Mickey Rourke’s motorcycle, and MGM-Pathé had tentative plans to market the picture at motorcycle rallies throughout the US. On 22 Aug 1991, HR announced that Harley-Davidson abandoned its lawsuit following a screening of the film, which company executives believed was doomed to failure. However, the home office in Milwaukee, WI, was still receiving telephone calls from dealers, who assumed Harley-Davidson was associated with the production. Although they had not seen the picture, Philip Morris USA executives expressed concern to the the 29 Aug 1991 Long Beach Press-Telegram that it may damage their brand. An advertising campaign was tentatively planned, “renouncing any ties” with MGM-Pathé.
       Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man opened 23 Aug 1991 to negative reviews, several of which described it as a clumsy homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, see entry). A CinemaScore Movie Report appearing in the 27 Aug 1991 HR stated that seventy-nine percent of the predominantly male audience approved the film. The survey consisted of 306 respondents polled in Phoenix, AZ, Boston, MA, Orlando, FL, and Las Vegas.
       On 27 Nov 1991, LAT reported that actor Big John Studd, a former wrestler, was injured during a motorcycle stunt, and filed suit against Simon Wincer and stunt coordinator Billy Burton, claiming he was not properly trained.
       An 11 Feb 1993 LAT article noted that a billboard, which advertised the Aug 1991 opening, remained on display atop Pathé headquarters. The picture had closed more than fifteen months earlier.
       Credits are preceded by the following statement: “The film title is not intended to identify or promote a product or trade name of existing companies. No company has approved, sponsored or endorsed the title or content of this film.”
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers wish to give special thanks to: Krups North America, Inc.; GRiD Systems Corporation; Designs by Janey; Brother Consumer Electronics Corp.; The Ghurka Collection; Mountain Valley Spring Water Co.; Peugeot Motors of America, Inc.; IXSPA 2000® (designed by Jamie Sadock); Wendysue & Tobey’s Bakery; The Roman Company; David Manuel for the John Wayne “Hondo” statue; Shoei Safety Helmet Corp.; Tom Hildebrand, Tucson Film Commission; City of Tucson; Tucson Airport; Century City Shopping Centre; Walker Foods; The Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas; Larry Shipp, Tim Weinckowski and the Los Angeles Fire Department; Lynn Peacock, L.A.P.D. (retired); J. W. Marriot Hotel, Century City; The Flying Squirrels.”
       The name of actor Eloy Casados is misspelled as "Cassados" in credits, but spelled correctly in end credits.
       In end credits, the name of crew member Mike Fauntleroy is misspelled "Mike Fauntlroy," and actor Hans Howes's name is misspelled "Hans Howe." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 May 1990.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1990.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1990.
---
Daily Variety
30 Nov 1990.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jan 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Nov 1990
p. 1, 82.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 1991
p. 4, 20, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1991
p. 7, 19.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 1991
p. 4, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 1991.
---
LA Reader
23 Aug 1991.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
29 Aug 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Sep 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Aug 1991
p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
23 Aug 1991
p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
27 Nov 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1993.
---
New York Times
24 Aug 1991
p. 16.
Time
18 Mar 1991
p. 67.
Variety
26 Aug 1991
p. 87.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents
A Krisjair/Laredo production
A Simon Wincer film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit crew
1st asst dir, 2d unit crew
2d asst dir, 2d unit crew
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Clapper loader
Clapper loader
"B" cam/Steadicam
1st asst Steadicam
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Blue screen photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit crew
1st asst cam, 2d unit crew
1st asst cam, 2d unit crew
1st asst cam, 2d unit crew
2d asst cam, 2d unit crew
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit crew
Elec, 2d unit crew
Elec, 2d unit crew
Key grip, 2d unit crew
Grip, 2d unit crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
Positive cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
Const coord
Const foreman
Paint foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Ward for Mr. Rourke
Ward for Mr. Johnson
Ward, 2d unit crew
Timepieces by
Sunglasses by
MUSIC
Mus supv
With, Mus supv
Mus rec at
Scoring mixer
Synthesizers
Synthesizers
Mus ed
Exec in charge of mus for Mercury Records
Mus project mgr
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Cableman
Sd des & supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd eff rec
Sd mixer, 2d unit crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv
Spec opt eff
Matte artist
Matte artist
Matte artist
Matte artist
Matte cam
Motion control visual eff
Addl matte composites
Addl matte composites, David Stipes Productions
Video displays
Titles & opticals by
MAKEUP
Key makeup & hair
Makeup & hair
Mr. Rourke's makeup & hair
Mr. Johnson's makeup
Mr. Johnson's hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Wincer
Aerial sequences coord
Casting assoc
Prod auditor
Prod accounting asst
Prod accounting asst
Payroll
Loc mgr
Loc asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Scr supv, 2d unit crew
Unit pub
Unit pub
Asst unit pub
Extra casting
Extra casting, The Casting Group
Extra casting, The Casting Group
Asst to Mr. Rourke
Asst to Mr. Rourke
Asst to Mr. Johnson
Asst to Mr. Johnson
Craft service/Catering
First aid (Tucson)
First aid (L.A.)
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Helicopter stunt pilot
Helicopter stunt pilot
Helicopter stunt pilot
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Wanted Dead Or Alive,” performed by Bon Jovi, written by Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora
“The Bigger They Come,” performed by Frampton/Marriott, written by Peter Frampton, Steve Marriott & John Regan
“Let's Work Together,” performed by The Kentucky Headhunters, written by Wilbert Harrison
+
SONGS
“Wanted Dead Or Alive,” performed by Bon Jovi, written by Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora
“The Bigger They Come,” performed by Frampton/Marriott, written by Peter Frampton, Steve Marriott & John Regan
“Let's Work Together,” performed by The Kentucky Headhunters, written by Wilbert Harrison
“Long Way From Home,” performed by Copperhead, written by Loyd Neil Carswell
“Stop The World,” performed by The Screaming Jets, written by Gleeson/Woseen
“What Will I Tell My Heart,” performed by Vanessa Williams, written by Tinturin, Gordon & Lawrence
“The Better Part Of Me,” performed by Vanessa Williams, written by Derek Bramble & Jimmy Scott
“Work To Do,” performed by Vanessa Williams, written by Ronald Isley, O'Kelly Isley & Rudolph Isley
“C'mon,” performed by The Screaming Jets, written by Gleeson & Lara
“Wild Obsession,” performed by L.A. Guns, written by M. Cripps, T. Guns, P. Lewis, K. Nickels & S. Riley
“Hardline,” performed by Waylon Jennings, written by Tom Kimmel & Dennis Morgan, Waylon Jennings appears courtesy of Columbia Records
“Ride With Me,” performed by Blackeyed Susan, written by Dean Davidson. Blackeyed Susan, Copperhead & Kentucky Headhunters appear courtesy of Mercury/PolyGram Records
The Screaming Jets appear courtesy of rooArt Records
Vanessa Williams appears courtesy of Wing/PolyGram Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 August 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 August 1991
Production Date:
29 October 1990--25 January 1991
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo® SR in selected theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31170
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the 4th of July, 1996, the U.S. is faced with an environmental crisis, and the nation’s youth become vulnerable to a highly addictive drug called “Crystal Dream.” A drifter known as “Harley Davidson” rides out of Texas on his motorcycle for his home in Burbank, California. Along the way, Harley thwarts a gas station robbery and confiscates the gunman’s pistol. In a Burbank pool hall, Harley encounters his old friend, Robert T. Anderson, a former rodeo rider known as “The Marlboro Man,” brawling with a Native American. After Marlboro knocks his opponent unconscious, he and Harley retire to a rooftop billboard, where they talk about their lives and the international airport that has overtaken Burbank. Harley gives the gun he confiscated to Marlboro, who uses it to destroy his unreliable Japanese motorcycle. They visit their favorite hangout, the Rock & Roll Bar and Grille, and receive a warm greeting from owner Old Man Jiles, and his son, Jimmy. After Harley brawls with his boyhood friend, Jack Daniels, he learns that the bar has been acquired by the Great Trust Bank, which demands $2.5 million for a five-year lease, or the building will be torn down. Harley suggests acquiring the money by robbing one of the bank’s armored trucks, and recruits Marlboro, Jimmy Jiles, Jack Daniels, and a deaf mute named José as accomplices. The robbery proceeds smoothly, until they are fired upon by a four-man death squad wearing bulletproof dusters. Jack Daniels crashes his motorcycle, creating a wall of flames to enable his comrades’ escape. Afterward, the robbers empty the moneybags to find uncured bricks of Crystal ... +


On the 4th of July, 1996, the U.S. is faced with an environmental crisis, and the nation’s youth become vulnerable to a highly addictive drug called “Crystal Dream.” A drifter known as “Harley Davidson” rides out of Texas on his motorcycle for his home in Burbank, California. Along the way, Harley thwarts a gas station robbery and confiscates the gunman’s pistol. In a Burbank pool hall, Harley encounters his old friend, Robert T. Anderson, a former rodeo rider known as “The Marlboro Man,” brawling with a Native American. After Marlboro knocks his opponent unconscious, he and Harley retire to a rooftop billboard, where they talk about their lives and the international airport that has overtaken Burbank. Harley gives the