Con man Kevin Lennihan framed in a jewel smuggling tries for an insanity plea and is sent to a hospital for review where he is confused for another doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.
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Part live stand-up performance, part documentary, this film is one of comedian Richard Pryor's later stand-up performances. As foul-mouthed as ever, Pryor touches on most of the same topics as in his previous live shows.
Kevin Lennihan is a con artist. But this time he's framed and comes before a judge. By claiming insanity, he hopes to get off the hook. He manages to end up in a hospital on Governor's Island, off the coast of New York for a mental examination. That night, a storm breaks out over the area, and the electricity to the hospital is broken. In the ensuing chaos that follows, Kevin is taken for a doctor, Eddie Slattery. Suddenly, he is in charge of a whole hospital! Written by
THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES
from "DIE WALKURE"
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by the Vienna Philharmonic
Conducted by Sir Georg Solti
Courtesy of London Records
A Division of PolyGram Classics, Inc. See more »
Though the subject had potential and one or two jokes were reasonable, this comedy really did fall flat on its face. Though I appreciate Richard Pryor when he's good and has decent material, I was never a follower of him, so hold no allegiance to the comic, so no extra points just because he stars.
It looks as if it was made in the 1970's, as were the attitudes to all the poorly targeted subjects within it. Bumbling, obvious slapstick followed by cheap, unfunny stereotyping at the psychiatric hospital. This where the potential lay, but not taken.
The worse bits were to come - mawkish melodrama where the 'patient' becomes the Emergency Room consultant and Pryor tries to bond with the poor suffering patients. The 'romance' even worse. I almost wanted hospital treatment myself! However, the sidekick scenario of a power cut due to a thunderstorm and thus everybody on life support etc getting in all sorts of trouble was a good one and about the only redeeming feature.
Unfortunately, the ending that seemed to be a shoot-out (I lost the will to care, let alone work out who) was very tedious and boring and I willed it all to be over, by any means necessary, including a power-cut in my home!
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