4.5/10
1,244
16 user 7 critic

A Fine Mess (1986)

An actor and a chef fathom a plot to fix a horse race and attempt at capitalizing it, while striving to tackle two of the hitmen responsible for the scheme.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writer:

Blake Edwards
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Danson ... Spence Holden
Howie Mandel ... Dennis Powell
Richard Mulligan ... Wayne 'Turnip' Parragella
Stuart Margolin ... Maurice 'Binky' Drundza
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Claudia Pazzo
Jennifer Edwards Jennifer Edwards ... Ellen Frankenthaler
Paul Sorvino ... Tony Pazzo
Rick Ducommun ... Wardell
Keye Luke ... Ishimine
Ed Herlihy Ed Herlihy ... TV Reporter
Walter Charles Walter Charles ... Auctioneer
Tawny Moyer ... Leading Lady
Emma Walton Hamilton ... First Extra
Carrie Leigh Carrie Leigh ... Second Extra
Sharan Lea ... Young Girl
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Storyline

Two friends, an actor and a chef, discover a plot to fix a horse race and try to capitalize on it. But they must also deal with the two men who fixed the race, who are trying to silence them. Then there's the mob boss the two guys work for, who planned the fix, and whose wife is having an affair with the actor. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' A Fine Mess See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,029,824
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Location manager Ron [Ronald M. Quigley] scoured Los Angeles for the right kind of drive-in, only to find that nowhere in the megalopolis was one to be found. The solution was to locate a suitable parking lot and build the eatery to the specifications of the script. On a Brentwood corner lot, production designer Rodger Maus and his art and construction departments built a working drive-in dressed both inside and out with neon and jukeboxes, counter and kitchen. As soon as the building took shape, the local office personnel and residential neighbors began dropping by asking when it would open. They were very disappointed to learn that it wouldn't. See more »

Goofs

The damage to the front grill of Binkey and Turnip's first caddy changes throughout Spence and Dennis' car chase; a small hole to half the grille. See more »

Quotes

Spence Holden: All right, you've got to distract them.
Dennis Powell: I'VE got to?
Spence Holden: So I can place the bet.
Dennis Powell: They're looking for YOU! You're the perfect attention-getter!
Spence Holden: You don't care if I get killed?
Dennis Powell: I don't want ANYBODY getting killed, starting with ME!
See more »

Connections

References A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Help Falling In Love
Written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss (as George Weiss)
Produced by Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut
Performed by Christine McVie
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Latter-day Edwards....
25 August 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

You can't blame Blake Edwards for making this kind of movie.

For years, he depended on the kind of pratfalls that course through "A Fine Mess" as his bread and butter, so to speak. They served the "Pink Panther" series well, and made Inspector Clouseau a world-wide reference point for the ultimate in clumsiness.

But for a movie that basically features two losers crossing the mob in a horse race then moving a piano to a rich lady's house, this film is all over the place. So many people introduced then forgotten, plot lines that go nowhere, laughs that are fun for the moment but have no context.

Shocking, really, this coming as it does from Blake Edwards, who once personified classy comedy with such works as the aforementioned "Panther" films, not to mention classics like "10", "Micki + Maude" and the under-appreciated "S.O.B.".

And with the calibre of talent, you'd expect great things; the manic Mandel, lecherous Danson, luxuriant Alonzo, and wackos like Mulligan and Margolin as mob flunkies all have the fire, but there's just nothing here to stoke the furnace.

There were separate moments here and there that gave me a smile but, like the movie itself, it just lives for the moment, then is gone.

TIDBIT - The idea for this movie actually came from a Laurel and Hardy short where Stan and Ollie try to move a huge piano up innumerable flights of stairs. Hence, the name.

It still is fitting: this movie is definitely a "Mess", if not a "Fine" one.

Three stars. Saved but for the virtue of Mulligan in the cast and a bit part for pre-"NYPD Blue" Franz.


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