Bean (film)

Bean (also known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie or Bean: The Movie) is a 1997 comedy film based on the British television series Mr. Bean. Directed by Mel Smith and written by Robin Driscoll and Richard Curtis (both writers for the TV series), the film stars Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, Peter MacNicol, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin, Sandra Oh and Burt Reynolds.

Bean movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMel Smith
Produced by
Written by
Based onMr. Bean
by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson
Music byHoward Goodall
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byChristopher Blunden
Distributed by
Release date
  • 2 August 1997 (1997-08-02) (UK)
  • 7 November 1997 (1997-11-07) (US)
Running time
90 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$18 million
Box office$251.2 million[1]

Produced by Working Title Films and Tiger Aspect Films and distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Gramercy Pictures, Bean was released in the United Kingdom on 2 August 1997 and in the United States on 7 November 1997 to mixed reviews from critics but was a box-office success, grossing $250 million worldwide against an $18 million budget.[1] A standalone sequel titled Mr. Bean's Holiday was released a decade later.


Mr. Bean is a well-meaning yet clumsy and destructive security guard working at the National Gallery in London. The gallery's board of directors, who despise Bean for sleeping on the job, wish to fire him but are thwarted by their chairman. The board instead selects Bean as their representative for the transfer of James McNeill Whistler's 1871 portrait Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (also called Whistler's Mother) to the Grierson Art Gallery in Los Angeles following its purchase by philanthropist General Newton for $50 million. Grierson's curator David Langley, who is impressed with the false profile of "Dr. Bean," volunteers to accommodate Bean at his house for two months despite the opposition of David's wife Alison, his son Kevin and daughter Jennifer. After Bean encounters mishaps with the airport police and accidentally breaks a family heirloom, Alison leaves for her mother's house along with Kevin and Jennifer.

David begins to question Bean's status as an art expert after a visit to Pacific Park, where Bean is arrested after rigging the control panel of a simulator ride to make it more exciting. After Bean ruins a dinner party with the gallery's owner and his wife, David questions him and discovers that Bean knows nothing about art.

After accidentally staining the Whistler painting at the gallery with an ink-soaked handkerchief, Bean unwittingly removes the original paint from the woman's face by using paint thinner. He tries to draw the face with a pen, and David is horrified when he sees the result.

Fearing that he will lose his job and possibly face criminal charges, David becomes despondent and gets drunk, though his family returns out of pity. At night, Bean sneaks into the gallery, distracts the guard, and replaces the defaced painting with a reprinted poster coated in egg white to make the poster look authentic, and the deception fools everyone at the opening. Forced to make a speech, Bean's bumbling words somehow win the crowd's approval.

David rushes to the hospital after learning that Jennifer has been in a motorcycle accident. Bean wanders around the hospital and is mistaken for a doctor. Forced into a surgery room, Bean removes a bullet from the cop who had interrogated him at the airport, saving his life. David then begs Bean, whom he does not recognize because Bean is wearing a surgical mask, to help his daughter. After an accident with a defibrillator sends Bean flying and landing on Jennifer, she awakens from her unconscious state. Grateful for having their daughter back, David and Alison were surprised when Bean reveals his true nature. At Bean's suggestion, they repay him by allowing him to stay with them for another week, during which he learns the middle finger but mistakes it for a greeting, using it everywhere he goes inappropriately.

Bean returns to London, where his bedroom is now decorated with photos of himself and the Langleys, as well as the original Whistler painting that he smuggled back with him.



Deleted and alternate scenesEdit

The North American release differs from the international release, as it includes an additional scene in which David suggests that Bean stuff the turkey while he distracts the Griersons during the dinner party. After losing his watch in the turkey, Bean gets his head stuck inside of it (a recycled gag from Merry Christmas Mr. Bean) and stumbles blindly around the kitchen and the dining room.[2][3]

The international release includes two alternate scenes on either side of the deleted turkey scene to explain its absence. When searching the refrigerator, Bean first finds two frankfurters and then the onion that he offers as an appetizer. He then finds the turkey and David asks him if he has cooked a turkey before, to which he replies, "Oh yes." David points out that cooking a turkey would take about five hours, to which Bean replies, "Not necessarily." As they shove the turkey into the microwave oven, Bean, instead of David, suggests running it for 20 minutes.[4]

According to Atkinson in the documentary Bean Scenes Unseen, the differing scenes were the result of very different reactions from the American and European audiences in test screenings.[2]


Bean: The Album
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released1 August 1997
LabelMercury Records
ProducerVarious artists
Singles from Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie Soundtrack
  1. "Picture of You"
    Released: 21 July 1997

The film's score is composed and conducted by Howard Goodall, who also wrote the music for the television series. The original Mr. Bean theme was not used. Cover versions on the soundtrack album include the Beatles' "Yesterday" (sung by Wet Wet Wet), the OMC cover of "I Love L.A." (though Randy Newman's original version is the one heard in the film), and Alice Cooper's "Elected", performed by Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson. "Elected" features sound dubs of Mr. Bean making campaign promises and was previously used in Comic Relief in 1992.[citation needed]

Boyzone released a single from the film titled "Picture of You".

1."Picture of You"Boyzone3:27
2."I Get Around"The Beach Boys2:17
3."Walking on Sunshine"Katrina and the Waves3:51
4."Yesterday"Wet Wet Wet2:55
5."Running Back for More"Louise3:44
6."That Kinda Guy"Thomas Jules-Stock3:37
7."Give Me a Little More Time"Gabrielle4:02
8."I Love L.A." (Version not in the film)OMC4:07
9."He's a Rebel"Alisha's Attic2:26
10."Stuck in the Middle with You"Susanna Hoffs4:04
11."Art for Art's Sake"10cc4:19
12."Have Fun Go Mad"Blair3:39
13."Can We Talk (Pure Radio Mix)"Code Red4:03
14."Bean Theme (Mad Pianos)"Howard Goodall3:01
15."Elected" (Not in the film)Mr. Bean and Smear Campaign feat. Bruce Dickinson4:32


Box officeEdit

Bean initially received a limited release on 17 October 1997 in 242 theaters and grossed $2,255,233 with a $9,319 per-theater average and ranking #10 at the box office. Upon its wide release on 7 November 1997, the film earned $12,733,827 in its opening weekend while playing in 1,948 theaters, with a $6,536 per-theater average and ranking #2. By the end its theatrical run, the film grossed $45,319,423 domestically and $205,893,247 overseas for a worldwide total of $251,212,670. Against an $18 million budget, the film has become a financial success.[1]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 44% based on 34 reviews with an average rating of 5.32/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Bean boasts a terrifically talented physical comedian in the title role, but his constant mugging and silly slapstick quickly wear thin."[5] On Metacritic the film holds a score of 52 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[6]

Roger Ebert thought the film had "many moments . . . that [were] very funny," but felt the film ran too long: "At an hour, Bean would have been nonstop laughs. Then they added 30 minutes of stops."[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Bean". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Bean Scenes Unseen (reference starts 8:35 into the video)". YouTube. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Bean (7/12) Movie CLIP - Stuffing the Turkey (1997) HD". YouTube. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Bean. Turkey". YouTube. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Bean (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Bean Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  7. ^ Roger Ebert (7 November 1997). "Bean (1997)".

External linksEdit