Switching Channels

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Switching Channels
Switching Channels.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Produced by Martin Ransohoff
Written by Jonathan Reynolds
Based on The Front Page 
by Ben Hecht
Charles MacArthur
Starring Kathleen Turner
Burt Reynolds
Christopher Reeve
Music by Michel Legrand
Cinematography François Protat
Edited by Thom Noble
Production
company
Switching Channels Inc.
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • March 4, 1988 (1988-03-04)
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Box office $9,129,999

Switching Channels is a 1988 American comedy film remake of The Front Page and His Girl Friday. It stars Kathleen Turner as Christy Colleran, Burt Reynolds as John L. Sullivan IV, Christopher Reeve as Blaine Bingham, Ned Beatty as Roy Ridnitz, Henry Gibson as Ike Roscoe, and George Newbern as Sigenthaler. The film was notorious for its harsh infighting between Reynolds and Turner during filming. The film was seen as a failure, both commercially and critically.

It is available on DVD in Regions 2 and 4. It is also available as a DVD-R in Region 1 through the Warner Archive MOD program.

Plot[edit]

Sullivan (Reynolds) is a cable TV news mogul. He tries to prevent the impending marriage of Colleran (Turner), his best reporter and ex-wife, by keeping her on the job during the critical news coverage of an upcoming execution and prison break.

Cast[edit]

Filmed primarily in Canada with a Canadian director (Ted Kotcheff), Switching Channels features many popular Canadian character actors in supporting roles: Al Waxman as Berger, the station manager, Ken James as Warden Terwilliger, Barry Flatman and Anthony Sherwood as television reporters Zaks and Carvalho, Joe Silver as newswriter Mordsini, Tony Rosato, Jackie Richardson, Philip Akin, Laura Robinson, Fiona Reid and Jack Duffy. It also co-stars Charles Kimbrough as the hapless Governor.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Siskel & Ebert gave Switching Channels mixed results: Ebert was positive about the film and liked how the film did overall; however, Siskel expressed strong disappointment in the film and gave Switching Channels a thumbs down.[1] Rotten Tomatoes currently lists Switching Channels with a 56% rating.[2]

Reeve, who played against type as the hapless fiancé, later expressed regret in making the film, believing he "made a fool of himself" and that he had only taken the project as a distraction from depression following a divorce. He also reportedly had to act as "referee", as costars Turner and Reynolds feuded with each other during filming. According to his autobiography "Still Me", one of the main reasons he took the role was because Michael Caine was originally lined up to play Burt Reynolds role, and he had enjoyed working with Caine a decade earlier in Deathtrap, but after signing on found out that Caine had been booted out in favor of Reynolds.

The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Burt Reynolds was nominated for Worst Actor and Christopher Reeve for Worst Supporting Actor. However, they respectively "lost" to Sylvester Stallone for Rambo III and Dan Aykroyd for Caddyshack II.

References[edit]

External links[edit]