AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Hangover
Director: Todd Phillips (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Jun 2009
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 2 Jun 2009
Production Date:   20 Sep--26 Nov 2008
Duration (in mins):   96 or 99-100
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Bradley Cooper (Phil)  
    Ed Helms (Stu)  
    Zach Galifianakis (Alan)  
    Justin Bartha (Doug)  
    Heather Graham (Jade)  
    Sasha Barrese (Tracy)  
    Jeffrey Tambor (Sid)  
    Ken Jeong (Mr. [Leslie] Chow)  
    Rachael Harris (Melissa)  
    Mike Tyson (Himself)  
    Mike Epps (Black Doug)  
    Jernard Burks (Leonard)  
    Rob Riggle (Officer Franklin)  
    Cleo King (Officer Garden)  
    Bryan Callen (Eddie)  
    Matt Walsh (Dr. Valsh)  
    Ian Anthony Dale (Chow's #1)  
    Michael Li (Chow's #2)  
    Sondra Currie (Linda)  
    Gillian Vigman (Stephanie)  
    Nathalie Fay (Lisa)  
    Chuck Pacheco (Hotel guest at valet)  
    Jesse Erwin (Hotel valet)  
    Dan Finnerty (Wedding singer)  
    Keith Lyle (Casino dealer)  
    Brody Stevens (Officer Foltz)  
    Todd Phillips (Mr. Creepy)  
    Mike Vallely (Neeco)  
    James Martin Kelly (Police clerk)  
    Murray Gershenz (Felix)  
    Andrew Astor (Eli)  
    Casey Margolis (Budnick)  
    Ken Flaherty (Old timer at gas station)  
    Constance Broge (Woman in elevator)  
    Sue Pierce (Mini-Mart cashier)  
    Floyd Levine (Tailor)  
    Robert A. Ringler (Minister)  
    Britt Barrett (Bridesmaid)  
    Chauntae Davies (Bridesmaid)  
    Alisa Allapach (Bridesmaid)  
    Nicholas Furu (Stun gun boy)  
    Angelica Flameno (Stun gun girl)  
    Lily Winn (Screaming girl)  
    Joe Alexander (Pit boss)  
    Katerina Moutsatsos (Eddie's assistant)  
    Faleolo Alailima (Tyson's bodyguard)  

Summary: In Los Angeles, preparations for the lavish wedding of Tracy and Doug are underway at Tracy’s parents’ mansion. Hours before the ceremony, all is in readiness, except that Doug, his groomsmen Phil and Stu, and Tracy’s brother Alan have not returned from their bachelor party in Las Vegas. When Tracy calls the men’s cellphones, she gets only voicemail. Eventually, a disheveled Phil telephones from the Mojave Desert and confesses that they have “lost” Doug. Tracy reminds him that the wedding begins in five hours, but Phil tells her simply, “that’s not gonna happen.” Two days earlier, while being fitted for their tuxedos, Doug assures the socially awkward Alan that he wants him to come to Las Vegas with his longtime friends: Doug tells Alan that they will now be brothers, and touched, Alan promises never to tell what happens there, then hugs Doug. Tracy’s father, Sid, also wishes the best for Doug and lends him his vintage Mercedes convertible for the drive to Las Vegas. Knowingly, Sid tells Doug that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but adds that herpes is an exception. At the school where he teaches, Phil collects money from his students for an upcoming field trip and places all of it in an envelope marked, “Vegas.” After school, he rendezvous with Doug and Alan, who are waiting for him in the Mercedes. Meanwhile, Stu, a dentist, is at home packing and half-listening to his domineering girlfriend, Melissa, as she expresses disapproval of bachelor parties. Stu mollifies her by agreeing. Claiming falsely that the bachelor party is being held in the Napa Valley, he assures her that he will call as soon as possible. After picking up Stu, Doug, who is mindful of the Mercedes, drives carefully, allowing other cars on the highway to pass him. When Alan tells him it is safe to change lanes, Doug almost collides with a large truck, then swerves and narrowly escapes hitting a car in the opposite lane. This amuses Alan, as well as Phil, a husband and father who is eager to break loose and create mischief, but not Stu or Doug. Along the way, Alan reads a book about black jack and asks his companions if any of them wish to be his spotter. The others tell him that counting cards is illegal, but Alan suggests