Two of a Kind (1983 film)

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Two of a Kind
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Herzfeld
Produced by Roger M. Rothstein
Joe Wizan
Written by John Herzfeld
Music by Patrick Williams
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Edited by Jack Hofstra
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
December 16, 1983 (1983-12-16)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $23,646,952

Two of a Kind is a 1983 American romantic fantasy comedy film directed by John Herzfeld starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The original musical score was composed by Patrick Williams. Travolta plays a cash-strapped inventor while Newton-John plays the bank teller whom he attempts to rob. These two unlikely individuals must come to show compassion for one another in order to delay God's judgment upon the Earth. This is Travolta and Newton-John's second film together after 1978's Grease, which was a success. Despite being a critical and commercial failure, Two of a Kind yielded three popular singles for Newton-John and a Platinum certification for the soundtrack.


Four angels — Charlie (Charles Durning), Earl (Scatman Crothers), Gonzales (Castulo Guerra), and Ruth (Beatrice Straight) — have been in charge of Heaven for the last 25 years. They are playing a golf match in Heaven when their game is interrupted by God (voiced by Gene Hackman), who has returned to the office and does not like what he sees down on Earth. God wants to order up another flood and start all over again (despite his promise in the rainbow that he never would again), but the four angels persuade him to reconsider, reasoning that, if a typical Earth man can reform, it would prove that all mankind is capable of it.

God agrees to the scheme, and the typical Earth man selected by the angels is Zack Melon (John Travolta) — a failed inventor who, threatened by loan sharks, decides to hold up a bank. Zack points his gun at bank teller Debbie Wylder (Olivia Newton-John), who ostensibly gives him all the money. But, when Zack peers into the sack after the robbery, he sees that Debbie has substituted bank deposit slips for the cash and has kept the money for herself. Zack tracks her down to reclaim his stolen money. While dodging the loan sharks and the evil interventions of the Devil (Oliver Reed), the two come to develop a relationship, which is put to the test when the two are threatened by a masked thug.



Principal photography of Two of a Kind took place in New York City with two weeks of location shooting and then continued in California at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, MGM Studios in Culver City and The Burbank Studios in Burbank from May 9 to July 21, 1983.[1]


Two of a Kind received heavily negative reviews during its release.[2] It currently holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

The film was nominated for five Razzie Awards: Worst Actor (Travolta, also for Staying Alive), Worst Actress (Newton-John), Worst Director (Herzfeld), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Picture. The movie was nominated for a Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Picture.[4]


The film was salvaged by a platinum soundtrack which yielded three singles for Newton-John:

  • "Twist of Fate" - No. 5 Pop (her last of 15 Top 10 Pop hits)
  • "Take a Chance" (duet with John Travolta)- No. 3 AC (B-side to "Twist of Fate")
  • "Livin' in Desperate Times" - No. 31 Pop

The album was further bolstered by featuring "Ask the Lonely", a song which the rock group Journey had initially intended for their 1983 album Frontiers but which was only available on the soundtrack album, and Patti Austin's "It's Gonna Be Special", which was not a major pop hit but peaked at #15 on the R&B charts and #5 on the Dance charts in 1984.


  1. ^ Two of a Kind at American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ "THE SCREEN: TRAVOLTA IN 'TWO OF KIND'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "1983 6th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 2, 2013.

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