Friday, June 7, 2019

Film Buff Friday: Shortcut To Happiness

File this one under things that make you go Hmmmmm....

SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS: After eighteen long years from production to release Shortcut to Happiness finally makes its debut on Blu-ray and DVD on July 16, 2019. Originally "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (the film's original title when it was in production in 2001) was to be the directorial debut of star Alec Baldwin. According to a 2007 Entertainment Weekly article, "production was vexed by alleged money problems and the FBI's bank-fraud investigation of a reported investor". According to a 2007 article in The Guardian, the movie grinded to a halt "during post-production when the FBI seized the investors' assets, including the film, in the course of a bank fraud investigation." Due to this and other rumored creative differences, Baldwin had his director credit removed from the film and replaced with the pseudonym "Harry Kirkpatrick". Baldwin's producing partner Jon Cornick told Entertainment Weekly in 2003, "We spent a lot of time and effort shooting the movie... It's not the movie that we intended to make." 

Producer Bob Yari rescued the film from bankruptcy court and finished the film without Baldwin's participation which received limited theatrical screenings in 2007. Years later the film aired on Showtime and Starz channels but had never received a proper release on home video. 

"I was presented with opportunity to license Shortcut To Happiness," according to MVD Entertainment Director of Acquisitions Eric D. Wilkinson. "Despite the movie's checkered past, I liked it. It reminded me of the high concept romantic comedies of the 1980's and 90's. It has a great cast and production values and I think fans of the genre will more than enjoy this film. So after eighteen years since the movie first started production, I'm excited to finally give Shortcut To Happiness a proper release on disc and digital".
Set in New York's literary world, Shortcut To Happiness is a contemporary re-telling of the classic short story ''The Devil and Daniel Webster'' featuring an all-star cast that includes Academy Award® Nominees Alec Baldwin (The Departed) and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters), Academy Award® Winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Heartbreakers), Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City"), Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man), Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and Darrell Hammond ("SNL").
Jabez Stone (Baldwin), a down on his luck writer, sells his soul to the devil (Love-Hewitt) in exchange for fame and fortune. But when things don't turn out as planned, Stone ultimately decides that he wants his old life again and enlists the help of Daniel Webster (Hopkins) in order to win his soul back from Satan, herself!

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