7.3/10
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Malcolm (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi | 5 November 1986 (USA)
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. ... See full summary »

Director:

Nadia Tass

Writer:

David Parker (screenplay)
Reviews
9 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Friels ... Malcolm Hughes
Lindy Davies Lindy Davies ... Judith
Chris Haywood ... Willy
John Hargreaves ... Frank Baker
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ... Tramways supervisor
Beverley Phillips Beverley Phillips ... Mrs. T
Judith Stratford Judith Stratford ... Jenny
Heather Mitchell Heather Mitchell ... Barmaid
Tony Mahood Tony Mahood ... Tram Conductor
David Letch ... Restaurant Hoon #2
Mike Bishop Mike Bishop ... Armed Guard
David Johnston David Johnston ... TV Announcer
Katerina Tassopoulos Katerina Tassopoulos ... Jenny's Mother
Ian McFadyen Ian McFadyen ... Model Shop Salesman
Ian Shrives Ian Shrives ... Split Car Cop #1
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Storyline

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 <dwagon@aaii.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A crazy genius in a mad bad world See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El laberinto de Malcolm See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,064, 20 July 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$544,472
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tramways supervisor: You'd better get them separated.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The character of 'Malcolm' was inspired by JOHN TASSOPOULOS. All other characters and events depicted in this motion picture are entirely fictional... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Yodel 1
(uncredited)
Music by Simon Jeffes
Performed by Penguin Cafe Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gentle Aussie Comedy...
11 June 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

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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