As he did in his screenplay for Silver Streak (1974), writer/director Colin Higgins mixes life-and-death melodrama with broad slapstick in Foul Play. Goldie Hawn stars as Gloria Mundy, a recent divorcée whose attempts to start life anew in San Francisco are bollixed up when she is inadvertently swept up in an assassination plot against the Pope. Offering sometimes dubious aid and comfort to Gloria is bumbling federal agent Tony Carlson (Chevy Chase). The film's comedy ranges from the farcical seduction efforts by musician Stanley Tibbets (Dudley Moore) to the zany, gag-filled car-chase finale. Foul Play features character actors Rachel Roberts and Eugene Roche as villains, Burgess Meredith as a martial arts-happy landlord, and Billy Barty as a long-suffering religious bookseller. It also packs in a memorable "throwaway" gag involving a profane Scrabble game played by sweet little old ladies Queenie Smith and Hope Summers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Review Text It may or may not be a coincidence that the best performance Chevy Chase ever gave in his checkered film career was in his first leading role opposite Goldie Hawn in Foul Play. There's a lot to admire and digest in this film, involving a librarian (Hawn) who becomes involved in a complicated plot to assassinate the Pope. Chase plays the cop who may or may not believe her story. It would be an injustice to give away too much of the story, although it's safe to say that it's both clever and hysterically funny, finding a way to incorporate albinos, dwarves, swingers, spies, and Gilbert & Sullivan, along with the Catholic Church. The supporting cast is top-notch, featuring Rachel Roberts and Eugene Roche as the conspirators, Billy Barty as a salesman who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and particularly Dudley Moore, playing a character similar to his role in 10. Special attention has to be paid to Burgess Meredith, never funnier except for perhaps in his stints in the Grumpy Old Men films. The director Colin Higgins, coming off the Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor film Silver Streak, once again shows a deft hand at combining outrageous jokes, more subtle humor, and intricate crime drama. Although somewhat dated, it still holds up well as a most enjoyable film experience. ~ Dan Friedman, Rovi
PG -- Parental guidance suggested
1 hour, 56 minutes
- Dolby Digital w/ sub-woofer channel
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Recorded in mono, but split to give the illusion of a stereo mix on home theater systems).
- USA & territories, Canada
Number of Discs