Foul Play (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Mystery, Thriller  |  14 July 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 9,972 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 28 critic

A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Tibbets
Marilyn Sokol ...
Theatre Manager
J.J. MacKuen
Bruce Solomon ...
Pat Ast ...
Mrs. Venus


When, unbeknownst to Gloria, a microfilm cassette is left with her by a dying agent, she becomes entangled in a complicated series of events. She's pursued by a dwarf and an albino, and becomes convinced that they are out to kill her. Finally, with the help of San Francisco detective Tony Carlson, she begins to turn the tables on her pursuers. It becomes clear that the nerfarious crew after her are plotting a dastardly deed indeed - to assassinate the Pope as he visits the city to see _The Mikado_. Gloria and Tony must race against time to prevent this terrible crime. Written by Rick Munoz <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A new comedy thriller from the creators of "Silver Streak". See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 July 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killing Lydia  »

Box Office


SEK 33,316,312 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First of only three feature films as a director for screenwriter Colin Higgins. The subsequent ones were Nine to Five (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). See more »


Dudley Moore's conducting isn't always consistent with the music. This may not be a goof. A real orchestra conductor is always half a beat ahead of the music. It would be incorrect for him to be completely in sync with the music. See more »


[after whipping Delia Darrow in a fight and stuffing her into a piano]
Mr. Hennessey: [panting] She was one tough old mama!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Esme the snake is played by Shirley Python See more »


Featured in The Heat (2013) See more »


Record engineer Michael Delugg
Orchestrated by Richard Behrke
See more »

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User Reviews

Goldie shines in clever comedy thriller...
30 August 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

GOLDIE HAWN is at her wide-eyed prettiest in this enjoyable comedy-thriller, a romp that has her trying to avoid one dangerous situation after another when she finds out that she's being stalked by killers anxious to get their hands on a roll of film she has. Her efforts lead to unraveling an assassination plot on the Pope! CHEVY CHASE is her detective boyfriend who gets caught up in the intricate plot, which leads eventually to a mad car chase through the streets of San Francisco. BURGESS MEREDITH is her friendly neighbor with a penchant for pet snakes with some funny scenes as well.

There are some really action-filled moments along the way but most of the suspense derives from wondering how Goldie will survive the various attempts on her life.

DUDLEY MOORE is memorable in a laugh-filled seduction scene where he misinterprets what Goldie is saying as she peers through the curtains of his apartment window. His attempt to seduce her in an apartment filled with sex devices is one of the film's funniest moments.

The scary parts are fun too, especially when she's being menaced by a sinister looking albino and a midget--dispatching both when the need arises. She plays the part with a vigorous wide-eyed disposition that really belies her role as a shy librarian encouraged to get out and meet people...but it's all so funny you don't care about details after awhile. Just sit back and enjoy.

The San Fransico location shots add a lot of visual interest to the tale and it's all directed at a mad pace by Colin Higgins, winding up with some wild scenes in an opera house.

Strictly for laughs, it's well worth viewing for Goldie's charming performance.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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