Excess Baggage (1997 film)

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Excess Baggage
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Marco Brambilla
Produced by Bill Borden
Carolyn Kessler
Alicia Silverstone (uncredited)
Screenplay by Max D. Adams
Dick Clement
Ian La Frenais
Story by Max D. Adams
Starring Alicia Silverstone
Benicio del Toro
Christopher Walken
Music by John Lurie
Cinematography Jean-Yves Escoffier
Edited by Stephen Rivkin
First Kiss
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 29, 1997 (1997-08-29)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $14,515,490[1]

Excess Baggage is a 1997 crime-comedy film written by Max D. Adams, Dick Clement, and Ian La Frenais, and directed by Marco Brambilla about a neglected young woman who stages her own kidnapping to get her father's attention, only to be actually kidnapped by a car thief. The film stars Alicia Silverstone (who was also an uncredited producer), Benicio del Toro, and Christopher Walken.


Emily Hope (Alicia Silverstone) stages her own kidnapping to get the attention of her father. She puts herself into the trunk of her own car (a BMW 850i), tapes her legs and mouth, handcuffs her hands and calls the police so they can come "rescue" her. But then, unexpectedly, a car thief named Vincent Roche (Benicio del Toro) steals the car with her in it. Suddenly, Emily finds herself actually kidnapped, only the kidnapper doesn’t know what to do with her. Christopher Walken shows up as Emily’s Uncle Ray, Jack Thompson as Emily’s father, and Harry Connick, Jr., as Greg, Vincent’s car-stealing partner.


  • Alicia Silverstone as Emily Hope, a rich girl with a black belt in karate and a tendency for trouble. It is established that she burned down her school library, perhaps to get the attention of her father when she was younger. Her relationship with her father is quite cold, but she has a solid friendship with her Uncle Ray and builds one with Vincent after he accidentally abducts her.
  • Benicio del Toro as Vincent Roche, a successful and experienced car thief who supports himself with his work. He is referred to as "an innocent thief" who happens to steal the car with Emily in the trunk. After this his entire life is turned upside down as he gets implicated in several schemes and becomes dependent on his "hostage" to survive.
  • Christopher Walken as Raymond "Uncle Ray" Perkins, Emily's uncle and cares for her well-being much more than her own father. He also suspects that this kidnapping situation is not a real kidnapping and might be one of Emily's "games" to get some much craved attention from her dad. His first encounter with Vincent are rather hostile, but the two eventually form a camaraderie.
  • Jack Thompson as Alexander T. Hope, Emily's father and a very rich and successful businessman. He also pays little to no attention to his daughter, which often leads to her performing such outrageous stunts to get it as burning down her school library or staging her own kidnapping; these tend to backfire as the more effort she invests in trying to get him to pay attention to her, the less he sees to it that he pays to her. It is hinted that his business deals may be corrupt.
  • Harry Connick, Jr. as Greg Kistler, Vincent's partner-in-crime, but it appears that Vincent does most of the work. They steal cars and sell them to people like Gus and Stick, which eventually lands them into trouble when their operation is burned down and Vincent is on the lam.
  • Nicholas Turturro and Michael Bowen as Stick and Gus, two hoodlums who have had business transactions which Vincent and Greg but eventually turn on them.
  • Leland Orser and Robert Wisden as Detectives Bernaby and Sims, two detectives who are investigating Emily's "kidnapping".
  • Sally Kirkland as Louise Doucette, a bartender/waitress at a cafe near Vincent's home. Ray gets information about Vincent from her during his investigation of the kidnapping. She only appears in two scenes.

The film features cameo appearances by voice-actor David Kaye, April Telek and Matthew Robert Kelly, all of them uncredited.


This was the first film produced by Alicia Silverstone under her production company First Kiss and was filmed in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The yellow leather jacket worn by Silverstone's character was sold to actor/stand-up comic Paul Rawson for $890. The jacket also came with Silverstone's black suede pants and lipstick print t-shirt.[2] Silverstone was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress.[3]


Benicio del Toro was hand-picked for the role by producer Silverstone after she had seen The Usual Suspects (1995). It is also reported that Silverstone and del Toro dated around the time of filming.[4] Del Toro was nominated for an ALMA Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Crossover Role in a Feature Film.[3]

Christopher Walken previously worked with del Toro in two other films, Basquiat (1996) and The Funeral (1996). He would later star in Blast from the Past (1999) with Silverstone two years later. "I don't know why everybody thinks he's so crazy," Silverstone noted. "I think he seems so adorable. I think maybe I was his mom in a past life or something."[5] Del Toro stated that the best advice he had ever been given regarding acting came from Walken: "When you're in a scene and you don't know what you're gonna do, don't do anything."[5]


Excess Baggage debuted poorly in its opening weekend.[6] By the end of its run, it had only grossed $14,515,490 based on a $20 million budget.

The film received mostly negative responses from critics and currently holds a 32% 'Rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] Clint Morris noted that the film "Outstays its welcome after a while, but Silverstone fans will still be in heaven - she's as cute as ever, and as cool as ever.[citation needed]". Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review, mentioning that Alicia Silverstone was "wonderful" in Clueless which was so entertaining that no followup could satisfy the audience. Ebert mentioned Silverstone is "OK" in Excess Baggage but "no better than OK" as he felt that she was miscast.[8] James Berardinelli praised the cast but found the script "frustratingly ordinary and unambitious".[9] Many critics praised Benicio del Toro's performance. Del Toro earned an ALMA Award nomination for his performance.


  1. "Excess Baggage (1997)". Box Office Mojo. 1997-09-26. Retrieved 2010-10-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Trivia for Excess Baggage
  3. 3.0 3.1 Excess Baggage awards list
  4. "AliciaSilverstone at". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2010-10-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Celeb Quotes & Stories[dead link]
  6. "G.I. Jane' Proves Its Mettle in Second Week at Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Excess Baggage at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. Excess Baggage - Roger Ebert review
  9. Reelviews review

External links