that it is only frowned upon. At a gas stop, Phil questions Doug about Alan’s persistently peculiar behavior. Although Doug admits Alan is odd, he says he is ok, but adds that he should be discouraged from gambling and drinking too much. Stu calls Melissa and carefully maintains the pretense that the men are on their way to Napa. After the call, Phil confronts Stu about his three-year relationship with Melissa, reminding him that she had sex with a bellhop on a cruise ship, but Stu argues that it was the bartender on the ship and that she did not actually complete the act. In Vegas, the men book a $4,200 per night luxury suite called the “Villa” at Caesars Palace. Because a credit card number is required to book the room, Stu nervously provides his, although he is fearful that Melissa, who routinely looks over his statements, will discover that he has been to Vegas. In the room, Stu phones Melissa, and describes the Villa’s opulent, high-tech decor as a quaint cabin with no phones or television. After hanging up, Stu shows his companions his grandmother’s ring, which he says she managed to keep all through the Holocaust, and announces his intention to propose to Melissa at the wedding reception. Believing Stu is making a big mistake, Phil points out that Melissa beats him up and had sex with a sailor on a cruise ship, but Stu argues that he deserved it and again points out that her sexual companion was a cruise ship bartender. Before leaving for a night on the town, Alan straps across his shoulder what Phil disparaging calls a “manpurse,” but which Alan explains is a “satchel” similar to one Indiana Jones owned. Breaking hotel rules, the men go up to the roof to see the extraordinary view of the city and drink Jagermeister beer, and Stu makes an impromptu toast to Doug’s impending marriage. Alan reads a prepared speech from a piece of paper that states that he was a “one-man wolf pack” until Doug joined his pack. Now, Alan says, Phil and Stu are in his pack, and together they can be wolves in the desert looking for strippers and cocaine. Startling them, he pulls out a knife, cuts his hand and says he wants to be blood brothers, but the others decline and Doug gently takes the knife away. Phil then toasts to a night they will never forget. The next morning, Stu awakens in the Villa, face down on the floor, oblivious of a chicken clucking nearby and a woman exiting the suite. Seeing the trashed and disheveled room, which appears to be the result of bacchanalian revelry, Stu worries about future charges on his credit card. Then, upon discovering that one of his incisors is missing, he worries about Melissa’s reaction. Alan awakens, and proceeds to the bathroom, where he discovers the presence of a live tiger. He flees from the bathroom and trips over Phil, who then awakens with a headache. Although they find Doug’s cell phone, Doug, as well as his mattress, is nowhere in the Villa. By following the sound of crying, Alan finds a baby in the closet. None of them can remember what happened the previous night. Stu is concerned about Doug, but Phil presumes he went out for food and proposes that they do the same. However, Doug is nowhere to be found downstairs. At a poolside table, Stu throws up and the others try to recall what happened the previous evening. They remember drinking Jagermeister on the roof, having dinner and playing craps, and they believe that Doug was with them. When Alan finds Stu’s tooth in his pocket, Phil tells them to check their pockets for clues. Stu finds an ATM receipt from the Bellagio hotel and Alan, a valet ticket at Caesar’s for 5:15 am, the time they apparently returned. When Phil notices that he has a hospital arm band on his wrist, they hope that medical records will indicate what happened to them. While waiting for the valet to retrieve the Mercedes, the men notice that Doug’s mattress has been impaled on the uplifted arm of the statue of Caesar in front of the building and conclude that it was thrown out of the window during the night. Their attention is diverted when the valet delivers a police cruiser to them, instead of the Mercedes. Using the lights and loudspeaker to clear the traffic ahead of them, Phil drives, occasionally on the sidewalk, to the hospital. There, a doctor remembers that four of them, including Doug, arrived at 2:45 a.m. without a baby. Although Phil was diagnosed with a mild concussion and bruised ribs, the doctor recalls that no one could explain how it happened. The doctor also says that a blood sample analysis reveals that Phil had in his system Rufinol, a date rape drug that causes memory loss. After the doctor remembers that they talked about a wedding they had attended at The Best Little Chapel, the men proceed there and are greeted as old friend by the proprietor, Eddie, who shows them pictures of Stu’s marriage to a woman called Jade. Eddie also brings out caps, mugs and calendars that Stu bought to commemorate the event and provides Jade’s address. When Melissa phones Stu to scold him for not calling her recently, he claims that the sequoias have been blocking the telephone signals. In the parking lot of the chapel, two thugs attack them, but Phil drives away, inadvertently over the foot of one of the men, who accidentally shoots Eddie. When they arrive at Jade’s apartment, she is relieved to see her baby and passionately kisses Stu, who is shocked to see that he gave her his “grandmother’s Holocaust ring.” Jade explains that she left the Villa early in the morning to get coffee, but when she returned they were gone. She confirms that Doug was with them at one a.m., which was the time she left for a few hours to perform her shift at the strip club. Unexpectedly, two police officers burst into the apartment and arrest the men for stealing their cruiser. At the station, Phil struggles with handcuffs to phone Tracy. He tells her they were given a complimentary extra night at the hotel and will drive back for the wedding early in the morning. In the interrogation room, the police inform them that the Mercedes was impounded after being found in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard. When they are told that they will be held until Monday, Phil tells them about the wedding and asks to negotiate. Gleefully, the police officers decide to use the men as targets to demonstrate tasers to schoolchildren who are touring the station. After the children are allowed to shoot them with a stun gun, the men are released. They retrieve the Mercedes and are pleasantly surprised that it has not been damaged. Looking for more clues to Doug’s whereabouts, they find several intriguing items in the car, including a naked Asian man in the trunk. The man jumps out, beats them with a crowbar and runs away. As they recuperate, Alan confesses that he slipped Rufinol into their Jagermeisters, believing it was Ecstasy. When Alan adds that he just wanted them to have fun, Phil reasons that at least they know a stranger did not drug them. When they return to the Villa, the infamous boxing champion, Mike Tyson, who is singing along with the piped-in music, is waiting with his assistant, Leonard, and demands to know why his tiger is in their room. Mike gives them Doug’s coat, which he found on the tiger’s cage and which contained the room key that led him to the Villa. Mike knocks out Alan, orders them to return the tiger to his house within forty minutes then leaves. The men drug the tiger with a steak laced with Rufinol and, while waiting for the drug to take effect, Stu sings a song at the piano. Then they load the sleeping animal in the backseat of the Mercedes, but, on the way to Mike’s house, the tiger awakens. It tears the upholstery and, for their own safety, the men exit the car and push it the last mile. Mike and his bodyguard allow them to see security camera footage that confirms that the four of them were leading the tiger away at 3:30 a.m. After being forgiven by Mike, who is impressed that they stole a police car, they leave, but on the road they are stopped by an SUV that plows into them. The two thugs and the Asian man, now clothed, demand that they return the purse that Alan mistook for his own