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Dutch (1991)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 July 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 8,816 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 13 critic

To get to know his girlfriend's son, a working-class good guy volunteers to pick him up from a prep school - only to learn that her son isn't the nicest kid.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dutch Dooley
Doyle Standish (as Ethan Randall)
Natalie Standish
Reed Standish
Hailey (as E.G. Daily)
Homeless Woman
Lisa Figus ...
Party Woman
Cedering Fox ...
Party Woman
Party Woman
Kyle Fredericks ...
David James Alexander ...
Man #1
Ross Borden ...
Man #2
Joe Baker ...
Party Butler


Working-class good guy Dutch Dooley is the current boyfriend of a wealthy, snobbish tycoon's ex-wife. Volunteering to drive the woman's son home for Thanksgiving to Chicago from his boarding school in Georgia, little does Dutch expect the picaresque adventures in store for him. When a blunt, down-to-earth construction worker takes to the road with an insufferable twelve-year-old snob (desperately insecure under the surface) who does not approve of him in the least, quite a little must happen before they can reach their destination as friends -- or, for that matter, get home at all. Written by Paul Emmons <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Can a big kid bring out the child in a little jerk? See more »


Comedy | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 July 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Driving Me Crazy  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)


$4,603,929 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Candy was the first choice to play Dutch Dooley. See more »


As Doyle and Brock discuss Doyle's problems with his mom and Dutch; the camera cuts back and forth between their place in the backseat while they converse and Hailey trying to steal Dutch's ring. Throughout the cuts, Brock and Doyle's dialogue plays over the scene, but during shots of Hailey and Dutch, Brock can be seen in the back seat not saying a word and either staring into space or watching the action in the front seat. See more »


[first lines]
Party Woman: Pardon my incredulity, Natalie, but I'm very surprised to see you here. Pleasantly so, of course.
Natalie: I'm a little surprised to see myself here, too, Mary Alice. Pleasantly so, of course.
Party Woman: Were you here last year?
Natalie: No, I wasn't invited last year.
Party Woman: Oh, curious. That must have been an accident. Oh, do you know Libby?
Natalie: No, I don't believe I do.
Party Woman: Libby, this is Natalie Standish. Natalie is Reed's... Oh, is it alright to...
Natalie: Say that Reed got me pregnant when I was a barhop at your country club? ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Extra footage of 'Dutch" shooting off fireworks plays behind end credits See more »


Referenced in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Geek Tragedy (1992) See more »


Shake It Baby
Written by John Hughes and Matt Deakin
Produced by John Hughes and Femi Jiya
Performed by '2 Y Z' featuring vocals by Andrea Salazar
See more »

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User Reviews

When you need comedy, you get Ed O'Neill!
22 July 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

Dutch is fantastic because Ed O'Neill, the star of the movie, is a fantastic comedian, and an underrated one at that (but then again, Hollywood does recycle the same cast over and over, so it's no surprised you never see him in too many major motion pictures). And though Christopher MacDonald, who play's Doyle's father is a real creep, he is a great comedian as well, and you just can't help to laugh whenever this guy is around (uh...that's a good thing).

This is the early part of John Hughes's transition into strictly doing family films. He passed the teenage films (the brat pack series), then films with slightly younger supporting and main casts (Uncle Buck, Curly Sue, Dutch), and then went straight for the youngest-aged family film series (Home Alone, Baby's Day Out, etc). The early part of the John Hughes family film series, which started somewhere around 1989/1990 and continued into the early 90s, are comedies that I still enjoy watching (I haven't cared to watch many of his later movies because Baby's Day Out and Beethoven, etc. just doesn't interest me). They had two great elements: the social commentary (though it tends to be repeated in many of his films/screenplays), and the comedy element.

Disappointed that his father (Christopher MacDonald) is in London (on a supposed "business trip", which translates into a holiday with a woman instead of his son) and won't be spending time with him on Thanskgiving, spoiled-brat Doyle (Ethan Embry) decides that he doesn't want to spend the holiday with his mother, either. They don't get along well, especially considering he is more like a mirror of his incredibly obnoxious father, while his mother (Jo Beth Williams) is a sensitive, kinder woman who just wants to get along with her son. Don't worry, 'Dutch' is on the case!

Dutch (Ed O'Neill) is sort of a bafoon character (as we see from the introduction at the party where he engages in something like a mini version of Peter Sellers in 'The Party'). But, he's a good-natured fellow with a heart of gold. He'd have to be to make a promise to Doyle's mom that he'd bring the boy home for the holidays (Doyle goes to private school).

It proves to be no easy task. Not at all. Since Doyle doesn't want to come home at all, let alone with his mother's goofy boyfriend. Doyle despises Dutch because Doyle comes from major money (Dutch works in construction) and sees himself as a much classier person than Dutch (who can get pretty gross when he wants...if only to annoy Doyle). But, Dutch is going to do whatever it takes (and it takes a lot) not only to keep his promise to Doyle's mother, but to try and get the tense little boy to lighten up and see that the world is not entirely against him. So there, you have the typical elements of Hughest: 1) social commentary via class divisions; and 2) unecessary youth angst.

With a guy like Ed O'Neill, who even offers some great slapstick comedy, you can be sure that you'll be in for a lot of laughs. This guy truly is one underrated actor.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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