Splitting Heirs (1993)

Eric Idle, Rick Moranis, Barbara Hershey, Catherine Zeta-Jones,
Splitting Heirs is a movie starring Eric Idle, Rick Moranis, and Barbara Hershey. A duke dies and leaves the title and wealth to his adult son. But who's the real son: the found baby raised in USA or the abandoned baby raised by a...
  • 5.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Robert Young, Director:
  • Simon Bosanquet, Redmond Morris, Producer:

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6 / 10

Glad that I checked here first

Okay, it may not have been the greatest flick, but it certainly wasn't the worst. In fact, I'm glad that I checked the IMDB comments first because it gave me the proper perspective. I love British humor and I've been a Python fan since it first hit the US. The negative comments prepared me for the worst, and the good ones gave me a reason to watch.

That said, I enjoyed the flick, in spite of its idiocy. Sometimes you just have to sit back and drop your logic in order to enjoy plain, simple entertainment. I'd take this movie over any sitcom on TV. The movie was silly and lighthearted, (in spite of a few murders). By the end of the movie, I actually found myself liking Rick Moranis, who often gets on my nerves. Eric Idle and John Cleese were their typically silly selves. Catherine Zeta-Jones was beautiful and fun, though she seemed the tiniest bit pudgier than she is now. I was really impressed by Barbara Hershey, who took on her comedic role with gusto.

If you like your movies logical, you'll hate this one. It's full of holes, loose strings and stupid logic--but that's just not the point. If this were a totally reasonable world, there'd be no Monty Python.

I watched it a second time with my husband, who laughed all the way through, and so did I. I think this one is like any Python stuff. You laugh harder the more you watch it, in spite of the absurdity. (I know it's foolish of me, but I laugh every time I hear Cleese repeat the phrase, "She turned me into a newt.")

7 / 10

Our introduction to Catherine Zeta-Jones, eh?

Eric Idle does his typical zany stuff as an heir to a castle trying to unseat a loopy American (Rick Moranis), who has taken the position. Some of the scenes in the movie really make you think "JESUS H. Christ!!!!!! I'M REALLY WATCHING THIS!!!!!!!" Probably the aspect that catches peoples' eyes the most nowadays is the presence of a very young Catherine Zeta-Jones; when we first saw the movie, we didn't know who she was. But whether or not that's the aspect of "Splitting Heirs" that most catches your eyes shouldn't be the point. The point is that it's a really funny movie. Whether it's Rick Moranis on the roller skates, Eric Idle getting caught with more than his pants down, or something else, you won't find this movie boring. Also starring Barbara Hershey and John Cleese.

7 / 10

Brilliant comedy from Idle and Cleese

I saw this film a few nights ago as a late night Channel 4 film. Eric Idle and John Cleese are in classic Monty Python form, with a few in-jokes thrown in too. Rick Moranis is an interesting addition, not brilliantly funny, but he adds the American humour element. I was absolutely sure the film was a late 70's film, from the title sequence, visuals, jokes, the fact that it said "and introducing John Cleese" in the opening credits, and Eric Idle looks very young. I was very surprised to find it was from 1993!

Great comedy, I'd love to see more like this.

9 / 10

She caught so many strokes in the 60's people called her the US open.

I rented this movie on VHS in the late 90's and somehow I never quite got to returning it to the store. Lacking the absurd humor of the Monty Python era, as a huge Idle and Cleese fan I was at first a bit disappointed. Eric Idle had produced what seemed at first a rather shallow comedy flick. Still, it had it's moments and at the end of the first viewing it left me satisfied, yet no more than that.

In the following days however, I found myself watching this movie over and over again, getting to love it more and more each time. The brilliance in this movie is not in the script (a rather basic story about a personality mix-up) nor the usual Python-esquire absurdity (almost completely missing, except for the notion of an American as a British Duke) but rather in the main characters themselves. The American educated Duke-to-be, the Duchess Mummy who is so much of a man-eater it defies each sign of royalty, the gold-digging yet promiscuous fiancée, the scheming cook and the mad lawyer. Not to mention the blond haired, blue eyed Asian. Each of them has a sort of second layer to their personality which is so absurd, yet intriguing, that simply playing their characters is enough for the actors to make this a memorable appearance.

Rick Moranis especially surprised me, if only by not being his obnoxious self.

Nowadays, whenever I switch on my old VCR i get to wonder which tape will be in it, Splitting Heirs or Jackie Brown. Either way, the next time it will be the other way around.

6 / 10

Rather amusing little black comedy with some of the Monty Python touch

I'm probably in the minority here... but I always preferred Eric Idle of the members of the Monty Python gang. The more talented writer, both in sketch material and song lyrics(to any other Python fan who appreciates those; Yes, Idle wrote and performed the main theme), the better facial expressions and acting. Naturally, when I found out that he had written and starred in a film of his own(though John Cleese does also have a role), I had to watch it. I don't believe I ever did get to watch this more than a few times, some years back, and then I didn't really go back to it until today. As much as I like Idle, I have to admit that this isn't up to the standards of most of the Pythons' movies or Flying Circus episodes. The basic idea is fun enough; I won't reveal it here, though, since it is an important plot point(and I urge anyone reading this to not read any of the cast credits on the main page... and if you've already done so, try your best to forget what you read). The plot certainly isn't brilliant, but it's quite funny, and makes for some highly comical situations. The pacing is actually fairly solid. I can't think of any point in the film where I was genuinely bored... in spite of knowing everything that would happen. The acting is all very good. The characters are quite well-written, though I guess few of them are particularly likable. The humor is quite black, and some will definitely be offended. I'm not fond of admitting it, but Cleese actually has some of the funniest moments of the entire film. He's not very prominently featured, but he is hilarious when he is on-screen. Moranis is about as tolerable as usual... I don't feel much neither for nor against him, but if you don't care for him, you won't like him in this, either. Idle gets to both under- and overplay, and his presence was definitely the selling point of the movie for me. All in all, some very funny moments, but only just enough to make it worth watching. I recommend it to huge fans of the Monty Python crew, in particular those fond of Idle and Cleese. 6/10