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  • Skip Donahue (Gene Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor) are best friends living in New York City. Donahue is an amateur playwright, working a day job in department store security. Monroe is working as a catering assistant. When Donahue is canned for harassing a starlet and Monroe is fired because his marijuana ends up in the food at a society dinner on the same day, Donahue takes it as the perfect opportunity to finally leave the cold, unfriendly metropolis and head out West. Unfortunately, neither is very well adapted to life outside of New York, and they end up framed for a crime.

    I hadn't seen Stir Crazy since at least the early 1980s. Recently I had a chance to rewatch Gene Wilder's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975), which I hadn't seen since the 1970s, and I was a bit disappointed. So I was nervous that Stir Crazy might also be a let down this far removed in time. That couldn't have been more wrong. I may have even thought it was funnier and more exciting this time around than when I first watched the film as a teen.

    I had forgotten that Stir Crazy isn't just a comedy. It's also fairly suspenseful and surprisingly serious at times in the last act. Director Sidney Poitier makes a smooth transition through many genres--buddy film, road movie, fish out of water story and prison film, aided of course by Wilder and Pryor. While both actors have had plenty of performances just as good as Stir Crazy, neither have had any that were better.

    In a way, this is really more Wilder's film than Pryor's. That's no slight on Pryor; Wilder just ends up getting more screen time. He presents a hilariously bizarre, complex character who is full of contradictions--kind of a channeling of a less loquacious Woody Allen through a more down to earth version of his Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, 1971). Wilder's Skip Donahue has an air of Mister Rogers-styled good-natured innocence, with the same kind of odd and maybe creepy homoerotic overtones, but he'll also turn on a dime into a neurotic, screaming loon. As I said, it's all very complex, but extremely funny and enjoyable to watch.

    Pryor's Harry Monroe is more of a streetwise perpetual victim who doesn't adjust to the social world of the criminal justice system as well as Donahue does. He has a much more typical reaction, with no misconceptions about their dire circumstances.

    The crux of the humor in the first section of the film is the naivety of Donahue's "grass is always greener on the other side" conception of the Western U.S. compared to New York City. Of course, things turn out to be not quite so simple, but it's funny and charming that Poitier and writer Bruce Jay Friedman have Donahue never quite wake up from his naïve misconception. It also turns out to have much more weight than just a comic device: Donahue survives in prison as well as he does, and it brings about the profound changes of character--Donahue becomes much more authentic, realizes his potential, gains material for his art and even gets the girl--because of his continued misprision (in the Bloom sense) about life outside of New York City, and in the end, it enables a "return to the market", as they say in Zen Buddhism.

    Watching Stir Crazy at this later point in time, some of the humor might seem a bit clichéd to younger viewers. It's important to remember that this is where a lot of those "clichés" came from. In 1980, everyone was mimicking scenes from this film (such "We bad . . .") and repeating dialogue and jokes. Some of the filmic (and by extension general cultural) folklore or urban legends about prisons contained in Stir Crazy had made appearances in films prior to this one, but not in the particular irreverent way that they're satirized here.

    This is an important film in the careers of a few of the greatest actors and comedians (Wilder, Pryor and Poitier), with an important place in the history of Hollywood comedy. The fact that it's also suspenseful and has philosophical things to say about human nature is a bonus that makes this a film you shouldn't miss.
  • Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor was a good comedy team of the 1970s, making several hit movies together, this being one of the more memorable. Viewing this movie recently after a 25-year absence, it was a shock to me to hear the language. I had remembered this strictly as a light-hearted comedy but I can see why it's rated "R." That is solely for the language, especially by Pryor, but he was known for his profane humor.

    If you can put up with that, the film is downright funny, even today. I found myself laughing out loud at a few scenes, all of which I remembered vividly from several viewings in the '70s. They are still just as funny.

    Who could forget that mammoth criminal with the long, long name - Erland van Lidth de Jeude? He was the guy that scared the hell out of everyone, just by his physical presence. In real life, that man was the opposite of his projected image on screen. He was a graduate of MIT, an accomplished opera singer, an Olympic wrestler, devoted husband and father, writer, etc. The poor man died at the age of 34.