gun he confiscated to Marlboro, who uses it to destroy his unreliable Japanese motorcycle. They visit their favorite hangout, the Rock & Roll Bar and Grille, and receive a warm greeting from owner Old Man Jiles, and his son, Jimmy. After Harley brawls with his boyhood friend, Jack Daniels, he learns that the bar has been acquired by the Great Trust Bank, which demands $2.5 million for a five-year lease, or the building will be torn down. Harley suggests acquiring the money by robbing one of the bank’s armored trucks, and recruits Marlboro, Jimmy Jiles, Jack Daniels, and a deaf mute named José as accomplices. The robbery proceeds smoothly, until they are fired upon by a four-man death squad wearing bulletproof dusters. Jack Daniels crashes his motorcycle, creating a wall of flames to enable his comrades’ escape. Afterward, the robbers empty the moneybags to find uncured bricks of Crystal Dream, and realize the bank is involved in drug trafficking. Meanwhile, bank president Chance Wilder orders Alexander, leader of the death squad, to kill the robbers. Marlboro spends the night with his former girl friend, motorcycle policewoman Virginia Slim. Although she is married to a fellow officer, Virginia hints that she would return to Marlboro if he could commit to their relationship. Marlboro declares himself a confirmed drifter, and Virginia wants him out of her life. In the morning, Marlboro steals his rival’s motorcycle, then meets Harley at the bank, where they ransom the drug shipment for $2.5 million. Chance Wilder agrees to the terms, and Alexander makes the exchange that evening at the “airplane graveyard.” Harley and Marlboro present the money to Old Man Jiles, unaware that it includes a fake silver dollar containing a tracking device. Alexander and his death squad follow them to the bar and open fire, killing Old Man, Jimmy Jiles, and José. Jack Daniels joins the fight and kills one of Alexander’s men before he is riddled with bullets. Harley and Marlboro escape with the money and stow away on an airplane bound for Las Vegas, Nevada. After reaching their destination, Marlboro expresses his outrage at Harley’s unemotional reaction to their friends’ deaths. Harley expresses remorse, but is unable to grieve while he and Marlboro are fighting to survive. Alexander and his men appear moments later, and pursue Harley and Marlboro to the roof of a hotel, forcing them to jump twenty-eight stories to the pool below. The two drifters disable the tracking device and leave town on an eastbound freight train. Although they are safe from the death squad, Marlboro returns to Burbank to avenge his slain friends. He attempts a reunion with Virginia Slim, but she refuses him as her husband looks on. Harley follows Marlboro back to Burbank, armed with a large gun he purchased in Denver, Colorado. As they plot their revenge, Harley comments on Marlboro’s dilapidated snakeskin cowboy boots. Marlboro explains his unwillingness to part with them, as they were given to him by his late father to wear at his first rodeo. The next day, Harley and Marlboro use the tracking device to draw the death squad into an ambush at the airplane graveyard. The drifters open fire, killing both of Alexander’s henchmen. When Marlboro is shot in the arm, Alexander uses him as a human shield. Harley attempts to shoot Alexander, but inadvertently shoots Marlboro in the same arm. At Marlboro’s insistence, Harley takes another shot and disarms Alexander, enabling Marlboro to retrieve his gun and dispatch the death squad leader. They commandeer Alexander’s armed helicopter, and bribe the pilot to fly them to Great Trust Bank headquarters. Harley and Marlboro enter Chance Wilder’s office, demanding he renew the lease on the Rock & Roll Bar and Grille. Chance refuses, and dares them to shoot. While Marlboro is caught in the moral dilemma of killing an unarmed man, two guards enter, forcing him to surrender. As the helicopter hovers outside, the pilot shows his contempt for Chance Wilder by firing into the office, shattering the glass wall and killing the guards. Marlboro tackles Chance, and as they wrestle near the ledge, the banker hangs onto one of his opponent’s boots to keep from falling. Harley anchors Marlboro while the boot breaks away and Chance falls to his death. Later, Marlboro resumes his rodeo career with a new pair of boots, and Harley bids him farewell before riding out of town with a female hitchhiker. +

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

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