5.2/10
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3 user 2 critic

Lucky Stiff (2014)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 24 July 2015 (USA)
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2:22 | Trailer
A bachelor travels to Monte Carlo to claim an inheritance from his late rich uncle.

Director:

Christopher Ashley
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dominic Marsh ... Harry Witherspoon
Nikki M. James ... Annabel Glick
Pamela Shaw ... Rita LaPorta
Jason Alexander ... Vinnie Di Ruzzio
Dennis Farina ... Luigi
Don Amendolia ... Uncle Tony
Kate Shindle ... Dominique
Mary Birdsong ... Maid
Anthony Skordi ... Nicky
Jayne Houdyshell ... Harry's Landlady
Maggie Carney ... Miss. Iris Crum
Kent Avenido ... Boy Hardwick
Herschel Sparber Herschel Sparber ... Bill Siller
Steve West Steve West ... Harry's Boss
Mary Jo Catlett ... Shoe Store Lady
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Storyline

A bachelor travels to Monte Carlo to claim an inheritance from his late rich uncle.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Madness, Mutts, Mayhem, Mystery, Monte Carlo...and Murder!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Farina's last acting appearance. See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Witherspoon Got a Telegram
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Sung by Jayne Houdyshell, Maggie Carney, Kent Avenido & Herschel Sparber
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Musical 'Lucky Stiff' Belongs on Stage, Not on Screen
23 February 2017 | by stu-00329See all my reviews

As I sat through a screening of the musical "Lucky Stiff" at the Sedona International Film Festival, I kept asking myself: "Why isn't this a stage production?"

The answer came afterward, in a Q&A with actress Pamela Shaw: It was. The off-Broadway production ran for 15 shows in 1988 and was reprised in London's West End in 1997.

The follow-up question, then, is why make the movie? Crickets chirping.

The only clue – provided by Shaw, who plays crazy boyfriend-killer Rita LaPorta in the film – is that wine might have been involved.

A cast of well-known musical theater talents emotes like crazy, exactly as one would expect for actors projecting from a stage. Gaps between scenes are filled with throwback animation reminiscent of "The Pink Panther" movies from the 1960s and '70s or the theme from "Bewitched." I think the animation actually works, but "Lucky Stiff" is still a stage show that somebody decided to film.

For a contrast, check out "How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song" (2012), which won the audience award at the Phoenix Film Festival. It is an example of how to do a modern musical in motion-picture format.

"Lucky Stiff" is about Harry Witherspoon, a down-on-his-luck English shoe salesman played by Dominic March in his film debut. March is a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company with a couple of BBC television shows under his belt.

Harry receives a telegram saying that he stands to inherit $6 million from an American uncle he never met. Of course, there is a big catch: To get the money, he must take his dead Uncle Anthony (Don Amendolia) on a dream trip to Monte Carlo. If he fails to comply with any of the detailed instructions, the money instead will go to the uncle's favorite charity.

Yes, it's "Weekend at Bernie's" goes to Europe!

I would have loved to see the same cast perform "Lucky Stiff" on stage. As a movie, however, it likely will be remembered as the late Dennis Farina's last film. Farina ("Law & Order," "Get Shorty") died from a pulmonary embolism in 2013. In "Lucky Stiff," Farina plays the mysterious Luigi, who always seems to turn up in key situations.


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