Splitting Heirs

  • Film
  • Comedy
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Eric Idle's script may pack in any amount of would-be comedic standbys - big bosoms, naked men hiding in wardrobes, national and ethnic stereotypes, bungled murder attempts, more big bosoms - but its cynical contrivance and lumbering execution fail to raise a laugh from beginning to end. The basic plot is Kind Hearts and Coronets rewritten for the mall-rat generation. Tommy Patel (Idle), a humble city broker, discovers that he's the lost Duke of Bournemouth, heir to a fortune currently hogged by American imposter Henry Maitland (Moranis). With the sinister complicity of legal vulture Shadgrind (Cleese, self-parodic), our aspirant aristo decides to bump off the Yank pretender; but before he can claim the title, there's a near-incestuous entanglement with the man-hungry widowed Duchess (Hershey) to be negotiated. Hershey's embarrassed presence, and the flailing efforts of the former Pythons, make this tedious cavalcade of thumping obviousness even more cringe-worthy than it already is.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Young
Screenwriter: Eric Idle
Cast: Eric Idle
Rick Moranis
Barbara Hershey
Catherine Zeta Jones
John Cleese
Sadie Frost
Stratford Johns
Brenda Bruce
Eric Sykes
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