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Stir Crazy (1980)

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Stir Crazy (1980)


Gene Wilder
Richard Pryor

Directed by Sidney Poitier

Silver Streak is the best of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor but Stir Crazy holds a whooping second place. The movie is funny as hell, acting was a little bogus but fun also and the duo seem to have a better chemistry together than they did in Silver Streak.

This 1980 comedy film is the second pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in this movie they play the role of down on their luck friends who moved from New York to Hollywood. On their way they made a stop to make some money and got a job working as entertainers in a bank.

One thing led to another, the two got involved in a crime that landed them a sentence of 125 years in prison.

Locked up for a crime they didn’t commit, they were ready to do anything to burst out. Their need to be free led them to a rodeo tournament where the two intended to burst lose after the event is over.

Stir Crazy is different from Silver Streak, as Silver Streak had both a leg in thriller and comedy the suspense filled 1976 pairing was what made it the high point in all four movie that the two did together. Stir Crazy is different in the area that is all round comedy and no suspense.

The film was directed by the first black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor Sidney Poitier, Poitier who has directed some notable comedies in the 70s with Bill Cosby, pulled a funny one from this funny bunch and made sure we had a good time.

Pryor is known to be difficult on set to work with, it was said that he refused to wear the woodpecker costume for the bank scene so a double was used, and from Gene Wilder’s book, Wilder said “As a gag, some members of the crew used a piece of watermelon as a Frisbee, and tossed it back and forth to each other. One piece of watermelon landed at Richard's feet. He got up and went home. Filming stopped. The next day, Richard announced that he knew very well what the significance of watermelon was. He said that he was quitting show business and would not return to this film.”

Pryor may be difficult to work with, but he is one funny guy. Stir Crazy may not be the best movie out there, but it will tickle you and make you laugh. It was moderately received by critics, but the movie was a box office success, gaining over 100 million dollars.

It is a fun movie to see and enjoy, so don’t deny yourself the privilege.


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