6.8/10
21,897
59 user 16 critic

Stir Crazy (1980)

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

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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:

Two jailbirds who just want out of the cage. 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 (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The nickname of the group of bank robbers was "The Woodpecker Gang". As Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor dressed up as woodpeckers in this movie, as well as go to prison, there has long being an association of the pair's characters being "jailbirds" in the film, but the two are never actually seen in the jail wearing birdsuits. In fact, Richard Pryor refused to wear the woodpecker costume for the bank scene, so a double was used in the film, but he did wear it for the poster and promotional pictures. See more »

Goofs

When Skip is thrown from the bronco the first time, he is wearing gloves. As he rolls over on the ground, he is not wearing gloves. When Grossberger picks him up, he is wearing gloves again. 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

Referenced in Nightmare (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Eat Your Heart Out
Sung by Leata Galloway
Composed and Produced by Tom Scott (uncredited)
Lyrics by Rob Preston (uncredited)
Courtesy of Ariola-Eurodisc, GMBH
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Having not seen this in 30 years, I still found Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor funny in Stir Crazy
16 February 2012 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Not having seen this in about 30 years, I didn't know if I'd still think Sidney Poitier's Stir Crazy was as funny as I originally thought it was. I just watched it again on Netflix Streaming and the answer is yes! I mean, from the set up beginning sequences with Richard Pryor as a waiter and Gene Wilder as a store detective, there's plenty of funny stuff here. By the time they get to prison, Pryor and Wilder try lots of crazy stuff that still got me in stitches especially when Richard's character has to deal with a gay inmate named Rory Schultebrand (Georg Standford Brown) who has a fancy for him. Fellow inmates Gene and Richard befriend include Jusus Ramirez (Miguel Angel Suavez) and Grossberger (Erland Van Lidth De Jeude). The latter doesn't talk but he does provide a nice singing voice that compliments Gene's in a later duet. Others they meet in the cell include Blade (Charles Weldon), Big Mean (Cedrick Hardman), his sidekick-Slowpoke (Grand L. Bush), and a guy who punches the former (Tony Burton). Outside of the jail are many now-familiar faces like Joel Brooks as lawyer Len Garber, JoBeth Williams as cousin Meredith, her future Poltergeist co-star Craig T. Nelson as deputy Ward Wilson, and Barry Corbin as warden Walter Beatty who has the distinction of appearing in two 1980 movies featuring the mechanical bull, the other being Urban Cowboy. Since this is Black History Month, I'd like to complete this review by citing three more African-American players other than Pryor, Brown, Weldon, Hardman, Bush, and Burton: Franklyn Ajaye-who previously appeared with Pryor in Car Wash-as a young man in hospital ward that accidentally got a nut cut off, Esther Sutherland as the cook Sissie in the beginning sequence, and Pamela Poitier-Sidney's daughter-as the cook's helper. So on that note, I highly recommend Stir Crazy. Oh, and I also noticed Luis Avalos-the guy named Chico who uses pliers for sinister purposes-from my childhood TV show, "The Electric Company" from the '70s.


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