26 user 11 critic

Crazy People (1990)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 13 April 1990 (USA)
A bitter ad executive who has reached his breaking point, finds himself in a mental institution where his career actually begins to thrive with the help of the hospital's patients.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Cusack ...
Floyd Vivino ...
Dr. Liz Baylor
Dr. Koch
David Packer ...
Mark Olander


Emory works in advertising, and is beginning to crack-up. His latest idea is honesty, e.g. "Volvos, Yes they are boxy, but they're safe". This doesn't go down too well with the boss, so Emory is sent to a psychiatric hospital to 'recover'. Meanwhile, back at the office, Emory's work is accidentally sent to the printers. His ads are a huge success. But now Emory has fallen for Kathy (another patient) and so doesn't want to leave. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Winner of 107 Academy Awards.* (* awarded by the Academy of Eternal Optimists) See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les fous de la pub  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,236,513 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Promotional artwork for this film on DVD, home video and movie posters has shown actor Dudley Moore wearing a strait-jacket. But in a contra-position to the film's main theme of "truth in advertising", Moore is never actually seen in the movie wearing a strait-jacket. See more »


Kathy: Hold me. Please hold me.
Emory Leeson: I am holding you.
Kathy: I know, but it's a woman thing. I have to say it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, a "special issue" of Advertising Age spins in, with a cover portrait proclaiming the main characters to be "Emperors of Madison Ave." See more »


References Tremors (1990) See more »


by Cal DeVoll
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User Reviews

Brutal, Sacrilegious, and Funny as Hell
1 December 2012 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

The most subversive comedy ever to come out of Hollywood. It absolutely torches capitalism and the empty-headed consumerism that is its driving force. The first 20 minutes are easily the film's strongest, taking on the status quo and delivering a hydrogen truth-bomb right on top of Madison Avenue's best and brightest.

The main criticism of Crazy People - the unnecessary romantic sub-plot

  • can easily be overlooked when compared to how solid it is at its
core. There is real value to be found here, which is not something that can be said for most pieces of entertainment.

Roger Ebert said it "has more really big laughs in it than any other unsuccessful comedy I've seen." Entertainment Weekly gave it a "D-" calling it out for "unintentionally celebrating" advertising. Vincent Canby of the NY Times also hated it to pieces, which really rubbed me the wrong way until I noticed that he felt the same way about both Rain Man and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. (Whatever, Vince - if you wanted to see people eating their own poop in the quest for realistic depictions of asylums, you were squarely in the minority.) I feel that Variety hit the nail on the head with their brief synopsis: "Crazy People combines a hilarious dissection of advertising with a warm view of so-called insanity." Hollywood's daily V-rag also noted that two weeks into shooting, two big changes were made: Dudley Moore replaced John Malkovich, and writer/director Mitch Markowitz lost the directing gig to Tony Bill. Not really relevant here, but interesting.

I know this wasn't the best review, but I'm not a professional writer and don't have an editor. I hope you find it adequate (or even helpful).

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