Bette Midler in Jinxed
The film is based on the 1980 novel The Edge by Frank D. Gilroy. He sold the film rights to the Ladd Company at Warner Bros. intending to direct; Ladd then sold the project to Herb Jaffe at United Artists for $300,000 and Jaffe hired David Newman to rewrite it. A UA production executive suggested Bette Midler for the lead and she asked for Don Siegel to direct. The script was rewritten by Jerry Blatt, Carol Rydall, Midler and Siegel. During development, it was also known as The Jackpot and Hot Streak. Gilroy had his name removed from the film and was credited as “Burt Blessing”.
Siegel had been a mentor of director Sam Peckinpah, who was having difficulty finding assignments in the film industry due to his most recent troubled production. Siegel offered Peckinpah a chance to return to filmmaking with 12 days of second unit directing work on Jinxed. Peckinpah accepted, and his collaboration with was noted within the industry. While Peckinpah’s work was uncredited, it would lead to his hiring as the director of his final film, The Osterman Weekend (1983).
In addition to Siegel’s health problems, Midler and Wahl reportedly[fought viciously throughout the filming, making no secret of their open hostility towards one another. Wahl described to the press how much he disliked kissing Midler. Years later, Midler would state that Siegel was also hostile towards her. In turn, Siegel said the experience of working with Midler was unpleasant. When asked by United Artists executive Steven Bach why he didn’t quit, Siegel replied, “Because then I wouldn’t get my fee. Why not fire me?”
Lalo Schifrin composed and recorded what would have been his sixth score for Siegel on Jinxed, but it was rejected by the studio despite Siegel’s objections.
The film received an “R” rating in the United States.