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The In-Laws (1979)

On the eve of their children's marriage, NYC in-laws Sheldon Kornpett and Vince Ricardo embark on a series of misadventures involving the CIA, the Treasury Department and Central American dictators.


Arthur Hiller


Andrew Bergman

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Vince Ricardo
Alan Arkin ... Sheldon Kornpett
Richard Libertini ... Gen. Garcia
Nancy Dussault ... Carol Kornpett
Penny Peyser ... Barbara Kornpett
Arlene Golonka ... Jean Ricardo
Michael Lembeck ... Tommy Ricardo
Paul L. Smith ... Mo (as Paul Lawrence Smith)
Carmine Caridi ... Angie
Ed Begley Jr. ... Barry Lutz
Sammy Smith Sammy Smith ... Mr. Hirschorn
James Hong ... Bing Wong
Barbara Dana Barbara Dana ... Bank Teller
Rozsika Halmos ... Mrs. Adelman
Álvaro Carcaño Álvaro Carcaño ... Edgardo (as Alvaro Carcano)


In preparation for his daughter's wedding, dentist Sheldon Kornpett meets Vince Ricardo, the groom's father. Vince, a manic fellow who claims to be a government agent, then proceeds to drag Sheldon into a series of chases and misadventures from New York to Central America. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


While the Father of the Bride was extracting a molar from Mrs. Cohen, the Father of the Groom was extracting $20 Million from the U.S. Mint. And this was only the beginning. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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English | Spanish | Mandarin

Release Date:

12 September 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Zwei in Teufels Küche See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James Hong improvised all his dialogue on the plane. See more »


When Sheldon enters Vince's office to open the safe, he closes the office door behind him, but doesn't lock it. However, when the two hit men who were following him try to open the door, it is locked. See more »


Vince Ricardo: Serpentine Shelly. Serpentine!
See more »


Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Super Cool Party People (2006) See more »


Buffalo Gals
Written by William Cool White
See more »

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User Reviews

The Real Thing
22 April 2003 | by jberlin11797See all my reviews

When I was 10 years old, my family and I went to see "The In-Laws" in Florida, and we all had so much fun laughing and howling. Peter Falk and Alan Arkin are such a perfect pair in this classic comedy and they are just so inimitable. Falk is the crazed CIA agent, Arkin is the meek dentist, together, when their children plan to marry, Arkin gets involved in Falk's espionage adventures south of the border. Character actor Richard Libertini, a familiar face to many comedies with his bald pate, thick beard, and zany accents, adds to the fun as the Latin dictator who makes hand gestures with eyemakeup and lipstick drawn to his hand to the two guys in one hilarious scene. The best line of the movie is "Serpentine!" Recently, I found on the internet that Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks are going to mimic these greats in an upcoming remake with the same title as the original. Many people posted messages that they were outraged that the regularly dramatic Douglas and the dryly funny Brooks are not only reprising their roles, but also poorly copying them. Audiences at previews were equally angry and predict that the remake will fall flat on its face and there just will never, ever be another Falk and Arkin. Every actor has his/her own persona, and it is highly forced and unnatural when one actor tries to duplicate another actor's persona.

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