CRAZY (director: Sidney
Poitier; screenwriter: Bruce Jay Friedman; cinematographer: Fred Schuler;
Keller; music: Tom Scott; cast: Gene Wilder (Skip Donahue),
Richard Pryor (Harry Monroe), Georg Stanford Brown (Rory
Schultebrand, gay convict), JoBeth Williams (Meredith),
Miguelangel Surez (Jesus Ramirez), Craig T. Nelson
(Deputy Ward Wilson), Barry Corbin (Warden Walter
Van Lidth De Jeude (Grossberger), Charles
Weden (Blade), Joel
Brooks (Len Garber); Runtime:111; MPAA Rating:
R; producers: Hannah
Weinstein/Melville Tucker/Francois De Menil;
Home Entertainment; 1980)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
1970s the popular and acclaimed black actor Sidney
Poitier ("Uptown Saturday Night"/"Hanky Panky"/"Buck and the Preacher") had
turned to directing, and in total directed nine films.
This tedious buddy
crime/comedy pic teams again Richard Pryor and Gene
Wilder, who starred in the smash hit Silver Streak
(1976). In this one Bruce Jay Friedman's unfunny
script and the comics by now too familiar shtick,
leaves much to be desired. Nevertheless the pic also
did a big box-office.
The unemployed actor Harry
and the unemployed playwright
Skip Donahue (Gene
respectively working temp jobs as a waiter and store
detective in NYC, when both are fired on the same day.
Looking for a sunnier climate, the unemployed friends
flee by an old camper to Hollywood but go no further
than Arizona. Working a song and dance act, dressed as
huge woodpeckers, for a local Sun Belt bank promotion, they are
arrested when the bank they're working at is robbed by
two guys wearing their stolen bird costumes. Sentenced
to 125 years in prison, most of the film has the boys
doing their lame slapstick act as they plan to escape.
Unfortunately all the gags during their escape fall
flat, leaving the film more or less inert.
Their dire situation should
have produced more comedy, but stereotypical prison
characters and their tiresome antics never amounted to
much. The highlight is Pryor's chicken dance to act
bad when entering the prison, to show the inmates
they're not scared when they really are.
Prison scenes were filmed
at the Arizona State Prison, where inmates were used
REVIEWED ON 1/19/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