satchel when they were gambling the previous night. The Asian explains that his purse contained $80,000 worth of casino chips and, when he tried to get his purse back, Phil called him his “lucky charm” and threw him in the trunk. Menacingly, the Asian says that if they want Doug back, they must bring $80,000 in cash to Big Rock in the Mojave Desert at dawn. When the men cannot find the satchel in the Villa, they proceed to the black jack table, where Alan wins thousands of dollars. Aware that casino employees are about to accuse Alan of card counting, Jade, who has accompanied Stu, creates a diversion by falling off her chair, thus allowing Alan and Phil to cash out their chips without hindrance. In the car on the way to the desert, Alan reports that they won $82,400 and then makes up a song about the “three best friends that anyone ever had.” At the appointed place, the Asian tells them his name is Leslie Chow and exchanges Doug, who is tied up and covered with a sack, for the money. However, when the sack is removed, everyone discovers that Chow had kidnapped the wrong man. Although the victim is also named Doug, Alan recognizes him as the black man who sold him the Rufinol and “Black Doug” apologizes for unintentionally selling him the wrong product. Resigned that they cannot find Doug, Phil calls Tracy to tell her they will not return in time for the wedding. As they wait for him, Black Doug comments that “roofies,” which is a nickname for Rufinol, is a misnomer, because a user is more likely to end up on the floor than the roof. Suddenly enlightened, Stu tackles Phil, grabs the phone and tells Tracy they will be there soon. To the others, he explains that Doug’s mattress could not have been thrown out of the window, because Las Vegas hotel windows do not open. Therefore, he explains, Doug’s mattress was thrown from the roof, where they took Doug while he was sleeping, a prank similar to one they played on him when they were children. They rush to the hotel roof to find Doug, sunburned and groggy. After checking out of the hotel, Stu finds Jade waiting to return his grandmother’s ring. She tells him that he pulled out his own tooth on a dare, and the two of them schedule a date for the following weekend. Having three and a half hours before the wedding, the friends race to Los Angeles. During the drive back, Doug tells the others that he has Chow’s purse containing eighty thousand dollars worth of Bellagio chips. After their tuxedos are flung to them from a passing Tux Shop van, they pull to the side of the road and change clothes. Later, as Doug and Tracy exchange vows, Doug promises Tracy he will never put her through anything like that again. During the reception, Phil spends time with his family and Stu breaks up with the nagging Melissa. Later in the day, Stu’s digital camera is found in the Mercedes and, realizing it contains photos of events they cannot remember, the men agree to look at the pictures one time together and then delete them. 

Production Company: Green Hat Films  
  Legendary Pictures, Inc.  
Production Text: A Todd Phillips movie
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures (A TimeWarner Company)
Director: Todd Phillips (Dir)
  Jeffrey J.P. Wetzel (1st asst dir)
  Courtenay Miles (Splinter unit 1st asst dir)
  Paul B. Schneider (2d asst dir)
  Kevin O'Neil (2d 2d asst dir)
  David Mendoza (Addl 2d asst dir)
Producer: Todd Phillips (Prod)
  Dan Goldberg (Prod)
  Chris Bender (Exec prod)
  J.C. Spink (Exec prod)
  Thomas Tull (Exec prod)
  Jon Jashni (Exec prod)
  William Fay (Exec prod)
  Scott Budnick (Exec prod)
  David A. Siegel (Co-prod)
  Jeffrey Wetzel (Co-prod)
Writer: Jon Lucas (Wrt)
  Scott Moore (Wrt)
  Todd Phillips (Addl scr)
  Jeremy Garelick (Add scr)
Photography: Lawrence Sher (Dir of photog)
  Alan Caudillo (Splinter unit dir of photog)
  Michael Kelem (Aerial dir of photog)
  Daniel Gold ("A" cam op)
  Julie Donovan ("A" 1st asst cam)
  Bryan G. Haigh ("A" 2d asst cam)
  Geoff Haley ("B" cam/Steadicam op)
  Gregory Irwin ("B" cam/Steadicam 1st asst)
  Jerry Patton ("B" cam 2d asst)
