Completely innocent man, Michael Jordon, is drawn into a web of government secrets when a girl carrying a mysterious package gets into a taxi with him. When she's later murdered, Michael becomes the chief suspect and goes on the run.
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Mary Stuart Masterson
Architect Michael Jordan, a Chicago Architect, is New York on business. A beautiful stranger identifying herself as Janet Dunn, runs into the taxi cab he's using. He volunteers to put a package into the mailbox for her after she hastily addresses the envelope. Infatuated with her goes to see her at her hotel. She brushes him off and closes the door in his face. He is about to leave when he hears a shot. Janet opens the door and falls into his arms dead. Now everyone believes that he's the killer. A mysterious group that's after the package is now after him. His only ally is Kate Hellman, who has secrets of her own. To clear his name they have to find out what was in the package, who wants it and why.Written by
The movie was originally rated R by the MPAA (the Motion Picture Association of America) in the U.S., but upon appeal to the Classification and Rating Appeals Board by Columbia Pictures, the movie was re-rated and re-classified "PG". See more »
The chase through Madison Square Garden is supposed to happen in the summer of 1981, but the circus poster says the circus shows started Wednesday the 1st and ended Sunday the 31st. The only 1981 dates that correspond are April 1st to May 31st, which dates are all in the Spring. Also, the newspaper Pruitt was reading in the club was dated in August 1981. See more »
The main cast is identified at the end with a brief scene in which they were involved that freezes as the actor and character name is shown, except for Richard Widmark, who is credited over the scene of the exploding helicopter. See more »
Gene Wilder plays the amusingly named Michael Jordon, an architect from Chicago, in this comedy / thriller. Jordon is an innocent guy who gets swept into big time trouble after sharing a cab with an operative named Janet Dunn (Kathleen Quinlan), who's being pursued by traitorous American thugs. They desperately want their hands on a valuable computer tape, and will do anything to get it. Wilder's real-life love Gilda Radner plays the young woman eager to help him out, and she has her own reason for doing so, although he won't be aware of this for a while. Not only are these spies out to get him, but the cops in NYC assume him to be a killer. (When WILL innocent movie characters learn not to pick up murder weapons?) Knowing that "Hanky Panky" was originally intended as a reunion of director Sidney Poitier and actors Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor (after "Stir Crazy") makes one wonder what could have been, as the comedy fireworks would certainly have been even greater. As it is, Wilder and Radner (who's cute and adorable) do have an energetic chemistry. The movie itself is pretty entertaining and energetic itself, moving along very well and offering up some good action sequences; Poitier does a nice job with the material. The movie actually takes itself rather seriously much of the time, but there are still some good comedy moments, especially when Michael steals a tuxedo and, while aboard a bus, realizes it belonged to a magician, and the sequence with a sickly airplane pilot where Michael has to take the controls. Suffice it to say, there aren't many people who can freak out as well as Gene Wilder. "Hanky Panky" finds him in fine form, and the supporting cast features a slew of recognizable and reliable actors. Richard Widmark, as the chief heavy, shows that he still had great villainous presence on screen, well into his 60s. Also appearing are Robert Prosky, Josef Sommer, Johnny Sekka, Jay O. Sanders, and character actors Pat Corley, James Tolkan, Beau Starr, Frankie Faison, Larry Pine, William Sadler, and Victor Argo in small roles. This is of course no "North by Northwest", but it's not bad at all, either, remaining agreeable entertainment for a lively 108 minutes. At the least, it's worth noting that this is where Wilder and Radner met. Seven out of 10.
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