A ChucksConnection Film Review


Peter Boyle wears red high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.


The Dream Team

by Hal Peterson


The Dream Team still 1

The Dream Team enters the hospital where Dr. Weitzman is staying.


The Dream Team is a comedy about four mental patients who are in group therapy together in a New York mental hospital. The four are very different. Billy Caufield (Michael Keaton) seems like a normal enough guy, but has a real problem controlling his anger, and reacts violently to adversity. Henry Sibersky (Christopher Lloyd) at first seems like one of the doctors in the mental hospital, walking around with a clipboard, quoting rules obsessively, and exhibiting compulsive behavior. Jack McDermott (Peter Boyle) is a former advertising executive, who has developed messianic tendencies, and as part of his breakdown, has lost all inhibitions. Albert Ianuzzi (Stephen Furst) has trouble talking and relating to people in a normal manner, and deals with life in terms of sports or television broadcasts. The four patients are taken by their psychiatrist Dr. Weitzman (Dennis Boutsikaris) on a field trip to Yankee Stadium, but on the way, Albert demands that they stop so he can go to the bathroom. But the bathroom in the gas station is broken, so the doctor takes Albert down an alley to take care of business. When Albert wanders off, Dr. Weitzman accidentally witnesses a murder and the perpetrators chase after him and knock him unconscious. Later he is found and taken to a hospital, but in the meantime, the four patients are left to fend for themselves in a seedy part of New York City.


TThe Dream Team still 2

The Dream Team high fives it after escaping from the authorities.


The story involves how the four cope with the real world when they are suddenly forced back into it. At first each guy goes off on his own. Billy seeks out his old girl friend Riley (Lorraine Bracco) and tries to rekindle their romance, even though she is now hooked up with a new boy friend. Henry ends up in a bar, where his obsessive-compulsive behavior almost seems to fit in. Jack goes to a revival meeting and starts preaching to the masses, but at the same time is taking off his clothes. And Albert spends his time staring in the windows of an appliance store that sells televisions. But unable to cope with society as individuals the four guys regroup to figure out what to do next. Eventually Billy realizes that Albert has the answers to what has happened to Dr. Weitzman. When he finally gets Albert to explain what went down, he realizes that the doctor is in danger for his life from the bad guys. The two villains turn out to be New York policemen who are ironically assigned to recapture the team members, once the word goes out that four mental patients are on the loose. The rest of the film is about how the dream team overcomes their individual handicaps, start to work together as a group instead of always bickering, and enlist outside forces like Riley to help save Dr. Weitzman.


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Billy and the rest of the team go visit his girl friend Riley at her boyfriend’s apartment.


The Dream Team works as a comedy, due to the great ensemble work of the cast, and the fact that their psychotic characters are believable. Although he doesn’t really seem too crazy, Michael Keaton brings a manic energy to the lead role of the guy who will take anyone on. In an early scene in the film, we see Billy smash a chair to bits during a therapy session, and Dr. Weitzman actually considers this to be progress because he expressed his emotions in a way that didn’t hurt other people. Christopher Lloyd is never happier than when he is quoting rules or picking up litter. Peter Boyle has some of the funniest lines in his role as the adman turned Messiah. When asked by his therapist to participate in the buddy system, he replies, “I didn’t have any buddies when I was on the cross.” Stephen Furst, as the “Harpo” of this zany quartet, uses mostly visual comedy in his performance, when he is not spouting some television cliché. Director Howard Zieff deserves credit for keeping the pace moving and letting the actors attain an offbeat, comic pace.


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Billy, Jack, and Henry check on the status of Dr. Weitzman.

Best Chucks Scene

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Jack is outfitted in urban guerrilla chic at the Army-Navy surplus store.

Chucks come to play in this film when Jack, after completing disrobing during his preaching at the revival meeting, is rescued by his friends from the shocked congregation. Since Jack is now clad in only an overcoat, the four duck into a nearby Army-Navy surplus store to get him some clothes. With only twelve dollars to spend, Billy quickly negotiates a deal with the owner: Give Jack an complete outfit for that amount and they all will leave. So this is how Jack ends up in camouflage pants, a blue t-shirt, camping vest, and red Chuck Taylor high tops. The best scene is when you first see him wearing this outfit reflected in a mirror in the store.

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Jack goes to visit his old ad agency.

The Dream Team. (1989) Michael Keaton, Peter Boyle, Christopher Lloyd, Dennis Boutsikaris, Lorraine Bracco.
s Directed by Howard Zieff. Category: Comedy.
ChucksConnection Rating: 3 chucks ratingMPAA Rating: PG-13

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