Failed parolee Joe Braxton has one last shot at redemption: by driving school kids to Philadelphia.Failed parolee Joe Braxton has one last shot at redemption: by driving school kids to Philadelphia.Failed parolee Joe Braxton has one last shot at redemption: by driving school kids to Philadelphia.
Bustin' Loose shows some warmth as well as laughs from Pryor
In reviewing African-Americans in film in chronological order for Black History Month, we're now at 1981 with Bustin' Loose. In this one, Richard Pryor is a small-time crook who gets a chance at redemption when his parole officer asks him to drive a bus of troubled children and his fiancée (Cicely Tyson) across country from Philadelphia to Seattle on the way to Tyson's family farm. That obviously doesn't sound like a hilarious comedy and there are indeed some scenes Pryor has with some of the kids that expresses more of his dramatic abilities, as heartfelt as some of those scenes may be. There's still some of his unique comic talents here that may make you glad you gave this one a shot like his attempted con of several TV sets in a bogus delivery truck or his fooling the Ku Klux Klan into pushing the bus out of a mud-hole because they think all the kids in it are blind! Then there's his cowboy disguise with fake accent near the end that made me laugh pretty hard. Ms. Tyson, normally a dramatic actress, has a few humorous moments of her own that puts her in a new light. Threatens to lose steam after a while but all in all, Bustin' Loose is nothing Mr. Pryor had to be ashamed about especially since he thought up the story and was co-producer. P.S. It was here that he set himself on fire when he freebased on cocaine.
- Feb 26, 2008
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