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The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,492 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 32 critic

Wallace Ritchie is mistaken for a spy and must stop a plot to assassinate international leaders at a banquet.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
...
...
Gilbert Embleton
...
...
Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
...
Barbara Ritchie
...
Sergei
Cliff Parisi ...
Uri
...
Dimitri
Janet Henfrey ...
Ms. Goldstein
Terry O'Neill ...
Spenser
Isabel Hernández ...
Consuela (as Isabel Hernandez)
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Storyline

An American gets a ticket for an audience participation game in London, then gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. As an international plot unravels around him, he thinks it's all part of the act. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The international intelligence community is about to get a lot less intelligent. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, innuendo, comic violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watch That Man  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 573,393 (Germany) (5 June 1998)

Gross:

DEM 573,393 (Germany) (5 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature film to be made at Elstree Studios after the local council bought it from Brent Walker under a Compulsory Purchase Order. See more »

Goofs

When Murray scares away the guy choking Lori through the window, there's a shot of Murray wearing sunglasses and saying they should leave. In the following shot, Murray's sunglasses have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Police Constable Cochrane: So what's the pay like then?
Wallace: They pay all your expenses, you're licensed to kill, but there's a down side.
Police Constable Cochrane: What's that?
Wallace: Torture.
Police Constable Cochrane: There's the women, though.
Wallace: Well, they're nice after the torture. Believe me.
Police Constable Cochrane: Not much of a car they've given you though, is it?
Wallace: Oh, it's a piece of crap! They've got an Aston Martin... had trouble with the surface-to-air missiles, so it's in the shop.
Wallace: Ah.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Scandal (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Obsession
Written by David Bee
Performed by Reg Owen and his Orchestra
Courtesy of BMG Entertainment International U.K. & Ireland (as Island) Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

It's summer, it's hot, kids are home, time to kick back.

With my son out-of-school, it's a bit trickier getting time to see the films I really enjoy. TRANSLATION: it's that time of year for a lot of rentals of films he likes and I can handle. After a tough day of lounging by the pool, another viewing of "The Seventh Seal" won't fly.

But Bill Murray in "The Man Who Knew Too Little" gives us that perfect summertime, late night film. Murray stars as a bumbling, clueless American who pops into London unexpected and uninvited so his Master of the Universe brother can celebrate his birthday. Trouble is the brother and his wife are entertaining visitors from Germany for a business presentation and Murray can't fit in. His brother has to make him disappear for the evening.

Which leads to the complex plot. Given a ticket for a live, interactive, TV show without walls (or a specific locale), Murray stumbles into a plot by a top British spymaster and his Soviet counterpart to pull off a midnight assassination of two ambassadors, thus wrecking a treaty ending the Cold War (and their lucrative, paranoia-tinged careers). Believing he's in a very big show, and with - of course - suitable and gorgeous female assistance he hits a lot of London (sometimes literally).

A little dated, I'm not so sure we wouldn't welcome some of the uncertainties and stresses of the Cold War for the unfolding enigma of international relations today. Hey, I shouldn't get serious and neither does Murray as he blunders about dispatching assassins and bystanders with ease.

This is a very physical comedy, Murray's forte. There isn't a serious idea in the script and the outcome is as predictable as May drizzle in London. But my kid couldn't stop laughing and that's good enough for me.


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