Richard Pryor

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1. The Busy Body (1967)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy

Sid Caesar stars as the bumbling right hand man of mob boss Robert Ryan who is sent to find a corpse buried in a suit lined with stolen mob money.

Director: William Castle | Stars: Sid Caesar, Robert Ryan, Anne Baxter, Kay Medford

Votes: 271

2. Wild in the Streets (1968)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A young man gains significant political influence as the leader of a counterculture rock band with his rallying cry of voting rights for teenagers.

Director: Barry Shear | Stars: Christopher Jones, Shelley Winters, Diane Varsi, Hal Holbrook

Votes: 1,770

For this audience, Wild in the Streets needs no serious political comment and no real understanding of how pop music and the mass media work together. It's a silly film, but it does communicate in the simplest, most direct terms.

3. The Phynx (1970)

M/PG | 81 min | Comedy, Music

A rock band becomes embroiled in foreign affairs when they're sent to go on tour in Albania as a cover to find hostages in a remote castle held by Communist enemies of the U.S.

Directors: Lee H. Katzin, Robert McKimson | Stars: Michael A. Miller, Ray Chippeway, Dennis Larden, Lonny Stevens

Votes: 185

4. You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat (1971)

R | 85 min | Drama, Comedy

This oddball counterculture comedy/drama follows Zalman King through a series of kooky misadventures while he searches for his life's purpose in New York City.

Director: Peter Locke | Stars: Zalman King, Allen Garfield, Suzette Green, Richard Pryor

Votes: 41

5. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,505

The movie is filled with many of the great Billie Holiday songs, and Ross handles them in an interesting way. She doesn't sing in her own style, and she never tries to imitate Holiday, but she sings somehow in the manner of Holiday.

6. The Mack (1973)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama

Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up King of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Campus | Stars: Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor, Carol Speed

Votes: 2,523

A violent and trashy blaxploitation flick.

7. Some Call It Loving (1973)

R | 103 min | Drama

A woman who's been asleep for years is part of a carnival that sells her kisses for a buck. A lonely jazz musician buys her. Once awake, the two of them and his two girlfriends hook up. But sometimes, dreams are better than reality.

Director: James B. Harris | Stars: Zalman King, Carol White, Tisa Farrow, Richard Pryor

Votes: 333

Despite some excellent scenes, a certain amateurish technique and a slow rhythm end up breaking the story into a series of sequences that are not connected and don't seem to be too organized.

8. Hit! (1973)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama

A Federal Agent, whose daughter dies of a heroin overdose, is determined to destroy the drug ring that supplied her. He recruits various people whose lives have been torn apart by the drug ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, Paul Hampton, Gwen Welles

Votes: 415

9. Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

PG | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

At Madame Zenobia's illegal nightclub, when Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin get robbed of their wallets containing a winning lottery ticket, they set out to recover it.

Director: Sidney Poitier | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson

Votes: 1,872

Very dated humor with youngish Cosby and Poitier...who directs OK.

10. Adiós Amigo (1975)

PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Western

A conman's crimes are blamed on a good-natured fast-drawing cowboy he meets and decides to use as decoy.

Director: Fred Williamson | Stars: Fred Williamson, Richard Pryor, James Brown, Robert Phillips

Votes: 222

11. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Sport

Tired of the slave-like treatment of his team's owner, charismatic star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes to the road with his band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930's.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Rico Dawson

Votes: 1,524

Bingo Long is fun, it's pleasant to watch, but it cakewalks too much on its way to the box office.

12. Car Wash (1976)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

A comedic take on the daily life of car-wash employees, chronicling their hopes, fears, joys, dreams, and tribulations, and meeting some eccentric customers along the way.

Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: Richard Pryor, Franklyn Ajaye, Darrow Igus, Otis Day

Votes: 6,060

The screenplay and the direction juggle the characters so adroitly, this is almost a wash-and-wax M*A*S*H.

13. Silver Streak (1976)

PG | 114 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

41 Metascore

On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh, Patrick McGoohan

Votes: 16,980

It is a complete, total fabulous, funny, suspenseful, dazzling, wonderful, marvelous, sexy, fantastic trip on a train.

