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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Author: morrison-dylan-fan from United Kingdom
13 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With a friend having greatly enjoyed a DVD of the 1988 Comedy film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that I gave her for a Birthday present,I started searching around for Comedy movies with a similar feel,which she could enjoy watching on the upcoming May Bank Holiday.Frantically searching round online,I suddenly remembered a fun looking Comedy which I had seen 30 minutes of on TV around 10 or so years ago!,which led to me deciding that it was about time to fully witness Brewster count out his millions.

The plot:

Heading out to a bar to celebrate their (minor league) baseball team the Hackensack Bull's latest win,star team mates Montgomery 'Monty' Brewster and Spike Nolan quickly get into a fight with fellow customers at the bar,and end up getting sent to jail.Being left completely speechless at their bail hearing (where the judge sets the bail amount at a level that they can never afford)by a stranger sitting in the court who announces that he will pay their full bail cost,the stranger tells Nolan and Brewster that they both must visit a law firm that he's working for called Granville & Baxter.

Attending a private film screening at the law firm whilst Nolan is ordered to wait outside,Brewster discovers that he has a recently diseased great- uncle called Robert Horn who he never knew existed.On the film,Horn reveals that due to him being the only surviving relative,that Brewster has a chance to get his full savings.

Not wanting to give Brewster an easy shot at the money,Horn tells Brewster that he has 2 options:1-he can accept 1 million and allow the rest of Horn's $300 million estate to go to the law firm,or he can go for option 2,which is that he must spend 30 million over 30 days in order to get the 300,but must not tell anyone where the 30 came from,or buy any items that he can keep.Initially being tempted by the $1 million offer,Brewster decides that he is going to instead try and hit a home run,and go straight for the $300 million jackpot.

View on the film:

Despite the Universal full-frame DVD taking away some of its jazzy style,director Walter Hill and cinematographer Ric Waite (who had both earlier worked together on the movie 48 Hours) dazzling style is still able to shine,thanks to Waite and Hill showing the contrasting appearances between Brewster's faded and dusty Minor League Baseball lifestyle,with the high-end,crystal clear one that he finds himself suddenly forced in.

For their adaptation of George Barr McCutcheon's novel,the screenplay by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod takes some delicious swipes at the 'greed is good' attitude that was starting to strike at the time,with the writers brilliantly showing the insane amount of influence Brewster can get,just by chucking money at anything that moves. Smartly deciding not to make the film be a sheer display of excess,the writers keep the movie strongly rooted to Brewster's blue collar big ground,which despite stopping the movie from fully tipping into the over exaggeration that it delightfully seemed to be heading towards,does allow the viewer to feel the full force of what has landed on Brewster's shoulders.

Entering the movie without a dime in his pockets,Richard Pryor gives a highly spirited performance as Brewster,with Pryor showing Brewster holding his working class background dearly,even as he's desperately trying to spend cash left,right and centre.Joining Pryor,John Candy gives an excellent performance as Nolan,with Candy giving the movie a shot of lightning every time he gleefully sets his sights on cash,as Brewster discover who really wants to be a millionaire.

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Very pleasant

Author: Rodrigo Amaro ( from São Paulo, Brazil
23 July 2012

The down-on-luck baseball player Brewster (Richard Pryor) is about to have his life drastically changed after being the sole heir of a big fortune. But in order to get the millions of dollars he's forced to spend U$30 million in the period of a month without getting having any properties or certain things to himself or wasting money away, those are the rules given to him. AND he can't say to anybody what's he doing.

"Brewster's Millions" is all about showing how difficult is Pryor's mission. So what does he do? He hires people of any kind paying them with a lot of money, buys an iceberg and the most expensive stamp of all, run as a mayor, among other things. He's closely followed by his best friend (John Candy), an accountant (Lonette McKee) from the bank, and also a colleague of her whose mission is to make Brewster lose this "game" and let the money stay in the bank.

