Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber is a 1994 American screwball comedy film directed by Peter Farrelly,[1][2] who co-wrote the screenplay with Bobby Farrelly and Bennett Yellin. Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, it tells the story of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), two dumb but well-meaning friends from Providence, Rhode Island, who set out on a cross-country trip to Aspen, Colorado, to return a briefcase full of money to its owner, thinking it was abandoned as a mistake but was actually left as ransom money. Lauren Holly, Karen Duffy, Mike Starr, Charles Rocket, and Teri Garr play supporting roles.

Dumb and Dumber
Theatrical release poster, parodying Forrest Gump
Directed byPeter Farrelly
Produced by
Written by
Music byTodd Rundgren
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
  • Katja Motion Picture Corporation[1]
  • Krevoy/Stabler/Wessler Production[2]
Distributed byNew Line Cinema[1]
Release date
  • December 16, 1994 (1994-12-16)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[3]
Box office$247.3 million[4]

The film was released on December 16, 1994. It grossed $247 million at the box office and has developed a cult following in the years since its release.[4][5] The success of Dumb and Dumber launched the career of the Farrelly brothers and solidified Carrey's.[6] The film also spawned an animated TV series, a 2003 prequel, and a 2014 sequel.


Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels), two kind but incredibly dimwitted men, are best friends and roommates living in Providence, Rhode Island. Both of them work odd jobs to save enough money to start their own pet store that specializes in worm farms. Lloyd, a chip-toothed limousine driver, immediately falls in love when he meets Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), a woman he is driving to the airport. She leaves a briefcase in the terminal. Lloyd, unaware that it contains ransom money that she was leaving for her husband Bobby's (Brad Lockerman) kidnappers, retrieves the briefcase and tries to return it to her. However, Mary's Aspen-bound plane has already departed, which Lloyd finds out the hard way as he runs through and falls out of the jetway.

Fired from his job, Lloyd returns to his apartment and learns that Harry has also been fired from his dog-grooming job after delivering dogs late to a show after stopping to buy them food from a hot dog stand, and then accidentally getting them covered in ketchup and mustard due to his erratic driving. Mary's husband's kidnappers, Joe "Mental" Mentalino (Mike Starr) and J. P. Shay (Karen Duffy), follow Lloyd home from the airport in pursuit of the briefcase. Mistaking the crooks for debt collectors for their gas bill, the duo flee the apartment and return later to find Harry's parakeet, Petey, now dead; Mental decapitated him, but they think his head fell off due to old age. Lloyd suggests they head to Aspen to find Mary and return the briefcase, hoping she can "plug them into the social pipeline." Initially, Harry opposes the idea, but he eventually agrees and the duo leaves the next day in Harry's Mutt Cutts van.

Mental and Shay catch up to the duo at a motel that night. Posing as a hitchhiker, Mental is picked up by Harry and Lloyd while Shay secretly follows them. During a lunch stop, the duo prank Mental by putting atomically hot chili peppers on his hamburger, not knowing of his ulcer. When Mental reacts adversely, they accidentally kill him with some rat poison pills (which Mental had planned to use on them), mistaking them for his prescription. Nearing Colorado, Lloyd accidentally takes a wrong turn and ends up driving all night back in the direction they came from, while the police waiting on the road to Colorado expect them to show up after finding out about Mental's death. Upon waking up and realizing Lloyd's mishap, Harry gives up on the journey and decides to walk home, but Lloyd later persuades him to continue after trading the van for a minibike, which gets great gas mileage.

The two trek through the Colorado winter to arrive in Aspen, but are unable to locate Mary in the yellow pages, as Lloyd recalls her surname incorrectly. The two spend the night in a park, and Harry attacks Lloyd after he complains of his freezing hands, and Lloyd offers him a second pair of gloves that he's had the whole time. After a short scuffle, the briefcase breaks open and they discover the money. They agree to only "borrow" a small amount of it for what they need to get by (with the full intention of paying it back), but immediately spend most of it on a presidential hotel suite, expensive clothes, makeovers, and a Lamborghini Diablo. They learn that Mary and her family are hosting a gala and prepare to attend. At the gala, Harry, attempting to lure Mary over to Lloyd, reluctantly agrees to go skiing with her the next day and lies to Lloyd that he got him a date. The next day, Lloyd finds out Harry lied to him after waiting all day for Mary at the hotel bar.

