Get Back to God
Release Date: March 26, 2004
Starring: Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall,
Marlon Wayans, J. K. Simmons,
Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, and George
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 104 minutes
Distributor: Touchstone/Buena Vista/The
Walt Disney Company
Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Producer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tom
Jacobson, Barry Sonnenfeld,
and Barry Josephson
Writer: Joel Coen and Ethan
Coen BASED ON “THE
LADYKILLERS” BY: William
Address Comments To:Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, and Touchstone Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Created by Joel and Ethan Coen from a classic 1955 British comedy starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, THE LADYKILLERS features Hanks as Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D. The smooth-talking professor figures that the quaint house of Marva Munson, a devout Southern Baptist black lady, makes the perfect headquarters for his plan to rob a nearby riverboat gambling casino. The caped, bucktoothed “mastermind” has assembled a gang of alleged experts, including a self-described demolition man from Hollywood called Pancake, a Vietnamese tunnel man known only as The General, a stupid ex-football player nicknamed Lump, and Gawain MacSam, the critical inside man who’s posing as a casino janitor. The gang sets up shop in the widowed Mrs. Munson’s root cellar, ostensibly so they can play old-fashioned chamber music with antique instruments. When Mrs. Munson stumbles onto their plot and threatens to notify the police unless they return the money, the gang of scatterbrain saps decides to kill her. After all, how hard can it be to knock off one old lady?
THE LADYKILLERS reaches its inexorable conclusion amid a series of goofy mishaps and even goofier cover-ups cooked up by the smooth-talking professor. Eventually, the shifty professor finds that he can’t talk his way past Mrs. Munson’s solid Christian values, or the disapproving glare of Mrs. Munson’s late husband, whose portrait hangs in the center of her quaint living room. The evocative ending composed by the Coen brothers helps to redeem the movie.
Despite the strong vulgarity that much too often passes the lips of Prof. Dorr’s compatriots, a strong Christian worldview permeates THE LADYKILLERS. The would-be assassins all get their just desserts from the All-Knowing God who watches over Mrs. Munson and the movie’s Gospel music soundtrack. THE LADYKILLERS is far more vulgar language-wise than the Coens’ previous Southern comedy, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, but the Christian worldview seems stronger. As the movie’s Gospel soundtrack literally sings out, God is watching you, so let’s get back to Him. The screenwriters should have taken that sentiment more to heart when they were writing the dialogue.
THE LADYKILLERS reaches its inexorable conclusion amid a series of goofy mishaps and even goofier cover-ups cooked up by the smooth-talking professor. Despite the offensive vulgarity that much too often passes the lips of the professor’s bumbling compatriots, a strong Christian worldview permeates THE LADYKILLERS. The would-be assassins all get their just desserts from the All-Knowing God who watches over Mrs. Munson and the movie’s Gospel music soundtrack.