The Man with One Red Shoe

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The Man With One Red Shoe
Man with one red shoe poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stan Dragoti
Produced by Victor Drai
Screenplay by Robert Klane
Story by Francis Veber
Yves Robert
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by O. Nicholas Brown
Bud Molin
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • July 19, 1985 (1985-07-19)
Running time
92 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million[1]
Box office $8,645,411

The Man With One Red Shoe is a 1985 comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti, and starring Tom Hanks and Dabney Coleman. It is a remake of a 1972 French film Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire starring Pierre Richard and Mireille Darc.


Burton Cooper (Coleman), a deputy director of the CIA, wants to take over the director position. Standing in his way is Ross (Charles Durning), whom Cooper plans on eliminating by implicating him in a failed drug-smuggling operation in Morocco and forcing him to resign.

Ross knows Cooper's ambition but has no actual proof against him, so he develops a plan of his own to get back at Cooper. Ross knows his house has been bugged by Cooper, so he purposely leaks a rumor that a man will be arriving at the airport who will clear him of the scandal, and orders his assistant to pick him up. Cooper, desperate to find out who the mystery man is, sends his own agents to follow Ross's assistant Brown (Edward Herrmann). Brown goes to the airport with secret instructions to pick someone at random from the crowd, who will lead Cooper and his team on a wild goose chase.

Brown spots a man wearing mismatched shoes stepping onto a crowded escalator and picks him as their random target. That man is Richard Drew (Hanks) a concert violinist, whose friend Morris (Jim Belushi) a concert percussionist, played a trick on him by hiding one of each pair of his shoes. This has forced Richard to wear mismatched shoes on his flight home, with one penny loafer and one red sneaker. Cooper takes the bait and starts tracking Richard, who proves to be carrying on his own intrigues.

Richard is completely oblivious to everything around him and has his own problems. He is pursued by Paula (Carrie Fisher), a concert flutist who is Morris' wife and has been having an affair with him. Paula's infidelity was brought on by Morris' immaturity and his obsession with playing practical jokes on people, Richard being one of them. Richard, along with Morris and Paula, are all musicians who play with the same symphony orchestra. After eluding Paula and Morris at the airport, Richard is bumped into by Maddy (Lori Singer), one of Cooper's operatives, who picks his pocket and searches his wallet.

After damaging his tooth with a bag of gag peanuts given to him by Morris, Richard heads home to prepare for a visit to the dentist. While Richard is talking on the phone with Morris, Cooper, who has tapped his phone, learns that they are to meet with "the senators". Cooper thinks it is an inquiry with the U.S. Senate, but it turns out to be the name of the orchestral softball team Richard and Morris are on and the upcoming game what their conversation was referring to.

While Richard heads to the dentist, Cooper sends his agents out to continue their surveillance, first by having Maddy lead a team to search his apartment for any information and wire it for sound, and then by having other agents intercept him at his dentist's office, believing one of his teeth has microfilm inside. Fortunately, one of Ross' agents (who had been assigned to shadow Richard) arrives at the dentist's first and accidentally springs the trap at the dentist's (losing all of his teeth in the process), while Richard, scared by groans coming from the dentist's office, loses his nerve and flees.

From information found at Richard's apartment, Cooper learns Richard has traveled the world, including several Communist countries. Cooper thinks this is the perfect cover for a spy and starts digging deeper. Soon they suspect his sheet music is actually a code and the piece he will be playing that night at a concert a means of passing on information. Hoping to learn more, he sends in Maddy to seduce Richard and find out what he knows.

Meanwhile, Paula has arrived at Richard's apartment and literally battened down on him (all of which is recorded by Cooper's people in an ambulance). At the softball game, Richard is distracted by Maddy and hit in the head by a ball. Maddy takes him back to his apartment, while Morris, who has been cycling behind Cooper's ambulance, hears the recording and thinks Paula is inside making love with an ambulance attendant (causing him to drive his bike into the Potomac).

That night, while the rest of the orchestra is playing Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Richard sees Maddy in the audience and begins playing a composition of his own while staring at her (much to Paula's distress, who sees who he is staring at, and Morris' suspicion, who sees her staring at Richard), while Cooper's team steals time on Defense Department computers to decipher the supposed musical "code". Later that night, in response to a note, Richard arrives at Maddy's apartment (which is filled with two-way mirrors so that Cooper and his people can spy on Richard's interaction with Maddy). However, they learn absolutely nothing beyond the fact that Richard is also a composer, and while he is playing the violin composition he wrote for her, Maddy actually falls for him.

Ross, meanwhile, simply sits back and watches the antics unfold. Brown is concerned about an innocent man being killed (Richard being that man) due to Ross's plan to draw out Cooper, while Morris learns about Paula's affair with Richard and sets out to kill him only to repeatedly walk in on the aftermaths of several shootings at Richard's apartment, which eventually cause to him to have a nervous breakdown. When one attempt after another fails to yield any usable information, Cooper orders Richard killed, eventually attempting to kill Richard himself. Richard remains completely oblivious to the plot until the film's climax, when Maddy reveals to Richard who she really is, and testifies in front of the Senate about Cooper's dirty tricks and plots. Cooper is arrested after walking in on the hearing with his gun drawn, Ross is demoted and replaced by Brown as Director of the CIA, Paula reconciles with Morris (who's been committed) and Richard settles down with Maddy.



The film has a rating of 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film was considered a box office disappointment. Released by 20th Century Fox in July 1985, it debuted at no. 7 at the box office its opening weekend and grossed just $8,645,411 over its short theatrical run.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. Scarecrow Press. p. 260. 
  2. ^ "Summary for The Man with One Red Shoe". 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 

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