Disorderlies (1987) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Three bumbling orderlies are hired to take care of an old rich man. Humorous mayhem follows.

  • Winslow needs money now to pay off gambling debts. If only his rich uncle Albert would die. But his orderlies are very good. Maybe by hiring three of the worst orderlies around, he can speed things up. Fortunately for him, he finds Markie, Buffy, and Kool, who have just been fired from their last job. With them around, he should have the money real soon.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In Palm Beach, Florida, ne'er-do-well gambler Winslow Lowry lives at the palatial estate of his millionaire uncle, wheelchair-bound Albert Dennison, who is near death but being cared for at the estate. When Albert dies, Winslow will inherit his fortune, but in the meantime, Albert's nephew has accumulated $640,000 in debt to loan shark Luis Montana, who wants his money back. Winslow convinces Montana to give him three weeks to pay, then steps on Albert's oxygen tube, causing his uncle's condition to rapidly deteriorate. However, orderlies attend the old man and quickly stabilize him. Winslow decides the orderlies are too good, and sets out to find the worst orderlies in the country.

    After reading a newspaper article about the worst nursing home in America, Winslow travels to Brooklyn, New York where he hires the fat and bumbling Markie, Kool and Buffy. When the three orderlies arrive at the estate, Chauncey, the Doberman pinscher guard dog, barks furiously at them. Then George, the butler, shows them the mechanized pill dispenser they will use for all of Albert's medicines. Initially, the three prove inept. When they attempt to use a mechanical lift to move Albert, the lift malfunctions and he is thrown into the swimming pool. Albert demands the new orderlies be fired, but Winslow insists they be given another chance.

    Deciding Albert needs a change of scenery, the three "fat boys" take him for a ride around town one evening, but Albert sleeps throughout. They pick up three party girls on the street and go to a roller rink disco. Albert wakes up, likes the sudden attention of the ladies, and enjoys it as they push him around the roller rink in his wheelchair. When they return to the estate, Albert is perky and even able to walk on his own. Winslow is upset, but Albert lies, telling his nephew they went to an all-night drug store. While Albert sleeps, Winslow tries to inject him with poison, but orderly Kool comes into the room before Winslow is able to carry out his plan. Winslow throws the syringe out the window, but it hits Chauncey, the guard dog, who dies.

    Another evening later, when the three orderlies play poker, they empty the pill dispenser and use the various pills for poker chips. However, when George, the butler, comes in, they hide evidence of the poker game in the tablecloth, which nurse Carla then throws away. When the pill dispenser signals it is time to give Albert his medicine, there are no pills to give him. The orderlies telephone for a refill, but the pharmacy is out of the medicine. The next morning when Albert does not wake up, everyone worries he is about to die. Winslow feigns despair, then telephones the funeral parlor to make arrangements. However, Albert wakes up and seems better than ever. After performing an examination, the doctor announces that Albert was being over medicated and is in good condition.

    Grateful that the orderlies' blunder helped him get well, Albert promises never to fire them. He also teaches them how to play polo and promises to take then on safari, on a yachting cruise and out chasing women. Albert also starts jogging and going to the gymnasium. None of the orderlies have the stamina to keep up with him. When Albert goes to his walk-in vault off the cabana and gives the orderlies some of his treasury bonds, a jealous Winslow and his valet, Miguel, start plotting to murder Albert.

    Another evening later, the orderlies finds a secret security panel hidden behind Albert's gun rack and start making a music video ("Baby, You're a Rich Man"). However, the electricity goes out, forcing them to stop.

    When power is restored, the camera resumes recording just as Winslow comes into the room to telephone Luis Montana saying that he will have his money in a day. Winslow instructs Miguel to give the entire staff the day off, but the orderlies stay behind. Markie shows the video to nurse Carla, while Miguel lets two of Luis Montana's men into the house.

    Meanwhile, Kool and Buffy climb atop the estate wall and watch the girls next door swim naked, but they fall off the wall and rush back to the estate, just as the police drive by and call on their loudspeaker for them to give themselves up for peeping. Meanwhile, Montana's hit men are about to shoot Albert when they hear the police on the loudspeaker. In a panic, the hit men accidentally fire a shot into the wall, before escaping. Police search the house, find the bullet hole in the wall and arrest Kool and Buffy. After the police leave, Albert, Carla, and Markie return to the den where the homemade music video still plays on the television. Just as they enter the room, the videotape plays the portion where Winslow was making his telephone call. Realizing the video will clear his friends, Markie takes the tape, but trips and accidentally throws the videocassette into the fireplace where it burns up.

    In jail, Kool and Buffy will not talk, so the racist police threaten to use a "Florida Lie Detector," a 300-pound white man with a baseball bat. After being hauled away in a police car, Buffy unravels a wire coat hanger, sticks it through the bars separating the front seat from the back seat, and pushes the gas pedal, crashing the police car into another vehicle. When the cops get out to investigate, Kool and Buffy use the coat hanger to steer the car away, and escape.

    Meanwhile, Winslow orders Albert to open his cabana vault at gunpoint. When he refuses, Winslow knocks Albert unconscious, then uses dynamite to blow open the vault. Once inside, Luis Montana and his man take all the cash, then leave. With Albert tied up nearby, Winslow sets a bomb to go off at the cabana. Winslow lights the extra-long fuse, then leaves.

    After getting away from the police, Kool and Buffy dress up in police uniforms taken from the squad car they escaped with and commandeer another car from an unsuspecting motorist and drive back to the Lowry estate to rescue their friends. After sneaking around and shooting up a grandfather clock with a sub-machine gun, they defeat Winslow and a few of Montana's henchmen. When Kool and Buffy see the fuse burning. They jump into the swimming pool and create a large splash wave which douses the fuse. They rush to save Albert. However, a spark remains and the fuse reignites. Albert, Kool and Buffy escape just before the cabana explodes. Hearing the explosion, Winslow thinks Albert is dead. He has Montana shoot him in the butt to make it look like a robbery. However, Albert arrives in time to witness this and has Winslow and Montana arrested.

    Winslow and Montana serve seven years in prison, then commit another crime together and serve another twenty years.

    Kool becomes a lifeguard and trains to swim the English Channel.

    Buffy goes to medical school and becomes a heart surgeon.

    Markie becomes a sex therapist.

    Albert marries a young nurse and has five children.

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