30 years old this week: 5 things you forgot about 'Deal of the Century'
Do you remember Deal of the Century? Depending on your recollection, the so-bad (or so-good) film starred Chevy Chase as a small-times arms dealer, Sigourney Weaver as the widow of his short-time business associate and Gregory Hines as his partner who newly discovered religious feelings are guiding him away from the gruesome way of life.
Oh, and yeah. Chevy acts most of the movie with a cast on his foot. THAT'S probably what you remember most.
Deal of the Century hit theaters on Nov. 4, 1983, and scored a paltry $10 million in the box office. It was later released on DVD but it out of print now. Famed film critic Roger Ebert gave it two stars, calling it "a movie that depends on inspiration when it should have depended on a script."
It's all episode, no structure; all hijinks and no discipline to provide framework for the jokes," Ebert wrote back in '83. "Chevy Chase labors manfully, but once again he hasn't been asked to play a character, he's been asked to play Chevy Chase. After his disasters he raises his eyebrows in his famous, patented what-can-you-do look, and we grow a little exasperated."
Yeah, but what Ebert forgot was that Deal of the Century ran nonstop on HBO and Showtime back in the '80s, so we got Chevy for free. (Well, I suppose the parents paid.) In any case, I still know it practically line for line. Here are five things you've possibly forgotten or never knew.
5 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT DEAL OF THE CENTURY:
1. Deal of the Century is considered the first major modern comedy about arms dealing, to be followed later by War Inc., Lord of War and Charlie Wilson's War.
2. The name of the fictional Central American country where they try to sell the arms is San Miguel, a common name for cities around the world but oddly enough no country anywhere takes that common name.
3. The address on Eddie Muntz (Chase)'s business card was 5453 Satsuma Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91601, which is a real address in Los Angeles. Currently, a church is at that location.
4. No soundtrack was released for this movie, probably because it only used four songs, including The Chipmunk's Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
5. The movie was directed by William Friedkin. His other '80s work includes To Live and Die in L.A. and Cruising.