Who’s Harry Crumb?

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The name Crumb is to the private investigator field what Ford is to automaking, a name you recognize and trust. It seems as through the skills just come naturally to the Crumb family, as each generation produces a top notch private dick. The current Crumb is no exception, a master of disguises with a good natured heart, although he does have one problem. You see, the last of the Crumbs, Harry (John Candy) is not as disciplined as those before him, and he bumbles his cases, often with disastrous results. As such, he has never been allowed to play at the top level, but his chance at greatness has just arrived. The case? The daughter of a multimillionaire has been kidnapped, with a ten million dollar ransom in the balance. Why would the firm give clumsy Harry the job? Simple, his boss (Eliot) doesn’t want the case solved, and he knows Harry has no chance at figuring out the mystery. But Harry gives the case his all, working together with the wealthy man’s other daughter (Shawnee Smith) to track down clues before it’s too late. Can Harry prove that he belongs on the same level with his forefathers, or did Eliot choose the right man for the job, the botch job, that is.

Man, this is one funny movie, with all manner of humorous devices employed. The reason I like this movie so much, aside from John Candy’s performance, is the variety of ways the film makes me laugh. It uses sight gags, disguises, one liners, everything you can think of. Sure, the comedy isn’t the smartest type, but it is highly amusing throughout. The pace of the jokes is good as well, always having a steady stream of laughs, sometimes rapid firing the gags, which makes for some interesting situations. In other words, the movie doesn’t drag, there are never slow spots, as jokes are littered through every scene. Some of the costumes Candy wears are hilarious just to look at, but there’s always a few layers of comedy to these disguise scenes, never relying only on sight for laughs. If you are a fan of Candy, this is a movie you’ll want to own. The disc is lacking in bonus features, but the audio/video is good enough to warrant a purchase. I recommend this movie, at least as a rental, to comedy fans everywhere, don’t pass this one up!

Who’s Harry Crumb? relies on comedic genius John Candy, and he delivers on all counts. Candy excels in every brand of humor used, from costumes to pratfalls. Candy carries himself perfectly in this movie, bringing a comedy depth and immense charm to the role. While Crumb is bumbling, Candy makes sure he’s also endearing. It amazes me how Candy can interact with others so well, and this movie has some excellent examples. Candy fans will not want to miss out on seeing this performance, it’s a Candy classic. Shawnee Smith (Summer School, Stephen King’s The Stand) and Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ravenous) provide very humorous supporting roles, and have good chemistry when on screen with Candy. Rounding out the cast are Tim Thomerson (Cherry 2000, The Wrong Guys), Barry Corbin (Solo, The Chase), and Annie Potts (Ghostbusters 1-2, Toy Story 1-2).

Video: How does it look?

Who’s Harry Crumb? is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and I am happy as a clam to have a good looking version of this film. Of course, there is some grain evident on the print, but that’s due to the source materials, and is minor in nature. The movie uses some wild color schemes, and the disc replicates them well, without any bleeding or oversaturation. The hues are vibrant and rich, giving the movie a distinct visual style, as amusing as the film itself. Black levels are strong and natural, with no detail loss and excellent shadow layering. Some minor compression problems arise, but nothing to worry about.

Audio: How does it sound?

The disc uses a Dolby Surround 2.0 track, which more than gets the job done. This is a comedy, so most of the audio is centered on dialogue. As such, the disc makes sure every one liner and insult comes through perfectly, with good clarity and volume. The soundtrack and some small surround effects are well placed, and the movie has a more than adequate sound to it.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Yikes…this is where the disc falls short. The only bonus goodies Columbia included were some talent files and production notes. I would have loved a trailer, but no such luck.

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