Despite the great premise, the problem is that "Brewster's Millions" is never so much funny like it could have been. Constantly talky, very noisy but with a great pace, the film's weakest attribute (but it can be viewed as its best, in a way) is making the small characters to have the funniest parts of the show while the comic giants are only allowed to exceed themselves, or to have just a bunch of punchlines. Examples: Rick Moranis, playing the greatest impersonator of all and Joe Grifasi, playing Brewster's "personal photographer", they both offer such an enjoyable good time for us, more rewarding than all the fuzzy events with Pryor's character.

Treated like an Frank Capra's comedy, or even the humor of the Marx Brothers classic or dynamic as "Trading Places" (released on the same decade as this one) this could be far more impressive. "Brewster's Millions" deals with ethics, moral, the money's importance in people's lives and manages to be a little funny. The greatest thing is that it touched some poignant themes but it never got too serious or tacky (sure, Brewster understands even under contradictory circumstances, that even with all that money he gets he doesn't necessary feel better about it), it simply stick to the cheerful comedy with plenty of humor.

New territory for action director Walter Hill ("Warriors", "Streets of Fire"), exploring humored situations rather than explosions and fights, he stayed firm the rhythm presented in his works, very fast and well-constructed, with no time to waste. One moment changes to another without making us lose interest.

Above anything it's a pleasant film for any moment. Low your expectations without finding the same Richard Pryor of classics like "Stir Crazy" or Silver Streak" and you'll be greatly rewarded. At least, this is one of his good moments. 7/10

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A ne'er do well must spend millions to inherit billions

Author: david-sarkies from Australia
28 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a replacement pitcher for a New Jersey baseball team. He and his friend Spike Nolan (John Candy) have dreams of joining the big league, but the problem is that nobody is interested in them. Everything hits rock bottom when they are locked up in gaol for brawling and are not bailed out by their coach. But a strange guy pops up, bails them out and takes them to New York City where Monty is brought into an office alone where three lawyers sit. Here he learns that he has inherited a lot of money, but there is a catch. His great uncle doesn't want him to be taken for a ride, but rather he wants him to use the money wisely, so he says that he has thirty days to spend thirty million dollars. If he makes it then he gets three hundred million, but if he fails he gets nothing. At the end of the thirty days he is allowed no assets, he can only give 5% away to charity and can only loose 5% gambling. When hiring people he can only get his money's worth. Nor can he tell anybody about it. As such he has to get rid of all of the money while everybody else is trying to get him to save it.

This movie is based on earlier movies and the critics did not like this one that much. I have not seen the earlier movies (though would like to) but I enjoyed this movie. Richard Pryor and John Candy are both good, clean actors and comedians and the jokes are seriously funny in this one. It is quite amusing watching his friends wonder why Monty gets upset when he earns money and is joyous when he looses money.

The whole purpose of this is to force Monty to get so sick of spending money that he won't blow away the money that his great uncle has earned. The lawyers want the money because if Monty fails then they get the 300 million. They don't think Monty can do it though, but when it seems like he is succeeding, they get scared and try to defraud him out of $20,000 so that they still get the money. Thus it becomes a competition with very high stakes. Monty looses nothing if he fails, but if the lawyers fail then they can be up for fraud.

The interesting thing about it also is how people all come to bludge off Monty for the money. People swarm around him wanting jobs and simply money, and others try to swindle him, but Monty doesn't care. The fortunate thing is that when he wins, everybody is going to think that he is broke and they are not going to bother him anymore, while Brewster sits on millions of dollars. His friend Spike and the security guard show their friendship by collecting money for him after, so we can see beyond the movie that Brewster will remember them for their generosity.

The cleverest thing Brewster did was run for mayor and then withdrawal at the last minute. This was a very fortunate occurrence that there was a mayoral election on at that time, because it would have been very difficult to get rid of it otherwise. The clever thing though was buying a very expensive stamp and then mailing it. It was this action that worried the lawyers and made them act against him.

The critics did not like this movie but I do. This is a clever movie and Pryor and Candy are decent actors. Candy plays a good friend who is always there for Brewster and we know that this friendship will last even though Brewster has become a millionaire.

