The Man Who Knew Too Little 1997 Movie Bill Murray as Wallace Ritchie holding a gun to an old lady dressed in leather with nazi cap

The Man Who Knew Too Little [1997]

The Man Who Knew Too Little is a movie based on a book by Robert Farrar, and it’s one of those timeless comedies. It features a phenomenal script and even better acting. Bill Murray was hilarious in one of his best comedic roles. And I know that he has a lot of them, so I don’t say this lightly. He had a lot of stuff to work with here from intelligent and snappy dialogues to slapstick gags. Combining a serious spy plot with a hapless and accident-prone “secret agent” is something that’s quite popular now.

Although, I must admit that Spy Hard and Austin Powers were released almost the same year. Toying with the cold war and stereotypes common for James Bond movies, Farrar creates even more laughs. And the perfect example is Boris The Butcher, played masterfully by Alfred Mollina. As you might’ve guessed this is a parody of Hitchcock’s classic The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Since the story is taking place in London, I couldn’t help but drawing parallels with Clockwise starring John Cleese. Mostly because it features the same concept of escalating ridiculousness or comedy of errors. We are smoothly going from one funny scene to the next one, keeping a pretty fast pace. There are a lot of twists and turns, keeping you thoroughly engaged ’till the end. Woefully underrated and often overlooked, this is a movie you simply must check out.

Meet Wallace Ritchie, a manager at a Blockbuster video store in America living the simple life. He just landed in London, England to visit his businessman brother James. However, since he’s expecting an important business partner at his house James offers Ritchie a ticket to “Theater Of Life”. This is a new kind of show where a viewer performs along with the actors. All too happy, Ritchie accepts the offer, not knowing that he’ll soon be involved in a spy war of immense proportions.

Here, at Rabbit Reviews, we select only the best mainstream comedies and this one made the cut easily. It features a very uplifting and vibrant atmosphere that envelops you with positivity. Moreover, the story feels like an adventure that you would love to take. You can watch it with your family, friends or alone high as a kite. It really doesn’t matter because The Man Who Knew Too Little will still be funny as hell. Granted, it might feel a little bit dated to younger audiences and too silly. However, I think that’s just part of its charm.

Finally, if you’re looking for modern spy comedies check out Johnny English, Get Smart, Spy, Kingsman and The Spy Who Dumped Me. Enjoy.

Director: Jon Amiel

Writers: Robert Farrar, Howard Franklin

Cast: Bill Murray, Peter Gallagher, Joanne Whalley, Alfred Molina, Richard Wilson, Geraldine James

Fun Facts: The movie that Consuela is watching in the kitchen is Copycat, also directed by Jon Amiel.


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