Foul Play revives a relatively dormant film genre – the crime-suspense-romantic comedy in which low-key leading players get involved with themselves while also caught up in monumental intrigue. The name missing from the credits is Alfred Hitchcock. Writer Colin Higgins makes a good directorial bow.
If you think you’ve been through the plot before, you have: Goldie Hawn, likable librarian, picks up undercover agent Bruce Solomon who passes her film evidence of how Rachel Roberts, Eugene Roche and other heavies are going to assassinate visiting Pope Pius XIII (played by SF socialite Cyril Magnin) at a performance of The Mikado in the Opera House. Chevy Chase, a detective, eventually believes Hawn’s stories about attempts on her life. Car chases and theatre shootout climax the film’s 116 minutes.
Entire cast comes off very well. In prominent support are Burgess Meredith as Hawn’s landlord; Dudley Moore, a dedicated swinger who turns out to be the opera conductor; Marilyn Sokol, Hawn’s girlfriend who carries anti-rapist tools in her handbag.
1978: Nomination: Best Song (‘Ready to Take a Chance Again’)