Favourite Quote: Spike to Monty when they are in gaol: I don't think this is a race thing because I'm in here too (its funny to me since having seen Hanging with the Homeboys a few days earlier).

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Cautionary Tale

Author: lukehuman from United Kingdom
8 October 2011

Prior is at his manic best in this simple comedy. His journey from zero to financial hero shows viewers that Herschel Weingrod's original material requires a honed performance to ensure that the narrative is not lost behind the highest of concepts. Prior allows his comic timing to be teased by director Hill while displaying far more emotion than had been allowed in Siver Streak or Superman III. With a supporting cast of America's finest comedians of the time one can not help but be drawn in to the duplicitous life of Montgomery Brewster's one shot at greatness. A must for any fan of the sort of farces responsible for shaping the cinema of the Cohens and Farrellys.

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Wonderfully entertaining

Author: welshNick from United Kingdom
17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the many adaptations of the famous novel and perhaps the best. Monty Brewster, played superbly by Richard Pryor, gets into a fight after pitching in a little league baseball game. When in court a man bails him out and takes him to a firm of accountants where he finds out a very rich relative has died. However, in order to inherit 300 million dollars he has to spend 30 million dollars in 30 days and have nothing to show for it. This is of course far more difficult than it looks. The fun really starts as he tries to spend it and finds it to be a lot harder than it sounds. The partners at the Accounting firm want him to fail so they can get their hands on the money and set a trap for him. I won't ruin the end but I always watch this when it is on and always laugh. Excellent entertainment.

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A bright and breezy comedy that has its heart in the right place

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
3 April 2011

While Brewster's Millions is not a perfect movie by all means, but it is a bright and breezy film that does have its heart in the right place. Also, as far as comedies go it is not one of the most defining films of the genre, but to be a good movie Brewster's Millions didn't need to be that.

As I have said already, Brewster's Millions is not a perfect film. The plot is on the predictable and simple side and I can understand why one might find it bizarre too with its concept and all though I did find it refreshing in a sense on the other side of the argument. The ending feels rather abrupt and could have been rounded off better, and also while others may be divided on whether to perceive this as a flaw, Brewster's Millions does have a theme that is firmly rooted in the 80s which may date it slightly.

However, it is nicely filmed, with striking locations and nice cinematography and editing, while the soundtrack is nicely 80s without dating the film. The film does work in its humour, the script is funny without the need to be too sophisticated and smart, while the odd situation also made me chuckle. The direction is good enough, the film is paced well and it is a good length. And although the story is quite simple, there is enough material to engage throughout, and a lot of it is to do with the fun chemistry between Richard Pryor and John Candy. Pryor I can find loud and unfunny at times, and other times where he is a lot of fun, his performance here is the latter and it does help that his character and most of the characters here are likable, while Candy really does shine. There is also a hilarious cameo from Rick Moranis and Jerry Orbach is always good value.

All in all, Brewster's Millions is a fun film with heart even if there are parts/aspects that could have done with more work. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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A modern morality play for today

Author: damotomo from Australia
17 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What I love about this film is that it teaches us to avoid greed and excess while giving us a good laugh at the same time. Made in the context of Gordon Gecko's 'Greed is good' philosophy of the 1980's, its lessons are just as relevant today as we face the economic disaster caused by the selfishness and greed of many of our financial institutions. Brewster finds that friendship, loyalty, honesty and generosity of the heart are far more valuable than the promise of material riches. John Candy's flawed yet redeeming character reminds us that we are all vulnerable to temptation but we don't have to succumb to it. I see Richard Pryor's Brewster join Orson Wells' Charles Foster Kane in his search for Rosebud. Unlike Kane, Brewster's search is more successful. Like all good comedy this film not only entertains us with laughter but also offers us insight into the human condition.

