Hudson Hawk

“Certainly I am a lot to blame for the film but I can’t say the alchemy of it was well balanced. What I have always said about my participation in action films in general is that I like to cut the head off of a rhinoceros and put a giraffe’s head on it. For some people, a rhinoceros with a giraffe’s head on it is interesting and something to look at. ‘Wow, you don’t see that every day!’ Other people will say ‘That is wrong! That is an abomination against nature! Kill it now! Get it out of my sight!’”

—HUDSON HAWK screenwriter Daniel Waters to Money Into Light, 2016

May 24, 1991.
Yes, THELMA & LOUISE, BACKDRAFT and HUDSON HAWK were all released on the same day. (Also ONLY THE LONELY and WILD HEARTS CAN’T BE BROKEN.) And cinema was never the same.

I reviewed HUDSON HAWK 11 years ago, and I stand by that review. There are many things about the movie that don’t work, but none of them overshadow how much it makes me laugh or how much I enjoy seeing, as the quote above puts it, “a rhinoceros with a giraffe’s head on it.” So read that review if you’d like to hear more detail, including my theory about its flop status being partly caused by Eddie “Hudson” Hawk being in many ways the opposite of John McClane. But this is so much the type of movie I love to look at in a summer retrospective – an attempted blockbuster, using star power and production value to try to draw normal people into something kinda weird – that I felt I should rewatch it and add further thoughts in the context of the other 1991 releases.

According to the excellent above-quoted interview with co-writer Daniel Waters, producer Joel Silver had been a big fan of his movie HEATHERS, which led Silver to hire Waters for THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE (1990) and then director Michael Lehmann for HUDSON HAWK. Willis first developed a more serious script with his DIE HARD/DIE HARD 2 writer Steven E. De Souza, but according to a Den of Geek interview with De Souza, “Lehmann and Bruce wanted to make it crazier. I had already done two drafts and a polish at that point, when I was hired elsewhere and they wanted to make it much crazier, so [Waters] came in for several passes.” Waters says he turned the job down until Willis assured him “he wasn’t interested in doing a traditional action movie. He felt his character from Moonlighting had never been in a movie.”

I don’t think I properly appreciated the typography-based posters of the ’90s in their time

Waters was on set doing rewrites for half of the filming, but had to leave to do BATMAN RETURNS, which must be when, according to De Souza, “the studio brought me back because they decided that it had gotten too crazy! So they flew me to Italy to sort of ‘un-crazy’ it. Very little progress in un-crazying it was made.”

It would’ve been seen as A Bruce Willis Movie even if it hadn’t been a pet project inspired by a song he wrote with co-composer Robert Kraft back in the day. He’d finished Moonlighting, and was fulfilling his destiny of transcending from the small to the big screen (not as common in those days). Along with DIE HARD and DIE HARD 2 reinventing him as an action star came a new level of celebrity, and magazines covering his marriage to Demi Moore, who had just had a huge year starring in GHOST. Many writers were ready to take him down a peg, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES having not yet satisfied those cravings, and newspaper-critics-with-their-knives-out plus cult-movie-masquerading-as-summer-blockbuster are not usually a good mix. Definitely not in those days.

There’s a little bit of indulgence in Bruce’s working class background – he used to work as a bartender, so of course owning a bar, worrying about it being taken over by yuppies, and trying to preserve touches that remind him of the old days would be part of his passion project. I wonder if the steering wheel wall decoration he keeps mentioning is based on a true story?

But we also see him wearing pleated slacks with his shirt tucked in. Note the full screen credit for “Selected Men’s Wardrobe for ‘Hudson Hawk’ By Cerruti 1881, Paris.” Other actors wearing the Paris-based Italian designer’s clothes include Richard Gere in PRETTY WOMAN, Jack Nicholson in THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK and, most telling, Christian Bale in AMERICAN PSYCHO (who even namedrops the brand: “You can’t bleach a Cerruti. Out of the question.”) To fit the bill of a legendary cat burglar, Eddie has to seem more like a rich movie star than the scrappy underdog image that had rocketed Willis to the top.

Eddie gets out of Sing Sing already wearing three earrings and with some fresh clipping on the sides of his head, and then he puts on a fedora? Of course people primed to dislike Willis were gonna hate this shit. And then he starts singing old timey standards.

That heist sequence that kind of works as a musical sequence because they time it by singing is one of the many goofy touches that come to mind when I think of the movie. But let’s look at which of them sort of line up with a blockbuster template. For starters, we have some big action sequences. My favorite involves a battle on an ambulance that leaves Eddie dragged behind on a gurney – this could be compared to the amazing freeway chase scene in LETHAL WEAPON 4, also produced by Silver, except that it has the absurd touch that he comes loose from the ambulance and then the chase continues as he somehow weaves through traffic on the gurney, just rolling on momentum. I laugh at the randomness of the young women in a car who yell “Hey mister – are you going to die?,” at his realization that he’s about to hit a toll bridge that requires exact change, and at his success in throwing said change into the slot.

And there are some of the ol’ special effects. At the end we have them flying away on the Da Vinci flying machine – some ILM model work along with the composited green screen footage, I believe – but this feels more like a THE GOONIES style “didn’t we just have a fun adventure?” wrap up than a set piece. Or like the glider scenes in HOWARD THE DUCK. It could use an equivalent to HOWARD’s “Dark Overlord” monster, I think. Don’t ask me how. Just do it.

I’m not sure I made the connection before that the DA VINCI CODE movies – much more successful but, if you ask me, vastly inferior blockbusters – have a few superficial similarities. Both THE DA VINCI CODE and HUDSON HAWK have nefarious international conspiracies tied to fictional secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. Both have crimes committed at the Louvre, though HUDSON’s ended up off screen because Silver wanted to save money. Both HUDSON and ANGELS AND DEMONS involve Vatican City. Through Andie MacDowell’s nun character Anna we learn of the Pope’s secret subway system equipped with crucifix-shaped intercoms. Anyway my point is Dan Brown is a fraud.

Of course if HUDSON HAWK is gonna be a big summer movie it’s gonna have to have a good villain or villains. BATMAN had The Joker, DARKMAN had Durant, THE DA VINCI CODE had someone, I’m sure, but obviously that has been lost to time along with any other memory other than I think Tom Hanks or Jim Belushi or one of those guys might’ve been in it, with maybe the lady from RUN LOLA RUN or somebody. HUDSON HAWK has some very fun and colorful villains, including James Coburn’s sinister CIA guy Kaplan and his candy bar themed agents. Something about them strikes me Shane Black-esque, but taken another step or two into absurdity. Lorraine Toussaint (later in DANGEROUS MINDS and FAST COLOR) is pretty badass as Almond Joy, but David Caruso (the year after KING OF NEW YORK) obviously steals the show as Kit Kat, a mimic who will randomly show up disguised as a statue, or wearing a dress identical to Anna’s, and speaks only in writing, on little cards he somehow has prepared for when he needs them.

But the real blessing is that a major studio sort-of-action-adventure movie would cast Richard E. Grant (WARLOCK) and Sandra Bernhard (SHOGUN ASSASSIN) as its hammy villains. They have so much fun being decadent, sinister assholes. Bernhard had evolved from a standup into more of a performance artist, known for her off-Broadway one woman show, as well as her weird stalker role in THE KING OF COMEDY. Her humor was wry and biting, she was openly bisexual, and her combination of attitude, offbeat beauty, and cartoonishly expressive lips were kind of intimidating. Not somebody you’d expect to show up in A Bruce Willis Movie.

De Souza argues that the villains are what turn people off, that for it to work they needed to be played straight against Eddie’s comedy. In theory it makes sense, but I’m not sure it computes, because what is HUDSON HAWK if not a movie where one of the villains likes to lay on the dining table singing “I’ve Got the Power” by Snap?

Mathematically speaking, most HUDSON HAWK fans came to it with the advantage of it already being a punchline, and therefore an underdog. It didn’t need to clear the hurdle of “exciting new movie,” but merely “better than they said.” So I was surprised to find there were at least three major outlets that gave it positive reviews. Though I couldn’t find the full reviews, Metacritic lists Joe Berry’s review in Empire (“certainly one of the more original blockbusters coming out this summer”) as a 60 and Richard Schickel’s in Time (“quite a funny movie… with a hip undertone all its own”) as a 70.

I was able to find Hal Hinson’s review in the Washington Post, which is an unqualified rave. He describes Willis as “part James Bond, part Cary Grant and part Buster Keaton — a one-of-a-kind combination for sure, and just the right sort of hero for this exhilarating, one-of-a-kind movie.” He goes on to call it “a precision universe of wiseacre high jinks” and “an action picture packed dense with the wit of a screwball comedy” “and “bizarrely inventive” with “a teasingly absurdist point of view” and “a crafty satire, but with a swashbuckling soul.” Full disclosure: he even liked the Mona Lisa joke (I can’t relate) and ends his review with “This Hawk flies,” with only the lack of an exclamation point as cover for a shameless plea to be quoted in advertising. But his over-the-top praise really does accurately describe what’s good about the movie.

Of course, The Post also ran a dueling review by Joe Brown, who called it a “Major Turkey” (capitalized for some reason) and says that “to say this megamillion Bruce Willis vehicle doesn’t fly is understatement in the extreme.” Since he refers to “the multi-talentless Willis” and claims that Andie MacDowell “still hasn’t learned how to speak in front of the camera” I think he might actually be a Razzies voter. And that was more representative of the overall critical reaction.

Bernhard’s presence is a connection to an earlier summer of ’91 phenomenon, MADONNA: TRUTH OR DARE, where she had a scene discussing dating and meeting celebrities with her friend Madonna. So let’s talk about HUDSON HAWK’s parallels to other movies we’ve reviewed in the series so far. FX2 and MANNEQUIN ON THE MOVE have both had vague allusions to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will have a major sequel coming out later in the summer. HUDSON HAWK sets its sights on a more under-the-radar summer of ’91 action classic: STONE COLD.

Okay, maybe that’s not the intention, but dumb C.I.A. (or “MTV-I.A.”) muscleman Butterfinger sporting a Boz Cut is definitely a good detail that gets better the more time passes. One thing I didn’t mention in the previous review – maybe I didn’t realize it – is that the bodybuilder who plays Butterfinger is Andrew Bryniarski, who I mainly know as the Leatherface in the 2004 TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and its prequel. This was his first major movie role, after a bit part in DRAGONFIGHT, but he’d go on to be Max Schreck’s son in BATMAN RETURNS (also co-written by Waters) and Zangief in STREET FIGHTER (written and directed by De Souza), plus parts in CYBORG 3, HIGHER LEARNING, PEARL HARBOR, ROLLERBALL, SCOOBY-DOO and Tsui Hark’s BLACK MASK 2: CITY OF MASKS.

HUDSON HAWK also has a joke about another action star who does not have a film coming out during the summer. When Frank Stallone, as the gangster Cesar Mario, says “Come on, Hawk. It’s one night’s work, you take their thingy and put it in this thingy,” Eddie says, “Directions even your brother can understand.”

Everyone seems to take it as a meta jab at Sylvester Stallone (who Waters later wrote for in DEMOLITION MAN), and I’m sure that was intentional, but that’s kind of a shame that it steps on the way better joke of the character’s brother within the movie Antony (Carmine Zozzora, producer and/or bit part in several Willis films) saying, “Yeah! Directions even I can understand!”

When I do these retrospectives I like to look for dated references that tie the movies specifically to the time they were released. This one has a mention of Gumby and a joke about the Pope watching Mr. Ed on TV – these are both TV references from three decades earlier that for some reason we were strangely fascinated with in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. We couldn’t believe there had been a sitcom about a talking horse, so we laughed about it and then watched it on Nick at Nite and kind of liked it. There’s also a joke about To Tell the Truth, but I didn’t even get that that’s what it was, I had to look it up. Even more before my time.

Kinda looks like MOONWALKER at first glance.

The most ‘90s-specific reference is a running gag that starts when Tommy picks up Eddie from Sing Sing and asks him what he wants to do – “Play Nintendo? Bone some chicks?” At the end “play Nintendo” is used as a euphemism for boning a nun. And of course the mobsters being named “the Mario Brothers” is a related reference.

What I didn’t realize until researching the movie for this piece is that there was a Hudson Hawk tie-in game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Gameboy and other systems. I guess you sneak around on platforms trying to steal Da Vinci artifacts at the auction house, then the Vatican, then the castle without getting nabbed by security guards or dogs. Too bad it doesn’t have the hospital bed freeway chase or the flying machine.