In retaliation, Lloyd pranks Harry by serving him a tea laced with laxative, causing Harry to spontaneously defecate in a broken toilet at Mary's house. Lloyd arrives at Mary's house and informs her that he has her briefcase. He takes her to the hotel, shows her the briefcase, and confesses his love for her, but she unsurprisingly rejects him because she is married. Suddenly, Nicholas Andre (Charles Rocket), an old friend of the Swansons and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping, arrives with Shay and, upon learning that Lloyd and Harry had already spent most of the ransom money and replaced it with worthless IOUs, takes Lloyd and Mary hostage, as well as Harry when he returns. An argument between Harry and Lloyd leads Nicholas to shoot Harry. Before Nicholas can kill them, an FBI team led by Beth Jordan (Victoria Rowell), whom Harry met earlier at a gas station, raids the suite and arrests him and Shay. Harry is revealed to be alive thanks to a bulletproof vest that was strapped on him before he entered the room, and Mary and Bobby are reunited. Lloyd, envious that he cannot be with Mary because she is married, fantasizes about shooting Bobby dead, but fakes his happiness for the couple instead.

The next day, Harry and Lloyd are seen walking home. All of the items they bought were confiscated by the police and their minibike has broken down. The two unknowingly decline the chance to be oil boys for a group of bikini girls, after which Harry tells Lloyd that they will get their "break" one day. Harry and Lloyd then play a friendly game of tag as they walk back home.


  • Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas: A chip-toothed slacker who has been fired from several jobs. He has a crush on Mary Swanson, unaware that she is married.
  • Jeff Daniels as Harry Dunne: Lloyd's best friend and roommate. Though dim-witted, Harry is slightly more intelligent than Lloyd and can be said to be the "Dumb" of the title to Lloyd's "Dumber". He also had a crush on Mary too, but also unaware that Mary has a husband.
  • Lauren Holly as Mary Swanson: A wealthy but troubled heiress whose husband Bobby has been kidnapped. She was Harry and Lloyd's crush and both of them were unaware she was married.
  • Karen Duffy as J.P. Shay: A henchwoman of Nicholas Andre.
  • Mike Starr as Joe "Mental" Mentalino: A henchman for Nicholas Andre. He has a stomach ulcer and regularly takes medication for it.
  • Charles Rocket as Nicholas Andre: A greedy, wealthy resident of Aspen, Colorado and the mastermind behind Bobby's kidnapping.
  • Teri Garr as Helen Swanson: Mary's stepmother.
  • Victoria Rowell as Beth Jordan (credited as "Athletic Beauty"): An FBI agent masquerading as a talkative young woman moving to Aspen to get away from her boyfriend.
  • Cam Neely as Sea Bass: A hot-tempered trucker who gets into frequent confrontations with Lloyd and Harry on their way to Aspen. Their first encounter was at a Pennsylvania diner.
  • Joe Baker as Barnard
  • Harland Williams as the motorcycle police officer
  • Brad Lockerman as Bobby Swanson: Mary's kidnapped husband
  • Lin Shaye as Mrs. Neugeboren (referred to by Harry as "Mrs. Noogieburger"): A dog owner and client of Harry's.
  • Hank Brandt as Karl Swanson: Mary's father
  • Felton Perry as Detective Dale
  • Brady Bluhm as Billy: a blind and young boy who uses a wheelchair, to whom Lloyd sold some of his and Harry's belongings, including Harry's decapitated parakeet. It appears on the news when Harry and Lloyd arrive in Aspen.
  • Connie Sawyer as elderly lady
  • Sean Gildea as Sea Bass' friend.


The Farrelly Brothers had been trying for years to get their first movie made, and it was only when director Peter Farrelly's agent encouraged him to make a movie himself along with his brother Bobby.

The Farrelly Brothers didn't know who Jim Carrey was, they were only told that he was known as "The White Guy" in In Living Color, it was only after when the Brothers were invited to watch the screening of Carrey's first major acting role and the first of his 1994 hits Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, they realized they had struck gold. Based on the box-office success of the first movie that made him famous, Carrey was able to negotiate a salary of $7 million for this film.[7]

Jeff Daniels was only paid around $50,000. New Line Cinema originally did not want Daniels in the film, as he was known only for his dramatic work at the time. However, the Farrelly brothers and Carrey wanted Daniels for the part. Although New Line agreed to their demands, Daniels was offered the low salary in the hopes it would discourage him from signing on to the film. Daniels ultimately accepted the role, despite his agent reportedly dissuading him out of fears it would have killed his career.[8]

Steve Martin and Martin Short both turned down the role of Lloyd.[9] According to Splitsider, Nicolas Cage and Gary Oldman were the original choices for Harry and Lloyd.[10] Chris Elliott and Rob Lowe were both also considered for the role of Harry.[10]

