5.8/10
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107 user 24 critic

Almost Heroes (1998)

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A road comedy about 2 guys whose mission is to beat Lewis and Clark.

Director:

Christopher Guest

Writers:

Mark Nutter, Thomas R. Wolfe (as Tom Wolfe) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Farley ... Bartholomew Hunt
Matthew Perry ... Leslie Edwards
Bokeem Woodbine ... Jonah
Barry Del Sherman ... Sergeant
Robert Tittor Robert Tittor ... Priest
Franklin Cover ... Nicholas Burr
David Packer David Packer ... Bidwell
Eugene Levy ... Guy Fontenot
Lisa Barbuscia ... Shaquinna
Christian Clemenson ... Father Girard
Steven M. Porter ... Higgins
Patrick Cranshaw ... Jackson (as Joseph Patrick Cranshaw)
Hamilton Camp ... Pratt
Jonathan Joss ... Bent Twig
George Aguilar ... Chief Two Roads
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Storyline

Explorers Bartholemew Hunt and Leslie Edwards are setting forth against nature across the country on a journey to the Pacific Ocean against rivals Lewis and Clark. Along the way they have many mishaps and misfortunes. Written by RNWebner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Almost History... Almost Legends... Mostly Ridiculous.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude humor and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Almost History See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,837,928, 31 May 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,114,928, 12 July 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Elias, the shop owner that Bartholomew Hunt goes to for a bath, a shave, and a tooth removal, is loosely based on Charles Willson Peale, a painter from colonial times who also practiced taxidermy and dentistry. See more »

Goofs

Bidwell's ear is still visible on his head throughout the movie after Fontenot bites it off. See more »

Quotes

Bidwell: [returns to camp after a bear has bit off his leg] Sir, I've been to hell and back.
Edwards: Yes, I can see that...
Bidwell: I suspect that you'll want to lead a hunting party to slay that terrible beast.
Edwards: Well, yes, that thought did cross my mind briefly. But now I have a better idea.
Bidwell: Yes, sir?
Edwards: I shall fashion for you the finest wooden leg you've ever seen.
Bidwell: But what about the bear?
Edwards: Rest assured, Bidwell, in 20 years or so, the ravages of old age will deal with the bear far more cruelly than we ever could have.
Bidwell: ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Movie Nights: Birdemic (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Opus 71 Third Movement, String Quartet in E Flat Major, 'Andante Con Moto'
Composed by Franz Joseph Haydn (as Franz Joseph Haydn)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very funny if a bit too episodic
3 March 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

This one is deliciously high concept--What if famed explorers Louis and Clark were plagued with a band of ridiculous, incompetent, bumbling ignoramus rivals?

Leslie Edwards (Matthew Perry) is the organizer of the alternate expedition, and seems the brightest of the bunch. At least until you realize that he thinks good choices for his team include Bartholomew Hunt (Chris Farley) as their wilderness-hardened guide with experience and Guy Fontenot (Eugene Levy) as the team's translator. Hunt is basically Farley playing himself, which is both hilariously funny and profoundly tragic at the same time, and Fontenot makes it clear that he doesn't know much about other languages. At first we give Edwards kudos for deselecting him, but when Fontenot lets it be known that he'll only join the expedition if his hot Indian woman (she's not a spouse or girlfriend to him, but property), Shaquinna (Lisa Barbuscia), can also come along, Edwards figures that they probably won't need a translator's services that badly anyway, so brings him on the journey.

Levy is great at playing an attractive dunderhead. But we already knew that. That's what he's been doing since his early days on "Second City TV" (SCTV) (1976). What's more surprising is that Perry can so effectively come across as a sophisticated halfwit. Perry's performance is so dryly funny that during his scenes it can be easy to mistake Almost Heroes for a much more serious endeavor than the Mel Brooks-styled farce that it is. Farley has no such subtle complexities in his performance, but he's none the worse for that. He just acts natural, aside from feigning idiocy, as an extremely self-indulgent, substance-abusing boor. That may not sound funny, but in the context of the film, it is--Farley was as good at this stuff as was his idol, John Belushi. It's only made tragic by the knowledge that similar behavior off-camera led to his premature death shortly after making this film. The rest of the cast tends to be just as funny, if a bit underused. For that matter, though, even Levy is a bit underused.

What brought my score for Almost Heroes down slightly was the fact that it may be a bit too episodic. The episodes are all like very good to excellent skits on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) or SCTV, but they didn't necessarily flow together as a film. Taken separately, many of the skits are worthy of a 10--the IMDb message boards are full of threads with viewers citing their favorite moments. Reading through those after watching the film, just thinking about many of them again made me laugh out loud. But as a whole, Almost Heroes seems a bit underdeveloped from what it might have been. This may not be Christopher Guest's best work as a director, but it's worth watching and definitely deserves a DVD release.


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