17 user 4 critic

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (1975)

PG | | Comedy | September 1976 (USA)

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Find the Lady (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Three kidnapping plots simultaneously target the same young woman.

Director: John Trent
Stars: Lawrence Dane, John Candy, Ed McNamara
Drama | Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Four men kidnap an old girlfriend on Halloween night as a joke to ruin a real estate deal, only to have a very real clown-masked killer stalk them seeking revenge.

Director: Martyn Burke
Stars: Stephen Young, Susan Keller, Lawrence Dane
Tunnel Vision (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A committee investigating TV's first uncensored network examines a typical day's programming, which includes shows, commercials, news programs, you name it. What they discover will surely ... See full summary »

Directors: Neal Israel, Bradley R. Swirnoff
Stars: Phil Proctor, Howard Hesseman, Beans Morocco
Going Berserk (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A drummer/chauffeur engaged to a congressman's daughter encounters a sleazy film director, the leader of an aerobics cult, and other crazed characters during the days leading up to his wedding.

Director: David Steinberg
Stars: John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A college professor (George Segal) and an English divorcee (Glenda Jackson) meet and marry while on a vacation in France. When the bride returns home she finds life less than rosey as the ... See full summary »

Director: Melvin Frank
Stars: George Segal, Glenda Jackson, Maureen Stapleton
Hostage for a Day (TV Movie 1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

Warren Kooey is a man who's tired of his current life; a witch of a wife, a boss who complains about everything he does and looses his lifesavings (stolen by the wife). He has only one ... See full summary »

Director: John Candy
Stars: George Wendt, John Vernon, Robin Duke
Class of '44 (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The sequel to Summer of '42 (1971) reunites Hermie, Oscy and Benjie as they graduate from high school. Benjie departs shortly to war while Hermie and Oscy go on to college and experience ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Bogart
Stars: Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, Oliver Conant
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Mentally tortured photojournalist attempts to track down his wife's murderer according to Leonard Maltins movies on tv

Director: George Bloomfield
Stars: Michael Sarrazin, Susan Clark, Anthony Perkins
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The Masters of Menace are actually a motorcycle gang. When one of their own dies while performing a dangerous bike stunt, they decide to cross the country to go bury him. With the coffin in... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Raskov
Stars: David Rasche, Catherine Bach, Tino Insana
Tough Guys (1974)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Isaac Hayes plays as Lee in his feature film debut, as Father Charlie and himself solve a bank robbery mystery that stretches across the city... See full synopsis »

Director: Duccio Tessari
Stars: Lino Ventura, Isaac Hayes, Fred Williamson
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
Nocturna (1979)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Geriatric Dracula owes taxes, so he turns his castle into Hotel Transylvania. His granddaughter Nocturna, books a disco band, learns that she loves dancing and can turn mortal whenever she ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Hurwitz
Stars: Nai Bonet, John Carradine, Yvonne De Carlo


Complete credited cast:
Henry Ramer ...
Moya Fenwick ...
Mrs. Chorley
Anne Marie Sten ...
Big Red (as Anne-Marie Sten)
Robert A. Silverman ...
Lawyer (as Robert Silverman)
Roy Wordsworth ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Good Idea  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


CAD 1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mrs. Chorley: Hortense, the plates and silverware must be arranged and these young ladies are waiting. If you don't hurry up, they'll never get laid.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown in a zany animation sequence. Towards the end, the voice of star Anthony Newley comments on the names being introduced in these credits. He calls the producer "a funny fella" and mispronounces a slew of other names. See more »


Followed by Find the Lady (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A reasonably watchable mess
11 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is not a masterpiece of comedy. It's full of clichés, the editing is horrible, and the plot doesn't start until the last third of the film. That said, for all the camp and lameness, it's still a watchable and harmless bit of filmed cheese.

In a nutshell, the plot goes something like this: Sweeney (Anthony Newley) is a washed up playwright who seems to spend most of his time scamming his artist friend Moriarty (Issac Hayes) for petty cash and beer. He still has weekly lovemaking fests with his ex-wife Georgia (Stefanie Powers), who is unhappily married to a wealthy construction contractor (Henry Ramer). Her husband, for no obvious reason, wants to tear down Georgia's mother's house, so Georgia has been "helping" mayor-wannabe Burton (Llyod Bochner) in his campaign -- by which I mean sleeping with him. Sweeney does a variety of naughty things, presumably with the intention of winning back his ex, all of which end up in a fake kidnapping scam. The scam brings out two inept cops (John Candy and Lawrence Dane) who do little other than play the dupes. There are a few twists and turns, and a lot of predictable gags. The big finale is a chase scnene with cops dressed as garbage men, which leads to a happy ending.

Like I said, the film is harmless camp, but there are some things worth noting about it.

This was the first credited film role for John Candy, and although he has a very small part in the film, it's something of a nice surprise to see him looking so young, healthy and slim rather than the more time-worn late-career comic many of us remember.

It's a shame that British actor Anthony Newley never made much of an impression here in the states. He's like a low-rent Dudley Moore mixed with a touch of "The Horse's Mouth"-era Alec Guiness. The chemistry between Newley and Stefanie Powers actually DOES have chemistry. Unfortunately, the loose plot doesn't do much with this.

In a modern context, many of Newley's efforts to win back his ex would be considered very good grounds for a restraining order. Still, it's hard to sympathize with Powers' character, as she spends most of the film scheming on getting more money and power (arguably to save her mother's house from foreclosure), and having not-so-discreet affairs.

Issac Hayes does a passable job playing the cool and calm Moriarty, and was a good choice to play off Newley's frantic performance. He also has a very nice moment towards the end, where he drunkenly destroys all the plaster creations in his studio with a sledgehammer.

The rest of the cast is forgettable.

I'm sure that director John Trent wanted to make a fun bit of low-brow film, but he never seems to let the movie get quite as greasy as it really could. He hints at nudity and sex several times, but is afraid to show so much as a nipple or buttock cheek. In many of his gags, Trent seems afraid to follow the action, leaving many of the jokes only half-told. It makes for some very weak scenes.

The film's other major flaw is in the editing, which is choppy and awkward. The film jumps from one character and storyline to another for no obvious reason, and combined with the bizarre sound effects and bad pacing, the film has moments that are almost unwatchable.

Given the fact that I bought this film for $1 at a bargain bin at a Wal-Mart, there's very little to complain about. Why did I buy it? It seemed like a good ... well, you get the idea.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: