6.9/10
14,632
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 script found its way into the hands of Jonathan Demme while screenwriter E. Max Frye was still in film school. Demme committed to it within 24 hours of reading it. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie Driggs pulls into the gas station and is first talking to the attendant, we see the Civil War re-enactor and the other station employee walk by twice in the same direction. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Driggs: Look, if you don't turn around and take me back, you're gonna make me do something that I don't wanna do.
Audrey 'Lulu' Hankel: [grins] I can hardly wait, Charlie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jonathan Demme & Jodie Foster: The Beginning (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Medicine Show
Written by Mick Jones (as M. Jones), Don Letts (as D. Letts)
Performed by Big Audio Dynamite
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A real gem from the 1980s.
13 July 2008 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

Sometimes you have to search high and low, but you really can find some interesting films made in the late 1980s. Though Jonathan Demme's film is not perfect, it still brilliantly outshines most of the crud made back then. Something Wild is the study of two souls who seem to come from different worlds going on a crazy road trip full of sex, violence, and even a high school reunion.

It all begins inside a tiny diner in New York City when openly free-spirited Audrey (Melanie Griffith) notices yuppie Charlie (Jeff Daniels) sneak out on paying his bill. She confronts him outside, and the two of them end up jumping in her car and taking off on a sunny Friday afternoon. At first it would seem that this trip across the state line will merely end in a sexual tryst in a cheap motel, but little does Charlie know, Audrey has all sorts of plans for him that weekend. After some serious hanky-panky, Audrey takes Charlie back to her home town, introduces him to her mother as her husband, and then takes him to her high school reunion. In a development a little bit contrived for this critic's liking, one of Charlie's co-workers also happens to be attending this reunion. This could potentially destroy the facade of the family man on a wild weekend that Charlie is trying to perpetrate. (at this point we learn his wife left him quite a while ago) Further complicating matters is the arrival of Audrey's psychotic ex-husband, played with fearsome intensity by Ray Liotta. From that point on, this film which has largely gone for laughs, becomes rather intense and often violent.

This film scores major points by absolutely keeping the audience guessing. At least until the third act when the film can likely conclude in no other way than it does. The film avoids making Charlie out to be a totally predictable sap who is just along for a wild ride with a crazy woman. Charlie has his own secrets, and a whole hidden side of his own that comes out when it has to. Demme places some marginally famous people in some truly odd cameos, and spends a little bit more time with peripheral characters than some people would. It gives the film a very "human" kind of feeling as we get to know at least a little something about even someone working as a waitress or at a motel. The film maybe meanders a bit here and there, but that is understandable since so much of it plays out like a road trip. The actors are exceptional, and the film is full of color and energy. Highly recommended. 9 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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