I doubt it was some sort of product placement type deal. It was just a joke in a movie that coincidentally had a video game tie-in. It’s an R-rated movie – is there cursing or something? Or maybe it’s the guy getting his throat slit. I don’t know. But it would be funny if they’d made action figures and trading cards and stuff. Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello shaped like Ninja Turtles, in the tradition of those hideous DICK TRACY figures. I wouldn’t mind something like that to put on my desk. Too bad.


What influence did HUDSON HAWK have, if any (not including inspiring the worldwide book and movie sensation Da The Vinci Code)? It could be argued that the 1994 gem ED WOOD is part of the HUDSON HAWK legacy. Its screenwriters, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, had dreamed of an Ed Wood biopic since film school, but it was after their PROBLEM CHILD and classmate Lehmann’s HUDSON HAWK had been declared “worst movie of all time” that they tried to team up to make a movie about “the worst director of all time.” Tim Burton was originally recruited to produce, but decided he wanted to direct while Lehmann moved on to AIRHEADS.

HUDSON HAWK was also ahead of its time in having a funny gag about a yappy little dog flying out a window. Later in the decade, after THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY did the same thing, wacky animal violence became a comedy prerequisite for a couple years.

Unfortunately, its biggest effect was likely just teaching everyone involved to never do anything like that again. If you read that interview with Waters, he thinks it stopped Willis from doing comedy for years. It also taught Lehmann that he didn’t like directing big movies like that, which he never did again. But I’m glad they tried it that one time.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 11:37 am and is filed under Reviews, Comedy/Laffs, Crime. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

62 Responses to “Hudson Hawk”

  1. Thought you might find this interesting …

    Hudson Hawk – the flop that began the fall of Bruce Willis

    The Die Hard star was riding high in 1991 when he shot the big-budget action caper that made critics want to throw things at the screen. Ed Power explores how the production led to the descent of the one-time highest-paid actor in the world

  2. I don’t think I ever realized that Bryniarski is in this. I was friends (or I guess friendly acquaintances) with him when I was in college in the 90s. Really friendly guy. One time he gave me a high five and it literally knocked me over. Another time, my friend and I went over to Andrew’s place in Venice Beach. There was this weird, strung out dude hanging out there wearing a Guns-n-Roses jean jacket. After the guy left, we asked Andrew “who was that weirdo?” Turns out it was Steven Adler, original drummer for Guns-n-Roses. Good times.

  3. “Looks like you won’t be attending that hat convention in July” is still one of the best dumb one-liners of all time.

  4. Vern, you are the greatest. I’m going to learn to sculpt just to make you those action figures, though the heads may have to be solid and not disgustingly malleable in the proper DICK TRACY tradition.

    (I’m in the wrong thread here, but apparently Warren Beatty had an insane level of “standards specification” through the process of making DICK TRACY’s merchandise, making the great cartoonist Kyle Baker repeatedly revise his work to the point where he would only allow Dick Tracy to have one of a small number of photocopied faces. That means he put a big honkin’ Warren Beatty checkmark next to those creepy action figures and the stupid ticket t-shirt and shit. I’ve always thought it would be funny to write a story about a guy who gets that t-shirt and then shows up at different places asking them to play DICK TRACY on their TVs.)

    This movie is like SUPERGIRL, if SUPERGIRL boringly sang “Would you like to wish on a star carry moonbeams home in a jar” for a million years instead of gently flying around (also boringly), and was also Bruce Willis instead of Helen Slater. What I’m saying is if you ever want to watch a movie with a lot of scenes featuring a pair of bumbling henchpeople hired for their wry off-Broadway comedic abilities and fine acting work elsewhere, SUPERGIRL and HUDSON HAWK are the movies for you.

    Peter Cook and Faye Dunaway didn’t get any of that funny-ass yappy Daniel Waters dialog to read, though. I’ve been a fan of his since I was very young and could go on and on about his “I don’t give a shit about keeping my Garanimals orderly” style’s unacknowledged influence on the larger culture (a matter that seems to have improved somewhat in recent years), but I think this is without question the worst Daniel Waters movie.

  5. It’s been forever since I’ve seen this, but I *loved* this movie. My college roommate and I watched this and Disney’s The Kid, and surprisingly thought both were great. We became convinced Bruce never made a bad movie. (I no longer believe this to be the case.)

    I attempted to play the video game and it was impossible– like, could barely survive past the first screen impossible– though that YouTube video makes it look easy.

  6. First watched this 15 years ago. Hated it for 20 minutes, then loved it for 80, and have loved it ever since.

    In addition to the game, there was also a Novelization, which you can be a real clever clogs and claim as the first edition of THE DA VINCI CODE if you like.

    I have the Game Boy game. From memory it’s OK, but I wouldn’t trust me on games too much.

  7. If I remember correctly (which I often don’t, but I think I’m correct this time), the ‘thing’ with Hudson Hawk that drew so much ire was kind of the same thing with Ishtar, they were both really, really, really expensive, and both just kind of goofy movies.

    Like, if Hudson Hawk was 20 million–I’m not saying it would have received glowing reviews–but they’d probably be more willing to along with the spirit of it. But there was something just sort of arrogant about the fact they spent 70 million on what it was.

  8. Franchise Fred

    May 27th, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    And this is where 1991 truly became 1991.

    I interviewed David Goyer for all three seasons of Da Vinci’s Demons. Every time I asked him if he’d seen Hudson Hawk but he never did.

  9. I love Elaine May and I love Daniel Waters. Not just, like, passively – I could probably be viewed as a superfan of both of those comedy movie writing people. I love ISHTAR in totality (whatever version), but consider HUDSON HAWK to be “fine” at best.

    Also, this is not, like, me being disagreeable. The idea of people liking HUDSON HAWK makes me so happy. Also, usually the explanation of why they like it is completely descriptive of what I don’t like about it, and that’s excellent. I am sure the exact same thing would be said by people in regards to the Daniel Waters movies that I am all about.

    All that aside, I genuinely wish this movie had been a success just because it is so weird and if they make one weird movie they usually make more. Alternately, the idea of Bruce keeping his broomstick-microphone, pointing-accentuated Coasters singalongs to the most “dance like no one’s watching” moments of Willis H.Q. is something that kinda makes me happy.

    A.L.F.’S CRYSTAL BALL OF THE FUTURE OR WHATEVER: Some hipster filmmaker or James Corden skit or other unimaginably corny future thing utilizes Bruce’s ability to sing and dance to the shitty oldies, and we never see the end of Dancin’ Bruce, like at the 2031 Oscars and shit, sorta like a mix of Christopher Walken in the Fatboy Slim video and Jack Palance doing the push-ups..

