77 user 62 critic

Something Wild (1986)

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A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.


Jonathan Demme


E. Max Frye
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Daniels ... Charles Driggs
Melanie Griffith ... Audrey Hankel
George 'Red' Schwartz George 'Red' Schwartz ... Counter Man (as George Schwartz)
Leib Lensky Leib Lensky ... Frenchy
Tracey Walter ... The Country Squire
Maggie T. Maggie T. ... Country Squire Bulldog
Patricia Falkenhain Patricia Falkenhain ... Charlie's Secretary
Sandy McLeod Sandy McLeod ... Graves' Secretary
Robert Ridgely ... Richard Graves
Buzz Kilman Buzz Kilman ... TV Newscaster
Kenneth Utt ... Dad
Adelle Lutz Adelle Lutz ... Rose
Charles Napier ... Irate Chef
Jim Roche Jim Roche ... Motel Philosopher
John Sayles ... Motorcycle Cop


The uneventful life of the businessman Charles Driggs suddenly changes when he meets the wild and sexy Lulu. When he accepts her offer to drive him back to his office, she instead takes him out of town and on a trip, leaving behind his old life. Posing as a married couple, Charles and "Audrey" (which turns out to be Lulu's real name) visit her mother and her high school reunion. At this reunion they meet Audrey's violent ex-husband Ray, who has just released from prison. When Ray makes it clear that he wants Audrey back, that is when the real trouble begins. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Something Different Something Daring Something Dangerous


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

7 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Something Wild See more »

Filming Locations:

Quincy, Florida, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,825,717, 9 November 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Religioso Primitiva See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The book that Audrey Hankel is reading on the first scene at the fast food is on Frida Kahlo. See more »


When Charlie persuades Ray to let Audrey leave with him, they are sitting at a table in the center of the diner. After the couple have left, the waitress returns with the bill to Ray, who is suddenly sitting at a window table. See more »


[Ray smashes glass door with a chair; enters]
Ray Sinclair: Hiya, Charlie.
Charlie Driggs: Ray!
[ray kicks a tray; tosses Charlie form his recliner; kicks the cabinet]
Ray Sinclair: Get up! Let's see what your made of, Charlie!
See more »


Referenced in Good Morning Britain: Episode dated 31 May 2016 (2016) See more »


My Watercolors
Written by Charles Napier (as Chuck Napier)
Performed by Charles Napier (as Chuck Napier)
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining 80s update of the screwball comedy genre
26 April 2017 | by gedhurstSee all my reviews

Rewatching Something Wild recently some 30 years after I first saw it, I was struck by how vividly the craziness of the story stayed in my memory, but also how surprising and unexpected the plot turns were. This is a good sign that that someone took time to craft an excellent plot. In fact, the film makers have lavished tender loving care on every aspect of this film and given it a lot of heart.

Melanie Griffith does everything but set the screen on fire as she takes Jeff Daniel's humdrum office worker life and turns it upside down. We're then taken on a helter-skelter anything-goes trip where the couple leave the city and the staid conventions of middle class life behind as they plunge into a passionate affair and journey deep into the comforting familiarity of small town America with its motels, folksy shops and and kindly people. Ironically this is where the greatest danger lurks in the shape of old flame Ray Liotta, grinning maniacally and flipping the madcap whimsy into insane violence.

Every minor character on this trip fills you with good vibes, in sharp contrast to the sinister kind of twist that current-day Hollywood mainstream gives to bit players. The soundtrack, for fans of 80s music, is fantastic - you're bound to hear stuff you haven't heard for ages.

This film works on many levels: the actors are charming and charismatic, and their parts are well and sympathetically written. It's a loving memoir of a materialistic decade that many thought was money-obsessed but was filled with many hapless characters like this reviewer who lived similar episodes in their own lives: except not so wild!

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