Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mel Smith|
|Produced by||Peter Bennett-Jones
|Written by||Rowan Atkinson
|Based on||Mr. Bean
by Rowan Atkinson
|Music by||Howard Goodall|
|Editing by||Christopher Blunden|
|Studio||Working Title Films
Tiger Aspect Productions
|Distributed by||PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
Gramercy Pictures (USA)
|Running time||87 minutes|
Bean (known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie and Bean: The Movie in promotional materials and home releases) is a 1997 British-American comedy film based on the popular ITV comedy television series Mr. Bean, which was written by and starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. The main plot follows Bean entrusted to unveil the priceless painting Whistler's Mother. Whistler's Mother had been bought by an American Art Gallery from a French gallery to return 'the greatest' American painting to the US. In the process, a number of unfortunate mishaps see Bean inadvertently break up a marriage, annoy an American policeman and accidentally destroy the painting, although a shrewd plan results in these mistakes being rectified.
The film was written by Atkinson and Richard Curtis and was directed by Mel Smith, all of whom originally worked together on Not the Nine O'Clock News. Its working title was initially Dr. Bean, based on a misunderstanding which forms part of the plot of the film. It was given a PG-13 by the MPAA for "moments of risque humour", and an uncut PG by the BBFC, as well as the IFCO.
Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is a well-meaning but hopelessly clumsy and destructive guard at the Royal National Gallery in London. Attempts by the gallery's board of directors to fire Bean are thwarted by the chairman (Sir John Mills) who, for unspecified reasons, is very fond of him. Desperate to rid themselves of the turmoil Bean unintentionally causes, the board members send him to the United States to represent them at the unveiling of the portrait Whistler's Mother, which has been purchased for $50 million by the fictional Grierson Art Gallery in Los Angeles. Bean's visit has been arranged by the gallery's curator, David Langley (Peter MacNicol), who is very impressed by the National Gallery's fabricated praise of "Dr. Bean, the genius", and decides to accommodate Bean in his house, much to the chagrin of his wife Allison (Pamela Reed), son Kevin (Andrew Lawrence) and daughter Jennifer (Tricia Vessey), who are unhappy with the thought of Bean suddenly living with them for two months.
When Bean arrives in Los Angeles, he is immediately arrested by the airport police for pretending to conceal a gun in his pocket (he reaches into his pocket and pulls his hand back out making a finger gun when the airport police tell him to put his weapon on the floor and take two steps back), being let off only after the police find out that he has no gun with him. At the Langley home, Bean's weird behavior quickly worries Allison, who asks David to get rid of him, but David assures her Bean is just eccentric. Later, Bean accompanies David to the art gallery. When Bean uses the bathroom, he accidentally splashes water on his pants after washing his hands. He climbs on a trash can and uses a hand dryer to dry the wet spot but gets his pants wet again. He then gets a pamphlet to cover the wet spot, but finds a fan during the meeting and uses it to dry his pants. The gallery's owner and David's boss George Grierson (Harris Yulin) is, like Allison, put off by Bean's weirdness and warns David that since he was the one who recommended Bean, he would be held responsible for Bean's actions. When they return home later, David manages to convince Allison to let Bean stay with them, however after Bean accidentally destroys some of her prized possessions, she immediately leaves for her mother's house with the kids, leaving David alone with Bean. They decide to spend time together by going to an amusement park, where Bean is arrested again for tampering with a virtual roller coaster in a bid to make it more scary. At the police station, after noticing Bean's stupid behavior in front of a two-way mirror, Lieutenant Brutus (Richard Gant), who had encountered him earlier at the airport, releases him, but warns David that Bean will be sent to prison if he steps out of line again. David, who had defended Bean and his antics all along thinking that he is eccentric, now begins to doubt whether he is a genius. After Bean accidentally messes up an unexpected dinner with Grierson and his wife that night, David confronts him and after asking him a few questions about art, finds out that Bean is not an art expert at all.
The next morning, David and Bean find out that Whistler's Mother has finally arrived at the gallery and immediately rush there. At the gallery, David goes with the rest of the staff for a security briefing, leaving Bean alone with the painting. While studying it, he accidentally sneezes on the painting. His attempts to rectify it only end up ruining the painting, leaving a white mark at the place where Whistler's Mother's face should be. To make matters worse, he tries to repaint the face, only to end up drawing a cartoon face. When David sees the ruined painting, he goes ballistic fearing the loss of his job and possible arrest as he feels that he is indirectly responsible. He and Bean then go to a bar and drown their sorrows. When they return home that night, they are confronted by Allison, who had unexpectedly returned home with the kids. She reproaches David for coming home drunk and even contemplates leaving him for good.
Bean is feeling guilty over the effect his antics have taken on David and his family. However on conversation with Kevin, who has grown to like him, he hatches a plan. He sneaks into the gallery in the middle of the night and distracts the security guard, following which he enters his room, puts some laxative in his coffee and switches the key to the men's bathroom. With the security guard out of the way, he then enters the room where the painting is kept, removes the ruined painting from its frame, replaces it with a poster copy and applies mixed albumen and Allison's clear nail varnish over it to make it look like a genuine painting.
The next morning, an anxious David and a relaxed Bean head to the gallery for the painting's unveiling, which is to be done by General Newton (Burt Reynolds). When David sees the restored painting, he becomes completely relieved and praises Bean, but again starts to panic when Bean is called to deliver a speech. To his surprise, Bean gives an insightful speech about the painting and its significance, winning the praise of Grierson, Newton and the press. While David is celebrating with Bean, Brutus comes over and informs him that Jennifer had met with a serious accident while riding on a motorcycle with her boyfriend and is in hospital. On the way to the hospital, Brutus stops to deal with a carjacker and is shot in the abdomen.
