FILM 1743: MIDNIGHT RUN
TRIVIA: Paramount Pictures originally owned the rights to the film, and they wanted a big name star to appear opposite Robert De Niro, in order to improve the film's chances at the box-office. It was suggested that the character of John "Duke" Mardukas be changed to a woman, and be played by Cher, who had had recent box-office success with The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Suspect (1987), and Moonstruck (1987). It was felt that casting Cheropposite De Niro would lend some "sexual overtones" to the relationship between the two characters. Director Martin Brest however, rejected the gender switch idea, so Paramount Pictures suggested giving the role to Robin Williams, who had recently had a big hit with Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Williams read and liked the script, and agreed to audition. In the meantime, however, Brest had auditioned the less famous Charles Grodin, and had liked Grodin's interaction with De Niro. As such, Brest cast Grodin without auditioning Williams, and Paramount Pictures decided to drop out of the project, selling the rights to Universal, who went ahead with the De Niro and Grodin casting.
The idea to have Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) continually checking his watch, and the whole back-story related to his habit, was all De Niro's own idea.
Charles Grodin has permanent scars resulting from the real handcuffs he had to wear for a great deal of the film.
After doing The Untouchables (1987), Robert De Niro was looking for some lighter material to do next. Initially, he wanted to play the lead in Penny Marshall's Big (1988), but the studio wasn't interested in having De Niro play the role. He was then offered this movie, which he liked, and agreed to make.
Bob Maroff, the taxi driver who snubs Jack in the last scene, played alongside Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976).
The Blue Angel Motel in Las Vegas was demolished in 2012 to make way for ninety-one thousand square feet of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The motel had seen better days, but its iconic statue of a blonde woman wearing a blue dress was preserved. Adored by locals and visitors alike, the statue was designed by Betty Willis, who also designed the Stardust Casino sign, and the world-famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.
DIRECTOR CAMEO: Martin Brest: Ticket clerk who serves Marvin (John Ashton): "smoking or non smoking?"