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Film / Scavenger Hunt (1979)

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Mildred Carruthers: Why, that worm! What's he trying to prove? Georgie and I are his legitimate heirs (bangs fist on desk). Why should we have to play some dumb game just to get what's rightfully ours? I'm going to contest this will!
Charles Bernstein: That's the point, Mrs. Carruthers. This will is a contest.

Scavenger Hunt is a 1979 comedy film directed by Michael Schultz and starring, among others, Richard Benjamin, James Coco, Ruth Gordon, Cloris Leachman, Roddy McDowall, Richard Mulligan, and Tony Randall.

The plot centers around, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Specifically, a Scavenger Hunt arranged by the late game inventor Milton Parker (Vincent Price) for the $200 million in his will. There are five teams consisting of Mr. Parker's servants led by cook Henri (Coco) and valet Jenkins (McDowall), his greedy widowed sister Mildred (Leachman) with her dumb son Georgie and their Amoral Attorney Selsome (Benjamin), son-in-law Henry Motley (Randall) and his four kids, nephews Kenny and Jeff Stevens, and cab driver Marvin Dummitz (Mulligan). Hilarity Ensues.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki and at IMDB.


"This trope is a contest":

  • Alliterative Name: Stuart Selsome, which is appropriate because he's a Smug Snake.
  • Badass Biker: Scum, the leader of the biker gang who Selsome makes the mistake of crossing.
  • Bee Afraid: Henry goes to get a beehive out of a field, and, of course, gets stung.
  • Big Fun: One of the rules is "50 bonus points for the team with the heaviest person."
  • Chase Scene: Of the car-chase variety.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Mildred, Georgie and Selsome are in an elevator and a janitor walks over and attaches an "OUT OF ORDER" sign.
    SELSOME: "Out of order? What do you mean 'out of order'? It was working just a second ago!"
    JANITOR: "I'm sorry but it's not working now."
    SELSOME: "But it was working, just a second ago."
    JANITOR: "And a second ago I wasn't standing here talking to a moron."
  • Megane Manchild: Georgie wears glasses and is rather wimpy.
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  • Mugged for Disguise: Not for disguise, but Kenny and Jeff's team do take a policeman's uniform.
  • Mummy: Marvin tries disguising himself as one so Sam (Scatman Crothers), the guard from the bridal shop who has subsequently teamed up with Marvin, can steal a suit of armor. It doesn't work out the way they planned.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The character Marvin Dummitz and the story of how Mr. Parker's business partner had the misfortune of hailing Dummitz's cab on the day of an important meeting, and never making it to the meeting, is a parody of the real-life story of Melvin Dummar and Howard Hughes, which was later told straight in Melvin and Howard.
  • Oh, Crap!: The servants get stuck in a lab while trying to take a microscope. They stand on each other's shoulders and accidentally light the sprinkler on fire.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Well, duh. It's right there in the title. The items include a Bulletproof Vest, False Teeth, a toilet, an ostrich, laughing gas, a policeman's uniform, a fat person, and more random, improbable items.
  • Stealing from the Hotel: How the servants get a toilet. It later falls out and smashes on the road.
  • Tuckerization: The name "Milton Parker" is a combination of Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: A grenade falls off the Bulletproof Vest Kenny and Jeff get from Arvila (Ruth Gordon.) It turns out to be a dud.

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