4.2/10
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17 user 4 critic

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

PG | | Comedy | September 1976 (USA)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sweeney
...
Georgina
...
Moriarty
...
Burton
...
Julia
Henry Ramer ...
Prince
...
...
Moya Fenwick ...
Mrs. Chorley
Anne Marie Sten ...
Big Red (as Anne-Marie Sten)
Robert A. Silverman ...
Lawyer (as Robert Silverman)
Roy Wordsworth ...
Albert
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Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Good Idea  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Followed by Find the Lady (1976) See more »

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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.


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