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Dunston Checks In (1996)

A young boy befriends a larcenous orangutan in a luxury hotel.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lord Rutledge
Graham Sack ...
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Buck LaFarge
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Lionel Spalding
Nathan Davis ...
Victor Dubrow
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Mrs. Dellacroce
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Nancy
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Murray
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Artie
Lois De Banzie ...
Mrs. Winthrop
Natalie Core ...
Mrs. Feldman
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Storyline

Robert's a beleaguered concierge of the luxury hotel owned by Mrs. Dubrow. She tells Robert an undercover reviewer is coming and to look sharp. If he does well he might get a promotion and some time off to take his sons, Brian and Kyle, on vacation. But then the villainous jewel-thief Rutledge checks in with his specially trained orangutan, Dunston. And when Dunston gets loose and tries to escape a life of crime with the help of Brian and Kyle, things go just a little lunatic. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | orangutan | boy | fistfight | cake | See All (46) »

Taglines:

He's about to turn a Five Star Hotel into a three ring circus.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apestreker  »

Box Office

Gross:

$18,838,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the interior New York hotel scenes were filmed in Los Angeles at the old Bullocks Wilshire Building, which is no longer open. Others were also filmed at the Dorchester Hotel in London. See more »

Goofs

When Dunston goes into the spa and takes the cucumber off of the woman's face, it remains missing. But when Mr. Grant comes in, the cucumber is back on her face. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doorman: Welcome to the Majestic Hotel.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the morning preparations in a luxury hotel are shown. As the credits end, a concierge in a top hat opens the door with the words "Welcome to the Majestic Hotel". See more »

Connections

Features King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Fun, Go Mad!
Written by Blair Mackichan and Phil Taylor
Performed by Blair
Courtesy of Mercury Records, Ltd. (London)
by arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
A triumph
5 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

1995 and 1996 were clearly the years for movies dealing with primates. "Ed "in 1996 taught us that heroes come in all shapes, and all sizes. Congo (1995) taught us that apes could be both intelligent and evil. Let's not forget 1995's "Born to be Wild", where a teenage boy and female gorilla's near bestiality captured all our hearts. However, not since the original "Planet of Apes" has a movie captivated our attention, and made us feel what it's like to be a monkey. "Dunston Checks In" set the bar for years to come.

Sam the orangutan's performance as Dunston is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Blockbuster actors such as Ben Affleck and James Franco could learn a lesson or two from Sam. You think Ben Affleck was emotional when he said "I love you" to Bruce Willis in Armageddon? Think again. When Sam looks at the picture of him and his now dead brother, his expression alone brings a tear to ones eye. You think James Franco was in pain in Spider-Man 2 when he realized his best friend was the man who killed his father? Try watching Sam when he is getting a piece of glass torn from his flesh. Sam's connection with the audience is so great you almost feel the glass being ripped from your own hand.

This is not to mention the other wonderful qualities this movie has. Amazing slapstick comedy, alcoholic older women, Jason Alexander cursing, Faye Dunaway's fall from grace, an orangutan spanking a prominent socialite, and a cameo from Paul Reubens that can only be explained with two words: Oscar worthy.

The fact that this film did not win any Academy Awards is shocking. Five for sure: Paul Reubens beating out Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Woods for Best Supporting Actor, "Dunston Checks In" narrowly defeating "The English Patient" for Best Picture, Ken Kwapis for Best Director, Best Music Robert Blackwell, and lastly, a landslide victory for Sam, the orangutan for Best Actor. It is criminal that the Academy shafted this great film in 1996 with no Oscars and zero nominations.

Although it was given no Oscars this much can be certain: it set the standard and paved the way for future primate movies. Where would MVP: Most Vaulable Primate and MXP: Most Xtreme Primate be without Dunston Checks In? In some Hollywood executive's trash, that's where. Because of pioneer movies like "Dunston Checks In" movies like MVP and MXP enjoy much commercial success. So grab your kids, round up the neighbor, pop some popcorn, and get ready to laugh, and cry at one of the best movies in the last twenty years: "Dunston Checks In".


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