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Having heard for years how awful Haunted Honeymoon was and long wanting to see Gilda Radner in her last movie, I taped this last night while the Emmys were on. Now that I've seen it, I can now say nobody in the cast and crew have anything to be ashamed about. I love the performances in the radio studio with Radner and Gene Wilder playing characters in a show with the same title as film. Dom DeLuise is amusing as Aunt Kate. But I want to really praise the hard-of-hearing butler Pfister (Bryan Pringle) who, because Wilder tells him his fiancée is slightly deaf, keeps shouting at Radner. And, yes, like many other comments here, I love Wilder's using someone else's legs as his in front of policemen. I also loved the "Ballin' the Jack" number between DeLuise and Radner and Radner's joke about the bug on the windshield. So in short, if you're a fan of all three stars, seek this out by all means!
Another film which no-one else seems to like, but which I find enjoyable. I think some people should give this picture a second chance. Gene Wilder plays a neurotic radio star called Larry Abbott, and on the eve of his wedding to co-star Vicky Pearle (the late Mrs. Wilder, Gilda Radner) his memories of a childhood trauma cause him to experience bizarre mood swings. His psychiatrist uncle arranges for him to spend the weekend at his aunt's Gothic mansion. The whole bizarre family gathers and a series of madcap events occur as a mysterious killer tries to bump Wilder off to get the family fortune. Wilder is not as funny as he usually is. He only really shines with the 'legs' joke in the cellar, but his co-stars generate a lot of smiles, especially the dragged-up Dom DeLuise as Great Aunt Kate, Bryan Pringle as the alcoholic butler Pfister and Gilda Radner herself raises mucho smiles. A young Jonathan Pryce is suitably hissable as bad guy Charlie. John Morris' music score is as excellent as ever as are the sets by Terence Marsh (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) who also co-wrote the script with Wilder. Just give it a chance.
This is a surprisingly well-made movie. It's funny, sure, but not in the punchliney way you'd expect. It's more that the whole thing is just so unexpected. Gene Wilder is completely charming and does some great understated acting in this film; Gilda Radner is funny everywhere she goes. Dom DeLouise pulls off a great drag character, and no one works too hard on their jokes--it's just a good time, filmed with surprising confidence. Though it looks like it's going to be another bad script with tired jokes for a niche videostore crowd, it's actually an extension of many of Mel Brooks' best directorial moments. It even has a Brooksian meta- narrative about film-making. I imagine it might look silly and dated on a TV screen with a movie channel logo in the corner, but when it's treated like a film instead of a schlock night, it's a respectable piece of work well worth anyone's time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Brilliantly witty horror/comedy starring the best husband & wife team
in the genre of comedy.
Gene Wilder is, admittedly, an acquired taste. His humor is expressive and intelligent and not for everyone. But who can not love sweet little Gilda Radner? This is one of the few collaborations between the husband & wife team of Wilder and Radner, and one of Wilder's best attempts, in this critic's opinion.
While there are a few plot holes here, this movie was not meant to be an Oscar contender, nor was it made to be thought-inspiring. This is pure entertainment which hits dead on the mark.
Gilda is sweet, competent, and assertive here as Vickie Pearle, fiancé to Larry Abbott (Wilder). The couple work as radio stars for a weekly horror broadcast, but Larry is having some anxiety problems, and it's up to Vickie to help keep him glued together. Just as their show is starting to top the charts, Larry begins to show serious signs of wear, and now his uncle, Paul Abbott, steps in and takes Larry's reins.
It seems Dr. Abbott knows how to cure Larry's problem, but with murder, treachery, and intrigue all around him, will Larry ever be cured of his anxiety?
This is a wonderfully fun movie with an all-star cast, which bears a definite Agatha Christie feel about it, even with Dom DeLuise in drag!
I adore this movie, and watch it often.
It rates an 8.4/10 from...
the Fiend :.
We purchased this movie because we learned that Gilda starred in it
right before her death. I had wanted to introduce my daughter to
Gilda's interesting style of humor and, since she loves Gene Wilder so
much (we watch Young Frankenstein twice a week, at least), she
instantly loved this one, as well.
At first, the plot line is terribly hard to fathom and I had to watch it several times to catch all the straggling ends. However, once you understand what's really happening, the story within the story within the story, then you can really begin to enjoy the subtle jokes, the attention to detail in the sets and costumes, the excellent performances by one and all. Of course, Gene and Gilda are enchanting together and she shines in her role as only she could do. Dom DeLuise played the Great-Aunt perfectly, but my favorite in the movie was Jonathan Pryce whose performance was exceptional. My grand-daughter's favorite part of the movie is Gilda and Dom's singing and dancing to "Ball in the Jack". We have to play that part over and over for her so she can dance with them.
Haunted Honeymoon is worth watching several times and worth returning to, often.
This is the sort of off-the-wall comedy that is perfect for the wee hours -- so long as you don't wake up the rest of the household, either screaming or laughing! DeLuise and Radner were especially good (as you might expect) -- it would be hard to beat their duet of "Balling the Jack." If you're looking for a logical plotline, you will have to go elsewhere. There are more twists and turns and unresolved moments than actual dialogue, I believe. However, if totally bizarre is what you're after, this is it! I found it thoroughly enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've loved Haunted Honeymoon ever since I was a kid, and saw it in the
Cinema. Naturally as you get older you see things with different eyes,
and what I remembered as a scary tale of Werewolves is actually a
rather sweet, funny and hugely entertaining trip down memory lane.
