AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Alternate Title: The Bartender
Director: Roger Donaldson (Dir)
Release Date:   29 Jul 1988
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 Jul 1988
Production Date:   began 26 Oct 1987
Duration (in mins):   103
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Cast:   Tom Cruise (Brian Flanagan)  
    Bryan Brown (Doug Coughlin)  
    Elisabeth Shue (Jordan Mooney)  
    Lisa Banes (Bonnie)  
    Kelly Lynch (Kerry Coughlin)  
    Laurence Luckinbill (Mr. Mooney)  
    Gina Gershon (Coral)  
    Ron Dean (Uncle Pat)  
    Robert Donley (Eddie)  
    Ellen Foley (Eleanor)  
    Andrea Morse (Dulcy)  
  Soldiers: Chris Owens    
    Justin Louis    
    John Graham    
  [and] Richard Thorn    
  Job interviewers: Robert Greenberg    
    Harvey Alperin    
    Sandra Will Carradine    
    Allan Wasserman    
    E. Hampton Beagle    
    Parker Whitman    
    Rick Livingston    
    Bill Bateman    
    Jean Pfleiger    
    Rosalyn Marshall    
    Jeff Silverman    
    Rich Crater    
    Marykate Harris    
  [and] Lew Saunders    
    Jack Newman (Economics teacher)  
    Paul Benedict (Finance teacher)  
    Diane Douglass (Mrs. Rivkin)  
    George Sperdakos (English teacher)  
    David Chant (Chinese porter)  
    Dianne Heatherington (First waitress)  
    Arlene Mazerole (Second waitress)  
    Paul Abbott (Snotty customer)  
    Ellen Maguire (Bar patron)  
    Joseph Zaccone (Bar patron)  
    Larry Block (Bar owner)  
    Kelly Connell (Yuppie poet)  
  Tourists: Gerry Bamman    
    James Eckhouse    
    Reathel Bean    
  [and] Peter Boyden    
    Luther Hansraj (Ambulance attendant)  
    Leroy Gibbons (Singer)  
  "Messenjah" band members: Rupert "Ojiji" Harvey    
    Eric "Babyface" Walsh    
    Hal "Saint" Duggan    
    Walter "Crash" Morgan    
    Charles "Tower" Sinclair    
  [and] Haile Yeates    
    Ken McGregor (Sculptor)  
  Young couple in deli: Liisa Repo-Martell    
  [and] Adam Furfaro    
    Kim Nelles (Female artist)  
    David L. Crowley (Doorman)  
    James Mainprize (Butler)  
    Gregg Baker (Bouncer)  

Summary: After serving in the U.S. Army, Brian Flanagan visits his Uncle Pat’s bar in an outer borough of New York City. Pat offers Brian a job, but Brian plans to pursue a more prestigious line of work in Manhattan. Despite being optimistic, Brian’s job search proves fruitless due to his lack of education and experience. After numerous failed job interviews, Brian notices a “help wanted” sign in the window of a Manhattan bar and wanders inside. There, he meets Doug Coughlin, a charismatic Australian who hires Brian on the spot. At first, Brian is overwhelmed by incessant drink orders in the crowded bar, but, with Doug’s guidance, he becomes more adept. In addition to teaching bottle tricks and flashy pouring skills, Doug offers life lessons he refers to as “Coughlin’s Laws.” Brian enrolls at a city college to study business, but his late hours at the bar interfere with school, and his performance quickly declines. Becoming disillusioned with school, he spends more time drinking with Doug, who says he lives on “cocktails and dreams.” Brian decides “Cocktails & Dreams” is a good name for a bar and suggests they open their own business together. One night, while performing tricks to a rowdy group of drinkers, Brian and Doug are recruited by a nightclub owner, who offers them jobs at his nightclub, “Cell Block.” There, Brian catches the attention of Coral, a successful photographer, and they begin dating. Formulating a business plan for Cocktails & Dreams, Brian tells Doug they can save the money they need by taking lucrative bartending jobs in Jamaica; however, Doug refuses to leave New York. Doubting Coral is single, Doug bets Brian fifty dollars she will sleep with another man by the end of the week. The next time Coral comes to Cell Block, Doug kisses her at the bar while Brian watches in disgust. Although Doug claims to have saved his friend from a bad relationship, Brian punches him and storms out. Sometime later, Brian tends bar at a beachside resort in Jamaica. When Jordan Mooney, a beautiful young guest, asks for Brian’s help, he follows her to the beach where her friend, Dulcy, has passed out from drinking in the sun. Brian