Jim Carrey's chipped tooth is genuine, resulting from a fight with a classmate in his childhood, but he had since had it capped. He simply had the crown temporarily removed from that tooth to portray Lloyd.[11]


Scenes taking place in Aspen were filmed in Breckenridge, Colorado and Park City, Utah. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was transformed into the "Danbury Hotel" for the filming of the movie. The "Danbury Hotel" bar scene and staircase shot were the shots filmed there. The scenes filmed in the snow were shot at Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado.[12]

Some of the external street scenes were filmed in Salt Lake City, and the airport scene was filmed at Salt Lake City International Airport.[13]

Some scenes from the beginning of the film were shot on location in the Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan area, including shots of the skyline and The Big Blue Bug; scenes from the beginning of their road trip were shot in locations in Cumberland, Rhode Island.[14]

Parts of the film were also shot in Ogden, Utah and American Fork Canyon.[15]


Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 22, 1994
LabelRCA Records
ProducerVarious Artists
Singles from Dumb and Dumber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "New Age Girl"
    Released: June 6, 1994
  2. "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"
    Released: January 1995

The original soundtrack to the film was released by RCA Records on November 22, 1994.[16] The soundtrack album's first single, "New Age Girl" by Deadeye Dick, was a chart hit, reaching number 27 in the US, while the music video for the Crash Test Dummies' version of "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" featured Jeff Daniels reprising his role of Harry.[17]

The soundtrack album has generally seen positive reception from critics. Joe Bishop of Vice named the album his favorite movie soundtrack, while the same site's Cameron Matthews described it as "The official soundtrack is a perfect slice of the mid-'90s sound: bubbly pop rock with jangly chords and just enough grit, or aka the thing you can give your kids when they one day ask you what the '90s were like."[17][18]

Though not present on the soundtrack, the film famously features Carrey and Daniels singing an a capella version of "Mockingbird" to Mike Starr's character.[17] Also missing on the soundtrack is Apache Indian's "Boom Shack-A-Lak," which accompanies the film's opening sequence.

Beck had been approached about including his song "Loser" on the soundtrack, but he refused. He recalled the process, "I remember getting a phone call one day. My manager said, 'There's a film. They want to use 'Loser' as the theme song.' There was a long pause, and he said, 'The name of the film is Dumb And Dumber.' And I just remember: That sums up what the world thinks of me at this point. I tried to have fun with it, tried to not take it too serious. But at the same time, it was a little disheartening sometimes."[19]


Critical response

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 67% of 52 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "A relentlessly stupid comedy elevated by its main actors: Jim Carrey goes bonkers and Jeff Daniels carries himself admirably in an against-type performance."[20] On Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, it has a score of 41 based on reviews from 14 critics, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[21]

Roger Ebert gave the film two of four stars for the hit or miss comedic elements, but praised the performances of Carrey and Daniels, dubbing the former a "true original", and writing that the dead parakeet joke "made me laugh so loudly I embarrassed myself. I just couldn't stop."[22] Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Carrey "the new Jerry Lewis",[23] and Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "riotous", "rib-splitting", and gave the film praise for being both a crude and slapstick comedy and a "smart comedy" at the same time.[24] Carrey was nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star".[25]

It has since become a cult film.[5]


Although the film did not secure any major American film awards, it was successful at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards. Carrey won for Best Comic Performance, Carrey and Holly (a couple who would later endure a short-lived marriage) won for Best Kiss, and Carrey and Daniels were nominated for Best On-Screen Duo.

In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Dumb and Dumber the fifth greatest comedy film of all time. The film ranks 445th on Empire Magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[26]

Box office

The film opened at No. 1 in its opening weekend earning $16.4 million.[27] It went on to gross $127,175,374 in the United States, and $247,275,374 worldwide, and topping the holiday season film gross.[28]


Animated series

In 1995, a Hanna-Barbera-produced animated series aired on ABC, as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup; Matt Frewer provided the voice of Lloyd, while Bill Fagerbakke voiced Harry. In the cartoon, Harry and Lloyd have reacquired their van, now named "Otto". The cartoon also features a new character, Kitty, a female pet purple beaver who appears to be smarter than both men. The animated series was written by Bennett Yellin, co-writer of the film. The show was short-lived and was shelved after one season.


