The Woman in Red (1984 film)

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The Woman in Red
Promotional film poster
Directed by Gene Wilder
Produced by Victor Drai
Written by Yves Robert (play)
Jean-Loup Dabadie (play)
Gene Wilder
Music by John Morris
Stevie Wonder
Cinematography Fred Schuler
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release dates
  • August 15, 1984 (1984-08-15)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $25,308,147 (USA)

The Woman in Red is a 1984 romantic comedy film starring and directed by Gene Wilder, who wrote the script, adapting it from the Yves Robert film Pardon Mon Affaire.

It co-stars Charles Grodin, Gilda Radner, Joseph Bologna, Judith Ivey and Kelly Le Brock, and won an Academy Award for best original song, "I Just Called to Say I Love You", performed by Stevie Wonder.


San Francisco ad man Teddy Pierce is amused by, then obsessed with, a beautiful woman whose red dress goes whooshing over her head from a gust of wind, blowing her skirt and showing her red panties while she crosses a grate. Teddy is happily married to Didi, but he cannot get this woman out of his mind.

Encouraged by his friends Buddy, Joe and Michael, he tries to ask her for a date but mistakenly phones Ms. Milner, a plain ad-agency employee who is flattered by his interest.

Teddy ultimately does become acquainted with the woman in red, a model named Charlotte, going horseback riding with her and even inviting her to a relative's party. He radically alters his wardrobe and begins using elaborate ruses to see Charlotte socially. Meanwhile, he incurs the wrath of Ms. Milner, whom he stands up.

Events come to a head in Charlotte's high-rise apartment, where she invites Teddy into her bed. He is thrilled until her airline pilot husband suddenly comes home. Teddy ends up on a ledge, where passersby below believe he is about to commit suicide, all captured on live television.



The film is a remake of An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive, also known as Pardon Mon Affaire, directed by Yves Robert, and written by Jean-Loup Dabadie and Yves Robert.

The Woman in Red was shot in the fall of 1983.


The film gained publicity for Kelly Le Brock, a real-life model making her screen debut, particularly for the skirt-and-grate scene, a variation of Marilyn Monroe's iconic pose in The Seven Year Itch. During this film, Gene Wilder started a relationship with Gilda Radner, who had co-starred with him a few years earlier in Hanky Panky. Wilder and Radner married in 1984.

The Woman in Red received mixed to negative reviews from critics, as it holds a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 17 reviews.


The soundtrack was composed by Stevie Wonder and features performances by Wonder and also Dionne Warwick. Wonder received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "I Just Called to Say I Love You."

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