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 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 1:41 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

As described by director Carl Reiner, FATAL INSTINCT was a parody of twelve to fifteen popular erotic and noir thrillers, including DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), CAPE FEAR (1962/1991), CHINATOWN (1974), BODY HEAT (1981), FATAL ATTRACTION (1987), SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY (1991), and BASIC INSTINCT (1992). In the film, a cop-lawyer (Armand Assante) cheats on his wife (Kate Nelligan) and she on him, and she plans to kill him for the insurance.

The film’s original title, “Triple Indemnity,” was changed due to concerns about legal complications with the creators of DOUBLE INDEMNITY. The picture marked the debut for Jacobs/Gardner Productions, formed in 1991 by producing partners Katie Jacobs and Pierce Gardner.

Armand Assante stated that after reading the script, he assumed Reiner wanted to cast him as mechanic “Frank Kelbo” and was surprised to be offered the role of cop-lawyer, “Ned Ravine.” Assante admitted that he was intimidated about portraying a comical and dim-witted character, noting that it had been twenty-five years since he had last played in a farce onscreen. However, Assante was the perfect fit for the part, according to Reiner, who mentioned that he aimed “for actors who could play it straight” and were not necessarily known for their comedic abilities. In an article, both Reiner and Assante referred to the scene of Ned Ravine dancing in high heels as a highlight in the film, and Assante stated that “it was the only scene in the movie that was improvised.”

Carl Reiner, Armand Assante, and Sean Young on the set of FATAL INSTINCT

Sherilyn Fenn was originally considered for the role of the femme fatale “Lola Cain,” eventually played by Sean Young. Fenn opted for the role of Armand Assante's lovesick secretary “Laura” and suggested director Reiner cast Young as Lola. Reiner had a cameo in the film as “Judge Ben Arugula.”

Principal photography began 26 October 1992 in Los Angeles. In addition to location work, the production planned to shoot on the soundstages of Warner Hollywood Studios.

When “Max Shady” (James Remar) adjusts the setting on his silencer while planning to kill Ned Ravine on the train, there is a volume setting that goes up to 11. This is a nod to Carl Reiner's son Rob's mock rockumentary THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984) which stars Christopher Guest. Guest's character (“Nigel Tufnel”) proudly displays his amp that also goes to 11.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was pressured to issue replacement posters after some media outlets protested that the original advance poster was “inappropriate.” Inspired by a scene in BASIC INSTINCT, the one-sheet depicted a femme fatale with her legs crossed, and the phrase, “Opening Soon.” The illustration referred to a scene in the film where seductress “Lola Cain” (Sean Young) admits to Ned Ravine that she is not wearing underwear, and he offers her a pair from a box of “pop-up panties.” Secret Identitee, the company hired to handle the film’s merchandising, also borrowed from the same scene to send out similar boxes in the press kit. Once the film’s release date was set, MGM sent out revised posters.

The film grossed a tepid $7.8 million at the box office. In the UK, the film went directly to video. Richard Gibbs’ score did not get a release.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 4:23 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I had the pleasure of meeting him years ago on set while he was working on "Burt Rigby, you're a fool"; he was a very friendly, pleasant person.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A bride's divorced parents (Bette Midler and Dennis Farina) get THAT OLD FEELING for each other during the wedding reception, and over the course of the next few days they upset the newlywed's (Paula Marshall and James Denton) honeymoon.

Carl Reiner directed this 1997 romantic comedy, his last directorial effort. The film grossed only $16.6 million, but still beat other comedies that year such as Kevin Smith’s CHASING AMY ($12 million), Woody Allen’s DECONSTRUCTING HARRY ($10.7 million), and Fred Schepisi’s FIERCE CREATURES ($9.4 million). The score by Patrick Williams claimed one track on the MCA song-track CD.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS is set in 1976, when lower-middle-class teenager “Vivian” (Natasha Lyonne) struggles to cope living with her neurotic family of nomads on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. Vivian’s father “Murray” (Alan Arkin) has no job, and the family lives in a cramped apartment. When Vivian’s cousin “Rita” (Marisa Tomei) gets into trouble with drugs, and Rita's dad “Mickey” (Carl Reiner) offers to pay Arkin and family to look after her, the family is able to afford a more "posh" apartment complex.

Tamara Jenkins wrote and directed this 1998 comedy-drama. The film grossed $5.5 million, decent for a low-budget independent production. Rolfe Kent’s score shared the BMG/RCA/Fox CD soundtrack release with twice as many songs.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 2000 misfire THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, June Foray voiced the animated "Rocky," the animated "Natasha Fatale," and her ubiquitous "old woman" voice from the old television series, as the voice of the narrator's mother. Rene Russo was the live-action Natasha, while Jason Alexander was “Boris.” Carl Reiner had a cameo as “P.G. Biggershot.”

Des McAnuff directed the flop of a film, which had an estimated budget of $76 million and a worldwide gross of $35 million. Mark Mothersbaugh's score has been released only as a promo disc.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In Steven Soderbergh’s remake of OCEAN’S ELEVEN, “Danny Ocean” (George Clooney) and his ten accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. One of the eleven is Carl Reiner as the convincing flimflam man “Saul Bloom.”

Producer Jerry Weintraub asked Reiner to be in the movie a few days before he had to be on set. They'd known each other for years. Weintraub produced OH, GOD! (1977), which Reiner directed. Andy Garcia played “Terry Benedict,” the owner of the casinos being robbed. Garcia said it wasn't easy to do a serious scene with Reiner because Reiner was so funny.

