6.7/10
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The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

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0:31 | Trailer
Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) is mistaken for a spy and must stop a plot to assassinate international leaders at a banquet.

Director:

Jon Amiel

Writers:

Robert Farrar (novel), Robert Farrar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Wallace Ritchie
Peter Gallagher ... James Ritchie
Joanne Whalley ... Lori
Alfred Molina ... Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
Richard Wilson ... Sir Roger Daggenhurst
John Standing ... Gilbert Embleton
Simon Chandler ... Hawkins
Geraldine James ... Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
Anna Chancellor ... Barbara Ritchie
Nicholas Woodeson ... Sergei
Cliff Parisi ... Uri
John Thomson ... Dimitri
Janet Henfrey Janet Henfrey ... Ms. Goldstein
Terry O'Neill Terry O'Neill ... Spenser
Isabel Hernández Isabel Hernández ... Consuela (as Isabel Hernandez)
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Storyline

American Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) gets a ticket for an audience participation game in London, England, then gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. As an international plot unravels around him, he thinks it's all part of the act.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bill Murray is the Man who Knew too Little See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, innuendo, comic violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watch That Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,604,819, 16 November 1997

Gross USA:

$13,717,039

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,717,039
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) uses the mallet to break down the door, he yells "Here's Johnny!" This is a nod to Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) breaking down the door with an axe and saying the same thing in The Shining (1980). The mallet is also the signature weapon used by Jack Torrance in Stephen King's novel The Shining, unlike the axe used in the Stanley Kubrick movie. See more »

Goofs

At 53:08 into the film, the shadow of the microphone can be seen on the actor's forehead. See more »

Quotes

Wallace: Was that a tear? How do you people do it? Do you poke yourself in the eye? Or are you thinking right now "My dog is dead"?
Lorelei 'Lori': What's the matter with you? Are you enjoying this?
Wallace: Enormously! "My dog... is dead".
See more »

Connections

Features Copycat (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Korobeiniki
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Plays during the Russian folk dancers sequence.]
See more »

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User Reviews

Funny if slight
6 September 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Wally Ritchie flies from America to visit his brother in London for his birthday. However James has a business meeting and needs Wally out of the way for the evening. He books Wally onto a new murder-evening style experience where you get to play the character of an secret agent or the like. However Wally answers the wrong phone call and is mistaken for hitman Spenser. Following the instructions of the call, Wally becomes involved in a plot to start the cold war again by killing a mix of Ambassadors. Blissfully unaware Wally sets out to foil the plot.

This is one of those films that I'd kept meaning to see for ages but never got round to it. So when I finally did I maybe had too high expectations for it. So for the first 20 minutes I was a little impatient and was bothered that I wasn't really enjoying it or laughing very much. However once I got past this I relaxed and started to enjoy it.

The plot is mush and even if you take it seriously, all the pieces don't fit together and the plot doesn't make a lot of sense. However ignore all this plot nonsense – this is all about Wally stumbling from one misunderstanding to another lucky occurrence. We're not in the realms of classic comedy here and it certainly isn't hilarious. Rather it's funny and enjoyable – in that, even when I wasn't smiling I still had a fixed grin on my face.

Murray is the film's saviour. He stumbles around so very well and makes even the most basic misunderstanding funny. Gallagher is a passable straightman and Walley-Kilmer is decent but really suffers from having to share a screen with Murray. A fleet of British faces make up the rest of the cast – from Molina, Wilson, Woodeson to the sublime John Thomson and faces like Dexter Fletcher and `that guy offa Family Affairs'. To be honest it's all a bit distracting having so many `oh, that's ……' and you do have to try and get past it.

Overall this isn't the funniest thing you'll ever see, but it is enjoyable and will make you smile for 90 minutes, even if the belly laughs are less often than you'd like. Murray runs the show and brings laughs out of the least inspired routines. Well worth a watch if you're in a silly, undemanding mood.


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