IMDb > Catchfire (1990)
Catchfire
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Catchfire (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Catchfire -- Jodie Foster stars as Anne Benton, an artist who sees what she shouldn't - a mob assassination. The police want her to testify; the mob wants her dead.
Catchfire -- text os
Catchfire -- After accidentally witnessing a mafia murder, a Los Angeles artist is hunted down by the killers, the police and a lovestruck hit-man.

Overview

User Rating:
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Release Date:
3 April 1990 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
When murder is your business, you'd better not fall in love with your work.
Plot:
A witness to a mob assassination flees for her life from town to town, switching identities, but cannot seem to elude Milo, the chief killer out to get her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(7 articles)
Front Row secures Berlin haul
 (From ScreenDaily. 19 February 2014, 3:58 AM, PST)

Bob Dylan In The Movies
 (From Obsessed with Film. 1 June 2011, 1:28 AM, PDT)

I was Dennis Hopper's henchman | Alex Cox
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 3 June 2010, 2:29 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
it's no Magnificent Ambersons, but it's some fun time with a few great moments See more (40 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
Dennis Hopper  (as Alan Smithee)
Alan Smithee (really Dennis Hopper)
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Rachel Kronstadt Mann (story)

Rachel Kronstadt Mann (screenplay) and
Ann Louise Bardach (screenplay)

Produced by
Mitchell Cannold .... executive producer
Dick Clark .... producer
Lisa Demberg .... co-producer
Paul Lewis .... line producer
Dan Paulson .... producer
Steven Reuther .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Curt Sobel 
Michel Colombier (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Edward Lachman (director of photography) (as Ed Lachman)
 
Film Editing by
David Rawlins 
 
Casting by
Lauren Lloyd 
 
Production Design by
Ron Foreman 
 
Art Direction by
Pamela Marcotte  (as Pam Marcotte)
 
Set Decoration by
Jeannie Laughlin 
 
Costume Design by
Nancy Cone 
 
Makeup Department
Leslie Ann Anderson .... hair stylist (as Leslie Anne Anderson)
Pat Gerhardt .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Scott Kramer .... executive in charge of production
Paul Lewis .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Randall Badger .... key second assistant director
Craig Beaudine .... first assistant director
Bruce Solow .... additional second assistant director
 
Art Department
Marienus Cetani Sr. .... painter (as Dominic Cetani)
Scott De Shields .... carpenter
Jeff Grizzard .... carpenter
David E. Harshbarger .... property master (as David Harshbarger)
Jenny Holzer .... art creator: Anne Benton's art
Steven Jarrard .... lead person (as Steve Jarrard)
Scott W. Leslie .... set dresser: swing gang (as Scott Leslie)
Ron Moser .... construction coordinator
John Slatsky .... set dresser: swing gang
Tedi Tate .... assistant props
Douglas M. Vaughn .... set dresser: swing gang (as Doug Vaughn)
 
Sound Department
Doug Botnick .... sound re-recording mixer (as Douglas Botnick)
David D. Caldwell .... sound editor (as David Caldwell)
David B. Cohn .... adr editor
Michael P. Cook .... sound editor (as Michael Cook)
Robert Deschaine .... adr mixer
Thom 'Coach' Ehle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (as Tom Ehle)
Robert L. Hoyt .... sound re-recording mixer
Ken Pawlak .... boom operator
Jeffrey Perkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Warren Smith .... sound editor
Elizabeth Snyder DeSantis .... adr recordist (as Elizabeth Snyder De Santis)
James M. Tanenbaum .... sound mixer (as James Tanenbaum)
James Troutman .... sound editor
Stu Bernstein .... sound editor (uncredited)
Sandy Gendler .... sound editor (uncredited)
Gary Mundheim .... sound editor (uncredited)
Bob Newlan .... sound editor (uncredited)
Tim Philben .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Clancy T. Troutman .... sound designer (uncredited)
Robert Waxman .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Dale L. Martin .... special effects coordinator (as Dale Martin)
Robert E. Worthington .... special effects assistant (as Bob Worthington)
 