In 2003, a prequel was theatrically released, entitled Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. The film featured a cast and crew different from the previous film, and the Farrelly brothers had no involvement in the film's production. It was panned by critics, receiving a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[29] It grossed approximately $39.2 million worldwide against a $19 million budget, as opposed to the original film's far greater $247 million worldwide gross against a $17 million budget.[30]


In October 2011, the Farrelly brothers confirmed that they would make a sequel to Dumb and Dumber.[31] The sequel, titled Dumb and Dumber To, was shot in the fall of 2013. Carrey and Daniels returned to lead the film, and Bobby and Peter Farrelly returned to direct along with original screenwriter Bennett Yellin, and actors reprising their roles from the first film include Brady Bluhm, who played Billy in (Apartment) 4C, and Cam Neely, who played Sea Bass. Dumb and Dumber To was released on November 14, 2014.[32] Compared to the original film, Dumb and Dumber To was met with generally negative reviews from critics, although it did well commercially.

Unlike the original film, Dumb and Dumber To was not released by Warner Bros. Pictures, but rather by Universal Pictures.[33] Despite Warner Bros. having no involvement in the film, its New Line Cinema division, which produced the first film and the prequel, was still given studio credit from Universal.[34][35]


  1. "Dumb and Dumber (1994)". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  2. "Dumb & Dumber (1994)". British Film Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  3. Box Office Information for Dumb and Dumber. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  4. Dumb and Dumber at Box Office Mojo
  5. Alexander, Brian (November 16, 2014). "'Dumb and Dumber To' is top of box office class". USA Today. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  6. "Jim Carrey Biography". Bio. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  7. Cameron-Wilson, James; Speed, F. Maurice (1994). Film Review 1994-5. Great Britain: Virgin Books. p. 146. ISBN 0-86369-842-5
  8. "Jim Carrey Was Paid 140 Times More Than Jeff Daniels For Original 'Dumb And Dumber'". Business Insider.
  9. Katz, Paul (January 6, 2006). "Is the new Dumb and Dumber DVD an improvement?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  10. Evans, Bradford (June 23, 2011). "The Lost Roles of Dumb & Dumber". Splitsider. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  11. Meyers, Kate (February 3, 1995). "Jim Carrey's fake tooth". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  12. Adventure-Journal Archived September 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Adventure-Journal 10 Mountains Misrepresented in Movies
  13. Wolf, Colin (November 12, 2014). "When Utah Was Dumber: Take a tour of Utah's most iconic Dumb & Dumber shot locations". Salt Lake City Weekly. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. Zarrella, Mia (July 14, 2015). "10 Movies You Might Not Know Were Filmed In Rhode Island". WWKX. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  15. D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  16. Playlist as listed on the Compact Disc — retrieved on 8/12/13
  17. Matthews, Cameron. "That John Denver Was Full of Shit: A Definitive Guide to the 'Dumb and Dumber' Soundtrack". Vice. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  18. Bishop, Jeff. "My Favorite Movie Soundtrack: 'Dumb And Dumber'". Vice. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  19. Breihan, Tom. "Beck Discusses Failing To Get Aphex Twin To Produce Him In The '90s And Denying Dumb And Dumber "Loser" For Its Theme Song". Stereogum. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  20. "Dumb and Dumber". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  21. "Critic Reviews for Dumb & Dumber". Metacritic. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  22. "Dumb And Dumber". Chicago Sun-Times.
  23. Holden, Stephen (December 16, 1994). "FILM REVIEW; Traveling on Half a Tank". The New York Times.
  24. "FILM REVIEW -- 'Dumb and Dumber' a Smart Comedy With Lowbrow Laughs". San Francisco Chronicle. June 23, 1995.
  25. Reed, Ryan (November 3, 2014). "In Defense of the Stupid Brilliance of Dumb and Dumber". Esquire. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  26. "Empire Features". Empireonline.com. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  27. Scott Bowles (November 13, 2014). "Can 'Dumb And Dumber To' Outwit Holdovers?: Box Office Preview". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  28. Weinraub, Bernard (January 3, 1995). "'Dumb and Dumber' Tops Holiday Film Grosses". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  29. "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  30. "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  31. Fleming, Jr., Mike. "Peter And Bobby Farrelly Plan More 'Dumb And Dumber' For Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels". Deadline. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  32. Kristobak, Ryan (November 19, 2013). "'Dumb And Dumber To' Release Date Set For Nov. 14, 2014". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  33. Fleming, Jr., Mike. "TOLDJA! 'Dumb And Dumber To' Proves No-Brainer For Universal; Studio Locks Deal For Farrellys, Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels Pic". Deadline. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  34. Goldberg, Matt. "New Poster for DUMB AND DUMBER TO; First Trailer Premieres Tonight". Collider.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  35. "Dumb and Dumber To Poster". Collider.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
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