Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Dirty Work (1998)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Dirty Work (1998)

In director Bob Saget's R-rated buddy black comedy farce (his directorial debut film) - it told about two life-long friends, who after a streak of bad luck and a history of seeking personal revenge, opened up a revenge-for-hire business known as "Dirty Work" in a small Midwestern town:

  • in the film's opening title credits, there were brief flashbacks to young Mitch Weaver (Bradley Reid) and Sam McKenna (Joseph Sicilia) who were childhood best friends at 8 years of age in elementary school; Sam's "tough guy" father Pops McKenna (Jack Warden) had taught him: "No matter where you go, no matter what you do, don't take no crap from nobody"; the two vowed to get revenge at those who "messed" with them; to get class bully Derek (Michael Vollans) in trouble and arrested, they planted pistols in his desk; and Mitch caught a pedophile school crossing guard (Robert Shipman) who often grabbed kids' asses "red-handed" and in the act by putting Super-glue on the back of his pants; and to seek revenge against an "ornery babysitter" they didn't like, they took a Polaroid snapshot of her on the toilet

Bully Arrested for Guns in Desk

Pedophile Crossing Guard Caught Red-Handed

Babysitter Photographed on Toilet
  • after teenaged Mitch's (Matt Steinberg) single mother died, he moved in with Pops McKenna and his father Sam (Austin Pool) who took further revenge against a Parking Patrol meter maid who wrote too many tickets, by putting popcorn kernels into her car's radiator; they also acquired Matt's cousin's homosexual German Shepherd to teach a menacing neighborhood Doberman "some humility"

Mitch Weaver (Norm Macdonald)

Sam McKenna (Artie Lange)
  • in their adult lives, Mitch Weaver (Norm Macdonald) lost his job at Aldo's Pizza for the tardy delivery of an order; he was dumped by his upset girlfriend Toni-Ann (Polly Shannon) after losing 14 jobs in three months ("I'm through wasting my life with you"); unemployed and a major loser, Mitch was again forced to move back in with elderly, "creepy," impotent but sex-crazed Pops and his best friend Sam McKenna (Artie Lange)
  • at Mazetti's Bar with Sam, the downtrodden Mitch now in his 30s expressed how envious he was of people who didn't "take crap from anybody" - something he used to easily practice as a kid; Mitch mocked their friend Jimmy (Chris Farley in his final film) at the end of the bar, with a bandage over his bit-off nose, by shouting out: "I could've got my nose bit off by a Saigon whore"
  • to a new acquaintance named Kathy (Traylor Howard), Mitch described his envy for the town's rich real estate mogul Travis Cole (Christopher McDonald) seen on TV; he theorized to Kathy: "There are two kinds of people in this world: those who get stomped on and those who do the stomping"; when asked where he derived his ideas, he answered a "famous guy" named Jesus said it
  • in the bar, Sam was about to get involved in a competitive brawl with another guy (and his frat brothers) over a female's attention, while their friend Jimmy chose to accompany the fight with music; he enthusiastically pressed buttons on the bar's jukebox machine to hear the Rolling Stones' Street Fightin' Man, but accidentally hit G8 instead of G7, and cued up Rupert Holmes' Escape (The Pina Colada Song); both Mitch and Sam were assaulted, overwhelmed and humiliated by a large group of college frat guys
  • to seek revenge, Mitch called the frat house to warn them about dudes dressing up in fake police uniforms; then, they filed a noise complaint with the local cops and watched as the fraternity brothers were confronted by real cops and beaten up in a melee; dressed in fake uniforms themselves, Mitch and Sam joined in the brawl and arrest
  • unfortunately, Pops suffered a heart attack (while watching 1982's Aerobicise on TV) in his home and was taken to the Lakeview Hospital; he confessed privately to Mitch that due to his swinging lifestyle, he had previously had sex with Mitch's mom and had impregnated her - proven by a picture in his locket of him in the act: ("Besides, back then they didn't have these fancy birth control methods. Like pullin' out"); Mitch was told that the very "sensitive" Sam was unaware and shouldn't be informed
  • Pops' corrupt, compulsive gambling-addicted heart surgeon Dr. Farthing (Chevy Chase) extorted Mitch and Sam for $50,000 dollars in order to place Pops on the active transplant list within just two weeks, thereby saving him from retaliation by his bookie; the two young men were forced to start looking for employment
