6.6/10
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103 user 38 critic

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

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Wallace Ritchie is mistaken for a spy and must stop a plot to assassinate international leaders at a banquet.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Wallace Ritchie
... James Ritchie
... Lori
... Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
... Sir Roger Daggenhurst
... Gilbert Embleton
... Hawkins
... Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
... Barbara Ritchie
... Sergei
... Uri
... Dimitri
Janet Henfrey ... Ms. Goldstein
Terry O'Neill ... Spenser
Isabel Hernández ... Consuela (as Isabel Hernandez)
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Storyline

An American gets a ticket for an audience participation game in London, 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of ridiculous proportions See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watch That Man  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,604,819, 16 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,801,755, 23 January 1998
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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature film to be made at Elstree Studios after the local council bought it from Brent Walker under a Compulsory Purchase Order. See more »

Goofs

When Lori checks her gun, it can clearly be seen that the cartridges visible have been fired. 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.
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Connections

References The Bullwinkle Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last of the Secret Agents
Written by Lee Hazlewood
Performed by Nancy Sinatra
Courtesy of Boots Enterprises, Inc.
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User Reviews

Funny if slight
6 September 2002 | by See 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.


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