The Woman in Red (1984) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Woman in Red is a sappy, generally unfunny 1980's comedy starring the usual mostly unfunny, unsubtle, schticky 80's guys doing their usual predictable, edgeless schtick. (Gene Wilder, Joseph Bologna, Charles Grodin).
  • Wilder, a married man, sees his ultimate dream woman, and conspires to meet her.
  • There is a case of mixed identity between the dream woman (Kelly LeBrock) and a plain office secretary (Gilda Radner) who thinks she is actually Wilder's dream girl.
  • There is a set piece in which Wilder's wife surprises him with a birthday party a day early. Wilder, not knowing of the party or his wife's presence, is caught by surprise on his first-ever date with his dream girl. Grodin saves the day by barging in and apologizing for being late for HIS date with LeBrock.

You know. That kind of crap.

Thanks to Mel Brooks, Wilder became a big enough star in the 70's that he was able to write and direct some features. In the words of the reviewer, "The nadir was this slow-moving, self-conscious Americanization of the French bedroom comedy Pardon Mon Affaire". I agree with the point that this movie is not really that good, but I disagree strongly that this is his nadir.

I do think that the pastel Art Deco set design was a bit much. The whole movie looked like a party at Don Johnson's house, but in fact, I think it is beautifully photographed and the best of his four films as a director, not the worst.


see the main commentary. Kelly LeBrock naked, despite a PG-13 rating.

there is also a brief look at Gene Wilder's butt

IMDB readers do not agree with me. They think it is second best. Here's how they grade Wilder's directing efforts

  1. (5.73) - Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, The (1975)
  2. (5.29) - Woman in Red, The (1984)
  3. (4.99) - World's Greatest Lover, The (1977)
  4. (4.28) - Haunted Honeymoon (1986)

I think Woman in Red is more watchable than Sherlock Holmes's Smarter Brother, but either way his high point, 5.73, is really not very high at all - about like two and a half stars or so. Given Wilder's proven comic success as a performer, we always expected him to do much better that that.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1, plus a full-screen version. The photography is rich. The transfer is gorgeous.

  • no meaningful features

I guess you could tell from what I wrote above that I don't miss very much about the 80's, but the decade surely had one thing going for it. You have to love a time when a film could get a PG-13 rating with full frontal nudity from Kelly LeBrock. This movie may not be so good, but ... well, I must beg forgiveness from all the other gorgeous women in the world, but Kelly LeBrock was the single most beautiful woman who has ever lived in the age of photography.

What the hell was she thinking with that whole Steven Seagal thing?

The point here is this. If a film has perfect photography and full frontal nudity from Kelly LeBrock, how much more does it need to be worth watching? Riddle me that, Batman. 

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Voting results: IMDb voters score it 5.3/10
  • It performed respectably, if unimpressively, at the US box office - $25 million.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, C-. OK comedy, I guess. Not my cup of tea. I don't know if I could have watched it all the way through, except that I couldn't tear my eyes away from Kelly LeBrock, and her last scene is stark naked.

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