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Doctor Detroit (1983)

4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 3,883 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 13 critic

A timid college professor, conned into posing as a flamboyant pimp, finds himself enjoying his new occupation on the streets.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Clifford Skridlow / Doctor Detroit
...
Smooth Walker
...
Monica McNeil
Lydia Lei ...
Jasmine Wu
...
Diavolo Washington
...
Thelma Cleland
...
Karen Blittstein
John A. Maloney ...
Commodore
Pershing P. Anderson ...
Stretch
William Munchow ...
Professor Artel
Ed Meekin ...
Professor Durant (as Edward Meekin)
...
Johnny
Rudolph Kovar ...
Carson (as Rudolf Kovar)
Kate Murtagh ...
Mom
Peter Elbling ...
Guptor
Edit

Storyline

Clifford Skridlow teaches at a small Chicago college run by his father. Conned into managing four prostitutes by their pimp, who skips town to escape the mob boss known as Mom, Clifford draws on his course in medieval literature in his quest to save the women from Mom. Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's making the world safe for insanity.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1983 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Detroit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The mob boss character played by Kate Murtagh is only ever known as 'Mom'. See more »

Goofs

In the courtroom scene, Cliff is spinning this wild yarn about his and Thema's family in Louisiana and he uses the word 'county' when Louisiana uses parishes, not counties. See more »

Quotes

Judge: That girl is COLORED!
Thelma Cleland: Honey, nobody 'colored' me! I was born this way!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, we see "Coming soon: Doctor Detroit II, the Wrath of Mom." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strictly Background (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Get It On And Have A Party
Performed by Pattie Brooks
Courtesy of Backstreet Records
Pattie Brooks appears courtesy of Mirage Records
See more »

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User Reviews

An in depth look at the human psyche
17 April 2000 | by (Columbus, OH) – See all my reviews



In this move, Aykroyd presents a fresh look at what makes a man tick, his desires, feeling, emotions and passions. Aykroyd plays Clifford Skridlow, a somewhat nerdish college professor who is timid and mildly neruotic. This character speaks to a lot of us as we walk our way through life, often unnoticed and unsatisfied with our interactions with others. Longing for nothing but happiness, we weave our way through the obstacles of life much as Clifford rushes through the quad on the way to class, taunted and laughed at by the students surrounding him. But this isn't just another movie designed to identify with unsatisfied loners.

While enjoying dinner at an Indian Restauraunt (symbolizing the social and cultural diversity of humanity), Clifford is picked out by a local pimp to act as a scapegoat to avoid debt to Mom, of the infamous Mom's Limo Company. How many times have you been picked by those more successful than you to take the blame? It's getting a little to real at this point, as the action picks up it's pace. Clifford must invent an inner personality to cope with the feelings of rejection and hatred, and the character Doctor Detroit is born. He embodies all that Clifford wishes he could be, suave, feared, respected, wealthy, and adored by women. The metal hand on his left arm is a not so subtle attempt to portray the desire of the weak to be strong.

The strong reference to Nietzsche's idea of men rising up from the ashes and becoming a strong race of supermen cannot be ignored at this point, and it's clear that this is more than just a silly comedy. With his newfound alter-ego and inner strength, the doctor conquers evil and saves the day. In a triumphant final speed, the Doctor retires his inner personality encouraging the gathered crowd to be strong and find their own inner selves, while returning to a life of a normal, unknown man.

But what will happen to him? Why did he choose to let his inner self die? Was this a sacrifice, or a lack of courage? What would Nietzsche think about this complex analysis? This movie will leave you asking these any many questions. Highly recommended, especially as an introduction to other great works such as Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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