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Stir Crazy (1980)

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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
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... Skip Donahue
Richard Pryor ... Harry Monroe
Georg Stanford Brown ... Rory Schultebrand
JoBeth Williams ... Meredith
Miguel Ángel Suárez ... Jesus Ramirez (as Miguelangel Suarez)
Craig T. Nelson ... Deputy Ward Wilson
Barry Corbin ... Warden Walter Beatty
Charles Weldon ... Blade
Nicolas Coster ... Warden Henry Sampson
Joel Brooks ... Len Garber
Jonathan Banks ... Jack Graham
Erland van Lidth ... Grossberger (as Erland Van Lidth De Jeude)
Lewis Van Bergen ... Guard #1
Karmin Murcelo Karmin Murcelo ... Teresa Ramirez
Franklyn Ajaye ... Young Man in Hospital
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Storyline

Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a natural talent for riding broncos with the inter-prison rodeo coming up. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor dress up as woodpeckers and get framed for robbing a bank... and when they discover that prison life is for the birds they go... Stir Crazy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison Rodeo See more »

Filming Locations:

Downtown, Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,691,886, 14 December 1980, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$101,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On a crisp March morning, around ninety newcomers were inducted into the maximum security cell block at the Arizona State Penitentiary in Florence. Leading the way were Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. They were in the slammer, for a two-week stretch, filming off-the-wall sequences in Stir Crazy, Columbia Pictures' comedy about a pair of show biz hopefuls who are stranded in a small town and framed as bank robbers. See more »

Goofs

When Grossberger is singing, there are 5 men in a cell with only 4 bunks. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Skip Donahue: Who needs Hollywood? I hear they're really nuts out there.
[singing]
Skip Donahue: Give me a town like old New York, With lots of trees and clean fresh air, I need a place where love is everywhere, They say I'm Crazy, just a little bit out of whack...
See more »

Alternate Versions

A piece of music in the scene where Skip and Harry make their getaway and notice Len and Meredith coming towards them was heard on the theatrical and video version, but not the 1999 DVD. It's restored on the Blu-Ray by Image Entertainment. See more »

Connections

Followed by Stir Crazy (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Crazy
Sung by Gene Wilder
Composed by Michael Masser (uncredited) and Randy Goodrum (uncredited)
Produced by Michael Masser (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Richard & Gene do time.
31 August 2011 | by BlackJack_BSee all my reviews

Stir Crazy isn't anything too difficult to explain. It's simply pure comedy from the talented duo of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, directed by the fantastic Sidney Poitier.

Gene and Richard play two friends from New York who are moving to California. They stop over in a town in Arizona, get a job as dancing woodpeckers who do jingles for a bank and then are arrested when two other men steal their costumes and rob said bank.

They then are sent to jail for 125 years by the no-nonsense judge and the film documents their attempt to get used to prison life, pray that their lawyers can prove their innocence and hope Skip (Gene's character) can dominate the prison rodeo.

As I said, there's nothing deep or thought provoking in this film. It's just the zany antics of the two comedic legends. Some strong acting by the cast and excitement are in the offing and the film delivers that in spades.

What was neat to see were all the T.V. stars of past and future in the supporting cast, like Luis Avalos of The Electric Company and Craig T. Nelson of Coach. It was fun to recognize all these old faces.

The only flaw was that the film's writing seemed geared for an easy job of editing for T.V. I wonder if just making it PG would have been better for their box office numbers. Nonetheless, Stir Crazy was the 3rd highest grossing film of 1980.

If you're looking for a real comedy film, a blast from the past, Stir Crazy delivers.


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