Monday, November 5, 2012

The Man With One Red Shoe - 1985

I love discovering older movies with big name actors that manage to slip by me in the past.  Thus was the case when I came across this spy-comedy caper with Tom Hanks!  I had never heard of this film before and frankly I was shocked by the amount some of my favorite old school actors (old school for like 1980's....not like OLD school).  Carrie Fisher, Jim Belushi, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning....the list just goes on and on!  Oh yeah and I spent the entire movie trying to remember where I had seen Lori Singer before.  It dawned on me when I was going back to get screen captures that she was in Footloose.  Duh.

Okay, so what is this rather obscure little gem about?  Well, to start with, it is a remake of a 1972 French film called The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe.  Dabney Coleman and Charles Durning are CIA rivals.  Ross (Durning) is currently the director of the CIA. Cooper (Coleman) is the deputy director with his eye on the top spot.  After a questionable drug sting operation, the CIA is brought before the Senate for questioning.  Cooper is looking to get Ross removed and has his entire place bugged to try and get dirt on him.  Ross knows this and uses that against Cooper, feeding him false information about a "spy" that could possibly clear him of the charges.  Ross then sends out his man Brown to pick a person at the airport and "make contact" with them so that Cooper's lackey's will think that this is the spy.  Brown spots Richard Drew (Tom Hanks), a violinist in an orchestra,  and chooses him due to the fact that he is wearing one brown shoe and one red sneaker.

Now either it is never exactly explained why Drew is wearing mismatched shoes, or I possibly missed the any rate, I dunno why he was wearing one red shoe.  So this is what sets the events of the film in motion.  Every move that Drew makes, Cooper is watching and listening through surveillance.  Drew is a bit of a clumsy every man and the character reminds me a bit of Walter Fielding in The Money Pit.  You can't help but like the guy as he unintentionally outwits Cooper at every turn.  The whole spy games thing is quite amusing and it is said that it was loosely based on Spy vs. Spy (you remember the old Mad Magazine comic, right?)

Cooper sends in Maddy, a blond bombshell (Singer) to try and seduce the information out of Drew.  Things keep getting in the way and while it's all a rouse to Maddy, Drew finds himself falling for her.  Of course, this following typical film formula, you know she's going to start developing feelings for him as well.  There is a quite comical scene when Maddy invites Drew back to her place after one of his performances and while trying to seduce him, things get a  

For the most part, this movie has a good 80's comedy vibe to it.  There are times where it reaches levels of camp, especially in Belushi's scenes.....he's a bit "out there" in this one....though the dead bodies bit in Drew's apartment bit was pretty amusing.  It's quite fun picking out all the familiar faces and of course seeing Carrie Fisher in a leopard print matching bra and panties set my geek pulse a fluttering, bringing back warm fuzzy memories of her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi.

If you are in the mood for some Spy comedy shenanigans or in the mood for some vintage Hanks (and hey.....with Skyfall coming out soon and Cloud Atlas just released......what better time?!) this should hit the spot!  This is one of those movies that will work just as well as a Sunday afternoon time waster as it does a late night viewing.  It's got that "we-only-air-this-at-odd-hours" feeling, while still staying family friendly.  How bout that!  

No comments:

Post a Comment