Fun With Dick and Jane (1977)
Release year: 1977
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Screenwriter: David Giler, Jerry Belson, Mordecai Richler
Starring: George Segal, Jane Fonda, Ed McMahon, Dick Gautier, Allan Miller, Hank Garcia, John Dehner, Walter Brooke
Sunday Classic #290, week 2 2020
When Dick Harper (Segal) is unexpectedly fired and can’t find a new job him and his wife Jane (Fonda) discovers how used they have gotten to a comfortable lifestyle, where they never thought of saving for rainy days. After several attempts doing things the right way, the couple decides to try a more unorthodox way.
Ted Kotcheff’s (Weekend at Bernie’s, 1989) satirical comedy which deals with the American way of living (made obvious in the title and characters taken from a series of children’s educational books, in a delightful politically incorrect fashion. Can you laugh and cheer at a movie where the main characters steal to make a living? Honestly, you don’t even consider it after watching Dick and Jane struggle with the system. Even today, most people will recognize the pressure they feel to maintain status among the people surrounding them and it helps tremendously that Segal (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, 1966) and Fonda (Cat Ballou, 1965) make Dick and Jane likable and easy to root for. The two show great chemistry and manage to even put some elegant subtlety into the slapstick humour appearing now and then throughout the movie. A charming amoral comedy from a time where sticking it to the man was in high rate.
As we were unable to find a trailer for the movie, here is a clip:
The movie was remade in 2005 starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as Dick and Jane.
The picture was almost completely shot on location in a real life house in Beverly Hills, California. Only five days were shot on the studio sound stage out of the film’s three months of principal photography.
In the scene at the beginning when the names are being painted over on the parking spaces, the name we see being erased is “D Trumbull”, a reference to the producer/sfx wizard Douglas Trumbull.
Want to watch the movie yourself? Click the Amazon link below:
Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures