Tina Fey and Steve Carell play a married couple mistaken for spies in the new comedy Date Night. At first shown as a boring suburban husband and wife, they find themselves involved in an action plot consisting of corrupt cops, gangsters, chases and shoot outs. Sound familiar? Well, at least neither one actually turns out to be a spy, a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies and the upcoming Killers. No, they're just an average Jane and Joe unexpectedly and unwillingly thrust into a night of adventure. But they aren't the first spousal duo to find themselves in an action scenario. Just recall the following seven couples of yore:

Bob and Jill Lawrence in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1936)

In Alfred Hitchcock's first version of this suspense story, Leslie Banks and Edna Best play a British couple just trying to vacation in Switzerland with their daughter, but the family gets mixed up in a political assassination plot after befriending a foreign man staying in their hotel. The daughter ends up kidnapped (by Peter Lorre, in his first English-language film) and the couple has to rescue her and also foil the conspiracy. What's great about the original TMWKTM is how important the wife is in the action, due to her abilities as a skeet shooter. The 1956 remake (also directed by Hitch) has its own merits, of course, starring James Stewart and Doris Day as the husband and wife. The main differences with the later version is that the couple have a son instead of a daughter and the wife's talent is for singing rather than shooting.
categories Cinematical