Editorial Review of No Deposit, No Return (1976) starring Don Knotts, Darren McGavin, David Niven —courtesy of Amazon.com
Tracy and Jay Osborne’s mother is shipping the unwilling children off to their grandfather’s house for Easter vacation while she attends to business in Hong Kong. The children plot a trip to visit their mother and, with the help of Jay’s pet skunk, evade their grandfather and airport security to escape in a taxicab with two safe-cracking vandals. The foursome proceeds to stage a kidnapping – although just who kidnapped whom is up for debate.
Grandfather refuses to pay the ransom, the police get involved, and hilarity reigns as the desperate group attempts to collect the ransom money. The talents of Barbara Feldon, David Niven, Darren McGavin, and Don Knotts rejuvenate this fairly unremarkable plot.Slapstick comedy, perilous excursions, and fast-paced chase scenes abound in this wholesome 1976 Disney production. (Ages 3 and older) —Tami Horiuchi
Product Description of No Deposit, No Return starring Don Knotts, Darren McGavin
There’s magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. Oscar(R)-winning actor David Niven (Best Actor, SEPARATE TABLES, 1958) stars as a millionaire with two bored grandchildren who fake their own kidnapping, holding themselves for ransom! In cahoots with the kids is a pair of down-on-their-luck safecrackers (Darren McGavin and Don Knotts). It doesn’t take long for the two young pranksters to discover just how impractical a practical joke can be. The mayhem escalates into an all-out cops-and-robbers chase filled with every bit as much hilarity as excitement.
Movie quotes from No Deposit, No Return
Duke, Jay: [in a cab] Take off, driver.
[look at each other]
Duke (Darren McGavin): This cab is taken!
Tracy: Yes it is, we’re taking it.
Duke (Darren McGavin): [to Carolyn] What kind of a mother are you? Spread out all over the world! You can’t raise your kids long distance, or by teachers, a maid, or a grouchy grandpa!
Bert (Don Knotts): Or a Bert! Your kids are a real handful you know!
Carolyn (Barbara Feldon): What would you know about raising my children?
Duke (Darren McGavin): We’ve just spent three whole days with your kids, when was the last time you could say the same thing?
Duke (Darren McGavin): [to Carolyn] Your children are looking for attention and affection and they’re going to get it from anybody they can, even two ‘kind of’ kidnappers.
Tracy: After Honolulu, we go to Australia, and then 14 hours later we’re in Hong Kong with Mother.
Jay: It’s a great plan, Tracy! If she can’t come to us for our vacation then we’ll go to her!
Tracy: Yes, but there’s only one little problem. How’re we going to get the $1200 for two tickets?
Bert (Don Knotts): [hears sirens] THEY’RE HERE, IT’S THE COPS!
Duke (Darren McGavin): It’s fire engines, and they’re passing by.
Trivia for “No Deposit, No Return” starring Don Knotts, Darren McGavin, David Niven
Don Knotts said that one day, while he was filming scenes for this project in the San Francisco airport, a director approached him and said he would like to cast him in a dramatic film one day. Although it never happened, Knotts said he was flattered by the offer. The director was Sam Peckinpah.
Cast of characters
- David Niven (The Bishop’s Wife, Happy Go Lovely) … J.W. Osborne. The children’s grandfather.
- Darren McGavin (Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Delicate Delinquent) … Duke
- Don Knotts (The Andy Griffith Show, The Incredible Mr. Limpet) … Bert
- Herschel Bernardi Herschel Bernardi … Sgt. Turner
- Barbara Feldon (Get Smart, Fitzwilly) … Carolyn
- Kim Richards … Tracy
- Brad Savage (The Apple Dumpling Gang) … Jay
- John Williams (Dial M for Murder, Sabrina) … Jameson
- Charles Martin Smith (Herbie Goes Bananas, Left Behind – World at War) … Longnecker
- Vic Tayback (Alice, With Six You Get Eggroll) … Big Joe
- Bob Hastings (McHale’s Navy, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) … Peter
Updated May 11, 2022