Quick Change movie poster
|Directed by||Howard Franklin
|Produced by||Bill Murray
|Written by||Howard Franklin|
|Based on||Quick Change
by Jay Cronley
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Edited by||Alan Heim|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||89 min.|
Quick Change is a 1990 comedy film written by Howard Franklin, produced by and starring Bill Murray, and directed by both. Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, and Jason Robards co-star. Other cast members include Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Phil Hartman, Victor Argo, Kurtwood Smith, Bob Elliott, and Philip Bosco. It is based on a book of the same name by Jay Cronley.
The film is set in New York City, particularly in Manhattan and Queens, with scenes taking place on the New York City Subway and within John F. Kennedy International Airport. Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty are also briefly seen.
Quick Change is the only directorial credit of Bill Murray's career.
Grimm, dressed as a clown, robs a bank in midtown Manhattan. He ingeniously sets up a hostage situation and then slips away with an enormous sum of money and his accomplices: girlfriend Phyllis and best friend Loomis.
The heist itself is comparatively straightforward and easy, but the getaway turns into a nightmare. The relatively simple act of getting to the airport to catch a flight out of the country is complicated by the fact that fate, luck and all of New York City appears to be conspiring against their escape.
For starters, the trio is seeking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to get the airport, but the signs were taken during construction work, resulting in the three robbers becoming lost in an unfamiliar part of the city. Then, a con-artist/thief robs the trio of everything they have (except the bank money, which they have taped under their clothes).
When changing into new clothes, they are almost gunned down by the stressed incoming tenant of Phyllis' apartment, as members of the fire department respond to a call by pushing their hydrant-blocking car out of the way only to make it roll into a ditch.
When the three crooks eventually manage to flag down a cab, the driver is hopelessly non-fluent in English. This leads Loomis to jumping out of the moving cab to grab another, but he runs into a newsstand and the driver leaves, thinking he's killed Loomis. An anal-retentive bus driver, a run-in with mobsters and Phyllis' increasing desperation to tell Grimm the news that she is pregnant with his child add further complications.
All the while, Rotzinger, a world-weary but relentless chief of the New York City Police Department, is doggedly attempting to nab the fleeing trio. A meeting on board an airliner at the airport occurs between the robbers and the chief, who gets the added prize of having a major crime-boss dropped in his lap with their assistance. Unfortunately the chief only realizes who they were after their plane has taken off.
- Bill Murray as Grimm
- Geena Davis as Phyllis Potter
- Randy Quaid as Loomis
- Jason Robards as Chief Walt Rotzinger
- Tony Shalhoub as Cab Driver
- Philip Bosco as Bus Driver
- Phil Hartman as Edison
- Jamey Sheridan as Mugger
- Stanley Tucci as Johnny
- Kurtwood Smith as Lombino
Despite not being a major commercial success, the film was well received critically. In fact, several critics  claim it is one of Murray's finest performances: a jaded man who has just had too much of The Big Apple. Also praised were the strong performances by the supporting cast, particularly Robards as the police chief Rotzinger, who, while almost as burned out as Murray, is still determined to capture the robbers as a swan song to his long career.
Roger Ebert in his July 13, 1990 Chicago Sun-Times review wrote: "'Quick Change' is a funny but not an inspired comedy. It has two directors...and I wonder if that has anything to do with its inability to be more than just efficiently entertaining."