Jimmy the Kid

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Jimmy the Kid
Directed byGary Nelson
Written bySam Bobrick
Based onJimmy the Kid novel by Donald E. Westlake
Produced byRonald Jacobs
StarringGary Coleman
Paul Le Mat
Ruth Gordon
Dee Wallace
Walter Olkewicz
Don Adams
CinematographyDennis Dalzell
Edited byRichard C. Meyer
Music byJohn Cameron
Zephyr Productions
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
  • November 12, 1982 (1982-11-12)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5 million or $2.6 million[1]

Jimmy the Kid is a 1982 American comedy film starring Gary Coleman and Paul Le Mat. It was directed by Gary Nelson, produced by Ronald Jacobs,[2] and released on November 12, 1982 by New World Pictures. Following 1981's On the Right Track, it was the second theatrical film release starring Coleman.[3]



The film was based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Donald E. Westlake. It was the third book of Westlake's Dortmunder series.[4] One of the shooting locations was Bob Hope's Malibu Canyon plantation.[5]


Jimmy the Kid grossed $5 million at the box office.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Overall, critical reception of the family-friendly comedy was on the negative side. Critic Gene Siskel, who called himself "one of few Americans who publicly declared his affection for On the Right Track" concluded that Coleman's follow-up was "definitely on the wrong track."[7] Siskel's TV counterpart Roger Ebert also found little to like in the film, but admitted that kids may well enjoy it.[8]

Stephen Hunter of The Baltimore Sun wrote in his review: "Jimmy the Kid proves a longstanding cinema law: Any movie calling itself a "comedy crime caper" is likely to be a misdemeanor against good taste."[9]

Carter Colwell of The Daytona Beach News-Journal wrote in his review: "ONCE UPON a time, Donald E. Westlake wrote a bunch of funny mystery stories. And then one day, he wrote one that was not very funny, but it was still pretty funny. In it, a bunch of klutzy burglars decide to conduct a kidnapping, following a plan laid out in a book one of them has read. And then Donald E. Westlake sold his pretty funny kidnapping story to Hollywood. And they made a movie out of it. It was called Jimmy the Kid. It was not very funny. And it was not pretty funny either."[10]

The Philadelphia Inquirer Staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote in their review: "Jimmy the Kid combines elements of Coco the Clown, Carnac the Magnificent, and the Pink Panther into Movie the Bad. Someone wisely kept this weak Gary Coleman comedy about an overly mature rich kid in the can since 1981."[11]


Jimmy the Kid was released in theatres on November 12, 1982. In the Lawrence Journal-World, a national newspaper advertisement used in November 1982 to advertise release of film.[12] Jimmy the Kid was released on VHS.[13]


  1. ^ Donahue, Suzanne Mary (1987). American film distribution : the changing marketplace. UMI Research Press. p. 294. Please note figures are for rentals in US and Canada
  2. ^ "Jimmy the Kid". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Actor Gary Coleman is a less than enthusiastic interview". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina: New Media Investment Group. Associated Press. October 22, 1982. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  4. ^ Westlake, Donald E. (1974). Jimmy the Kid. Lanham, Maryland: M Evans & Co. ISBN 978-0871311573.
  5. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican Staff 1982, p. 20.
  6. ^ Koetting 2013, p. 222.
  7. ^ Siskel, Gene (November 17, 1982). "'Jimmy the Kid': A silly kidnaping story held together by tires that bind". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tronc, Inc. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1982). "Jimmy the Kid". Roger Ebert. Chicago: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Hunter, Stephen (November 18, 1982). "Kidnap comedy: a misdemeanor against good taste". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore: Tronc, Inc. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Colwell, Carter (November 21, 1982). "This Film Effort Is Strictly Kid Stuff". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida: New Media Investment Group. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  11. ^ The Philadelphia Inquirer Staff (May 28, 1983). "'JIMMY THE KID'IS A MISHMASH OF STOLEN SHTICK". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  12. ^ "Newspaper Ad for release". Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence, Kansas: Ogden Newspapers, Inc. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Jimmy the Kid". Thorn EMI. London: Reeves Communications. January 1, 1983. ASIN B00061QCGO. Retrieved January 8, 2017.


External links[edit]