IMDb > Which Way Is Up? (1977)
Which Way Is Up?
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Which Way Is Up? (1977) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.4/10   1,091 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lina Wertmüller (1972 screenplay Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore)
Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Which Way Is Up? on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 February 1979 (Denmark) See more »
Richard Pryor is playing three different roles here. The first being a poor orange picker named Leroy... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
the miseducation of Richard Pryor's audience See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Pryor ... Leroy Jones / Rufus Jones / Reverend Lenox Thomas

Lonette McKee ... Vanetta

Margaret Avery ... Annie Mae

Morgan Woodward ... Mr. Mann
Marilyn Coleman ... Sister Sarah

Bebe Drake ... Thelma (as BeBe Drake-Hooks)
Gloria Edwards ... Janelle
Ernesto Hernández ... Jose Reyes (as Ernesto Hernandez)

Otis Day ... Sugar
Morgan Roberts ... Henry
Diane Rodriguez ... Estrella Reyes
Dolph Sweet ... The Boss

Tim Thomerson ... Tour Guide (as Timothy Thomerson)
Daniel Valdez ... Chuy Estrada (as Danny Valdez)
Luis Valdez ... Ramon Juarez

Marc Alaimo ... Frankie
Tony Alvarenga ... Errand Boy

Victor Argo ... Angel
Pat Ast ... Hooker
Blair Burrows ... Goon
Kathy Cronkite ... Photographer
Ron Cummins ... Photographer
Julie Dorman ... Congregation Lady
Evelyn Dutton ... Receptionist (as Evelyn J. Dutton)
Carmen Filpi ... Wino
Darrell Giddens ... Man at Picnic
Cheryl Harvey ... Congregation Lady
Louise Johnson ... Congregation Lady
Sidney Lanier ... Rossi

Tanya Lynne Lee ... Althea (as Tanya Lee)
Terence Locke ... Assassin (as Terrence Locke)
Ted Markland ... Goon
Ralph Montgomery ... Goon

Paul Mooney ... Inspector Caine
Shane Mooney ... Alvin
Yvonne Mooney ... Congregation Lady

Harry Northup ... Chief Goon
Dennis O'Flaherty ... Reporter
Korla Pandit ... The Hindu
Clifford A. Pellow ... White Boss (as Cliff Pellow)
Mark Robin ... Reporter

Hank Robinson ... Goon

Eddie Smith ... Man at Picnic
Spo-De-Odee ... Cripple
Bob Terhune ... Goon
Carol Trost ... Ms. Collins

Joe Turkel ... Harry Boatwright (as Joseph Turkel)
Angela Wilson ... Dawn Minetta

Hank Worden ... The Flunky

Directed by
Michael Schultz 
Writing credits
Lina Wertmüller (1972 screenplay Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore) (as Lina Wertmuller)

Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) and
Cecil Brown (screenplay)

Sonny Gordon  uncredited

Produced by
Michael Chinich .... associate producer
Steve Krantz .... producer
Original Music by
Mark Davis 
Paul Riser 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Danford B. Greene 
Production Design by
Lawrence G. Paull 
Set Decoration by
John M. Dwyer 
Makeup Department
Mark Reedall .... makeup artist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair stylist (as Robert Stevenson)
Production Management
Michael S. Glick .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Scott Maitland .... first assistant director
Don Zepfel .... second assistant director (as Donald Zepfel)
Sound Department
Peter Berkos .... sound effects editor
Willie D. Burton .... sound
Robert L. Hoyt .... sound
Marvin E. Lewis .... boom operator
Alan Oliney .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
James Plannette .... gaffer
Chris Strong .... electrician
Music Department
John Caper Jr. .... music editor (as John Caper)
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver
Other crew
Mabel Collins .... production associate
H. Bud Otto .... script supervisor (as Bud Otto)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The office tower's roof being painted 'Washington Square 330 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, Ca.' was later the exterior setting for the office of the Simon's for the television show "Simon & Simon".See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "TruInside: The Jerk (#1.5)" (2016)See more »
Which Way Is Up?See more »


Where can I view the scene from which 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny" used a line sample from?
See more »
6 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
the miseducation of Richard Pryor's audience, 9 August 2010
Author: lonflexx from Japan

Based on "The Seduction of Mimi", this Americanized version of the script loses much in the translation. Significantly damaged are the cutting social satire and the tragic aspect. The original, dealing with radical Italian politics and labor issues, Italian concepts of family honor, traditional Italian gender roles and an intimidating pyramid of social corruption MIGHT have worked here IF the Hollywood scriptwriters knew how to superimpose a uniquely American template onto these themes and redrew the map to fit. Instead they used the original script verbatim and threw-out anything too idiomatic, replacing political irony with rather dumb 70s TV sitcom jokes.

This left Pryor in the unenviable position of having to shore-up this spineless farce. He's left pretty much on his own. As in too many Peter Sellers movies, he's given free reign to pad the scenes with comic improvisation. In front of an audience Pryor was a genius at this. The camera just doesn't pick it up here. Most of his valiant efforts fall flat. Both Margaret Avery and Marilyn Coleman give more finely tuned comedic performances.

Pryor may actually be miscast. The role of Leroy calls for a Chaplineque everyman caught in the middle of tyrannical forces over which he has no control and must constantly deny his ideals and desires in order to survive. The role calls for an idiot, but a sympathetic one, and Pryor isn't credible as a dope. When he attempts to look clueless, he looks like a hip wiseguy trying to look innocent. And that's really funny in the right situation. But here it works like a spice trying to taste bland.

Fortunately, Pryor would try his hand at this type of character in Blue Collar with far better results.

I'm certain most of the blame can be leveled on both the producer and director. Steve Krantz was okay with cartoons, but a total hack at producing live action films. He was probably hovering around impeding the camera-work and making sure there were no retakes. Michael Schultz never made much of his directorial career and is particularly stale in the comedy genre. After some early potential he quickly sold himself out as a Hollywood flunkie for square producers like Krantz.

Five stars for Pryor because anything he's in is worth a look, plus an extra star for Avery, Coleman and gratuitous sightings of Korla Pandit and Hank Worden.

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