The In-Laws (1979)
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Let’s go back to 1979 with quite possibly the most under-rated comedy duo ever, Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. The two together have a chemistry that shine bright on the screen. They’re naturals, like there’s no script, like the camera is just there capturing real events instead of a directed script.
While an attempt to remake this movie was done a few years ago, I’m not even going to dignify that version with any more than that mention.
This cast, the acting, it’s so above what we get today. Supporting cast like the late, great Richard Libertini as a demented Central American dictator with obvious mental issues just adds to the calamity and hilarious mayhem of the entire movie.
The story is all about the money. Alan Arkin’s a dentist in NYC, his daughter is marrying the son of businessman Vince Ricardo
At an introductory dinner in which Shelly (Alan Arkin) meets his new in-law Vince, he finds Vince (Peter Falk) suspicious; during the dinner, Vince tells a crazy story of a nine-month “consulting” trip to 1954 Guatemala. Vince’s son and wife seem oblivious.
At one point in the dinner Vince excuses himself to make a phone call, and hides something in the basement. Later that night Shelly pleads with his daughter not to marry into the Ricardo clan, since he mistrusts Vince, but he is talked into giving the marriage a chance.
The following day Vince appears at Sheldon’s office, claiming that he wanted to say hello. He asks Shelly for help with a five-minute errand: breaking into Vince’s office safe. Shelly reluctantly agrees.
After retrieving a mysterious black bag from Vince’s cramped office in an old Herald Square office building, two armed hit men surprise Sheldon. After a chase and shootout, Vince explains to the frightened Shelly he has worked for the CIA since the Eisenhower administration and robbed the United States Mint of engraving plates to crack a worldwide inflation plot hatched in Central America.
He mentions he robbed the U.S. Mint on his own; the CIA had turned him down, deeming the caper too risky. Vince claims that Sheldon is not involved; however, if Vince is caught he will be jailed for 20 years and fired from the CIA. Vince further upsets Sheldon by mentioning he left an engraving plate in the basement of Sheldon’s house the previous night.
Serpentine Shell… Serpentine!
The movie was budgeted at 9 million dollars and brought in over 38 million at the box office.
Source: Sal Amato