  • one of their regular juvenile pranks was to drive by a movie line, while Sam mooned his bare ass out the car window to the patrons: ("How's that lookin', baby! Whoo-hoooo!"), Mitch stopped the car and exited, leaving Sam parked directly in front of the sidewalk line - he was embarrassed as he opened the car door and ran away while pulling up his pants and apologizing to the moviegoers after being pranked: "He was supposed to keep drivin'"
  • on their first job at a construction site, Mitch admitted that they had lied on their resumes about their experience; then, they applied for a job as taste-testers (for a payment of $50) at a Clinical Testing Facility of Grandma Mabel's brownies - an hallucinogenic product promoted as a new fat substitute - Mitch suffered severe side effects, including mild itching, nausea, chills, severe sweating, a face rash and a hellish hallucination of Satan (Adam Sandler): "Come with me! You belong with me! Burn! BURN!"
  • their next employment opportunity was at a movie theatre where they were subjected to an insulting and denigrating speech delivered by tyrannical and abusive movie theatre manager Mr. Hamilton (Don Rickles) about his "managing style" to new employees, including Mitch and the overweight Sam (in particular): "So there you are, tubby. You look like a bucket of lard on a bad day. You baby gorilla. Why don't you work in a zoo, and stop bothering people? Got a call yesterday from Baskin Robbins. They said that they're down to only five flavors. You're swelling up as I talk to you"
Movie Theatre Manager Mr. Hamilton's (Don Rickles) Speech to New Employees, Including Mitch and Sam, and Their Subsequent Revenge
  • they sought revenge and managed to have Mr. Hamilton immediately fired by changing the scheduled movie at the theatre; instead, they projected a gay porn film comedy with the title screen Men In Black (Who Like To Have Sex With Each Other) to a packed house of shocked patrons
  • shortly later after a "light bulb" moment, Mitch proposed to Sam that they open a Revenge-for-Hire business for a living (known as Dirty Work, Inc.) to raise the $50,000 dollars to save Pops' life: "I have a feeling that people are gonna pay us a lot of money to do their dirty work"; they set up a shop-front store business on the town's main street
  • to prepare for their first act of revenge, they chose the shady car dealership where Mitch's recent friend Kathy worked as an accountant and was treated harshly by the bossy owner; they hired prostitutes for $20 dollars each to pose as dead bodies during the auto dealer's live TV commercial; Mitch explained his motive to receive free air time: "This is so we can get a free commercial for Dirty Work on live television"
"Revenge For Hire" Business: "Dead Hookers" Were Planted in Trunks of Luxury Cars During the Filming of a TV Commercial
  • as the shady Phillips Motors' spokesperson Anton Phillips (David Koechner) promoted their selection of luxury automobiles, Mitch interrupted by asking about the trunk size - the trunks of the cars were opened to reveal they were "loaded" with "dead hookers" inside; Mitch exclaimed: "I've never seen so many dead hookers in my life"; a bystander reacted with a dead-panned statement: "Lord knows I have"; Mitch used the footage to advertise his ownbusiness "Dirty Work": "This is not part of the commercial. Some jerk making your life miserable? You want revenge? Call 555-0187 and let us do your dirty work"; a side joke was that Jimmy recognized the "Saigon whore" in the commercial who had bitten off his nose
  • as a result of their prank, Mitch and Sam boasted to Pops: "We found our calling"; Kathy arrived at the Dirty Work store and was mad about the "disgusting stunt in the car lot" that forced Anton to sell his business and put her out of a job (she was frustrated: "Did I deserve that?") - she called Mitch a "jerk"
  • Dirty Work was then hired by a "dwarf" or "midget" client (Arturo Gil) to seek revenge against a Bearded Lady in a local circus carnival; at the showgrounds, the abusive, drunken bearded lady Heather (Rebecca Romijn) approached Mitch and propositioned him: "Hey, baby. You ever had a chick with a beard before?...Well then, sugar, you haven't lived"; Mitch replied: "Note to self: I don't want to live"; shortly later, she awoke and screamed that her beard had been shaved off

