HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
   
 
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hanky Panky A Slight Hitch
Year: 1982
Director: Sidney Poitier
Stars: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Kathleen Quinlan, Richard Widmark, Robert Prosky, Josef Sommer, Johnny Sekka, Jay O. Sanders, Sam Gray, Larry Bryggman, Pat Corley, Johnny Brown, Bill Beutel, Nat Habib, James Tolkan, Frankie Faison, Victor Argo, William Sadler
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A man wakes up in bed, focuses his eyes and sees the painting he has created on the opposite wall, something only he knows the meaning of. He then groggily gets up, walks out the room, out of the house and into the barn where he promptly climbs a ladder to the upper floor and hangs himself. But what does this have to do with Janet Dunn (Kathleen Quinlan), who is desperately trying to contact government man Hiram Calder (Robert Prosky) at his club in New York? She is foiled when he is poisoned just as she almost hands over a package to him, then flees the scene...

Straight into the cab of Michael Jordon, played by Gene Wilder in what would have been another comedy thriller teaming him with Richard Pryor after the success of Silver Streak and Stir Crazy, but for reasons not made public, though you can hazard a guess, Pryor bowed out of the film and Saturday Night Live comedienne Gilda Radner was drafted in to replace him, necessitating a rewrite of the script. Although watching it you can tell perhaps they didn't rewrite it quite as much as they should have, as Radner was landed a poorly conceived and practically unplayable part for a performer more used to the style of sketch comedy that had made her name.

Still, she did her best, and one thing she would be thankful for would be meeting Wilder, for she fell in love with him and made sure the feeling was mutual by the time filming was over; they had a few happy years, a couple more films, but Gilda wasn't long for the world and died after five years of marriage. Therefore Hanky Panky can be a poignant experience to watch with that in mind, but mostly what you'll be thinking was that Alfred Hitchcock would have done better with this material, for this was an attempt by director Sidney Poitier (who had helmed Stir Crazy) to latch onto the subgenre of Hitchcockian comedy thrillers patterned after North by Northwest, something which went as far back as The Prize in the early sixties.

When this example was released, it wasn't offered the best reception, flopping at the box office and with seemingly every critic in the world putting the boot in, but it really wasn't so bad, it's just that it had a lot to live up to. Radner didn't appear till half an hour in, leaving a too-frequently yelling Wilder to carry the plot as Michael helps out Janet by posting the package for her, but is then tailed by some heavies who bring him to a subway location and inject him with truth serum so he tells all he knows, which can't be very much. Then the chief baddie (ex-Poitier co-star Richard Widmark) orders Michael dead in a fake suicide, and as the serum wears off, he manages to get away and track down Janet, hoping to clear up what exactly is going on.

Although even by the end that's not entirely obvious to the audience, never mind Michael, as the plot contrives to throw up characters and twists with wild abandon with nary a thought to how much this was meant to make sense (or otherwise). So you actually had a convoluted narrative coasting on the charm of its stars as Michael goes on the run with Radner's Kate Hellman, a woman who happened to walk into the apartment of his friend which he was using, and unusually keen on helping him out. This leads to a cross country chase, although we don't get much of the cross country part, ending up in the Grand Canyon for the bit everyone remembers, the flight over that landmark in the plane where the burping pilot has a heart attack and Michael has to crash land the vehicle, though it's a mark of the movie's woolly-headedness that it's never explained whether this was a case of sabotage or not. With its eighties inclusion of computers as the MacGuffin, Hanky Panky passes muster as nostalgia these days, but it was a ramshackle affair for a big studio. Music by Tom Scott.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2368 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Sidney Poitier  (1927 - )

Confident, handsome and iconic, this American-born leading actor first made an impression in the 1950s in films such as The Blackboard Jungle, Edge of the City, The Defiant Ones (which he spent chained to Tony Curtis) and Porgy and Bess. By the sixties he was a star, appearing in A Raisin in the Sun, Lillies of the Field (for which he won an Oscar, the first black actor to do so in a leading role), The Long Ships, The Bedford Incident, To Sir With Love, racially themed thriller In the Heat of the Night and racially themed comedy Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.

By the seventies, Poitier had turned to directing, usually light comedies, with western Buck and the Preacher, Uptown Saturday Night and its sequel Let's Do It Again, A Piece of the Action, Stir Crazy, Hanky Panky, musical Fast Forward and Bill Cosby vehicle Ghost Dad. He then concentrated on acting once more, with appearances in Shoot To Kill, Little Nikita, Sneakers and The Jackal.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: