User:PF4Eva/Good Burger

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Good Burger (1974)
Good Burger DVD cover
Movie Poster
Run Time: 3 hours, 100 minutes
Box Office Earnings: $56.6 Million
Director:
Writers:
Leading Actors:
IMDb profile
“I've had many burgers in my life, but none of them have ever been good.”
~ Mark Twain on Good Burger

Good Burger is a 1974 American crime drama/conspiracy thriller, and was the directorial debut of John Carpenter, who later directed the 1978 horror classic, Halloween, as well as the 1979 horror flops Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, and also the forgettable and widely panned 1981 teen comedy Girls Gone Van Wilder!!!. Girls Gone Van Wilder!!! was a sequel to George A. Romero's Girls Gone Wild!!!, which in itself was not as successful as Romero's Living Dead Series.

Good Burger starred Clint Eastwood as trash-talking, chain-smoking, tough-looking, vigilante, cashier Ed "Scissorhands" Callahan and Charles Bronson as newcomer Dexter "Bullet" Reid, a mustachioed tough-guy vigilante in his own right. Ed and Dexter are two Good Burger employees on a mission from God and Good Burger manager Mr. Baily (the incomparable Donald Pleasence[1]) to sabotage rival burger chain, Mondo Burger. John Wayne played the sinister Mondo Burger manager known only as Kurt, in a role that earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination in 1975. Kurt's philosophy in life was: "You be messin' with Kurt, you're goin' in DA GRINDER."

The film was very controversial in its time due to its plot, which exposed illegal tactics that Mondo Burger was using to sabotage Good Burger. The MPAA threatened to give the film an X rating for its conspiracy theories and especially for using a risque movie title; in some countries (including the United States) "good burger" is a slang term for oral sex. President Richard Nixon, in a bid to improve his public image, threatened to ban the film, but Congress overruled Nixon, citing "the First Amendment" and the fact that Nixon was, indeed, a crook. The film was toned down only slightly, just enough to earn it an R rating, Ed and Dexter's anal exploration scene got cut, everybody lightened up, and the first screening on March 27, 1974, resulted in a unanimous standing ovation from everybody in the room, including Carpenter, Wayne, Eastwood, Bronson, co-screenwriter Debra Hill[2], co-stars John Travolta and Charles Cyphers[3], MPAA president Jack Schitt, Nixon, and new president Gerald Ford.

The film won several Academy Awards -- including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director John Carpenter, Best Supporting Actor Donald Pleasence, and Best Original Song for "Oops I Did It Again" by Britney Spears. and spawned a sequel, 1976's Double Dare[4], directed by Martin Scorsese. This film proved less successful and was widely panned by critics. Good Burger was remade in 1997, starring Kenan and Kel, who had been doing parody sketches of the film on Nickelodeon's All That, and directed by Scorsese, who, to this day, cites the original Good Burger, Lord of the G-Strings, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and Ernest Goes to Jail as his all-time favorite movies.

edit 1974 version

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about PF4Eva/Good Burger.

Good Burger is, not arguably, the greatest movie ever created. With such a stellar cast, including Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, John Travolta, John Wayne, Richard Pryor, Abe Vigoda, Charles Cyphers's legendary role as Spatch, and Donald Pleasence's almost hypnotic and horrifying role as manager Mr. Baily, there was no way it could have gone wrong (and, obviously, it didn't). From Eastwood's first line, "Welcome to Good Burger. Punk", to Wayne's last line, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!! I ain't-a goin' in DA GRINDER!!", the audience is absorbed in the movie.

John Carpenter had met Clint Eastwood at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in Pasadena, California, in 1971. Eastwood told Carpenter about this screenplay he was writing, but had been experiencing writer's block, nose cramps, crusty eyes, butt cramps, amnesia, hair loss, stiff hands, a runny nose, excessive flatulence, and, therefore, was unable to come up with any ideas. Carpenter agreed to help out, and asked if his friend, collaborator, and ex-girlfriend Debra Hill could contribute as well. Clint said yes, and that was that. The screenplay took 2 years to complete.

