The Man Who Knew Too Little

( 3 )

Overview

Jon Amiel directed this satire on mistaken-identity thrillers and the spy genre, scripted by Robert Farrar, Tim John, and Oliver Butcher from Farrar's unpublished novel, Watch That Man. In the female lead, Joanne Whalley returned to films after a three-year absence, choosing to do so with director Amiel. Farrar's Hitchcockian-style story focuses on naive Blockbuster Video clerk Wallace Ritchie Bill Murray who travels from Des Moines, Iowa, to London to celebrate his birthday with his wealthy younger brother, ...
See more details below
DVD
$14.57
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$17.99 List Price

Overview

Jon Amiel directed this satire on mistaken-identity thrillers and the spy genre, scripted by Robert Farrar, Tim John, and Oliver Butcher from Farrar's unpublished novel, Watch That Man. In the female lead, Joanne Whalley returned to films after a three-year absence, choosing to do so with director Amiel. Farrar's Hitchcockian-style story focuses on naive Blockbuster Video clerk Wallace Ritchie Bill Murray who travels from Des Moines, Iowa, to London to celebrate his birthday with his wealthy younger brother, James Peter Gallagher. When he turns up on the same night that James has plans to attend a high-profile client dinner party that he hopes will bring him millions from a German investment firm, James needs to keep Wallace away during the evening, so he gives Wallace a ticket to the participatory Theater of Life. The theater game requires Wallace to assume a character and interact with actors portraying people in dramatic situations. At the corner phone booth, the initial call should begin the evening of innocent fun. However, the phone instructions Wallace receives are actually intended for an assassin, part of a scheme to end the current UK regime and revive the Cold War. The real assassin gets the call from the Theater of Life. Blissfully unaware, Wallace walks without fear into a complex web of intrigue involving defense ministers, call girls, and Russian hitmen. For Wallace, all the world's a stage, and he's amazed at the skill of the actors, including beautiful enigmatic Lori Joanne Whalley -- while Wallace's pursuers are mystified by their adversary's fearlessness in the face of threats, torture and bullets. Farrar got the idea for this comedy from a chance remark at a party: "The inspiration came from a dinner party, when somebody told me about these strange live theater performances which were all the rage in England in the '80s. The idea was to telephone for instructions if you wanted to take part. My immediate reaction was, 'Wouldn't it be fabulous if somebody got the wrong number, and it all went hopelessly wrong?'" Filming took place in London's East End Three Mills Studios, at a variety of London locations, and just outside London at the Elstree Film Studios.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Closed Caption; Feature-length audio commentary by director Jon Amiel
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A high-concept comedy in which Bill Murray -- who is perhaps too cerebral a comic presence for the clueless role he's been assigned -- manages to pull off one of his best performances. He may have started out playing mentally challenged whack jobs in films such as Caddyshack (1980) and Stripes (1981), but Murray has always shined brightest as characters who are intellectually snide and above it all. Here he's required to fill the part of a video store manager too dim to get that he's actually embroiled in a real-life espionage drama, engaged in what he believes to be a role-playing game. A Hitchcock-style thriller by way of a TV situation comedy, the film is a clever comic idea but would seem to call for the lead to be almost energetically stupid, a buffoon in an overcoat, very likely the way somebody such as Jim Carrey would tackle the job. Instead, Murray underplays the hero, disengaging from what's going on around him and blithely drifting rather than dumbly stumbling through his adventures, a truly interesting choice that makes his clueless quality more believable. What is so pleasantly surprising is that he's not playing the character as too stupid to understand what's happening, but instead is seizing on the man's languid lack of ambition as the real underlying cause of his inability to wise up. In Murray's hands, the hero is not an idiot, he's just too zonked-out to care. It's a brilliant choice that changes the dynamics between him and every other character and a terrific example of a dexterous performer doing some amazing work. What should have been nothing more than a forgettable but briefly enjoyable farce becomes, along with Quick Change (1990), one of Murray's most underrated films and one that's definitely worth a second look for his fans.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/6/2015
  • UPC: 888574105525
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:34:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,765

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Murray Wallace Ritchie
Peter Gallagher James Ritchie
Joanne Whalley Lori
Alfred Molina Boris
Richard Wilson Sir Roger Daggenhurst
Geraldine James Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
John Standing Embleton
Anna Chancellor Barbara Ritchie
Nicholas Woodeson Sergei
Simon Chandler Hawkins
John Thomson
Technical Credits
Jon Amiel Director
Joe Caracciola Jr. Executive Producer
Jim Clay Production Designer
Robert Farrar Screenwriter
Howard Franklin Screenwriter
Gerry Gavigan Asst. Director
Maggie Gray Set Decoration/Design
Michelle Guish Casting
Paul Karasick Editor
Simon Kaye Sound/Sound Designer
Arnon Milchan Producer
Michael Nathanson Producer
Pamela Power Editor
Elizabeth Robinson Executive Producer
Chris Seagers Art Director
Robert M. Stevens Cinematographer
Mark Tarlov Producer
Madeline Warren Co-producer
Janty Yates Costumes/Costume Designer
Christopher Young Score Composer
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Man Who Knew Too Little
1. Loaded Doll. [2:42]
2. Welcome To England. [1:40]
3. Theatre Of Life. [2:13]
4. Unexpected Company. [2:32]
5. Role Of Spencer. [2:48]
6. Stinking Place Up. [3:27]
7. Doing It With Girl. [3:55]
8. Gun For Gilbert. [2:22]
9. To The Rescue. [3:26]
10. Butcher Boris. [3:09]
11. In Movie Business. [1:23]
12. Every Detail. [5:35]
13. Nice Working W/You. [2:36]
14. Wally At The Wheel. [1:59]
15. A Bit Of A Problem. [1:27]
16. Police Pursuit. [2:44]
17. More Rewarding. [4:24]
18. What-have-yous. [5:01]
19. Busy Room. [2:56]
20. Unbelievable Truth. [3:22]
21. Nasal Splay. [3:40]
22. More Company. [2:31]
23. Real-on A Ledge. [2:54]
24. Leather Lady. [2:51]
25. Nikolai, I Presume. [1:32]
26. Go Into His Dance. [2:11]
27. All Dolled Up. [4:23]
28. Beating The Clock. [1:45]
29. Brother's Praises. [2:34]
30. Explosive Souvenir. [1:16]
31. Superstar Demands. [3:15]
32. Improvisations. [4:49]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- The Man Who Knew Too Little
   Play
   Jump To A Scene
   Special Features
      Cast & Crew
      Set Improvisation
      TV Spots
         "Confused"
         "Special Shoot-Fidel"
         "No Knowledge"
      Audio Commentary By Director Jon Amiel
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Soundtracks
         English
         Français
         Audio Commentary By Director Jon Amiel
      Subtitles
         English Subtitles: On
         Français Subtitles: On
         Español Subtitles: On
         Subtitles: Off
   Recommendations
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the funniest movie I have ever seen.

    I give this movie four stars as the funniest comedy I have ever seen. It's a wacky plot that should appeal to anyone who likes murder mysteries, British secret agents, romantic comedies, or slapstick. Bill Murray could not be funnier and Peter Gallagher also shows great comic timing.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hilarious

    This is Bill Murray at his best. The story is funny and the laughs never stop from start to finish. A true classic in the comedy genre!

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hillarious!

    I thought this movie was hillarious! The idea for the movie-genius. The only downside to this movie....They should have ended it about 5 min. before they did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews