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Plain Clothes (1987)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Mystery, Romance  |  July 1989 (Peru)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 655 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 6 critic

To prove his brother's innocence, undercover officer Nick enrolls in high school again, dealing with crushes, bullies, humiliations, popularity swings, and quirky teachers and staff to find the real murderer.



(screenplay) (as A. Scott Frank) , (story) (as A. Scott Frank) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Plain Clothes (1987)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Dunbar
Robin Torrence
Chet Butler
Jane Melway
Ed Malmburg
Dave Hechtor
Jackie Gayle ...
Coach Zeffer
Mr. Wiseman
Mr. Gardner
Dawn-Marie Zeffer
Kyle Kerns
Simon Feck
Matt Dunbar
Captain Graff


Trying to get his brother out of jail, Nick has to bump his way out again from high school, find the murderer, keep his job as a policeman and run away from crazy little girls. Written by JS

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An Undercover Nightmare.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

July 1989 (Peru)  »

Also Known As:

Assassinato em 2º Grau  »

Box Office


$289,323 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The poem read by Nick in class is a classic poem by the famous poet e.e. cummings entitled "She Being Brand New." See more »


Kyle: And do you know what we do with shit around here, Nick?
Nick: From your breath, I'd say you eat it.
See more »


By Sarah Taylor, Bill Mumy (as Billy Mumy) and Robert Haimer
Performed and Produced by Sarah Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Quirky Mystery-Comedy, a sleeper!
10 May 2008 | by (Ontario) – See all my reviews

"Plain Clothes" is a great quirky mystery-comedy. Don't let the lack of fame detract you from from viewing this little 80's gem. I carried an old homemade VHS tape of it for years before finally securing a factory-made copy from an Amazon reseller. Fans of the flick frequently lobby for a DVD release.

Arliss Howard is perfect as Nick Dunbar, a 'young-looking' undercover detective who must go 'plain clothes' into an odd high school to find evidence to clear his brother on a murder rap. Turns out the staff at this school are all a bit wacky and include the likes of George Wendt, Dianne Ladd, Abe Vigoda, Harry Shearer and Robert Stack (over a live PA system: "Is this thing on? Now bombing Moscow"). No shortage of suspects.

Add to this: Nick doesn't like teens or kids - never did - never was one himself, apparently! He draws the ire of the local 'frat' boys, who don't know what they're up against. And watch for a hilarious scene in which Nick decides to convince everyone that he's for real by presenting his 'metaphor' homework. ahem. Language class was never like this in my town.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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