DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY RICHARD DONNER
MUSIC BY RANDY NEWMAN
ICON ENTERTAINMENT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS
DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY RICHARD DONNER
MUSIC BY RANDY NEWMAN
ICON ENTERTAINMENT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Maverick is recreated from the character James Garner created in the 1950s TV program. Maverick is a gambler who would rather con someone than fight them. He needs an additional three thousand dollars in order to enter a Winner Take All poker game that begins in a few days. He tries to win some, tries to collect a few debts, and recover a little loot for the reward, all with a light hearted air. He joins forces with a woman gambler with a marvelous, though fake, southern accent as the two both try and enter the game.
Written by John Vogel
Mel Gibson ... Bret Maverick
Jodie Foster ... Annabelle Bransford
James Garner ... Marshal Zane Cooper
Graham Greene ... Joseph
Alfred Molina ... Angel
James Coburn ... Commodore Duvall
Dub Taylor ... Room Clerk
Geoffrey Lewis ... Matthew Wicker / Eugene, BankerPaul L. Smith ... The Archduke
Dan Hedaya ... Twitchy, Riverboat Poker Player
Dennis Fimple ... Stuttering
Denver Pyle ... Old Gambler on Riverboat
Clint Black ... Sweet-Faced Gambler
Max Perlich ... Johnny Hardin
Art LaFleur ... Poker Player (as Art La Fleur)
Leo Gordon ... Poker Player (as Leo V. Gordon)
Paul Tuerpe ... Poker Player
Jean De Baer ... Mary Margret
Paul Brinegar ... Stage Driver
Hal Ketchum ... Bank Robber
Corey Feldman ... Bank Robber
John M. Woodward ... Bank Robber (as John Woodward)
Jesse Eric Carroll ... Stable Boy
Toshonnie Touchin ... Stable Boy
John Meier ... Unshaven Man
Steven Chambers ... Unshaven Man (as Steve Chambers)
Doc Duhame ... Unshaven Man
Frank Orsatti ... Unshaven Man
Lauren Shuler Donner ... Mrs. D., Bathhouse Maid (as Lauren Shuler-Donner)
Courtney Barilla ... Music Box Girl
Kimberly Cullum ... Music Box Girl
Gary Richard Frank ... Crooked Dealer
Read Morgan ... Dealer
Steve Kahan ... Dealer
Stephen Liska ... Dealer
Robert Jones ... Bank Employee
J. Mills Goodloe ... Telegraph Operator (as John Mills Goodloe)
Vilmos Zsigmond ... Albert Bierstadt
Waylon Jennings ... Man with Concealed Guns
Kathy Mattea ... Woman with Concealed Guns
Carlene Carter ... Waitress
Vince Gill ... Spectator
Janis Oliver ... Spectator (as Janice Gill)
William Smith ... Riverboat Poker Player
Chuck Hart ... Riverboat Poker Player
Doug McClure ... Riverboat Poker Player
Henry Darrow ... Riverboat Poker Player
Michael Paul Chan ... Riverboat Poker Player
Richard Blum ... Riverboat Poker Player
Bert Remsen ... Riverboat Poker Player
Robert Fuller ... Riverboat Poker Player
Donal Gibson ... Riverboat Poker Player
William Marshall ... Riverboat Poker Player
Bill Henderson ... Riverboat Poker Player (as Bill Handerson)
Cal Bartlett ... Riverboat Poker Player
Richard Donner ... Dealer (uncredited)
Will Hutchins ... Spectator (uncredited)
Reba McEntire ... Spectator (uncredited)
and many more...
Roy Huggins ... (television series Maverick)
William Goldman ... (written by)
Alexander B. Collett ... associate producer
Bruce Davey ... producer
Richard Donner ... producer
Jim Van Wyck ... co-producer
Jodie Foster's character's gracelessness in the film stems from the first scene she shot, when she waited for Mel Gibson to help her down from the stagecoach. Instead, he took her parasol and walked away. She tried to get down alone and flopped to the ground. Director Richard Donner liked it so much he kept the shot in the film, and staged more scenes of Foster stumbling, being dumped through windows, etc.
Near the movie's beginning, Maverick asks the young man wearing the bowler hat at the poker table who claims to be a gunfighter what his name is. He answers, "Johnny Hardin," and Maverick fumbles his chips pretending to be scared, but then clowns around pointing his own gun at the youth. The real John Wesley Hardin was a notoriously fast, volatile and deadly gunfighter of the old west who shot and killed over 40 men before being shot in the back of the head and killed in 1895.
Steve Kahan (dealer during the poker tournament) also plays Mel Gibson's (Martin Riggs') captain in the "Lethal Weapon" franchise. In that series, Gibson is a constant irritation for Kahan throughout. As an inside joke, near the end of the tournament you see Kahan give Gibson a terse handshake (barely acknowledging his presence) before quickly exiting the table. This happens right after Gibson's character knocks out the last player before reaching the final table. In actuality Kahan gets stuck in his chair, and as he stands up his chair comes with him. His handshake with Gibson is cut short because he wants to remove the chair. Notice Gibson's expression as he chokes back a laugh just before the scene changes.
James Garner, who plays Zane Cooper, was the original Bret Maverick in Maverick (1957).
The $25,000 needed to enter the poker tournament in the 19th century America
would be about $600,000 in 2004 terms.
Leo Gordon, who plays one of the poker players in the first card scene, wrote four episodes of the original Maverick (1957) TV series in he 1960-1961 season and made five guest appearances as Big Mike McComb between 1957 and 1959.
In the stagecoach chase sequence, stuntman Mic Rodgers (doubling for Mel Gibson) had to go under the coach and get up at the back. This is a direct nod to legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt's similar stunt in Stagecoach (1939). By coincidence, second-unit director Terry Leonard, a former stuntman himself, performed this same stunt in the truck chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
The steamship "Lauren Belle" is named for Lauren Shuler Donner, wife of director Richard Donner. She also appears in the movie as the bathhouse maid. James Garner's character calls her "Mrs. D" as she is leaving.
Annabelle keeps calling Bret, "Bert." This is a reference to an episode of the original Maverick (1957)
TV series in which a girlfriend of Bret's kept calling him Bert.
This was not Jodie Foster's first appearance in a James Garner movie. Twenty one years earlier she co-starred with him in One Little Indian (1973).
The name of James Garner's character, Zane Cooper, is taken from novelist Zane Grey and actor Gary Cooper, both of whom worked almost exclusively in the Western genre.
After Bret Maverick escapes from his botched hanging, he is shown plodding through the desert,
dragging a tree limb behind him as the sand swirls around him.
This mirrors a situation from The Road Warrior (1981), when The Gyro Captain is chained to a log by Max, also played by Mel Gibson, and forced to find his way out of the desert.
Another Lethal Weapon reference arises when Annabelle shrinks Maverick's "Lucky Shirt", in the same way that Leo shrinks Riggs's shirt in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989).
The initials of the stagecoach line in the movie are "GMC"
which continued the use of GMC trucks in the Richard Donner/Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon series.
GMC trucks have been driven by Gibson's character in every Lethal Weapon movie.
In the final scene, where Maverick (Mel Gibson) shows his cards one at a time, this is called "Slow-rolling" - a big breach of table etiquette in poker and in modern times. Additionally, every hand played by the Commodore demonstrates 'Slow-rolling'.
The large rock formation in the distance behind Maverick when he is playing the "sick injun" hunted by the Russian archduke, is Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California. It's partially visible first when Maverick is attempting to ride the bicycle and again later when Maverick leaves the Native American village.
Clint Black, the "Sweet Faced Gambler", also sang the song "Good Run Of Bad Luck" on the film's soundtrack. This song plays during the first round of the Poker championship. Ironically just as the song ends Black's character is caught cheating and thrown off the boat.
Final film of Denver Pyle.
James Garner's role was first offered to Paul Newman who turned it down.
Actor Paul Brinegar, the stagecoach driver who dies "on the road," was also the character Wishbone the cook on the 1959 series Rawhide (1959) which also starred Clint Eastwood as "Rowdy Yates."
Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster became close friends after the making of this film. She was also considered to play Gibson's love interest again in conspiracy theory which was also directed by Richard Donner but she turned it down due to Contact and the role went to Julia Roberts. Both Mel and Jodie still love to play poker. They worked together again on the beaver which was directed by Jodie Foster.
This film is loaded with cameos by famous country singers, such as Carlene Carter (playing a waitress on the riverboat), Hal Ketchum (bank robber), Vince Gill (spectator at the poker game), Clint Black (gambler who gets thrown off the boat for cheating), Waylon Jennings and Kathy Mattea (two people with guns on the riverboat).
