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Doctor Detroit (1983)

R | | Comedy | 6 May 1983 (USA)
A timid college professor, conned into posing as a flamboyant pimp, finds himself enjoying his new occupation on the streets.


Michael Pressman

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Clifford Skridlow / Doctor Detroit
Howard Hesseman ... Smooth Walker
Donna Dixon ... Monica McNeil
Lydia Lei ... Jasmine Wu
T.K. Carter ... Diavolo Washington
Lynn Whitfield ... Thelma Cleland
Fran Drescher ... Karen Blittstein
John A. Maloney John A. Maloney ... Commodore
Pershing P. Anderson Pershing P. Anderson ... Stretch
William Munchow William Munchow ... Professor Artel
Ed Meekin Ed Meekin ... Professor Durant (as Edward Meekin)
Hank Salas ... Johnny
Rudolph Kovar Rudolph Kovar ... Carson (as Rudolf Kovar)
Kate Murtagh ... Mom
Peter Elbling ... Guptor


Clifford Skridlow teaches at a small Chicago college run by his father. Conned into managing four prostitutes by their pimp, who skips town to escape the mob boss known as Mom, Clifford draws on his course in medieval literature in his quest to save the women from Mom. Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's making the world safe for insanity.




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

6 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Detroit See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the few Hollywood films featuring the popular yet short-lived 1980s movie formula of "straight-guy-becomes-pimp." Other films that followed a similar setup included Night Shift (1982) and Risky Business (1983). See more »


The windshield glass Doctor Detroit breaks is shown inconsistently between shots. Sometimes the glass is very dirty, almost opaque, in other shots it is very clear. See more »


Clifford Skridlow: [waking from a nightmare where his mother becomes a prostitute] NO! No, I will not sell my own mother!
Margaret Skridlow: [walking in on him] Of course you wouldn't, dear. But it's a sweet thought.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, we see "Coming soon: Doctor Detroit II, the Wrath of Mom." See more »


Referenced in We're All Devo (1983) See more »


Get It On And Have A Party
Performed by Pattie Brooks
Courtesy of Backstreet Records
Pattie Brooks appears courtesy of Mirage Records
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User Reviews

Silly comedy
9 July 2008 | by ctomvelu-1See all my reviews

Dan Ackroyd in his prime essays the role of DOCTOR DETROIT, a comic superpimp. In his regular life, Doctor Detroit is a meek college professor right out of a Golden Era slapstick comedy like Cary Grant in "Bringing Up Baby" or Gary Cooper in "Ball of Fire" or even Danny Kaye in the remake, "A Song Is Born." Why and how the professor turns into this larger-than-life, scratchy-voiced pimp is what the movie is all about. And in the end, the Doctor must face down Mom, a notorious gangster. Problem with the movie is Ackroyd was not scheduled to play the role. If memory serves, it was John Belushi, who had died rather suddenly. So Ackroyd steps in to save the day, except he simply isn't funny as the Doctor. He is fine as the professor, however. Ackroyd's soon-to-be, real-life wife Donna Dixon is his love interest.

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