Foul Play (1978)

Written & Directed by Colin Higgins
Starring Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, Burgess Meredith, Dudley Moore, William Frankfather

Released by: Paramount
Rating: PG
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Rent it.

Gloria Mundy (Hawn) is a librarian who's divorced and bored. She picks up a stranded guy off the side of the road (Bruce Solomon) and takes a liking to him. Her luck really sucks, though, since she meets him at the movies later only to have him keel over dead on her. Suddenly she's in the middle of a big hullaballoo, filled with disappearing corpses, a killer albino (Frankfather), a dwarf (Billy Barty), and a conspiracy to commit murder. Apart from her own scattered wits, the only person on her side who (seems) to believe her is Detective Tony Carlson (Chase). But is that going to be enough to keep her alive? Eh, maybe.

Well, it's been a while since I've seen this film, and while it has aged a bit and it's nowhere near as funny as when I saw it first (and multiple times) as a kid...hell, I still like it. Sure, it's an homage to Hitchcock and sure it's all over the freaking map, and sure it's a little bloated, but look at what it has going for it. First, you've got Chevy Chase being funny. We haven't seen that in so long it gets points just for aching nostalgia. Next, you've got Goldie Hawn in fullblown goofball mode, which is always fun. There's also Meredith and Moore in priceless cameo roles. And, while the script is run riot, it is Higgins (he of many flicks, including Harold & Maude and Silver Streak) both scribing and helming, so there's that as well.

Sadly, while the movie's still pretty fun, the DVD presentation here from Paramount isn't quite so much. Reason being there's nothing in the way of bonus bits. While Hawn and Chase are still with us (and Chase isn't doing much these days), we've lost Meredith, Moore and Higgins, sadly. Just some interviews would have been nice from the two stars, but at this point we're just happy to have it out in anamorphic widescreen.

If you haven't seen it, or you just want to relive a bit of goofball 70s comedy history, then it's worth grabbing for a rental. Hawn or Chase completists may even want to own it. But without any features, it's best to revisit and then let go for now.

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