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Quick Change is a 1990 American crime comedy film written by Howard Franklin, produced by and starring Bill Murray, and co-directed by both. Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Jason Robards, Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Phil Hartman, Victor Argo, Kurtwood Smith, Bob Elliott and Philip Bosco all co-star. It is based on a book of the same name by Jay Cronley. The film is a remake of the 1985 French film Hold-Up starring Jean-Paul Belmondo.[3] The film is set in New York City, particularly in Manhattan and Queens, with scenes taking place on the New York City Subway and within John F. Kennedy International Airport. Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty are also briefly seen. As of 2019, Quick Change is the only directorial credit of Bill Murray's career.

Quick Change
Quick change.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written byHoward Franklin
Based onQuick Change
by Jay Cronley
Music byRandy Edelman
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Edited byAlan Heim
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 13, 1990 (1990-07-13)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[1]
Box office$15.3 million[2]


Grimm, dressed as a clown, robs a bank in midtown Manhattan. He sets up an ingenious hostage situation and successfully gets away with $1 million and his accomplices: girlfriend Phyllis and best friend Loomis.

The heist itself is comparatively straightforward and easy, but the getaway turns into a nightmare. The relatively simple act of getting to the airport to catch a flight out of the country is complicated by the fact that fate, luck and all of New York City appears to be conspiring against their escape.

To begin with, the trio is seeking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to get the airport, but the signs were removed during construction work, resulting in the three robbers becoming lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood in Brooklyn. Then, a conman/thief robs the trio of everything they have (except the bank money, which they have taped under their clothes).

After changing into new clothes at Phyllis' apartment, they are confronted and nearly gunned down by the paranoid and stressed-out incoming tenant. At the same time, a fire has broken out across the street and the fire department arrives and pushes their car away from a hydrant only to cause it to roll downhill and then down an embankment.

When the three crooks eventually manage to flag down a cab, the foreign driver is hopelessly non-fluent in English. This causes a hysterical Loomis to jump out of the moving cab to grab another, but he runs into a newsstand, knocking himself unconscious. The driver leaves, thinking he's killed Loomis. An anal-retentive bus driver, a run-in with mobsters and Phyllis' increasing desperation to tell Grimm the news that she is pregnant with his child add further complications.

All the while, Rotzinger, a world-weary but relentless chief of the New York City Police Department, is doggedly attempting to nab the fleeing trio. A meeting on board an airliner at the airport occurs between the robbers and the chief, who gets the added prize of having a major crime boss dropped in his lap with their assistance. Unfortunately the chief only realizes who they were after their plane has taken off.



Despite being a box office bomb, the film was well received critically.[4] In fact, several critics[5][6][7] claim it is one of Murray's finest roles: a jaded man who has had too much of The Big Apple. Also praised were the strong performances by the supporting cast, particularly Robards as the police chief Rotzinger, who, while almost as burned out as Murray, is still determined to capture the robbers as a swan song to his long career.

Roger Ebert, in his July 13, 1990 Chicago Sun-Times review, wrote: "'Quick Change' is a funny but not an inspired comedy. It has two directors...and I wonder if that has anything to do with its inability to be more than just efficiently entertaining."[6]

The film currently holds an 82% 'fresh' rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "AFI Catalog - Quick Change". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Quick Change (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Quick Change (1990): Connections". IMDb. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Quick Change". Rotten Tomatoes. July 13, 1990. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "DVD Verdict Review - Quick Change". DVD Verdict. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Quick Change". Chicago Reader. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Quick Change". TV Guide. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

External linksEdit