Visual Effects by
Rocco Gioffre .... miniatures
Mark Sullivan .... miniatures
 
Stunts
Janet Brady .... stunt person
Jeffrey J. Dashnaw .... stunt person (as Jeff Dashnan)
Eddy Donno .... stunt coordinator
Eddy Donno .... stunt person
David R. Ellis .... stunt person
Mark Giardino .... stunt person
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunt person
Chris Howell .... stunt person
Tommy J. Huff .... stunt person (as Tom Huff)
Vic Manni .... stunt person
Gary McLarty .... stunt person
Beth Nufer .... stunt person
Glenn R. Wilder .... stunt person (as Glenn Wilder)
Tony Donno .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Amorelli .... electrician
Mark Assante .... electrician
Dustin Ault .... grip
Herb Ault .... first company grip
Ron Batzdorff .... still photographer (as Ron Batzdorf)
Rob Bennett .... clapper loader
Bennie R. Brothers .... video assist operator (as Bennie Brothers)
Jeffrey R. Clark .... aerial assistant camera (as Jeff Clark)
Hugo Cortina .... chief lighting technician
Blaise Dahlquist .... assistant lighting technician
Mark Gambino .... second company grip
John Graf .... electrician
Kurt Grossi .... grip
Bob Hall .... first assistant camera
Vic Keatley .... electrician (as Victor Keatley)
Brian LeGrady .... second assistant camera (as Brian Le Grady)
Walt Lloyd .... additional camera operator
Gregory Lundsgaard .... panaglide operator (as Greg Lundsgaard)
Larry McCarron .... grip
Roger Spurgeon .... musco light operator
Jeffrey Ray Strong .... electrician (as Jeff Strong)
Donald Vetick .... dolly grip (as Don Vetick)
Fred Waugh .... aerial camera operator
 
Casting Department
Paul Adler .... casting associate
Sally Jackson .... extra casting: New Mexico
Victoria Kern-Giles .... extra casting assistant: New Mexico
Gail Levin .... casting consultant
George Palelei .... extra casting: Dir. Casting Service, Los Angeles
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Laura Goldsmith .... costumer
Kayla Koeber .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Matthew Cassel .... editing room assistant
Linda Fitzwater .... assistant editor
David Jimenez .... assistant editor
Terry Kelley .... assistant editor (as Terry Kelly)
Wende Phifer Mate .... additional editor (as Wende Pfeiffer-Mate)
Clay Rawlins .... editing room assistant
Barbara Riley .... negative cutter
William Mark Roche .... post-production executive
Jan Wesley .... additional editor
Melissa Wyn .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Sharon Boyle .... music supervisor
Gary Goetzman .... music supervisor
Carlton Kaller .... music editor (as Carl Kaller)
Tom Kramer .... music editor
William Ross .... conductor
William Ross .... orchestrator
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Robert Schaper .... music mixdown (as Bob Shaper)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Cesar Angobaldo .... company driver
Ray Appel .... company driver
Dave Garber .... driver: insert car
Chuck Hanson .... company driver
Phil Hedley .... production van driver
Jim Huffey .... company driver (as Jim Hoffey)
Marty Huffey .... company driver
Dennis Janovici .... company driver
Tom MacDonald .... company driver
John 'J.P.' Pratt .... driver: honeywagon (as John Pratt)
Kino Quintana .... company driver
Anne Renfro .... company driver (as Annie Renfro)
Wayne Roberts .... company driver
Lenny Rogel .... company driver (as Len Rogel)
Mario Simon .... transportation captain
James E. Vargas .... company driver (as James Vargas)
Thomas Vilardo .... company driver (as Tom Vilardo)
Eddie Lee Voelker .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Alicia Anthony .... accounting: Vestron
Lisa Batsu .... assistant to executive producers
Dori Berinstein .... production executive (as Dori Bernstein-Wasserman)
Jennifer Bleakley .... production assistant
Christine Bonnem .... location assistant: Los Angeles (as Chris Bonnem)
George Chavez .... set security: C.A.S.T. Security
Satya De La Manitou .... location coordinator: New Mexico
Robert Dean .... production assistant
Robert Easton .... dialogue coach (as Bob Easton)
Gary Fibbins .... assistant: Mr. Hopper
Will Fowler .... video services
Donna Glasser-Hancock .... assistant accountant (as Donna Glasser)
Kim Goddard .... assistant to production executive
Peter Grossman .... legal services: Weissman/Wolff/Bergman/Coleman & Silverman
Mark Gutierrez .... production assistant
Pam Halstead .... assistant to executive producers
Julie Jones .... production accountant
Jeff Joy .... stand-in: Mr. Hopper
Joyce King .... script supervisor
David Logie .... caterer: S&H Catering (as Dave 'Hatch' Logie)
Gillbert M. Loust .... set police officer (as Gil Loust)
Steve Mason .... caterer: S&H Catering
F. Renee Mayo .... LED/computer operator
Peter McKernan .... helicopter pilot (as Peter McKernan Jr.)
Kate Mytron .... assistant to executive producers
Craig Pointes .... location manager: New Mexico/Seattle
Alan D. Purwin .... helicopter pilot (as Al Purwin)
Mary T. Quigley .... first aid (as Mary Quigley)
Debra Scutari .... production coordinator
Kris Shreffler .... production secretary
Jeffrey T. Spellman .... location manager: Los Angeles (as Jeffrey Spellman)
Robert Stulberg .... legal services: Weissman/Wolff/Bergman/Coleman & Silverman
Charles A. Tamburro .... aerial coordinator (as Chuck Tamburro)
Charles A. Tamburro .... helicopter pilot (as Chuck Tamburro)
Michael Tamburro .... helicopter pilot (as Mike Tamburro)
Neal Thompson .... title designer: Cinema Research Corporation (as Neil Thompson)
Arthur Tostado .... lab liaison (as Art Tosado)
Gary Wills .... craft service
 