Gary Ross had been brought to rewrite the scenes involving The Magician, a character played by Linda Hunt, which were ultimately cut out of the movie after test screenings.
A number of stars of classic television westerns play in the poker tournament: Denver Pyle from The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955), William Smith from Laredo (1965), Doug McClure and James Drury from The Virginian (1962), Henry Darrow from The High Chaparral (1967) and Robert Fuller from Wagon Train (1957) and Laramie (1959).
During the scene where Bret confronts the fake Indians lying drunk around the campfire,
one of them calls him "Bart". Bart was the name of Bret's brother on the original Maverick (1957) TV Series.
Mel Gibson had special lessons to learn how to draw a gun from a holster.
Alice Cooper had a cameo as the town drunk, but his segment was cut.
Bret keeps a $100 bill pinned to the inside of his coat pocket for emergencies. On the original Maverick (1957) TV series, Bret kept a $1,000 bill pinned to the inside of his coat for emergencies.
Linda Hunt and western actor Clint Walker both had cameo roles in this film,
Hunt playing a magician and Walker playing a sheriff.
However, the film itself ran too long, so their parts were cut from the theatrical release.
Cameo: Corey Feldman as one of the bank robbers in Danny Glover's gang. Feldman worked with director Richard Donner on "The Goonies".
Meg Ryan was the original choice for Annabelle.
Towards the end of the movie, Bret says goodbye to Annabelle on the riverboat. This may have been a nod to the original series; in the original series theme song, some of the lyrics are: "Riverboat ring your bell. Fare thee well Annabelle."
Final film of Dub Taylor.
The band playing in the background on the riverboat is Restless Heart.
Final film of Leo Gordon.
Mel Gibson assumes the title character originated by co-star James Garner in Maverick (1957) and a slew of miscellaneous episodes from related TV series.
Corey Feldman claimed in a Yahoo interview that Richard Donner originally intended for Feldman to play Johnny Hardin but this was vetoed by Mel Gibson after an audition. Feldman was then given the role of a bank robber instead.
After filmmakers decided to cut out the scenes involving The Magician (played by Linda Hunt), some scenes had to be reshot. Reshoots were scheduled for the weekend of March 20-21, exactly two months before the movie's premiere.
Final film of William Marshall.
Dub Taylor, who this was the final film before his death, has a brief cameo during the initial poker scene. He also was a poker dealer in a short scene in the Cincinnati Kid.
Jodie Foster's character is named Annabelle, which is also the name of her character in the original Disney film Freaky Friday (1976).
Julia Roberts and Michelle Pfeiffer were also considered to play Annabelle Bransford in case Jodie Foster wasn't available.
Jodie Foster's part as Annabelle Bransford closely resembles Diane Brewster's character, Samantha Crawford, whom she played twice during the first season of the original television show. They both are con artists and they both have a phony southern accent.
The first film released on Kodak's EXR 2386 polyester print stock.
In Phil Collins' autobiography "Not Dead Yet" he says he was considered for an unspecified part in the film, but that he didn't get the role.
Danny Glover: bank robber. Glover's and Mel Gibson's characters appear to almost recognize each other. This is a reference to Lethal Weapon (1987), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), and Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), all of which were also directed by Richard Donner. During their appearance on screen, the Lethal Weapon theme song can be heard, and as Glover departs he says "I'm too old for this shit", a line his character used frequently in the Lethal Weapon series. Gibson and Glover again starred together in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).
Margot Kidder: Margret Mary, one of the villagers robbed of their mission money. Kidder starred as Lois Lane in Richard Donner's Superman (1978).
Vilmos Zsigmond: The cinematographer appears as landscape painter Albert Bierstadt.
Reba McEntire: An extra in the opening poker scene of the movie.
FORESHADOWING: Throughout the movie, when Mel Gibson's character says "my pappy always used to say," the camera cuts to James Garner rolling his eyes. At the end of the film Garner is revealed to actually be Gibson's father.
In the final scene Maverick has a 10-J-Q-K of Spades, even though he pulled the Ace of Spades to win the game, he could have won even with a nine of Spades, which would have given him a higher straight flush than Angel.
After lending Mrs. Bransford money to join the poker tournament, Maverick says "if by some small chance, you should happen to win, I will be expecting 50 percent," to which Mrs. Bransford confusingly replies, "well, then, I'll be expecting 50 percent of your winnings, Mr. Maverick." At the end of the movie, Mrs. Bransford ends up making off with 50 percent of Maverick's winnings.
