Three Men and a Baby

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Three Men and a Baby

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLeonard Nimoy
Produced byTed Field
Robert W. Cort
Written byJim Cruickshank
James Orr
Based onTrois hommes et un couffin by
Coline Serreau
StarringTom Selleck
Steve Guttenberg
Ted Danson
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
CinematographyAdam Greenberg
Editing byMichael A. Stevenson
StudioTouchstone Pictures
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date(s)
  • November 25, 1987 (1987-11-25)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$11 million
Box office$167,780,960
 
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Three Men and a Baby

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLeonard Nimoy
Produced byTed Field
Robert W. Cort
Written byJim Cruickshank
James Orr
Based onTrois hommes et un couffin by
Coline Serreau
StarringTom Selleck
Steve Guttenberg
Ted Danson
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
CinematographyAdam Greenberg
Editing byMichael A. Stevenson
StudioTouchstone Pictures
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date(s)
  • November 25, 1987 (1987-11-25)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$11 million
Box office$167,780,960

Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 comedy film starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, and Nancy Travis, and directed by Leonard Nimoy. It follows the mishaps and adventures of three bachelors as they attempt to adapt their lives to pseudo-fatherhood with the arrival of one of the men's love child. The script was based on the 1985 French film Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle).

Three Men and a Baby was the biggest box office hit of that year, surpassing Fatal Attraction and eventually grossing US$167 million in the US alone.[1] The movie won the 1988 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture. It was followed by a 1990 sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady. A new sequel (titled Three Men and a Bride) supposedly in development would reunite Selleck, Guttenberg and Danson.[2]

Contents

Plot

Architect Peter Mitchell (Tom Selleck), cartoonist Michael Kellam (Steve Guttenberg) and actor Jack Holden (Ted Danson) are happy living their lives as bachelors in their lofty New York City apartment. Their lives are disrupted when a baby arrives on their doorstep one day. A note with the child, Mary, indicates that it is Jack's, the result of an affair with a recent co-star. The baby arrives in Jack's absence – he is in Turkey shooting a B movie, leaving Peter and Michael to fend for themselves in taking care of the child, something in which their lack of experience befuddles them.

At one point, Peter and Michael are mistakenly led to believe that they are to deliver Mary to two men who arrive at their door asking for "the package". They discover moments before their departure that the men are drug dealers who were actually seeking a package of heroin. They retrieve the infant, leaving the men with a can of powdered milk.

What results is a major change to the men's lives as they try to adjust to surrogate fatherhood—balancing the demands of work and the rearing of a child. Soon their paternal instincts take hold, and they grow attached to the child. Eventually, when Jack returns, Peter and Michael do not hesitate in taking their revenge and passing all responsibility of looking after Mary to Jack, but Jack quickly grows to love his daughter.

The drug dealers, demanding payment, eventually ransack the men's apartment looking for their drugs. The men formulate a plan to trap the dealers when they negotiate a deal to deliver the illicit goods. With a recording of the conversation, the men prove their innocence to the police and the dealers are arrested.

The three men then fully embrace their new role as Mary's guardians, however one day the baby's mother, an English woman named Sylvia (Nancy Travis), arrives, asking for Mary back intending to take her to England to live with her family. Handing her over, the three quickly find themselves miserable and desperately missing Mary. Deciding to stop Sylvia and Mary from leaving, they rush to the airport to try and persuade Sylvia to stay however they arrive just as her plane leaves. Defeated, the men return to their apartment, where they find both Sylvia and Mary. Sylvia explains she doesn't want to give up her career but can't do this if she has to raise Mary alone, so Peter quickly invites her and Mary to move into their apartment with them with Jack and Michael's agreement, and she agrees.

Remakes

The 1990 Malayalam film "Thoovalsparsham (Feather Touch)" is based on the film and stars Jayaram, Mukesh and Saikumar in lead roles while Suresh Gopi plays the father of the baby. The film was remade as Heyy Babyy in Hindi.

In August 2011, it was reported Adam Sandler was planning to remake the film, starring Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.[3]

Cast

Production

The eponymous baby was played by twins Lisa and Michelle Blair.[4]

The soundtrack included the Peter Cetera song "Daddy's Girl", which was used for the movie's big music montage sequence and the Miami Sound Machine song "Bad Boy" which opened the movie.

