Dirty Tricks (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  6 March 1981 (USA)
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A Harvard University student finds a strange letter that seems to be signed by George Washington. When trying to contact an expert (Prof. Chandler) to authenticate it, he is murdered but ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay) (as William Norton Sr.) , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Chandler
Polly Bishop
Robert Brennan
Arthur Hill ...
Professor Prosser
John Juliani ...
Mavor Moore ...
Mr. Underhill
Bill Darcy
Michael McNamara ...
Martin McNamara ...
Cindy Girling ...
Michael Kirby ...
FBI Agent Wicklow
FBI Agent Jones (as Angus McInnes)
Hugh Webster ...
Mr. Darcy
Irene Kessler ...


A Harvard University student finds a strange letter that seems to be signed by George Washington. When trying to contact an expert (Prof. Chandler) to authenticate it, he is murdered but the letter disappears. Then Chandler, who does not know anything about the case, gets chased by the mafia and haunted by a TV reporter (Polly Bishop). Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everyone here is crazy...everyone else is cracking up...in the hilarious comedy that casts off in total insanity! See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Accroche-toi, j'arrive  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 5,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Did You Know?


Source author Thomas Gifford told the Washington Post newspaper in 1987 that this filmed adaptation of his novel "The Glendower Legacy" was "certainly one of the worst movies I've ever seen". See more »


Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Paying to see this "was" a "Dirty Trick"! (Spoilers,but it's "so" bad,why not?)
15 August 2005 | by (Phx. Arizona ("Arizona Smells Funny"!- Homer Simpson)) – See all my reviews

Well! Apparently I am (at the moment) the only person who remembers this humiliating effort from Elliot Gould,Kate Jackson & ...Rich Little??!!! Let me say,I saw a great many films at the movies in 1981 and given my naivete' about "good comedy" and "great acting",I ended up seeing a number of really bad films! This one was the biggest miscalculation of judgement I ever made! I've only seen it once on late night TV since seeing it at the movies and thankfully,that was over 10 years ago!

The plot is this,Elliot Gould is a teacher of either Government or History and talks to his class about "revisionism". Changing known history to suit one's own ideas. Suddenly,a letter condemning George Washington as a traitor shows up! Also,"suddenly" Kate Jackson,playing a reporter,finds out about Elliot Gould's discovery and wants the scoop for her news show. Gould's friend played by Rich Little simply seems to be in the way here and adds nothing to this mess. The two of them are also trying to track down an expert to verify that the letter is real.

Then along come the bad guys! Almost out of nowhere Gould and Jackson are pursued by bald headed men looking to harm or kill them for the letter in question! At one point they are chased through the gym of the school and for no reason,except someone thought it would be funny,Gould grabs the basketball out of a players hand and makes a shot. One of the baddies shoots a hole in the ball! The shoddy editing of that scene makes the ball appear re-inflated after going through the hoop! Oh brother! In another scene Jackson and Gould get in a fight and he punches her!! In the end (and no,I don't think it matters that I'm telling you) Elliot Gould solves the problem by eating the letter! Well,enough said! If you see this on video anywhere.....RUN!!!!!

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