Carl Reiner in OCEAN’S ELEVEN

Director Steven Soderbergh wanted the actors to hang out on set to make sure they had good chemistry. During downtime, the cast often crowded around Carl Reiner to listen to his stories. The scene of everyone standing around watching the Bellagio fountain and leaving was somewhat improvised. Soderbergh wanted Brad Pitt (“Rusty”) to leave first and Carl Reiner (“Saul”) to leave last. The rest of the actors were told to line up and depart in whatever order felt natural.

The $85 million production was a big hit, raking in $451 million worldwide. David Holmes’ score was released by Warner Bros.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In OCEAN’S TWELVE, “Danny Ocean” (George Clooney) is forced into pulling off three major European heists. Although the title suggests that a twelfth member is added to the gang, that person is never really identified in the film, and one can speculate as to which of the new characters (or even one of the old ones from the first film) is the “twelfth” person.

In any case, Carl Reiner returned to reprise his role of “Saul Bloom.” Steven Soderbergh also returned as director of this 2004 sequel to OCEAN’S ELEVEN. David Holmes’ score was released by Warner Sunset. OCEAN’S TWELVE didn’t do as well as its predecessor, either with the critics or at the box office. Budgeted at $110 million, the film grossed $363 million worldwide, a 20% decline from the first film, but still profitable.

Bernie Mac and Carl Reiner in OCEAN’S TWELVE

Between 2002 and 2005, Carl Reiner made guest appearances on three episodes of “The Bernie Mac Show.”

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In OCEAN’S THIRTEEN, “Danny Ocean” (George Clooney) rounds up the gang for a third heist after casino owner “Willy Bank” (Al Pacino) double-crosses one of the original eleven, “Reuben Tishkoff” (Elliott Gould). Carl Reiner played “Saul Bloom” for the third and final time.

George Clooney and Carl Reiner in OCEAN’S THIRTEEN

Steven Soderbergh again directed. David Holmes’s score again appeared on Warnet Sunset. And again, the 2007 film earned less than its predecessor, grossing $311 million, a drop of 14% from OCEAN’S TWELVE.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 2:03 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Over the next decade, Carl Reiner made numerous guest appearances on television shows such as “Two and a Half Men” and “Hot In Cleveland.” He also did voice work on animated series such as “Father of the Pride,” “The Cleveland Show,” and “Family Guy.”

And, in this twilight of his career, Reiner spent time honoring the comics who were his contemporaries, on awards shows and in documentaries. One such documentary was the John Landis-directed film about Don Rickles' life and comedy. The film, MR. WARMTH: THE DON RICKLES PROJECT, consisted of tape of Don's stage show (never seen before), interviews with Don's contemporaries, (Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, Reiner), established comedians (Billy Crystal, Rosanne Barr, Robin Williams, Chris Rock) and young comedians (Jeff Atoll, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman). The filmmakers interviewed over 30 people including actors, directors (John Landis, Christopher Guest, Sidney Poitier) and various people in Don's life (his composer, orchestra, manager, etc.). They also used some of Don's home movies, clips from the Tonight Show, various TV shows, and movies, in order to provide a portrait of one of the last great comedians of his era.

The documentary aired on Home Box Office on 4 December 2007. Rickles won an Emmy Award for the film, for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program."

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Carl Reiner can be seen being interviewed on documentaries and tributes to many famous comedy stars: Sid Caesar, Larry Gelbart, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve Martin, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Goldie Hawn, Joan Rivers, and Mel Brooks among them.

The 2012 film LUNCH looked at a group of comic writers, actors, and directors who had gathered together for a bi-weekly lunch and conversation in New York City for 40 years. Carl Reiner was part of that group.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Carl Reiner’s final feature film work was in 2019’s TOY STORY 4. Comedy legends Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Betty White, and Reiner were added to the cast to voice a set of four toys that Bonnie played with as a toddler but had since outgrown, acting as "veteran" toys to help Woody prepare for when the same happens to him.

Of landing the four stars, director Josh Cooley said "We still can't believe they actually said yes." "And they'll get considerable screen time," said producer Mark Nielsen, “when they reprise their roles in a short film, planned for November release, titled "Forky Asks a Question."

The (unspoken) names of the characters voiced by the four are mashups of their real names and what toys they are:

Carol Burnett (“Chairol Burnett”), Mel Brooks (“Melephant Brooks”), Betty White (“Bitey White”), Carl Reiner (“Carl Reineroceros”), and Tom Hanks (“Woody”) in TOY STORY 4

This was the only theatrical motion picture to feature comedy duo and longtime best friends Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. All their previous appearances together were on stage, television, recordings and in documentaries.

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2020 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1960, Carl Reiner teamed up with Mel Brooks on “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show,” and their routine "The 2000 Year Old Man" was a huge success. Reiner played the straight man to Brooks in the routine, which was spun-off into five comedy albums, bringing them a Grammy Award. They also made an animated TV special based on their shtick in 1975.

Reiner was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6241 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960. He was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2000. Reiner was the recipient of Life Achievement awards from both the Writers Guild (1995) and Directors Guild (2007). He was a 16-time Emmy nominee, winning 9 times.

Carl Reiner and his son, Rob Reiner, became the first father-and-son duo to have their footprints and handprints on a concrete slab at Grauman's Chinese Theater (2017).

Reiner used to hang around the writers’ room on “Your Show of Shows”. He said, “I became a writer because of that room. I'd say something and somebody would yell: ‘What do you know? You're not a writer.’ So, I became a writer.”

Reiner once noted that, “Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself is a good thing to do. You may be the fool, but you're the fool in charge.” Carl Reiner was in charge of our funny bones for most of his adult life. And we were the better for it. Farewell, Carl.

with Imogene Coca (left) and Sid Caesar (right)

with Mel Brooks

with Mary Tyler Moore

with Mel Brooks and Andy Williams

with Goldie Hawn

with wife Estelle

with son Rob

with Johnny Carson

with Dick Van Dyke

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