WHICH WAY IS UP?: A seriocomic tale of love, seduction, and betrayal in the strife-torn farm country of central California. Richard Pryor plays several roles here, most significantly a migrant worker who works his way up the ranks in the agricultural company controlling one of the farms.
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS: Director Walter Hill tries his hand at this adaptation of the often-filmed novel by George Barr McCutcheon. Richard Pryor stars as Brewster, a penniless struggling pitcher for a minor league baseball team. His luck changes when he is informed that a wealthy uncle has died, leaving him a vast fortune under one condition: in order to inherit the full amount, he must first spend 30 million dollars in 30 days. The caveat: he may not give it away, spend it frivolously, or tell anyone about the arrangement, and at the end of the 30 days, no tangible assets may remain. Richard Pryor and John Candy both turn in excellent comic performances as two bush-league baseball players who are suddenly thrust into the world of the wealthy--helping make BREWSTER'S MILLIONS a winner.
CAR WASH: Director Michael Schultz follows up his critically acclaimed and commercially successful COOLEY HIGH with this hilarious day-in-the-life tale set in modern-day Los Angeles. At Sully Boyar's car wash, a motley crew of young city-dwellers "work their fingers to the bone" waiting on the eccentric and sometimes haughty clientele. Throughout the day, the young men find time to indulge in personal pursuits: one fellow fantasizes about the pretty waitress working at a local restaurant, a militant preaches politics, and more disgruntled workers find a way to justify their laziness. As the day wears on, the many levels of oppression that control each individual's life gradually become apparent. Luckily, Schultz and screenwriter Joel Schumacher don't dwell on the potentially depressing aspects of their subject matter; proving that sometimes laughter is the best medicine, they stuff their film with enough verbal, visual, and situational humor to keep the audience laughing throughout. This can also be attributed to the performances by the all-star ensemble of performers, including Franklin Ajaye, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Duke, and Garrett Morris. Cementing the deal is the film's soundtrack, which features the soulful music of diva Rose Royce.
BUSTIN' LOOSE: Foulmouthed Joe (Richard Pryor) breaks his parole, but is given a chance to prove his worth by a schoolteacher (Cicely Tyson). She hires him to drive a bus full of Special School kids from Philadelphia. Joe is a bit unnerved by their various mental problems but soon the bonds of friendship are formed, and Joe wins the respect of both the kids and their teacher.