Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1986. Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners II, Zucker Brothers Productions. Screenplay by Dale Launer, based on the story The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry. Cinematography by Jan de Bont. Produced by Michael Peyser. Music by Michel Colombier. Production Design by Donald B. Woodruff. Costume Design by Rosanna Norton. Film Editing by Gib Jaffe, Arthur Schmidt. Golden Globe Awards 1986.
Fantastic comedy that relaunched Bette Midler‘s movie career and helped boost Danny DeVito‘s as well. She plays the spoiled rich heiress to a clothing company whose husband (DeVito) hates her guts and is planning to murder her. Lucky for him that she gets kidnapped by his disgruntled former employees (Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater) and is held for ransom on the night he was planning to do her in. Now DeVito can scrap all the effort and simply refuse to pay the ransom, therefore getting rid of Midler in one fell swoop and keeping his hands clean in the bargain. Nothing is ever that simple, especially when Midler spends her time in her captor’s basement working out and gaining some newfound confidence in herself. The complications that ensue are witty, clever and incredibly hilarious, with marvelous direction from the team responsible for Airplane! and a screenplay based on, oddly enough, a story by O. Henry. Anita Morris and Bill Pullman lend wonderful support, and there’s a hysterical running joke through the film involving a misunderstood private home movie.