Goldie Hawn is thrown Overboard into a world of hard work

Goldie Hawn is thrown Overboard into a world of hard work

Goldie Hawn is thrown Overboard into a world of hard work.

With memorable performances in movies like Private Benjamin, Wildcats, Housesitter and Death Becomes Her, Goldie Hawn could justifiably be called the queen of big-screen comedy in the 80s and 90s.

One of her most hilarious turns of all came in the 1987 movie Overboard, in which she suffered an ignominious fall from the comfortable, luxurious life of a rich heiress to a world of filth and squalor.

Falling from grace.

Hawn plays Joanna Stayton, a wealthy but spoilt woman who spends her days relaxing on her luxury yacht. She hires a carpenter, Dean Proffitt, played by Kurt Russell, to remodel her closet but refuses to pay him for the work, prompting an argument that ends with Dean being pushed off the yacht.

The following day, Dean discovers that Joanna herself has fallen overboard and, after being fished out of the water, has been taken to the local hospital with amnesia. When no-one is able to determine her identity, Dean spots an opportunity for revenge and claims that Joanna is his wife, taking her back to the filthy, chaotic home he shares with his four sons.

Persuaded that she is Dean’s other half, Joanna sets about tackling the dirt and disorder in the house, leading to this hilarious sequence.

Seeing as she has relied on servants her entire life, Joanna clearly has no idea how to do even the most basic domestic chores. She clears cobwebs with a pair of scissors, defrosts the freezer with a hair dryer and even attempts to suck up a banana skin with a vacuum    cleaner.

When Dean and the boys leave the dinner table in a mess, Joanna simply gathers everything up in the tablecloth, throws it in the sink and hoses it down. At one point she is even attacked by a runaway washing machine, which she attempts to fend off with an axe.

A fan favourite.

Overboard is undeniably a film of its time. It’s not quite a comedy classic, and its gender politics are certainly questionable in this day and age, but it has become something of a cult favourite over the years.

It was remade in 2018 with the roles reversed, starring Anna Faris as a cleaner who gets revenge on a wealthy yacht owner by convincing him he is her working-class husband.

The remake didn’t quite match the charm of the original, though, which gets by on the charisma of Goldie Hawn as the beleaguered,bedraggled Joanna.


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Posted by Becky Cheall