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  Man With One Red Shoe, The
Year: 1985
Director: Stan Dragoti
Stars: Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, James Belushi, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Lori Singer, Edward Herrmann, Irving Metzman, Tom Noonan, Gerrit Graham, David L. Lander, Mitch Brinkley, Frank Hamilton, Dortha Duckworth, David Ogden Stiers
Genre: Comedy, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Tom Hanks made a load of movies in the 1980s. This was, of course, before he got all 'serious Hollywood' and got into the kind of 'quality drama' he's burdening us with these days. Personally, I prefer the old Hanks, as seen in gems such as The Money Pit, The 'Burbs, Volunteers, and this one, The Man With One Red Shoe.

The plot is simple enough, if the usual 1980s contrived plots are ever simple. Hanks plays Richard Drew, a failed child prodigy violinist and now lazy good-for-nothing music teacher. His world revolves around his friendship with Morris (James Belushi) and his secretly rather more intimate relationship with Morris' wife Paula (Carrie Fisher). He dreams of writing his Grand Opus, and spends so much time working on this that he often tunes out the world around him.

One day, when arriving back home from a trip, he's randomly picked out of the crowd at the airport by CIA agents. They are working for CIA Director Ross (Charles Durning) who is in a power-struggle with his deputy, Cooper (Dabney Coleman). Ross is being framed for a fake (and set-up) drugs bust by Cooper, and needs to throw him off the scent a little whilst he prepares his defence for the upcoming trial. And so he orders his men to go 'create' a key witness, which turns out to be Drew, simply because when first spotted, he is wearing odd shoes, one of them red.

Cooper falls for the scam, and puts his best agents on the case, including the beautiful Maddy (Lori Singer), who he is secretly knocking off...... Things all fall flat for him though when Maddy, despite her best efforts to stay professional, starts to fall for Drew. As the incompetent agents cause mayhem all around, how long will Drew remain oblivious to the real world? And will the plan work in Ross' favour?

All the principals are pretty good in this one, giving their all to a script which is weak in places but gives the actors plenty to get their teeth into, and it races along at a fine pace, which helps cover some of the more glaring plot holes.

But it's basically a Tom Hanks 1980s vehicle, and like all those movies from 25 years ago, their charm is evident and their star, even in the double-chinned 21st century, continues to rise.
Reviewer: Paul Shrimpton

 

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