In 1973, Clint called up some of his friends and offered them roles. Marlon Brando was asked to play Kurt, but was convinced that the film was gonna flop miserably and dropped out. (Brando later said that turning down the role of Kurt was the biggest mistake he ever made in his life.) "Skipper" Alan Hale begged to play the role, but Eastwood said that Hale wasn't serious enough, and Hale took off his hat and hit Gilligan in the head and knocked him unconscious. Eastwood ultimately went with the incomparable John Wayne, who brought arrogance, fear, greed, corruption, hunger, terror, and horror to an otherwise one-dimensional role.

John Carpenter called up a Who's Who of actors and offered them the role of Mr. Baily, including such screen legends as Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Roy Scheider[5], Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Tony Curtis[6], William Shatner, Jack Webb[7], Charlton Heston, and Sir Laurence Olivier, before settling on veteran British actor Donald Pleasence.

"I saw something in Mr. Baily that I had never seen in any other roles before. I saw this... man... with this... blank,... pale,... emotionless face,... and the Blackest Eyes... the DEVIL's Eyes!!! HE'S NOT DEAD!! THE EVIL IS NEVER DEAD!!! A man... who was a little bit insane in some aspects, but also... very serious and sane at the time time, ...I don't know if that makes a whole lot of sense, (laughs) but Mr. Baily is... quite a unique character for me to play, and I hope to play more characters like this. I SHOT HIM SIX TIMES!!!"

~ Donald Pleasence on Mr. Baily, in a 1974 interview
Ermey

R. Lee Ermey curses out the cast and crew of Good Burger in 1973.

Debra Hill auditioned people for the role of Spatch, including John Belushi, Robert Shaw[8], Ronald Reagan, Heston, Olivier, Shatner, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck[9], and Hugh "Ward Cleaver" Beaumont[10]. Debra Hill, who died from a string of endless Halloween sequels in 2004, had this to say back in 1994:

“I saw something in Charles Cyphers. but even I don't know what it is. He plays such likable characters, he just has the right kind of chemistry with the rest of the cast, whether he's working with Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Steve Urkel, Ernest, Frodo Baggins, Forrest Gump, R. Lee Ermey, that guy from Police Academy who makes those cool sound effects with his mouth, Sinbad, George Burns, Chevy Chase, Kenan and Kel, and that guy from Basic Instinct 2, and...”
~ Debra Hill on Charles Cyphers, in a 1994 interview

Eastwood, Carpenter, and Hill called up quite a few people to cameo, but they proved too expensive, as was the case with Lucille Ball's would-be appearance as customer Connie Muldoon, one of the many customers who dies after eating a Good Burger with poisoned Ed's sauce. Ball said she loved the script, but was usually paid $20 million per picture or TV series. Another option was Brett Somers from TV's Match Game, but she was fired after one day. Lucille Ball recommended Betty White and she nailed the audition and became Connie Muldoon. She even worked for free!

George Carlin was asked to play Mr. Wheat, but was dismissed due to the controversy surrounding his Seven Words You Can Never Say. Producers also thought Jackie Gleason was too old for the young teacher.

While Eastwood was slated to play Ed Callahan from the very beginning, Charles Bronson was not Eastwood's first choice to play Dexter Reid. R. Lee Ermey was very rude on the set, cursing out the cast and crew every day before he was fired. "WHAT KIND OF PIECE-A SHIT DIRECTOR ARE YA!!!??!!! DROP AND GIVE ME A HUNDRED, DIRTBAG!!!" Ermey was replaced by Charles Bronson and all of Ermey's footage was destroyed by a steamroller.

The music was composed by John Carpenter, and oddly, the theme music (Good Burger theme) sounds strikingly similar to his own Halloween theme song. (Halloween theme).

The film wrapped production in January 1974, just enough time for the studio, Compass International Pictures, to send out fliers, movie trailers, and television spots.

Famous quotes from the classic film include:

“Welcome to Good Burger. Punk.”
~ Ed Callahan
“Prepare to die, punk.”
~ Ed Callahan, preparing to shoot Roxanne

"You be messin' with Kurt, you're goin' in DA GRINDER."

~ Kurt
“Go ahead, make my shake.”
~ Ed Callahan, dressed as Edna, ordering a Mondo Shake to examine

"Now, this 'grinder' of yours, is this an actual grinder or is it just a clever metaphor?"

~ Dexter Reid, questioning Kurt's Grinder
“I'm a dude, Reid. You're a dude. (brief silence) We're all dudes. Hey, Reid, did you just fart! Pee-yew! That reeks, Dex!”
~ Ed Callahan, talking Dexter into investigating Mondo Burger

"You mess with Good Burger, you go in the grinder."

