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Dumb and Dumber

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Dumb and Dumber
Theatrical release poster, parodying that of Forrest Gump
Directed byPeter Farrelly
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
Music byTodd Rundgren
  • Katja Motion Picture Corporation[1]
  • Krevoy/Stabler/Wessler Production[2]
Distributed byNew Line Cinema[1]
Release date
  • December 16, 1994 (1994-12-16)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[3]
Box office$247.3 million[4]

Dumb and Dumber is a 1994 American buddy comedy film directed by Peter Farrelly,[1][2] who cowrote the screenplay with Bobby Farrelly and Bennett Yellin. It is the first installment in the Dumb and Dumber franchise. Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, it tells the story of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), two dumb but well-meaning friends from Providence, Rhode Island, who set out on a cross-country trip to Aspen, Colorado, to return a briefcase full of money to its owner, thinking it was abandoned as a mistake though it was actually left as a ransom. Lauren Holly, Karen Duffy, Mike Starr, Charles Rocket, and Teri Garr play supporting roles.

The film was released on December 16, 1994. It grossed $247 million at the box office and has developed a cult following in the years after its release and is regarded as one of the best comedies of the 1990s.[4][5] The success of Dumb and Dumber launched the career of the Farrelly brothers, established the range of the heretofore dramatically acclaimed Daniels as a gifted comedic actor and revitalized his Hollywood career,[6] and solidified Carrey's reputation as one of the most prominent actors of the 1990s.[7] The film also spawned an animated TV series, a 2003 prequel, and a 2014 sequel.



Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, two dimwitted young men, are best friends and roommates living in Providence, Rhode Island. Lloyd, a chip-toothed limousine driver, falls in love with Mary Swanson, a woman he is driving to the airport. She leaves a briefcase in the terminal. Lloyd attempts to return it, unaware that it contains ransom money for her kidnapped husband, Bobby, and that she left it for her husband's captors, Joe "Mental" Mentalino and J. P. Shay. Her Aspen-bound plane has departed, leading to Lloyd running and falling out of the jetway.

Fired for leaving the scene of an accident, Lloyd returns to his apartment and learns that Harry has also been fired. Mental and Shay follow Lloyd home from the airport in pursuit of the briefcase. Mistaking the crooks for debt collectors, the two flee the apartment and return to find that Mental and Shay have ransacked the apartment and decapitated Harry's parakeet, Petey. Lloyd suggests they head to Aspen to find Mary and return her briefcase. Harry agrees, and they leave the next day.

Mental and Shay catch up to the duo. Posing as a hitchhiker, Mental is picked up by Harry and Lloyd while Shay secretly follows them. However, Harry and Lloyd annoy Mental with their childish antics. During a lunch stop, the duo pranks Mental with chili peppers in his burger, unaware that he has a stomach ulcer. When Mental reacts adversely, they accidentally kill him with rat poison pills (which he planned to use on them) after mistaking it for his medication. In response, police wait to intercept the two on the road to Colorado, but Lloyd takes a wrong turn and drives all night through Nebraska. Harry gives up on the journey and decides to walk home, but Lloyd persuades him to continue after trading the van for a minibike.

The two arrive in Aspen but cannot find Mary. Harry attacks Lloyd in frustration, breaking the briefcase open by accident; after discovering the money, the two spend it on a hotel suite, clothes, and a car. They learn that Mary and her family are hosting a gala and prepare to attend. At the gala, Harry, attempting to lure Mary over to Lloyd, reluctantly agrees to go skiing with her the next day and lies to Lloyd that he got him a date. The next day, Lloyd finds out that Harry lied and spent the day with her himself.

In retaliation, Lloyd pranks Harry by serving him a coffee laced with a heavy dose of laxatives, causing Harry to spontaneously defecate in a broken toilet at Mary's apartment. Lloyd arrives at Mary's house and informs her that he has her briefcase. He takes her to the hotel, shows her the briefcase, and confesses his love, but she rejects him as she is married. Nicholas Andre, an old friend of the Swansons and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping, shows up. Lloyd learns from Andre of Mary’s marriage to Bobby, and Andre learns that Lloyd and Harry spent the ransom money. Furious, he takes Lloyd and Mary hostage, as well as Harry when he returns. An argument leads Nicholas to shoot Harry, who plays dead before ineptly returning fire. Before Nicholas can fire another shot, an FBI team led by Beth Jordan (whom Harry had met at a gas station and Lloyd met earlier at the bar) raids the suite, where Beth tells Harry and Lloyd that the FBI and police had been following them. Harry reveals that they gave him a bulletproof vest and gun when he arrived. Nicolas and Shay are arrested, and Mary and Bobby are reunited.

The next day, Harry and Lloyd have begun walking home because their purchases were confiscated and their minibike broke down. Harry tells Lloyd that they will get their "break" one day, and they play a game of tag as they walk back to Rhode Island.


  • Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas: A goofy chip-toothed slacker who has been fired from several jobs. He has a crush on Mary Swanson, unaware that she is already married.
  • Jeff Daniels as Harry Dunne: Lloyd's ditzy and air-headed best friend and roommate. He has a crush on Mary too, but is also unaware that Mary has a husband.
  • Lauren Holly as Mary Swanson: A wealthy but troubled heiress whose husband Bobby has been kidnapped.
  • Karen Duffy as J.P. Shay: A henchwoman of Nicholas Andre.
  • Mike Starr as Joe Mentalino: A henchman for Nicholas Andre. He has a stomach ulcer and regularly takes medication for it.
  • Charles Rocket as Nicholas Andre: A greedy, wealthy resident of Aspen, Colorado and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping.
  • Teri Garr as Helen Swanson: Mary's stepmother.
  • Felton Perry as Detective Dale
  • Harland Williams as the motorcycle police officer
  • Victoria Rowell as Beth Jordan (credited as "Athletic Beauty"): An FBI agent masquerading as a talkative young woman moving to Aspen to get away from her boyfriend.
  • Cam Neely as Sea Bass: A hot-tempered trucker who gets into frequent confrontations with Lloyd and Harry on their way to Aspen. Their first encounter was at a Pennsylvania diner.
  • Joe Baker as Barnard
  • Brad Lockerman as Bobby Swanson: Mary's kidnapped husband
  • Lin Shaye as Mrs. Margie Neugeboren (referred to by Harry as "Mrs. Noogieburger"): A dog owner and client of Harry's.
  • Hank Brandt as Karl Swanson: Mary's father
  • Brady Bluhm as Billy in 4C: a blind and young boy who uses a wheelchair, to whom Lloyd sold some of his and Harry's belongings, including Harry's headless parakeet. He appears on A Current Affair when Harry and Lloyd arrive in Aspen.
  • Connie Sawyer as elderly lady



The film was originally conceived by John Hughes before he sold it to the Farrelly Brothers and asked to be uncredited from the writing credits.[8]

The Farrelly Brothers had been trying for years to get their first movie made. Director Peter Farrelly's agent encouraged him to make a movie himself, alongside his brother Bobby.

The Farrelly Brothers did not know who Jim Carrey was; they were only told that he was "The White Guy" on In Living Color. Only after a screening of Carrey's first major acting role, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, did they realize they had struck gold. Based on the box-office success of Ace Ventura, Carrey was able to negotiate a salary of $7 million for this film.[9]

Nicolas Cage, who was proposed to be Carrey's co-star, tried to negotiate a $2 million increase in his fee but New Line decided against casting him and signed Jeff Daniels instead.[10] Cage said he turned it down to do Leaving Las Vegas instead.[11] Daniels was only paid around $50,000. New Line Cinema originally did not want Daniels in the film, as he was known only for his dramatic work at the time. However, the Farrellys and Carrey wanted Daniels for the part. Although New Line agreed to their demands, Daniels was offered the low salary in the hopes it would discourage him from signing on to the film. Daniels ultimately accepted the role, despite his agent reportedly dissuading him out of fears it would kill his career.[12]

Steve Martin and Martin Short both turned down the role of Lloyd.[13] According to Splitsider, Gary Oldman and Cage were the original choices for Lloyd and Harry.[14] Chris Elliott and Rob Lowe were both also considered for the role of Harry.[14]

