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Robert's a beleaguered concierge of the luxury hotel owned by Mrs. Dubrow. She tells Robert an undercover reviewer is coming and to look sharp. If he does well he might get a promotion and some time off to take his sons, Brian and Kyle, on vacation. But then the villainous jewel-thief Rutledge checks in with his specially trained orangutan, Dunston. And when Dunston gets loose and tries to escape a life of crime with the help of Brian and Kyle, things go just a little lunatic. —Kathy Li
Dunaway Checks In!
This film is obviously never going to be a monumental classic for all time, but it's quite underrated just the same. The story is simple. A four star hotel (run by Alexander, who lives there with his two sons) is up for a prestigious fifth star in the ratings guide when a jewel thief comes to visit, utilizing an orangutan as his accomplice. The fire-breathing owner turns on the heat to succeed while all hell breaks loose thanks to the primate. There seems to be something for everyone in it. The film begins with a lot of class as the various accoutrements of the hotel are featured. Kids should adore the orangutan "Dunston" and be able to identify with young Lloyd as his pal. Seinfeld fans should enjoy watching Alexander face all sorts of turmoil and hubbub as the harried hotel manager. Everett is comic in a grand, old-style sort of way with wrinkles, false teeth and a very threatening cane. There are a number of very talented supporting players who add to the comedic flair of the movie (Shadix, Bassey.) Even former "Pee Wee" Reubens has a cameo as a very aggressive exterminator. The end-all, be-all, though, is Dunaway. As the Leona Helmsley-esque, ultra-demanding, hyper-glamorous hotel owner, she walks off with the film and shows a rare funny side. It's not every day you see Dunaway with pink cake and icing all over her face. She cuts loose with a game, vivid, aware comedic performance which echoes all the neurotic, bitchy roles she used to play, but gave up after the stigma of "Mommie Dearest" wouldn't wear off. Somehow this missed at the box office, but it is perfect family entertainment for home video.
- Jul 17, 2002
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