At the hospital, David and Allison reconcile over Jennifer, who is in a coma. Meanwhile, Bean is mistaken for a doctor by a group of surgeons (this happens after he picks up a stethoscope dropped by a real doctor) and force him to perform an emergency operation on Brutus. He manages to save Brutus's life by removing the bullet from his abdomen using only his hand, following which he decides to escape from the hospital. However, he is noticed by David and Allison (who are not aware that the doctor is Bean), who ask him to check on Jennifer. After unsuccessfully trying to wake Jennifer from her coma, Bean picks up a defibrillator, but suffers an electric shock when he switches it on, which sends him flying. He lands on top of Jennifer, causing her to wake up. The Langleys are grateful to him for reviving Jennifer and agree to let him stay for another week in gratitude, following a suggestion by him when he reveals who he really is.
The movie ends with Bean retiring to bed at his London home, where it is revealed that he has the original painting (the one he ruined earlier in the film) on his bedroom wall.
- Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, who is mistakenly referred in the film as Dr. Bean.
- Peter MacNicol as David Langley, a curator of the Grierson Art Galley.
- Harris Yulin as George Grierson
- Pamela Reed as Alison Langley
- Andrew Lawrence as Kevin Langley
- Tricia Vessey as Jennifer Langley
- Richard Gant as Lieutenant Brutus
- Burt Reynolds as General Newton
- Johnny Galecki as Stingo Wheelie
- Sandra Oh as Bernice Schimmel
- Larry Drake as Elmer
- Tom McGowan as Walter Huntley
- June Brown as Delilah
- Chris Ellis as Detective Butler
- Robert Curtis Brown as Doctor Frowning
- Peter Capaldi as Gareth
Mr. Bean's speech
The scholar speech about Whistler's Mother was the longest time the often-wordless Mr. Bean spoke throughout the character's career. Including the pauses, Mr. Bean spoke just over 200 words:
- Well, hello, I’m Dr. Bean…apparently…and my job is to sit and look at paintings. So, what have I learnt that I can say about this painting? Well, firstly, it’s quite big, which is excellent, because if it was really small, you know, microscopic, then hardly anybody would be able to see it which would be a tremendous shame. Secondly, and I’m getting quite near the end now of this analysis of this painting. Secondly, why was it worth this man here spending $50 million of your American dollars on this portrait?... And the answer is,... well, this picture is worth such a lot of money because... it’s a picture of Whistler’s mother, and as I’ve learnt by staying with my best friend, David Langley and his family, families are very important, and even though Mr. Whistler was perfectly aware that his mother was a hideous old bat who looked like she had a cactus lodged up her backside, he stuck with her and even took the time to paint this amazing picture of her. It’s not just a painting. It’s a picture of a mad old cow who he thought the world of, and that is marvellous. Well, that is what I think anyway.
Bean received a limited release in the United States on 17 October 1997, then a wide release on 7 November 1997. In the United Kingdom, the film was released on 1 August 1997.
"Bean" was criticised for breaking with the programme's tradition of having Mr. Bean as the centre of attention and for the alleged Americanisation required to sell it overseas (Bean also speaks intelligibly, albeit with apparent difficulty, as opposed to his frequent mumbling in the TV show). The film currently has a 42% "Rotten" rating amongst collated reviews at Rotten Tomatoes with a 5.3/10 rating, with many critics suggesting that it was over-long and lacking in jokes.
Despite receiving generally mixed reviews from critics, Bean was a huge commercial success worldwide, and has become a cult favourite amongst fans of the TV series[verification needed] since being released on home video.
Bean earned $45,319,423 in North America and $205,893,247 in other territories, resulting in $251,212,670 worldwide, making it a huge financial success with its relatively small budget of $18 million. The film was ranked number 47 during the opening weekend when it received a limited release.
The film's original score was by Howard Goodall, who had also written the music for the television series. Other non-original songs were also featured, in particular The Beatles' "Yesterday" (sung by Wet Wet Wet).
The CD soundtrack also featured a song not used in the film, a cover of the Alice Cooper song "Elected" (from the Billion Dollar Babies album) performed by famed Iron Maiden lead singer and Heavy metal icon Bruce Dickinson which features sound dubs of Mr. Bean making campaign promises. This had been used for Comic Relief in 1992. OMC's version of "I Love L.A." appeared in the soundtrack.
- List of songs performed by various artists
- "I Love L.A." – Randy Newman
- "Picture of You" – Boyzone
- "I Get Around" – The Beach Boys
- "Walking on Sunshine" – Katrina and the Waves
- "Yesterday" – Wet Wet Wet
- "Running Back for More" – Louise
- "That Kinda Guy" – Thomas Jules-Stock
- "Give Me a Little More Time" – Gabrielle
- "He's a Rebel" – Alisha's Attic
- "Stuck in the Middle with You" – Susanna Hoffs
- "Art for Art's Sake" – 10cc
- "Have Fun, Go Mad" – Blair
- "Can We Talk" (Pure Radio Mix) – Code Red
- "Bean Theme" (Mad Pianos) – Howard Goodall
- "Elected" – Mr. Bean and The Smear Campaign featuring Bruce Dickinson
- "Bean (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Release information at the Internet Movie Database
- Review at Allmovie by Karl Williams, URL accessed 29 July 2006
- Bean at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Bean (1997) at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "1997 Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Bean 2 at the official Mr. Bean site, URL accessed 29 July 2006
- Official website
- Bean at the Internet Movie Database
- Bean at allmovie
- Bean at Box Office Mojo
- Bean at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bean at Metacritic
- Bean at the British Comedy Guide