Cameo: Steve Kahan, Kahan who plays the Cheif in Lethal Weapon 2, 3 and 4. Plays Mavericks dealer at the second to last table before the final round.
Right before the poker game Annabell said she expects 50% of Maverick's winnings. At the end she steals that much from him
When Bret asks Joseph to "Shake his head, fire his gun and yell", a jet airplane can be seen flying over Joseph's head as he plays along with Bret's request. Obviously, jets didn't exist in the time that this film was set.
The playing cards used at the tournament have rounded corners as modern decks do instead of the period correct sharp corners
Tire tracks are visible on the dust trail during the runaway stagecoach scene.
When Maverick is talking to the women from the wagon train, a truck can be seen in the distance, traveling from left to right.
While Maverick is climbing over the runaway stage coach toward the dead driver, a car is visible in the upper right corner.[widescreen only]
Contrail visible in the sky behind Joseph while the missionaries, Coop and Anabelle are watching Bret parlay with the Indians.
In the first few minutes of the film, Mel Gibson says a man smelled of "refried beans." This term was not really in use until the mid-20th Century as the term "refritos" would have been used at the time.
When Maverick begins babbling "I can't believe I pulled that card" his lips are not moving.
In the first steamboat scene, while first traveling to the poker event, there is banter between Maverick and the other two main characters. The port steamboat paddle wheel is visible. Between supposedly continual shots, the wheels speed changes dramatically from very slow to quite fast. It happens several times.
On the steamboat, the door to Maverick's room is immovable when seen from within the room, but able to be budged when seen from outside.
During the fight scene between Angel and Maverick's "attackers", the rope Angel uses to pin one of them to a pole keeps disappearing and reappearing between shots.
in the scene where the Indians approach the wagon train, and Maverick tells them to fire their rifles, they each do so repeatedly, without re-cocking them between each shot. They are using lever-cock rifles.
When Maverick is out in the desert about to be hung,
you can see the rope clearly goes over the branch of the tree and then comes down and is tied lower on the tree, as it would be normally. Seconds later when the branch breaks Maverick is free and the rope is no longer attached to the tree.
On the steam boat as Maverick is about to return to the game at 5am, you can see that the door to his room has the door jamb on the inside of his room, indicating that it opens out. As it switches to the view from the hall, showing that it is chained, you can see that it opens to to the inside of the room.
When Maverick climbs the stagecoach, his leg breaks into the passenger area from above; seconds later the ceiling of the passenger area is undamaged.
Just before the campfire shootout, Maverick tells Annabelle and Coop that he only has six bullets, but during the scene he fires twelve without reloading.
Just before Maverick meets Annabelle for the first time in the saloon: after he sees the people playing poker, he is still going down the stairs although he had stopped at the bottom just before.
After the poker game in the saloon, Maverick goes back to his room without closing the door. But a few seconds later, Annabelle knocks on the door which is suddenly closed.
On the ferry, Coop takes Annabelle's umbrella and helps her onto the stage. In the next shot, the umbrella has disappeared.
As Maverick leaves his room in the saloon he locks the door behind him. When he returns, the opens the door with his hands full and keys in his mouth.
When Coop and Annabelle are finding out information about Maverick on the ferry, the water wheel behind Annabelle moves at different speeds between shots.
When Maverick sits down at the table at the beginning of the movie, Annabelle's hand is on her cheek when the camera is on her but in her lap when the camera is on Maverick.
During the runaway coach sequence, the sky repeatedly changes from being overcast and cloudy to clear blue between shots.
As the stagecoach nears the women that were robbed, the horses switch from jogging to loping between shots.
When Maverick wins his first hand after losing for an hour, the first shot of the table shows all of the cards neatly arranged around the chips, while in the next shot from behind Johnny Hardin, they are strewn around in a mess.
When Maverick takes the satchel with money from Cooper and the Commodore, a couple of dollar bundles are still left on the log. However, the next time that log is shown and Maverick is talking about maybe letting one of the guys kill the other, those dollar bundles are gone...
When Marshal Cooper leaves the steamboat after stealing the money, the steamboat is clearly stationary; however when the Commodore comes on deck a few seconds later to shoot at Cooper, the paddle wheel is turning and the steamboat clearly is underway.