14. Greased Lightning (1977)

PG | 96 min | Action, Biography, Comedy

57 Metascore

The true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing driver to win an upper tier NASCAR race.

Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: Richard Pryor, Beau Bridges, Pam Grier, Cleavon Little

Votes: 1,313

15. Which Way Is Up? (1977)

R | 94 min | Comedy

Richard Pryor is playing three different roles here. The first being a poor orange picker named Leroy Jones who gets laid off when by mistake he joins the worker's union during one of their... See full summary »

Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: Richard Pryor, Lonette McKee, Margaret Avery, Morgan Woodward

Votes: 1,443 | Gross: $17.00M

Richard Pryor's profane brand of humor used to be funny. But in his newest film, Which Way Is Up? he stoops to downright degradation.

16. Blue Collar (1978)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

When three workers try to steal from the local union, they discover the corruption of the union instead and decide to blackmail them.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto, Ed Begley Jr.

Votes: 6,565

It is an angry, radical movie about the vise that traps workers between big industry and big labor. It's also an enormously entertaining movie.

17. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

53 Metascore

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 13,145 | Gross: $21.05M

This workmanlike movie musical lacks the electricity of the stage version (and its cinematic inspiration), but it's bolstered by strong performances by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

18. California Suite (1978)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Misadventures of four groups of guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine

Votes: 6,211

Less than successful, veering from poignant emotionalism to broad slapstick in sudden shifts.

19. The Muppet Movie (1979)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

74 Metascore

Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.

Director: James Frawley | Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt

Votes: 30,909 | Gross: $76.66M

The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages.

20. Wholly Moses! (1980)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Fantasy

Harvey and Zoey, two tourists travelling through Israel, discover an ancient scroll describing the life of Herschel, the man who was almost Moses. Herschel receives the command from God to ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Weis | Stars: Dudley Moore, Laraine Newman, James Coco, Paul Sand

Votes: 1,715 | Gross: $14.16M

The movie's not funny on its own, and since movie audiences are scarcely going to be shocked by its mild but relentlessly repetitive irreverence, it all boils down to a very old joke.

21. In God We Trust (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion) (1980)

PG | 97 min | Comedy

Raised in a Trappist monastery, the innocent Brother Ambrose sets out to find money to save the bankrupt monastery. His education in worldliness is provided by a hooker. He eventually ... See full summary »

Director: Marty Feldman | Stars: Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Louise Lasser, Richard Pryor

Votes: 921 | Gross: $2.01M

The movie itself is a broadside attack on televised evangelists, particularly the kind who promise quick results from God if you send in your cash donations fast. This is an old target, and Feldman contributes nothing original to the attack.

22. Stir Crazy (1980)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime

56 Metascore

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.

Director: Sidney Poitier | Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams

Votes: 23,875 | Gross: $101.30M

It's strange about Stir Crazy. We go in with big expectations, and we laugh so much at the beginning that we're ready for the movie to launch itself as a hit. And then it all goes flat and we come out disappointed.

23. Bustin' Loose (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

55 Metascore

The director of a foster home is forced to move her kids from Philadelphia to Seattle in a broken down bus - driven by a fast-talking parolee assigned to the task. A hilarious road trip adventure.

Directors: Oz Scott, Michael Schultz | Stars: Richard Pryor, Cicely Tyson, Angel Ramirez Jr., Jimmy Hughes

Votes: 2,647 | Gross: $31.26M

An inconsistent but good-natured ramble, "Bustin' Loose" looks like a secure investment for Richard Pryor fans.

24. Some Kind of Hero (1982)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

A Vietnam vet returns home from a prisoner of war camp and is greeted as a hero, but is quickly forgotten and soon discovers how tough survival is in his own country.

Director: Michael Pressman | Stars: Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, Ray Sharkey, Ronny Cox

Votes: 1,227 | Gross: $23.67M

Some Kind of Hero is yet another example of how Richard Pryor can take a mediocre film and elevate it to the level of his extraordinary talents.

