Bank Guard: What the Hell kind of clown are you?
Grimm: The crying on the inside kind, I guess.
Quick Change is comedy the way comedies should be made. It’s not pie in your face but character-based, and it’s also a barbed-wire Valentine for the city of New York, to boot.
Three bank robbers, Bill Murray, Geena Davis and Randy Quaid, rob a bank in a unique way, complete with hostages, and get away scott free from the police.
Robbing the bank, however, proves to be a lot simpler than getting out of New York City. All they have to do is get to the airport and they’re home-free. But New York City keeps getting in their way.
Classic comedy ensues.
Grimm: When you say “near” the airport…
Bus Driver: .48 miles.
Grimm: Alright. When do we get there?
Bus Driver: 22:30 hours.
Grimm: When is that? In human time.
Bus Driver: 10:30.
Grimm: 10:30. Say you had to walk it…
Bus Driver: With that injured individual?
Bus Driver: I can’t give you a precise figure on that.
Grimm: Come on! Make a guess.
Bus Driver: 21 minutes.
The actors are top notch. In addition to Jason Robards as the police detective, the supporting cast is a banquet of New York actors who eventually break out and land series of their own or big film roles of their own.
Stanley Tucci as a mob guy, Jamie Sheridan as a thief, Philip Bosco as the bus driver, Kurtwood Smith (bad guy from RoboCop), Phil Hartman and especially Monk’s Tony Shaloub as a Lebanese cab driver who speaks no English.
Everyone is great, and the film is nearly stolen in the first ten minutes by Bob Elliot (Chris Elliot’s father) as the cranky bank guard. It’s hard to steal scenes from Bill Murray, who is funny here in a way not often seen, but Bob does it.
I should note, Bill Murray co-directed this film from 1990, and it’s got an absurd, wry sense of humor that tickles. I prefer it to What About Bob and other films from this time, and I don’t think this film gets the props it deserves.
Order Quick Change now, you’ll be glad you did.