  Suzy Dietz (Cam loader)
  Jarred Waldron (Chief lighting tech)
  David Scott Ghegan (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Glenn E. Moran (Rigging chief lighting tech)
  Sean Patrick Crowell (Key grip)
  John Koth (Best boy grip)
  Josh Stancil (Rigging key grip)
  Seong Dilg (Dolly grip)
  Frank Masi (Still photog)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment (Camera cranes & dollies by)
  Panavision Remote Systems (Camera cranes & dollies by)
  Panavision Hollywood (Filmed with cameras by)
Art Direction: Bill Brzeski (Prod des)
  Andrew Max Cahn (Supv art dir)
  A. Todd Holland (Art dir)
  Desma Murphy (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Debra Neil-Fisher (Ed)
  David S. Clark (1st asst ed)
  Scott Burnette (2d asst ed)
  Mo Henry (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Danielle Berman (Set dec)
  Russell Bobbitt (Prop master)
  Jim Stubblefield (Asst prop master)
  Marco A. Campos (Propmaker foreman)
  David B. Long (Propmaker foreman)
  Earl V. Thielen (Prop asst)
  R. Scott Doran (Lead)
  Tommy Callinicos (On-set dresser)
  Andrew Flores (Stand-by painter)
  Jane Fitts (Graphic des)
  Ted Boonthanakit (Storyboard artist)
  Christopher Isenegger (Art dept coord)
  John Samson (Construction coord)
  Lee Runnels (Greens coord)
Costumes: Louise Mingenbach (Cost des)
  Alison McCosh (Asst cost des)
  Charlene Amateau (Cost supv)
  Mitchell Kenney (Cost supv)
  Lynne Duggins (Cost)
  Reiko Porter (Cost)
  Corey C. Bronson (Set cost)
  Bob Moore (Set cost)
  Danny Vick (Set cost)
Music: Christophe Beck (Mus)
  George Drakoulias (Mus supv)
  Randall Poster (Mus supv)
  Andrew Silver (Supv mus ed)
  Fernand Bos (Mus ed)
  Julie Pearce (Mus ed)
  Mike Nowak (Orchestra cond by)
  Casey Stone (Score mixed by)
  Kevin Kliesch (Orch)
  Jake Monaco (Score programmer)
  Jim Dunbar (Mus coord)
  Margaret Yen (Mus clearance)
Sound: Lee Orloff (Sd mixer)
  Brian Robinson (Boom op)
  Michael Anderson (Sd utility)
  John Trunk (Video assist op)
  Tim Chau (Sd des and supv sd ed)
  Tim Chau (Re-rec mixer)
  Gregory H. Watkins (Re-rec mixer)
  Timothy LeBlanc (Re-rec mixer)
  Jim Brookshire (Supv ADR ed)
  Nils C. Jensen (Sd eff ed)
  Clayton Weber (Sd eff ed)
  Bob Behr (Foley ed)
  Benjamin Beardwood (Dial ed)
  Joseph Tsai (Asst sd ed)
  John Roesch (Foley artist)
  Alyson Dee Moore (Foley artist)
  David Fein (Foley artist)
  Hilda Hodges (Foley artist)
  Mary Jo Lang (Foley mixer)
  David Jobe (Foley mixer)
  Thomas J. O'Connell (ADR mixer)
Special Effects: Mario Vanillo (Spec eff foreman)
  John J. Downey (Spec eff tech)
  Ryan Arndt (Spec eff tech)
  Matthew Downey (Spec eff tech)
  Ron Epstein (Spec eff tech)
  Rick Whitfield (24-frame playback supv)
  Gray Marshall (Visual eff supv)
  Trent Shumway (Visual eff artist)
  Rusty Ippolito (Visual eff artist)
  Pacific Vision Productions, Inc. (Digital opticals)
  Picture Mill (Main and end titles)
  Mo Henry (Negative cutter)
Make Up: Janeen Schreyer (Makeup dept head)
  Patty Androff (Key makeup artist)
  Mary Kay Witt (Makeup artist)
  Keith Sayer (Makeup artist)
  Song Lopez (Makeup artist)
  Lori McCoy-Bell (Hair dept head)
  Merribelle A. Anderson (Key hair stylist)
  Camille Friend (Hair stylist)
  Charlotte A. Parker (Hair stylist)
  Tony Gardner (Prosthetic dental effect by)
  Laurence R. Rifkin (Dentist for Ed Helms)
Production Misc: Juel Bestrop (Casting)
  Seth Yanklewitz (Casting)
  Melissa Kostenbauder (Casting assoc)
  David A. Siegel (Unit prod mgr)
  Susan E. Novick (Post prod supv)
  Julie Anderson (Las Vegas prod supv)
  Lyn McKissick (Scr supv)
  Gretel Twombly (Prod coord)
  Shauna Moss (Las Vegas prod coord)
  Michael P. Twombly (Asst prod coord)
  Nicole Marie Mumey (Prod secy)
  Chris P. Anderson (Las Vegas prod secy)
  Eric Layne (Prod accountant)
  Janette Evans (Asst accountant)
  Ken Lavet (Loc mgr)
  Jacob Charney (Key asst loc mgr)
  Guy Morrison (Key asst loc mgr)
  Carlos Tapia-Grullon (Asst loc mgr)
  James Chesney (Transportation coord)
  Joe Feeney (Transportation capt)
