The Woman in Red (1984 film)

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The Woman in Red
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGene Wilder
Produced byVictor Drai
Screenplay byGene Wilder
Story byYves Robert
Jean-Loup Dabadie
Based onPardon Mon Affaire (or An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive) by Yves Robert
Music by
CinematographyFred Schuler
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
Woman in Red Productions[1]
Distributed byOrion Pictures
Release date
  • August 15, 1984 (1984-08-15)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$9 million[2]
Box office$25.3 million[3]

The Woman in Red is a 1984 American romantic comedy film directed by and starring Gene Wilder. Wilder also wrote the script, adapting it from the Yves Robert film Pardon Mon Affaire (Un éléphant ça trompe énormément). It co-stars Charles Grodin, Gilda Radner, Joseph Bologna, Judith Ivey and Kelly LeBrock. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Just Called to Say I Love You", written and performed by Stevie Wonder.


San Francisco ad man Teddy Pierce is amused by, then obsessed with, a beautiful woman whose red dress goes billowing over her head by a gust of wind from crossing over a ventilation grate, and exposing her red satin string bikini panties. Teddy is happily married to Didi, but he cannot get this woman out of his mind. Encouraged by his friends Buddy, Joe, and Michael, he tries to ask her for a date but mistakenly phones Ms. Milner, a plain ad-agency employee who is flattered by his interest.

Teddy ultimately does become acquainted with the woman in red, a British model named Charlotte, going horseback riding with her and even inviting her out on what is supposed to be a date but turns out to be a party with his relatives. He radically alters his wardrobe and begins using elaborate ruses to see Charlotte socially. Meanwhile, he incurs the wrath of Ms. Milner, whom he stood up before.

Events come to a head in Charlotte's high-rise apartment, where she invites Teddy into her satin bed. He is thrilled until her airline pilot husband suddenly comes home. Trying to escape, Teddy ends up on a ledge, where passersby below believe he is about to commit suicide, all captured on live television. Didi, while watching this on live television, tears up as she believes Teddy is doing this because of her own cheating. He jumps off the window ledge and waits to be caught by the firemen. While falling, Teddy starts to become interested in a newswoman who smiles at him.




The film is a remake of An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive, also known as Pardon Mon Affaire, directed by Yves Robert and written by Jean-Loup Dabadie and Yves Robert.


The Woman in Red was shot in the fall of 1983.


The Original motion picture soundtrack was composed by Stevie Wonder, except "It's More Than You" by Ben Bridges and features performances by Wonder and also Dionne Warwick. Wonder received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "I Just Called to Say I Love You." The album reached #4 on the US Billboard 200 chart, #1 on the R&B Albums chart (for four weeks) and #2 on the UK Albums Chart.[4][5] It reached #1 on the Italian, Spanish and Swedish Album Chart.[6][7][8]


The Woman in Red was released by Orion Pictures in the United States on August 15, 1984.[9]

Home media[edit]

The film was originally released on VHS, LaserDisc and then DVD.[10][11] In the U.S. and Canada Kino Lorber released The Woman in Red on Blu-ray in 2017 with a trailer and an audio commentary track by critic and filmmaker Jim Hemphill.[12] In January 2019 a German Blu-ray was released.[13]


The film gained publicity for Kelly LeBrock, a real-life model making her screen debut, particularly for the skirt-and-grate scene, a variation of Marilyn Monroe's iconic pose in The Seven Year Itch.

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 35% based on reviews from 17 critics.[14] On Metacritic the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on reviews from 10 critics.[15]

Richard Schickel of TIME Magazine wrote: "One of this summer's more pungent pleasures: a well-made sex farce of classical proportions. If there is a horse to fall off or an airplane forced to land at the wrong airport, you may be sure Teddy will be aboard."[16] Variety wrote: "The laughs roll along readily as Wilder tries one idea after another to sneak out on wife Judith Ivey and family to rendezvous with Le Brock." Variety also praised Gilda Radner for her performance.[17]


The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Woman in Red - AFI | Catalog
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Woman in Red at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ "allmusic (((The Woman in Red > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums)))". Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Stevie Wonder And Dionne Warwick – The Woman in Red (original soundtrack)" (PHP). Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1984" (in Italian). Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  8. ^ " Soundtrack/Stevie WonderThe Woman in Red" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  9. ^ SCREEN: WOMAN IN RED | 15 Aug 1984 | By JANET MASLIN
  10. ^ LaserDisc Database - Woman in Red
  11. ^ The Woman in Red | DVD | United States | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1984 | 87 min | Rated PG-13 | Jan 07, 2003
  12. ^ The Woman in Red | Blu-ray | United States | Kino Lorber | 1984 | 87 min | Rated PG-13 | Nov 28, 2017
  13. ^ The Woman in Red | Blu-ray | Germany | Die Frau in Rot | Studio Hamburg Enterprises | 1984 | 87 min | Rated FSK-12 | Jan 25, 2019
  14. ^ "The Woman in Red (1984)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  15. ^ "The Woman in Red". Metacritic.
  16. ^ Schickel, Richard; Corliss, Richard; Schickel, Richard (27 August 1984). "Cinema: The Gams and Guns of August". Time.
  17. ^ Variety Staff (1 January 1984). "The Woman in Red". Variety.
  18. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-05.

External links[edit]