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Film / Who's Harry Crumb?

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Who's Harry Crumb? is a 1989 comedy-mystery film featuring John Candy as the title character. Directed by Paul Flaherty and co-stars Annie Potts, Jeffrey Jones, and Shawnee Smith. Needs a Better Description.


Tropes found in Who's Harry Crumb? include:

  • Acrofatic: Harry, of course, played by the late John Candy.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Harry attempts to spy on his client's Gold Digger wife and her lover (whom he suspects to be the kidnappers of the client's daughter) by pretending to be a repairman and crawling in the vents, which are big enough to accommodate someone the size of John Candy. Subverted in that he actually can't get a good look inside the room due to the awkward positioning of the airholes, so he resorts to using a camera (and then doesn't bother to look at the pictures to find out that the kidnapper is his boss). When the kidnapper turns up the A/C, Harry is rapidly propelled along the vents to the point that he literally flies out at the end.
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  • Bound and Gagged: Elliott winds up tied to a chair, gagged with duct tape, and then suspended in mid-air so that all he can do is get the chair to swinging. The lipstick mark left on the duct tape right over his mouth adds a bit more humor to the situation.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Harry's black belt in Akido... and the boots to match.
  • Clueless Detective: Harry Crumb is largely this trope. Though he does have some moments of deductive prowess.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: Leads to this exchange:
    Harry Crumb: “You can have your lab inspect this note as much as you want but they may never discover what I already know.”
    Detective Casey: “And what is that, Mr. Crumb?”
    Harry Crumb: “You find that crazy typewriter and you’ll have your kidnappers."
  • Hear Me the Money: When Crumb comes upon one stack of bills that he says is short by one, Detective Casey rolls her eyes and insists it's insane to think he could know that just by flipping through it. They count out the bills by hand, and sure enough, there's one bill missing.
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  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Harry gets soaked by lawn sprinklers and shakes his pants off facing away from the door whilst making noises as Nikki answers the door.
  • Precision F-Strike: The pilot.
    "What the fuck is that?"
  • Questioning Title?
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Harry.
  • Title Drop
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Vince drains the brake fluid in Downing's classic car but leaves some pressure for level roads. The idea is that, once he goes down on a steep hill, the pressure won't be enough to brake. It might have worked, but Harry asks Downing to take his car for a spin. He's the one who ends up in trouble when going downhill but miraculously survives when the impact with a tree is dampened by the perpetrators' car.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Harry tries to show off aikido to Eliot in the office, so he does a backflip over the couch. The landing causes Eliot's dinosaur egg to fall, but is luckily caught.
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