Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1982. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Rastar Pictures. Screenplay by Richard Pryor. Cinematography by Haskell Wexler. Produced by Richard Pryor. Music by Harry Betts. Production Design by Michael Baugh. Film Editing by Sheldon Kahn.
Another live performance by Richard Pryor is captured for the cameras and made into a mostly entertaining feature film. Pryor puts his trademark brand of humour on some of his favourite subjects, particularly racism in America, while also delighting audiences with stories about various film roles that he’s had in Hollywood. There’s no denying that this man is one of the undisputed kings of comedy, but there’s an energy missing from the film that probably could only have really been enjoyed by the audiences who saw it live. Pryor’s verve is impressive throughout, but director Joe Layton’s cameras fail to fully capture it. Still, fans will be thrilled, and the film’s slow moments are only moments; mostly, it’s a good time.