Dumb and Dumber

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Dumb and Dumber
Dumbanddumber.jpg
Theatrical release poster, parodying Forrest Gump
Directed byPeter Farrelly
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music byTodd Rundgren
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
Production
companies
  • Katja Motion Picture Corporation[1]
  • Krevoy/Stabler/Wessler Production[2]
Distributed byNew Line Cinema[1]
Release date
  • December 16, 1994 (1994-12-16)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$17 million[3]
Box office$247.3 million[4]

Dumb and Dumber is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Peter Farrelly,[1][2] who co-wrote the screenplay with Bobby Farrelly and Bennett Yellin. Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, it tells the story of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), two dumb but well-meaning friends from Providence, Rhode Island, who set out on a cross-country trip to Aspen, Colorado, to return a briefcase full of money to its owner, thinking it was abandoned as a mistake though it was actually left as ransom money. Lauren Holly, Karen Duffy, Mike Starr, Charles Rocket, and Teri Garr play supporting roles.

The film was released on December 16, 1994. It grossed $247 million at the box office and has developed a cult following in the years after its release.[4][5] The success of Dumb and Dumber launched the career of the Farrelly brothers and solidified Carrey's reputation as one of the most prominent actors of the 1990s.[6] The film also spawned an animated TV series, a 2003 prequel, and a 2014 sequel.

Plot[edit]

Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, two kind but dimwitted men, are best friends and roommates living in Providence, Rhode Island. Lloyd, a chip-toothed limousine driver, immediately falls in love when he meets Mary Swanson, a woman he is driving to the airport. She leaves a briefcase in the terminal. Lloyd retrieves the case and hopes to return it to her, unaware that it contains ransom money for her kidnapped husband, Bobby, and that she was supposed to leave it for her husband's captors, Joe "Mental" Mentalino and J. P. Shay. Her Aspen-bound plane has already departed, leading to Lloyd running through and falling out of the jetway.

Fired from his job, Lloyd returns to his apartment and learns that Harry has also been fired from his dog-grooming job after delivering dogs late to a show and accidentally getting them dirty. Mental and Shay follow Lloyd home from the airport in pursuit of the briefcase. Mistaking the crooks for debt collectors, the duo flee the apartment and return later to find that Mental and Shay have ransacked the apartment and decapitated Harry's parakeet. Lloyd suggests they head to Aspen to find Mary and return the briefcase, hoping she can "plug them into the social pipeline". At first, Harry opposes the idea, but he eventually agrees and the duo leaves the next day.

Mental and Shay catch up to the duo at a motel that night. Posing as a hitchhiker, Mental is picked up by Harry and Lloyd while Shay secretly follows them. During a lunch stop, the duo prank Mental with chili peppers in his burger, unaware that he has an ulcer. When Mental reacts adversely, they accidentally kill him with rat poison pills (which he planned to use on them) after mistaking it for his medication. Nearing Colorado, Lloyd takes a wrong turn while daydreaming and ends up driving all night through Nebraska. Meanwhile, the police are waiting on the road to Colorado for them to show up, after finding out about Mental's death. Upon waking up and realizing Lloyd's mishap, Harry gives up on the journey and decides to walk home, but Lloyd later persuades him to continue after trading the van for a minibike.

The two arrive in Aspen, but are unable to locate Mary. After a short scuffle over some gloves that night, the briefcase breaks open and they discover the money; they spend it on a hotel suite, clothes, and a car. They learn that Mary and her family are hosting a gala and prepare to attend. At the gala, Harry, attempting to lure Mary over to Lloyd, reluctantly agrees to go skiing with her the next day and lies to Lloyd that he got him a date. The next day, Lloyd finds out Harry lied to him after waiting all day for Mary at the hotel bar.

In retaliation, Lloyd pranks Harry by serving him a coffee laced with a potent dose of laxative, causing Harry to spontaneously defecate in a broken toilet at Mary's house. Lloyd arrives at Mary's house and informs her that he has her briefcase. He takes her to the hotel, shows her the briefcase, and confesses his love after some initial struggle; she rejects him, as she is already married. Nicholas Andre, an old friend of the Swansons and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping, arrives with Shay and, upon learning that Harry and Lloyd had spent all of the ransom money and replaced it with IOUs, takes Lloyd and Mary hostage, as well as Harry when he returns. An argument leads Nicholas to shoot Harry. Before Nicholas can kill them, an FBI team led by Beth Jordon (whom Harry met earlier at a gas station and Lloyd met earlier at the bar) raids the suite and arrests him and Shay. Harry is revealed to be alive thanks to a bulletproof vest that was strapped on him earlier. Mary and Bobby are reunited.

The next day, Harry and Lloyd are seen walking home on foot because all their purchases were confiscated and their minibike has broken down. The two unintentionally decline the chance to be oil boys for a group of bikini girls, after which Harry tells Lloyd that they will get their "break" one day. Harry and Lloyd then play a friendly game of tag as they walk back to Rhode Island.

Cast[edit]

  • Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas: A chip-toothed slacker who has been fired from several jobs. He has a crush on Mary Swanson, unaware that she is married.
  • Jeff Daniels as Harry Dunne: Lloyd's best friend and roommate. Harry is slightly dumber than Lloyd and can be said to be the "Dumber" of the title to Lloyd's "Dumb".[citation needed] He has a crush on Mary too, but is also unaware that Mary has a husband.
  • Lauren Holly as Mary Swanson: A wealthy but troubled heiress whose husband Bobby has been kidnapped. She was Harry and Lloyd's crush and both of them were unaware she was married.
  • Karen Duffy as J.P. Shay: A henchwoman of Nicholas Andre.
  • Mike Starr as Joe "Mental" Mentalino: A henchman for Nicholas Andre. He has a stomach ulcer and regularly takes medication for it.
  • Charles Rocket as Nicholas Andre: A greedy, wealthy resident of Aspen, Colorado and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping.
  • Teri Garr as Helen Swanson: Mary's stepmother.
  • Victoria Rowell as Beth Jordan (credited as "Athletic Beauty"): An FBI agent masquerading as a talkative young woman moving to Aspen to get away from her boyfriend.
  • Cam Neely as Sea Bass: A hot-tempered trucker who gets into frequent confrontations with Lloyd and Harry on their way to Aspen. Their first encounter was at a Pennsylvania diner.
  • Joe Baker as Barnard
  • Harland Williams as the motorcycle police officer
  • Brad Lockerman as Bobby Swanson: Mary's kidnapped husband
  • Lin Shaye as Mrs. Margie Neugeboren (referred to by Harry as "Mrs. Noogieburger"): A dog owner and client of Harry's.
  • Hank Brandt as Karl Swanson: Mary's father
  • Felton Perry as Detective Dale
  • Brady Bluhm as Billy: a blind and young boy who uses a wheelchair, to whom Lloyd sold some of his and Harry's belongings, including Harry's decapitated parakeet. He appears on A Current Affair when Harry and Lloyd arrive in Aspen.
  • Connie Sawyer as elderly lady

Production[edit]

The Farrelly Brothers had been trying for years to get their first movie made. Director Peter Farrelly's agent encouraged him to make a movie himself, alongside his brother Bobby.

The Farrelly Brothers didn't know who Jim Carrey was, they were only told that he was "The White Guy" on In Living Color. Only after a screening of Carrey's first major acting role, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, did they realize they had struck gold. Based on the box-office success of Ace Ventura, Carrey was able to negotiate a salary of $7 million for this film.[7]

Jeff Daniels was only paid around $50,000. New Line Cinema originally did not want Daniels in the film, as he was known only for his dramatic work at the time. However, the Farrellys and Carrey wanted Daniels for the part. Although New Line agreed to their demands, Daniels was offered the low salary in the hopes it would discourage him from signing on to the film. Daniels ultimately accepted the role, despite his agent reportedly dissuading him out of fears it would kill his career.[8]

Steve Martin and Martin Short both turned down the role of Lloyd.[9] According to Splitsider, Nicolas Cage and Gary Oldman were the original choices for Harry and Lloyd.[10] Chris Elliott and Rob Lowe were both also considered for the role of Harry.[10]

Carrey's chipped tooth is genuine, resulting from a fight with a classmate in his childhood, but he had since had it capped. He simply had the crown temporarily removed from that tooth to portray Lloyd.[11]

Location[edit]

Scenes taking place in Aspen were filmed in Breckenridge, Colorado and Park City, Utah. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was transformed into the "Danbury Hotel" for the filming of the movie. The "Danbury Hotel" bar scene and staircase shot were the shots filmed there. The scenes filmed in the snow were shot at Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado.[12]

Some of the external street scenes were filmed in Salt Lake City, and the airport scene was filmed at Salt Lake City International Airport.[13]

Some scenes from the beginning of the film were shot on location in the Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan area, including shots of the skyline and The Big Blue Bug; scenes from the beginning of their road trip were shot in locations in Cumberland, Rhode Island.[14][better source needed]

Parts of the film were also shot in Ogden, Utah and American Fork Canyon.[15]

