Eddie Murphy Movie Creates Demand For Mumford High T-shirts
DETROIT (AP) _ Comedian Eddie Murphy sparked an international demand for ″Mumford Phys. Ed. Dept.″ T-shirts when he wore one through much of his movie, ″Beverly Hills Cop.″
For the past week, officials of the aging, 2,350-student high school on Detroit’s northwest side have been struggling to keep up with orders for the shirts from all over the United States and a few foreign countries.
″I came came down to buy my T-shirt last Friday and stayed,″ said David L. Haron, a 1962 graduate of Samuel C. Mumford High who put aside his regular law practice to help sell shirts and represent the school in licensing negotiations.
″There’s Mumford graduates coming out of the woodwork, but most of them aren’t. Most of them are Eddie Murphy fans,″ he said.
″Beverly Hills Cop″ has grossed more than $100 million at box offices since it was released just over five weeks ago. As crowds streamed to see it, Mumford lost its anonymity.
Mumford sold all 500 T-shirts on hand in the first week, and has unfilled orders for 12 dozen more.The T-shirts, which sell for $10, come in only one color - sky blue - with burgundy letters.
Lorraine Solomon hadn’t been inside Mumford High since since her 1957 graduation, but returned Friday hoping to buy a shirt and surprise her teen- age children.
″My kids can’t have one - they don’t go to Mumford,″ she said.
Interested visitors are directed to turn to page 94 of Mumford’s 1961 yearbook to see the senior portrait of Jerome Bruckheimer, a Mumford alumnus and one of the producers of ″Beverly Hills Cop.″ Parts of the movie were filmed in Detroit.
″Are you sure this is the same one? It looked different in the movie,″ said Marvin Bolton, Mumford class of ’72.
The question has come up before, said Queen Loundman, director of student activities; the shirt Murphy wore was faded.
Haron has copyrighted the shirt design and handled negotiations with national distributors. Although he has only talked with a few companies, he said he has already has his first threat.
″One of these places said that if we don’t give them the contract, they’ll go ahead on their own - bootleg. That’s why we’re in a hurry to get this licensed,″ he said.
The school gets to keep about half of the profits, which will be divided among the various departments, Ms. Loundman said.
″A lot of it will probably go for computers,″ she said. ″The math department, especially, is in desperate need of computers.″