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Malcolm is a chronically shy mechanical genius who has just been fired for building his own tram. He gets Frank, who has just been released from jail, to move in to help pay the bills. Malcolm, with Frank's help, turns to a life of crime.Written by
Dougal Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Parker tells the story of the time when clearing out a production office, coming across a pile of scripts forwarded on from Hollywood agents following the success of "Malcolm". On the front page of one of the rejected scripts, Nadia Tass had written across the front page "We've already done this. Pass." The script was titled "Forrest Gump". See more »
Like an Aussie Frank Spencer, but much less manic and brilliantly inventive, naive and slow Malcolm is an only son of an overprotective mother, who has died.
Malcolm loses his job and it's suggested that he lets out a room in his mother's house that he's inherited. Helpful neighbours make out a list of questions that he may have for any prospective lodgers and before long, Frank, fresh out of prison (this being unknown, of course, to Malcolm) and soon Frank's girlfriend, Judith move in.
They're still practising "crims" and surprisingly, find Malcolm all too eager to assist them in their thieving. Malcolm, of course, doesn't see all this as anything more than fun and an excellent outlet for his technical inventions, that include remotely controlled litter bins, that act as innocuous roving cameras that move around an intended target building and relay video footage back. Malcolm also has friends now, probably for the first time in a very long while.
The rather whimsical inventions, now, look pretty dated and whilst they're impressively inventive - a getaway car that splits in half, as it's actually two motorbikes joined together, but looks like a car...this is all rather Disney-ish, except this features adults only and I reckon will appeal to an older generation more, who might appreciate their comedy more visual and innocent than the rather more crude and broad comedy cinema of today.
It's generally a likable little film and whilst one (in theory) might find Malcolm's character irritating, initially at least, one doesn't for long and at least, unlike the Farrelly brother films of excess, 'dumb' doesn't mean overplayed moronically stupid. Malcolm is a character that we might know and it is this element that warms us and carries both us and the film through its many frankly absurd plot-lines.
Twenty-six years ago, when this film was released, I'm sure its comedy and success with the public would have been high. Now, though, it seems to have a very small but devoted following that is otherwise consigned into the realms of the unknown import, that is expensive to buy, even if you can track it down. I watched it as part of the 12 DVD boxset 'Australian Cinema Collection', which is Region 0 (region-free).
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