Soundtrack[edit]

Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 22, 1994
GenreSoundtrack
Length46:51
LabelRCA Records
ProducerVarious Artists
Singles from Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "New Age Girl"
    Released: June 6, 1994
  2. "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"
    Released: January 1995

The original soundtrack to the film was released by RCA Records on November 22, 1994.[16] The soundtrack album's first single, "New Age Girl" by Deadeye Dick, was a chart hit, reaching number 27 in the US, while the music video for the Crash Test Dummies' version of "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" featured Jeff Daniels reprising his role of Harry.[17]

The soundtrack album has generally seen positive reception from critics. Joe Bishop of Vice named the album his favorite movie soundtrack, while the same site's Cameron Matthews described it as "a perfect slice of the mid-'90s sound: bubbly pop rock with jangly chords and just enough grit, or aka the thing you can give your kids when they one day ask you what the '90s were like."[17][18]

Though not present on the soundtrack, the film famously features Carrey and Daniels singing an a cappella version of "Mockingbird" to Mike Starr's character.[17] Also missing on the soundtrack is Apache Indian's "Boom Shack-A-Lak," which accompanies the film's opening sequence, as well as several other songs appearing in the film.

Beck had been approached about including his song "Loser" on the soundtrack, but he refused. He recalled the process: "I remember getting a phone call one day. My manager said, 'There's a film. They want to use 'Loser' as the theme song.' There was a long pause, and he said, 'The name of the film is Dumb And Dumber.' And I just remember: That sums up what the world thinks of me at this point. I tried to have fun with it, tried to not take it too serious. But at the same time, it was a little disheartening sometimes."[19]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 68% of 53 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.11/10. The site's consensus reads: "A relentlessly stupid comedy elevated by its main actors: Jim Carrey goes bonkers and Jeff Daniels carries himself admirably in an against-type performance."[20] On Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, it has a score of 41 based on reviews from 14 critics, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

Roger Ebert gave the film two of four stars for the hit or miss comedic elements, but praised the performances of Carrey and Daniels, dubbing the former a "true original", and writing that the dead parakeet joke "made me laugh so loudly I embarrassed myself. I just couldn't stop."[23] Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Carrey "the new Jerry Lewis",[24] and Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "riotous", "rib-splitting", and gave the film praise for being both a crude and slapstick comedy and a "smart comedy" at the same time.[25] Carrey was nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star".[26]

It has since become a cult film.[5]

Year-end lists[edit]

Awards[edit]

Although the film did not secure any major American film awards, it was successful at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards. Carrey won for Best Comic Performance, Carrey and Holly (a couple who would later endure a short-lived marriage) won for Best Kiss, and Carrey and Daniels were nominated for Best On-Screen Duo.

In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Dumb and Dumber the fifth greatest comedy film of all time.[citation needed] The film ranks 445th on Empire Magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[32]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at No. 1 in its opening weekend earning $16.4 million.[33] It went on to gross $127,175,374 in the United States, and $247,275,374 worldwide, and topping the holiday season film gross.[34]

Legacy[edit]

Animated series[edit]

In 1995, a Hanna-Barbera-produced animated series aired on ABC, as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup; Matt Frewer provided the voice of Lloyd, while Bill Fagerbakke voiced Harry. In the cartoon, Harry and Lloyd have reacquired their van, now named "Otto". The cartoon also features a new character, Kitty, a female pet purple beaver who appears to be smarter than both men. The animated series was written by Bennett Yellin, co-writer of the film. The show was short-lived and was shelved after one season.[citation needed]

Prequel[edit]

In 2003, a prequel was theatrically released, entitled Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. The film featured a cast and crew different from the previous film, and the Farrelly brothers had no involvement in the film's production. It was panned by critics, receiving a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[35] It grossed approximately $39.2 million worldwide against a $19 million budget, as opposed to the original film's far greater $247 million worldwide gross against a $17 million budget.[36]

Sequel[edit]

In October 2011, the Farrelly brothers confirmed that they would make a sequel to Dumb and Dumber.[37] The sequel, titled Dumb and Dumber To, was shot in the fall of 2013. Carrey and Daniels returned to lead the film, and Bobby and Peter Farrelly returned to direct along with original screenwriter Bennett Yellin, and actors reprising their roles from the first film include Brady Bluhm, who played Billy in (Apartment) 4C, and Cam Neely, who played Sea Bass. Dumb and Dumber To was released on November 14, 2014.[38] Compared to the original film, Dumb and Dumber To was met with generally negative reviews from critics, although it did well commercially.

