Bean (film)

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Mr. Bean
Bean movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mel Smith
Produced by Rowan Atkinson
Peter Bennet-Jones
Tim Bevan
Richard Curtis
Eric Fellner
Rebecca O'Brien
Written by Richard Curtis
Robin Driscoll
Starring Rowan Atkinson
Peter MacNicol
Burt Reynolds
Pamela Reed
Richard Gant
Music by Howard Goodall
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Edited by Christopher Blunden
Distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (now Universal Studios)
Gramercy Pictures
Release dates
  • 2 August 1997 (1997-08-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time 90 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $18 million

Bean, also known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie or Mr. Bean: The Movie is a 1997 feature film based on the television series Mr. Bean. It stars Rowan Atkinson in the title role and Peter MacNicol. It was directed by Mel Smith, with whom Atkinson had previously worked on Not the Nine O'Clock News. The film re-used many of the ideas from the original television series, although it was set mainly in California.

Plot[edit]

Mr. Bean, a hopeless caretaker at the "Royal National Gallery", London, is sent by his employers, who wish to get rid of him, to America under the pseudonym of "Dr. Bean" to oversee the transfer of Whistler's Mother to a Los Angeles art gallery. Once at the airport, he is surprised to see policemen with guns and pretends to have one. He ends up being detained by Lieutenant Brutus, who is unsettled by his odd behaviour. Once released, he meets David Langley, an employee of the Grierson art gallery, and David's family, with whom Bean is to stay for his visit. Despite winning the affection of David's son (played by Andrew Lawrence), David's wife is hostile about having to look after him, while David's rebellious teenage daughter finds Bean "ugly as Meat Loaf's butt". His wife later leaves after Bean breaks a family heirloom while fiddling with a CD player. In his wife's absence, David decides to take Bean on a tour of the Los Angeles art galleries. However, Bean decides that he would rather go to Pacific Park. The pair go on a motion simulator ride. Having modified the ride to be more exciting (to the expense and horror of other riders), Bean is swiftly detained by Brutus again. Back at home, Bean's attempt to cook a turkey for David's boss and his wife fails when the microwave explodes, spraying turkey flesh all over the kitchen. Afterwards, David asks Bean simple questions about art and finds that he is not a doctor after all.

Once the painting arrives at the gallery, Bean is given a few minutes alone to study it for his grand "speech" at the official revealing ceremony. However, whilst dusting the frame, Bean sneezes on the painting and wipes it with a handkerchief, not knowing that it is covered in blue ink. Terrified, Bean takes it to the caretaker's cupboard to get some agent by which to remove the ink. Unfortunately, he uses lacquer thinner, which also removes the painted face from the painting. Bean attempts to patch it up with an extremely unconvincing cartoon face. On seeing it, David Langley is horrified and hides the painting in the metallic frame. Fearing he will lose his job and possibly face criminal proceedings for the vandalism of Whistler's Mother, David and Bean drown their sorrows with alcohol.

During the night, Mr. Bean hatches a plan to restore the painting. He gathers a few items from the house and makes his way to the gallery. He distracts the only security guard on duty and exchanges the painting for a poster version of itself. At the unveiling the next day, David is shocked to find the painting restored and Bean is left to make an unconventional, impromptu, but well-received speech about the painting's significance. After the unveiling, Lieutenant Brutus finds David (who initially imagines that he has discovered the truth) and informs him that his daughter, Jennifer, has been involved in a motorcycle accident and is in intensive care. David is given a police escort to the hospital, although Brutus stops on the way after seeing a man with a gun.

Whistler's Mother

Due to a mix-up at the hospital, Bean is mistaken for a doctor (he is still wearing his "Doctor Bean" name tag from the gallery) and pushed into an operating theatre containing Brutus, who has been shot. While the other doctors and nurses are distracted, Bean unconventionally retrieves the bullet and saves him. Bean is again mistaken for a doctor, this time by David who pulls him in to see Jennifer, who is unconscious. Bean is unsure what to do and starts playing about with a defibrillator, managing to electrocute himself but bringing Jennifer back to consciousness. Still not recognizing him as Bean, they stop him and tell him that they will offer him anything. Bean then pulls down his face mask and asks if he can stay for another week. David drives Bean to Sunset Boulevard, where, after learning the finger from a biker (who at first was so impressed by the thumbs up), he misinterprets it as a social gesture, and shows it to people as they pass by.

After another week in Los Angeles with the Langleys, Bean goes home. At the end of the movie, Bean is back in his London flat, and is shown to have taken the original Whistler's Mother home with him, still having the cartoon face he drew on it. The credits close with Mr. Bean walking into the viewing area and breaking the fourth wall: "Yes, I normally stay to the end as well...bye.".

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was criticised for breaking with the program'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).[1] However, the movie grossed over USD$250 million globally on a budget estimated at $22 million.[2] It was followed by a sequel in 2007 called Mr. Bean's Holiday.[3]

The film currently has a 36% "rotten" rating amongst collated reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics suggesting that it was over-long and lacking in jokes.[4]

Rating[edit]

The film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for moments of risqué humour. In the UK and Australia, the movie was classified PG for "Adult Themes".

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's original score was by Howard Goodall, who had also written the music for the television series, although the original Mr. Bean theme was not used. 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.

Boyzone also released a song for the film, entitled "Picture of You".

List of songs performed by various artists[edit]

  1. I Love L.A.
    Performed by: Randy Newman
  2. Picture Of You
    Performed by: Boyzone
  3. I Get Around
    Performed by: The Beach Boys
  4. Walking On Sunshine
    Performed by: Katrina And The Waves
  5. Yesterday
    Performed by: Wet Wet Wet
  6. Running Back For More
    Performed by: Louise
  7. That Kinda Guy
    Performed by: Thomas Jules-Stock
  8. Give Me A Little More Time
    Performed by: Gabrielle
  9. He's A Rebel
    Performed by: Alisha's Attic
  10. Stuck In The Middle With You
    Performed by: Susanna Hoffs
  11. Art For Art's Sake
    Performed by: 10cc
  12. Have Fun Go Mad
    Performed by: Blair
  13. Can We Talk (Pure Radio Mix)
    Performed by: Code Red
  14. Bean Theme (Mad Pianos)
    Performed by: Howard Goodall
  15. Elected
    Performed by: Mr. Bean And The Smear Campaign featuring Bruce Dickinson

References[edit]

  1. ^ Review at Allmovie by Karl Williams, URL accessed July 29, 2006
  2. ^ Box office figures at boxofficemojo.com, URL accessed July 29th, 2006
  3. ^ Bean 2 at the official Mr. Bean site, URL accessed July 29th, 2006]
  4. ^ Bean at Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Box office number-one films of 1997 (UK)
August 3, 1997
Succeeded by
Men in Black