(director: Arthur Hiller; screenwriter: Andrew Bergman; cinematographer: David M. Walsh; editor: Robert Swink; music: John Morris; cast: Alan Arkin (Sheldon Kornpett), Peter Falk (Vince Ricardo), Richard Libertini (General Garcia), Nancy Dussault (Carol Kornpett), Arlene Golonka (Jean Ricardo), Michael Lembeck (Tommy Ricardo), Penny Peyser (Barbara Kornpett), Paul L. Smith (Mo), Ed Begley, Jr. (Barry Lutz), David Paymer (cab driver); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: ; producers: Arthur Hiller/William Sackheim; Warner Bros. Pictures; 1979)
“The teaming of Alan Arkin with Peter Falk was inspired casting.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Arthur Hiller(“The Hospital”/”Love Story”/”Silver Streak”) skillfully directs this hilarious buddy picture spy satire. Blazing Saddle writer Andrew Bergman turns in the spot-on comedy script. The teaming of Alan Arkin with Peter Falk was inspired casting. The film’s pleasures include zany chase sequences.
Respected Manhattan dentist Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin) and eccentric CIA agent Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk) meet because of the upcoming marriage of Sheldon’s daughter (Penny Peyser) to Vince’s son (Michael Lembeck). The timid Sheldon is talked into going on a series of risky adventures with the CIA agent, and travels to South America on a mission to recover US treasury plates stolen by dangerous underworld thugs. General Garcia (Richard Libertini) is the deranged S.A. banana republic dictator who talks to his hand, and has an ongoing scheme to counterfeit and undermine U.S. currency. Libertini is insanely funny and his performance steals the show.
REVIEWED ON 3/27/2015 GRADE: B+