Urban legend

Shots from the film showing what some believe are a shotgun and a young boy.

In the final cut of the movie, there is a scene, just over an hour into the film, in which Jack Holden (Ted Danson) and his mother (Celeste Holm) walk through the house with the baby. As they do so, they pass a background window on the left-hand side of the screen, and a black outline that appears to resemble a rifle pointed downward can be seen behind the curtains. As the characters walk back past the window 40 seconds later, a human figure can be seen in that window. A persistent urban legend began circulating August 1990 (shortly before the film's sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady, premiered) that this was the ghost of a boy who had been killed in the house where the movie was filmed. The most common version of this rumor was that a nine-year-old boy committed suicide with a shotgun there, explaining why the house was vacant because the grieving family left. This notion was discussed on the first episode of TV Land: Myths and Legends in January 2007[5] and was referenced in "Hollywood Babylon", a second season episode of the TV series Supernatural.

Danson's character standing next to a cardboard cutout of himself.

The figure is actually a cardboard cutout "standee" of Jack, wearing a tuxedo and top hat, that was left on the set. This prop was created as part of the storyline, in which Jack, an actor, appears in a dog food commercial, but this portion of the story was cut from the final version of the film. The standee does show up later in the film, however, when Jack stands next to it as the baby's mother comes to reclaim her child. The website snopes.com contends that the figure in the first scene looks smaller from its appearance in the latter scene because of the distance and angle of the shot, and because the curtains obscure its outstretched arms. As for the contention that a boy died in the house, all the indoor scenes in the film were shot on a Toronto sound stage, and no residential dwellings were used for interior filming.[6][7]

Reception

The critical reception of Three Men and a Baby was generally positive. Film critic Roger Ebert, while noting several aspects he saw as flaws, said of it "Because of Selleck and his co-stars... the movie becomes a heartwarming entertainment." He gave it 3 (out of four) stars.[8] It holds a 75% "fresh" rating on the movie review aggregation site, Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews.[9]

Box office

Three Men and a Baby grossed USD$168 million.[10][11][12][13][14][15] Three Men and a Baby was notable for the Walt Disney Studios since it was the first production from the studio to gross over $100 million domestically.

References

  1. ^ 1987 Yearly Box Office Results from Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ WENN Exclusive: Guttenberg, Selleck and Danson to reunite for Three Men and a Bride[dead link]
  3. ^ "Adam Sandler plan to remake ‘Three Men and a Baby’". Great New Movies. August 1, 2011. http://www.greatnewmovies.com/2011/08/01/adam-sandler-plan-to-remake-three-men-and-a-baby/. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 25, 1987). "Film Review: Three Men and a Baby". NY Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3D9173DF936A15752C1A961948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  5. ^ TV Land: Myths and Legends at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "Three Men and a Ghost"; snopes.com; January 9, 2007.
  7. ^ ""The Questions That Will Not Die"; rogerebert.suntimes.com; March 6, 2008". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 2004-10-13. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=ANSWERMAN. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  8. ^ Three Men and a Baby :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews from Roger Ebert's website and the Chicago Sun-Times
  9. ^ Three Men and a Baby at Rotten Tomatoes
  10. ^ "Field Marshal". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/1997/02/09/field-marshal.html. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  11. ^ Easton, Nina J. (1989-01-05). "Roger Rabbit' Hops to Box-Office Top; 'Coming to America' Hits 2nd". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-01-05/entertainment/ca-271_1_box-office-information. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  12. ^ "Three Men and a Baby Is Top Box-Office Film". The New York Times. 1988-01-14. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0714FB34590C778DDDA80894D0484D81. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  13. ^ Mathews, Jack (1988-01-06). "Laughing Their Way to Bank Hollywood Accounts Swell From `Baby' and `Momma'". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-01-06/entertainment/ca-22861_1/3. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  14. ^ Hunt, Dennis (1989-01-19). "Red Heat' Sets Rental Market on Fire". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-01-19/entertainment/ca-1395_1_red-heat. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  15. ^ Mathews, Jack (1987-12-29). "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1987-12-29/entertainment/ca-31787_1_opening-weekend. Retrieved 2010-12-12.

External links