calls an ambulance, and Jordan later returns to the bar to thank him. At the same time, Doug appears and playfully warns Jordan to stay away from Brian. Shocked to see his old mentor, Brian is further surprised to learn he has married Kerry, a beautiful millionaire. That night, Brian and Jordan join Doug and Kerry at a nightclub. As the married couple dances, Brian tells Jordan that Kerry must have married Doug to anger her rich parents. As Jordan and Brian spend the next few days together, she reveals she is an artist who pays her bills by waiting tables, and Brian discusses his entrepreneurial desires. Soon after Brian and Jordan make love, Doug returns to the bar and teases Brian about his poor choices in women, betting Brian could never attract someone as smart and rich as Kerry. Pointing out a rich woman at the bar, Doug bets fifty dollars he cannot seduce her. Brian takes the bet and flirts with the woman, a haughty New Yorker named Bonnie. Later that night, Jordan arrives but stops short when she sees Brian leaving with Bonnie. The next day, Brian looks for Jordan, but Dulcy says she flew home early. Doug offers Brian a job at a new bar he is opening in New York, but Brian already has plans to work for Bonnie. Doug suspects Brian still has feelings for Jordan and bets an expensive bottle of brandy that he will be working for him by Saint Patrick’s Day. Returning to New York, Brian moves into Bonnie’s apartment. Although she has promised him a job, Bonnie says it may take six months. Dressed in a new suit she has purchased for him, Brian attends an art opening for Bonnie’s sculptor friend but loses his temper when Bonnie ignores him and the sculptor insults him. The men engage in a fistfight, and Brian breaks up with Bonnie. He goes to the deli where Jordan waits tables and begs her forgiveness. Although she pours food all over him, Brian comes back later that night and accompanies Jordan to her apartment. There, he admits he was “spooked” by their whirlwind romance, but Jordan bets she can spook him again and announces she is pregnant. Confirming the baby is his, Jordan sends Brian away. Returning to beg for forgiveness a second time, Brian discovers that Jordan is not home. He tracks her to her parents’ penthouse apartment on Park Avenue, discovering Jordan comes from a rich family after all. She is not home when he arrives, but Jordan’s father, Richard, introduces himself and tells Brian his daughter is not allowed to marry a bartender. Although Mr. Mooney bribes him to go away with a $10,000 check, Brian refuses the money. Appearing in the doorway, Jordan accuses Brian of being too obsessed with money to care about her and denies him a second chance. He goes to Doug’s new bar to accept the job offer that was made in Jamaica, bringing the expensive bottle of brandy Doug wagered. At the bar, Kerry greets Brian with a sensual kiss and he watches as she does the same with another man. Doug leads Brian to his boat, docked behind the bar, and reveals he lost all his money in the stock market but Kerry does not know. Guzzling the brandy, Doug passes out, and Brian agrees to drive Kerry home. There, she kisses Brian, but he rejects her advances. Returning to Doug’s boat, Brian finds Doug lying face down in a pool of blood. After Doug's funeral, Brian receives a letter Doug left behind, explaining why he killed himself and describing Brian as his only friend. Brian goes back to the Mooneys’ penthouse and forces his way inside. Declaring his love for Jordan, he asks her to marry him and announces plans to open his own bar. Mr. Mooney tries to intervene, but Jordan leaves with Brian. Soon after, they celebrate their wedding, and Brian opens Cocktails & Dreams. There, he delivers a poem addressed to his unborn child from atop the bar, and promises Jordan he will never get spooked again. Suggesting she can spook him once more, Jordan reveals she is carrying twins and Brian offers a round of drink to his patrons.  

Production Company: Touchstone Pictures  
  Silver Screen Partners III  
  Interscope Communications  
Production Text: Touchstone Pictures presents
in association with Silver Screen Partners III
an Interscope Communications Production
a Roger Donaldson Film
Distribution Company: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.  