    It also was interesting to see such a young looking Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams.

    This might have been the best of the Wilder-Pryor films. I was shocked to see that Sidney Poitier directed this movie. I didn't know that until seconds ago when I looked at this IMDb title page.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Everyone likes a prison movie, and everyone likes a Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor comedy, so combine those two genres, and you've got a formidable piece of cinematic history. The two comedians play Skip Donahue and Harry Monroe, a pair of New Yorkers whose lives are going nowhere. After witnessing a very unpleasant scene in a bar, they decide to move out west. In Arizona, they get a job in a bank as dancing woodpeckers. Then, some thugs get hold of the costumes and rob the bank. The crime naturally gets pinned on Skip and Harry, who get put in jail. Adjusting to life behind bars isn't all that easy for them, until Skip everyone discovers Skip's rodeo talent. Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor always made a great comedy team, and "Stir Crazy" is no exception. When I was in fifth grade and the teacher showed us "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", she told everyone that Gene Wilder was a great actor in many movies. I said "Stir Crazy", and she asked "Uh, did your parents let you see the whole thing?" My parents did let me see the whole thing, although there are some scenes that make it R-rated. But it's a really funny movie; you should see it.
  • "Stir Crazy" once again brings together the comedic talents of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Here, they play Skip and Harry, two hapless slackers in New York who decide to go west to find their fortunes. On the way, they stop in Arizona, and get framed for a bank robbery. This lands them behind bars. This movie is loaded with screwball comedy, and it shows Gene Wilder at his most manic. His methods at pretending to be insane and keeping his spirit from being broken will elicit the big laughs. It all climaxes with a prison rodeo, and an elaborate breakout scheme. "Stir Crazy" is a comedy classic, and reminds us all of the comedy team of Pryor and Wilder.
  • Recently i bought a DVD-recorder. As a stunt the shop sold it at a special price, together with a selection of Movies on DVD. One of these DVD's is "Stir Crazy". I watched the film again, this time together with my 13-years old son and a friend of his. The boys were rolling on the floor with laughter, so one can definitely say that this is a timeless comedy, that never ages. The film always leaves me with a good feeling and i have seen that it still works, even with kids these days. The acting is superb, the dialog continually funny, the prison setting convincing and an extra credit should go out to Jobeth Williams' small but heat-warming part. Guaranteed to bring a little sunshine to a rainy day.
  • Many people considers Silver Streak as the best Pryor-Wilder movie. I don't think so. Silver Streak is Gene Wilder's movie, Richard Pryor didn't get much of the show. In Stir Crazy both of them get equally of the show. Both of them were very funny, though (as I noticed) they were a little different from nowadays comedians, maybe that was even better. I think at that time comedy makers knew what they are doing, because all of the jokes worked, not like in most of the nowadays comedies. My favorite scene was where Gene Wilder's and Richard Pryor's characters where pretending that they are bad, you won't see such a funny stuff in nowadays movies.
  • Stir Crazy was one of the first films I ever remember watching, it came out the year I was born and I always associate 1980 with the time I came into the world and Stir Crazy. I was about 3 or 4 and my grandfather rented the video (back in the early 80s, this was INCREDIBLY sophisticated). Even though it's pretty much an adult film, with swearing, nudity and adult themes, I found it to be hilarious at such a young age and I watched it few times. Over the years I've watched it more and more and I only just got round to buying the DVD a few days ago. And now, at 26, the film is still just as funny as it always was. There is not a single unfunny moment from the beginning to the end, even though the last act gets serious and suspenseful.

    Gene Wilder and the late Richard Pryor play Skip Donahue and Harry Munro, two NYC losers who are making no money in their dream jobs of play-write and actor. Stuck with insulting service jobs they both get fired on the same day, at the same moment, for various reasons. Skip, the apparent ladies man and ever the delusional optimist, talks Harry into seeing it as their big chance to escape NYC and head for LA 'where you smile and they just POUR money on you'.

