6.7/10
29,410
126 user 43 critic

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
Wallace Ritchie is mistaken for a spy and must stop a plot to assassinate international leaders at a banquet.

Director:

Jon Amiel

Writers:

Robert Farrar (novel), Robert Farrar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Wallace Ritchie
Peter Gallagher ... James Ritchie
Joanne Whalley ... Lori
Alfred Molina ... Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
Richard Wilson ... Sir Roger Daggenhurst
John Standing ... Gilbert Embleton
Simon Chandler ... Hawkins
Geraldine James ... Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
Anna Chancellor ... Barbara Ritchie
Nicholas Woodeson ... Sergei
Cliff Parisi ... Uri
John Thomson ... Dimitri
Janet Henfrey ... Ms. Goldstein
Terry O'Neill ... Spenser
Isabel Hernández Isabel Hernández ... Consuela (as Isabel Hernandez)
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, an obsessive-compulsive neurotic, tracks him down during his family vacation.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty
Quick Change (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three thieves successfully rob a New York City bank, but making the escape from the city proves to be almost impossible.

Directors: Howard Franklin, Bill Murray
Stars: Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid
Scrooged (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A motivational speaker discovers that the inheritance his father left for him is in the form of an elephant.

Director: Howard Franklin
Stars: Bill Murray, Matthew McConaughey, Jerry Adler
Kingpin (1996)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A star bowler whose career was prematurely "cut off" hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four small-time two-bit character actors, all close friends, are competing for same important part in the next Martin Scorsese mob film.

Director: Philip Frank Messina
Stars: Robert Costanzo, David Strathairn, Adam Arkin
Stripes (1981)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis
Meatballs (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Wacky hijinks of counselors and campers at a less-than-average summer camp.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An artist fails a test and is required to direct traffic in New York City's Holland Tunnel. He winds up falling in love with a beautiful woman, after he takes a trip to the moon on a Lunar Cruiser.

Director: Tom Schiller
Stars: Zach Galligan, Apollonia van Ravenstein, Lauren Tom
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After his life is saved by a lonely cop, a mobster who moonlights as a stand-up comedian provides the cop with a beautiful young companion.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Bill Murray
Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
St. Vincent (2014)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Stars: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts
Edit

Storyline

American Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) gets a ticket for an audience participation game in London, England, then gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. As an international plot unravels around him, he thinks it's all part of the act.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of ridiculous proportions See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, innuendo, comic violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors John Standing and Terence Harvey had previously appeared in the 1994 "Clue" Video Game as Colonel Mustard and the Butler, respectively. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene, a trimaran in the background disappears and reappears several times. See more »

Quotes

Wallace: She told me about the letters.
Gilbert Embleton: Letters? What letters?
Wallace: The letters. She told me about them. I know all about the letters. How do you think I know? She told me. That's how I found out.
See more »

Connections

References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade In G Major: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525: II. Romance: Andante
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

User Reviews

Funny if slight
6 September 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Wally Ritchie flies from America to visit his brother in London for his birthday. However James has a business meeting and needs Wally out of the way for the evening. He books Wally onto a new murder-evening style experience where you get to play the character of an secret agent or the like. However Wally answers the wrong phone call and is mistaken for hitman Spenser. Following the instructions of the call, Wally becomes involved in a plot to start the cold war again by killing a mix of Ambassadors. Blissfully unaware Wally sets out to foil the plot.

This is one of those films that I'd kept meaning to see for ages but never got round to it. So when I finally did I maybe had too high expectations for it. So for the first 20 minutes I was a little impatient and was bothered that I wasn't really enjoying it or laughing very much. However once I got past this I relaxed and started to enjoy it.

The plot is mush and even if you take it seriously, all the pieces don't fit together and the plot doesn't make a lot of sense. However ignore all this plot nonsense – this is all about Wally stumbling from one misunderstanding to another lucky occurrence. We're not in the realms of classic comedy here and it certainly isn't hilarious. Rather it's funny and enjoyable – in that, even when I wasn't smiling I still had a fixed grin on my face.

Murray is the film's saviour. He stumbles around so very well and makes even the most basic misunderstanding funny. Gallagher is a passable straightman and Walley-Kilmer is decent but really suffers from having to share a screen with Murray. A fleet of British faces make up the rest of the cast – from Molina, Wilson, Woodeson to the sublime John Thomson and faces like Dexter Fletcher and `that guy offa Family Affairs'. To be honest it's all a bit distracting having so many `oh, that's ……' and you do have to try and get past it.

Overall this isn't the funniest thing you'll ever see, but it is enjoyable and will make you smile for 90 minutes, even if the belly laughs are less often than you'd like. Murray runs the show and brings laughs out of the least inspired routines. Well worth a watch if you're in a silly, undemanding mood.


27 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 126 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watch That Man See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,604,819, 16 November 1997

Gross USA:

$13,717,039

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,717,039
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 »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed