Why we love Foul Play
May 23, 2014 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
We love this 1978 film, starring the ever-charming Goldie Hawn and hilarious Chevy Chase. With the amazing city of San Francisco as a backdrop, the plot quickly unfolds. You’ll enjoy following the main character Gloria Mundy (Hawn) through all the twists and turns surrounding her mysterious incidents. But it’s not all thrills; the intrigue is interrupted by endearing secondary characters (like Dudley Moore in his American movie debut). These layers come together to form a great flick that’s sure to please. Join us as we share with you why we love Foul Play.
Be “ready to take a chance again”
The title song by Barry Manilow really sets the stage for the film and reminds us that even if some scary things can come from putting yourself out there, a lot of extraordinarily amazing things can develop too. Gloria Mundy is a divorcée and lives her life as a quiet librarian, determined to keep things stable. Enter Scotty the hitchhiker (and undercover cop), a roll of film hidden inside a cigarette pack, and Lt. Tony Carlson (played by Chase). Gloria decides on a whim to give Scotty a lift back to the city, unaware that she is being followed and he’s not your ordinary stranded motorist. Thinking she is in the midst of a possible romance, she braces herself for new adventures. Little does she know what may be in store! As you can imagine, bad guys are out to retrieve the film and it’s up to Chase and Hawn to figure out how to stay one step ahead of their efforts. Despite all the narrow escapes, a love affair blooms, and two people’s lives are changed for the better. Embrace life and be open to new experiences!
Even the craziest stories can be true
Gloria prepares herself for a movie date with Scotty, only to have him arrive with a stab wound and spouting cryptic advice. His body disappears as she goes to warn the theater manager and from then on things only go downhill (and edge closer toward the unbelievable). Leaving the theater confused and alone, she later gets attacked by the strange albino Whitey Jackson and stabs a man with a scar. (Yep – we told you this was a fast-paced plot!). But, just like Scotty, the body disappears and Lt. Tony Carlson is left to report a case that has him baffled. The narrative continues to unravel, pulling Gloria and Tony deeper into the midst of a clandestine murder plot that is equally unimaginable. Tony’s belief in Gloria’s story is the only thing that stands between justice and murder. If you trust someone, give them the benefit of the doubt and help them find solutions. You’ll never know how much good you can do until you try!
Don’t jump to conclusions
Being in harm’s way, Gloria reconsiders Scotty’s advice: “Beware of the dwarf.” With this phrase as her only clue, she is consumed with figuring out its meaning. However in her panic she takes the warning too literally and ends up attacking an innocent salesman (who happens to be a little person). Her faux pas reminds us that you can’t make assumptions in life, you need to keep your wits about you, and strive to look into things before you leap.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
People can surprise you and this simple truth is echoed throughout the movie. Many characters evolve beyond their first impressions, especially Tony who Gloria assumes is a no good creep at the onset. But our favorite example of this comes from Burgess Meredith. He gives one of the finest performances in the film as Gloria’s eclectic and supportive landlord, Mr. Hennessy. Sure, he’s an interesting older gentleman with grand tales of former adventures. But no one would suspect he would have amazing martial art skills. His high kicks and energy are surprising and remind us that even if you think you understand someone on the surface, you never know their true power or talent. So let yourself get to know people on a deeper level, engaging your friends in this way will enrich everyone’s experience.
Scrabble with friends is a great way to spend a rainy evening
The rainy night Scrabble scene is one of our absolute favorite moments in the movie. On the surface it’s just two old friends reconnecting, swapping stories, and playing a simple game. But one glance at the game board shows us that these older ladies are anything but ordinary. If they can keep the humor alive it gives us hope that our friendships will develop in the same glorious ways.
Keep on keepin’ on
We mentioned Dudley Moore’s awesome performance in the intro and it deserves more elaboration. Moore’s character, sex-obsessed introvert Stanley Tibbets, always seems to find himself between a rock and a hard place (at the hand of Gloria). But even though there are misunderstandings and awkward encounters, Tibbets continues to live on. Although he may alter his habits given this bad luck, he never loses sight of his “joie de vivre.” You have to admire his perseverance. So remember to keep your cool (and put on your sunglasses if you have to!)
Watch it today
Cause A Frockus would like to thank their tremendous resources: The movie Foul Play, people who post their images without restrictions, and YouTube member GoGoGarrett.
For our readers: Have you seen this film? If so who’s your favorite character?