Dennis the Menace
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1

All retired George Wilson (Walter Matthau) wants is to work in his award-winning garden and tend to his valuable coin collection. Unfortunately, he lives next door to the Mitchell family. Little Dennis Mitchell (Mason Gamble), an extremely curious and precocious five-year-old, is a real menace to Mr. Wilson. Just as in the comic strip, Dennis doesn't do any of it on purpose, it just happens. When Dennis' parents must leave for the weekend, the Wilsons take Dennis in. When Dennis discovers Mr. Wilson's coin collection has been stolen, he disrupts an important garden exhibit to tell Mr. Wilson. An enraged Wilson chews out Dennis, who runs away. He stumbles upon the thief who stole the coins (Christopher Lloyd). Planning to use Dennis as a hostage, the thief makes a big mistake. Dennis just naturally wreaks havoc wherever he goes. DENNIS THE MENACE is a mix of PROBLEM CHILD, HOME ALONE and THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF, with strong characterizations and good physical comedy. Mr. Matthau is wonderful as the plagued Mr. Wilson, making the film fun for kids of all ages.

Amidst the fun, Mr. Wilson utters "G.D." three times without actually expressing the profanity. A babysitter and her boyfriend caress on the couch. A playmate entices a little boy to pucker up and kiss her, then presses the bare bottom of her baby doll against his face. The thief, forced by Dennis to eat a whole can of beans, passes gas which causes a campfire to roar. Violence is slapstick, almost comic book in nature. However, Mr. Wilson and the thief are accidentally hit in the groin in separate incidents. Also, the thief falls at least thirty feet onto concrete, is stabbed in the rear with a knife, and is trapped beneath a burning blanket. Supposedly, the harm Dennis causes is not intentional. DENNIS THE MENACE is much more innocent than HOME ALONE. However, parents need to be aware that this film uses slapstick violence to amuse. Otherwise, it provides much-needed relief from the rest of the violent movie fare available this summer.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91521

Crude Language: Once - Moderate
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Few (3) times ('G.D.' contraction)
Violence: Several times - Moderate (cartoon, slapstick violence; men accidentally hit in groin; man falls onto concrete, and trapped beneath a burning blanket; villain wounded by knife)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Babysitter and boyfriend caress on a couch
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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