I only just got around to a 9.4 Vulture oral history piece about how Hustlers was assembled and shot in a relatively short time frame. Written by Rachel Handler, it’s titled “The Hustle Behind Hustlers.” The piece is cool, clean and well ordered, but a certain quote from producer Jessica Elbaum, founder of Gloria Sanchez Productions, stood out.
Elbaum: “We were prepping by February, we [began shooting] the movie in March, we wrapped it in May, and the movie’s coming out in September, which is insane.” By which Elbaum presumably meant “this is way faster than the usual.” She’s not wrong.
Wikipedia says Hustlers began principal photography on 3.22.19 in New York City, with the shoot lasting 29 days. Final production wrapped on May 3. Hustlers premiered at the Toronto Film Festival almost exactly four months later — 9.7.19. It opened last Friday (9.13.19).
A four-month turnaround from the conclusion of lensing to a film festival opening is very fast work, but — I almost hate to point this out — it wasn’t totally insane. At least three films did it faster.
Oliver Stone‘s W. opened only three months and one week after the finish of principal photography, but of course it was shown to press at least a couple of weeks prior (I know because I attended the junket at the Four Seasons) so it was actually finished and screenable less than three months after shooting stopped. Filming began on 5.12.08, and completed on 7.11.08. It opened in theatres on 10.17.08.
I can’t remember or even discover the exact details, but Floyd Mutrux‘s American Hot Wax (’78), a biopic of rock ‘n’ roll disk jockey and promoter Alan Freed, managed an extremely quick turnaround. I interviewed Mutrux at a Manhattan junket a couple of weeks prior to the 3.17 opening, and as I recall the Paramount-produced film had wrapped as recently as the previous December or possibly even January. I wrote director Cameron Crowe, who performed a brief cameo, to see if he could recall any details — he hasn’t responded. I’m pretty sure the film wrapped less than 12 weeks before opening day, and possibly less than ten.
But the Big Daddy of fast Hollywood turnarounds is still Otto Preminger‘s Anatomy of a Murder (’59). Liner notes for a Columbia/TriStar DVD of the film claim that principal photography in Michigan began on 3.23.59 and ended on 5.15.59. The Anatomy Wiki page says it previewed on 6.18.59, or 33 days after wrapping. The first public screening happened at the Butler Theater in Ishpeming and the Nordic Theater in Marquette on 6.29.59. The world premiere for the 160-minute film was either held on 7.1.59 (according to Wikipedia) or 7.2.59 (according to the DVD), at the United Artists Theater in Detroit.