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Hanky Panky (1982)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 4 June 1982 (USA)
Completely innocent man, Michael Jordon, is drawn into a web of government secrets when a girl carrying a mysterious package gets into a taxi with him. When she's later murdered, Michael becomes the chief suspect and goes on the run.


Sidney Poitier

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Michael Jordon
Gilda Radner ... Kate Hellman
Kathleen Quinlan ... Janet Dunn
Richard Widmark ... Ransom
Robert Prosky ... Hiram Calder
Josef Sommer ... Adrian Pruitt
Johnny Sekka ... Lacey
Jay O. Sanders ... Katz
Sam Gray Sam Gray ... Dr. John Wolff
Larry Bryggman ... Stacy
Pat Corley ... Pilot
Johnny Brown ... Bus Driver
Bill Beutel Bill Beutel ... Anchorman
Nat Habib Nat Habib ... Cab Driver
James Tolkan ... Conferee


Michael Jordon, a Chicago architect, is New York on business. A beautiful stranger identifying herself as Janet Dunn, runs into the taxi cab he's using. He volunteers to put a package into the mailbox for her after she hastily addresses the envelope. Infatuated with her goes to see her at her hotel. She brushes him off and closes the door in his face. He is about to leave when he hears a shot. Janet opens the door and falls into his arms dead. Now everyone believes that he's the killer. A mysterious group that's after the package is now after him. His only ally is Kate Hellman, who has secrets of her own. To clear his name they have to find out what was in the package, who wants it and why. Written by eayala8

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Something funny's going on here. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Traces See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,597,244, 6 June 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The December 22, 1980 edition of "Daily Variety" reported that this movie would, following the box-office success of Stir Crazy (1980), re-team Gene Wilder and Sidney Poitier, with an anticipated production start date of Spring 1981. In the end, principal photography started earlier, on July 24, 1981 prior to its last scheduled commencement time of August 1981. See more »


The police car that cruises past the cab company office in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood is from a Bronx precinct (over 15 miles away). See more »


[Michael and Kate are left in control of a small plane with a pilot who has had an apparent heart attack after a bout of burping and belching. A voice on the radio told them they're entering prohibited government airspace and, in grabbing the radio and handing it to Kate to talk, Michael broke the cabling to the transmitter]
Michael Jordon: I knew this would happen! I dreamt about this all my life!
Kate Hellman: Get ahold of yourself.
Michael Jordon: Since I was a little boy, I dreamt this was gonna happen to me!
Kate Hellman: Just get ahold of...
Michael Jordon: Wait a...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The main cast is identified at the end with a brief scene in which they were involved that freezes as the actor and character name is shown, except for Richard Widmark, who is credited over the scene of the exploding helicopter. See more »

Alternate Versions

In a deleted scene, while trying to get out of New York, Kate has Michael dressed up & disguised as an old woman when they are stopped by a cop on the street. The cop asks Kate if the red car parked next to the sidewalk is her car. He looks at Michael, who dressed as the old woman & says to him "Well, why aren't you saying anything?". Kate tells the cop "Oh, my aunt here is a deaf mute". Michael mistakenly keeps noting his head. The cop asks "How come she can hear what I'm saying?". Kate quickly replies "She can't but she can read lips", Michael nods his head again. Some parts of this deleted scene were shown in the trailer to the movie. See more »


Referenced in The Fisher King (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"You had lots of chances to run but you didn't, you're still here with me, and I'm glad."
17 June 2016 | by oOoBarracudaSee all my reviews

In 1982, Gene Wilder took a break from writing and the director's chair to solely serve as the star of Sidney Poitier's 1982 film Hanky Panky. Pairing with him as a female lead was Gilda Radner. The two first met on the set and love quickly blossomed culminating in a marriage a few years later. It all began on Hanky Panky where the two principles become two people, one wrongly accused of a crime, running from the law together to protect their names and solve a mystery while they're at it.

Michael Jordon (Gene Wilder) is an architect visiting New York on business when he jumps into a cab with a distressed woman, Janet Dunn (Kathleen Quinlan). Through flirting and trying to get Janet to have a drink with him, she tells him she is on the run and asks him to put an envelope into a mailbox for him. Michael obliges and unwittingly puts himself in harms way delivering this package. to try to clear things up, Michael travels back to the hotel she was staying in, only to find her in a scuffle with another man. Being filmed on camera at the scuffle with a gun in his hand, he is believed to be the nefarious character she was fighting with. With everyone chasing him despite his innocence, Michael tries to evade, seeking refuge in the apartment he was staying in while in New York. As he is packing his suitcase in the apartment, a woman Kate Hellman (Gilda Radner) comes in, and believing she is a burglar, Michael fights her until the lights are turned on and the two realize neither is a danger. When the police show up at the apartment, Michael has to leave immediately, and Kate decides to come with him to both aid in clearing his name and investigate her brother's death personally. Neither can expect just what they will have to do to get these goals accomplished, but are in it together, as long as it takes.

It is almost magical to see a real life romance blossom on-screen. Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner's incredible chemistry is apparent, even if one is only half watching the film. The chemistry is sensational; you can really tell the two are falling in love, and makes Hanky Panky all the more fun to watch. There were also a number of great comedic gags in the film. The scene in which Michael takes over flying a plane is almost as hilarious as the scene in which Michael needs a change of clothes and takes a magic suit and can't find his change on a bus. The comedy was not without its flaws, however. For instance, there is so much going on in the film that not everything gets fleshed out by the film's end. The entire mystery is never solved, or revealed to the audience, so it is a little hard to become too invested in the film. That being so, Hanky Panky is a good Saturday night comedy that you won't regret watching, even if it's only to see Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner fall in love.

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