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Film / Malcolm

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Malcolm is a 1986 Australian caper film written by Creator Couple David Parker and Nadia Tass and directed by Tass.

When socially awkward Gadgeteer Genius Malcolm Hughes (Colin Friels) is fired from the Metropolitan Transit Authority for building his own tram with company parts, he takes on two boarders, Frank Baker (John Hargreaves) and his girlfriend Judith (Lindy Davies), to pay the rent. Malcolm soon discovers that Frank and Judith are bank robbers, and he uses his mechanical abilities to help them with their crimes.

Malcolm contains examples of:

  • And Starring: Colin Friels in Malcolm... with John Hargreaves as 'Frank.'
  • Basement-Dweller: Malcolm lived with his mother until her death a year ago.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: During one of the early robberies, Frank and Judith "help" someone at the bank pick up money that has spilled out of her briefcase, pocketing some of it.
  • Cool Car: The getaway car Malcolm builds for Frank has two separately powered halves, allowing the two drivers to split up and travel through narrow passages.
  • Freudian Excuse: Judith attributes Frank's anger problems to his witnessing the aftermath of his father's violent murder as a child.
  • Fruit Cart: During the final chase scene, the protagonists knock over a magazine stand with their van.
  • Genius Ditz: Malcolm, although it's unclear how much is genuine ditziness and how much is Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Getaway Driver: Malcolm works as one when he first starts helping Frank and Judith.
  • Missing Mom: Malcolm has been living alone in his mother's house ever since she died last year.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Malcolm's cockatoo, Arnold, knows how to say "Thanks a lot!"
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Malcolm's house is full of toy vehicles on tracks that he uses for everything from fetching the mail to buying milk.
  • Tap on the Head: Malcolm asks Frank to show him how to rob a bank, so Frank makes a Finger Gun in his jacket and orders him and Judith to put their hands up. Unfortunately for him, a bystander mistakes him for a mugger and knocks him out with a shovel.
    Judith: Watch out, Frank, behind you!
    Frank: That's the oldest trick in the book, Judy, come on.