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Don't Drink the Water (1994)

Somewhere behind the early 1960s cold-war iron curtain, the Hollander family cause an international spying incident when Walter photographs a sunset in a sensitive region. In order to stay ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Herlihy ...
Mr. Burns
Miss Pritchard
Ed Van Nuys ...
Embassy Staff
Skip Rose ...
Embassy Staff
Policeman (as Leonid Uscher)
Stas Kmiec ...
Policeman (as Stas' Kmiec')
Vit Horejs ...
Sándor Técsy ...
Krojack's Colleague (as Sandor Tecsy)


Somewhere behind the early 1960s cold-war iron curtain, the Hollander family cause an international spying incident when Walter photographs a sunset in a sensitive region. In order to stay out of jail, the Hollanders take refuge in the American Embassy, which is temporarily being run by the absent Ambassador's diplomatically incompetent son, Axel. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They Couldn't Wait To Get In. Now It's Hilarious Trying To Get Out! (DVD)



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kata lathos kataskopos  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Woody Allen decided to do his own TV film version of his 1966 play after a belated viewing of Don't Drink the Water (1969), which he had nothing to do with and which he thought was inferior. See more »


Version of Don't Drink the Water (1969) See more »


Wonderful Violin
Performed by Sándor Lakatos (as Sandor Lakatos) & His Orchestra
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User Reviews

It may not be among Woody Allen's best, but it is still much better than the 1969 film
21 August 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Not that the 1969 film was terrible, for me it was not quite as bad as said to be, but while there were bright spots it was an average film overall. This second version does have some claustrophobic-feeling camera work and the ending does feel too neat but it is the much better version of the two. The production and costume design are done beautifully, which despite the camera work makes it a more appealing film visually. The editing here actually compliments the timing of the gags rather than hinders it. Allen's films nearly always have great soundtracks and this soundtrack doesn't disappoint at all, it's fresher-sounding and far more mellow and is in a style that I much prefer, it's also more fitting. The dialogue is smart and hilarious as well as intelligently structured, it's sharper, more witty and has much more bite(all three of which were missing in the earlier version) that sounds more like Allen's writing style. The pacing is zippier, with the film just flying by, and much more farce-like, like it was always intended to be, instead of taking the premise too seriously. The characters are indeed broad which is never a bad thing for farce and they are more interesting and likable even if deliberately neurotic. Allen's directing is just fine, and his performance does show genuine and more consistent comic timing, neurotic sure(not unusual for Allen) but not in a too samey way. Julie Kavner shows great chemistry with him and she matches him in comic timing, she's also one of the most strong-willed Allen female characters-which was refreshing-and a more interesting character than Estelle Parssons'. Michael J.Fox is actually charming and funny and never too much of a dunce(yes even for a character where that trait is called for), while Dom DeLuise provides much entertainment in how hilariously bad his magic tricks are while more restrained than he could be. Edward Hermann is inspired casting though could have been seen more. Mayim Bialik is not quite as effective as everyone else and a little plain but she is more than serviceable still. Overall, it may not be among Allen's best and is one of his weaker outings of the 90s(with only Shadows and Fog, still a decent film, and Celebrity, which to me is one of Allen's overall weakest, rated lower) but it is a lot of fun and fares much better than the 1969 film. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox

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