Jinxed! (1982 film)

Jinxed! (also known as Jinxed on promotional media) is a 1982 American comedy film starring Bette Midler, Rip Torn and Ken Wahl. Directed by Don Siegel,[3] the veteran filmmaker would suffer a heart attack during the troubled production. This would be Siegel's final film.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byDon Siegel
Produced byHerb Jaffe
Screenplay byFrank D. Gilroy
David Newman
Story byFrank D. Gilroy
Music byBruce Roberts
Miles Goodman
CinematographyVilmos Zsigmond
Edited byDouglas Stewart
Herb Jaffe Productions
United Artists
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 22, 1982 (1982-10-22)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$13.4 million[1]
Box office$2,869,638[2]


Harold Benson and his lounge-singer wife, Bonita Friml, follow a young blackjack dealer Willie Brodax, around the country. Harold has a blackjack winning jinx on Willie, and seemingly cannot lose to him. After Willie becomes suspicious, he starts following Harold and finds his trailer and starts talking to Bonita. Willie and Bonita eventually fall in love and plot to do away with Harold to collect Harold's life insurance.



The film is based on the 1980 novel The Edge by Frank D. Gilroy. He sold the film rights to the Ladd Company at Warner Bros. intending to direct; Ladd then sold the project to Herb Jaffe at United Artists for $300,000 and Jaffe hired David Newman to rewrite it. A UA production executive suggested Bette Midler for the lead and she asked for Don Siegel to direct. The script was rewritten by Jerry Blatt, Carol Rydall, Midler and Siegel. During development it was also known as The Jackpot and Hot Streak. Gilroy had his name removed from the film and was credited as "Burt Blessing".[1]

Filming started on May 5, 1981 and took place at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, MGM Grand Reno and MGM studios.

Siegel had been a mentor of director Sam Peckinpah, who was having difficulty finding assignments in the film industry due to his most recent troubled production. Siegel offered Peckinpah a chance to return to filmmaking with 12 days of second unit directing work on Jinxed. Peckinpah accepted, and his collaboration with was noted within the industry. While Peckinpah's work was uncredited, it would lead to his hiring as the director of his final film, The Osterman Weekend (1983).[4]

In addition to Siegel's health problems, Midler and Wahl reportedly fought viciously throughout the filming, making no secret of their open hostility towards one another. Wahl described to the press how much he disliked kissing Midler. Years later, Midler would state that Siegel was also hostile towards her. In turn, Siegel said the experience of working with Midler was unpleasant. When asked by United Artists executive Steven Bach why he didn't quit, Siegel replied, "Because then I wouldn't get my fee. Why not fire me?"[5]

Lalo Schifrin composed and recorded what would have been his sixth score for Siegel on Jinxed, but it was rejected by the studio despite Siegel's objections.[6]

The film received an "R" rating in the United States.


Released to theaters on October 22, 1982, the movie was a box office failure.[1]

Critic Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of a possible 4. He wrote, "This is a messed-up movie that throws away what few opportunities it has to entertain us, and gets totally lost in a plot that starts as comedy and moves through farce on its way to paralysis." Ebert added that Midler is such a talented singer that it was implausible to believe that her character was an unsuccessful performer, but her music numbers still supplied most of the film's few highlights.[7]

DVD release

The 2004 DVD release of the movie includes the original theatrical trailer, which includes a fraction of a deleted scene: Midler, wearing her mourning gown, quickly tries to get back into the car while it's already hooked up in the carwash system.


  1. Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 266-269
  2. Jinxed! at Box Office Mojo
  3. "Jinxed". TCM database. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  4. Weddle, David (1994). If They Move...Kill 'Em!. Grove Press. pp. 534–535. ISBN 0-8021-3776-8.
  5. Bach, Steven. Final Cut: Dreams and Disasters in the Making of Heaven's Gate. p. 396. ISBN 0-688-04382-8
  6. Los Angeles Times 1982.
  7. Roger Ebert (January 1, 1982). "Jinxed!". rogerebert.com.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.