It's tragic to think that this was Gilda Rander's before she tragically lost her life, but she gives a sparkling performance and bounced of husband Gene Wilder beautifully.
It's a great little tail of Werewolves, deception, Transvestism and jealousy.
I have never been able to decide who's the funniest, whether it's Aunt Kate or Rachel, both are so much fun, Rachel, played by Ann Way is a joy, especially when she's bashing poor Pfister about, she's a diminutive terror.
The music is really nice the whole way through, it's so dramatic, it fits in great with the film, real 80's Chiller feel to it.
I am stunned by the bad reviews that surround this film, to me it's just a bundle of fun. Take Dom LeLuise's performance for what it is, hugely over the top, but truly funny.
Best scene has to be Eagle Rock, which is a show stopper, I love it, Gilda had gorgeous legs. You can't help but smile watching it.
What happens to Larry's old girlfriend Susan, where does she go?? Was the Werewolf talking to Susan in the Wine Cellar, don't know.
I grew up on this film and I still love it, sure it's daft, but it doesn't try to be anything else.
Just watched this film recently. Its one of those films always on TV and you think you've watched it. Well I hadn't actually watched it for nearly 20 years, what a fantastically funny film! I particularly loved the scene where Gene Wilder in in the basement with the dead body (legs hanging out) and the cops think the legs are Gene's. I thought I was going to have a heart attack there and then, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. Its a great film with a couple of real scary moments too! Highly recommended (as with all Gene Wilder films). I only found out recently that Gilda Radner died shortly after filming this movie. She was Gene's wife in the movie and in real life.
This one has it all, the old mystery radio show, a haunted house, and a
killer cast, especially Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner together. Now throw
a family worthy of James Thurber's, and great story line and you have
Dom Deloise as the eccentric aunt in drag is priceless, and mysterious happenings at a family gathering, a bizarre butler, his wife, and a fantastic story with wit, style, and loads of humor. A genuine keeper.
Check out the cast listing, it's great! And the delivery of the actors is flawless, well-timed. Well worth the money.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Haunted Honeymoon is set in the 1930's & starts in a radio studio where
'Manhattan Mystery Theatre' is going out live, actor Larry Abbot (Gene
Wilder) & his co-star Vickie Pearle (Gila Radner, Wilder's then wife &
her last film before she died) are soon to be married. However the
engagement to Vickie has set a screw loose in Larry's head & he often
can't control himself on-air. The shows sponsor Charlie (Lou Hirsch) is
about to fire him when Larry's psychiatrist Brother Dr. Paul Abbot
(Paul L. Smith) assures Charlie that he can cure Larry by literally
scaring the condition out of him when the entire Abbot family meet up
together at their large ancestral mansion to celebrate Larry's
engagement. As the guests begin to arrive strange things start to
happen, Larry's Aunt Kate (Dom DeLuise) talks of a Werewolf, a family
member (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) is murdered shortly after being told
the contents of rich Aunt Kate's will, Larry begins to start seeing
ghosts & quickly discovers not everything is as it appears...
Staring, co-written & directed by Gene Wilder this is one tragic mess of a film, just about a complete failure on almost every level. The script by Wilder & Terence Marsh is supposed to pay homage to the old dark haunted house mysteries from the 30's like The Cat and the Canary (1939) among others. Unfortunately it also tries to mix other genres as well, comedy, musical & horror, quite simply it doesn't work in the slightest. The comedy elements are so unfunny I couldn't believe it, I did not laugh once during this film. It tries far too hard with all out slapstick, comedy sound effects & sequences which probably looked OK on paper but ended up being far from OK in the finished product. Scenes of Wilder trying to pass a dead body off as a living person by dancing with it in front of two idiotic cops (Billy J. Mitchell & R. J. Bell) is embarrassing to watch, or a scene in which Wilder is sitting on top of a stuffed moose head hiding from a snake is just dumb & Dom Deluise in drag as Aunt Kate is a truly hideous & laugh free image. Not one single moment of supposed comedy in Haunted Honeymoon worked for me, the jokes are far too drawn out & predictable. The mystery elements are better but are all but lost amongst the lame attempts at humour & nothing is explained, the killer is revealed but how he achieved certain things are unclear like them walking down a wall & those crazy mirror effects. There is even a brief musical interlude as Vickie & Aunt Kate perform a little number, once again it just comes across as embarrassing to watch. I also hated the ending, it makes a mockery of everything that precedes it & is just lazy & clichéd. One area in which Haunted Honeymoon does succeed is with it's good atmosphere, the period production design & sets are excellent & really capture the feel of those old horror mysteries. The cinematography & special effects are good & generally speaking Haunted Honeymoon is very well made with that Hollywood polish about it. The acting is pretty bad by all involved including Wilder whom I usually like, perhaps he was more concerned about behind-the-camera activities as director rather than acting in front of it, Dom Deluise is highly annoying & irritating as Aunt Kate. As far as I'm concerned Haunted Honeymoon is a complete failure as either a horror mystery or a comedy & I just can't see what sort of film goer this would appeal too & enjoy it. Haunted Honeymoon was Wilder's last directorial effort to date which says it all really, you have been forewarned!
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