25. The Toy (1982)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

16 Metascore

An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 10,775 | Gross: $47.12M

There's really no modulation from this style of facetiousness to the episodes meant to impart "serious," instructive sentiments, and the characters don't sustain much psychological integrity as they ricochet from one sequence to the next.

26. Superman III (1983)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

44 Metascore

Synthetic kryptonite laced with tar splits Superman in two: good Clark Kent and bad Man of Steel.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper

Votes: 61,872 | Gross: $59.95M

When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

27. Brewster's Millions (1985)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

37 Metascore

A minor league baseball player has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days, in order to inherit three hundred million dollars. However, he's not allowed to tell anyone about the deal.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Richard Pryor, John Candy, Lonette McKee, Stephen Collins

Votes: 34,069 | Gross: $38.80M

With Richard Pryor's trademark ribald humor tamped down, Brewster's Millions feels like a missed opportunity to update a classic story.

28. Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)

R | 97 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

After severely burning himself in a drug incident, a comedian has a near death experience in which he reviews his life.

Director: Richard Pryor | Stars: Richard Pryor, Debbie Allen, Art Evans, Fay Hauser

Votes: 1,466 | Gross: $18.03M

Pryor has taken some major risks in this movie. He has played straight and honest with his story, but he also has shown that he has a real gift as a director; the narrative scenes in the movie have a conviction and an interest that grow and hold us.

29. Critical Condition (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy

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 a doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Richard Pryor, Rachel Ticotin, Rubén Blades, Joe Mantegna

Votes: 2,864 | Gross: $20.24M

Signature crassness serves no purpose in weak '80s comedy.

30. Moving (1988)

R | 89 min | Comedy

36 Metascore

Arlo accepts what seems to him to be a dream promotion to Idaho. He soon discovers, however, that moving has its own share of problems.

Director: Alan Metter | Stars: Richard Pryor, Beverly Todd, Stacey Dash, Raphael Harris

Votes: 4,894 | Gross: $10.82M

While Pryor is perfectly adequate in the role, it hardly does justice to his talents, which here are largely confined to rolling his eyes in mute agony.

31. See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

44 Metascore

Dave is deaf, and Wally is blind. They witness a murder, but it was Dave who was looking at her, and Wally who was listening.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey

Votes: 46,059 | Gross: $46.91M

A film whose title offers words to live by as well as a warning, See No Evil, Hear No Evil proves that even a brilliant comedy duo can team up for an unfunny dud.

32. Harlem Nights (1989)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

16 Metascore

During the 1930s, a New York City illegal gambling house owner and his associates must deal with strong competition, gangsters, and corrupt cops in order to stay in business.

Director: Eddie Murphy | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Danny Aiello

Votes: 19,289 | Gross: $60.86M

An all-star comedy lineup is wasted on a paper-thin plot and painfully clunky dialogue.

33. Another You (1991)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Crime

A mental out-patient is misidentified for a missing wealthy man and is forced to take advantage of the situation.

Director: Maurice Phillips | Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mercedes Ruehl, Stephen Lang

Votes: 3,400 | Gross: $2.87M

The final and worst of the four Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor movies.

34. The Three Muscatels (1991)

90 min | Comedy

Richard Pryor stars in this parody of The Three Musketeers follows a coed who falls asleep while reading the book and dreams about a trio of swashbuckling heroes.

Director: Romell Foster-Owens | Stars: Flynn Belaine, Cal Wilson, Reynaldo Rey, Joe Torry

Votes: 91

35. Mad Dog Time (1996)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

With his boss in the madhouse, a mobster is temporary boss of the criminal empire just as vicious rivals threaten the control of the empire.

Director: Larry Bishop | Stars: Michael J. Pollard, Henry Silva, Gabriel Byrne, Jeff Goldblum

Votes: 2,625 | Gross: $0.08M

The first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time.

36. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 123,793 | Gross: $3.80M

Marking a further escalation in David Lynch's surrealist style, Lost Highway is a foreboding mystery that arguably leads to a dead end, although it is signposted throughout with some of the director's most haunting images yet.



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