The 8 Worst Chevy Chase Movies, Ranked
Chevy Chase based an entire comedy career on falling down. He became a Not Ready for Primetime Player by faceplanting into a pothole to entertain Lorne Michaels. He tumbled his way through a season’s worth of Gerald Ford on SNL to win America’s heart. And he fell hard for Goldie Hawn in his movie debut, the charming Foul Play. Unfortunately for Chase, however, the rest of his movie career features more belly flops than graceful landings. There are plenty of candidates for the worst movies of his career, even when you leave out dumb cameos in disasters like Not Another Not Another Movie and voicework in atrocious animation like Panda Vs. Aliens.
All of which is to say, here are the 8 worst tumbles in the Chevy Chase cinematic catalog…
Spies Like Us
Dan Aykroyd originally wrote this stinker, one of his “explosions are hilarious” spectaculars, to star in with John Belushi. Chase stepped in years later, candidly admitting that after years of failed comedies, “It’s a lot easier to work with somebody else you can flop with.” Mission accomplished, according to The Washington Post: “That Chase is godawful is no surprise — he's been running on empty for years with variations on that tired ‘I'm Chevy Chase and you're not’ riff.”
Man of the House
Your career might be in the dumps when you play second banana to Home Improvement-era Jonathan Taylor Thomas. At least there’s this from Low IQ Canadian: “Only the smoldering sexual tension between Chevy Chase and George Wendt keeps Man of the House from being a complete waste of time.”
Deal of the Century
Would you buy arms from Chevy Chase? “A stupid, unfunny affair,” raves Gannett News Service.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man
This one could have been something, considering the talents of original writer William (The Princess Bride) Goldman and original director Ivan (Ghostbusters) Reitman. But Chase ran them both off with his own ideas about invisibility and loneliness. Goldman was happy to leave, as he revealed in his book Which Lie Did I Tell: “I’m too old and too rich for this shit.”
Nothing But Trouble
Hot off an Oscar nom for Driving Miss Daisy, Aykroyd decided to try his hand at directing with a film that indeed was Nothing But Trouble. According to Chase’s authorized biography, “Chevy knew it was going to be the worst film he would ever make.” Well, maybe fourth worst.
From its ludicrous premise (an air traffic controller gets telekinetic powers after being doused in radioactive goo), to its on-set danger (Chase almost died thanks to clammy skin and a string of landing lights wrapped around his arms, resulting in near electrocution), everything about Modern Problems was a disaster. The Boston Globe complained, “What is comedy coming to?”
Oh Heavenly Dog
Chevy Chase plays a dog. Roger Ebert summed it up as “a total miscalculation from beginning to end.”
Under the Rainbow
Whose idea was it to create a farce about the backstage antics of 124 horny Munchkin actors during the filming of The Wizard of Oz? Even before it became one of Hollywood’s worst movies of all time, the production was beset with problems. Chase’s co-star Carrie Fisher was scoring LSD from the little-people actors, indicative of the rowdy behavior of the Munchkin cast. Endless filming days meant double the production and double the budget. “They’re half the size of normal people, so everything takes twice as long,” Chase eloquently complained. “It takes twice as long for them to run across the set in a chase scene.”
How was Chase? Critic Nathan Rabin wrote, “Chase was one of the biggest movie stars in the world when he made Under The Rainbow and it’s hard to understand his participation here as anything other than a fierce expression of his hatred for both himself and people deluded enough to want to pay good money to see him in movies where he stops just short of napping onscreen to convey his apathy.”
It’s currently rocking a perfect zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes.