Problem Child

Problem Child is a 1990 American black comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan in his directorial debut and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars John Ritter, Michael Oliver, Amy Yasbeck, Gilbert Gottfried, Jack Warden, and Michael Richards. It was released on July 27, 1990.


Ben Healy is a kind man working for his father, "Big Ben" Healy, a successful, but tyrannical sporting goods dealer running for mayor. Although Ben has worked for his father for ten years with nothing in return, his father plans on selling the company to the Japanese rather than giving it to his son, considering his son "too nice" to be his heir. Meanwhile, Ben and his wife, Flo, cannot conceive, and visit a fertility doctor who states Flo is infertile. Wanting a child, Ben seeks help from adoption agent Igor Peabody, who presents him and Flo with a cute 7-year-old boy named Junior. However, he is a devilish and incorrigible child. He often causes chaos, and is pen pals with serial killer Martin Beck, the "Bow-Tie Killer". The film is interspersed with scenes of an imprisoned Martin looking to escape and meet Junior.