VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the December 13, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Directed by Arthur Hiller (Silver StreakLove StoryThe Out-of-TownersNightwing and See No Evil, Hear No Evil amongst many others) and written by Andrew Bergman (Blazing SaddlesBig TroubleThe Freshman), The In-Laws puts together dentist Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin) and businessman Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk). Kornpett instantly distrusts Ricardo and warns his daughter Barbara (Penny Peyser) not to marry Tommy (Michael Lembeck) as a result.

He was probably right, because Vince is a rogue government agent who sees no problems in getting Sheldon mixed up in a plot to steal printing plates from the U.S. Mint. Before you know it, a trip to Scranton to set things straight ends up in Tijata, where the in-laws are shot at by snipers and almost end up in front of a firing squad thanks to General Garcia (Richard Libertini) and his hand puppet.

This was remade in 2013 with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, who are fine, but come on. Are they Arkin and Falk? After that movie came out, Arkin called Falk to congratulate him on all the bad reviews the remake got, as each poison pen diatribe recognized how great they were.

This movie gets a lot right, including the idea that the action has to be action and the comedy has to be comedy. If you’ve seen modern action comedies, you may know what I mean. Also: James Hong should randomly show up in every movie.

Marlon Brando was a huge fan of this movie, able to recall and imitate most of Arkin’s dialogue. That’s one of the reasons why Bergman was able to get him to be in The Freshman.

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