Death to Smoochy

( 13 )

Overview

Danny DeVito steps behind the camera for this darkly funny satire that combines elements of Barney and Friends with the real-life Pee-Wee Herman scandal while recalling the director's previously twisted black comedies Throw Momma From the Train (1987) and The War of the Roses (1989). Robin Williams stars as Randolph Smiley, a popular children's show host known professionally as "Rainbow Randolph." Dismissed from his beloved job when he's caught taking payola, Randolph becomes increasingly mentally unhinged and ...
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Overview

Danny DeVito steps behind the camera for this darkly funny satire that combines elements of Barney and Friends with the real-life Pee-Wee Herman scandal while recalling the director's previously twisted black comedies Throw Momma From the Train (1987) and The War of the Roses (1989). Robin Williams stars as Randolph Smiley, a popular children's show host known professionally as "Rainbow Randolph." Dismissed from his beloved job when he's caught taking payola, Randolph becomes increasingly mentally unhinged and the target of his delusional revenge fantasies is Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), otherwise known as Smoochy, the fuchsia rhino character that has replaced him and soared to national popularity. Randolph soon learns that his ex-girlfriend and network executive Nora Wells (Catherine Keener) is sleeping with Sheldon, so he sets out to kill Smoochy, egged on by an unexpected ally: corporate president Marion Frank Stokes (Jon Stewart), who should be profiting from Smoochy's rise to fame, except for the fact that he and his cronies are unable to control the idealistic Sheldon's on-air agenda. Death to Smoochy (2002) co-stars Harvey Fierstein, Vincent Shiavelli, and Michael Rispoli.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A satire about whacking a Barney-like character sounds funnier on paper than it appears on screen, even with black comedy king Danny De Vito behind the camera. The moment nauseating children's figures were accepted into the mainstream, the idea of doing violence to them became an obvious punchline, so De Vito's Death to Smoochy has neither the bite nor the originality it aspires to. (See Kevin Smith's Dogma for another example of rage directed toward a corporate kiddie creation, the similarly named Mooby). The film does have ambition, but the messages about corruption and consumerism are mixed, acted out by too many characters over the course of a busy plot that heaps on scenes without momentum. Edward Norton seems to have taken lessons on mugging from co-star Robin Williams; his gee-whiz naïf, which channels Woody Harrelson's simpleton from Cheers, is strangely unrealized. Meanwhile, Catherine Keener proves she can play, well, Catherine Keener. In his first of a trio of "darker" roles in 2002 (along with Insomnia and One Hour Photo), Williams comes off okay by the cheery standard he set for himself in the late '90s, but his character slips to the periphery, fighting for air among too many distracting secondary characters. His over-the-top jealousy might feel more organic had Adam Resnick written Rainbow Randolph's downfall as a function of his age and irrelevance, rather than a hackneyed sting operation. Some critics hazed the movie more than it deserved, but it's easy to understand why they were frustrated to the point of such vitriol.
San Francisco Chronicle
In Death to Smoochy, we don't get Williams' usual tear and a smile, just sneers and bile, and the spectacle is nothing short of refreshing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/17/2002
  • UPC: 085392219032
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robin Williams Randolph Smiley, AKA 'Rainbow Randolph'
Edward Norton Sheldon Mopes
Hank Azaria
Danny DeVito Burke Bennett
Harvey Fierstein Merv Green
Salma Hayek
Catherine Keener Nora Wells
Jon Stewart Marion Frank Stokes
Pam Ferris Tommy Cotter
Michael Rispoli Spinner Dunn
Elvis Stojko
Danny Woodburn Angelo Pike
Vincent Schiavelli Buggy Ding Dong
Craig Eldridge Husband
Judy White Wife
Tim MacMenamin Danny
Bruce McFee Roy
Glen Cross Jimmy
Bill Lake Bartender
Nick Taylor Henry the Thug
Richard A. Cocchiaro Jr. Mitch the Thug
Tracey Walter Ben Franks
Louis Giambalvo Sonny Gordon
Colin Moult Rhinette/Krinkle Kid #1
Nikolai Tichtchenko Rhinette/Krinkle Kid #2
Martin Klebba Rhinette/Krinkle Kid #3
Tonya Renee Banks Rhinette/Krinkle Kid #4
Christy Artran Rhinette/Krinkle Kid #5
Philip Craig Senator
Natasha Kinne Smoochy's Secretary
Richard Hamilton Old Vagrant
Shawn Byfield Rickets
Todd Graff Skip Kleinman
Melissa DiMarco Tara
Dan Duran Hunter
Michael Copeman Reporter #1
James Carroll Reporter #2
Phil Jarrett Reporter #3
Suzanne Leonard Feliz Reporter #4
Thomas Lyons Reporter #5
Angela Bullock Reporter #6
Robert M. Sussman Reporter #7
George Blumenthal Reporter #8
Matthew Arkin Save the Rhino Man
Hugo Jansuzian Hispanic Dad
Silvia Rojas Hispanic Mom
Mario Andres Torres Hispanic Boy
Sabrina Jansuzian Hispanic Girl
Johnny "Cha-Cha" Ciarcia Autograph Man
Fred Scialla Man in Crowd
Adam Bryant Man in Crowd #2
Richard Ziman Man in Crowd #3
Frank Anello NYPD
Samantha Cordero Little Girl
Peter Keleghan News Anchor
Rothaford Gray Ellis
Dave Brown McCall
Gerry Quigley Ian
James Binkley Cop #1
Dylan Roberts Stagehand
Vito Rezza Lead Cop
Lou Cantres Little Girl's Dad
John Cleland John
Lauren Flanigan Opera Diva
Cara Wakelin Princess
Technical Credits
Danny DeVito Director
Derek Baskerville Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Bero Special Effects Supervisor
Jill Besnoy Co-producer
Enrico Campana Set Decoration/Design
Ellen Christiansen Set Decoration/Design
Ross Clydesdale Casting
Howard Cummings Production Designer
Suzanne Cunliffe-Brown Stunts
Doug Davison Co-producer
Tamara Deverell Art Director
Catherine Doherty Set Decoration/Design
Sandi Figueroa Costumes/Costume Designer
Jason Guja Stunts
Jody Hediem Co-producer
Kelly Jones Stunts
Blair Koski-Klein Stunts
John Kreidman Associate Producer
Joseph La Corte Costumes/Costume Designer
Barry Lather Choreography
Andrew Lazar Producer
Joshua Levinson Associate Producer
Kent Lutrell Stunts
Peter Luxford Camera Operator
Jeffery MacDonald Art Director
Peter Macgregor-Scott Producer
Christopher McGuire Stunts
Laird McMurray Special Effects Supervisor
Harold Michelson Consultant/advisor
Anastas Michos Cinematographer
Selena Miller Makeup
Cheri Minns Makeup
Ve Neill Makeup
David Newman Score Composer, Songwriter
Krystyna Newman Consultant/advisor
Rick Parker Stunts
Jon Poll Editor
Lisa Reardon Associate Producer
Adam Resnick Songwriter, Screenwriter
Jane Ruhm Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Rutledge Stunts
Keith Siglinger Stunts
Anita Simard Costumes/Costume Designer
Margery Simkin Casting
Nan Skiba Production Manager
Elvis Stojko Choreography
Bryan Thomas Stunts
Dave Van Zeyl Stunts
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Thomas Weston Camera Operator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    death to smoochy

    as much as i love edward norton and robin williams, i have to say that this wasn't that good but it had its moments especially the cookie scene was kinda funny and unexpected. this is the story of a character that would suit norton than williams who is a former host of a kids show and is replaced by a barney like character played by norton that would suit williams. robins was funny and creepy and norton was cute but a bit weird.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I wish I could give this movie zero stars.

    Horrible, horrible, horrible! This movie was worse than Gigli. I have seen Flobee informercials that are more interesting. The characters are loathsome and the jokes are weak. Do not pay to see this movie. If you have the opportunity to watch it for free, don't!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WONDERFULLY SICK

    I HAVE BECOME ADDICTED TO THIS MOVIE. VERY DARK COMEDY THAT WORKS BECAUSE THE CHARACTERS ARE PLAYING IT STRAIGHT. ROBIN WILLIAMS IS FUNNY AS USUAL,BUT IS ABLE TO STAY IN CHARACTER AND EDWARD NORTON IS AN ABSOLUTE TREAT. I'VE LOST TRACK OF HOW MANY TIMES I'VE WATCHED IT & I LAUGH JUST AS HARD EACH TIME.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Friends come in sizes!

    This has got to be one of the most entertaining film that I have ever seen. Robin Williams'character is so ridiculously derranged and the plot is so twisted and comedic that even Simon from American Idol would be laughing. DAnny DeVito is a genius.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    INCREDIBLY FUNNY AND ENTERTAINING!!!

    This movie was WONDERFUL! Its my absolute FAVORITE! I reccomend it to anyone and everyone! and the songs are kinda catchy lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Death to Smoochy

    This is the worst movie I've ever seen. The characters actually take kids shows seriously. I laughed once or twice at things that weren't even funny. The funniest part was when Robin Williams ran into a brick wall. Don't see it. It's a waste of money and time. THUMBS DOWN!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Death to Smoochy

    I liked this movie. It was a little strange but it was funny. You should see it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Robin Williams makes his first starring role in two years

    Who would have ever thought from the start of Robin Williams's career up into 2002, that he will star in a movie directed by Danny Devito? As the movie opens Randolph Smiley A.K.A Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) is caught taking a bribe from cops pretending to be parents of a child wanting Rainbow to put thier kid on his show. The tv company kidnet decides to replace Rainbow Randolph with a host of clean show. And his replacement is Sheldon Mopes A.K.A Smoochy (Eward Norton). Sheldon hires a man named Burke (Danny Devito) to be his agent but behind Sheldon's back, Burke makes deals including gettings Smoochy his own ice show. Smoochy is a purple rhinoceros. If the genre of this movie is comedy, well it isn't funny.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Loved it -- and met Danny DeVito after seeing a sneak peek

    I saw this movie back in March, just before the release, and loved it. It's a great mix of twisted dark comedy and mainstream television. Of course, the best part of all was being part of a Q&A session with Danny DeVito afterwards and getting my picture taken with him!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    absolutely smashing!!!!

    Robin Williams and Edward Norton are brilliant! This is the best of satire! My sides hurt and i havent seen the movie in months! Buy it! Its worth it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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