    Here’s a funny movie idea: BRUNO BEGINS. Or, you guessed it, THE BRUNO. What about this, a movie about how he was before his time called THE BURDEN OF BRUNO, or possibly I, BRUNO. Or a seven part mini series with an accompanying five CD box set entitled BRUCE WILLIS PRESENTS: THE BLUES.

    Sincerely, Disney’s The A.L.F.

  10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again until you motherfuckers understand: I unironically love THE RETURN OF THE BRUNO and you should too.

    “Funtime” is easily my favorite, providing the warm-up music for many an NYC night out in my twenties and thirties, but all the original songs are ragers. The covers I can take or leave but if you gotta pick one, I’d go with “Secret Agent Man.” I honestly feel like Bruce should have sacked up and made them use it as the credits song for RED.

    Fun Time

    Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupFun Time · Bruce WillisThe Return Of Bruno℗ A Motown Records Release; ℗ 1986 UMG Recordings, Inc.Released on: 198...

    Flirting With Disaster

    Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupFlirting With Disaster · Bruce WillisThe Return Of Bruno℗ A Motown Records Release; ℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.Re...

    Lose Myself

    Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupLose Myself · Bruce WillisThe Return Of Bruno℗ A Motown Records Release; ℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.Released on: ...

  11. I understand, I remember when you directed our attention to the “few jingles jangling in my pocket” line.

    Me? My line of choice is probably “Sulphur preparation? That’s no trouble!” from “Comin’ Right Up”.

    The follow-up album with a more boring name has Bruce letting rip on “Boogie in the Barnyard”.

  12. I have met P.F. Sloan, the late writer of “Secret Agent Man”. After waiting a few millennium’s worth of sound effects and whistilin’ wind sounds for the singing to kick in, I can confirm that, Bruce, sir, is no P.F. Sloan.

    Just kidding, Mr. M., you are the best. I’m the one going around talking about how good the Milla record is, after all. (Though that is actually very good and writerly and interesting and not like this awful-sub-Don Johnson-“Heartbeat”. Jim-Belushi’s-more-authentic, OLIVER-AND-COMPANY-sounding trash, etc.)

    Man, why didn’t Bruce Willis cover Bruce Springsteen’s weird action movie sounding song “Cover Me”? It LITERALLY sounds like it’s asking to be covered, and seems like it was written “in character”, with the character that being the not invented yet character of Bruno.

  13. My super-short rave on the previous review still stands. I saw this opening night and loved it then and love it now. I wasn’t expecting anything in particular given the trailer but always enjoyed Bruce’s goofier side in Moonlighting so whatever got thrown into this concoction was perfection.

    You mention James “My pennnnssssion!” Coburn and Sandra Bernard but Richard E. Grant is the real MVP with his bodily contortions and Joker-esque face as he over-enunciates just the right stuff.

    I love the musical numbers, the crazy action and jokes so underplayed you just gotta spring them on people in real life.

    Hudson Hawk is a winner. If you haven’t seen it I hope Vern just sold you on it.

  14. As a Greek I am honored Vern that you chose, of all countries, a GREEK poster for this review!

  15. Franchise Fred

    May 27th, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    A.L.F. Are there alt versions of Ishtar?

  16. Fun Fact (actually, no. It’s only fun from my perspective): When I was in college, my cousin had the cassette (yeah yeah I’m old) of The Return Of Bruno which he’d play over and over when we went on a drive, on account of the fact he only had that chance when he was alone or had me in the car, as his wife hated the album. Our favorite track was Fun Time, not just because it was a rollicking foot stomper, but because the opening lines went:

    “Got a few jingles jangling in my pocket
    And I got a couple that don’t make no noise”

    We’d turn to each other, put on our best Willis smirks and go: A couple that don’t make no noise hehehehehe. A couple that don’t make no noise hehehehe…

    Yeah we were easily amused.

  17. Ah! Those were the days, when a Willis movie disappointed because it subverted your expectations and not because Willis no longer gave a flying fuck.

    Saw HUDSON HAWK on the big screen on it’s first week of release, and like a couple of million people, expected a DIE HARD WITH HEISTS flick only to get a tonally weird comedy caper. That and seeing Sandra Bernhardt’s dick-shriveling face on the big screen has made the HAWK one of those rare early Willis flicks I have never re-watched.

    Maybe I need to.

  18. “HUDSON HAWK was also ahead of its time in having a funny gag about a yappy little dog flying out a window”

    I’d argue, the HAWK itself drew inspiration from the industry Gold Standard for Animal Cruelty: A FISH CALLED WANDA, released 3 years before

  19. VRS202: The Independent article was a fun read, except trying to posit that HUDSON HAWK marked the start of Willis’ career decline is like saying RAW DEAL ended Arnie’s domination at the box-office.

  20. Hi Franchise Fred! Nice to talk to you on here for the first time, I am a fan of your thoughts about the movies and approach to being a fan.

    There is a “Director’s Cut” on Blu-Ray, if it is anything like the “Director’s Cut” I saw at 92Y in 2011 then there was absolutely no discernable difference that I could recall, and I had maybe seen it eight or so times prior to that, though somehow I haven’t seen it since then. (Elaine May was there in person, that was a thrill.) I believe it is two Ishtartastic minutes shorter.

    I’d also like to mention (something that I’ve just learned), in the interest of not just being rudely on autosnark. The wildly popular coins-and-balls-referencing song “Fun Time” was first recorded for a Joe Cocker record in 1978, and interestingly, written by the great New Orleans songwriter/performer/producer Allen Touissant, a guy so legendary that he wrote both “Lipstick Traces” AND “Fortune Teller” UNDER HIS PSUEDONYM, Naomi Neville.

    Even though it was actually his mother’s maiden name, there’s something cool about a dude who recorded under a lady-styled nom de plume as early as 1960 – and without those being “throwaway” songs, either, unlike the trash ass no tracks having devoid of funk lazy bum slobs The Rolling Stones hacked out as “Nanker Phlege”, while they were busy covering Naomi Neville and Bobby Womack songs on their records. (Just kidding, I like “Th’ Schton’z”, as guys with various weird American accents say.)

    Sorry to goof on this one, everybody, you have no idea how much I want to be all about HUDSON HAWK.

    HAPPY CAMPERS forever.

  21. Franchise Fred

    May 27th, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    A.L.F. I definitely reviewed the Blu-ray release around then so I must’ve watched that version.

    If you’re on Twitter I actually created a separate @FranchiseFred account. It was a huge mistake. No on in the industry cares about my franchise schtick, but I’m pretty responsive on it, just ask Sternshein.

  22. Don’t care for that Independent article I’m afraid, read like something that would have been on one of those sub-Razzie\MST3K websites a dozen or so years ago.

    Richard Schickel also liked ISHTAR. Vincent Canby *loved* ISHTAR and listed it as his second favourite film of 1987.

    If the distant future shown in RED DWARF is to be believed, ISHTAR will still be known as an infamous bomb but I don’t think they ever clarified how HUDSON HAWK will be viewed.

  23. I sadly made the mistake of reading the linked article and have no idea what the writer is trying to tell us. Basically the premise is: “Bruce is making shitty DTV movies, because in 91 he made a notorious box office bomb, but let’s ignore that he was still a huge star for at least 15 more years after that, and oh, all the people who now like HUDSON HAWK are wrong, because I still hate it.”

  24. ALF, that’s the best and most accurate description of “Th’ Shtonz” I’ve ever read in my life.

  25. The original version of “Fun Time” was by Allen Toussaint?! Holy fuck, man, I gotta hear it. Finally this whole internet thing is starting with I pay off.

    This is definitely the best response my BRUNO proselytizing has ever elicited. Maybe the tide is finally turning on that misunderstood masterpiece of honkey funk.

  26. Franchise Fred – I am of course very much aware of your writings, franchise-oriented and otherwise! I’ve tried to have Twitter I think four times before, and my “schtick” is very awkward wherever it goes, yelling about oldies, Silver Age comic books and Milla all the time regardless of locale. If I ever get back to that blue cartoon bird land of news and musings, I will “@” you and we can have all the important discussions, such as THE EVENING STAR vs TEXASVILLE.

    Pacman 2.0 – I think ISHTAR is one of those actual destructive “groupthink” things, where the people with the most notable of platforms were being shitty and ignorant to Elaine May. I’m very much in favor of Gary Larson, but The Far Side had a greater readership than Vincent Canby, and one “Hell’s video store” is all it takes to denigrate the work of a great woman and her amazingly talented, all-star crew and their weird, likable action-toned musical-comedy. Also, Elaine May is about a zillion times funnier than Gary Larson, that is some jealous-ass hater shit. (What the fuck movies does he like, MICROCOSMOS, GORILLAS IN THE MIST?)

    psychic_hits – Thank you, but I must admit it was kind of Frankensteiningly pilfered from several different sources. Also, I am really a major Stones fan, but, like, you know – I think about Otis Blackwell or Chuck Berry or whoever and I’m like, “Fuck the Stones”, and that is not just reserved for P.O.C. pioneers of Oldies Music, either, I have that with Buddy Holly and Carol King and quality writers of that sort.

    That Stones pronunciation really makes me laugh and I will at least take credit for the phonetic spelling of it. A former co-worker and I used to say “BEATLES. STONES. RAMONES.” in that voice and share a knowing, friendly, in-jokey laugh, in a way usually reserved for when the guy from Moonlighting sings about the noiselessness of his balls.

    I should mention this, though I’m alternatingly worried it’s both gossip and kind of not a story at all. Someone I know who is ~70 used to be something of friends with Bruce back in the bartending days. The stories I’ve heard are basically just that he that he genuinely really liked music and that he did quite often ask people for drinks or smokes or whatever back when he was short a few bucks, which was semi-often. It really does sound like this one is “pure Bruce”, in a way that is really sweet to think about, even if I feel the need to clown on it and not offer any sort of enthusiastic reappraisal, which is usually one of my specialties. The guy that knew Bruce was always talking about “Ace Records”, if anyone here knows what that is. I don’t doubt Bruce has a lot of “Ace Records” titles himself. I wonder about the steering wheels, though.

    Also, Bruce does have modest but undeniable harmonica (or “Bobo”) skills, and gives others space to properly jam, as evidenced in the videos I just watched of him in performance with such icons of the blues as B.B. King and Paul Shaffer. I am not a musician, but I am an aficionado of that weird, underrated instrument. Bruce has a cool, raw style – he’s not skipping to and fro like the way John Popper plays or some shit, he just plays hard and has a cool, kinda garage-y, bleating feel. One thing that makes me laugh is how good harmonica players get NO CREDIT for being talented musicians, be they Peters Ivers, Mick Jagger or Grown-Ass Bruno the Kid. You could get the world’s best harmonica player and place them next to the most incompetent 13 year old drummer, and people would probably be more impressed with the kid awkwardly trying to thunder along to the opening (Gap Band-ish) fills of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

    That circulating Daniel Waters CATWOMAN script is the craziest shit in the world that I ever read in my life, for sure one of the weirdest made-up animals ever. It is the missing third piece of the SHOCK TREATMENT and MR. FREEDOM trilogy. I hope that this thread continues the Daniel Waters revival that is finally starting to happen elsewhere, and eventually people start talking out billboards and shit insisting that Warner Brothers #FILMTHEWATERSSCRIPT and they bring Michelle Pfeiffer back and everything.

    There are lots of good versions of this Naomi Neville masterwork, including an amazing recording from the early O’Jays and several versions from the great Alex Chilton, who, now that I think about it, had something of a “Bruno” quality to his later period, a thought that is making me give Bruce more credit than I had previously. I don’t doubt Alex Chilton may have liked Hudson Hawk – wry, pre-Beatle-oldies-oriented, genre-combining, articulate and lovably corny as he was.

    Even though it’s not for me, I really do think this one is a testament to the actorial autership of a guy who let everybody else be weird in their weird way while he was doing his weird thing. There’s something beautiful about that.

    Bruce wanted us to be partying and laughing, and you know what, here we are – we’re partying, we’re laughing. Mission accomplished, HUDSON HAWK.

  27. Dang how does Majestyk get those links to work. Maybe HTML only works for true believers in Bruno. I gotta go farm watermelons for a while before I can get YouTube links to properly post to this sunnuvagun. If this doesn’t work just look up the song “Lipstick Traces” by Benny Spellman, also The O’Jays and Alex Chilton versions are good too, to say nothing of the fifty billion other good Touissant-written songs.

    Also Bruce Willis should cover Funtime by Iggy Pop and David Bowie, that would be good.

  28. Before we get any further into crazy, Gary Larson-hating territory, I think it’s important everyone know his true feelings on the matter:

    Ishtar: The Movie/Film - Trivia

    Ishtar: The Movie/Film - Fans' tribute to a movie Hollywood hated

    I hope this helps the healing begin.

  29. Majestyk – I am delighted to hear that your pro-Bruno efforts are finally among their people. I am very much in favor of Singin’ Bruce, even if I am goofing on him, and what I had predicted earlier is something I very much hope occurs – but I do hope he makes some kinda classy indie movie (not the try-hard kind, the good kind) where he gets to sing and shit.

    I saw Touissant once, on that tour he did with Elvis Costello. No dis to Declan, but I wish I just saw one of those solo Touissant Joe’s Pub shows instead, though I have a great amount of respect for anybody who gives a showcase to and earns money the original oldies people.

    Actually, Bruce, if you’re reading, please make a low-budget, high-quality, oldies-oriented passion project called THE DOC POMUS STORY, in which you play, I dunno, Mort Shuman or some shit, whoever you want to be. (Also, I am sure Bruce is NOT reading.) They really should make a movie about Doc Pomus, that would be amazing. Also, people are always talking about how there aren’t enough roles for disabled actors – well, one of the best songwriters ever, a totally funny New York oddball that would be fun to impersonate and one of beautiful souls in the history of the arts, and the writer of enough songs for a jukebox musical that would make Abba look like a bunch of no tracks having devoid of funk bum ass fools – is THAT a good enough story for a movie?

  30. Also, sorry to overpost – I am trying to say differently-abled instead of disabled. I am old and my language choices need work. My apologies.

    THE DOC POMUS STORY forever, though. I would want there to be a lot of funny “hangout movie” scenes starring him and someone playing a wide-eyed, guard-down Lou Reed.

  31. ….and thank you for that, Kaplan, I had not known he rescinded that strip. That’s a nice thought. Much love to the great Gary Larson, speaking as someone who literally spilled brown ink all over his Midvale School for the Gifted t-shirt at age eleven, when trying to learn how to ink. (I kept wearing the shirt, style icon that I was.)

  32. Franchise Fred

    May 28th, 2021 at 9:06 am

    A.L.F. I support anyone abstaining from Twitter who can and I still resent having to maintain a presence for my industry. You’re better off, but thank you for following my work.

    Man, The Evening Star! I remember people didn’t even know it was a sequel and said “Why was Jack Nicholson in this for five minutes? What a rip off!”

  33. I was a big fan of “Return of Bruno” when I was a kid, and it introduced me to some tracks I had not been previously exposed to. But, I still think the best musically related thing Bruce ever did was that Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler commercial. I’m not even joking. That shit still gets randomly stuck in my head at times.

    I’ll try linking it here. I think this is my first time trying to post a link here, so apologies in advance if I screw it up…

    <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1daIIDQsXI

  34. Well, looks like my comment posted before I actually finished writing it haha. The link is ugly but appears to at least be functional.

  35. The Joe Cocker version of “Fun Time” is, indeed, a jam. I still prefer the goofier, cheesier Walter B. version, but the original made for a great sample in this jam of my own that I made today. Hope you guys like it.

    Group Home Family (Remix)

    Listen to Group Home Family (Remix) by Walker Sexist Mangler #np on #SoundCloud

  36. Bunny, ball ball!

    I got a cable descrambler for a month when I was in college (30 day money back guarantee) and HBO had this movie on repeat for the full month I think and I must have seen it 5 or 6 times. It is really weird, and not good at all, but so weird that once you get past ridiculous shit like the dolphin squeaking, and the gurney out of control down the road flinging our protagonist directly into a seat at a street cafe across from his previously arranged date, it is actually kind of fun. The scene where Caruso is disguised as a statue is great. All of the Candy Bar scenes are great really, the movie could have used a lot more of that.

    I think the movie fits into the same genre as TIME BANDITS, or even FIFTH ELEMENT — movies that seem to overplay their hands and get a bit saccharine in their earnestness, and are kind of embarrassing in the end, but still have some worth to them. They tried something really off the wall and it didn’t quite land but there are some good bits in them and the world is more interesting since they exist.

  37. Franchise Fred

    May 28th, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    I met Andie Macdowell twice at Hallmark Channel events. Both times I told her I loved Hudson Hawk. Both times she did the dolphin noise for me.

  38. Dang, Franchise Fred, that rules. Also it rules because I have hilariously noticed that Vern talks about the Hallmark Channel way more than he talks about Heroes and Icons! Did you ever meet Tiffany or Debbie Gibson?

    Majestyk, I really enjoyed the new remix! That was one rough and tumble ending, Hank Shocklee would be proud.

    Maybe I shouldn’t give this brilliant idea away, but you know what would be good, if they made one of those BATMAN ’66 kinda comic books, except this would be CATWOMAN ’96.

    A four issue, prestige format mini series that perfectly adapted what could still be the best, strangest and most-Catwoman-starring Daniel Waters genre work of all. If he can do script doctor tinkering mysteriously for decades and none of us get to know what funny movie jokes he actually wrote and if Warner Brothers can give a prestige format one-shot (drawn by one of the finest superhero artists of all time) to an unproduced script by that trash ass no tracks having devoid of funk bum ass crab apple Andy Rooney of Sci-Fi, Harlan Ellison, then they for sure find room in stupid-ass Previews Magazine for a comic that would do illustrative justice to something that’s more canon (to me, and other Burtonverse purists) than whatever we’re gonna see starring Multiverse Mr. Mom. I’d rather they actually make the Catwoman movie (also there’s already the one starring Halle Berry so CATWOMAN RETURNS would be a good title), but if not, well, Garcia Lopez sure is good at drawing expressive women and yelling superhero maniacs.

    Also I am an excellent cartoonist, they could hire me to draw a nice and funny prequel backup story called, like, HELLO THERE WITH SELENA KYLE or whatever. If I’m dreamin’, hey, I think they could probably get ol’ Tim Burton out of his lazy no drawings doing laurel resting dusty watercolors ass retirement to put together a set of amazing covers, the production drawings he did in advance of BATMAN RETURNS are some of my favorite examples of his cartooning. If he combined that with his “Oyster Boy” painting style we’d sell a million and could tour the covers at every museum ever and set new attendance records wherever they show up. (Also I think Tim Burton draws kinda fast, because he used to be an animator.)

