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HISTORY

The 8 Sep 1989 DV announced that the film, provisionally titled The Wrong Bet, was currently in pre-production. Budgeted at $3-6 million, the project was the first of three to be made “in-house” by Imperial Entertainment, for completion by the end of the year. Production was expected to begin 23 Oct 1989. Nine weeks later, the 15 Nov 1989 Var reported the start of principal photography on 8 Nov 1989, using the title, Wrong Bet. As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, locations included San Pedro, CA, the Jean Dry Lake outside Las Vegas, NV, the “Sunset Strip” in West Hollywood, CA, and downtown Los Angeles, CA. The film, officially titled Lionheart, marked the motion picture debut of actor Harrison Page, and the directorial debut of screenwriter Sheldon Lettich. The review in the 29 Oct 1990 Var noted that the picture was screened at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival as A.W.O.L.
       On 2 Aug 1990, DV reported the acquisition of domestic distribution rights by Universal Pictures. One year later, the 1 Aug 1991 DV announced the film’s release in Sweden and Finland, due to relaxed censorship standards for on-screen violence. Lionheart opened 11 Jan 1991, garnering lukewarm to negative reviews. While the 11 Jan 1991 HR described it as “surprisingly not bad,” the 11 Jan 1991 LAT called it “negligible.” According to the Feb 1991 Box, the picture earned $17.2 million in its first seventeen days, with a steady decline in ... More Less

The 8 Sep 1989 DV announced that the film, provisionally titled The Wrong Bet, was currently in pre-production. Budgeted at $3-6 million, the project was the first of three to be made “in-house” by Imperial Entertainment, for completion by the end of the year. Production was expected to begin 23 Oct 1989. Nine weeks later, the 15 Nov 1989 Var reported the start of principal photography on 8 Nov 1989, using the title, Wrong Bet. As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, locations included San Pedro, CA, the Jean Dry Lake outside Las Vegas, NV, the “Sunset Strip” in West Hollywood, CA, and downtown Los Angeles, CA. The film, officially titled Lionheart, marked the motion picture debut of actor Harrison Page, and the directorial debut of screenwriter Sheldon Lettich. The review in the 29 Oct 1990 Var noted that the picture was screened at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival as A.W.O.L.
       On 2 Aug 1990, DV reported the acquisition of domestic distribution rights by Universal Pictures. One year later, the 1 Aug 1991 DV announced the film’s release in Sweden and Finland, due to relaxed censorship standards for on-screen violence. Lionheart opened 11 Jan 1991, garnering lukewarm to negative reviews. While the 11 Jan 1991 HR described it as “surprisingly not bad,” the 11 Jan 1991 LAT called it “negligible.” According to the Feb 1991 Box, the picture earned $17.2 million in its first seventeen days, with a steady decline in business after the opening weekend.
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank the following for their assistance: Chris Davis; Olivier Gruner; Howard M. Frumes; Vincent M. Waldman; R. George Anticoni; Christopher Grimes; Steve Michelson; Susan Michelson; Andrew C. Rigrod; Torben Slumstrup; Lawrence Vanger; City of Los Angeles; California; City of Las Vegas, Nevada”; “Special thanks to: R. P. Shah, Privatbanken, M. B. Malde.”
       The character played by Jean-Claude Van Damme is spelled as both “Leon” and “Lyon” in end credits. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Feb 1991
Section R, p. 14.
Daily Variety
8 Sep 1989
p. 3, 35.
Daily Variety
2 Aug 1990.
---
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 1991
p. 8, 86.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jan 1991
p. 8.
New York Times
11 Jan 1991
p. 8.
Variety
13 Sep 1989.
---
Variety
15 Nov 1989.
---
Variety
29 Oct 1990
p. 53.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Introducing
as Nicole
as Russell
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Sunil R. Shah
and Imperial Entertainment present
An Ash R. Shah/Eric Karson production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr/1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Clapper/Loader
Still photog
Best boy
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Key grip
Grip/Key grip
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Addl ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Lead person
Leadman
Swing gang
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Painter
Painter
Grafitti artist
Grafitti artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Costumer
Asst costumer
Furs provided by
Some sports clothes provided by
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus ed
Cond by
Mus coord
Pool fight mus
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
ADR ed
Sd asst
Post sd eng
Post sd eng
Foley artist
Foley artist
Post-sound prod
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles by
DANCE
Fight choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Make-up asst
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Corporate controller
Prod controller
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod accountant
Unit pub
Extras casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Asst to Sunil R. Shah
Asst to Ash R. Shah
Asst to Ash R. Shah
Asst to Mr. Lettich
Prod secy
Office prod secy
Stunt dept. asst
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Security
1st aid
Craft service
Caterer
Legal services
Payroll services
STAND INS
Fight choreog
Fight choreog
Fight choreog
Stunt coord
Fighers trained by
Stunt double-Lyon
Stunt double-Hartog
Stunt double-Francois
Utility stunt
Utility stunt
Utility stunt
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a screenplay by S. N. Warren.
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Confiance,” written and performed by Rachid Taha, courtesy of Virgin Music (SRL) and Polydor Records (SRL)
“You Should Have Stepped,” written by Michael Wright, produced by Dave Rose, Patricia Wright and Michael Wright, published by Wrightway Music (ASCAP)
“Shadows At Midnight,” written and produced by Barry Goldberg (BMI) and Derek Power (ASCAP), performed by Merry Clayton, courtesy of Island Music, Strongbow Music and Virgin Music, Inc.
+
SONGS
“Confiance,” written and performed by Rachid Taha, courtesy of Virgin Music (SRL) and Polydor Records (SRL)
“You Should Have Stepped,” written by Michael Wright, produced by Dave Rose, Patricia Wright and Michael Wright, published by Wrightway Music (ASCAP)
“Shadows At Midnight,” written and produced by Barry Goldberg (BMI) and Derek Power (ASCAP), performed by Merry Clayton, courtesy of Island Music, Strongbow Music and Virgin Music, Inc.
“Fuertes Viven,” words and music by Gil Karson & Sal Rodriguez, performed by Sal Rodriguez & Bertha Oropeza, published by QLT & Karson West
“Are You Ready For Me?” written by Marty Simon (BMI), Brian Greenway (BMI), Ken Tamplin (ASCAP) and Lanny Cordola (BMI), published by Windfall (BMI)/Roxamillion (PRO)/Sockcymbal-Polygram Songs, Inc. (PRO)/Ripple Music-Polygram Music Publishing, Inc. (CAPAC), performed by TCB
“Fight Fire With Fire,” written by Christian Nesmith, David Chuchian and Tony Tasis, produced by Tim Bomba, performed by “Off,” published by Baba Sarah Music (BMI)/Bombadier Music (BMI)
“Dodge City Blues,” written by Christian Nesmith, David Chuchian and Tony Tasis, produced by Tim Bomba, performed by “Off,” published by Baba Sarah Music (BMI)/Bombadier Music (BMI)
“No Mercy,” written, produced and performed by Bill Wray, published by Virgin Music, Inc. and Bill Wray Music (ASCAP)
“Fighting For My Life,” written by Curt Coumo, Guy Marshall and Elizabeth Vidal, produced and performed by TCB.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A.W.O.L.
Wrong Bet
The Wrong Bet
Release Date:
11 January 1991
Premiere Information:
Screened at the Cannes Film Festival: 18 May 1990
Los Angeles opening: 11 January 1991
New York opening: 11 January 1991
Production Date:
began 8 November 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Wrong Bet Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 January 1992
Copyright Number:
PA548926
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30404
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, police informant François Gaultier is hospitalized after drug dealers burn him alive. Unable to pay her husband’s hospital bills, Helene Gaultier writes to her brother-in-law, Foreign Legionnaire Lyon Gaultier, who is stationed in the African nation of Djibouti. Weeks later, Lyon receives word of his brother’s condition and deserts his post, traveling to the U.S. as a stoker on a steamship. Upon reaching New York City, Lyon jumps ship and swims to shore. He happens upon a crowd wagering on a streetfighting competition, and challenges the winner. Lyon is awarded a large cash prize after defeating his opponent, and crippled ex-fighter Joshua Eldridge offers to manage him. Lyon accepts, providing Joshua can help him reach Los Angeles. That night, Joshua introduces Lyon to Cynthia Caldera, a socialite who organizes streetfighting exhibitions for the wealthy. Cynthia gives him the moniker “Lionheart” and pits him against her champion, Sonny. Lyon wins, but declines Cynthia’s invitation to fight another opponent, as he is anxious to see François. Upon reaching Los Angeles with Joshua, Lyon learns that his brother died a week earlier. Although Helene and her young daughter, Nicole, are facing eviction, she refuses Lyon’s offer of financial assistance, blaming him for making François become a police informant, then abandoning the family to join the Foreign Legion. Joshua arranges lodging for the night at a luxury apartment, and Lyon awakens the next morning to discover Cynthia in the adjoining room. After buying Lyon a new wardrobe and taking him to an elegant restaurant, Cynthia attempts to seduce him. Lyon rejects her advances but agrees ... +