    In their rusted, derelict combi, they make it as far as Glenboro, a hicksville backwater desert town, where they are promptly framed for bank robbery. Their lawyer is utterly useless and they are in jail before they know it, literally. Skip only realizes the seriousness of the situation as they are being shown into their cell. But when Skip shows he has undiscovered talents as a rodeo champ the crooked Warden forces him to compete in the annual rodeo competition, giving Skip, Harry and some others a chance to escape.

    The chemistry between Wilder and Pryor is insane. Skip is innocent, optimistic, romantic and sees the good in everything. Harry is cynical and reactionary and is frequently the real victim of Skip's impossibly good-natured personality. Everything they say and do is brilliant and every scene has something special about it that you'll remember always. It's literally impossible for me to pick out one in particular as they are all as great as each other.

    It's hard to believe that auteur actor Sidney Poiter directed this movie. I've never really seen in do a crazy, comedic performance, so for him to be so on-the-ball and humorous behind the camera is always a surprise when watching Stir Crazy.

    There's so many things that Stir Crazy has going for it. It's not just a crazy comedy, it's also a character drama with wonderfully surreal and authentic moments (mass-mass-mass murderer Grossberger sining 'Down in the Valley' and proving to be as timid as a kitten being one of them).

    If you don't find Stir Crazy funny, you're dead. And if you've never seen it...you're certainly no movie buff.
  • the scene when grossberger meets pryor, and wilder alone is worth it! and when they are playing cards!!!!! and wilder's "back problem cure" scene is astounding!!!!! these two actors were made to work together!
  • Two guys doing a bank promotion dressed as Big Bird are mistaken for the bank robbers who stole their costumes in "Stir Crazy," a 1980 film starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, who worked so well together in several films.

    Two friends, Skip and Harry (Wilder and Pryor) both lose their jobs and leave New York City, planning to work their way to the west coast. When the unfortunate situation described above happens, they wind up in prison. The naive Skip (Wilder), an aspiring playwright, takes notes and Harry (Pryor), facing the reality of the situation, is terrified. In prison, they meet the very gay Rory (Georg Stanford Brown), the sweet Jesus (Miguel Angel Suarez), who misses his girlfriend Teresa, the huge, scary Grossberger (Erland van Lidth de Jeude) who turns out to be a pussycat with a beautiful singing voice, the miserable guard (Craig T. Nelson) and the warden (Barry Corbin). When it's discovered that Skip has a natural ability to ride a mechanical bull, the warden enters him in a rodeo where he has a huge bet with another warden (Nicholas Coaster). Harry, Skip, Rory, Grossberger, and Jesus plan an escape to take place at the rodeo.

    Very funny film, with one of the highlights being Pryor in the prison hospital because he was told he had to have his appendix out, though they had already been removed. Skip is advised that in order to get the team he wants at the rodeo, he needs to turn down the warden's request that he ride. Putting Hank in the hospital is just one ploy to break him down. The scene is hilarious.

    Pryor and Wilder work beautifully together, the street smart black and the naive dreamer. There's always something so sweet about Wilder and nervous about Pryor, one walking into obvious danger while the other one desperately tries to pull him out, that just worked in all their films. It's also a rare chance to see the uniquely talented Erland van Lidth de Jeude, a huge, 6'6" Dutch heldentenor who qualified for the Olympics in wrestling, was a teacher, an MIT graduate, and had his own computer company. An absolutely amazing man who died 7 years after this film.

