A Fine Mess (film)

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A Fine Mess
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Blake Edwards
Produced by Tony Adams
Written by Blake Edwards
Starring Ted Danson
Howie Mandel
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Harry Stradling, Jr.
Columbia Pictures
Blake Edwards Entertainment
Distributed by The Coca-Cola Company
Release dates
  • August 8, 1986 (1986-08-08)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6,029,824

A Fine Mess is a 1986 comedy film written and directed by Blake Edwards and starring Ted Danson and Howie Mandel.

The film was intended as a remake of Laurel & Hardy's classic short "The Music Box" and was to be semi-improvised in the same style as the director's earlier comedy, The Party, but studio interference, poor previews and subsequent re-editing resulted in the film becoming a fully scripted chase comedy with very little of the original ideas for the film remaining intact. Writer/director Blake Edwards actually gave television interviews telling audiences to avoid the film. It received overwhelmingly negative reviews and was a box-office failure.



Critical reception[edit]

A Fine Mess received heavily negative reviews (Rotten Tomatoes gave it an insufficient score), including one from The New York Times, which stated "Mr. Edwards, who on happier occasions gave us the Pink Panther movies, piles on the pileups until you may suspect that he is trying to distract the audience from the absence of a diverting story or dialogue. The 11 musical numbers by some well-known performers (available, you can bet, on record and cassette) seem designed for the same purpose."[1]

Blake Edwards' reaction[edit]

Edwards mostly avoided doing interviews promoting the film and when he did them, he explicitly told audiences to avoid the film altogether, especially since That's Life was debuting in September of that year.[citation needed]

Box office[edit]

The film flopped tremendously on a cost of an undetermined budget, and, in the US, grossed $6,029,824, so it became a box office bomb.


A Fine Mess
Soundtrack album
Released 1986
Genre Soundtrack
Label Motown
  1. "Can't Help Falling In Love" - Christine McVie
  2. "Easier Said Than Done" - Chico DeBarge
  3. "A Fine Mess" - Temptations
  4. "I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday" - Los Lobos
  5. "Love's Closing In" - Nick Jameson
  6. "Moving So Close" - Keith Burston & Darryl Littlejohn
  7. "Slow Down" - Billy Vera & Beaters
  8. "Stan And Ollie" - Henry Mancini
  9. "Walk Like A Man" - Mary Jane Girls
  10. "Wishful Thinking" - Smokey Robinson


  1. ^ Walter Goodman (August 8, 1986). "A Fine Mess (1986) - SCREEN: EDWARDS'S 'FINE MESS'". © 1986 The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]