Carrey's chipped tooth is genuine, resulting from a fight with a classmate in his childhood, but he had since had it capped. He simply had the crown temporarily removed from that tooth to portray Lloyd.[15]



Scenes taking place in Aspen were filmed in Breckenridge, Colorado and Park City, Utah. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was transformed into the "Danbury Hotel" for the filming of the movie. The "Danbury Hotel" bar scene and staircase shot were the shots filmed there. The scenes filmed in the snow were shot at Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado.[16]

Some of the external street scenes were filmed in Salt Lake City, and the airport scene was filmed at Salt Lake City International Airport.[17]

Some scenes from the beginning of the film were shot on location in the Providence metropolitan area, including shots of the skyline and The Big Blue Bug; scenes from the beginning of their road trip were shot in locations in Cumberland, Rhode Island.[18][better source needed]

Parts of the film were also shot in Ogden, Utah and American Fork Canyon.[19]




Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 22, 1994
LabelRCA Records
ProducerVarious Artists
Singles from Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "New Age Girl"
    Released: June 6, 1994
  2. "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"

The original soundtrack to the film was released by RCA Records on November 22, 1994.[20] The soundtrack album's first single, "New Age Girl" by Deadeye Dick, was a chart hit, reaching number 27 in the US, while the music video for the Crash Test Dummies' version of "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" featured Jeff Daniels reprising his role of Harry.[21]

The soundtrack album has generally seen positive reception from critics. Joe Bishop of Vice named the album his favorite movie soundtrack, while the same site's Cameron Matthews described it as "a perfect slice of the mid-'90s sound: bubbly pop rock with jangly chords and just enough grit, or aka the thing you can give your kids when they one day ask you what the '90s were like".[21][22]

Though not present on the soundtrack, the film famously features Carrey and Daniels singing an a cappella version of "Mockingbird" to Mike Starr's character.[21] Also missing on the soundtrack is Apache Indian's "Boom Shack-A-Lak", which accompanies the film's opening sequence, as well as several other songs appearing in the film. Songs not included on the soundtrack are "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" by The Cowsills, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies, "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison, "Can We Still Be Friends?" by Todd Rundgren and "Rollin' Down the Hill" by The Rembrandts.

Beck had been approached about including his song "Loser" on the soundtrack, but he refused. He recalled the process: "I remember getting a phone call one day. My manager said, 'There's a film. They want to use 'Loser' as the theme song'. There was a long pause, and he said, 'The name of the film is Dumb And Dumber. And I just remember: That sums up what the world thinks of me at this point. I tried to have fun with it, tried to not take it too serious. But at the same time, it was a little disheartening sometimes".[23]

1."The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"Crash Test Dummies featuring Ellen Reid 
2."New Age Girl"Deadeye Dick 
4."If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)"Pete Droge 
5."Crash – The '95 Mix"The Primitives 
6."Whiney, Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy)"Willi One Blood 
7."Where I Find My Heaven"Gigolo Aunts 
8."Hurdy Gurdy Man"Butthole Surfers 
9."Too Much of a Good Thing"The Sons featuring Bret Reilly 
10."The Bear Song"Green Jelly 
11."Take"The Lupins 
12."You Sexy Thing"Deee-Lite 
13."Get Ready"The Proclaimers 



Box office


Dumb and Dumber opened at No. 1 in its opening weekend, earning $16.4 million.[24] It went on to gross $127,175,374 in the United States, and $247,275,374 worldwide, and topping the holiday season film gross.[25]

Critical response


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 68% of 53 surveyed critics gave Dumb and Dumber a positive review; the average rating is 6.1/10. The site's consensus reads: "A relentlessly stupid comedy elevated by its main actors: Jim Carrey goes bonkers and Jeff Daniels carries himself admirably in an against-type performance".[26] On Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, it has a score of 41 based on reviews from 14 critics, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[28]

Roger Ebert gave the film two of four stars for the hit-or-miss comedic elements, but praised the performances of Carrey and Daniels, dubbing the former a "true original", and writing that the dead parakeet joke "made me laugh so loudly I embarrassed myself. I just couldn't stop".[29] Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Carrey "the new Jerry Lewis",[30] and Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "riotous", "rib-splitting", and gave the film praise for being both a crude and slapstick comedy and a "smart comedy" at the same time.[31] Carrey was nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star".[32]



Although Dumb and Dumber did not secure any major American film awards, it was successful at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards. Carrey won for Best Comic Performance, Carrey and Holly (a couple who would later endure a short-lived marriage) won for Best Kiss, and Carrey and Daniels were nominated for Best On-Screen Duo.