Director: Roger Donaldson (Dir)
  David Coatsworth (Unit prod mgr)
  Rob Cowan (1st asst dir)
  Kim Winther (2d asst dir)
  Janet Spiegel (3d asst dir)
  William C. Gerrity (Unit prod mgr, New York crew)
  Michael Tadross (1st asst dir, New York crew)
  Christopher Gerrity (2d asst dir, New York crew)
  Alex Kramarchuk (2d 2d asst dir, New York crew)
  Matt Fenton (DGA trainee, New York crew)
  Natalie Thompson (Unit prod mgr, Jamaica crew)
  Michael London (3d asst dir, Jamaica crew)
Producer: Ted Field (Prod)
  Robert W. Cort (Prod)
Writer: Heywood Gould (Scr)
Photography: Dean Semler (Dir of photog)
  Julian Chojnacki (Cam op)
  Perry Hoffmann (1st asst cam)
  Stephen L. Williams (2d asst cam)
  Chris Holmes (Gaffer)
  Tony Eldridge (Best boy)
  Ron Gillham (Key grip)
  Roy Elliston (Best boy grip)
  Rob McEwan (Still photog)
  Cary Fisher (Cam op, New York crew)
  Ron Zarilla (1st asst cam, New York crew)
  Daniel Brunner (2d asst cam, New York crew)
  Thomas Prate, Jr. (Key grip, New York crew)
  Jerry De Blau (Gaffer, New York crew)
  Peter John Petraglia (Best boy, New York crew)
  Karen Epstein (Still photog, New York crew)
Art Direction: Mel Bourne (Prod des)
  Dan Davis (Art dir)
  Vlasta Svoboda (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Neil Travis (Ed)
  Barbara Dunning (Ed)
  Tom Moore (Asst ed, Los Angeles)
  Blair Daily (Asst ed, Los Angeles)
  Karen Gebura (Asst ed, Los Angeles)
  Lee Michael Searles (Asst ed, Toronto)
  Susan Shipton (Asst ed, Toronto)
Set Decoration: Hilton Rosemarin (Dec)
  Joyce Liggett (Asst set dec)
  Don McQueen (Asst set dec)
  Don Miloyevich (Prop master)
  Greg Pelchat (Asst prop master)
  John Fisher (Set dresser)
  Ron MacMillan (Const coord)
  Guenter Bartlik (Scenic artist)
  Leslie Bloom (Set dec, New York crew)
  Dick Tice, Jr. (Set dresser, New York crew)
  Dan Von Blumberg (Set dresser, New York crew)
  John Oates, Jr. (Prop master, New York crew)
  Bob Wilson, Jr. (Asst prop master, New York crew)
Costumes: Ellen Mirojnick (Cost des)
  Arthur Russell (Cost supv)
  Kim Chow (Costumer)
  Ann Russell (Costumer)
  Richard Von Ernst (Asst cost des, New York crew)
  Walter Rivera (Ward, New York crew)
  Danajean Cicerchi (Ward, New York crew)
Music: Carole Childs ("Cocktail" album supv by)
  J. Peter Robinson (Mus)
  Jim Weidman (Mus ed)
Sound: Richard Lightstone (Sd mixer)
  James L. Thompson (Boom)
  Richard L. Anderson (Supv sd ed)
  James Christopher (Sd ed)
  Bunny Speakman (Sd ed)
  John Dunn (Sd ed)
  Gil Haimsohn (Asst sd ed)
  Mary Andrews (ADR ed)
  The Buena Vista Sound Studios (Re-rec at)
  Terry Porter (Re-rec mixer)
  Mel Metcalfe (Re-rec mixer)
  David J. Hudson (Re-rec mixer)
  David Gertz (Dubbing rec)
  Mark Pappas (Foley ed)
  Edward Steidele (Foley)
  Sarah Monat (Foley)
  Thom Ehle (Dolby stereo consultant)
  Tod Maitland (Sd mixer, New York and Jamaica)
  Kim Maitland (Boom, New York crew)
  Richard Mader (Boom, Jamaica crew)
Special Effects: Michael Cavanaugh (Spec eff coord)
  CFI (Title photog by)
  The Buena Vista Visual Effects Group (Opticals by)
  Penelope Gottlieb (Title des)
Make Up: Rick Sharp (Makeup artist)
  Linda Gill (Makeup artist)
  Paul Le Blanc (Hairstylist)
  Daniel Barrett (Hairstylist)
  Ed Jackson (Makeup artist, New York crew)
  Robert Grimaldi (Hairstylist, New York crew)
Production Misc: Donna Isaacson (Casting)
  John Lyons (Casting)
  Elaine Yarish (Scr supv)
  Mara McSweeney (Prod coord)
  Jeri Simon (Asst to Mr. Donaldson)
  Randi Chernov (Asst to the prods)
  Keith Large (Loc mgr)
  Matthew Hart (Loc mgr)
  Stuart Aikins Casting, Inc. (Casting, Toronto)
  Fred Jonson (Transportation coord)
  Allen E. Taylor (Prod accountant)
  Douglas Taylor (Unit pub)
  Anne-Marie Ferney (Prod asst)
  William Mapother (Prod asst)
  Christopher Forde (Prod asst)
  Film Extra Service (Extras casting, Toronto)
  John Bandy (Bar advisor)
  Charles Miller (Loc mgr, New York crew)
  Terry Ladin (Prod coord, New York crew)
  Michael Fennell (Transportation capt, New York crew)
  Renee Bodner (Scr supv, New York crew)
  Cecile Burrowes (Extras casting, Jamaica crew)
  Oscar Lawson (Prod asst, Jamaica crew)
Stand In: Branko Racki (Stunt coord)
  Michael Estler (Stunt)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "All Shook Up," written by Elvis Presley and Otis Blackwell, performed and produced by Ry Cooder, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "Tutti Frutti," written by Richard Penneman, Dorothy LaBostrie and Joe Lubin, performed by Little Richard, produced by Art Rupe, courtesy of Specialty Records, Inc.; "That Hypnotizing Boogie," written and performed by David Wilcox, produced by Sadia, courtesy of Capitol-EMI Records of Canada Limited; "Chantilly Lace," written by J.P. Richardson; "Addicted To Love," written and performed by Robert Palmer, produced by Bernard Edwards, courtesy of Island Records; "Hippy Hippy Shake," written by Chan Romero, performed by The Georgia Satellites, produced by The Georgia Satellites and Brenden O'Brien, courtesy of Elektra Records; "Powerful Stuff," written by Michael Henderson, Robert S. Field and Wally Wilson, performed by The Fabulous Thunderbirds, produced by Terry Manning, courtesy of CBS Associated Records; "Wild Again," written by John Bettis and Michael Clark, performed by Starship, produced by Phil Galdston and Starship, courtesy of RCA Records/Grunt Records; "Original Sin (Jumpin' In)," written by John Capek, Steve Kipner and Peter Beckett, performed by Think Out Loud, produced by David J. Holman, Steve Kipner and Peter Beckett, courtesy of A&M Records; "Kokomo," written by Mike Love, Terry Melcher, John Phillips and Scott MacKenzie, performed by The Beach Boys, produced by Terry Melcher; "Don't Worry, Be Happy," written and performed by Bobby McFerrin, produced by Linda Goldstein, courtesy of EMI-Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.; "This Magic Moment," written by Pomus-Shuman, performed by Leroy Gibbons, produced by King Jammy, courtesy of Jammy's Records; "Shelter Of Your Love," written, performed and produced by Jimmy Cliff, courtesy of MCA Records; "Oh, I Love You So," written, performed and produced by Preston Smith; "Since When," written by Robbie Nevil and Brack Walsh, performed by Robbie Nevil, produced by Robbie Nevil and Tom Lord Age, courtesy of EMI-Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.; "Rave On," written by Sonny West, Norman Petty and Bill Tilghman, performed and produced by John Cougar Mellencamp, courtesy of PolyGram Records; "Essential Sensual," written and performed by Wayne Roland Brown, produced by Mike Harvey, courtesy of Ten Ten Management; "When Will I Be Loved," written by Phil Everly, performed by The Everly Brothers, produced by Archie Bleyer, courtesy of Barnaby Records; "Inside Job," written, performed and produced by Michael Lanning and Rick Bell, courtesy of Sounds of Film Ltd.