Thanks
Charles Arnoldi .... producers wish to thank
R.C. Gorman .... producers wish to thank
Laddie John Dill .... producers wish to thank
Brian Liptrot .... producers wish to thank
Liz Rawlins .... producers wish to thank
Edward Ruscha .... producers wish to thank
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Backtrack" - USA (TV title (director's cut))
See more »
Runtime:
180 min (original cut) | 116 min (director's cut) | 98 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bob Dylan has a small cameo as the artist with a chainsaw and an orange hard hat.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: The shadow of a cameraman is briefly visible during the opening credits when Anne pulls to the side of the road.See more »
Quotes:
Milo:There's something going on here that I really don't understand, but I like it.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Last Tango in Paris (1972)See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut?
See more »
it's no Magnificent Ambersons, but it's some fun time with a few great moments, 24 March 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Backtrack, aka Catchfire, is one of those classic "Alan Smithee" cases, but unlike say David Lynch's Dune it's hard to feel too sorry for the filmmaker in the case of producers fiddling with the "original" vision. Dennis Hopper's original cut of the film was three hours, which is more akin to a move out of Erich von Stroheim; maybe it is genius in its full form, but perhaps Hopper would have been better just taking what is a half-bitter, half-sweet neo-noir with pitch black comedy and crazy romance as a shorter feature. Is the question more that a 3 hour cut may *still* be a mess rather than it's a lost masterpiece? (Originally Easy Rider had a fate like this with Hopper's original cut something like 4 hours, then trimmed to 95 minutes it was great). A Magnificent Ambersons butchering it also is definitely not. No tears are shed over Backtrack/Catchfire's status.

Matter of fact there is a 2 hour director's cut, which somewhat sadly is hard to track down. So, taking into account this 98 minute "studio" cut (studio in a loose term since Vestron is no longer even around), it's bound to have flaws. To give Hopper his credit a lot of this is due to a choppy rhythm; sometimes there's a spectacular cut (i.e. when he jumps from a rooftop it cuts right away to him opening a drawer in a room), and sometimes it really does feel like a little extra detail or moment is excised in favor of keeping the plot going.

It's not a bad plot either, if somewhat typical in the film noir tradition: a woman has one of those freak chance of occurrences on a road as her tires go flat on a highway, and walking along the side of the road she sees in a wasteland a mob hit. The mobsters see her, she escapes in time, goes to the cops, and then when the mob comes by and kills her boyfriend she goes on the run - not taking into account a strange, soulful hit-man is on her trail, more as a stalker than a killer, leading to a very challenging moment halfway where the gears shift in tone.

The first half is fairly fun as a chase movie and has some surprises, mostly in cameos that had me smile (Vincent Price) and shaking my head and laughing like I was having a hallucination (Bob Dylan), with Hopper creating what looks to be another in a line of classic psychos (he has the skill of a puzzle-solver following Foster's trail, and sometimes plays the saxophone to relax). The mood also reflects wonderfully a sense of the noir with Foster changing her look (blonde wig and black jacket) with the conventional jazz music put behind her. When he finally tracks her down, however, there's a possibly great scene: Hopper, with a tie around her neck and handcuffs on her hands, gives Foster a choice, either die right now or be "mine" so that she would be under his total control. There's such tense acting here by the leads that it promises that this will lead to an electrifying second half.

This is not the case. Instead we get a fairly quickly unfolding of a romance, oddly enough, as Hopper's quasi-captive finally falls for her sort of sensitive and awkward hit-man, and there's even a weirdly "cute" scene where Hopper fulfills a secret that she has which is to have lots of pink Hostess cakes! There's a sort of absurdity here that maybe echoes Bunuel; it's kind of sadistically dangerous, and at the same time starts to make less sense even as it ratchets up some memorable, baroque images (the burning figure at night right before Hopper goes into Foster's room to take her sort of hostage). The acting isn't bad either, but again the sense of rhythm is off, and it's hard to look past that as the film is what it is and has to be seen like that.

As a curiosity it's surely a must-see - it's got a who's who of stars and character actors, from Charlie Sheen to Price to Joe Pesci to Catherine Keener to Jon Tuturro to Paulie from the Sopranos - though it's hard to exactly call it a very "good" movie. Too much of it ticks and tocks with a near originality to ignore it, but it's too flawed to see as some work of tortured genius either.

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What Charlie Parker tunes are used in this movie? piggoli-imdb
Alan Smithee... orangestar
Plot Holes maddog30-2
Joe Pesci txspurdog
Ridiculous--but a lot of fun HarveyA
Without Backtrack.... No Sopranos pajode
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