Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scavenger Hunt (1979)

Obscurity factor: 7

The runaway success of It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World led Hollywood to several copycat ventures. There was a Remington Steele episode, a movie with everyone looking for something under a big "K" somewhere (that's one of those lost films that I remember from my youth but can't find - all those lost films will become a post some day) and this film from 1979. Milton Parker (Vincent Price) has died and left a huge fortune. His will decrees that it will be given in its entirety to the winning team of a scavenger hunt he has set up. The teams include his greedy sister (Cloris Leachman), her son (Richard Masur) and her lawyer (Richard Benjamin), the old man's servants (Roddy McDowell, Clevon Little, James Coco and Stephanie Faracy), his nephews (Dirk Benedict and Willie Aames), his son in law Henry Motley (Tony Randall) and his kids and a cab driver (Richard Mulligan) who helped him out once, who is eventually joined by Scatman Crothers. As the teams head out to pillage San Diego for the items on the list they wreak all sorts of havoc on population and countryside, encountering a slew of familiar faces such as Ruth Gordon, Meatloaf, Arnold Schwarzenegger in cameo roles.
One of my favorite moments features Liz Torres (Julie, the photography studio owner on Phyllis) playing a psychic from which one of the teams needs a crystal ball. Before they can even knock, she opens the door and knows in minute detail what they want and why they want it. It's a brilliantly written little moment. Also look for Robert Morley as the lawyer and executor of the estate.

Though the film has yet to be released on DVD, it can be found on VHS. It's also uploaded to YouTube in its entirety, thanks to dalekenbuck. The poster above is available from

Obscurity factor: 7 (available on VHS and YouTube, not on DVD, buried by the sands of time)


  1. Tony Randall. 2 "a"'s, no "e".

  2. Thank you, I'll fix that...

  3. I remember seeing this in the theater when it was first released, and thought it was very funny. I think I saw a bit of it on TV back in the 1980s, but other than that it really doesn't seem to turn up anywhere. I would like to see it again. I have a feeling it would hold up.

  4. It's available on YouTube in its entirety...