When Angel is beating up the 5 guys who pretended to fight Maverick the night before, he deals with the last guy by wrapping a bullwhip or leather strap of some sort around his neck, choking him against a pillar. In 2 or 3 shots, the strap is wrapped around his throat, but not the pillar. Other times, it's wrapped around both as it should be.
In a scene where Maverick, Annabelle and Sheriff Cooper are all facing the camera, Maverick and Cooper switch sides several times.
When Angel is beating up the five guys who pretended to fight Maverick the night before, he deals with the last guy by wrapping a whip or leather strap of some sort around his neck, choking him against a pillar. In two or three shots, the strap is wrapped around his throat, but not the pillar. Other times, it's wrapped around both as it should be.
On the balcony at the hotel, as Annabelle is trying to escape after stealing Maverick's wallet,
he removes his suspenders, but in the next shot, they are back over his shoulders again.
Crew or equipment visible
Guidewire visible on the arrow shot at Maverick.
Errors in geography
There are no mountains or large sandstone cliffs near St Louis.
At a speed which would be nearly impossible with a car, in 4 days Maverick moves from a desert scene, through what have to be the Rocky Mountains, back to desert (hanging from the tree), to St Louis for the game.
Annabelle gives her dealer a $1000 chip in the poker tournament before the final table. This is common in cash games in which money is won after each hand. Unlike cash games however, tournament chips have no money value and cannot be exchanged for cash.
There are several problems with the final (set-up) hand of the tournament. The dealer switches out the shuffled deck with the stacked deck containing the set up hands. Firstly, this move is far too obvious to work - just about everyone's attention would be focused on the dealer at this point. As he deals out the hands, the point is to make Maverick and the Commodore think they have the best hand while really letting Angel have the best hand. When dealing the cards to Angel, the dealer deals from the bottom of the deck. That is the second issue - if the deck is stacked why risk being caught dealing from the bottom of the deck? Why not just have him put the correct cards on the top? Third, if the cheat had gone according to plan, Maverick would have had a hand that likely wouldn't have allowed him to call Angel's all-in bet. Instead of a missed royal flush draw, it would make more sense to give him a hand similar to the Commodore's four-of-a-kind, so he'd be likely to call Angel's bet. Similarly, it makes no sense to give him a hand that even had a potential to beat Angel's straight flush.
And finally, if they did give Maverick a royal flush draw, why wouldn't they have just stacked the deck so it wasn't possible for Maverick to win under any circumstances? For instance, just have the Ace and 9 of spades, Maverick's only two outs, dealt as burn cards, or perhaps to the Commodore. Instead they chose to stack the deck but gave Maverick outs, and didn't plan far enough ahead to not have one of those two outs sitting as the next card on the deck. EDIT: Dealing off the bottom of the deck is the most common cheat practice because you can never account for what other players may or may not draw. Dealing the set cards off the bottom means it doesn't matter what anyone else does...you give those players the random cards on top, you give the others the set cards off the bottom. In this sense, it's entirely possible, if not probable, that the goal of that hand was to bust The Commodore, and that the cards given to Maverick were pure luck.
When Maverick (Mel Gibson) wins his last hand of poker at his table (prior to the final round) the dealer stands up and shakes his hand. As he stands up, the chair is stuck to him. As he shakes Maverick's hand, he knocks the chair loose. He then turns and goes off camera, shaking his head and starting to laugh.
When Maverick, Annabelle and Cooper are talking on the ferry boat with the paddle wheel turning in the background, it can be seen that the paddle wheel is dry.
Cable marginally visible as Maverick flies over the edge of the cliff.
When the Commodore meets up with Cooper after he has stolen the poker tournament winnings, the Commodore startles Cooper, and he pulls his gun (indicating that he has it on him at the time). A few minutes later when Maverick shows up, he takes away the Commodore's gun, but not Cooper's. Yet Cooper's holsters are empty in the next shot.
The winning card that Maverick throws at the end of the match is obviously thicker and made of a heavier material than the rest of the deck so that it will land face up across the table.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA
Lake Powell, Arizona, USA
Glen Canyon, Utah, USA
Leidig Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Lone Pine, California, USA
Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge, Washington, USA
El Mirage Dry Lake, California, USA
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
Laramie Street, Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA
Page, Arizona, USA
Washburn Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Lee's Ferry, Arizona, USA
Marble Canyon, Arizona, USA
Mescal, Arizona, USA
Stages 12,18 & 21 Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, US
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