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Tootsie

Catalog Number
60246
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Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
Release Year
Country
VHS | N/A | Slipcase
116 mins (NTSC)
N/A | N/A | N/A
N/A | N/A
Tootsie (1982)

Additional Information

Additional Information
In the 1970s, fashion company executive Charles Evans decided to get into movie-making. It was an industry which his brother, Robert Evans, was successful in as an actor, producer, and studio executive. Evans told the Los Angeles Times in 1995 that he got into producing "because I enjoy movies very much. I have the time to do it. And I believe if done wisely, it can be a profitable business."[3] His first foray into film production was a massive success. Playwright Don McGuire had written a play in the early 1970s about an unemployed male actor who cross-dresses in order to get jobs. Titled Would I Lie to You?, the play was shopped around Hollywood for several years until it came to the attention of comedian and actor Buddy Hackett in 1978. Hackett, interested in playing the role of the talent agent, showed the script to Evans. Evans purchased an option on the play. (Delays in the film's production forced Evans to renew the option once or twice.[4]) During 1979, Evans co-wrote a screenplay based on the film with director Dick Richards and screenwriter Bob Kaufman.[5] A few months into the writing process, Richards showed it to actor Dustin Hoffman, his partner in a company which bought and developed properties for development into films, but Hoffman wanted complete creative control, and Evans agreed to remove himself from screenwriting tasks. Instead, Evans became a producer on the film, which was renamed Tootsie.[4] Before Hoffman officially got involved, his role was previously offered to Peter Sellers and Michael Caine.[6]
The film remained in development for an additional year as producers waited on a revised script.[7] As pre-production began, the film ran into additional delays when Richards left the role of director due to "creative differences".[8] He assumed the role of producer instead, being replaced as director by Hal Ashby. Ashby was subsequently forced to leave the project by Columbia Pictures because of the threat of legal action if his post-production commitments on Lookin' to Get Out were not fulfilled.[9] In November 1981, Sydney Pollack signed on to the film as both director and producer as per the suggestion of Columbia.[10]
The idea of having director Sydney Pollack play Hoffman's agent, George Fields, was Hoffman's. Originally the role was written for, and to be played by, Dabney Coleman. Pollack initially resisted the idea, but Hoffman eventually convinced him to take the role; it was Pollack's first acting work in years.[11] Afterwards, Pollack still wanted to keep Coleman on board, and recast him, as the sexist, arrogant soap opera director Ron Carlisle.[12]
To prepare for his role, Hoffman watched the film La Cage aux Folles several times.[13] He also visited the set of General Hospital for research, and conducted extensive make-up tests. In an interview for the American Film Institute, Hoffman said that he was shocked that although he could be made-up to appear as a credible woman, he would never be a beautiful one. He said that he had an epiphany when he realized that although he found this woman interesting, he would not have spoken to her at a party because she was not beautiful and that as a result he had missed out on many conversations with interesting women. He concluded that he had never regarded Tootsie as a comedy.[14]
Scenes set in the New York City Russian Tea Room were filmed in the actual restaurant, with additional scenes shot at Central Park and in front of Bloomingdale's Scenes also filmed in Hurley, New York as well as at the National Video Studios in NYC.[15]

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