4.8/10
1,304
18 user 7 critic

A Fine Mess (1986)

An actor and a chef fathom a plot to fix a horse race and attempt at capitalizing it, while striving to tackle two of the hitmen responsible for the scheme.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writer:

Blake Edwards
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Danson ... Spence Holden
Howie Mandel ... Dennis Powell
Richard Mulligan ... Wayne 'Turnip' Parragella
Stuart Margolin ... Maurice 'Binky' Drundza
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Claudia Pazzo
Jennifer Edwards ... Ellen Frankenthaler
Paul Sorvino ... Tony Pazzo
Rick Ducommun ... Wardell
Keye Luke ... Ishimine
Ed Herlihy Ed Herlihy ... TV Reporter
Walter Charles Walter Charles ... Auctioneer
Tawny Moyer ... Leading Lady
Emma Walton Hamilton ... First Extra
Carrie Leigh Carrie Leigh ... Second Extra
Sharan Lea ... Young Girl
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Storyline

Two friends, an actor and a chef, discover a plot to fix a horse race and try to capitalize on it. But they must also deal with the two men who fixed the race, who are trying to silence them. Then there's the mob boss the two guys work for, who planned the fix, and whose wife is having an affair with the actor. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' A Fine Mess See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,620,657, 10 August 1986

Gross USA:

$6,029,824

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,029,824
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors Stuart Margolin and Richard Mulligan portraying comic buddy duo Binky & Turnip had similar sounding last names - both words began with the letter "M", rhymed, and had three syllables each. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Spence (on a Western film shoot) walks through the swinging bar doors with a cigar in his mouth. He takes a few steps forward and the size of the cigar has nearly doubled. See more »

Quotes

Phil: Your brother could con a leopard out of its stripes.
See more »

Connections

References Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Amore
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Jack Brooks
Sung a capella by Ted Danson after delivering the piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They got the "mess" part of the title right.
24 November 2013 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Give him credit, filmmaker Blake Edwards was still trying to create the kind of frantic farce and slapstick that had served him so well in such features as the "Pink Panther" series. The trouble is, his material this time is weak, and simply not funny too much of the time (at least, in this viewers' humble opinion). It's not that the cast doesn't try to create that madcap feel. They really give this dud better performances than it deserves.

Ted Danson is typically amusing in a very Sam Malone-type part, as an insatiable struggling actor named Spence. He overhears a plot to fix a horse race by drugging one of the animals, and tries to capitalize on this knowledge. Unfortunately, the mob finds out that he knows, and utterly brainless goons 'Turnip' (Richard Mulligan) and 'Binky' (Stuart Margolin) spend the balance of the movie trying to silence them, with spectacular lack of success. Meanwhile, Spences' buddy Dennis (Howie Mandel), a carhop with aspirations of being a chef, inadvertently purchases a player piano at an auction, only for a super sexy lady named Claudia (smoldering Maria Conchita Alonso) - whose identity is not hard to figure out - to buy it from him.

Edwards, who also gives his actress daughter Jennifer a key role as auction house employee Ellen, does give "A Fine Mess" energy to spare. The audience will note how quickly it moves along. And the stunts certainly are impressive. Some familiar faces in the supporting cast help matters a little. Paul Sorvino doesn't exactly stretch himself as the head mafioso. Mulligan and Margolin, especially Mulligan, mug for the camera like crazy. Also appearing are Rick Ducommun, Keye Luke (whose role is really much too small), Tawny Moyer, Rick Overton, Teddy Wilson, Larry Storch, Frederick Coffin, Vic Polizos, James Cromwell, and Dennis Franz. But as hard as these actors try, the laughs just aren't there most of the time.

At the least, it's enjoyable to see Danson looking like he's having the time of his life.

Four out of 10.


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