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Something Wild (1986)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Romance  |  7 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 11,251 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 65 user | 44 critic | 14 from

A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.



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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Driggs
Audrey Hankel
George 'Red' Schwartz ...
Counter Man (as George Schwartz)
Leib Lensky ...
The Country Squire
Maggie T. ...
Country Squire Bulldog
Patricia Falkenhain ...
Charlie's Secretary
Sandy McLeod ...
Graves' Secretary
Robert Ridgely ...
Richard Graves
Buzz Kilman ...
TV Newscaster
Kenneth Utt ...
Adelle Lutz ...
Irate Chef
Jim Roche ...
Motel Philosopher
Motorcycle Cop


The uneventful life of the businessman Charles Driggs suddenly changes when he meets the wild and sexy Lulu. When he accepts her offer to drive him back to his office, she instead takes him out of town and on a trip, leaving behind his old life. Posing as a married couple, Charles and "Audrey" (which turns out to be Lulu's real name) visit her mother and her high school reunion. At this reunion they meet Audrey's violent ex-husband Ray, who has just released from prison. When Ray makes it clear that he wants Audrey back, that is when the real trouble begins. Written by Leon Wolters <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Something Different Something Daring Something Dangerous


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gefährliche Freundin  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,362,969 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The two old ladies in the re-sale shop are the mothers of David Byrne and director Jonathan Demme. See more »


When Charles and Lulu start making love in the motel, Charles's lipstick smear on the upper lip first moves from right to left, then disappears and reappears (on the left). See more »


Charlie Driggs: Look, if you don't turn around and take me back, you're gonna make me do something that I don't wanna do.
Audrey 'Lulu' Hankel: [grins] I can hardly wait, Charlie.
See more »


Time Talks
Written by Scott Rogness
Performed by Scott Rogness
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User Reviews

Truly a Wild Entertainment
12 September 2009 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Not even remotely corny like one would expect of a 1980s romantic comedy, this fierce, libidinous entertainment stars Jeff Daniels as Charlie, an externally button-down banker whose mojo is readily fluttered by audacity in women, and Melanie Griffith as Lulu, an alcoholic sex machine with an amply fertile mind. Daniels plays some of the same notes here that he used in Terms of Endearment, where he was the firm, competent, straitlaced husband and father who liked to have relations with perky coeds. He looks like he was born to wear a suit and a tie, but he has that insubordinate glint in the right light. Griffith's performance is founded not so much on sexual excitement as on nerve: She is able to persuade us, and Daniels, that she is likely to do almost anything, particularly if she thinks it might shock him.

Even while they're standing on the sidewalk in front of that restaurant and she's making like she's charging him with theft, there's a spark between them. The casting is critical in a movie like this. There has to be some kind of brutish cohesion between the man and the woman or it doesn't make any difference how sharp the dialogue is. Once they've made their connection, Daniels freely goes along for the ride. After awhile she even takes his handcuffs off, although he sort of liked the idea of having lunch in a restaurant with the cuffs dangling from one of his wrists.

They drive down the East Coast from New York to Tallahasee, while she steals money from cash registers and he capsizes into the conscious daydream of the sensually exhausted. At Griffith's high school reunion, Daniels runs into the last person he wants to see, the accountant from his office. And Griffith runs into the last person she wants to see, her husband, Ray Liotta. I will stop here. The uncertainty of the tension must not be ruined.

If Demme and screenwriter E. Max Frye had developed this movie as a madcap comedy, it most likely wouldn't have worked as well. Their feat is to think their characters through before the very first scene. They know all about Charlie and Lulu, and so what happens after the confrontation outside that restaurant is virtually inescapable, cnsidering who they are and how they look at each other. This is one of those few movies where the story acts shocked by what the characters do, and not the other way around.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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