In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Dumb and Dumber the fifth greatest comedy film of all time.[citation needed] The film ranks 445th on Empire's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[33]

Year-end lists


Other media


Animated series


In 1995, a Hanna-Barbera-produced animated series aired on ABC, as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup; Matt Frewer provided the voice of Lloyd, while Bill Fagerbakke voiced Harry. In the cartoon, Harry and Lloyd have reacquired their van, now named "Otto". The cartoon also features a new character, Kitty, a female pet purple beaver who appears to be smarter than both men. The animated series was written by Bennett Yellin, co-writer of the film. The show was short-lived and was shelved after one season.



In 2003, a prequel was theatrically released, entitled Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. The film featured a cast and crew different from the previous film, and the Farrelly brothers had no involvement in the film's production. It was panned by critics, receiving a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[39] It grossed approximately $39.2 million worldwide against a $19 million budget, as opposed to the original film's far greater $247 million worldwide gross against a $17 million budget.[40]



The Farrelly brothers returned to make a sequel to Dumb and Dumber.[41] The sequel, titled Dumb and Dumber To, was shot in the fall of 2013. Carrey and Daniels returned, and Bobby and Peter Farrelly returned to direct along with original screenwriter Bennett Yellin. Actors reprising their roles from the first film include Brady Bluhm, who played Billy in (Apartment) 4C, and Cam Neely, who played Sea Bass. Dumb and Dumber To was released on November 14, 2014.[42] Compared to the original film, Dumb and Dumber To was met with mixed reviews from critics, although it did well commercially.

Dumb and Dumber To was not released by Warner Bros. Pictures (who now owns New Line Cinema), but rather by Universal Pictures.[43] Despite having no involvement in the film, New Line was still given studio credit from Universal.[44][45]


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  4. ^ a b Dumb and Dumber at Box Office Mojo
  5. ^ Alexander, Brian (November 16, 2014). "'Dumb and Dumber To' is top of box office class". USA Today. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Jeff Daniels Credits 'Dumb And Dumber' For Giving Him A Bigger Name In Hollywood | Sunday TODAY, retrieved November 16, 2021
  7. ^ "Jim Carrey Biography". Bio. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2015). John Hughes: A Life in Film: The Genius Behind Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, and More. Race Point Publishing. ISBN 9781631060229.page 5
  9. ^ Cameron-Wilson, James; Speed, F. Maurice (1994). Film Review 1994-5. Great Britain: Virgin Books. p. 146. ISBN 0-86369-842-5.
  10. ^ "Cagey over budget". Variety. May 15, 1994. p. 6.
  11. ^ "Nicolas Cage Almost Starred In 'Dumb & Dumber'; Considers Himself Led Zeppelin". HuffPost. February 14, 2012.
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  13. ^ Katz, Paul (January 6, 2006). "Is the new Dumb and Dumber DVD an improvement?". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Evans, Bradford (June 23, 2011). "The Lost Roles of Dumb & Dumber". Splitsider. Archived from the original on January 19, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  15. ^ Meyers, Kate (February 3, 1995). "Jim Carrey's fake tooth". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Adventure-Journal Archived September 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Adventure-Journal 10 Mountains Misrepresented in Movies
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  20. ^ Playlist as listed on the Compact Disc — retrieved on 8/12/13
  21. ^ a b c Matthews, Cameron. "That John Denver Was Full of Shit: A Definitive Guide to the 'Dumb and Dumber' Soundtrack". Vice. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
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  23. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 21, 2019). "Beck Discusses Failing To Get Aphex Twin To Produce Him In The '90s And Denying Dumb And Dumber "Loser" For Its Theme Song". Stereogum. Archived from the original on November 27, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
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