A German-born producer of international feature films, Chris Sievernich has amassed a body of work that reflects the worldwide nature of the film industry today. In addition to having produced numerou...
Let's hear it for the old guy who in this movie comes off sexier than his buff young accomplice (Dermot Mulroney). OK the old guy happens to be the gracefully aging icon Paul Newman -- as a feisty heistmeister who dodges a long prison sentence and then teams up with his equally conniving rest-home nurse (Linda Fiorentino) on a bank job gone wrong. "Where the Money Is" is breezy suspenseful and as much a love story as anything else -- if you call mentoring a new life in crime a kind of love. The mission-improbable caper is no more or less entertaining than a "Rockford Files" rerun but the film's swerving joyride takes its real thrills from the great escape that Fiorentino's Bonnie Parker makes from a dead-end life in the married lane.
Newman still hasn't lost it and as Henry Manning he doesn't miss any nuances in the edgy balance between streetwise wariness and amiable rapport with his sultry new colleague. The steam-powered Fiorentino has forged her career by making danger look casual and this is her most alluring work since "The Last Seduction" added another zero to her salary. Her chemistry with Newman a flirty twist on the idea of honor among thieves is really what makes this movie worth seeing. Mulroney is serviceable as the dim but lovable hubby a supporting role that's more foil than fully etched character.
We can all thank director Marek Kanievska for deciding not to have the May-December duo end up in the sack and leaving them simply professional cohorts. The director's admirable sense of comic timing works all the better by not letting the laughs get in the way of his leads' exploration of their characters -- although there's no denying the limits of this frothy genre. Perhaps Kanievska's greatest feat here is allowing Newman to retain his dignity in close-up.
Founded Gray City, Inc in NYC; served as president until 1987; succeeded by Lilyan Sievernich
Worked as production manager on "Liebe und Abenteuer/Love and Adventure"
Served as executive producer on Trish McAdam's "Snakes and Ladders"
Served as producer on John Huston's final film, "The Dead"
Founded Road Movies GmbH in Berlin
Parent company of Kinowelt USA filed for bankruptcy in December
Owned and managed Kolbeh Jazz Club in Berlin, Germany
Executive produced Wenders' "Paris, Texas"; film received the Palme d'Or at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival
First feature collaboration with director Wim Wenders, "Lightning Over Water"; served as producer, also acted in; film co-directed by Nicholas Ray
Produced John Schlesinger's "The Innocent"; released in the USA in 1995
Was consultant to Robert Redford's Sundance Institute
Produced Wenders' "The State of Things"; won Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Award
Consolidated film companies under the umbrella of London-based Nova Films
Executive produced documentary about Huston, "John Huston & The Dubliners", produced and directed by Lilyan Sievernich
Founded Delta Films in Berlin
A German-born producer of international feature films, Chris Sievernich has amassed a body of work that reflects the worldwide nature of the film industry today. In addition to having produced numerous films directed by fellow German Wim Wenders, Sievernich has produced films directed by the British John Schlesinger, the Irish Trish McAdam, and the final film directed by the American turned Irish citizen John Huston.<p>With a background as a jazz club owner and manager, Sievernich moved into features as a production manager on "Liebe und Abenteuer/Love and Adventure" (1978) and other German films before connecting with Wenders and Nicholas Ray as producer on "Lightning Over Water" (1979), which recounted the last days of Ray's life. He and Wenders continued their association with "Der Stand der Dinge/The State of Things" (1982), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. On the taut "Paris, Texas" (1984), about a man lost for four years trying to put his life and family back together, Sievernich served as executive producer. Other collaborations with the director include "Chambre 666" (1984) and "Tokyo-Ga" (1985). Sievernich also functioned as a production consultant on "Wings of Desire" (1987), which earned the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.<p>New York became the base for Sievernich's Gray City, Inc., a division of his London-based Nova Films. He has produced two films by Christopher Petit ("Fluchtpunk Berlin/Flight to Berlin" 1983; "Chinese Boxes" 1984) while in 1987, he produced John Huston's final film, the elegiac "The Dead", based on a James Joyce short story. During that film's shoot, he also executive produced the documentary "John Huston & The Dubliners" (1987), a study of the icon's last years, produced and directed by Sievernich's wife, Lilyan. Much of the producer's output in recent years has been filmed in English, from John Schlesinger's period thriller "The Innocent" (1993; released in the USA in 1995) to Trish McAdam's "Snakes and Ladders" (1996), about two female partners in a comedy act whose relationship is threatened when a musician to whom they are both attracted proposes marriage to one of them.
married February 7, 1976
"I'm German, but I consider myself an international producer. German producers have to go someplace else to earn money...Germany does not have a history of cultivating its producers. Directors, yes, but producers not at all." --Chris Sievernich