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 gallary 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", and decides to board 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.
Bean arrives in Los Angeles and immediately gets into trouble with the airport police by pretending to conceal a gun. Bean's awkward behaviour quickly irritates Allison too much that she leaves him and David to go to her mother's house with Kevin and Jennifer. David's boss, George Grierson (Harris Yulin), also appears slightly put off by Bean's attitude during their first meeting at the gallery, and subtly warns David that he will be held accountable for Bean's actions, given that it was his decision to have Bean unveil the painting. Although David initially believing Bean to be a little eccentric, he begins to doubt his decision when Bean ends up causing more havoc at an amusement park by turning up the speed on a virtual roller coaster and unintentionally hurting some people. Bean is arrested by the police for the second time, but Lieutenant Brutus (Richard Gant), who previously met Bean at the airport, releases him and warns David that he will send Bean to prison if he steps out of line again. After Bean and David accidentally manage to mess up a forgotten dinner with Grierson and his wife that evening, David finally asks Bean if he is really a doctor, which Bean replies to David that he is not. Whistler's Mother arrives at the gallery a few days later and David is taken with the rest of the staff for a security meeting. Meanwhile, Bean is left alone with the painting and accidentally sneezes on it while studying it. His attempt to rectify it only cause more damage until the painting is left with a white mark where Whistler's Mother's face should be. David sees the mess and flies into a panic and fearing that he will lose his job and possibly face criminal proceedings for the damage. Overcome by grief, Bean and David drown their sorrows with alcohol. Allison, Kevin, and Jennifer return home the next day, but Allison grows angrier with David for getting drunk with Bean and begins to consider leaving David for good.
During conversation with Kevin, who has grown to like him, Bean hatches a plan to restore the damage. Taking several items from David's house in the middle of the night, Bean sneaks into the gallery and stalls the only security guard on patrol by mixing laxative with his coffee. In the display room, Bean removes the damaged painting and places a poster of the painting on the frame, applying mixed albumen and clear nail varnish over it to make it appear like a genuine painting. On the day of the unveiling, General Newton (Burt Reynolds) arrives with the press to personally unveil the painting, and David happily forgives Bean. However, Bean is called to give a speech about the painting. Although David expects Bean to make a fool of himself on national television, Bean ultimately gives an intelligent and deep speech about the painting and its nature, winning the praise of Newton and the press. The celebration is cut short when Lieutenant Brutus informs David that Jennifer had a motorcycle accident and is in intensive care. On the way to the hospital, Brutus stops to deal with a mugger and is shot. At the hospital, David and Allison reconcile over Jennifer's health, while Bean is mistaken for a real doctor (as he picks up a stethoscope dropped by a doctor) and taken to operating theatres. Despite some initial misgivings, Bean manages to save Brutus and awaken Jennifer in her bed (an accident with a defibrillator sends him flying and he lands on top of her). As gratitude, the Langleys allow Bean to spend another week with them before returning to London. The film ends when Bean bids farewell to the Langleys and returns to London, where it is revealed that he kept the damaged painting as a souvenir.
- 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
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 painting 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.
Critical response 
Bean has received mixed reviews. "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.
Box office 
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.
It was followed by a sequel 10 years later in 2007 called Mr. Bean's Holiday. The sequel, however, is based on a totally different plot and does not have any connections with the original in any capacity outside of the main character.
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. 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
See also 
- "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 AllRovi
- Bean at Box Office Mojo
- Bean at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bean at Metacritic