Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Hanky Panky (1982)

Hanky Panky (1982)

Directed by Sidney Poitier, this 1982 comedy-thriller stars Gene Wilder as Chicago-based architect Michael Jordan who is in New York on a business trip.

A beautiful stranger (Kathleen Quinlan) shares a cab with him and convinces him to mail a package that contains, unbeknownst to him, secret military documents. After the girl is killed Michael is pursued as a suspect.

He meets Kate (Gilda Radner) whose brother’s death is also somehow connected to the package and who has secrets of her own. To clear his name they have to find out what was in the package, who wants it and why. The two unknowingly become mired in a high-powered plot to steal secret government computer tapes.

The villains (including Richard Widmark) are also after Jordan, and so is the US government.

In fact, the movie is essentially a two-hour chase scene as the action moves from New York to Boston to Maine to the Grand Canyon with Michael and Kate staying just one step ahead of the bad guys, screaming at each other all the time yet managing just enough ingenuity to escape.

A financial disaster at the box-office, Wilder said it was one of the worst movies that he had ever starred in. Importantly, though, this is the film where Wilder met and fell in love with his future wife, Gilda Radner.

Michael Jordon
Gene Wilder
Kate Hellman
Gilda Radner
Janet Dunn
Kathleen Quinlan
Richard Widmark
Hiram Calder
Robert Prosky
Adrian Pruitt
Josef Sommer
Johnny Sekka
Jay O. Sanders
Dr John Wolff
Sam Gray
Larry Bryggman

Sidney Poitier