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Stir Crazy (DVD)

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7 Reviews

Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1980 / Director: Sidney Poitier / Actors: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor ... / DVD released 11 November, 2002 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen

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    7 Reviews
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      17.04.2010 09:26
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      Fantastic classic comedy

      Stir Crazy was a comedy released back right at the start of the 1980's and directed by Sidney Poitier. It is one of those movies that was really funny then and still is today as it's not like some comedies nowadays that think they have to be really crude to be funny. This is a classic comedy starrring two actors at the time who were at their peak - Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. These are two actors I found very amusing in most things they appear in. To be honest with you if it had been a different pairing together then it might not have been as good as they work brilliantly together with not much effort.

      The movie has a relatively simple plot so you don't have to think too much about things and just sit back and enjoy. Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor are two New Yorkers who are fired from their jobs in the city and decide to head out to the west of the country to start a new life. The trip turns into a disaster shortly after when they are mistaken for bank robbers and framed for the crime. They are thrown in prison and this is where the fun really begins in this movie. While in there, locked up for something they didn't do they meet some very bizarre characters and end up planning a prison break between them while taking part in the prison rodeo. If they take part in this then they may be granted early parole anyway.

      I really think that this movie gets better every time I see it and is extremely entertaining. There are not all that many comedies I feel you can watch time and again and they remain funny but this for me is one of them, thanks in no small part to the comedy genius that is Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Together they make a great team and play off against each other brilliantly. If you've never seen this classic then it's well worth picking up a copy.

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      30.08.2009 17:44
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      A must-see for Wilder and Prior fans, but not one of their best.

      This is a 1980 film directed by Sydney Poitier which stars Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor as two down-on-their-luck friends, Skip and Harry living in New York.

      One day, a series of mishaps causes the pair to lose their respective jobs at the same time. Gene Wilder's character decides he's fed up of life in the City and wants to move out to sunnier climes in America, with his buddy.

      At first, Richard's character isn't too keen but he soon comes round after much persuasion.

      So anyway, they manage to get work somewhere in the West, dressing up as chickens and performing dance routines at a bank.

      They are observed by some eagle-eyed thieves who spot their opportunity. One day, the thieves steal the chicken suits, go to the bank and hold an armed robbery.

      Skip and Harry are framed, they OBVIOUSLY can't prove their innocence and get slung in the local prison, where they come up against a sadistic jailer whose goal is to drive Gene Wilder's character insane. Wilder's only way out of it is to compete at the annual state prison rodeo. He decides he must compete, but he, Pryor and some prisoners they befriended use it to plan an elaborate escape attempt.

      I must say that after watching See No Evil, Hear No Evil which stars the same duo, I was disappointed with Stir Crazy. The acting in this film wasn't up to scratch. When they get sentenced and put into prison, their reactions, especially Richard Pryor's, are just ridiculous and totally unbelievable. I think some of the problems may be down to the direction.

      The storyline was entertaining. It was far-fetched but that's to be expected from these two. I must admit I did love a few of the scenes in Stir Crazy, particularly the ones involving a singing parent-murderer.

      There are certainly a few laughs in this film, but it's let down by the execution.

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      17.06.2009 08:47
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      Pryor and Wilder team up to make a comedy about prison life and trying to break out

      For a bit of light relief from all the drivel on the television I chose this film to watch as I needed something funny and entertaining to watch.

      Richard Pryor plays the role of Harry and Gene Wilder plays the role of Skip, both of the New are working in new York and dreaming of a better life. As both of them get sacked at the same time they decide that they will leave the Big Smoke and head for California to make a better life for themselves, Harry dreams of becoming an actor and Skip a play write.

      The pair end up stopping in a small town where Skip manages to get them an interview with the bank which results in them getting a job. The only problem is they are dressed as giant woodpeckers doing a song and dance in the bank for the customers. Things go wrong for the men when they are out to lunch and their costumes are stolen by two men who rob the bank. The result of the robbery sees Harry and Skip being arrested and sentenced to 125 years in prison.

      Harry and Skip finally arrive in prison and Skip ends up riding the bucking bull in the governors office and as it turns out he is excellent at it so is asked to ride in the rodeo and represent the prison. He is told by his friends not to accept and to make them wait and then he will be able to give demands to them for him to ride. Harry is asked by his friends to let them be his team so they can arrange a break out at the rodeo. Will Skip be able to put up with the punishments and jobs he is being given in order to get him to agree or will he manage to get his demands met. Ultimately will the men be successful in their plan to break out?

      I love watching this film as Pryor and Wilder never fail to make me laugh. The pair work extremely well together and have a great on screen chemistry which helps with the timing of their jokes and funny sketches. The supporting actors in the film were also excellent and also worked well with the pair. One of my favourites had to be Groseburger, the extremely fat mass murder who everyone is scared of as only Pryor and Wilder could befriend him and at one point have his singing like a choir boy! There were a few characters in the film which I did not warm to, the one prison warden and the governor but we weren't really supposed to like these men.

      The storyline was good but not at all believable but I can forgive this as it is not a serious film as is meant to be a light hearted comedy which it definitely was. The film was made back in 1980 so is very dated now which does show with the clothes people are wearing and cars which are being driven. I don't think this makes the film any less watch able though as I still thoroughly enjoy it.

      The music was good although not too memorable, I remember thinking that it was all suitable for the parts which it was used in and it did a good job of setting the feel and tension for the film.

      This is a very funny film but hubby did drive me mad by laughing and telling me to watch this but as it is going to be funny, I did end up throwing a cushion at him and he did finally stop doing it. We both ended laughing out loud at several things in this film. I especially enjoyed the pair when they first got to the prison and they both freaked also when they went into the big waiting cell which was full of prisoners waiting to go to the prison and Pryor's character told Wilder to act hard or he would end up dead. They managed to put so much more into this film and their face added a lot of the humour with the silly expressions they did and also Gene Wilder's eyes!

      The DVD which we have does have one bonus feature which is Filmographics but I have not taken the time to watch or view this as I have no interest in it.

      The running time of this film is 106 minutes which I felt was just the right length as any longer and they would have made the story drag out and made it a little boring. The certificate on the film is a 15 as there are some drug references and strong language in the film but I feel that perhaps more mature 13 or 14 year olds would really enjoy this film.

      I am definitely going to recommend this film as personally I feel it is the pair best together and you cannot fail to laugh at the crazy things to pair get up to when they find themselves locked up with a wide variety of different characters!

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        17.07.2008 11:27
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        Pryor and Wilder keeping up the humour... excellent...

        Director Sidney Poitier
        Producer: Hannah Weinstein
        Writer: Bruce Jay Friedman
        Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Erland Van Lidth and Miguel Angel Suarez.

        Released in late 1980 this comedy involved two men who, through the quirk of fate, end up behind bars.



        **BRIEF PLOT**

        When Skip Donahue, (played by Gene Wilder) and Harry Monroe, (played by Richard Pryor) suddenly find themselves out of work they struggle to pay their bill.
        When they are offered a job working as advertising gimmicks for a local bank, basically dressing up as woodpeckers and dancing outside the bank.
        Unfortunately, the two men don't realise that they are being watched by people who are planning to use their costumes for ulterior motives leaving them in the frame.

        Then Skip and Harry are wrongly arrested and imprisoned for a long time they end up in a prison where the governor is a little dodgy, and has taken a dislike to them for refusing to obey certain orders involving a mechanical bull...????

        The governor then takes it upon himself to make the pairs life in prison as hard as possible until they obey him.
        Involving things such as placing them in a cell with a rather large prisoner called Grossberger, (played by Erland Van Lidth), in the hope that the very scary man will break the spirits of skip and Harry.

        With an escape plan in mind, using the Governors request for help from the pair, they decide to play the game and do what the governor wants....


        **IN CONCLUSION**

        A bit of a slow starting movie but with enough entertaining value to keep the audience happy.
        Pryor and Wilder are great actors and really do give this movie the edge with their abilities to find humour out of nothing.
        The story line isn't original but is still a good idea, with people trying to prove their innocence after being wrongly arrested and imprisoned, but this movie is more about the pair inside the prison, the only thing they're trying to escape is the governors rather imaginative request...

        There are many funny scenes with in the prison, especially when the pair are put in a cell with Erland Van Lidth, who the entire prison population is afraid, including the guards. The outcome of this situation is surprisingly comical and the singing is quite touching.
        In all it is a movie worth watching as you know it will be funny with the great comics Pryor and Wilder in it.

        There is everything that is needed to keep the audience happy and the humour is well tailored for most ages.
        It has been given a 15 certificate which is a bit harsh in my opinion as younger people would like the dry sense of humour with-in the movie.

