Bean (film)

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Bean movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMel Smith
Written by
Based onMr. Bean
by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis
Produced by
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byChristopher Blunden
Music byHoward Goodall
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 2 August 1997 (1997-08-02) (United Kingdom)
  • 7 November 1997 (1997-11-07) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom[1]
Budget$18 million
Box office$251.2 million[2]

Bean (also known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie or Bean: The Movie) is a 1997 comedy film directed by Mel Smith and written by Richard Curtis and Robin Driscoll. Based on the British sitcom series Mr. Bean created by Rowan Atkinson and Curtis, the film stars Atkinson in the title role, with Peter MacNicol, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin, Sandra Oh and Burt Reynolds in supporting roles. In the film, Bean works as a security guard at the National Gallery in London before being sent to the United States to talk about the unveiling of the painting Whistler's Mother.

Produced by Working Title Films and Tiger Aspect Films, Bean was released in the United Kingdom on 2 August 1997 and in the United States on 7 November 1997 by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Gramercy Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was a box-office success, having grossed $251.2 million worldwide against an $18 million budget.[2] A standalone sequel, Mr. Bean's Holiday, was released in 2007.


Well-meaning yet clumsy and destructive Mr. Bean works as a security guard at the National Gallery in London. When the gallery's board of directors, who despise Bean for sleeping on the job, fail to fire him under the chairman's orders, they instead select Bean as their representative for the transfer of James McNeill Whistler's 1871 portrait Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (Whistler's Mother) to the Grierson Art Gallery in Los Angeles, purchased by philanthropist General Newton for $50 million, in an attempt to get rid of him for a while.

Grierson's curator David Langley, impressed with the false profile of "Dr. Bean", offers to accommodate Bean in his home for two months against his family's wishes. After Bean pranks the airport police by pretending to have a gun and accidentally destroys the family's prized possessions, David's wife, Alison, leaves for her mother's house along with their children, Kevin and Jennifer. David then begins to question Bean's status as an art expert following a visit to Pacific Park, where Bean is arrested by Lieutenant Brutus - the same police officer who interrogated him at the airport - after speeding up a simulator ride to make it more exciting for him. After Bean accidentally ruins a dinner with Mr. Grierson and his wife, David discovers that Bean is not a doctor and knows nothing about art.

The next day, Bean accidentally sneezes on Whistler's Mother and damages the painting with an ink-stained tissue and lacquer thinner while cleaning it. Fearing that the damage would cost him his job and possibly get him prosecuted, David becomes despondent and gets drunk with Bean, though his family returns out of pity. That night, determined to save David's career, Bean sneaks back into the gallery, incapacitates the security guard with laxatives and replaces the defaced Whistler's Mother with a reprinted poster of it coated in egg whites and nail polish to resemble the real one, which successfully fools everyone at the ceremony the next day. Bean gives a speech about the painting, expressing an improvised and sentimental opinion about it that wins the crowd's approval.

Brutus informs David that Jennifer has recently got into a motorcycle accident with her boyfriend, prompting David and Bean to rush to the hospital. While wandering around the hospital, Bean gets mistaken for a surgeon and is forced into a surgery room, where he encounters Brutus - who has been shot while dealing with a mugging on the way to the hospital - and saves his life by inadvertently removing the bullet from his body. David then begs Bean, unaware of his true identity, to wake Jennifer up from her unconscious state, in which he succeeds after an accident with a defibrillator sends Bean flying and landing on her. Grateful for having their daughter back and wondering how to repay their doctor, David and Alison are surprised when Bean reveals his true identity. Per Bean's suggestion, they repay him by allowing him to stay with them for one more week.

Bean spends quality time together with David and his family, before David accompanies him back to the airport for his flight home to London and thanks him for everything as he departs. At home, Bean goes to sleep with his bedroom now decorated with photographs of his time in Los Angeles, as well as the original Whistler's Mother painting he smuggled back with him.



In November 1991, a year after the original series premiered, Variety announced that 20th Century Fox was producing a film adaptation of Mr. Bean in association with the show's production company, Tiger Television, after the studio remade two sketches from the series into short films released theatrically, Mr. Bean Takes an Exam[3] and Mr. Bean Goes to a Première.[4] The film was later instead produced by the UK-based Working Title Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, under the latter's Gramercy Pictures banner.

