First the DVD review: This DVD was/is put out by "Hens Tooth" video. (Hens Tooth?) Features the original theatrical trailer, which in itself is a gem; a wonderful stills gallery featuring behind the scenes making of the movie...priceless! And an awesome commentary by Tim Conway and the Director Lang Elliot who offer tons of little know facts and insight to this classic! This DVD is crisp and clear and so is the sound! The only thing this DVD lacks are the deleted and alternate scenes and alternate angles they showed on TV back in 1984. (see below for details) But, I'm happy to take what they give!
I know this is going to sound odd, but this is my favorite comedy of all time! No question! I have always been a big fan of Tim Conway and Don Knotts! (Who isn't?) Both men are absolute geniuses and have been underused since this movie came out back in 1981. This movie left a huge impression on me when I was a kid! I have always wanted a house just like the one in this movie! Who wouldn't want a 252 room estate! You could almost sleep in a different room for a full year! I was equally impressed when I found out the house in this movie is a real house! It's the Biltmore House and gardens. The real house is in Asheville North Carolina. Although the Biltmore House doesn't have 252 rooms (darn!) it is an absolutely gorgeouse manor! I highly recommend you check out their website! They will even send you a free brochure which pulls out into a mini poster! I have one on my wall right now! Very cool!
Anyways, back to the review...This is one movie that can be shared with the whole family! When this movie came out I was 10 years old and was so impressed by the look of it, the hysterical comedy, the cast, and the mystery storyline! You had to be there, but everytime and I mean EVERYTIME I saw this movie the theater was packed and sold out! Movies back then would run for 3-6 months at a time! (this is before even video and vcr's) I would clip every article or advertisement for this movie and I still have them today in a scrapbook! Yes, I am a fan!
Tim and Don play two ameturish private detectives who are called in to investigate the murder of Lord and Lady Morley, the owners of the estate. Don plays the straight guy to a T! Tim plays a wacky, paranoidish, inventor/detective. One of Tims inventions is called a time gun, which goes off every hour! He is also afraid of a legendary creature called the "Wookalar"! A half pig half human creature that will "suck your brains right out your nose!" Very funny stuff! You have to see it for yourself! The two detectives run into a myriad of funny characters along the way in the Manors staff and housekeeprs/caretakers! Just when they think they know who the killer is..that suspect ends up dead! Hilarious!
Now, here is something to note: I was extactic when this movie first aired on TV back in 1984 and happily taped it! Lucky for anyone else who taped it (and still has the tape like me!) because they showed scenes and alternate takes/angles that are NOT IN THIS DVD! They show a scene with Trisha Noble and Tim Conway eating dinner at a loooong dinner table that is just hilarious! Tim dresses up as Don's character, in hopes of "fooling" the killer, as a decoy. Trishas character just beats the crud out of Tim as she gets upset when people try to "trick" her! Hilarious!
The next scene they showed was an extra scene of Tim trying to send off a Homing pigeon, with an update of their investigation to Scotland Yard. Tim has a whole crate of homing pigeons and every time he trys to send a message something happens to the bird! So, in the deleted scene Tim paints a pigeon black, so no one can see it at night thus nothing should happen to it, and when he throws it out the window of his room...the pigeon goes but the wings stay in his hands! Cruel? Yes, by todays standards, but still funny!
Next, there is an alternate scene when the maid is preparing tea for Tim and Don and the killer slips poison in their cups. And there are a couple of alternate angle shots throughout the TV version.
This is an absolute classic comedy! Buy it before it goes out of print!