6.9/10
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35 user 17 critic

Get Crazy (1983)

R | | Comedy, Music | 5 August 1983 (USA)
Mega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Max Wolfe (as Allen Goorwitz)
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Colin Beverly
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Auden
Howard Kaylan ...
Lori Eastside ...
Nada
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Toad
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O'Connell
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Storyline

Mega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save the drugs, violence, and rock and roll from Beverly's schemes. Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Malcolm McDowell is hilarious as the punk rock super star Reggie Wanker See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 August 1983 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,645,711
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a deal reminiscent of the one brokered in Mel Brooks' _The Producers_, shares were sold in the film to a Wall Street tax shelter group, effectively meaning that it didn't need to be released and was designed to lose money so that others would make money. Director Allan Arkush learned this during filming and was thoroughly demoralized by it, knowing that he was making a film that no one would see. See more »

Goofs

When Susie is changing clothes in the street to go to the party, the camera follows her old clothes in the street and pans around to Susie in her party clothes. As the camera pans around to her, you can see in the bottom right corner the track the camera rolls on. See more »

Quotes

Captain Cloud: Dying? Just another step on the journey, man!
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Connections

References Blue Thunder (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock and Roll
Written by Muddy Waters (as M. Morganfield) and Brownie McGhee (as B. McGhee)
Performed by Bill Henderson
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User Reviews

 
Only Rock N' Roll But I Like It!
14 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Get Crazy" is as '80s as a Flock Of Seagulls haircut or a Ms. Pac Man machine, but when people talk about the decade, for some strange reason it's off everyone's radar screen. No one mentions it when you talk about cool '80s cinema, but it's better than a pack of "Fast Times" or a pair of "Breakfast Clubs" for my money.

It's a rare thing to see three such beauties as Gail Edwards, Stacy Nelkin, and Anna Bjorn all adorning the same film, but who on Earth in 1983 could have thought it would be the career highpoint for all three of them? Why isn't Malcolm McDowell's fantastically hilarious Mick Jagger send-up as celebrated as Bill Murray's Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack?" What more evidence do you need that life's unfair! How about one of the zaniest films since "Hard Day's Night" celebrating rock 'n roll passing though the chasm of time with barely a whisper of recognition? Ouch!

Okay, I'm through ranting. Since you are reading this, you don't deserve this spiel. You care enough to look through these reviews. Perhaps you even managed to find a copy of the film, which may be like climbing K2 for video collectors, forget DVD. Here's why "Get Crazy" is worth your time.

1. Killer songs - "Hot Shot" and "Take It No More" are pretty boss send-ups of hard rock and new wave from the period. The latter even has some great Shirelles-style harmonies and sax breaks, very B52s.

2. Spot-on sendups - McDowell is great as Reggie, even his last name is a funny dig at the head Stone. Strutting onstage with a giant codpiece and frilly tunic, McDowell has a lot of fun playing it very silly for a change, and the results suit him. It's great to see such a fine actor cutting up.

3. Goofy set pieces - I like the bit where King Blues is at the graveyard ceremony for his blues musician friend, and every other mourner is blind! Or when Reggie prods his girlfriend with a lobster claw. When we first see Lou Reed as the Dylan send-up Auden, he's lounging in the same pose and background as Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" album cover except everything's covered in cobwebs, including the girl with the ciggie! You have to watch this film a few times to pick up even most of the craziness.

4. Political incorrectness - You want sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll? "Get Crazy" has it. There's walking joints, ganja so potent it can suspend 220-pound blues legends in midair, and a strange thin man with no face and a suitcase stocked with pharmaceutical cornucopia. And plenty of nudity, even one actress in a bathtub playing a high school girl. Yet you can't really hold it against "Get Crazy," because the sex and drugs are there for jokes rather than titillation, sending up the lifestyle we all associate with the music.

5. Relevance to the time - The 80s were the decade of greed and ugly silver-plastic pants, so who is a better movie villain than Colin Beverly? He's played to perfection by Ed Begley Jr., star of such sleazy late-night R-rated period fare as "Private Lessons" and "Eating Raoul" and just oozing corruption from every pore. The clash of cultures between Beverly and Allan Garfield's idealistic Max Wolfe, owner of the Saturn Theater and hero of our story, makes for a nice microcosm of the period. It's like Michael Douglas taking on Martin Sheen in "Wall Street," only with some drop-dead bass guitar underneath. And then there's the other culture clash, that of New Wave performer Nada (Lori Eastside crossing Joan Jett with Toni Basil) and McDowell's take on Jagger's "Emotional Rescue" period, including a Keef substitute in John Densmore playing drums.

"Get Crazy" can be sad to watch. The director, Allan Arkush, had a lot of talent we never really got to see again because of this film's unfair fate. Likewise, it has too many good actors who never got another serious chance. There's also an eerie opening where Wolfe, riding a flying machine, crashes into an electrical apparatus, which is exactly how Wolfe's real-life basis Bill Graham died years later.

But otherwise this film is just a ton of fun, a time capsule that hasn't gotten a minute older for all the New Years that have passed between then and now.


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