    Also we could get lots of goth cartoonists like Jhonen Vasquez, Camille Rose Garcia, Mark Ryden and Billy from Good Charlotte to do the other “DC doesn’t mind if they make a few bucks” fifty billion variant covers. Everybody would flip their goth shit to work on this great comic with goth icons such as Daniel Waters, Garcia Lopez, Tim Burton and me. Also a cartoon would be good, but one of the slick ones, not one of those ones where like a camera moves across a drawing of Catwoman and like you see the pointer dragging it across Photoshop or something.

    Think about it, Bugs Bunny. Also while I have your big ears for a moment, Bugs I heard you made Lola Bunny not be funny in the new Space Jam, what is that. People like those weird cartoons where she is funny. If you need to add some weird jokes that make no sense but that everybody would totally love and understand somehow like the ones people like in those weird Lola Bunny cartoons that you see memes of then I might recommend a writer named Daniel Waters, he is good, for example DEMOLITION MAN. Thank you Mr. Bunny.

  39. Here are my concluding thoughts for a day in which you have all been too nice about my excessively wordy writing:

    The CATWOMAN ’96 comic would feature an inside front cover in which Lola Bunny a lady cohort of Daffy Duck (Lois Duck, Lori Duck?) try to get you to buy a bunch of overpriced Catwoman t-shirts and other crappy merchandise, like at the beginning of the BATMAN tape. Whenever I see that I like to imagine some super-serious Batman guy in the 90s getting so fucking pissed at Bugs and Daffy trying to sell him Batman shit. “I AM IN A ROOM. FULL. OF RANDY BOWEN STATUES. I HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT MY BATMAN T-SHIRTS! I BUY THEM FROM THE GOOD PEOPLE AT GRAPHITTI DESIGNS, NOT THE WARNER BROTHERS 1-800 NUMBER!!!!! I DON’T COLLECT D.C. HUMOR BOOKS!!!!

    I did not give a sincere and articulated enough recommendation to HAPPY CAMPERS, SEX AND DEATH 101 and VAMPIRE ACADEMY, the three most underrated and rarely-mentioned Waterses. The two ones about teenagers are also notable for being weirdly earnest for the writer of HEATHERS, and Jamie King is particularly great in HAPPY CAMPERS. They also feature way less of Danny Aiello singing about moonbeams and jars and shit.

    Also he sees every movie they make so he should also host a TV show, that would be good too.

    Also you know what would be good, you know how they made that sensitive BUMBLEBEE movie starring Jerry Seinfeld or whatever, well they should make a really weird BEAST WARS movie starring lots of crazy robot/multi-animal mash ups. Daniel Waters hasn’t written (or directed) anything in a while and he seems to be on record as being a fan of weird combo animals! I would watch that movie.

    Here is a controversial opinion that I very much believe in: Daniel Waters > The Coen Brothers. By FAR.

    Thanks for being nice about my “Back to Life, Back to Reality” joyousness, My Fellow Vernskateers and Movie People. (Cannot stop singing the intro to that song.) Goodnight everyone!

  40. There’s like 35% genuinely cool aspects and funny bits in this movie, and then the rest is just cringe. I mean you feel bad for the actors thinking they’re being so funny knowing a silent theater of people not laughing will be watching that lame trash. They should have kept the main villains as is, made Willis be funny but not cheesy like he is, had Aiello and McDowell be a little more straight, have a bit more straight action, many less terrible jokes overall, keep the set design and awesome sleeve blades. It still would have been a mess.

  41. Not Tiffany but I actually sat with Debbie Gibson for dinner. Hallmark’s schtick was dinner with their talent so different talent was at each table.

  42. Caspered it today for the first time in something like 10 years and I don’t think it will ever be one of my favourite movies. It’s just too random. But I do appreciate its existence and simply can’t hate it.

    I also can see why this movie’s reputation has recently been growing. That kind of random, absurdist humor became more and more mainstream through the last few years. If you slap a photoshop cartoon filter over it and cut it into short bits, it could run on Adult Swim or whatever.

  43. Franchise Fred

    May 29th, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    CJ, yeah, the Tim and Eric audience would eat it up. It’s kind of interesting to me that by 1991, I was 13 and had already seen enough conventional movies I was ready for them to make less sense. The world of 1991 was still hung up on things like narrative consistency and scene transitions.

    What’s caspering? Is that a German expression?

  44. It just means “I rewatched a movie because Vern just reviewed it in the last few days”, something that I pretty much did officially for the first after his review for CASPER, so I called it that and it kiiiiiiiiinda caught on. Ish. A little. I think outside of me, one other person here uses it.

  45. Fred – it started when Vern reviewed the CASPER movie. I think he had to view it in an unusual manner, like on YouTube (this was before it was used for watching actual movies) and people started using the term to reference having to track down a movie in an out of the ordinary way to watch it. I think. I’m not 100% sure.

  46. Armin Tamzarian

    May 29th, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    I believe the review that stated that Andy McDowell still hadn’t “learned to speak on screen” was a direct reference to all of her dialogue in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan being ADR’d by Glenn Close during post production because the producers didn’t like her speaking voice or delivery. She’s since gone on record saying she was completely unaware of this until she saw the film at the premiere.

  47. Ohhhhhhhhh. A lot’s happened since then. I support the Caspering of movies.

  48. I’ve used Caspered at least once. And a rip of CASPER is still on YouTube!

    Part of me thinks that if Will Ferrell had made the exact same HUDSON HAWK in 2007 people would have got it. And the other part of me remembers LAND OF THE LOST (from CASPER director Brad Silberling!) happened.

  49. The Winchester

    May 30th, 2021 at 5:51 am

    Man, I was such a nerdy kid in 1991, being obsessed with Die Hard I remember counting down the days for this. Also, on opening day I bought the novelization and some cool Eddie Hawkins-style shades at the mall, then went to see FX2 again. But that night went to the big theater to see my man Bruce light up the screen.

    I remember something felt off, and I read very negative reviews so i was primed for it to be awful. I don’t recall the pretty packed crowd turning on it instantly, but the laughs were fewer as it went along. I still liked it but it was one of those times, perhaps the first, when I realized it wasn’t good. (I was still 2 years away from discovering the life defining MST3K and enjoying bad things).

    There was a definite sea change, though, and as I was starting to read more and getting a lot of negative press on the flick, I was afraid of Bruce not being able to make awesome (to me) movies again. Last Boy Scout 6 months later proved me wrong but still. Good weird times.