  Derek Raser (Picture car capt)
  Joseph Garner (Asst to Todd Phillips)
  Alice Kim (Asst to Dan Goldberg)
  Claire Raskind (Unit pub)
  Laura Gary (Studio teacher)
  Birds & Animals Unlimited (Animals provided by)
  Jim Henson's Creature Shop (Animatronic tiger by)
  Samuel J. Alvelo (Staff asst)
  Amy Antonsen (Staff asst)
  J. Ubuntu Bierylo (Staff asst)
  Andrew Bodkin (Staff asst)
  Courtney Cocherell (Staff asst)
  Elizabeth Cohen (Staff asst)
  Grant Cross (Staff asst)
  Federico Ferreri (Staff asst)
  Alfonso J. Gonzales (Staff asst)
  Joshua Greenrock (Staff asst)
  Kate Heckman (Staff asst)
  Talisha Marie Henderson (Staff asst)
  Eliezer Katzoff (Staff asst)
  Mike King (Staff asst)
  Aaron Lee Lopez (Staff asst)
  Caitlin Pickall (Staff asst)
  Troy Proffitt (Staff asst)
  Greg Santoro (Staff asst)
  J. Colby Sheffield (Staff asst)
  Trevor Tavares (Staff asst)
  Kraig Tytus (Staff asst)
  Peter Woods (Staff asst)
  Ryan B. Young (Staff asst)
  Tony Whitmore (Medic)
  Gina Meredith (Medic)
  Limelight Catering (Caterer)
  Jeff Winn (Craft service)
  Rose Cox (Craft service)
Stand In: Darrin Prescott (Stunt coord)
  Christopher O'Hara (Stunts)
  Mickey Giacomazzi (Stunts)
  Sean Graham (Stunts)
  Casey O'Neill (Stunts)
  Craig Silva (Stunts)
  Philip Tan (Stunts)
Color Personnel: Jan Yarbrough (Digital Intermediate colorist)
  Adam Ohl (Digital intermediate prod)
  Katie Largay (Digital intermediate ed)
  Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (Digital intermediate by)
  Mark Sachen (Telecine colorist)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "It's Now or Never," written by Aaron Schroeder, Wally Gold, Eduardo di Capua, Giovanni Capurro and Alfredo Mazzuchi, performed by El Vez, courtesy of Graciasland Records; “Thirteen,” written by Glenn Danzig, performed by Danzig, courtesy of Evilive Records by arrangement with Reach Global, Inc.; “Take it Off,” written by Brett Anderson, Maya Ford, Allison Robertson and Torrance Castellano, performed by The Donnas, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” written by Kanye West, Aldrin Davis and Connie Mitchell, performed by Kanye West, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Who Let the Dogs Out,” written by Anslem Douglas, performed by Baha Men, courtesy of Virgin Records America under license from EMI Film & Television Music; “Live Your Life,” written by Dan Balan, Clifford Harris, Makeba Riddick and Justin Smith, performed by T.I. (featuring Rihanna), courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing, Rihanna appears courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises, contains a sample of “Dragostea Din Tei,” performed by O-Zone, courtesy of Time S.P.A. (Italy) and Ultra Records, Inc. (U.S.A.) under license from Media Services (Romania); “Yeah!,” written by James Phillips, Christopher Bridges, LaMarquis Jefferson, Patrick Smith, Sean Garrett and Jonathan Smith, performed by Usher featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon, courtesy of LaFace Records and The RCA/Jive Label Group, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment, Ludacris appears courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises, Lil Jon appears courtesy of The Orchard; “Fever,” written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport, performed by The Cramps, courtesy of Capitol Records under license from EMI Film & Television Music; “What Do You Say?,” written by Mickey Avalon, Jonathan Smith, Simon Rex and Armen Melik, performed by Mickey Avalon featuring Dirt Nasty & Andre Legacy, courtesy of Interscope Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises, contains a sample of “King Kong Kitchie Ki-Me-O,” traditional, performed by Chubby Parker, courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment; “Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine),” written by Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal and William Raskin, performed by Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI Film & Television Music; “Stu’s Song,” written by Todd Phillips and Ed Helms, performed