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Foul Play

“People just don’t drop dead in cinemas watching horror movies and whispering, 'Look out for the elf!'”

Even if his first screenplay was for a film that was a box office flop at the time, the success of the second film he wrote gave Colin Higgins enough clout to finally direct. As a clear fan of Hitchcock’s work, he delivered his second comedy thriller that felt very much an homage to Hitchcock in Foul Play, and he delivered another box office hit. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Colin Higgins series with his 1978 directorial debut Foul Play.

We talk about Higgins as director and debate how he does on his first time out of the gate. We look at many of the tropes he fills the film with, both Hitchcockian thriller tropes and comedy tropes of the time. We chat about the casting of Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase and how they got the roles, plus we look at many of the other actors fleshing the film out. We touch on politically incorrect comedy involving little people and ponder how that affects our viewing in 2020. We look at the cinematography and music, and wonder if Barry Manilow, although popular at the time, made sense for a comedy thriller. And we revel in the playful titles the Swedes gave to this film as well as many other Hawn films over the years.

It’s a fun film and definitely worth talking about, even if only in context of the time when it comes to jokes involving laughing at little people suffering. We have a great time talking about it on this week’s show, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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