        Would I recommend it..?
        Yes.... Albeit because I find most movies with Richards Pryor and Gene Wilder are well worth watching for the expected humour and banter between the two.
        The story is good and the acting throughout the film is good enough to warrant the audiences approval.

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          29.07.2001 15:55
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          Last night my mum and her man freind went out for the night so i looked into the video cabinet and i saw this film and thought it was really good and now i want to write about it my freind came over to watch it with me but his girlfreind came over as well and they went upstairs to ride the punanny but i donot know what that means The film is about two men and they go across the country to look for a job and one is an actor and one is a writer and they have both just got the sack from there jobs before Then they get a job as woodpeckers in a bank but some other men get in the costumes when they are having an ice cream and they rob the bank and the two main people get arrested by the police and sent to jail for 100 years I have not been to jail before so i dono tknow if it is like that but if it is then it is rerally funny and some funny things happen but as well there are some mean things like when the police officer hits people And then the police warden makes skip who is the writer ride on a pretend bull to see how good he is for the rodeo and he is really good and so they have to go into the rodeo and they put a really good team together and there is a large man with no hair who everyboddy is scared of and he becomes there freind and he can sing and that is how they plan to escape from the jail There is a lot of swearing and lots of funny things that you can laugh at the two actors are called richard pryor and gene wilder and he was in willy wonka

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            07.05.2001 07:45
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            Gene Wilder and Richard Prior star in this superb comedy directed by George Roy Hill. Wilder and Prior are two small town losers who decide to travel to the big city to make something of themselves. Well, they certainly do that, landing a job which requires them to wear woodpecker costumes...well its a start I suppose. Unfortunately for them, they choose the day that a pair of bank robber decide to use the same disguise to rob the city bank and naturally they are mistaken for these robbers and arrested - later being sentenced to 120 years in prison for the crime. Things look pretty grim as they find themselves sharing a cell with the most enormous inmate who completely fills the cell, squashing them againt the bars by his sheer girth. The prison warder has it in for them, the place is full of nuts and a couple of wise asses like these two can only go one way...However, salvation seems at hand when Wilder shows superb rodeo skills, which is just what the prison needs to win the rodeo competition against the rival prison who it always loses to, giving them the chance to win early release... To be fair, this movie would have been absolutely useless were it not for the considerable comic talents of its two stars. The formula has been used before - several times, and there isn't one new joke in the whole hour and a half showing, but the performances are enough to save it. Wilder is his usual manic self, all mad hair and energy and Prior is superb as ever, making an unfunny script hilarious. Director Sidney Poitier tries his hardest as well to make themovie work and its a tribute to all three that the end result is this good - although thats not to say that it is a good movie. Generally, apart from Wilder and Prior the acting here is abysmal and the lack of originality does nothing to aid its case. The plot is weak, the script is dire and generally, were it not for the two leads it would have been a big no-no. As it stands, its a three star movie,
            worth watching on its television release, but certainly not worth buying or renting.

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              29.10.2000 15:15
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              ......Because they are going to split. This is Gene Wilder and Richard Prior at their very best. This film follows the exploits of the pair as they decide to leave their current lives behind and try to make new ones for themselves in the west. Due to a case of mistaken identity they are imprisoned for a bank robbery that they did not commit and due to getting the toughest judge around are sentenced to 130 years each. After finding out the Wilders character is a born Bull rider, the prison govener embarks on a mission to convince Wilder (who is none too keen) to ride for him in the interprison rodeo, which he has not won for years. Wilder finally agrees after some of the funniest scenes ever written, but only if he can pick his own team, at which point an escape plan emerges. The characters are brilliantly portrayed with Wilder being ever the optamist (very funny scene where wilder attempts to befriend the biggest mass murderer in the west) whilst Prior is the pessamist/realist of the pair. If you have not seen this film, rent it, buy it or borrow it from a friend, but please see it. You will not regret it.

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              Sidney Poitier directed (sadly without much distinction) this 1980 comedy teaming Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor as New York knuckleheads who try their luck in California and are accused of robbing a bank. Most of the laughs concern their survival strategies in prison (at one point, Wilder decides to "reach out and talk" to some hulking murderer) and their plans to escape. Both performers are so brilliant in any situation that they give this film plenty of funny moments (one or two of which became instantly classic), but this is not exactly a film for the ages. --Tom Keogh