by Ed Helms; “In the Air Tonight,” written by Phil Collins, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing, licensed courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd.; “Grandma’s Hands,” written and performed by Bill Withers, courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment; “Rhythm and Booze,” written by Buck Owens, performed by Treat Her Right, courtesy of Rounder Records; “Joker and the Thief,” written by Andrew Stockdale, Chris Ross and Myles Heskett, performed by Wolfmother, courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd. under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Iko Iko,” written by Rosa Lee Hawkins, Barbara Ann Hawkins and Joan Marie Johnson, performed by The Belle Stars, The Belle Stars appear courtesy of Demon Music Group Ltd.; “Ride the Sky II,” written by Jason Hampton and Mike Vallely, performed by Revolution Mother, courtesy of Ferret Music; “Three Best Friends,” written and performed by Zach Galifianakis; “Fame,” written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, performed by The Dan Band; “Candy Shop,” written by Curtis Jackson and Scott Storch, produced by George Drakoulias, performed by Dan Finnerty; “Right Round,” written by Peter Jozzepi Burns, Stephen Coy, Flo Rida, Justin Scott Franks, Lukasz Gottwald, Allan Grigg, Philip Martin Lawrence II, Timothy John Lever, Bruno Mars and Michael David Percy, performed by Flo Rida, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing.
Composer: Giovanni Capurro
  Eduardo di Capua
  Wally Gold
  Alfredo Mazzuchi
  Aaron Schroeder
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
IFP Westcoast Erste GmbH & Co. KG 11/9/2009 dd/mm/yyyy PA1643119

PCA NO: 45241
Physical Properties: Sd: dts; Dolby Digital; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: Processing and prints by Technicolor; Kodak Motion Picture Products

Genre: Comedy
Subjects (Major): Bachelor parties
  Las Vegas (NV)
  Missing persons
Subjects (Minor): Arrests
  Blackjack (Game)
  Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV)
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Mercedes Benz automobiles
  Mistaken identity
  Mojave Desert
  Striptease dancers and dancing
  Stun guns
  Surveillance devices
  Telephones, Mobile
  Mike Tyson

Note: The film opens with a sequence set in Los Angeles, depicting shots of wedding preparations, during which the character, “Tracy” (Sasha Barrese), makes several phone calls. After “Phil” (Bradley Cooper) tells Tracy they have lost “Doug” (Justin Bartha) and there will be no wedding, the opening credits commence. A written statement appears, reading, “Two days earlier,” after the opening credits, and the action resumes from there. The end credits contain still photographs of the main characters’ adventures during the forgotten hours of their first night in Las Vegas. The photographs recreate several events mentioned in the film, such as gambling with “Mike Tyson” (who portrays himself) and with “Leslie Chow” (Ken Jeong), as well as the wedding of “Stu” (Ed Helms) and “Jade” (Heather Graham). Some photographs depict graphically the characters engaging with prostitutes. Tyson is a retired heavyweight boxing champion known for his adversarial style in the ring and controversial behavior in private life. Against type, he sings along with the Phil Collins’ recording, “In the Air Tonight,” during his first scene in the film. Excerpts from two color shots that appear early in the film reappear briefly as black-and-white flashbacks during a sequence in which Stu performs a song at the piano in the Villa. The Hangover ’s producer-director Todd Phillips makes a cameo appearance in an elevator scene. Rufinol, which is one of several names for the flunitrazepam drug taken by the characters in the film, is legally prescribed in several countries for treating insomnia and as anesthesia. However, as mentioned in the film, it has become widely known as a “date-rape drug,” because of its ability to cause partial amnesia, and has been used illegally by those seeking a feeling of intoxication.