Deleted and alternative scenes[edit]

The North American release differs from the international release, as it includes an additional scene in which David suggests that Bean stuff the turkey while he distracts the Griersons during the dinner party. After losing his watch in the turkey, Bean gets his head stuck inside of it (a recycled gag from "Merry Christmas Mr. Bean") and stumbles blindly around the kitchen and the dining room.[5][6]

The international release includes two alternate scenes on either side of the deleted turkey scene in order to explain its absence. When searching the refrigerator, Bean first finds two frankfurters and then the onion that he offers as an appetizer. Upon finding the turkey, David asks him if he has cooked a turkey before and he replies, "Oh yes." After the two shove the turkey into the microwave oven, Bean suggests running it for 20 minutes as opposed to the 5-hour cooking time suggested by David.[7]

According to Atkinson in the documentary Bean Scenes Unseen, the differing scenes were the result of very different reactions from the American and European audiences in test screenings.[5]


Bean: The Album
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released1 August 1997
LabelMercury Records
ProducerVarious artists
Singles from Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie Soundtrack
  1. "Picture of You"
    Released: 21 July 1997

The film score was composed and conducted by Howard Goodall, who also composed the original Mr. Bean series, although the original Mr. Bean theme was unused. Cover versions on the soundtrack album include the Beatles' "Yesterday" (sung by Wet Wet Wet), the OMC cover of "I Love L.A." (though Randy Newman's original version is the one heard in the film), and Alice Cooper's "Elected", performed by Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson. "Elected" features sound dubs of Mr. Bean making campaign promises and was previously used in Comic Relief in 1992.[citation needed]

Boyzone released a single from the film titled "Picture of You".

1."Picture of You"Boyzone3:27
2."I Get Around"The Beach Boys2:17
3."Walking on Sunshine"Katrina and the Waves3:51
4."Yesterday"Wet Wet Wet2:55
5."Running Back for More"Louise3:44
6."That Kinda Guy"Thomas Jules-Stock3:37
7."Give Me a Little More Time"Gabrielle4:02
8."I Love L.A." (Version not in the film)OMC4:07
9."He's a Rebel"Alisha's Attic2:26
10."Stuck in the Middle with You"Susanna Hoffs4:04
11."Art for Art's Sake"10cc4:19
12."Have Fun Go Mad"Blair3:39
13."Can We Talk (Pure Radio Mix)"Code Red4:03
14."Bean Theme (Mad Pianos)"Howard Goodall3:01
15."Elected" (Not in the film)Mr. Bean and Smear Campaign feat. Bruce Dickinson4:32


Box office[edit]

Bean initially received a limited release on 17 October 1997 in 242 theaters and grossed $2,255,233 with a $9,319 per-theater average and ranking #10 at the box office. Upon its wide release on 7 November 1997, the film earned $12,733,827 in its opening weekend while playing in 1,948 theaters, with a $6,536 per-theater average and ranking #2. By the end its theatrical run, the film grossed $45,319,423 domestically and $205,893,247 overseas for a worldwide total of $251,212,670. Against an $18 million budget, the film has become a financial success.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 44% based on 34 reviews with an average rating of 5.32/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Bean boasts a terrifically talented physical comedian in the title role, but his constant mugging and silly slapstick quickly wear thin."[8] On Metacritic the film holds a score of 52 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[9]

Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, saying that while he praised the film for having "many moments that were very funny", he criticized the film's runtime of 90 minutes, saying it was too long: "At an hour, Bean would have been nonstop laughs. [But] then they added 30 minutes of stops."[10]


A standalone sequel, titled Mr. Bean's Holiday, was released in 2007, ten years after its predecessor's release.


  1. ^ "Bean (1997)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Bean". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Mr Bean Takes an Exam (1991) [4K]". YouTube.
  4. ^ "Brit Hit Set For Date In States". Variety. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Bean Scenes Unseen (reference starts 8:35 into the video)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 14 December 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Bean (7/12) Movie CLIP - Stuffing the Turkey (1997) HD". YouTube. Archived from the original on 14 December 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Bean. Turkey". YouTube. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Bean (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Bean Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  10. ^ Roger Ebert (7 November 1997). "Bean (1997)".

External links[edit]