6.8/10
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56 user 16 critic

Stir Crazy (1980)

Set up and wrongfully accused, two best friends will be sent to prison for a crime they didn't commit. However, no prison cell could keep them locked in.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Meredith
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Jesus Ramirez (as Miguelangel Suarez)
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Len Garber
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Jack Graham
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Grossberger (as Erland Van Lidth De Jeude)
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Guard #1
Karmin Murcelo ...
Teresa Ramirez
...
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Storyline

Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a natural talent for riding broncos with the inter-prison rodeo coming up. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor dress up as woodpeckers and get framed for robbing a bank... and when they discover that prison life is for the birds they go... Stir Crazy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Locos de remate  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,691,886, 14 December 1980, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$101,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first movie directed by an African-American to gross over one hundred million dollars in North America. See more »

Goofs

Bank robbery is not automatically a federal crime. It depends on whether bank is federally insured or not. Also state and feds may agree to allow the state to prosecute depending on circumstances; as an example, state penalty may be more severe than federal. As a retired police detective I've personally investigated numerous bank robberies where the state has been the primary prosecutor. See more »

Quotes

Skip Donahue: I want a bigger cell! With better ventilation!
Deputy Ward Wilson: Why? Grossberger been fartin' on ya?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Stir Crazy (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional folk song
Sung by Erland van Lidth
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'Arrrgh! I can't feel one of my legs!'
14 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

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.


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