~ Dexter Reid, to Kurt after the Mondo Dictator is arrested

edit Plot


Kurt Mondo Burger

Kurt (Steve McQueen) fires Dexter (Charles Bronson). Tell Mr. Fluffy to run for cover!

The original 1974 Good Burger centered on a popular fast food restaurant called Good Burger, where cashier Ed Callahan (Clint Eastwood) works. When Dexter Reid (Charles Bronson) is involved in a car accident involving his guitar teacher Mr. Wheat (Richard Roundtree), Dexter decides to get a summer job at a brand new fast food joint called Mondo Burger. Dexter was afraid of going to jail because his license had been suspended after he was arrested for grand theft auto two months before, so he needed the job to pay off the damages. But the manager Kurt (Steve McQueen) is very controlling and very maniacal, and will not tolerate Dexter's ongoing "goofin' off," and so the middle-aged frycook is quickly and brutally fired and down on his luck.

One day while medicating himself with Good Shakes at Good Burger, Dexter tells Ed his problems and Ed offers him a job at Good Burger, Mr. Baily (Donald Pleasence) agrees, and a new chapter in Dexter's life begins. Soon, he and Ed are making deliveries, including one to famed basketball player Jamal Afro of the Harlem Globetrotters. Dexter also finds love, when he starts eying co-worker Monique (Pam Grier). Unfortunately, she is not in love with him and refuses to date him. She thinks he looks too much like Charles Manson. She also claims that she cannot be in an interracial relationship.

Eds Sauce

Ed's sauce ad was designed by comics legend Stan Lee because John Carpenter kept begging him to do it, and Lee did it to shut him up.

Meanwhile, Mondo Burger's rise in popularity nearly forces Good Burger out of business. Mr. Baily fears that, "I'll have to feed my mother cat food. Since we neither have any customers nor electricity, you may all go home now." But the demise of a fast food restaurant doesn't end there. One day, Ed is eating lunch and Dexter notices that Ed's Good Burger has some kind of sauce on it. When Dexter accidentally tastes the sauce -- which tastes like apple sauce mixed with vodka, with a hint of Hershey's chocolate and pepperoni pizza -- he asks Fizz (John Travolta) to taste it, and then Otis (Abe Vigoda), then Monique, and then Mr. Baily. Baily's reaction, "EDWARD CALLAHAN!!!... Get IN there and make the BEST DAMN ED'S SAUCE you can MAKE!" And thus, Ed's sauce is a hit with employees and customers alike.

One day, Ed and Dexter sneak a Mondo Burger and examine it. The meat patty, at 26 pounds, was quite larger than that of a Good Burger, and it even bent Spatch's spatula when he went to pick it up. He was on the verge of crying like a little 12-year-old girl, and struggled to hold back his tears. Everybody was suspicious; "Mondo Burger must be up to something..." Mr. Baily says "...and we're going to find out what it is."

Halloween Pleasence Cyphers

Spatch (left) and Mr. Baily examine a Mondo Burger.

The next day, Ed and Dexter decide to do a little detective and police work. Going undercover as two women named Edna and Dee Dee, they discovered that Mondo Burger uses Enzyte, then an illegal growth hormone, to enlarge the size of their patties. But Kurt catches them in the act and threatens the two to keep their mouths shut. "You had better not give out out our little secret...or else." That night, when Good Burger has been closed for the night, Otis notices Mondo Burger employees breaking into the kitchen with large boxes of shark poison. Kurt threatens to have Otis, Dexter, and Ed committed if they squeal on him. Kurt then injects Ed's sauce with the shark poison.

“This means that whoever eats a Good Burger with Ed's sauce is gonna be poisoned.”
~ Captain Obvious on poisoning Ed's sauce


Ed Good Burger Clint

"Prepare to die, punk!" Clint Eastwood as Ed.

Otis tries to call the police, but is tranquilized, and he, Dexter, and Ed are committed to Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium. While at the sanitarium, mysterious deaths are reported of people who ate Good Burgers with Ed's sauce, and employees begin to speculate the whereabouts of the three committed employees. Mr. Baily even accuses Ed, Dexter, and Otis of poisoning the sauce themselves. But Spatch believes that the three men are innocent, and goes on an epic quest to find them.

After a dance-off to Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," Ed, Dexter, Otis, James Brown, some crazy girl, and some huge crazy guy plot their escape. They run into an empty room and break the window and run for their lives. About a couple blocks later, they run into Spatch and Fizz, who are terrified of the big, scary, crazy guy. "I knew it," Spatch says. "It's all a conspiracy to silence Good Burger. We know too much."

Soon after, Kurt tries to figure out the secret recipe to Ed's sauce. He hires a woman named Roxanne (Farrah Fawcett) to try to seduce Ed. They go on a double date with Dexter and, surprisingly, Monique. While eating out and going to a miniature golf course, Roxanne asks Ed what the secret recipe is, and Ed replies, "Like I was born yesterday! I'll never tell you punks the recipe! Never! If I did, it won't be a secret anymore. I get the feeling you're one of Kurt's Mondo Idiots. Prepare to die, punk!"

Charles Bronson2

Charles Bronson as Dexter Reid, mustache and all. "If they don't like you going out, they'll love you comin' in."

Then Kurt decides to come out with his own sauce, Kurt's sauce. It becomes more popular than Ed's sauce was at the time, and Good Burger is on the verge of going out of business. When Otis is found dead from a gunshot wound the next day, Ed and Dexter know that they are next on Kurt's hit list. They sneak into Mondo Burger from the giant milkshake on the roof. Once in the kitchen, they decide to overfill the meat patties with growth hormones, steroids, Enzyte, cocaine, cannabis, and other illegal drugs in an attempt to destroy the facility. The patties grow ten times the size of a regular Mondo Burger. Ed and Dexter call the police, and fight the Mondo Idiots and tie them all up, and then flee the scene.

As soon as the police arrive, the burger, fries, and shake at the top of the building topple over and smash Mr. Wheat's newly repaired car. And Kurt and his men are escorted into police cars. Dexter mentions the illegal drugs, etc., and delivers the now-classic line, "You mess with Good Burger, you go in THE GRINDER."

edit Trivia

  • The film cost only $1,000 to make and ended up grossing $56.6 Million. It has since grossed a total of $105.7 million, including holoprojectism and DVD sales.
  • The movie was filmed in 30 days, because Charles Bronson had committed to another 1974 crime drama, Death Wash.
  • If you look closely, you can see Orson Welles ordering a Good Burger with nothing on it. He literally gets a Good Burger with nothing on it. He then tells Ed, "See you in hell." this scene lasts about three seconds, so you'll miss it if you blink. This scene was only three seconds because that's all Orson Welles was willing to do for free; he would have charged $2,000 per second afterwards. (Just like Verizon!)

edit 1997 version

Good Burger (1997)
Good burger
Movie Poster
Run Time: 3 hours, 34 minutes
Box Office Earnings: $23,
Director:
Writers:
Leading Actors:
IMDb profile

Good Burger was remade as a parody in 1997, spawning from the Good Burger sketches from All That. The cast included Kenan and Kel as Dexter Reid and Ed, Abe Vigoda (who reprised his legendary role as Otis, this time as an old man), Carmen Electra as Roxanne, Josh Server as Fizz (Travolta was originally asked to resprise the role, but he was busy filming Pulp Fiction II, which was never completed), Dan Connor as Mr. Baily, Billy Idol and Powerman 5000 as the sinister Kurt, Sinbad as Mr. Wheat, Ron Jeremy as Spatch, and Janet Jackson as Monique. Cameos include George Clinton as the crazy guy in the sanitarium, Shaquille O'Neal as himself (Jamal Afro died in 1976), and Lori Beth Denberg from All That as Connie Muldoon.

It is monumental because not only is it the greatest movie ever produced by Nickelodeon, but it is also the only movie ever produced by Nickelodeon to be at all enjoyable in any respect. Although the reviews weren't kind and the gross was less than that of the original, this remake has earned its status as a cult classic.

