Hanky Panky
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySidney Poitier
Written byHenry Rosenbaum
David Taylor
Produced byMartin Ransohoff
CinematographyArthur J. Ornitz
Edited byHarry Keller
Music byTom Scott
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 4, 1982 (1982-06-04)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$14 million[1]
Box office$9 million (domestic)

Hanky Panky is a 1982 American comedy thriller film directed by Sidney Poitier, starring Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner. Wilder and Radner met during filming and later married.[2]


Michael Jordon, an architect, accidentally becomes involved in a web of intrigue and murder when a strange woman, who enters a taxi with him, is later found murdered. As a result, he flees from false murder charges. Kate is a woman out to find her brother's killer. Although she and Michael initially believe the other is a killer, they realize otherwise and become a team. They undertake a wild cross-country ride from New York City to the Grand Canyon.


In addition, Jonathan Winters has an uncredited cameo as a pilot.


The film was developed as a follow-up to the successful Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor film Stir Crazy. However, Pryor chose not to participate and Gilda Radner was brought in as a replacement, with her part rewritten.[3]


Vincent Canby, writing in The New York Times, gave the film a mixed review, saying it "is apt to leave you far less exhilarated than exhausted."[4]


A $2.50 paperback novelization of the screenplay was published by Pinnacle Books, somewhat in advance of the film's release (as was the custom of the era). The byline is Leslie Jarreau, which—as there are no other works in existence with that authorship—is possibly a pseudonym (novelization assignments, then as now, rarely went to previously unpublished writers, unless they were somehow connected to the film in question). An accurate record, one way or the other, would seem to be lost.


  1. ^ "AFI|Catalog". Catalog.afi.com. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. ^ Wilder, Gene. Kiss Me Like A Stranger. HarperCollins, 2005
  3. ^ Leonard Maltin (2003), Movie & Video Guide, p. 575
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent (1982-06-04). "Movie Review - Hanky Panky - POITIER'S 'HANKY PANKY'". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.