6.3/10
29,282
78 user 34 critic

It Could Happen to You (1994)

A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charlie Lang
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Yvonne Biasi
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Muriel Lang
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Bo Williams
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Jesu
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Jack Gross
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Eddie Biasi
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Sal Bontempo
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Walter Zakuto
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C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman ...
Walter
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Timothy
Beatrice Winde ...
Judge
Ginny Yang ...
Mrs. Sun

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Storyline

Charlie and Muriel Lang have led simple lives - for most of their existance. That's until they win $4 million on the lottery! There is a problem, however. Prior to winning the lottery, Charlie had eaten at a cafe and hadn't been able to tip the waitress. He had promised her, jokingly, that if he won the lottery he'd give her half of it. This is why his wife, Muriel decides to leave him. She doesn't want the waitress to get a cent of their money. Infact she wants all $4 million for herself! Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not about money. It's about life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a scene of cop action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip!  »

Box Office

Gross:

$37,800,323 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the true story of Phyllis Penzo and Officer Robert Cunningham. For twenty-four years, Penzo served as a waitress at Sal's Pizzeria in Yonkers, New York. Cunningham, a thirty-year veteran of the police force in nearby Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., was a regular customer at the restaurant, well-liked by the staff there. (His favorite dish was linguine with clams.) One day in March, 1984, Cunningham asked Penzo for help picking his weekly lottery numbers. Penzo suggested three numbers, and Cunningham came up with three more numbers on his own. Cunningham jokingly promised that if he won, he would split the winnings with Penzo as a tip. The next day, to Penzo's surprise, Cunningham and his wife came to the diner with the winning lottery ticket in hand. Cunningham's ticket had won $6 million, which he split with Penzo, giving her $3 million. In real life, however (as stated in a disclaimer at the end of the movie), Cunningham and Penzo were both happily married to other people for many years. See more »

Goofs

When the movie begins, the coffee shop is called "Ideal". After she buys it, Yvonne changes the name to "Yvonne's". When Charlie comes to the shop to find Yvonne (the first time that they are together after the court verdict), the name of the shop is "Ideal" again. But if you look closely, the Yvonne's sign is still up, just darkened. Obviously with the money awarded to Muriel, Yvonne would had sold the coffee shop back to her original boss, hence it is in the middle of re-doing the sign. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Lang: Meatball! That's what I want!
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Crazy Credits

This film was inspired by the generosity of detective Robert Cunningham (ret.) and his wife, Gina. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have been happily married for 31 years. The waitress and her husband have been happily married for 37 years. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad About You: The City (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

They Can't Take That Away from Me
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Billie Holiday
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User Reviews

 
The nearest any film's ever come to breaking me...
5 June 2002 | by (Manchester, England) – See all my reviews

...as a cynic.

I, through whatever reason, am absurdly cynical. A cynic, lest we forget, is somebody who puts very little faith in the good nature of humanity. Somebody who considers all good deeds to be selfishly motivated.

Somebody who should absolutely hate this film.

But I can't. I love this to pieces. No film has ever done as much to give me some faith in people. If Charlie can do the decent thing and split his ticket with Yvonne to fulfil a promise, despite the demands of a furious Muriel; if despite reaching a financial and emotional low they can still invite Angel in to put some food in his belly; and if the New York public can show their appreciation by doing whatever little they can to help out; then maybe, just maybe, there might be hope for the rest of us.

This. Is. Beautiful.


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