This version of Good Burger was conceived when Kel's Good Burger sketches on All That proved extremely popular. Kel had this to say in a recent interview in April:

“Good Burger was my favorite movie growing up. And I just couldn't get outta my Clint Eastwood impression one day, and Dan Connor decided to write this sketch, I did it, it became huge, and so this movie was inevitable to me.”
~ Kel Mitchell on Good Burger (1974), in a 2007 interview

Kenan claims that he's been doing a dead-on Charles Bronson impression "since I was six and I saw the first two Death Wish movies. He had a cool mustache, too." And he also added some big news on the possibility of a sequel:

“I shouldn't even be telling you this, but Kel and I are busy writing Good Burger 2 for release sometime in 2008 or 2009. We're talking to John Carpenter about directing, but if he says No, then Marty [Scorsese] will direct it.”
~ Kenan Thompson on Good Burger 2

On April 30, 2007, John Carpenter announced plans to write a Broadway musical version of Scorsese's Good Burger to compete with the also-recently announced Legally Blonde musical.[citation needed]

Famous quotes from Good Burger 1997 include:

“Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger. May I take your order?”
~ Ed
“Can you call an ambulence, I think I broke my ass!”
~ Otis, after the Mondo Idiots poisoned Ed's sauce and broke Otis's ass
“I'm not dead yet, bitches!”
~ Otis on his mortal status
“Ed, did you just fart?”
~ Dexter Reid, questioning Ed's flatulence
“You don't have to tell me twice!”
~ Otis, just before jumping out the second story window of Demented Hills
“No ice cream today, kids.”
~ Dexter Reid, escaping from Demented Hills in an ice cream truck
“I need a HOT jacuzzi!”
~ Otis, as he returns from Demented Hills with Ed and Dexter to Good Burger

edit Differences in plot

Kenan Bronson

Kenan Bronson, er... Kenan Thompson.

Spoiler warning: The following text contains spoilers. If you don't want to find out that Dumbledore dies, Milton burns down the office building, Darth is Luke's father, Jack dies, Mondo Burger is destroyed, Darth kills Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sheriff Brody kills the shark by putting an oxygen tank in its mouth and shooting the tank, Rhett Butler doesn't give a damn, it was Earth all along, Jason wins by default after Jamie chops Freddy's head off (although Freddy is still alive), and Michael Myers is still alive, then feel free to skip ahead.


Both versions of Good Burger have a plot that has been hailed by very credible sources as, "Da shiz-nit!." Yet, there are some differences between the two plots. Ed (Kel Mitchell) and Dexter (Kenan Thompson) are teenagers, and Dexter isn't very fond of Ed because of his stupidity and the fact that he is responsible for Dexter getting a summer job. Dexter is 15 years old and drives without a license or insurance; Ed blinds him when he rollerblades in front of Dexter's grandma's car, and Dexter ends up totaling Mr. Wheat's car. Ed also has no known last name.

Kurt Dexter Mondo Burger

Kurt hires Dexter in a famous scene from Good Burger (1997).

Mr. Wheat, instead of being a guitar teacher, is a high school teacher who dresses all 1970s and even has a 1970s car and theme song. His car gets damaged three times in the whole film, and his mailbox gets destroyed once.

Kurt is not an aging John Wayne, but an equally sinister young man with spiky punk rock hair and an attitude as bad as his arrogance. But Mondo Burger still looks futuristic and ominous. The meat patties are still huge, too.

Mr. Baily is no longer a 50-year-old creepy, bald, British man, but a fat, goofy man who has no patience for stupidity. He is 31 years old, has a full head of hair, and still lives with his mother while managing Good Burger.

James Brown was unavailable to reprise the crazy guy in the sanitarium (now called Demented Hills), so director Martin Scorsese asked his old friend George Clinton to come in and play the crazy guy. Also, Marty couldn't get the rights to use "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and had to settle with another long song, Clinton's "(Not Just) Knee Deep," which he let Marty use for free.

edit Trivia

John Carpenter declined to direct, because he reportedly doesn't like sequels or remakes. However, he did have an idea for Good Burger in Space where Kurt comes back as an endless marathon of Stargate SG-1.

edit References

  1. Dr. Loomis from the Halloween movies
  2. Co-creator, co-writer, and co-producer of Halloween.
  3. Sheriff Brackett from Halloween
  4. A game show with Marc Summers on Nickelodeon
  5. Sheriff Brody from Jaws
  6. Famous actor
  7. Sgt. Joe Friday from Dragnet
  8. Quint from Jaws
  9. That guy from To Kill a Mockingbird and The Omen.
  10. The dad from Leave it to Beaver

edit External links

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