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.
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Mary Stuart Masterson
Architect Michael Jordon is New York on business. Mysterious and beautiful stranger, Janet Dunn, runs into the taxi cab he's using and asks him to deliver a package for her. Enchanted by her, he does so and goes back to meet Janet afterwards, but finds her in her hotel dead. Now everyone believes that he's the killer and to make things even worse, a mysterious sinister group that's after the package is now after him as well. His only ally is his business contact Kate Hellman, who has mysteries of her own. Their first goal is to find out what was in the package. Meanwhile, someone tries to assassinate the director of national security, whom Janet Dunn tried to contact before her death.
Imagine Sidney Poitier doing a North by Northwest type movie. That is pretty much what Hanky Panky is. Sidney Poitier is no Alfred Hitchcock, though. Gene Wilder (alias Michael Jordan) saves this movie from being very mediocre. One has to go back to 1982 (the movie is actually situated in 1981) where things like national security and cold war had other dimensions than today. So take a little bit of murder mystery, a little bit of spy movie, add a neurotic character (Wilder) and his big-staring-eyes sidekick (Gilda Radner), take a few villains (a not quite convincing Richard Widmark), smashing bottles, men in dresses (yes, Wilder, too), stupid policemen, grim-looking NSA people and presto, racing here, racing there, driving, flying, smashing, that's the movie. Oh, did I forget to mention the really beautiful scenery of the Grand Canyon when flying within the Canyon was still allowed? This flight is really a wild ride and there are some low-level laughs in the cabin: how much intestinal gas can a fat pilot stand before he suddenly dies (of what?) in mid-air? If you're in for computer history, observe the excessive use of data tape and the by then state-of-the-art 3D-graphics. Actually, this movie has its very funny moments, but by today's standards its pace is slow, despite the fact that Wilder/Jordan is frantically running away from someone, something or else all the time. And the DVD is too expensive for not featuring any special features except of a full screen trailer. But if you own the DVD, watch that trailer, but don't fall asleep: would one advertise a screwball comedy like this in such a lame way, today?
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