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Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor

Created by lackadaisy. Last Edited by DeeDeePie. Tagged as: Humor
Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor

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The best comedic duo ever to hit the big screen. They paired up in some of the greatest comedies of the '70s, '80s, and early '90s.

Silver Streak (1976)
The film tries to walk the fine line between comedy and action movie and does a decent job. Wilder plays the role of George Caldwell (a role that in all likelihood would have gone to Bruce Willis, had it been made twelve years later). In quick succession Wilder gets laid, falls in love, stumbles onto a murder, gets thrown from the train, gets back on the train, gets framed for another murder, and gets thrown from the train again. That gets us to about the halfway mark where Richard Pryor shows up, playing a foul-mouthed thief. Racial jokes and situations abound.

Stir Crazy (1980)
This is much more of a comedy than Silver Streak, but with less of a plot. Here Pryor is an out-of-work actor, and Wilder an out-of-work playwright. Together they leave New York for Hollywood with hopes for a better life full of beautiful women, but their van breaks down somewhere in the "Sunshine Belt". The two are very quickly framed for armed robbery after their woodpecker costumes are stolen from the locker room--don't ask, just watch the movie. The duo gets railroaded into jail and Wilder is quickly found to have a natural aptitude for bull-riding despite being from New York City, and is made the main rider in the upcoming prison rodeo, much to the chagrin of the hard-ass prison guard (played by Craig T. Nelson of TV's "Coach"). Pryor helps out as a foul-mouthed rodeo clown.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
After a long hiatus*, Pryor and Wilder are back at it. Although the plot gets thinner, the duo gets funnier. Pryor is blind, Wilder is deaf and they get framed (once again) for the murder of Pryor's bookie. There's so much ridiculousness involving the bookie's murder that it's not really worth mentioning. What is of note is Kevin Spacey (this movie's surprise star) as a British hit man, and a great scene where Pryor has to drive a car... even though he's blind! In fact, the movie is full of really genuinely hilarious scenes playing off both of the main characters' disabilities, but the movie as a whole amounts to little more than one long gag. See No Evil, Hear No Evil gave the two plenty of opportunities to play off one and other and get the ol' Pryor-Wilder chemistry going again. The movie was a minor hit, but not on the same level as Stir Crazy. It grossed around $47 million, which was respectable for 1989 but not great. Perhaps related or not, this is the one movie where Wilder doesn't get the girl, but only because she's a murderer. However, he does see her naked and kisses her, so he gets half a point for that.

Another You (1991)
This is by far the worst and least funny of the four. I would describe the plot, but it is so thin I'd ruin the whole movie.

 

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