Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.
Lawrence and Freddie are con-men; big-time and small time respectively. They unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this town (on the French Mediterranean coast) aint big enough for the two of them. They agree to a "loser leaves" bet. The bet brings out the best/worse in the two. Interesting twist at the end. Written by
Actor Michael Caine was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy but lost out to Tom Hanks for Big (1988). Martin was not nominated in the same category despite many people considering him being the major contributor of many of the movie's laughs. See more »
When Lawrence Jamison goes to Switzerland, the sign in the train station reads "ZURICH". It should read "ZÜRICH" with an umlaut. See more »
Freddy, as a younger man, I was a sculptor, a painter, and a musician. There was just one problem: I wasn't very good. As a matter of fact, I was dreadful. I finally came to the frustrating conclusion that I had taste and style, but not talent. I knew my limitations. We all have our limitations, Freddy. Fortunately, I discovered that taste and style were commodities that people desired. Freddy, what I am saying is: know your limitations. You are a moron.
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I really don't watch this movie often enough. The few times I've seen it over the years provide superior entertainment, but it's a film I seem to forget about. That shouldn't be the case: it's a terrific movie.
I've never met anyone who did NOT like this movie. It seems to appeal to a lot of people, young and old. The three leads - Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenn Headley - were all in top form, on top of their "game," so to speak.
Martin's facial expressions and physical humor are terrific and Caine played his part magnificently, too. I enjoy Caine much more in here than Martin (and in most films) but Steve seems to have the funniest moments in this movie. At any rate, both are superb as antagonists "Lawrence Jamison" (Caine) and "Freddie Benson" (Martin). The two men have the talent to pull off slapstick as well as subtle comedy. Headley, as "Janet Colgate," meanwhile, is a joy to watch and to listen to, with that sweet voice of hers. I can't say more about her without giving away too much but she is not only the objection of attention in the movie, but the key character. These three combine for almost a laugh-a-minute.
This also is a good example of how to make a modern-day comedy without all the sleaze and profanity. There is some in here, but not much. Why most comedies do not follow this lead is a sad question. It's still an adult movie about con men, not a film teens and below would enjoy. Frank Oz, who directed other pretty clean-and-funny movies, directed this one.
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