    Lots of fun. Recommended.
  • "Thats right,thats right we baaaad.....". That line was probably the most famous that Richard Pryor ever uttered on screen. He and Gene Wilder made a great "buddy" team just like Newman and Redford...only they are a helluva lot funnier! This was one film that critics hated but audiences loved. Wilder's "nice guy" is a perfect match for Pryor's wisecracking. This film has a fine supporting cast as well, George Stanford Brown (although his portrayal of a gay inmate may not seem "politically correct" today, he is hilariously "swishy" though!) Jobeth Williams, Barry Corbin (as the corrupt warden)and Craig T. Nelson (before he became a "Coach"). Sidney Poitier does a wonderful job of directing these two comedy legends I might add. The prison escape in the end kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked Skip and Harry so much that I was just rooting for them all the way! Pryor was burned shortly after this film was completed.
  • gaffer-1627 December 1999
    Simply put, one of the greatest buddy movies of all time. Pryor and Wilder were great together. At least for their first two movies together. Pryor and Wilder are at their funniest as two guys wrongly convicted of a bank robbery.
  • I first watched this movie as a kid in cinemas I had to go and watch it like 10 more times.my stomach was in cramps every time and tears were coming out of my eyes of laughter.Right from the beginning jokes and one liners.At the lunch when Henry finds out his drug was used as oregano.The Californian earthquake line as epic as any. But of course the most funny scenes are in prison,especially when they pretend the are bad.Unforgettable! I cannot analyse this movie or any other the way critics do.As long as I like it and entertains me or makes me thinking then it works for me. The only flaw of this one probably the last 10 minutes of it,when you don't get any more laughter only the outcome of their attempt to escape from prison.But even this works as the storyline requires an ending. The team of Wilder and Pryor at their very best.U wanna have a good time u must watch this!!!
  • Not having seen this in about 30 years, I didn't know if I'd still think Sidney Poitier's Stir Crazy was as funny as I originally thought it was. I just watched it again on Netflix Streaming and the answer is yes! I mean, from the set up beginning sequences with Richard Pryor as a waiter and Gene Wilder as a store detective, there's plenty of funny stuff here. By the time they get to prison, Pryor and Wilder try lots of crazy stuff that still got me in stitches especially when Richard's character has to deal with a gay inmate named Rory Schultebrand (Georg Standford Brown) who has a fancy for him. Fellow inmates Gene and Richard befriend include Jusus Ramirez (Miguel Angel Suavez) and Grossberger (Erland Van Lidth De Jeude). The latter doesn't talk but he does provide a nice singing voice that compliments Gene's in a later duet. Others they meet in the cell include Blade (Charles Weldon), Big Mean (Cedrick Hardman), his sidekick-Slowpoke (Grand L. Bush), and a guy who punches the former (Tony Burton). Outside of the jail are many now-familiar faces like Joel Brooks as lawyer Len Garber, JoBeth Williams as cousin Meredith, her future Poltergeist co-star Craig T. Nelson as deputy Ward Wilson, and Barry Corbin as warden Walter Beatty who has the distinction of appearing in two 1980 movies featuring the mechanical bull, the other being Urban Cowboy. Since this is Black History Month, I'd like to complete this review by citing three more African-American players other than Pryor, Brown, Weldon, Hardman, Bush, and Burton: Franklyn Ajaye-who previously appeared with Pryor in Car Wash-as a young man in hospital ward that accidentally got a nut cut off, Esther Sutherland as the cook Sissie in the beginning sequence, and Pamela Poitier-Sidney's daughter-as the cook's helper. So on that note, I highly recommend Stir Crazy. Oh, and I also noticed Luis Avalos-the guy named Chico who uses pliers for sinister purposes-from my childhood TV show, "The Electric Company" from the '70s.
  • Stir Crazy is directed by Sidney Poitier and written by Bruce Jay Friedman. It stars Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Miguel Angel Suarez, Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams and Erland Van Lidth. Plot has Pryor and Wilder as two care free New York buddies who after getting fired from their jobs decide to make their way to Hollywood in search of better fortunes. However, after taking up a gig as promotional woodpeckers for a bank's advertisement drive, they find themselves framed for robbing the bank and sentenced to 125 years each in prison…..

    The second pairing of Wilder and Pryor proves to be the best of their output on film. With their chemistry skin tight, film is full of laughs until a big slow down for the last third when the inevitable attempt at a prison break out occurs. Poitier's direction isn't up to anything other than correctly letting his two lead stars strut their stuff. But along with writer Friedman, he has to be accountable for letting the comedy dry up as the film chooses tension over humour which undoubtedly doesn't sit at all right. Still, the first hour is a joy ride, particularly once the guys land in prison, here the comedy reaches its peak and the contrast of the two characters played by Wilder and Pryor really mines the set-up for all is worth. Wilder is oblivious to the hazards of prison life, Pryor is street savvy and fully aware of the perils around every brick walled corner.

