Man Who Knew Too Little, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

The most clever aspect of this comedy is the intriguing theme of an American in London who becomes involved in London's "Theater of Life". The American is Wallace Richie played by Bill Murray who is in London visiting his wealthy American brother, James (Peter Gallagher). To get him out of his hair, James persuades Wallace to participate in the "Theater of Life" in which Wallace assumes a character and joins a group of actors portraying real people in dramatic situations. But Wallace gets the wrong instructions and finds himself in a dangerous real life cat and mouse game in which he is being hounded by Russian secret agents. All the time, Wallace thinks it's just a theatrical game which leads to all sorts of comical adventures. And he develops a romantic interest in an attractive female agent, Lori (Joanne Whalley), which adds to the film's appeal. However, much of the comedy seems to fall a bit flat and not live up to its potential . Even so, it has its funny moments, particularly a scene in which Wallace must participate in a Russian dance performance.

To a large extent, the film lives up to its PG rating with relatively few offensive elements. But in true Hollywood style, it has its share of foul language, including several mild and moderate crudities, four obscenities and the Lord's name taken in vain once. And along with its comic theme come a number of comical suggestive innuendos.Further, Lori wears the obligatory low cut dress and both she and Wallace indulge in some sexually suggestive quips alluding to intercourse and male genitals. Also, a few comical sado-masochistic incidents are included showing a woman whipping a man in a hotel room. Although done in a comical vein, a number of violent incidents occur, involving threats with a knife, gun and car chases, two murders, and torture with electric apparatus. Since the suggestive humor and violence have a comic flavor, the film is almost tolerable, but the language and sexual innuendoes are still offensive.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Warner Brothers, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 2, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Few (4) times - No f or s words

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular (GD 1); Exclamatory 4

Violence: Many times - Moderate(Two men shot and killed; threats with knife, gun, shooting, and car chases; rough treatment, hand fighting, men knocked unconscious, torture with electric apparatus, plane blown up)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near Nudity - Few times (woman in low cut, suggestive dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several Times - Moderate (comical innuendos alluding to intercourse, genitals and taking off dress, close up of woman's legs; comical sado-masochistic whipping)

Drugs: Once - cocktail drinking


Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and Adults

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