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Dennis the Menace Details


John Hughes continues the trend he began with the John Hughes series in Dennis the Menace, the Hughes-scripted film version of Hank Ketcham's long-running comic strip, cartoon show, and television comedy. The film opens as Dennis (Mason Gamble) is seen careening down a sidewalk in a beautiful and idealistic suburban town on his training-wheeled bike -- cans on string clattering behind him, baseball cards flapping in the spokes of the wheel, his red wagon filled to the brim and his dog following him. "Hey! Mister Wilson!" he screams and slams his bike to a halt in front of his much put-upon neighbor, Mr. Wilson (Walter Matthau). Half of the film concerns vignettes of small-town Hank Ketcham life as Dennis' mom Alice (Lea Thompson) starts a new job, Dennis stays over at his friend Margaret's (Amy Sakasitz) house, and Mr. Wilson and his gentle, well-meaning wife, Martha (Joan Plowright), mind Dennis during the night of a big garden party. Through all this, Dennis continually gets into Mr. Wilson's hair. But then the John Hughes plot kicks in -- with an unsubtle dose of O. Henry -- when Switchblade Sam (Christopher Lloyd) makes an appearance. Switchblade Sam is a homeless drifter who combs the neighborhood stealing purses and small home items. But when Switchblade Sam steals Mr. Wilson's collection of gold coins, Dennis comes to the rescue and inflicts Dennis the Menace-type tortures upon the thief in order to reclaim the coins for Mr. Wilson. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:June 24, 1993


Walter Matthau
as Mr. Wilson
Mason Gamble
as Dennis Mitchell
Joan Plowright
as Mrs. Martha Wilson
Christopher Lloyd
as Switchblade Sam
Lea Thompson
as Alice Mitchell
Robert Stanton
as Henry Mitchell
Paul Winfield
as Chief of Police
Amy Sakasitz
as Margaret Wade
Kellen Hathaway
as Joey
Ben Stein
as Boss
Devin Ratray
as Mickey
Janet Hirshenson
Daiana Campeanu
as Babysitter
Arnold Stang
as Photographer
Natasha Lyonne
as Polly
Jane Jenkins
Melinda Mullins
as Andrea
Billie Bird
as Edith Butterwell
Bill Erwin
as Edward Little


Nick Castle, Jr.
Richard Vane
John Hughes
John Hughes
Reed Smoot
Thomas E. Ackerman
Flemming Olsen
Steve Yaconelli
Jerry Goldsmith
Composer (Music Score)
Alan Heim
James D. Bissell
Production Designer
Michael Baugh
Art Director
William Ryan
Associate Producer
Ernest Chambers
Executive Producer
Karen Fletcher
Set Designer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer