Improper Channels (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  17 April 1981 (Canada)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 115 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

A couple fights for justice to get their injured daughter out of a foster care center.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 77 titles
created 17 Mar 2013
a list of 9974 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
list image
a list of 86 titles
created 16 Aug 2013
a list of 105 titles
created 16 Feb 2014
a list of 21 titles
created 23 Aug 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Improper Channels (1981)

Improper Channels (1981) on IMDb 5.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Improper Channels.
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Simon (1980)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of scientist take Simon, a psychology professor, as a test person for a brainwash experiment. After that they try to convince him that he was a living-being from another planet.

Director: Marshall Brickman
Stars: Alan Arkin, Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton
Fire Sale (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Benny and his wife Ruthie a getting set to drive down to Florida, but Benny needs someone to look after his store while he's gone. Though he doesn't think much of him, Benny hands the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Arkin
Stars: Alan Arkin, Rob Reiner, Vincent Gardenia
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Hapless driving instructor and former Gunnery Sergeant Rafferty, living in squalor near Hollywood, California, doesn't put up too much of a fight when two ladies hitch a ride and attempt to... See full summary »

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Mackenzie Phillips
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The story of a long-distance trucker and his experiences on the road.

Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Donna Anderson, Alan Arkin, Madison Arnold
The Monitors (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Earthlings chafe at the peace established by a benevolent alien race and set about to rebel.

Director: Jack Shea
Stars: Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver, Larry Storch
Bad Medicine (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Jeff Marx wants to study medicine and become a physician. However, his grades are far from enough to get him into an American medical school. But instead he gets a chance to study medicine ... See full summary »

Director: Harvey Miller
Stars: Steve Guttenberg, Alan Arkin, Julie Hagerty
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

San Francisco police detectives Freebie and Bean are determined to bust local crime boss Red Meyers at any cost, even if this means destroying the whole city in the process.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Alan Arkin, James Caan, Loretta Swit
Musical | Fantasy | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In WWII, Captain Invincible used his superpowers against the Nazis, and he was a hero. But when they accused him of supporting the communists, he retired to Australia. Now, after a US super... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Kate Fitzpatrick
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Flash used to be a talented baseball player but he took to drinking and now he sells stolen watches in the streets. One day he meets Chu Chu who, before falling into alcoholism like him, ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Alan Arkin, Carol Burnett, Jack Warden
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A middle aged restaurateur begins to feel the desire to roam and realizes that one day each week, his mother's apartment will be empty all afternoon. He makes several attempts at seduction,... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss
The In-Laws (1979)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In preparation for his daughter's wedding, dentist Sheldon Kornpett meets Vince Ricardo, the groom's father. Vince, a manic fellow who claims to be a government agent, then proceeds to drag... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Richard Libertini
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Yasha is a Jewish stage magician who tours through eastern Europe while destroying his career through personal problems. He has one more chance at theatrical success, but he needs to do a brand new trick in a Warsaw theater.

Director: Menahem Golan
Stars: Alan Arkin, Louise Fletcher, Valerie Perrine


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffery Martley
Diana Martley
Gloria Washburn
Harry Ditson ...
Harold Clevish
Sarah Stevens ...
Nancy Martley
Danny Higham ...
Leslie Yeo ...
Fred Reeves
Richard W. Farrell ...
Fraser (as Richard Farrell)
Martin Yan ...
Sherman Hu
Ruth Springford ...
Mrs. Wharton
Tony Rosato ...
Dr. Arpenthaler
Philip Akin ...
Motorcycle Cop
Police Sergeant
Richard Blackburn ...
Fraser's Assistant
Jessica Booker ...
Mrs. Gherkin


A father brings a young child to an emergency room to get treatment for a minor injury occurring in an innocent accident, but he gets accused of child abuse. Child welfare agencies commit grossly unfair over-reactions to remove the child forcibly from the Father (Arkin), who must brave the arcane system to reclaim his daughter. Written by Charles Lasner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ever try communicating with a doctor... a lawyer... a computer? See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 April 1981 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Cara mamma, caro papĂ   »

Box Office


CAD 3,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Make Your Move
Composed by Maribeth Solomon and Micky Erbe
Performed by Colina Phillips
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

very funny yet disturbing
16 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember viewing this movie as a kid when it first came out and thinking how hysterical it was. I recently had the opportunity to view it again (I am now the father of a 4 year-old) and I still find it amusing but in a more sinister way. The dark side of this 1980 well- intentioned but terribly misguided people can completely turn an individuals life upside-down with their lack of forethought is an interesting premonition to our paranoid and callous society of today.

I also recently (through a friend) met Alan Arkin and relayed to him this disturbing sense I had about the movie and its (although admittedly unintentional) parallel to our current society of wiretapping and "erring on the side of caution." His response, although not unexpected, was that the subject of government intruding on the lives of individuals has always been one to interest him in films. Improper Channels is certainly in that vein.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Improper Channels (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: