Can't Buy Me Love Movie Behind The Scenes

Making Can't Buy Me Love

Can't Buy Me Love Picture
Last official date


Go behind the scenes on the 1987 Romantic Comedy movie starring Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, Seth Green More Cast

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Thanks to Anonymous
I went to high school with scriptwriter Michael Swerdlick in Scotch Plains, N.J. from 1971 to 1974. At least some of the characters in CBML seem to have been based on real people from our school. Cindy's character may even be based on an actual person of the same name.

Can't Buy Me Love was his first screenplay. Previously Michael had worked as an attorney for the William Morris Agency and later as an independent agent.

It was sold to TriStar (now Sony) but they abandoned the idea of making it after a female executive objected to the moral concept of a boy buying a girls affection. Luckily, it later got made as an independent production.

Michael would later work as an independent agent.
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"Can't Buy Me Love" was made under the working title of "Boy Rents Girl".

Director Steve Rash is quoted as saying that "we found that a lot of people had an immediate resentment factor because of the implications of those words ('Boy Rents Girl'). As it turns out, I don't think there's a sexist moment in the film, but the title 'Boy Rents Girl' sounds sexist."

The next title nearly used was "The Payoff"

The title was eventually changed to "Can't Buy Me Love" at the suggestion of Disney chief Michael Eisner, according to Rash.
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The movie producers donated the Tucson High School a $5,000 dance floor for the performing arts program and built a new athletic field for the school as payment for using it as a movie set.
Editor Kara Victoria
The location manager for this movie, Anne McCaffrey, is the niece and namesake of author Anne McCaffrey, who wrote the "Dragons of Pern" series of books.
Cast/Crew Ron Ford
I was Patrick Dempsey's personal driver on the movie, it was my first job in movies. One thing I remember clearly was when we were shooting at Tucson High, it started to snow! It hadn't snowed in Tucson in about a decade, but there it was. Director Steve Rash, without losing a beat, said "let's shoot the Christmas scene." And that's what they did...
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Patrick Dempsey obviously really enjoyed making the movie and has a great fondness for it.

He has said, in interviews, that "when we were shooting it, no one expected it to do well. It turned out to be this hit cult classic. The first thing that people want me to do when they meet me is to break out into the "Ant Eater Ritual." But I never do. :)"

He has also said many times over the years that the character he has identified most with in his career, was Ronald Miller. "The lesson that I learned and one that I think comes across in 'Cant Buy Me Love' is that what makes a person 'cool' is his inner strength, not the clothes he wears".

CBML is also the movie he'd most like to make a sequel to... Interestingly, when asked whether he ever became romantically linked to anyone on the set of “Can't Buy Me Love”, he has replied "Ha... I have no comment on that one...."
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Paula Abdul choreographed the movie's dance sequences. As she did on many other 80's classics including "Coming to America", "The Karate Kid part III" and "Big". She recently choreographed "American Beauty".
Editor Nick
The original screenplay was set in Scotch Plains, which was where scriptwriter Michael Swerdlick hails from, but expenses and weather moved the location to Tucson, Ariz., which allowed Rash, a pilot, the chance to film a scene at Pima Air Museum and an adjacent military aircraft graveyard.
Editor Nick
The same as "Karate Kid", Can't Buy Me Love was shot in 28 days, considered a tight shooting schedule.
Editor Nick
Can't Buy Me Love was only the second non-Disney produced movie that the studio distributed. The first was 1987's "Benji The Hunted."
Editor Nick
The movie was an independent production, made for only 1.7 million dollars.
Editor Nick
The most expensive single element of the movie wasn't an actor, director or even the fifteen thousand dollar lawn that was laid at Cindy Mandini's house... It was the rights to the title song by the Beatles. As well as paying 175 thousand dollars to use the song, the producers had to show the movie to Michael Jackson at Neverland, who owned the Beatles song rights, so that he could judge whether to give permission...
Editor Nick
Amanda Peterson reputedly earned about $16,000 for her role as Cindy.

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

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Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

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Jump To: Filming Locations
1987 Touchstone Pictures
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