    By the way, the next night went back to the theater (to see FX2 a third time, I was a weird kid) and they put it back into the big house Hudson Hawk was in the night before.

  50. CJ – From my point of view, Caspering movies and Sport Goofy will always be among the most excellent in-jokes of the outlawvern.com community. Also, walking around and singing the funky brass melody from the beginning of “Fun Time” to yourself.

    Though I could never “vibe” with the particulars of HAWK, if Bruce Willis and Daniel Waters collaborated on another musical action-comedy I would be the very first in line. I really think Daniel Waters is one of the great screwball moviemakers of our time, an important part of that continuum. Also, Bruce is a proper screwball comedy star in that he isn’t some Zany Stand-up or Living Tex Avery Cartoon kinda guy or something – he even kinda looks like Preston Sturges’ regular collaborator, Joel McCrea.

    And the dolphin noise part rules.

    Pacman – Is LAND OF THE LOST good? People don’t know what the fuck is up with what Will Ferrell movies are good and which ones are trash, for example SUPERSTAR rules and begins with a loving tribute to the paintings of David Hockney, great movie. (You know what sucked was when they mashed up SUPERSTAR with FEAR, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION and called it NAPOLEON DYNAMITE.)

  51. No no, CASPER was just on Amazon Prime video when I caspered it. It’s really not about how to watch it, it’s just that you (re-)watch it shortly after a Vern review popped up and because there is a new Vern review of it. Still kinda glad that that term stuck around so long.

  52. I was too young to catch the HAWK in theatres but my late uncle saw it on a double date with his future wife, and talked about how much he hated it on a semi-regular basis ever afterwards. He was not an agree to disagree guy by any means, so I got off pretty lightly when he said “so you’re the one!” when I told him I liked it.

    A.L.F.- I liked LAND OF THE LOST both times I saw it back in 09/10, but to be frank I was a lot more lenient back then. The Kroffts have never been a big deal here as far as I know, so I can’t say it its a hateful take on the TV show, as I know some find it to be. There is one blasphemy-tactic line in the film which I’m sure would have caused a big stink in a film anyone cared about.

    I agree SUPERSTAR is pretty good, although it’s obviously really a Shannon joint. I don’t get the bad rap ANCHORMAN 2 has developed over the years, it’s not perfect but it’s a pretty darn good sequel in my opinion, even before we had ZOOLANDER 2 and DUMB & DUMBER TO to compare it to. I personally didn’t find HOLMES & WATSON to live down to its reputation, it’s not as egregious as GET HARD or THE HOUSE for example, I think it was just one mediocre Ferrell movie too many.

  53. Will Ferrell would have included funny jokes in his version of Hudson Hawk. They neglected to do that. Plus Ferrell can overact but he pulls it off. Willis just looks lame and like an unfunny guy who’s trying. Land of the Lost isn’t the worst comparison…I think that movie’s fairly lousy too.

    And man do I dislike Daniel Waters and his smug little scripts. It’s like in Batman Returns every line has to be a self-satisfied one-liner that’s really not very clever buy boy it sure sticks out. Not to mention the actual jokes…like when people start throwing fruit at Penguin and so he says “why do people bring fruit to a speech?” Subtle! I think I get it!

  54. I remember LAND OF THE LOST being undercooked in every way. It failed as big special effect adventure movie and only delivered very few good laughs. The production values and Giacchino’s score are great though!

    Also I have to give THE HOUSE credit for a bunch of very clever jokes and most of all some really dark ones. It’s not the best Will Ferrell joint, but it’s obvious that at that point everybody had their knives out for him. It still holds the record for the fastest critical re-evaluation that I have ever seen! When it started, it was “another low point in Ferrell’s career” and once it hit home video, streaming and pay TV, it gained a bit of a following.

  55. Franchise Fred

    May 30th, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Okay, remind me again, what was sport Goofy?

  56. In general terms Sport Goofy was an 80s rebranding by the then relatively modest Walt Disney Corporation of their classic character Goofy, emphasising and embellishing his athleticism for the purpose of selling merchandise. This project was immortalised in the TV special SOCCERMANIA:


    Share your videos with friends, family, and the world

    Also, some European comics decided Sport Goofy was a separate character from Regular Goofy, which is pretty funny.

    In Outlawvern.com-specific terms, some of us got to talking about the fella in the comments for ONCE A THIEF, as the character, representing the promise of America, appears on an item of clothing worn by Chow Yun Fat in the final scene.

  57. Franchise Fred

    May 30th, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Oh yeah, I Caspered the Police Academy series after Vern’s reviews!

  58. Thank you Armin. I still think it’s unnecessarily harsh, but it’s good to know the context.

  59. An ISHTAR Blu-ray release has suddenly been cancelled, not for the first time, for “legal reasons”.

  60. grimgrinningchris

    June 17th, 2021 at 5:06 am

    There is no world that ISHTAR is an actual bad movie, except the stupid Golden Razzie world. It’s fine, it’s funny. The leads are great. It’s clunky and confused and too long but is better than its reputation by miles.

  61. I’d like to add a recommendation here for Richard E. Grant’s With Nails, his film diaries that covers run from WITHNAIL AND I through to PRET-A-PORTER. There’s a chapter dedicated to the making of Hudson Hawk. He describes the chaotic filmmaking process in detail, including the background to Danny Aiello’s “quasi-nervous breakdown” that Daniel Waters mentions in the linked interview.

    Originally, his character was supposed to die in the car going over the clifftop and exploding. Except he managed to get himself added to the ending, where he appears post car explosion in smoking clothes and black-patched face. However, when he initially turned up on set his hair was fully blow-waved and set instead of electrified. Turns out that Aiello felt this would be over the top, which Joel Silver strongly disagreed with. This, in turn, resulted in a lot of shouting, frustrations being unleashed and a lighting truck being punched, before he agreed to a follicular compromise.

  62. There’s some interesting stuff in this loooooong contemporary article about trailers from the LA Times talking about how offputting/confusing audiences found the first trailer for HUDSON HAWK, so Tri-Star edited the second trailer to make it look like more of an action/adventure film and less of a comedy:

    MOVIES : NAKED TRAILERS : The following STORY has been rated "I" for INSIDE AND INFORMATIVE on the new power of movie previews

    When Lawrence Gordon, who has produced such box-office hits as "48 HRS." and "Field of Dreams," discusses the merits of a script in a development meeting, he will often close his eyes and try to imagine one of the most pivotal elements of the film.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>