Composer: Peter Beckett
  Rick Bell
  John Bettis
  Otis Blackwell
  Wayne Roland Brown
  John Capek
  Michael Clark
  Jimmy Cliff
  Phil Everly
  Robert S. Field
  Michael Henderson
  Steve Kipner
  Dorothy LaBostrie
  Michael Lanning
  Mike Love
  Joe Lubin
  Scott MacKenzie
  Bobby McFerrin
  Terry Melcher
  Robbie Nevil
  Robert Palmer
  Richard Penneman
  Norman Petty
  John Phillips
  Doc Pomus
  Elvis Presley
  J.P. Richardson
  Chan Romero
  Mort Shuman
  Preston Smith
  Bill Tilghman
  Brock Walsh
  Sonny West
  David Wilcox
  Wally Wilson
Source Text: Based on the novel Cocktail by Heywood Gould (New York, 1984).
Authors: Heywood Gould

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Touchstone Pictures a.a.d.o. the Walt Disney Company 1/8/1988 dd/mm/yyyy PA371850

PCA NO: 29202
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
  Lenses/Prints: Lenses and Panaflex® Camera by Panavision®; Prints by Metrocolor®

Genre: Comedy-drama
Subjects (Major): Bartenders
  Lure of riches
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Class distinction
  Fathers and daughters
  New York City
  Snobs and snobbishness
  United States. Army

Note: End credits include a “Special Thanks” to: Air Jamaica, Jamaica Film Office, Ontario Film Development Corp., Furs by Alixandre, Monet Jewelry, Cartier, and Panetta Jewelry.
       According to a 29 Oct 2006 West Magazine article, the film was briefly re-titled The Bartender by Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, but reverted back to Cocktail before theatrical release.
       In preparation for his role as “Brian Flanagan,” actor Tom Cruise practiced bartending at John Clancy’s Seafood Restaurant in New York City, as stated in a 21 Oct 1987 LAHExam brief.
       Production charts in the 11 Nov 1987 DV cited the start of principal photography as 26 Oct 1987. Locations included Toronto, Canada, New York City, and Port Antonio, Jamaica. A 19 May 1988 Rolling Stone item noted that, while filming seven-day weeks in Jamaica, Cruise and his co-star Elisabeth Shue were forced to swim in extremely cold waters and Cruise became ill.
       A 20 Jul 1988 DV news item reported that composer Maurice Jarre’s score was dropped from the film after producers Robert W. Cort and Ted Field decided the music did not “fit in” with the story. J. Peter Robinson was hired to compose a new score in only three days’ time. Jarre was paid regardless, and Buena Vista Pictures lost more money re-printing one-sheets and screening passes with Robinson’s name in place of Jarre’s. According to a 28 Jul 1988 LAHExam item, Jarre had also been credited on the album’s soundtrack jacket.
       Despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, the film took in over $70 million in domestic box-office receipts, as reported in a 17 Dec 1989 NYT article. Overseas, Cocktail grossed more than $50 million as of early Mar 1989, according to a 6 Mar 1989 DV item.
       The film’s original song, “Kokomo,” written by Scott McKenzie, Mike Love, Terry Melcher, and John Phillips, and performed by The Beach Boys, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture, and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
       According to a 21 Feb 1992 HR brief, John Bandy, who was credited as bar advisor on the film, sued Michael Werner of Tampa, FL, alleging that Werner falsely claimed to be Tom Cruise’s bartending teacher. A 27 Feb 1992 WSJ news item noted that Werner denied teaching Cruise but acknowledged he taught Bandy bartending techniques when they worked together ten years prior in Houston, TX. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined as of the writing of this Note. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   11 Nov 1987.   
Daily Variety   6 Mar 1989.   
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jul 1988   p. 3, 44.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Feb 1992.   
LAHExam   21 Oct 1987.   
LAHExam   28 Jul 1988.   
Los Angeles Times   29 Jul 1988   p. 14.
New York Times   29 Jul 1988   p. 6.
New York Times   17 Dec 1989   Section A, p. 1.
Rolling Stone   19 May 1988.   
Variety   27 Jul 1988   p. 16.
WSJ   27 Feb 1992.   
West Magazine   29 Oct 2006   p. 12.

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