Mobsters In Mansion: ("It smells like fish in here")

Mitch and Sam Planting Dead Fish in Mansion

Tiptoeing Out After a Deadly, Off-Screen Shoot-out
  • then, Mitch and Sam were hired by a man who complained about noisy neighbors with wild parties and loud music; their plan was to plant dead fish in the interior of the next-door mansion, and then hide as two mob groups arrived and engaged in a drug deal; when one of the gangsters smelled fish ("It smells like fish in here"), the other dealer suspected a signal or that he was wearing a wire, and there was a brutal, massive, and deadly shoot-out (off-screen); as the two pranksters stood there and listened to the mayhem, their expressions changed from glee to abject horror; after the violence subsided, they tiptoed out - with squishing sounds heard as they walked through the blood-soaked living room
  • during their next revenge-for-hire job, they were requested by an elderly house resident (living in her home for 62 years) to stop the razing of an entire block in town, including her house; on the site, unscrupulous, millionaire local real-estate property developer Travis Cole was planning to build a parking lot for an Opera House; after sabotaging the developer's bulldozer with popcorn, Sam and Mitch were jailed for a "dangerous act of mischief"; however, it was reported on the news that some regarded their sabotage as an "heroic example of civil disobedience"; others regarded the "villain" to be the builder of the parking lot - Travis Cole; however, Cole was viewed nobly when he dropped charges against them and released them from jail
  • due to the publicity they had received, Cole summoned Mitch and Sam to his office and hired them (as "mischief makers"), in exchange for $50,000 dollars, to destroy 'his' low-income apartment building at 99 Franklin Street that he claimed he owned; he said it was overrun with drug dealers, gangs, and even a house of prostitution; Cole admitted he wanted to condemn the building, reduce its property values so that he could buy it cheaply, evict everyone, fix up the building, and then rent out the apartments to "honest, hardworking people"
  • meanwhile in the hospital, Pops and Dr. Farthing were told that they had acquired the money needed for the heart transplant; Kathy arrived in the Dirty Work office to thank Mitch for saving the elderly woman's home; he walked with her to her grandmother's apartment - and suddenly realized that he had been hired by Cole to destroy her home at 99 Franklin Street; at the time, it was suspected that the 60 year-old grandmother was running a call-girl operation there, but she was actually running a "sewing business"
  • to the tune of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," Sam and Mitch, posing as Termite Control workers, vacated the apartment building and began to destroy it, as part of Cole's master-plan to condemn the building and build a parking lot for the re-opening of his beloved Chelsea Opera House; however, to their shock, they discovered that Cole had lied to them - the semi-destroyed apartment building was actually owned by landlord Mr. James Kirkpatrick
  • after being thrown out of Cole's office building, Mitch attempted to recruit a group of homeless men (Jim Downey and Fred Wolf) outside with a $1 dollar payment to run into Cole's building and harrass him by yelling and screaming; one man responded: "That's very nice, but I think what you probably need are like some psycho, out-of-control homeless guys. Yeah, we're more the broken, spiritless 'I've lost the will to live' type homeless guys"; however, for $2 dollars, the group entered the building and cleared the way for Mitch and Sam to speak to Cole in his upstairs office
  • Mitch and Sam demanded their $50,000 dollars but were denied and then thrown out; Mitch was unaware until later that he had left his recorder on and had captured Cole's damning lies: ("I don't even own the building on 99 Franklin. I told you I did, but I lied. Good luck trying to prove it")
  • back in Pops' hospital room, the two confessed that they "messed up" and didn't have the money; Pops finally revealed to his son Sam the locket photo proving that he had had sexual relations with Mitch's mother, but Sam was miffed about losing his special relationship with his dad; shortly later, Sam changed his mind and was appreciative that they were "officially" half-brothers
  • as the feud escalated and retribution against Cole was sought, the plan was to get the $50,000, save the apartment building, and ruin Cole's pre-opening night (Don Giovanni) of his opera house; Mitch challenged everyone in the apartment building to seek revenge: ("That's what I'm asking all of us to do right now, stand up for ourselves. Travis Cole screwed all of us. I say it's time we fight back. Are you with me?"); he rallied together and assembled a motley group of loyal helpers to ruin the opera - prostitutes, bandaged-nosed friend Jimmy, homeless men and Pops, plus a stack of Grandma's laced brownies for Cole's associates
  • during the opera, Jimmy exulted as he released skunks into the audience, causing a mass exodus of patrons; Cole's deception was also revealed by playing back his tape-recorded confession on both the audio recorder and on the opera house's sound system; Cole was forced to agree to write out a check for $50,000 to Dr. Farthing, and to return the apartment property to its rightful owner Kirkpatrick
  • many issues were resolved as the film ended: Cole was arrested and jailed for fraud, while Jimmy restored his nose for $200 dollars and was "getting hitched" to the Saigon whore Lin-Yung - but then she angrily bit off his new nose; Pops received his operation, and Mitch established a romance with Kathy; in the film's conclusion, Mitch also revealed: (voice-over) "Oh, and Dr. Farthing. He got over his gambling problem, but the bookies beat him to death anyway. So, he's dead. That's it. Bye!"

(l to r): Young 8 Year-Olds Sam McKenna and Mitch Weaver

Sam's Boxer-father Pops McKenna (Jack Warden): "Dont take no crap from nobody!"

Unemployed Loser Mitch Thrown Out by His Upset Girlfriend Toni-Ann

Mitch's Acquaintance Kathy (Traylor Howard) in Bar

Jimmy at Mazetti's Bar Jukebox Pressing the Wrong Song Button

Compulsive Gambler and Heart Surgeon Dr. Farthing (Chevy Chase)

Sam Mooning Moviegoers in Line

Sam Apologizing : "He Was Supposed to Keep Driving"

Taste-Testing Grandma Mabel's Brownies

Mitch's Hallucination of Satan (Adam Sandler) After Eating Brownies

Dirty Work, Inc. - "Revenge-For-Hire" Business

Jimmy Recognizing the "Saigon Whore" During Car Dealership's Live TV Commercial

Bearded Lady (Rebecca Romijn) to Mitch: "You ever had a chick with a beard before?"

The Unbearded Lady

Millionaire Real-Estate Developer Travis Cole (Christopher McDonald)

Cole Releasing Sam and Mitch From Jail

Mitch's Girlfriend Kathy Walking With Him to Her Grandmother's Apartment Building

The Apartment Building - After Its Semi-Destruction

"Broken, Spiritless 'I've Lost the Will to Live" Type Homeless Guys (Jim Downey and Fred Wolf)

Mitch Playing Back Cole's Damning Audio-Taped Lies to Ruin His Takeover of Apartment Building


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