Ratings & Reviews
Michael Schultz directed this kinetic, hyperventilating comedy (scripted by Joel Schumacher) concerning the crazed events that go on within a single 10-hour period at a Los Angeles car wash. The cast of colorful car-wash employees includes Lonnie (Ivan Dixon), an ex-con; Duane (Bill Duke), a militant black activist; and Lindy (Antonio Fargas), an obnoxious homosexual. Sully Boyar plays Mr. B, the frazzled car-wash owner who has to deal with his screwball employees along with his over-educated slip of a son, Irwin (Richard Brestoff), who quotes Mao and wants to radicalize the workers. Also along for the wash and wax are Miss Beverly Hills (Lauren Jones), with a wild assortment of wigs; Marsha (Melanie Mayron), the distracted car wash secretary; a mad bomber (Prof. Irwin Corey), who is terrorizing the neighborhood; and Daddy Rich (Richard Pryor), the founder of the Church of Divine Economic Spirituality, who sports a gold limousine. Danny de Vito, Brooke Adams and others were originally in the cast but their scenes were ultimately deleted. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Which Way Is Up?
This Americanized remake of Lina Wertmuller's The Seduction of Mimi offered audiences the novelty of seeing Richard Pryor performing three different roles in the same film. Which Way Is Up? tells the tale of Leroy Jones (Pryor), a poor orange picker who gets fired from his job when he accidentally joins a worker's union during a demonstration. He is forced to travel to Los Angeles and abandon his family, which includes his wife, Annie Mae (Margaret Avery), and his perpetually randy father, Rufus (also Pryor). While there, he falls in love with labor organizer Vanetta (Lonette McKee), but is soon rehired by his former employers when they realize he is easily manipulated. Back home, Leroy discovers his new managerial role alienates him from his former friends as he tries to divide his time between Annie Mae and Vanetta. When he discovers Annie Mae has been impregnated by the Reverend Lennox Thomas (Pryor's 3rd role) during his absence, Leroy sets his sights on seducing Lennox's wife. The resulting film had ambition to spare, but was generally panned as an inferior remake by the critics and failed to find a mass audience. However, Which Way Is Up? gained a second lease on life via cable and home video and has become a cult favorite with Pryor's fans. ~ Donald Guarisco, Rovi
It's The African Queen meets Richard Pryor in this schmaltzy and salty attempt by Pryor to appeal to the family crowd. Pryor plays Joe Braxton, an inept burglar whose parole officer Donald (Robert Christian) wants to help out. Knowing that Joe is an excellent mechanic, he refers him to Vivian Perry (Cicely Tyson), the director of a school for emotionally disturbed children. The school is about to close for lack of funds, and Vivian wants to flee Philadelphia with eight of her charges and get to a farm in Washington State where the children can grow up in the fresh air and away from the urban environment. Joe is enlisted to drive the bus, which continually breaks down en route, permitting Joe plenty of time to interact with the kids -- taking them fishing, teaching them strip poker, and convincing a Vietnamese girl not to sell her body. The prim and proper Vivian holds up her nose at the vulgar and sloppy Joe, so it is inevitable that at journey's end the two will find true romance. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
The seventh cinema adaptation of the venerable stage farce Brewster's Millions stars Richard Pryor as Montgomery Brewster, a third-rate baseball player. Much to his amazement, Brewster discovers that he is related to deceased millionaire Rupert Horn (Hume Cronyn, who appears only in a videotaped "living will"). Even more amazing is the fact that Horn has left Brewster his entire $300 million fortune. The catch? Brewster must spend $30 million within 30 days, or he'll be left with nothing (in the earlier incarnations of Brewster's Millions, the hero was required to spend only a million, but this was, after all, the inflationary '80s). Aiding and abetting Brewster in his efforts to divest himself of his money are his catcher pal (John Candy) and an erstwhile lady friend (Lonette McKee), while his principal antagonist is a snotty attorney (Stephen Collins). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Franklyn Ajaye - T.C.
- Sully Boyar - Mr. b.
- Richard Brestoff - Irwin
- George Carlin - Taxi Driver
- Irwin Corey - Mad bomber