A homeless man and his young companion, who survive by conning people, meet a woman who may need them even more than they need her.


John Hughes


John Hughes
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Belushi ... Bill Dancer (as James Belushi)
Kelly Lynch ... Grey Ellison
Alisan Porter ... Curly Sue
John Getz ... Walker McCormick
Fred Thompson ... Bernard Oxbar (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
Cameron Thor ... Maitre d'
Branscombe Richmond ... Albert
Steve Carell ... Tesio (as Steven Carell)
Gail Boggs ... Anise Hall
Burke Byrnes ... Dr. Maxwell
Viveka Davis ... Trina
Barbara Tarbuck ... Mrs. Arnold
Edie McClurg ... Secretary
Charles Adams Charles Adams ... Prison Guard
James W. Boinski James W. Boinski ... Pawnbroker


Bill Dancer and his young companion Curly Sue are the classic homeless folks with hearts of gold. Their scams are aimed not at turning a profit, but at getting enough to eat. When they scam the rich and beautiful Grey Ellison into believing she backed her Mercedes into Bill, they're only hoping for a free meal. But Grey is touched, and over the objections of her snotty fiance, insist on putting the two up for the night. As they get to know each other, Bill becomes convinced that this is where Curly Sue belongs - in a home, cared for by someone that can give her the advantages that his homeless, nomadic existence lacks. He plans to leave the young girl in the care of Grey and take off.... but Curly Sue has other ideas! Written by Rick Munoz <rick.munoz@his.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From Steven Speilberg and John Hughes The creators of Men in Black and An American Tail and The Co-Creators of Ferris Buller's Day Off and Home Alone See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


John Hughes: [The Beatles ]: The movie features the song "You Never Know", performed by Ringo Starr. See more »


At the movie theater, the popcorn box contents vary inconsistently between shots and are actually refilled near the end. See more »


Grey Ellison: You lived with him when he was nothing, you suffered his youth and the years of struggle, now you're entitled to half of everything he has.
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller? (2008) See more »


Yacht Club Swing
Written by J.C. Johnson (as James C. Johnson), Fats Waller (as Thomas 'Fats' Waller), and Herman Autrey
Produced by Femi Jiya and John Hughes
See more »

User Reviews

Take a heartfelt whirl with Curly Sue!
19 September 2006 | by inkblot11See all my reviews

Curly Sue is a 6 year old with an abundance of hair and a life as a drifter. She and her father, Bill (Jim Belushi), try to survive on the streets by being small time con artists. In Chicago, Bill decides to jump in front of a car in a pricey parking garage while Curly will scream about lawsuits and traction to the intended victim. It happens to be a very upscale lawyer named Grey (Kelly Lynch) who is appropriately appalled at what she has done. Not only do the scammers make some cash, they get to spend the night at Grey's plush apartment. Even then, Grey feels she owes them more so the three of them hang together for a spell. Grey only knows the lucrative law business and nothing about life. Who better to teach her than Bill and Curly, those savvy experts on life's realities? But, all good things must come to an end and there is no life for a legal expert and a couple of con men. Or is there? This is a sweet and funny movie about the unexpected. Curly is certainly as entertaining as Shirley Temple but much edgier, of course. Belushi gives a rare touching performance as the down on his luck con and Lynch is luminous as the snooty but soft touch lawyer. John Hughes, as writer and director, shows us his magic touch once again, as the script is lively and unpredictable. Just watch Curly and Bill take Grey out for a night, with no money, and see the humorous results. Do you long for happy endings, long promised and finally delivered, with a few uncertain moments in between? This is your made-to-order movie.

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Release Date:

25 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Curly Sue See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,974,958, 27 October 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | SDDS (2002 Re-Release)| Dolby Digital (2002 Re-Release)| DTS (Digital DTS Sound) (2002 Re-Release)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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