Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Risky Business (1983)

"Sometimes you just gotta say, 'What the...'"... well, you know.  WTF.  And, no... I don't mean Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

"Risky Business" made its premiere on August 5, 1983 and became an instant hit.  The incredible thing about the success of the film was that people didn't think it would do well at all.  It wasn't even released in other countries until January and February of the following year.  What was it that drew throngs of viewers to see it?  Was it Tom Cruise dancing around in nothing but his underwear, socks, and long-sleeve shirt?  (Hey... when I had the movie on VHS tape, I wore that scene out a lot!)  Was it the idea of a teenager making tons of money by turning his house into a brothel whilst his parents were away?  Was it the thrill of seeing a Porsche fall into Lake Michigan?  Or was it because we got to see Tom and Rebecca DeMornay have sex on a train?  Whatever it was, it worked.  It worked so well, in fact, that though it was budgeted an estimated $6.2 million, it grossed $63.5 million in just the U.S. alone.

Starring Tom Cruise (Joel), Rebecca DeMornay (Lana), Joe Pantoliano (Guido), Richard Masur (Rutherford), Bronson Pinchot (Barry), and Curtis Armstrong (Miles), "Risky Business" is the story of a Chicago teenager who is looking to have some fun whilst his parents are away, only to find that things get out of hand.  Quickly.

Written and directed by Paul Brickman in his directorial debute at the age of 34, it's interesting to note that the story of this film takes place in Chicago, the city in which he was born.

Here are some other tidbits you might not have known about "Risky Business"...

1.  Tom Cruise was 21-years-old when "Risky Business" made its U.S. premiere in 1983.

2.  Among the actors who auditioned for the role of Joel were Tom Hanks and Nicolas Cage.  Timothy Hutton was the first choice for the role of Joel, but turned it down.

3.  In an effort for Tom Cruise to look more "teenage" in appearance, the producers of "Risky Business" put him though an unusual bit of physical training. Cruise worked out 7 days a week in order to lose ten pounds. Once that had been accomplished, he immediately ceased working out and ate extremely fatty foods in order to add a layer of baby fat. This is how he achieved that "fresh-faced" teenage look.

4.  In the DVD commentary, Diane Lane says that Tom Cruise got the script for the film while shooting "The Outsiders" and had asked Lane to audition for the role of Lana. Her father later told the producers there was "no way his daughter was playing a twenty-something hooker."

5.  Sharon Stone auditioned for the role of Lana.

6.  The opening dream sequence was shot in eighteen hours.

7.  The dance scene where Joel dances to "Old Time Rock N' Roll" was completely improvised. In the script Tom Cruise was simply instructed to "dance to rock music."

8.  Childhood photographs of Tom Cruise can be seen in the living room.

9.  CAMEO -- Sean Penn:  As the man sitting in the passenger seat as Joel first takes the Porsche for a spin. The cameo was a favor for director Paul Brickman.
10.  The exhaust and engine sounds of the Porsche were dubbed from another Porsche 928 that had a hole in its rear muffler, therefore created much louder sound that a stock 928.

11.  The sunglasses Joel wears are the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model. Annual sales of Wayfarers were languishing as of 1983 but skyrocketed 2000% after the movie's release.

12.  At Joel's brothel party the song "Swamp" by the group, Talking Heads, plays in the background - one line of the song contains the phrase "Risky Business."

13.  Music in this film is done by Tangerine Dream who based parts of the film's score on material from their previous albums, particularly the album "Force Majeure": The title track is the basis for Lana's theme, and the intro to "Cloudburst Flight" was reused for "Guido the Killer Pimp". "No Future (Get off the Babysitter)" is based on the title track to the album "Exit".   

14.  One of a few pictures in an early 1980s mini Hollywood cycle of clean cut guy becomes pimp movies. The films include "Night Shift," "Risky Business," and "Doctor Detroit."

15.  "Risky Business" was Tom Cruise's fifth film and Rebecca DeMornay's first (previous to this film, she was an understudy in "One from the Heart").

And now you know.

Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in Syracuse, New York.  At 14 years old, he was a Franciscan seminary student and had ambitions of becoming a priest.  Back then if someone had told him that one day he would be considered one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and thought, "Absolutely not."  Thank goodness he changed his mind.  Otherwise who would we have had the pleasure of seeing dance around in his underwear?  Tom Hanks?  I think not!

The following are some pictures from the movie itself...


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