As he did in his screenplay for Silver Streak (1974), writer/director Colin Higgins mixes life-and-death melodrama with broad slapstick in Foul Play. Goldie Hawn stars as Gloria Mundy, a recent divorcée whose attempts to start life anew in San Francisco are bollixed up when she is inadvertently swept up in an assassination plot against the Pope. Offering sometimes dubious aid and comfort to Gloria is bumbling federal agent Tony Carlson (Chevy Chase). The film's comedy ranges from the farcical seduction efforts by musician Stanley Tibbets (Dudley Moore) to the zany, gag-filled car-chase finale. Foul Play features character actors Rachel Roberts and Eugene Roche as villains, Burgess Meredith as a martial arts-happy landlord, and Billy Barty as a long-suffering religious bookseller. It also packs in a memorable "throwaway" gag involving a profane Scrabble game played by sweet little old ladies Queenie Smith and Hope Summers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
One of the best comedies from the 70's finally has made it to DVD. This likeable film is an all-time favorite of mine. Goldie Hawn plays a familiar character, the kind only she can do so well. Chevy Chase excels in one of his best roles. And Dudley Moore is simply hysterical as a man who seems to keep turning up at the wrong time. A good mystery plot keeps the film going while the laughs are always present. Highly recommended.
This movie will be best understood and appreciated by people who lived through the Seventies or who have an understanding and fondness for them. Th movie subtly makes fun of the times and popular culture of the day, in addition to not so subtly spoofing the whole mystery/suspense genre. If you can't stand the golden sounds of Barry Manilow or the operatic stylings of Gilbert & Sullivan, watch it in subtitles. The funniest scenes are in the details, so pay attention! Hint: watch the old lady's Scrabble board very closely. There are so many humorous details that you can watch this again and again and still see or hear something new the next time through. This was Dudley Moore's best work ever, and the chemistry between Goldie and Chevy was terrific. This movie is appropriate for tweens and above.