Fun with Dick and Jane (1977 film)

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Fun with Dick and Jane
Fun with Dick and Jane (1977 film).png
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Produced by Peter Bart
Max Palevsky
Screenplay by David Giler
Jerry Belson
Mordecai Richler
Story byGerald Gaiser
Starring George Segal
Jane Fonda
Music by Ernest Gold
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Edited by Danford B. Greene
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 9, 1977 (1977-02-09)
Running time
99 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4.5 million [2]
Box office$13.6 million (US/Canada rentals) [3]

Fun with Dick and Jane is a 1977 American comedy film starring George Segal and Jane Fonda. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the film is caustically critical of the "anarchy" of the American way of life.

Contents

The character names come from the Dick and Jane series of children's educational books, and the title is taken from the title of one of the books in the series.

Plot

Dick Harper is a successful aerospace engineer in Los Angeles, where he and wife Jane have a lovely house, with a swimming pool and new lawn under way. Jane takes care of their son, Billy.

Due to financial reversals at the business, however, Dick's boss, Charlie Blanchard, suddenly fires him. Dick and Jane owe more than $70,000 and abruptly find themselves with no income. Their attempts to find other gainful employment fail. Jane lands a fashion modeling appearance at a restaurant that becomes a fiasco. Dick ends up applying for unemployment and food stamps, while Jane's wealthy parents, rather than helping, advise them to use this experience positively as a life lesson.

Unable to come up with any other solution to their problems, Dick and Jane turn to a life of crime. They make an effort to select their victims judiciously – robbing the telephone company, for example, which makes the customers in line cheer. In time, Dick and Jane weigh their guilty consciences against their needs, trying to get back their old lives and stay out of jail. They make the decision to "retire" from robbery. However, almost immediately they see Charlie Blanchard on television, testifying in front of a Congressional committee. After realizing that Charlie keeps two hundred thousand dollars in his office as a slush fund (used to pay off lawmakers), Dick and Jane decide to rob Charlie. At a gala at Dick's old firm, Dick and Jane are able to successfully break into Charlie's office, crack the safe, and steal the money. They are able to leave his office and make it to the main floor of the building, but the building's security guards are able to alert Charlie before the couple can leave. They are seen guarding all the exits. Dick admits to Charlie that he and Jane have stolen his money. However, they also explain that Jane has called the police about the theft. Knowing that the $200,000 would possibly be confiscated by the authorities and may lead to further unwanted investigations, Charlie tells the arriving police that no crime is committed and he walks the couple safely out of the building.

The movie ends with a press release that states Dick has been hired to be the president of the firm after Charlie has resigned.

Cast

Reception

Fun with Dick and Jane received mixed reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 14 reviews. [4]

The film was Columbia's third highest-grossing film in the US in 1977 [5] with rentals returned from the United States and Canada of $13.6 million. [3]

Remake

The film was remade in 2005 with the same title, starring Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni. [6]

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References

  1. "FUN WITH DICK AND JANE (A)". British Board of Film Classification . 1976-12-15. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  2. Studios Are Picking Up More Films From Independents By ALJEAN HARMETZ. New York Times 26 June 1978: C18
  3. 1 2 Cohn, Lawrence (October 15, 1990). "All-Time Film Rental Champs". Variety . p. M160.
  4. "Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)" via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  5. "Big Rental Films of 1977". Variety . January 4, 1978. p. 21.
  6. Fun with Dick and Jane at Box Office Mojo

Bibliography