Walk Like a Man (1987 film)

Walk Like a Man

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Melvin Frank
Produced by Leonard C. Kroll
Written by Robert Klane
Starring Howie Mandel
Christopher Lloyd
Cloris Leachman
Colleen Camp
Amy Steel
James Slice
Music by Lee Holdridge
Cinematography Victor J. Kemper
Edited by Bill Butler
Stephen Butler
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • April 17, 1987 (1987-04-17)
Running time
86 min
Country United States
Language English
Box office $460,608

Walk Like a Man is a 1987 American comedy film about a young man who finally returns to his high-society family after having been raised by wolves. The film is the last one to be directed by Melvin Frank. It stars Howie Mandel, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Steel, and Cloris Leachman. It was released to theaters on April 17, 1987.


Henry Shand goes to Alaska to search for gold and find his fortune. While there, his spoiled brat of a son, Reggie, gets mad that he has to work for money. What further angers him is the fact that he has to share the dogsled with his two-year-old brother Robert, nicknamed "Bobo". Reggie decides to take matters into his own hands and pushes the toddler off the sled, leaving him to die in the wintery Klondike wilderness.

Some twenty years later, Henry has died, giving Reggie a large inheritance of thirty million dollars. Reggie foolishly spends it within a year, causing his new bride, Rhonda, to become an angry alcoholic, as they have gone broke and had to move back in with Reggie's mother, Margaret. Margaret has gone insane since Bobo's disappearance and Henry's death, and has now spent much of the family's fortune on buying homes for stray cats.

Meanwhile, a biologist named Penny arrives from Alaska, claiming to have found Bobo alive and well. They discover that Bobo has been raised by wolves, causing him to sniff everyone's butts, greet people by licking their faces, run on all fours, eat with his mouth rather than using flatware, growl and bark, chew on shoes, and run through fresh cement while chasing cats or fire trucks.

Reggie decides to manipulate Bobo into signing over his inheritance to him to pay off gambling debts. Reggie tells Penny that she can use Bobo for wolf research, but first must teach him to walk, talk, read, and, of course, write. Penny gives Bobo a shave and a haircut, but getting him to act like a human proves to be a difficult task, and Bobo continues to unknowingly cause problems. Things get even worse when Bobo goes out in public, wreaking havoc in a shopping mall by going into dressing rooms, unwittingly trying on clothes and walking out of stores with them.

As Bobo behaves more like a person than a dog, Penny begins to fall in love with him. Reggie wants her to speed up the training of his savage sibling, as the people he owes money to want their cash quickly. In court, Penny stands up for Bobo, having discovered Reggie's scheme. Bobo refuses to sign, and Reggie frantically engages in canine department -- growling, barking, chewing on a squeaky toy -- in an attempt to demonstrate how Bobo was acting, making him look insane to the judge, who dismisses the case. Bobo and Penny go outside and kiss, but Bobo stops to chase a fire engine.



The film was an independent film, among one of the first to be produced by Mandel. To this day, the budget is unknown. However, the film was also a box office bomb, grossing $460,608 at the box office.[1]

Home Video

The film was released on VHS shortly after its release, but that soon fell out of print during the late 1990s. Its replacement was a DVD that was produced by MGM. It was discontinued, and the film remains currently out of print. As of January 2012, it can be found on Netflix.


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