The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. ... See full summary »
Henry Moon is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico. He finds that there is a post-Civil War law in the small town that any single ... See full summary »
Jack Chester, a stressed air-traffic controller, takes his family on a beach vacation to Florida but is soon beset by problems, especially when an arrogant sailing champion shows up, who Jack challenges to a race.
Harry Crumb is a bumbling and inept private investigator who is hired to solve the kidnapping of a young heiress which he's not expected to solve because his employer is the mastermind behind the kidnapping.
Jimmy Lynch is angry because his older brother, who was injured as a result of an off duty fire rescue, is denied benefits by the city. At the same time, Mayor Tyler is embroiled in a ... See full summary »
Completely innocent man, Michael Jordon, is drawn into a web of government secrets when a girl carrying a mysterious package gets into a taxi with him. When she's later murdered, Michael becomes the chief suspect and goes on the run.
One man's quiet suburban life takes a sickening lurch for the worse when a young couple move into the deserted house next door. From the word go it is obvious these are not the quiet professional types who *should* be living in such a nice street. As more and more unbelievable events unfold, our hero starts to question his own sanity... and those of his family. Written by
John Belushi saw this film as an opportunity for him to shake off the Bluto image that he had gained from Animal House (1978). While his casting as the straight man goes some way to doing that, Belushi ended up hating everything about the film, from its director to its music score. Regarding the latter, he lobbied for a punk rock music track, not the jaunty trombone jazz score that Bill Conti came up with. See more »
After Vic's dog Baby is heard barking in Enid and Earl's bedroom, we never hear or see the dog again, even after Vic, Ramona and Earl leave Bird Street. See more »
Old Earl here was worried about Baby.
Oh, he's no trouble at all. He's a perfect gentleman. You can leave him with me anytime you want.
Don't worry, I will.
They spoil him awfully.
Well, I want him to have every advantage I was denied as a young dog.
See more »
Nutty, miserable and touching... the best Belushi film.
Nutty, miserable and touching... the best Belushi film.
Yes!! I think this was Belushi's finest film. And it took me at least 2 viewings before I even liked it... Probably the most underrated comedy of the 1980s.
This film captures the desperate isolation of Earl (Belushi) and Enid (Kathryn Walker) Keese, two deadpan suburbanites who barely have any feelings left due to the changelessness of their lifestyle. Suddenly, two insane neighbors show up to occupy the only other house on Bird Street, which has gone vacant for some time.
The neighbors Vic and Ramona (Dan Aykroyd and Cathy Moriarty) play alternating head games on Earl, while showing a much more reasonable face to Mrs. Keese. Each lopsided encounter becomes increasingly confrontational and humiliating to poor Earl, who in the course of about 18 hours comes close to losing everything he has... wife, car, house, daughter, health, freedom and sanity. It's an extreme hard-luck story through most of it, reminding me for some reason of Jack Lemmon in The Out of Towners. It's a real train wreck, but lots of fun.
You have to watch carefully to see the real beauty of this film. The subtlety of Belushi's performance is a large part of what makes it work. Although Earl could shut the door and lock it at any time to escape these people, he is actually intrigued by them, being quite desperate to make ANY friends from outside his tomblike neighborhood, no matter how insane. Each time, he seems resolved not to fall for the next ploy... yet can't help himself. You can really see the conflict in him. The ultimate payoff at the end is worth every ounce of misery along the way... a real catharsis, and very appropriate.
The dialogue is witty and jabby, and lots of fun. There are lots of great one-liners throughout. Here's one of my favorite exchanges between Earl and Vic, Vic is trying to get Earl to admit what secret arrangement he's made with Ramona.
DA: Tell us Earl. Or do I have to pound it out of ya? JB: (stands abruptly, shouting) DON'T EVER SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY IN MY OWN HOME! DA: Why would I? JB: You just did! DA: It's just something a guy says... JB: Well I never say it! DA: I don't blame you.
Well it's funnier in context, trust me.
There are great directorial touches along the way. Camera angles at times get very creepy, referring to Hitchcock and Romero. The musical score is wonderful. It is the very essence of insanity, tumbling from Twilight-Zone with theramins to 50's cartoon to Native-American drumbeats to circus marches. And listen to the narration coming from the TV in the Keese's living room (voiced by Aykroyd), hilarious.
The reason some people disliked this movie I think is the expectations they have about Belushi. This is definitely not Animal House or the Blues Brothers. He plays the straight man, and it seems conceptually strange, but if you watch with an open mind you won't be disappointed. I think if he hadn't died so young, in Belushi we would have seen a tremendously powerful comic/dramatic actor and lasting box-office draw, on the scale of Tom Hanks. Ah, what might have been.
Thanks for reading.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?