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Foul Play (1978)


kingrat
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Colin Higgins' FOUL PLAY (1978) appears on the TCM schedule this Sunday. For those who haven't seen it, it's in the same genre as THE MAD MISS MANTON and Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES: woman finds corpse, corpse disappears, cop doesn't believe her, woman and cop fall in love as they solve the mystery together. For my money, FOUL PLAY is the funniest screwball comedy made after the 1940s.

 

Because it stars Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, critics haven't given FOUL PLAY the respect it deserves. It's probably Goldie's best role, and she and Chevy make a cute couple. The supporting cast is solid gold: Dudley Moore, Rachel Roberts, Burgess Meredith, and several lesser-known actors who are perfectly cast. The comic invention never stops. As the Texan says--several times--"Far out!"

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I gave this one a try not too long ago, mostly because TCM shows it so often, but also because I was interested in the San Francisco locations. Now, I usually like Goldie and can usually enjoy Chevy in most of the movies they've been in, but this one seems to come up slightly short. I suspect it might seem a whole lot funnier if watched in a theater with an enthusiastic audience.

 

I still want to give it another try, and hope that perhaps reading others' reaction to it might help enhance my enjoyment of it.

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The three least-talented people in show business:

 

Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase

 

and

 

Chevy Chase.

 

I do think it rather curious, though, that the movie's story concerns the assassination of a pope. Right around the time of the film's release was the thirty-two-day pontificate of Pope John Paul I, who died in his sleep rather mysteriously, prompting some to speculate that he may have been murdered.

 

Pope John Paul I's real name was Albino Luciani.

 

FOUL PLAY's screen assassin was called The Albino.

 

Who says that Roman Catholicism isn't strange?

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> {quote:title=Hudson_Hawk wrote:}{quote}

 

> Pope John Paul I's real name was Albino Luciani.

>

> FOUL PLAY's screen assassin was called The Albino.

>

> Who says that Roman Catholicism isn't strange?

 

You want strange? Consider 16th-century mathematician (I use the term loosely) Michael Stifel, who proved that Pope Leo X was the Anti-Christ thusly:

 

 

1. The Latin for Leo the Tenth is Leo Decimus

2. This can be written Leo DeCIMVs

3. The capital letters can be re-arranged as MDCLVI

4. Remove M for mystery, and insert X because it is Leo X, so we have DCLXVI

5. This is 666, the number of the "beast" in the Book of Revelation

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This famous exchange utilizes similar Cartesian logic:

 

MORTIMER: You don't understand, Mr President: "Brewster" is code for Roosevelt.

 

TEDDY BREWSTER: How so?

 

MORTIMER: "Brewster" rhymes with rooster.

 

TEDDY BREWSTER: So?

 

MORTIMER: What does a rooster do?

 

TEDDY BREWSTER: It crows.

 

MORTIMER: And where do you go hunting when you're in Africa?

 

TEDDY BREWSTER: Why, on the veldt.

 

MORTIMER: There you have it, Mr President: "Crows-Veldt!"

 

TEDDY BREWSTER: Ingenious!

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