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Quick Change is a sadly-overlooked 1990 film based on the novel by Jay Cronley and starring and co-directed by Bill Murray, in which his character Grimm and his compatriots Phyllis (Geena Davis) and Loomis (Randy Quaid) successfully pull off the ingenious robbery of a New York City bank, but then find themselves relentlessly thwarted in their attempt(s) to get to the airport and escape the country. Meanwhile, the dogged veteran cop assigned to their case (Jason Robard) isn't having such a great day himself..
A con-artist does make a brief appearance, but he does not run the scam of the same name. The movie is still darned funny.
This is the second time Cronley's book was adapted as a film. In 1985, Hold-Up was released, starring French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.
This film contains examples of:
- Asshole Victim: The yuppie among the bank hostages
- Bank Robbery
- Becoming the Mask: Phyllis starts to worry that Grimm is settling into the role of ruthlessly manipulative criminal mastermind a bit too comfortably.
- Big Applesauce: A particularly cynical depiction.
- Bob and Ray: Bob Elliot appears as the bank guard
- Cannot Spit It Out: Phyllis finds great difficulty in telling Grimm that she's pregnant.
- The Chew Toy: Quaid's character
- Crapsack World: Manhattan Island. The rest of New York City isn't that great either.
- Crazy Prepared: Grimm. It doesn't help.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's Bill Murray. Of course there's one.
Security Guard: (seeing the dynamite) What the hell kind of clown are you?!
Grimm: (deadpan) The "crying on the inside" kind, I guess.
- Disguised Hostage Gambit
- Failing a Taxi
- Fake Nationality: A memorable Tony Shalhoub
- And in-universe, the cab driver in the novel.
- Funny Background Event: A lot.
- Hero Antagonist: Rotzinger.
- Lawful Stupid: The bus driver, oh so very much.
Bus Driver: BEHIND THE WHITE LINE!!!
Grimm: You better lighten up. You're becoming Ralph Kramden's evil twin.
- The Mafia
- Monster Clown: At least as far as the bank-hostages are concerned.
- Motorcycle Jousting: In a variant, Quick Change gives us a bizarre (and apparently lethal) bicycle jousting scene. Loomis panics and yells that "it's bad luck just seeing a thing like that!"
- My Secret Pregnancy
- Never Live It Down: In-universe; Loomis' frequent response whenever Grimm gets annoyed with him is to immediately beg Grimm not to hit him. At one point Grimm, perplexed, asks Loomis why he does this, since Grimm hasn't hit anyone since he was six years old. Loomis replies that it was him that Grimm hit that time.
- Not So Different: One gets the feeling that Grimm and Rotzinger would actually get along quite well if it wasn't for the latter chasing the former for armed robbery.
- One-Book Author: The sole directing credit of Bill Murray's career.
- The Perfect Crime: The getaway, on the other hand...
- Precision F-Strike:
Phyllis: (comforting Loomis on her lap) None of this is your fault... (slaps him) Except you honked the fucking car horn.
- Road Sign Reversal
- Refuge in Audacity: How Grimm deals with some mobsters.
- Retirony: Averted with Rotzinger.
- Self-Serving Memory: The bank security guard becomes a lot more competent and heroic in dealing with the robbers when telling the police about it retroactively.
- Sick and Wrong: Loomis on seeing the bizarre jousting ceremony.
Loomis: It's bad luck just seeing a thing like that!
- A Simple Plan: The robbery itself is quite intricate and well-thought out, and goes off without a hitch. The getaway is A Simple Plan of the three essentially driving to the airport. It doesn't work out that way.
- Sympathetic Criminal: Okay, they're robbing a bank and they don't really have any grand ulterior motive for it, but Grimm and his friends are otherwise really likeable, decent and good-hearted people.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist
- Trouser Space/ Victoria's Secret Compartment: The thieves (two men and a woman) hide the stolen money by duct-taping it to their underwear (and have to hope that they don't get strip-searched).