Dumb and Dumber To was not released by Warner Bros. Pictures (who now owns New Line Cinema), but rather by Universal Pictures.[39] Despite having no involvement in the film, however, New Line was still given studio credit from Universal.[40][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Dumb and Dumber (1994)". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Dumb & Dumber (1994)". British Film Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Box Office Information for Dumb and Dumber. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dumb and Dumber at Box Office Mojo
  5. ^ a b Alexander, Brian (November 16, 2014). "'Dumb and Dumber To' is top of box office class". USA Today. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "Jim Carrey Biography". Bio. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Cameron-Wilson, James; Speed, F. Maurice (1994). Film Review 1994-5. Great Britain: Virgin Books. p. 146. ISBN 0-86369-842-5.
  8. ^ "Jim Carrey Was Paid 140 Times More Than Jeff Daniels For Original 'Dumb And Dumber'". Business Insider.
  9. ^ Katz, Paul (January 6, 2006). "Is the new Dumb and Dumber DVD an improvement?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Evans, Bradford (June 23, 2011). "The Lost Roles of Dumb & Dumber". Splitsider. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  11. ^ Meyers, Kate (February 3, 1995). "Jim Carrey's fake tooth". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  12. ^ Adventure-Journal Archived September 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Adventure-Journal 10 Mountains Misrepresented in Movies
  13. ^ Wolf, Colin (November 12, 2014). "When Utah Was Dumber: Take a tour of Utah's most iconic Dumb & Dumber shot locations". Salt Lake City Weekly. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Zarrella, Mia (July 14, 2015). "10 Movies You Might Not Know Were Filmed In Rhode Island". WWKX. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  15. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  16. ^ Playlist as listed on the Compact Disc — retrieved on 8/12/13
  17. ^ a b c Matthews, Cameron. "That John Denver Was Full of Shit: A Definitive Guide to the 'Dumb and Dumber' Soundtrack". Vice. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  18. ^ Bishop, Jeff. "My Favorite Movie Soundtrack: 'Dumb And Dumber'". Vice. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  19. ^ Breihan, Tom. "Beck Discusses Failing To Get Aphex Twin To Produce Him In The '90s And Denying Dumb And Dumber "Loser" For Its Theme Song". Stereogum. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "Dumb and Dumber". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  21. ^ "Critic Reviews for Dumb & Dumber". Metacritic. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  22. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". web.archive.org. December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  23. ^ "Dumb And Dumber". Chicago Sun-Times.
  24. ^ Holden, Stephen (December 16, 1994). "FILM REVIEW; Traveling on Half a Tank". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012.
  25. ^ "FILM REVIEW -- 'Dumb and Dumber' a Smart Comedy With Lowbrow Laughs". San Francisco Chronicle. June 23, 1995.
  26. ^ Reed, Ryan (November 3, 2014). "In Defense of the Stupid Brilliance of Dumb and Dumber". Esquire. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  27. ^ Stupich, David (January 19, 1995). "Even with gore, `Pulp Fiction' was film experience of the year". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 3.
  28. ^ Simon, Jeff (January 1, 1995). "Movies: Once More, with Feeling". The Buffalo News. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  29. ^ P. Means, Sean (January 1, 1995). "'Pulp and Circumstance' After the Rise of Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood Would Never Be the Same". The Salt Lake Tribune (Final ed.). p. E1.
  30. ^ Mayo, Mike (December 30, 1994). "The Hits and Misses at the Movies in '94". The Roanoke Times (Metro ed.). p. 1.
  31. ^ Craft, Dan (December 30, 1994). "Success, Failure and a Lot of In-between; Movies '94". The Pantagraph. p. B1.
  32. ^ "Empire Features". Empireonline.com. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  33. ^ Scott Bowles (November 13, 2014). "Can 'Dumb And Dumber To' Outwit Holdovers?: Box Office Preview". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  34. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 3, 1995). "'Dumb and Dumber' Tops Holiday Film Grosses". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  35. ^ "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  36. ^ "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  37. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike. "Peter And Bobby Farrelly Plan More 'Dumb And Dumber' For Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels". Deadline. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  38. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (November 19, 2013). "'Dumb And Dumber To' Release Date Set For Nov. 14, 2014". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  39. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike. "TOLDJA! 'Dumb And Dumber To' Proves No-Brainer For Universal; Studio Locks Deal For Farrellys, Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels Pic". Deadline. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  40. ^ Goldberg, Matt. "New Poster for DUMB AND DUMBER TO; First Trailer Premieres Tonight". Collider.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  41. ^ "Dumb and Dumber To Poster". Collider.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.

External links[edit]