The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt (1989)

Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith, Alison Steadman, Diana Quick,
Wilt is a movie starring Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith, and Alison Steadman. An unlucky lecturer's wife goes missing and he's accused of her murder.
  • 6.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Tom Sharpe, Andrew Marshall, David Renwick, Writer:
  • Michael Tuchner, Director:
  • Brian Eastman, Producer:
6 / 10

Too family-friendly

I was looking forward to this film, because I'm a big fan of Tom Sharpe's novels. At the same time I was rather apprehensive as well. This is a comedy, and comedy movies are made these days with a family audience in mind. Tom Sharpe's novel Wilt certainly does not fit into this bracket and so I expected some dreaded compromises.

Inevitably, they came. Of course, the film still has a US R-rating and a UK 15 rating, but this has more to do with the intrinsic adult nature of the basic material than with the film makers' attempts to preserve the spirit of the novel. The whole thing still felt much too sanitised, too toned down, too understated. Part of the problem might have been that filming faithfully the original story would have made some middle-aged established actors and actresses occasionally prance around in the buff, simulate drug abuse, and molest each other, but the story really needed a higher dosage of excessiveness.

7 / 10

Unusual and hysterical movie

The first time I saw Wilt was in the cinema and laughed so hard that had tears in my eyes. I think I most enjoy this movie because it reminds me of the classic English humour, unfortunately not too frequent nowadays, at least as far as I am concerned. Some years later I was luckily enough to be able to tape it from TV and laughs were back.

I haven't seen any people who act in this film elsewhere, but that does not discourage me from being fond of their job. The man who plays the hapless Wilt is kind of funny, and inspector Flint's character is hilarious as well. Eva Wilt is a complete puppet at Sally's will, who turns out to be a bitch/slut.

The entire script is hysterical. My favorite parts are those in Sally's party, when she ties Wilt to that inflatable dolly and both appear in the main lounge, causing the dj to announce there is a wedding engagement coming. Also when Wilt talks the police into believing he has turned his wife's corpse to pieces of meat that have been put into cans of food and panic takes them over, prompting them to start checking the cans. How about when he is driving home from the party and the dolly surfaces behind in? Then he stops and goes insane by stabbing the dolly yelling something like "Explode, cow!".

As it's been pointed above, an hysterical movie. Pick it if you wanna pass one and a half hours of nonstop fun. Ten out of ten.

5 / 10

Outrageous book, modestly funny film

I remember looking forward to this just before it came out at the cinema. Great book, great comedy duo and the ever reliable Alison Steadman - what could possibly go wrong! Sadly, an hilarious book doesn't automatically make an hilarious film. As the film is quite faithful to the book its hard to spot it's failings - I wonder if it would have worked better if Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones' roles had been reversed? Like the early Morecambe & Wise films, this film demonstrates that without the right material, great comic talent can be left floundering. Toss in the bland 80s soundtrack, very lack lustre direction and adult humour which comes across more Harrison Marks skin-flick than slapstick and this is the result.

8 / 10

8/10 I really expected to hate this

But I didn't. Watching it again 23 years after release ( omg where did that time go ! ) -

I loved the book and the film is good at matching the general rule of not being as good as the book. But this time I've watched it with the book as a distant memory and I have to say I enjoyed the film .

OK things look a bit dated and the 80s fashion looks laughable but that just adds to the humour . My only disappointment and wish is that they made the remaining WILT books into films too .

The casting of Smith & Jones into the lead male roles is genius and Alison Steadman plays the overbearing wife to a 't' . Watch it with LOW expectations and you'll enjoy it :) -Pad.A

3 / 10

Funny script

There are usually very good reasons why films like this one do poorly at the box office.

usual reason is the fact that they are not funny, being funny, is a very important prerequisite for a comedy films. The story by Mr Sharp, is funny, very funny, and the characters, as conceived by him, are crafted in the great comedy tradition. So why was the film very unfunny and not successful as a comedy film? Mr Smith and Mr Rhys Jones are tried and proved comedians, who have been very funny in the past, and since. The problem is that like the great Morecambe and Wise before them, they were not comedic actors, they failed to understand that the character in a comedy story has his own reasons for doing what he does, his own motivation and his own personal set of human feelings and desires. the comedic actor, unlike the comedian, does not have to make the character funny, he/she must play them out with love and respect for their foibles, which lead them constantly into scenes of unintentionally comic behaviour.

With Wilt, in the case of Mr Rhys Jones's character, the audience is often left asking itself why, and Mr Smith played the policeman without ever giving credence to how on earth he might have got to such a rank in the first place.