6.9/10
14,604
78 user 63 critic

Something Wild (1986)

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A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

E. Max Frye
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Daniels ... Charles Driggs
Melanie Griffith ... Audrey Hankel
George 'Red' Schwartz George 'Red' Schwartz ... Counter Man (as George Schwartz)
Leib Lensky Leib Lensky ... Frenchy
Tracey Walter ... The Country Squire
Maggie T. Maggie T. ... Country Squire Bulldog
Patricia Falkenhain Patricia Falkenhain ... Charlie's Secretary
Sandy McLeod Sandy McLeod ... Graves' Secretary
Robert Ridgely ... Richard Graves
Buzz Kilman Buzz Kilman ... TV Newscaster
Kenneth Utt ... Dad
Adelle Lutz Adelle Lutz ... Rose
Charles Napier ... Irate Chef
Jim Roche Jim Roche ... Motel Philosopher
John Sayles ... Motorcycle Cop
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Storyline

The uneventful life of the businessman Charles Driggs suddenly changes when he meets the wild and sexy Lulu. When he accepts her offer to drive him back to his office, she instead takes him out of town and on a trip, leaving behind his old life. Posing as a married couple, Charles and "Audrey" (which turns out to be Lulu's real name) visit her mother and her high school reunion. At this reunion they meet Audrey's violent ex-husband Ray, who has just released from prison. When Ray makes it clear that he wants Audrey back, that is when the real trouble begins. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Something Different Something Daring Something Dangerous


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Something Wild See more »

Filming Locations:

Quincy, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,825,717, 9 November 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,362,969
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Religioso Primitiva See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The band that plays at the high school reunion is The Feelies, a favorite of Demme's. Demme shot the video for their song "Away". See more »

Goofs

After Lulu offers Charlie a ride at the beginning of the movie and they approach her car, parked on the street, Lulu tosses both her bag (purse) and the portable cassette player into the backseat of the car through the driver side window and is not carrying anything on her shoulders when she gets into the car. In the next shot, when Lulu is in the driver seat, the cassette player is still hanging on her left shoulder, and she puts it in the backseat a second time. See more »

Quotes

Motel philosopher: Remember, no matter what, it's better to be a live dog than a dead lion.
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Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

One Day at a Time
Written by Marijohn Wilkin, Kris Kristofferson
Performed by The Community Holiness Church Choir
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User Reviews

 
An entertaining mix of comedy and drama from Jonathan Demme.
21 January 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Jeff Daniels plays Charles Driggs, a straight arrow yuppie who decides one day to skip out on his cheque for lunch. A stranger, "Lulu" (Melanie Griffith), notices this, and correctly surmises that he's a "closet rebel" kind of guy. He's the perfect guy whom she can fit into her plans, so she sort of "abducts" him and makes him pose as her husband. However, the guy whom she is actually still married to, an ex-convict named Ray Sinclair (Ray Liotta, in his breakthrough film performance) shows up, and things take an uglier turn.

As written by E. Max Frye and directed by the talented veteran Jonathan Demme, "Something Wild" is engaging for quite a while. It manages to be pretty zany in spirit, and somewhat unpredictable. Daniels, who's often made a career out of playing straight arrow types, and the kooky, delightful Griffith, who sports a brunette wig at first, work decidedly well together. One is amused by their misadventures and wondering what sort of mess that Lulu will next create for Charles. However, the film is somewhat overlong, and changes tone for its second half for a much more conventional narrative of Ray dominating the proceedings and occasionally terrorizing Charles. (Not to mention Charles taking quite a shine to Lulu and refusing to let her go without some sort of fight.)

Fortunately, Daniels and Griffith are so utterly engaging that they make this trip worthwhile. Liotta is a powerhouse in the role of the volatile husband; I'm sure that back then, theatre goers and critics alike could see that this guy was going places. Lovely Margaret Colin is good in an underwritten role, and is unceremoniously dropped from the story. One other complaint that this viewer had was that this cast features some top notch character players - Tracey Walter, Charles Napier, Robert Ridgely - and director cameos (John Sayles as a motorcycle cop, John Waters as a used car salesman), and then makes such brief use of them. One might wish that they had more to do.

The eclectic soundtrack is solid accompaniment for this generally agreeable movie. It may not move that well, but it does come up with some very nice moments along the way.

Seven out of 10.


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