    Naturally there's a hope on the horizon, which here comes in the form of Rodeo skills, this too brings the laughs, as does the number of prison characters that join in the plot. Notably Van Lidth's monstrous, and monstrously funny, Grossberger. Yes it's a roll call of prison stereotypes, from the top where the morally dubious Warden (Barry Corbin) sits, down to the cons where gays, bullies and gate happy loonies reside. With that, some of it now seems twee and badly out of date. So much so it's a film that is unlikely to garner a new and appreciative audience. However, those who were enamoured and found themselves laughing heartily with it back in the early 80s, should find that like myself, it holds up real well. Kind of like an old friend you call on when you need a pick me up. Hardly a superior comedy classic, then, but a film that rewards its fans on each subsequent revisit. 7/10
  • Stir Crazy isn't anything too difficult to explain. It's simply pure comedy from the talented duo of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, directed by the fantastic Sidney Poitier.

    Gene and Richard play two friends from New York who are moving to California. They stop over in a town in Arizona, get a job as dancing woodpeckers who do jingles for a bank and then are arrested when two other men steal their costumes and rob said bank.

    They then are sent to jail for 125 years by the no-nonsense judge and the film documents their attempt to get used to prison life, pray that their lawyers can prove their innocence and hope Skip (Gene's character) can dominate the prison rodeo.

    As I said, there's nothing deep or thought provoking in this film. It's just the zany antics of the two comedic legends. Some strong acting by the cast and excitement are in the offing and the film delivers that in spades.

    What was neat to see were all the T.V. stars of past and future in the supporting cast, like Luis Avalos of The Electric Company and Craig T. Nelson of Coach. It was fun to recognize all these old faces.

    The only flaw was that the film's writing seemed geared for an easy job of editing for T.V. I wonder if just making it PG would have been better for their box office numbers. Nonetheless, Stir Crazy was the 3rd highest grossing film of 1980.

    If you're looking for a real comedy film, a blast from the past, Stir Crazy delivers.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After their successful partnership in Silver Streak, comic duo Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder reteamed for this wacky prison comedy under the direction of Sidney Poitier. Originally intended as a film entitled "Prison Rodeo", the film eventually got released under the title Stir Crazy - complete with a catchy title tune sung by Wilder himself - and was a big hit for its two stars. In truth, it is considerably short of the brilliant standard set by Silver Streak.... while that film was witty, charming and exciting, this one is very broad with lots of outright silliness. But having said that, Stir Crazy is still totally enjoyable in its harmless way.

    New Yorkers Skip Donahue (Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Pryor) decide to head out west, dreaming of a new start away from the Big Apple. En route, they stop off in various small towns and take on part-time jobs to fund their trip. In a town called Glenborough, Skip and Harry are hired by a bank manager to dress up in woodpecker costumes and entertain the waiting customers with a song-and-dance act. However, a couple of rednecks steal their costumes and rob the bank while Skip and Harry are on their lunch break.... when the unsuspecting pair return to work, they are promptly arrested for the robbery they didn't even commit. It isn't long before the innocent duo are locked up in the penitentiary, with a 135-year sentence hanging over them! Skip impresses the prison warden by riding a bucking bronco (mechanical bull) at full speed, and is later approached to represent the prison in a forthcoming annual rodeo show. The rodeo provides Skip and Harry, plus a few of their new convict pals, with a chance to attempt an audacious prison break....

    Stir Crazy is more entertaining during the opening two-thirds than the final third. The comedy aspects seem to run out of steam, and the last half hour is dedicated purely to the jail break sequence. While the escape is tolerable enough to watch, it isn't really in keeping with the zany tone established earlier in the movie. Wilder and Pryor are good together (despite their well documented on-set differences.... it was around this time that Pryor was getting out of control with drugs); the supporting actors have amusing moments along the way too, especially Erlind Van Lidith as a mass murderer who develops an unlikely affection towards Harry and Skip. The film is quite episodic in some ways, especially during the middle section when the prison guards try various nasty strategies to intimidate Skip into joining the rodeo team. The funniest moments are the more spontaneous bits, where Wilder and Pryor's chemistry is thrust to the fore (the scene where they "get bad" upon first entering a jail is a wonderful example of this). All in all, Stir Crazy has much to enjoy but just runs out of gas on its final lap.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love and miss this comedy team!

