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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?


When the script was submitted to Orion, producers asked the studio to give them an answer quickly. They felt that since the budget was so low, if the answer was no, they could take it to another studio. The studio agreed to produce it in less than a week. See more »


Lulu's drink of choice is Seagram's 7, an American blended whiskey. When she enters the package store, she specifically asks for 4 pints of Scotch, and the clerk retrieves the Seagram's from the shelf. See more »


Nelson: Charlie, attempt to be cool.
See more »


Referenced in This Filthy World (2006) See more »


Written by Tina Baker, Mitch Kaplan
Performed by Tina Baker
See more »

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User Reviews

An entertaining mix of comedy and drama from Jonathan Demme.
21 January 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Jeff Daniels plays Charles Driggs, a straight arrow yuppie who decides one day to skip out on his cheque for lunch. A stranger, "Lulu" (Melanie Griffith), notices this, and correctly surmises that he's a "closet rebel" kind of guy. He's the perfect guy whom she can fit into her plans, so she sort of "abducts" him and makes him pose as her husband. However, the guy whom she is actually still married to, an ex-convict named Ray Sinclair (Ray Liotta, in his breakthrough film performance) shows up, and things take an uglier turn.

As written by E. Max Frye and directed by the talented veteran Jonathan Demme, "Something Wild" is engaging for quite a while. It manages to be pretty zany in spirit, and somewhat unpredictable. Daniels, who's often made a career out of playing straight arrow types, and the kooky, delightful Griffith, who sports a brunette wig at first, work decidedly well together. One is amused by their misadventures and wondering what sort of mess that Lulu will next create for Charles. However, the film is somewhat overlong, and changes tone for its second half for a much more conventional narrative of Ray dominating the proceedings and occasionally terrorizing Charles. (Not to mention Charles taking quite a shine to Lulu and refusing to let her go without some sort of fight.)

Fortunately, Daniels and Griffith are so utterly engaging that they make this trip worthwhile. Liotta is a powerhouse in the role of the volatile husband; I'm sure that back then, theatre goers and critics alike could see that this guy was going places. Lovely Margaret Colin is good in an underwritten role, and is unceremoniously dropped from the story. One other complaint that this viewer had was that this cast features some top notch character players - Tracey Walter, Charles Napier, Robert Ridgely - and director cameos (John Sayles as a motorcycle cop, John Waters as a used car salesman), and then makes such brief use of them. One might wish that they had more to do.

The eclectic soundtrack is solid accompaniment for this generally agreeable movie. It may not move that well, but it does come up with some very nice moments along the way.

Seven out of 10.

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