Recent divorcée Gloria Mundy (Goldie Hawn) is a San Francisco librarian who, while attending a party, is encouraged by a friend to leave herself open to new experiences. Her advice prompts Gloria to pick up an attractive man named Bob "Scotty" Scott when she encounters him and his disabled car on Highway 1. She impulsively invites him to join her at the movies that evening, and before they part ways he asks her to take his pack of cigarettes in order to help him curb his smoking. Unbeknownst to her, Scotty has secreted a roll of film in the pack.
That evening, a seriously wounded Scotty meets Gloria in the theater and warns her to "beware of the dwarf" before dying. When his body mysteriously disappears while Gloria seeks help from the theater manager, she is unable to convince anyone of what has transpired.
At the end of the following work day, Gloria is attacked in the library by albino Whitey Jackson (William Frankfather). She manages to escape and seeks refuge with Stanley Tibbets (Dudley Moore), a self-proclaimed ladies' man who attempts to seduce her. Shocked by his misunderstanding of the situation, she flees and returns to her apartment, where she is attacked by a man with a scar who demands the cigarette pack Bob had given her. When he attempts to strangle her with a scarf, Gloria stabs him in the stomach with a pair of knitting needles and calls the police for help. When her attacker tries to stop her, he is killed by Whitey through the kitchen window, and Gloria faints. When she awakens, all traces of what has happened have disappeared, and she is unable to convince San Francisco Police detectives Tony Carlson (Chevy Chase) and his partner Inspector "Fergie" Ferguson (Brian Dennehy) or even her landlord Mr. Hennessy (Burgess Meredith) that she was attacked.
Gloria is abducted by the chauffeur of a limousine in which she earlier had seen Whitey riding, but she manages to subdue him with mace and brass knuckles given to her by her friend and fellow library employee, Stella (Marilyn Sokol). Later, Tony takes her to his Sausalito houseboat, where the two become involved romantically. Upon further investigation, Tony discovers that a contract killer named Rupert Stiltskin (alias "the Dwarf") was under investigation by an undercover detective named Bob Scott, who had received a tip that a major assassination plot would take place in the city. Lt. Carlson is now assigned to protect Gloria from her would-be killers.
When Tony and Fergie discover the limousine is registered to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, they visit the office of Archbishop Thorncrest (Eugene Roche), unaware that the man they're interviewing is in fact the Archbishop's twin brother Charlie, who is involved in a plot to assassinate Pope Pius XIII (Cyril Magnin) during his upcoming visit to San Francisco. Charlie murdered his sibling in order to impersonate him. His Eminence and his assistant Gerda Casswell (Rachel Roberts) assure the detectives they will assist them in any way they can.
The following day, Rupert kidnaps Fergie and uses him to lure Gloria into a trap. She manages to hide in a massage parlor, where she encounters Stanley yet again, but then is found and abducted by Jackson and Stiltskin.
At Gloria's request, Stella has researched an organization known as the Tax the Churches League and discovered that the League is a radical fringe group, founded by one Delia Darrow and her husband. For the Darrows, organized religion is a corrupt, greedy sham involving powerful billion-dollar corporations. Stella gives the results of her findings to Tony, who returns to the Archbishop's residence with Mr. Hennessy. Sneaking into the basement, Tony discovers the imprisoned Fergie, who informs him that Stiltskin was hired to assassinate the Pope during a performance of The Mikado at the San Francisco Opera House that evening. Tony is attacked by Rupert and kills him in self-defense, but then is held at gunpoint with Gloria by Gerda Casswell --- alias Delia Darrow.
Darrow then details her "contingency plan" to eliminate the Pope: If His Holiness is not yet terminated at the end of Act I, Whitey Jackson will open fire from one of the auditorium's two organ bays ("He will also open fire should the Pope unexpectedly leave his seat, or if the police arrive in the auditorium," Darrow explains).
Mr. Hennessy knocks out Charlie and defeats Gerda/Delia in a martial arts duel, and Tony and Gloria race to the Opera House, making some unusual pit stops along the way.
After making it backstage, Gloria is grabbed by Jackson, who kills one of several security guards who have joined the pursuit. An enraged Gloria attempts to attack Jackson, who simply shoves her to the floor --- giving Tony the room he needs to shoot the albino, thus thwarting the plan to kill the Pope, who thoroughly has enjoyed The Mikado — conducted by none other than Stanley Tibbets.
Foul Play, 1978
Young Mr. Chase - so handsome!! "How-do-you-shave-in-there?" Audrey Hepburn, Charade movie...so handsome Cary Grant.