    This time our two hapless heroes are framed for a bank heist and find themselves in prison.

    These two actors have a wonderful chemistry together and generate a marvelous feeling of kinship, friendship, and give us the feeling that everything will be fine as long as they are working together as a team. The story here is both touching and creative. The direction by Sidney Poitier no less, is wonderful, and the sets are well designed. This movie gives you a wonderful feeling of hope.

    I love this movie, as I have all the others these two have done together.

    It rates a 7.6/10 from...

    the Fiend :.
  • After the success of Silver Streak it was inevitable that Gene & Richard would be teamed up again & they are here in another very funny outing for the comedy duo. Maybe this is not quite as good as their first film together but it is still one of the best comedies around. Framed for a crime they didn't commit the two new yorkers find themselves facing a long time behind bars. Skips new found talent may be their ticket out of prison, just maybe. The film runs out of steam a bit towards the end, they don't appear to know how to end it! However the chemistry between Wilder & Pryor coupled with some other great characters & scenes make this a classic prison comedy.
  • Classic comedy from two of the funniest men in cinema. The film itself is a vehicle for some of the best slapstick in any modern film. The main critism is that the film gets slightly boring towards the end as the comedy is replaced by the plot as both characters attempt a jailbreak. That said however, it is definately worth seeing this film just for the classic scene when Wilder and Prior are convicted of Armed Robbery and sent to the county jail. For the next hour the film is as funny as any I have seen. Classic Stuff!
  • magellan33325 December 2005
    I love Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Silver Streak was great. Hear No Evil See No Evil wasn't bad. I just don't get why this movie is so highly thought of. It has a few chuckles here and there, but all in all I didn't find it that funny. The funniest moments were Gene Wilder's craftiness in dealing with the guards brutality. Richard Pryor's striking a match to the big guy in jail was funny too, although it didn't make much sense. I have seen both the TV and DVD version of this film and neither were able to impress on me the reason this movie is considered to be a "classic". Both actors have had funnier films (together and on their own).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Stir Crazy starts in New York City as best friends Skip Donahue (Gene Wilder) & Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor) are both fired from their jobs on the same afternoon, drowning their sorrows in a local bar Skip tells Harry that he is fed up with New York & convinces his friend that they should set off on a road trip across the US to Hollywood to find their fame & fortune. Harry agrees but their old van breaks down in a small town called Glenboro, needing money to pay for the repairs Skip & Harry are hired by a bank to sing a song dressed as Woodpeckers. Two local crooks steal the Woodpecker costumes & rob the bank for which Skip & Harry are blamed, they go before a judge, found guilty & sentenced to one hundred & twenty five years each behind bars in state prison. Both Skip & Harry are unprepared for the harsh reality of prison & decide to use the upcoming rodeo to escape...

    Directed by Sidney Poitier this is the sort of film that you will get & roll around on the floor laughing or find crude & unfunny, comedy like so much else is subjective & what makes one person laugh will not necessarily make the guy sitting next to him laugh so when I say that I thought Stir Crazy was often quite hilarious it's only my own personal opinion as I know quite rightly the person I was standing next to in the que at the bus stop may not. Simple. I won't say that you will find Stir Crazy as funny as I did but I think you would need to be pretty devoid of emotion not to find at least some of it amusing & as I said I think it's often outright hilarious. The film starts off almost entirely as a showcase for the comedic pairing of Wilder & Pryor with some terrific scenes including the Woodpecker dance, the 'I'm bad' scene in jail, some priceless one-liners & reactions to the general likability of the two leads as they turn the material into gold. However once the rodeo aspect & jail break angle kicks in during the second half of the film the comedy seems to take a back seat as gambling, cheating & an odd jail break (why did Harry have to go back into the rodeo? Why couldn't Rory & Jesus climb up the shaft & into the popcorn thing like Harry & Skip do?) take center stage. Also the ending is a little silly & unsatisfying in it's attempt to finish as quickly as possible, sure Harry & Skip have been acquitted but that still leaves the fact they broke out of jail & helped two other convicted criminals including a murderer to escape too. While I am poking holes in the plot would a lawyer's niece really get a job in a topless bar just on the off chance she might see a guy with a particular tattoo? Now that's going above & beyond the call of duty, unless of course she needed the extra money as well.