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Brewster's Millions

Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
18 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was apparently the seventh time the same story had been filmed, and I would guess this is probably the best effort of all of them, from director Walter Hill (48 Hours, Red Heat). Basically Montgomery 'Monty' Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a minor league baseball player, and after a fight ending up appearing before a court, and being cut from his team, a man who has been following him pays his bail. Monty assumes he is a baseball scout, but he takes him to an office to hear that his uncle Rupert Horn (Cocoon's Hume Cronyn) has died, and through his videotaped "living will", Monty discovers he can inherit $300m! He has two choices: Spend $30m within 30 days, telling no-one why you are, and if successful get the fortune, and if not, go broke; or, take $1m on the day; and bravely, Brewster decides to go for the $300m. So, now Brewster is doing every crazy thing he can think of to blow his $30m, with the help of his baseball friend Spike Nolan (John Candy) and personal accountant Angela Drake (Lonette McKee). He uses his money to hire hundreds of staff for high salary, buys a priceless stamp, the highest price hotel room, pays for his baseball to play against a major team, and when he sees his efforts aren't going as well as he thought, he pays for himself to run for the election for Mayor. So, day 30 arrives, and to his knowledge, Monty is completely broke, apart from a $30,000 deposit that a man he trusted held back, but thankfully, before the clock strikes 12, Monty manages to get rid of it, and Edward Roundfield (Pat Hingle) is proud to say he gets the $300m inheritance, and that's where it ends. Also starring Stephen Collins as Warren Cox, Dirty Dancing's Jerry Orbach as Charley Pegler, Tovah Feldshuh as Marilyn, Rick Moranis as Morty King and Reni Santoni as Vin Rapelito. You could see this as a satire on the power of money, both from the positive and negative sides, or you could just see it as Pryor going crazy spending and spending. A funny film that really makes you wonder what would you do in the situation, what would you spend $/£30m on, how fast would you spend it, and would you really want that amount? Worth watching!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Credit Due

Author: Nick Davies from Scalpel Reviews
7 January 2009

PLOT: An amateur league baseball pitcher will inherit 300 million dollars from a distant relative on the proviso that he first spends 30 million dollars in 30 days. Various other conditions are also made painfully clear.

REVIEW: A well-constructed cast including Richard Pryor and John Candy, and decent character actors of yesteryear such as Lonette McKee, Stephen Collins, Jerry Orbach, Pat Hingle and Hume Cronyn, make the most of a great idea that is otherwise ill-served by a mediocre script and perfectly standard direction from the usually quite brilliant Walter Hill. Candy's chemistry with Pryor is first rate – why Pryor instead chose Gene Wilder as his long-term comedic partner will forever remain a baffling mystery.

While Brewster's Millions is not the funniest film of the 80s, certainly there are moments of hilarity here. Watch for a hilarious cameo from Rick Moranis.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Has some truly hilarious moments

Author: Grann-Bach ( from Denmark
31 December 2005

I've never been a fan of Richard Pryor... I don't know, he just seems like a foul-mouthed loud-mouth to me(and not a fun one at that, like Chris Rock is). But in this film, I have to admit, he does very good work. He and Candy(whom I've always rather liked) have great chemistry. The first scenes had me laughing quite a lot. The plot is pretty good, but it's(rather obviously) not original. This is the seventh and apparently(I've heard reports claiming it not to be) latest in the line of films based on the novel of the same name. The plot evolves at a fair pace and remains interesting through most of the film. The acting is very good, there was no performances that were overplayed or less than solid. The characters are well-rounded and credible, with both 'good' and 'bad' guys being equally interesting and human(though it's not exactly rocket science to distinguish them from each other). The writing is fair, but more laughs are derived from Pryor and Candy's performances than dialog and situations(though the film tries quite hard, sometimes too hard; basically throwing everything its got at the viewers at times). The humor is typical 80's, but much of it works, and like I point out in the one line summary, the film has some truly hilarious moments... it's such a pity that they are as few and far between as they are. I barely laughed at all in the latter half of the film. All in all, a pretty funny film. I recommend it to fans of 80's comedies, Richard Pryor and/or John Candy. 6/10

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