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Wilder Napalm

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Glenn Gordon Caron
Written by Vince Gilligan
Starring Dennis Quaid,
Debra Winger,
Arliss Howard
Music by Michael Kamen
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) August 20, 1993
Running time 109 min.
Country United States
Language English

Wilder Napalm is a 1993 romantic comedy film about a pair of pyrokinetic brothers and their rivalry for the same woman. The film was directed by Glenn Gordon Caron, and stars Dennis Quaid, Arliss Howard, and Debra Winger.


Wallace (Dennis Quaid) and Wilder Foudroyant (Arliss Howard) are brothers and pyrokinetics. Ever since a childhood tragedy where they accidentally killed a bum sleeping in a friend's "secret clubhouse," they've kept their firestarting abilities a secret. Now that they're grown up and estranged, Wallace (performing as Biff the Clown in a traveling carnival) wants to debut his talents on The David Letterman Show. Wilder has a dull job in a minuscule Kwik Foto booth at a dying mall and is a volunteer fireman.

When Wallace brings the carnival to Wilder's Florida hometown, the tension between the brothers over Wilder's oversexed wife, Vida (Debra Winger), explodes. Unable to convince Wilder to forgo his Bingo-calling on her first day of freedom after a year of house arrest for inadvertent arson, Vida goes off with Wally. They share a kiss at a miniature golf course which bursts into the flames of their passion.

Returning home after his fire unit has extinguished the flames at the golf course, Wilder discovers Vida and Wally about to make love on the roof of the house trailer. Wally and Wilder fight it out, with Wally setting the trailer ablaze. All three are jailed, but Wally and Vida are bailed out by Wally's friend and carnival partner, Rex (Jim Varney). In a deep slump, Wilder goes back to the Kwik Foto (surrounded by the carnival) while Vida stays at the firehouse. Wally goads him into fighting for Vida, and their climactic fight sets half the carnival's rides ablaze.

The denouement shows Vida and Wilder (the latter now wearing Vida's house arrest ankle monitor) watching Wallace on a successful Letterman reappearance as Dr. Napalm.

Box office

This film was a spectacular flop. According to, the entire domestic box office for Wilder Napalm amounted to $84,859.

External links



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