    Shot in a real Arizona prison this has good production values & is well made for what it is although there's no real action apart from some rodeo footage of horses & bulls thrashing around. While there is plenty of bad language & profanity there's no violence to speak of. Apparently Richard Pryor refused to wear the Woodpecker suit while filming but strangely did wear for the poster & promotional materials.

    Apparently a big success at the time even though the critics generally hated it, some of the country & western style music & songs are a little nerve grating & distracting but nothing too major. The acting is good, Wilder & Pryor in particular are brilliant here as a pairing & it's said a lot of scenes were improvised between the two. Even though their character's never meet in Stir Crazy both JoBeth Williams & Craig T. Nelson went on to star in the excellent Poltergeist (1982) a couple of years later.

    Stir Crazy is a film that I found extremely funny, Wilder & Pryor are on top form & while the logistic's of the story seem to have been shoved to one side Stir Crazy is just a film to be enjoyed & not taken too seriously.
  • jts04057 June 2009
    Comedic Legends Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor have been paired together numerous times, but this is quite possibly the most memorable of all their comedies as a duo. The plot is actually quite simple, they both flee New York to find a small peaceful town, then while finding work they are framed for a bank robbery and placed behind bars, then in the thick of it all they plan an escape while Wilder's character participates in the Prison Rodeo. All in all it is a classic comedic performance from both Wilder and Pryor. Wilder's character brings probably some of the biggest laughs of all time. His film career is legendary, but these laughs are truly memorable from him. Pryor also is a very hilarious friend sort of character. This has truly the makings to go down as probably one of the greatest comedies of the 1980's.

    10/10
  • Idocamstuf28 September 2002
    This movie is just hilarious, It's definately the best movie Pryor or Wilder ever did. The slapstick comedy, and jokes from Pryor and Wilder still have me laughing. The plot does need some work, but it's so funny I dont even notice! If you are a fan of any of the actors in this movie, check it out.
  • whpratt19 January 2008
    Enjoyed this film starring Gene Wilder, (Skip Donahue) and Richard Pryor, (Harry Monroe) who are arrested and sent to prison for a bank robbery which they did not commit. Skip & Harry are from the East and are sent to a prison in the Western part of the country and they have to face some very difficult situations in the prison and just can't seem to adjust to prison life. One day the warden of the prison finds out that Skip has a great deal of experience in riding broncos in rodeo's and asks him to participate in a Western rodeo which is going to be presented to the prisoners and general public. There is some romance which goes on between a girl named Meredith, (Jo Beth Williams) who is attracted to Skip Donahue and obtains a lawyer for him to be able to investigate this false prison sentence and get him free. There is plenty of action with Skip & Harry trying to run away from bulls who are out to attack them and lots of great comedy.
  • This is an all-time favourite of mine. Yes, it's got its flaws but it is what it is - a rip-roaring, blundering, comedy classic. I must have seen it at least 6 times. The late Richard Pryor was a comedy genius and gelled brilliantly with Gene Wilder. It is a sad, sad shame that he deteriorated in health with the onset of MS, culminating in his tragic passing yesterday (December 10th 2005). Stir Crazy was the 2nd greatest movie of 1980 in my opinion (true movie buffs will know which was the greatest of that year). Fans of the movie should also view the inferior, but still funny See No Evil, Hear No Evil which sees the partnership of Wilder and Pryor re-ignited for a third time, following on from Stir Crazy and Silver Streak before that.
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