Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel), and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night, when they steal away from their wives to have some fun, they get the idea to rob the local union's bureau safe. First they think it is a flop, because they get only six hundred dollars out of it, but then Zeke realizes that they also have gotten some "hot" material. They decide to blackmail their union. The best reason for that is the union itself. All three are provoked by the fact that the union claims to have lost ten thousand dollars by their robbery.Written by
Jerry's house features very visible religious iconography, and Paul Schrader feels it's overdone. He mentions that Martin Scorsese is making his script for Bringing Out the Dead (1999) and the two had already butted heads over the Catholic imagery and paraphernalia in the film. The novel it's based on is heavy with the stuff, but Schrader told the director they'd been reliant on the imagery for too long and for too many of their films. See more »
When Zeke is called into the office after mouthing off to the shop foreman, the three other characters take a seat at the table but Zeke is standing. Behind him, the office door is partially open. In the next shot, the door is now closed. See more »
Richard Pryor Proves That He Can Be A Fine Dramatic Actor
This 1978 Universal release is one of raunchy comedian Richard Pryor's best films and it's a highly serious drama. Pryor successfully goes for a major change of pace in this tale of a trio of auto assembly workers (Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto) who are all having some major home, work and family problems and how they decide to solve them by developing a scheme to rob the union for which they work. When they put their plan to work, things eventually go from bad to worse. It may sound like a crime comedy caper with Pryor portraying his usual con man role but it's far more serious than that and Pryor proves that he doesn't have to get laughs in order to deliver a good film performance.
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