Dudley Do-Right (film)

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Dudley Do-Right
Dudleydo-rightmovieposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Hugh Wilson
Produced by John Davis
J. Todd Harris
Joseph M. Singer
Screenplay by Hugh Wilson
Based on Characters 
by Jay Ward
Starring Brendan Fraser
Sarah Jessica Parker
Alfred Molina
Eric Idle
Corey Burton
Narrated by Corey Burton
Music by Steve Dorff
Cinematography Donald E. Thorin
Edited by Don Brochu
Production
  company
Davis Entertainment
Jay Ward Productions
Classic Media
Joseph M. Singer Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) August 27, 1999
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States (release)
Canada (production)
Language English
Budget $70 million
Box office $9,974,410

Dudley Do-Right is a 1999 romantic comedy film, based on Jay Ward's Dudley Do-Right, produced by Davis Entertainment for Universal Studios. The film stars Brendan Fraser as the cartoon's title character with supporting roles done by Sarah Jessica Parker, Alfred Molina, and Eric Idle. It was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia and Santa Clarita, California. Dudley Do-Right was Fraser's second film based on a Jay Ward cartoon, George of the Jungle having been his first, in 1997.

Plot[edit]

The story begins with three children and a horse. These are young versions of Dudley Do-Right (Dyllan Christopher), Nell Fenwick (Ashley Yarman), Snidely Whiplash (Jeremy Bergman), and Horse. The three talk of their aspirations; Dudley believes he is destined to be a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer (Mountie) while Nell wishes to see the world. Snidely, however, wishes to be the "bad guy".

Several years later, all three have fulfilled their supposed destinies. Dudley (Brendan Fraser) is now a Mountie (but always sticks to the rules and is frequently oblivious to even the most obvious of things), and Snidely (Alfred Molina) has become an infamous bank robber. After Snidely and his gang rob a bank of its money and gold, Snidely tricks his entire gang into believing he has fled with the bulk of the cash to the Sudan and going on a wild goose chase after him. Snidely subsequently salts the stolen gold and spreads it in the lakes. Dudley catches him the act, but Snidely fools him into thinking he is vampire hunting, and uses a similar tactic to scare Horse off. Not long after, Nell (Sarah Jessica Parker) returns from her world tour and reunites with Dudley. The two attend a festival at the nearby Kumquat tribe.

Meanwhile, Prospector Kim J. Darling (Eric Idle), the poorest man in Semi-Happy Valley, stumbles across the gold in the river and is made into a media sensation by Snidely. The subsequent gold rush boosts Snidely's popularity and he quickly takes control of the town, renaming it "Whiplash City". Eventually, Snidely's men return from the Sudan to kill him for his deceit, but Snidely convinces them otherwise by offering them lives of luxury in his new town. Dudley becomes convinced that Snidely is up to something and confronts him, but Snidely laughs him off and snatches Nell from him. Snidely sends his second in command Howard (Jack Kehler) to assassinate Dudley with a bomb, but Dudley is absent when the bomb goes off. Nell's father Inspector Fenwick (Robert Prosky), who is in good favor with Snidely, discovers Dudley's feud with Snidely and discharges Dudley from the Mounties. Dudley falls into a depression and wanders across the town until he runs into a drunken Darling, who offers him shelter at his underground cave in the woods. Darling tells Dudley of Snidely's plans and newfound popularity and takes him to see a Gala Ball in Snidely's honor. Dudley comically attempts to take Nell back from Snidely, but loses pathetically.

Darling decides to put Dudley through a very harsh training regimen to make him a more formidable opponent. Dudley's first act is to intimidate one of Snidely's men into telling him the next gold shipment. Dudley sabotages the shipment and leaves his mark on Snidely's workshop as well as his favorite golf course. Eventually, Darling leaves to find his family and parts ways with Dudley thanking him for his friendship. Dudley then uses his new training to win Nell back from Snidely, who swears revenge. Snidely attempts to rally the people against Dudley, but their lingering respect for Dudley only turns them against Snidely. Snidely ultimately discovers that Dudley and Nell are at another festival with the Kumquat tribe and leads a full scale attack on them. The Kumquats flee for their lives until Horse reappears and helps Dudley sabotage Snidely's tanks by making Snidely and Homer accidentally shoot each other. A cavalry of Mounties appears and arrests Snidely and his men. Darling also arrives with his wife (Jessica Schreier) and is reunited with Dudley, revealing that they called out the cavalry. Inspector Fenwick reinstates Dudley in the Mounties.

The final scene shows Dudley and Nell living together in Dudley's rebuilt house. They share a kiss as the film closes.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Roger Ebert gave the film a two and a half stars rating, writing: "Dudley Do-Right is a genial live-action version of the old cartoon, with a lot of broad slapstick humor that kids like and adults wince at. I did a little wincing the ninth or 10th time Dudley stepped on a loose plank and it slammed him in the head, but I enjoyed the film more than I expected to. It's harmless, simple-minded, and has a couple of sequences better than Dudley really deserves."[2]

Otherwise, however, the film was a critical failure.[3][4] It currently has a 'Rotten' rating of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus stating "[The] gags aren't that funny."[5]

Box office[edit]

The film was a box office bomb. In its opening weekend, it grossed $3,018,345 - ranking #11 for the weekend - and went on to gross just $9,974,410 domestically[6] against a budget of $70 million.

References[edit]

External links[edit]