Film / Wrongfully Accused
"It's not just a's every movie."

Wrongfully Accused is a 1998 parody film written and directed by ZAZnote  protégé Pat Proft and starring Leslie Nielsen. A rather brilliant example of the joke-a-minute (though really it's more like every 10 to 20 seconds) school of comedy.

The frame parody is built around the 1993 version of The Fugitive centering on renowned concert violinist, Ryan Harrison (Nielsen) in pursuit of the one-armed, one-legged and one-eyed man who killed his lover's husband after being framed for the murder. Richard Crenna's delightful parody of Tommy Lee Jones' fast-talking federal marshal is probably the highlight of the movie, with many of the best lines.

However, The Fugitive is hardly the only movie that gets parodied here. Particularly notable targets include Mission: Impossible (1996), Titanic (1997), Lord of the Dance, Braveheart, Riverdance, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, Mentos commercials, Baywatch, The Usual Suspects and even North By Northwest and Casablanca, among many others.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor IS the Title Character: Well, more like the title adverb-adjective.
  • The Adjectival Man: The one-armed, one-eyed, one-legged man parodying The Fugitive's one-armed man.
  • Affectionate Parody: Not just of The Fugitive and other movies but also of suspenseful Fugitive Arc mystery thrillers and action dramas in general.
  • Alliterative Name: The federal marshal, Fergus Falls.
  • Angels Pose: Parodied by Fergus Falls and his two agents when they break down a door.
  • Artificial Limbs: Sean Laughrea has them, replacing an eye, an arm, and a leg.
    • The hospital also has a section labeled "Limbs 'R' Us".
  • Banana Peel: A whole bus is taken down by one!
  • Big Stupid Doo Doo Head: While on the bus being transported to prison, Ryan and one of his guards get into an argument that eventually degenerates into this.
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: Practically every line of dialogue.
  • Bullet Dancing: In a parody of Riverdance!
  • Butt-Monkey: Ryan goes through quite a bit of abuse trying to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.
  • The Cameo:
    • John Walsh, long time host of America's Most Wanted (along with Maury Hannigan of Real Stories of the Highway Patrol), appears in the film. Though it isn't clear if he's playing as the "America's Most Wanted" host as he is seen in a backwoods bait and tackle shop.
    • The puppet Lambchop from Lambchops Play Along for no real reason other than it's supposed to be funny
  • Captain Obvious: "You're not Lauren! You're an imposter!"
  • Clear My Name
  • Creator Cameo: Director Pat Proft plays a window technician who accidentally gets electrocuted by a defibrillator.
  • Credits Gag: Occurs almost immediately, with "Leslie Nielsen as Leslie Nielsen."note 
    • The jokes don't stop even after the film is finished:
      • After the "Boom Operator" (a real film job, operating the boom microphone) are listed a "Pow Operator" and "Kablam Operator".
      • Also appearing later on is a restaurant menu of entrees.
      • The Negative Cutter (who edits the film negative to match the final print) is followed by "Very Up and Positive" Cutter.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Parodied. Ryan sees a "Wanted" poster of himself and rapidly draws black hair, glasses, a beard and a tiny hat over his image. Immediately, another man with black hair, glasses, moustache and tiny hat in the same building is arrested.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Early in the film, as Hibbing cycles through the radio stations, one of the radio hosts says, "...used to masturbate..."
  • Destructo-Nookie: Apparently, Ryan's love-making is so powerful it sets off an airbag in the headboard of the bed.
  • Double Take: During the North By Northwest parody, an airplane is headed towards Ryan, and Ryan looks back nine times before he starts running away.
  • Dramatic Shattering: After Ryan exits the bait shop, John Walsh pieces together the string of lies that Ryan created, which he made using various items and signs in the bait shop. John drops his coffee in slow motion, which shatters on the floor, in a nod to The Usual Suspects. However, true to a parody flick, John also drops a doughnut, an egg, and a water balloon.
  • Drench Celebration: At the end of Ryan's violin performance at the concert, two men dump Gatorade on him and then he manages to get dry by the time the camera returns to him.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: Hibbing Goodhue.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Caught between a raging waterfall and being apprehended by the marshal, Ryan shouts that he's not going back to prison and makes for a dive - only to slam his head on the ceiling of the pipe he's standing in. Disoriented, he simply flops over the edge instead.
  • Femme Fatale: Ultimately subverted with Cass.
  • Funny Background Event: A few, including a hilarious one where a newscaster on television is frantically screaming over how she's unable to hear herself after Ryan mutes her with the remote.
  • Gainaxing: During the Baywatch scene, complete with boingy sound effects.
  • Gold Digger: Lauren.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: Happens to Ryan during a near-encounter with Fergus Falls before accidentally going over a waterfall. Also, said heart is cartoon shaped.
  • Hellhole Prison: The destination sign on the bus reads "A HELLISH PRISON".
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Ryan to Cass.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Obtusely parodied during the climax as Ryan is able to seat a truckload of people, wash the windows, change a van's tire and check its pressure at a normal pace all while being shot at a very close range by several terrorists.
  • Inspector Javert: Fergus Falls, being a parody of Sam Gerard from The Fugitive.
  • Key Under the Doormat: Hilariously inverted when Ryan finds a large key-shaped case with a rock inside that he uses to break the glass on the door.
  • Killed Off for Real/We Hardly Knew Ye: Hibbing Goodhue (Michael York) is murdered in the first 13 minutes. His murder is what drives the plot.
  • Leg Cannon: A firearm is disguised as an artificial limb.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: As seen in the tackle shop scene.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: A staple of the genre, but especially prominent in Goodhue's murder scene - he reacts to multiple gunshot wounds with a simple "Ouch!" and exasperatedly asking if his killer is "quite finished."
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Ryan pulls this after infiltrating a Scottish pipe band and standing over an air vent. His legs are suspiciously feminine, and there is sound similar to blowing over a glass bottle.
  • The Mel Brooks Number: Right at the beginning, with Lambchop.
  • Miscarriage of Justice
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Ryan is sentenced to be executed "Buffet Style": Hanged, electrocuted, lethally-injected, and placed before a firing squad.
    • Also, near the end, Lauren uses an enormous missile launcher to destroy a van Ryan is driving.
  • Parody: Several films get parodied such as the ones mentioned above and even films like Patriot Games and The Empire Strikes Back get a brief nod.
  • The Power of Cheese: Parodied. Ryan is looking for a way out of a bathroom while the police batter their way into the house, and eating a Mentos inspires him to yank the toilet off the wall and pull it over to the window to escape, complete with turning to the camera and giving a thumbs-up with his Mentos.
    • If you've ever wanted to watch the scene with the actual Mentos commercial jingle played over it is.
  • Punny Name: Cass Lake, which is the name of an actual lake in Minnesota.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Complete with a locomotive that chases him by literally hopping off its rails and chasing him through a forest.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Rasputinian Death: Played for Laughs when Hibbing Goodhue is shot 25 times before finally being taken out by two arrows to the chest.
  • The Reveal/Everyone Is Related: Lauren is Cass' aunt being her mother's identical twin sister ("born ten years apart, but identical"), Sean is her adoptive brother while Sir Robert McKintyre is Cass' father.
    • It was also Lauren who killed Hibbing Goodhue, not Sean as Harrison previously believed.
  • Rule of Funny: A whole world that runs on this.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: During the Chase Scene in the sewer.
  • Shout-Out: Countless amounts, completely dating the film in The '90s.
    • "Dr. Kimble to surgery please". Dr. Richard Kimble is the surgeon from The Fugitive who Leslie Nielsen parodies.
    • On top of that Ryan's last name is a nod to Harrison Ford.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Fergus Falls.
    "This case has got more twists and turns than Chubby Checker in a blender."
  • Tap on the Head
  • That Poor Plant: After Harrison exits the diaper truck and starts walking down the street, flowers behind him wither and droop.
  • Title Drop: Ryan just can't stress it enough.
  • Throw the Book at Them: At one point the first draft of the Titanic (1997) screenplay is used as a blunt instrument.
  • Too Much Information: When Lauren is interrogated:
    Lauren: Ryan and I were having sex. Hot steamy, sweaty sex. Every part of my body tingled orgasm after orgasm...
    Sgt. Orono: Lady, I just asked for your name.
  • Trash Landing: Unfortunately for Ryan, the trash consists of nothing but dirty diaper bags.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: During the end credits: "NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE", then a bunch of names scroll up the screen much faster than the rest of the credits.
  • The Vamp: Lauren.
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    Ryan: The Beatles said it best. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, listen, Michelle ma belle, this nowhere man is the walrus, koo koo kachoo!