Our choice of film to watch from our collection was See No Evil, Hear No Evil (SNE,HNE) a 1989 comedy classic. Our reason for watching was based on the sad news that its star Gene Wilder had passed away.
Many others will choose his stunning performance as the lead in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film that inspired not only a remake but a popular meme, which means you can still see Gene’s face on the internet most days.
Sadly that meme was also used to insult people on social media, who spoke of their favourite films and how the actor would be missed, other than that their only crime seemed to be they didn’t mention Gene Wilday every day. When a death happens, in my view people simply want to share their memories that the person had given them.
When a death happens, in my view people simply want to share their memories that the person had given them.It can also be a great way of finding out about their other films too, for instance, I had no idea Wilder had made a film with Harrison Ford called The Frisco Kid.
Whilst I adore his Mel Brooks films, Blazing Saddles, of which appeared to be the most loved over the social media platforms, SNE, HNE was my first real memory of a Gene Wilder film, as first time I had come across him so is the one that means the most to me, I’m sure I must have seen Wonka, but this is the one I remembered him for!
SNE, HNE was the 3rd of 4 films he would make with the also sadly departed, and also brilliant Richard Pryor. The other 3 being in order Silver Streak; Stir Crazy and their final team up together Another You.
The latter being the last time Gene would be seen on screen the first was directed by Arthur Hiller who would again direct him with Richard in SNE, HNE. Sadly, Arthur died just weeks before Gene as well.
The story features Dave (Wilder) who is deaf and Wally (Pryor) who is blind, who are witnesses to a murder right under their noses. With no other witnesses, the 2 are suspected of the murder and have to team up to find the real murderer, Eve (Joan Severance).
They can do this as Wally smelt her and she had a distinctive perfume and Dave can recognise her from behind as her legs are etched on his memory.
This involves them escaping Braddock (Alan North) the detective who does not believe them one bit.
The reason for the murder is to get a rare coin from the victim, which Eve and her partner, Kirgo (an early role for Kevin Spacey) have promised to get back to the mysterious Sutherland (Anthony Zorba).
Being blind and deaf, the Six writers credited with the story and screenplay, of which Wilder is one, are put in all sorts of situations as they try to get to the killer, from having to drive to getting into bar fights.
Some of the best lines come from Gene lip reading, leaving to one of the most memorable lines to ever be uttered on screen in ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Woman!’
This film really is funny, yet it does get attacked for the way the 2 leads disabilities are joked with, Gene in fact, turned down the film because of it, but he agreed if he could re-write the script.
Gene even went to a Hard of Hearing group to study for his role and Richard to a Braille institute to study using a cane. The films opening night proceeds were even handed to a local charity to try and make up for any upset caused.
We personally think compared to some films today, there really is nothing too offensive, in fact, you only have sympathy for the 2 characters as they are given back stories about how they became blind/deaf and how well they have done to not let it hold them back.
It was great to re-watch this comedy classic, and if anything has made us want to dig out more of Gene’s classics from his incredible catalogue, which includes the likes of Young Frankenstein; Hanky Panky and The Woman in Red which he also directed.
Are you watching a Gene Wilder film to honour his memory? Which is your favourite Gene Wilder film? We’d love to hear from you.
If you are watching a Gene Wilder Film you may want to consider making a donation to Alzheimer’s, the disease that eventually took his life.
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