In Los Angeles, California, police informant François Gaultier is hospitalized after drug dealers burn him alive. Unable to pay her husband’s hospital bills, Helene Gaultier writes to her brother-in-law, Foreign Legionnaire Lyon Gaultier, who is stationed in the African nation of Djibouti. Weeks later, Lyon receives word of his brother’s condition and deserts his post, traveling to the U.S. as a stoker on a steamship. Upon reaching New York City, Lyon jumps ship and swims to shore. He happens upon a crowd wagering on a streetfighting competition, and challenges the winner. Lyon is awarded a large cash prize after defeating his opponent, and crippled ex-fighter Joshua Eldridge offers to manage him. Lyon accepts, providing Joshua can help him reach Los Angeles. That night, Joshua introduces Lyon to Cynthia Caldera, a socialite who organizes streetfighting exhibitions for the wealthy. Cynthia gives him the moniker “Lionheart” and pits him against her champion, Sonny. Lyon wins, but declines Cynthia’s invitation to fight another opponent, as he is anxious to see François. Upon reaching Los Angeles with Joshua, Lyon learns that his brother died a week earlier. Although Helene and her young daughter, Nicole, are facing eviction, she refuses Lyon’s offer of financial assistance, blaming him for making François become a police informant, then abandoning the family to join the Foreign Legion. Joshua arranges lodging for the night at a luxury apartment, and Lyon awakens the next morning to discover Cynthia in the adjoining room. After buying Lyon a new wardrobe and taking him to an elegant restaurant, Cynthia attempts to seduce him. Lyon rejects her advances but agrees to work for her, providing she opens a bank account in his name, and allows him to live on his own. Cynthia is furious with Lyon and relegates their business dealings to her assistant, Russell. Meanwhile, legionnaires Moustafa and Sergeant Hartog are sent to Los Angeles in search of Lyon, and maintain surveillance on Helene’s apartment, anticipating his arrival. At Lyon’s behest, Joshua poses as an insurance agent to delivers monthly checks to Helene, claiming François secretly arranged an annuity for his family. Cynthia suspects that Lyon is romantically involved with Helene, and orders Russell to spy on him. Russell follows Lyon, and takes the fighter to a medical clinic after he is attacked by Moustafa and Sgt. Hartog. After Lyon admits to deserting the Foreign Legion for the sake of François’s family, Russell shares the story with Cynthia, who feigns sympathy for Helene’s plight. Lyon appreciates her concern, but declines to mention the broken rib he sustained while fighting Moustafa and Hartog. Fearing that Helene and Nicole may be in danger from the legionnaires, he reveals himself as their benefactor, and relocates them to the modest apartment he shares with Joshua. Meanwhile, Cynthia arranges a match between Lyon and a deadly fighter named Attila, promising to surrender the deserter to Sgt. Hartog and Moustafa, if he survives. She convinces three European investors to bet heavily on Lyon, and promises the fighter that he will earn enough to retire after he defeats Attila. Despite Joshua’s warning that Attila has killed eight opponents, Lyon places a large bet on himself, certain that neither he, Joshua, nor Helene will ever have to work again. However, Joshua fears that Lyon may be impaired by his broken rib, and wagers on Attila. As Lyon enters the ring, he is unnerved by the sight of Moustafa and Sgt. Hartog in the audience. Attila quickly discovers Lyon’s broken rib and strikes it repeatedly. Joshua promises to share his winnings if Lyon accepts defeat, but the fighter admonishes his friend for making “the wrong bet.” Lyon overcomes his pain and defeats Attila with repeated kicks to the face, eliciting cheers from the crowd. As Moustafa and Hartog escort Lyon to their car, Cynthia begs the European investors for more time to pay her enormous debt. The legionnaires allow Lyon a moment to say goodbye to Helene and Nicole, but after witnessing the little girl’s heartbreak, they drive Lyon only a short distance before releasing him to his family. +

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

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