Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them, not even murder.



(as Adrien Joyce)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Justice of Peace
Rose Michtom ...
His Wife
Airline Steward
Mrs. Gould
Rattlesnake Tom
Girl Lover (as Nira Barab)
Boy Lover
Tom Newman ...
John The Barber
1st Policeman
Vic Vallaro ...
2nd Policeman
Richard B. Shull ...
Chief Detective


The early 1900's with its Mann-Act (disallowing women to be transported across State lines for immoral reasons) brings a married man to devise a scheme for taking his upper-class girlfriend away with him... he simply has her marry his unmarried buddy. However, it doesn't take very long before both men start laying claim to her affection... until, that is, she's about to be cut out of her parent's fortune. So, a new scheme is devised, which only adds to their problems, as well as to the sly whimsy of this film. Written by BOB STEBBINS <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sexier than the Marx Brothers, handsomer than Laurel and Hardy but not as smart as The 3 Stooges See more »


Comedy | Crime | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 October 1975 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Spite and Malice  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stockard Channing replaced Bette Midler who was passed over for the role after asking Mike Nichols "What other movies have you done?" Cher also met Nichols to discuss the role but she, too, was not cast. See more »


In the opening scene, where Freddie is kissing Nicky, she lifts her head up and the makeup line can clearly be scene on the bottom of her jaw. See more »


Nicky Wilson: [To Frederica who's screaming because Oscar is walking on the plane's wing during flight] Just ignore him.
See more »


Referenced in The Lion Roars Again (1975) See more »


Shakin' the Blues Away
Written by Irving Berlin
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User Reviews

Amusing Nichols film with Hilarious Nicholson!
10 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mike Nichols' last good film that I'm sure bombed at the time. Stockard Channing almost steals the show as the young heiress, Warren Beatty is perfectly cast, and Nicholson is hilarious without doing much (great hair). There were a lot of good films in the 70's and this should have been included on most lists.

A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Jack Nicholson. There are scenes that fall flat, but the ones that work make it worthwhile. Great costumes and art-set direction as well. It's hard to imagine these two actors (Beatty & Nicholson) playing the characters they did in REDS six years later after playing these buffoons. Give it a shot.

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