In this day and age some of the top comedy movies would obviously be movies like Pineapple Express with Seth Rogen or Forgetting Sarah Marshall with Jason Segel. But back in the day there were many truly classic comedies like Animal House with John Belushi or Uncle Buck with John Candy…
As a matter of fact, one of these truly awesome comedy movies was Brewster’s Millions with non other then the comedy legends Richard Pryor and John Candy!
Written by Herschel Weingrod (Trading Places) and Timothy Harris (Twins) and directed by Walter Hill (Red Heat) and starring Richard Pryor (Blazing Saddles) with John Candy (Nothing But Trouble) and Loretta McKee (Malcolm X)
Brewster’s Millions tells the story of Montgomery Brewster. A man who may not be financial wealthy but is wealthy in heart and soul… That is until one day when a distant relative (played by Hume Cronyn) passes away and leaves him $300 million! But there is a twist… He must spend $30 million in 30 days and end with what ever he had on him when he saw the video will, or he doesn’t get anything at all!
Now this minor league baseball player obviously decides to agree to his relatives terms. So along with his best friend, they quickly go from rags to riches!
Along the way is the uptight lawyer that is assigned by the law firm that is working on the case.
Now is where the fun part starts to happen. Monty Brewster (Pryor) begins making outrageous purchases. Betting on every loosing team in every loosing sport, hiring everyone he can at exorbitant rates (I think we can all agree that driving some one around for $5 K is not exactly a bad way to live, eh…)
Now with time not on his side. With his friends and lawyer thinking that he is nuts. With all of the bets that should have quickly tapped him out becoming sure fire winners, and with a law firm that is doing everything they can to ensure that Monty does not make it to the 30 day mark, Monty will find out just how truly hard it can be to waste money!
What I like about this, and what I personally feel makes this a Awesome B Movie are as follows:
1. The cast is obviously legendary. I mean I don’t know Richard Pryor’s work a heck of a lot but I gotta say that I really like it! As for John Candy… Well what can I say about John Candy? He was a talent that was cut down in his prime. I mean his humour in everything I have ever seen him in is great! From Space Balls (1987) to Uncle Buck (1989) to Candian Bacon (1995) has just gotten better and better and has survived through the test of time. With this one being no exception!
2. I also think that the story for this movie is utterly hilarious. I mean the idea of having a rich family member who made so that you will inherit $300 million only so long as you spend another rediculous sum of money with out telling anyone why, I still think that is completely hilarious!
3. Also another cast member that I got to mention here, is the versatility of actor Stephen Collins. In this movie he plays a sleazy lawyer who acts as the mole in Richard Pryor’s group. In general though I have seen him in a few things now and he is allways in some way the nice guy. In It’s Allways Sunny In Philadelphia. He plays the lead character’s long lost philanthropic father. In Seventh Heaven he plays a good natured Preacher and in Star Trek: The Motion Piicture, he plays the hero that steps aside to let Captain Kirk take back command of the Enterprise! So you can see what I mean when I say that he plays these extremely different character types quite well.
4. Lastly I gotta say that Walter Hill’s direction is quite brilliant. I mean I have seen a fair number of his films now (The Warriors, The Driver, etc…) Mr. Hill has many other under his belt such as Streets Of Fire as well. With that said, I gotta say that I love his film style and I personally think that between Mr. Hill, Mr. Candy and Mr. Pryor, that they made this movie in to a true power house!
As a side note: I would like to make note that I actually think that everyone in the film, from Jerry Orbach to Peter Jason also did an excellent job as well. I just didn’t want to make this recommendation to long.
I didn’t know this till I was sitting here doing some research on the film, that in a couple of different places, Walter Hill pays homage to 48 Hrs. The first time is that the Bar named Torchy’s in Brewster’s Millions where Monty and Spike get in to a fight is the same name of a bar in 48Hrs. Also the same car that the photographer in Brewster’s Millions is the same type of car that Nick Nolte is driving in 48Hrs.
If you haven’t seen this yet, then I highly recommend doing so. I think you might really enjoy it!