       According to a 5-7 Oct 2007 HR news item, Warner Bros. paid Jon Lucas and Scott Moore over $2 million for their comedy script after Phillips, who had made the 2004 film, Starsky & Hutch for the studio, negotiated a production deal with his own company, Green Hat Films. A 14 Jul 2008 DV news item stated that the schedule for The Hangover was moved forward when Man-Witch , a Warner Bros. project to which Phillips was attached, was postponed due to actor Jack Black dropping out of negotiations. According to an 11 Jun 2009 LAT news item, Phillips agreed to make The Hangover for about $35 million. The same news item, as well as an 18 Mar 2008 DV news item, stated that Phillips and Jeremy Garelick made an uncredited rewrite of the script that changed the PG rating of the story to R. As mentioned in the Oct 2007 HR news item, Warner Bros. was able to complete the deal before the impending writers’ strike (5 Nov 2007—12 Feb 2008). A 31 May 2009 NYT article stated that the film was produced on a $25-30 million budget and that the studio hoped it would become a sleeper hit when it opened in a summer opposite action blockbuster films.
       According to the film’s production notes, portions of the film were shot in and around Las Vegas and Southern California. The rooftop toast and poolside breakfast scenes were shot at Caesars Palace. Other locations where filming took place, according to the production notes, were the north end of The Strip and Fremont Street in Las Vegas, and a gas station and dry lake bed in the city of Jean, NV. The gambling sequence was shot inside The Riviera casino, where the crew worked around casino patrons, who thus appear in the film as extras. According to the production notes, thousands of fake chips made by the prop department were used at the fifteen black jack tables used in the film. The Best Little Chapel building was constructed by the crew on Las Vegas Blvd south of The Strip on an empty lot. The production notes also state that the Los Angeles detectives’ headquarters at Union and Third Streets in the Rampart area of Los Angeles was used for the Las Vegas Metro Police Station sequences.
       The production notes stated that the Villa suite was built by the production crew on Stage 15 at Warner Bros. studios and was based on a template of existing rooms at Caesars Palace and similar hotels. An 11 Jun 2009 LAT news item reported that set decorator Danielle Berman was given the simple description, “the destroyed suite” in the script and from that designed the look of the morning-after scene. Among other tasks, her team built a house of cards, tied sheets into a swing, glued beer bottles together and destroyed furniture with a sword to create the look of the aftermath of drunken revelry. Because the automobile sequences were shot out of order, five identical 1969, soft-top convertible Mercedes Benz automobiles were used to depict the car’s various stages of damages. According to production notes, four tigers were trained for specific tasks and filmed by the crew in a locked-down facility. Because tigers prefer to walk on firm surfaces, the cushions were removed from the automobile and replaced with a hard, flat surface for the driving sequence. For some sequences, a life-sized Animatronic tiger that required two puppeteers was provided by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
       According to a 28 May 2009 LAT article, the film had unexpected pre-release success from word of mouth, and did well in research screenings. Although a 6 Apr 2009 DV news item reported that Warner Bros. had made a “multi-million” deal with Phillips to write a sequel two months before The Hangover was released, the 28 May 2009 LAT article stated that the studio had not yet “green lit” the sequel. As of Jan 2010, the sequel was in development and a release scheduled for around May 2011.
       The Hangover was given promotional screenings, starting on 18 May, in eighty cities and at military bases, colleges and radio station promotional events, according to the 28 May 2009 LAT article. The cast traveled to eight cities to create interest in the film. It was hoped that the male-oriented, lewd, sexual pranks were softened by the film’s playful tone and would be accepted by female audiences. Although Tyson’s appearance in the film was intended to be a draw for some audience members, the boxer had to cancel his publicity appearances after his four-year-old daughter died in May 2009. By that time it was too late to alter the film’s trailers and commercials, according to the same LAT article.
       The Hangover was selected by AFI as one of the ten Movies of the Year for 2009. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy, and was nominated by the WGA for Original Screenplay. The film was also nominated for an Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film in the Contemporary category. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   14 Jul 2008.   
Daily Variety   18 Mar 2009.   
Daily Variety   6 Apr 2009.   
Hollywood Reporter   5-7 Oct 2007   p. 3, 69.
Los Angeles Times   28 May 2009   Calendar, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times   5 Jun 2009   Calendar, p. 1, 13.
Los Angeles Times   11 Jun 2009.   
New York Times   31 May 2009.   
New York Times   5 Jun 2009.   
Variety   1--7 Jun 2009   p. 22.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.