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The Check Is in the Mail... (1986)

R | | Comedy | 2 May 1986 (USA)
Frustrated with all the minor irritants of the rat-race Richard Jackson decides to buy a goat, disconnect the electricity and become self-sufficient. But will this life be any less annoying?


Joan Darling


Robert Kaufman


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Dennehy ... Richard Jackson
Anne Archer ... Peggy Jackson
Hallie Todd ... Robin Jackson
Michael Bowen ... Gary Jackson
Chris Hebert ... Danny Jackson
Katherine Saltzberg Katherine Saltzberg ... Sally (as Kathy Maisnik)
Thomas Rollerson Thomas Rollerson ... Sally' boyfriend
Greg Mullavey ... Harry Danvers
Ronnie Schell ... Dr. Brannigan
Beau Starr ... Rocco
Emily Banks ... Travel agent
Fred Pinkard Fred Pinkard ... Skycap
Nanci Christopher Nanci Christopher ... Airline representative
Richard Minchenberg ... Paul Silver
Christopher Rydell ... Drunken sailor (as Chris Rydell)


Frustrated with all the minor irritants of the rat-race Richard Jackson decides to buy a goat, disconnect the electricity and become self-sufficient. But will this life be any less annoying?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PLASTIC MONEY... PHONY CREDIT... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! There comes a time where the AMERICAN FAMILY has had it!!! And if that sounds familiar, you've just figured out how to BEAT THE SYSTEM!!! See more »




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A csekk a postán van See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dick Shawn appears uncredited in the movie as the Jackson's neighbor and family friend Donald, although Shawn was credited in the film's trailer. See more »


Rocco: Where's the money you owe us?
Richard Jackson: I just took care of it. The check's in the mail.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title, Check is in the Mail, is used with permission of Dembner Books whose cartoon book with the same title is funny too - but different. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original cut was 91 minutes, but trimmed down to 82 minutes for its theatrical release. Some scenes were cut and replaced with new footage featuring Dick Shawn and Nina Talbot as the Jackson's neighbors, as well as a new scene where we find out Richard had given haircuts to Robin and Danny, hence explaining their different hairstyles. See more »

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User Reviews

An enjoyable comedy that has it flaws
8 September 2018 | by abbazabakyleman-98834See all my reviews

This film hasn't aged well for a variety of reasons. The movie was shot in 1983, but didn't get a release date until 1986. The script wasn't too bad as it was written by the always reliable Robert Kaufman, who gave us Freebie and the Bean and Love at First Bite. Brian Dennehy and Anne Archer are, however, horribly miscast in the roles as the couple who decide to live off the grid, turn their backyard into a farm, and shut off all the electricity and eventually losing everything in the process.

What hurts the film greatly is how the movie had to be later re-shot to make it more silly by adding Dick Shawn and Nita Talbot as the wacky next-door neighbors. The original cut itself actually flows a lot better without these added bits. Their scenes are totally unnecessary and ruins the unique tone of this movie.

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