Walter Hill is one of my favorite directors. Specializing in action he made classics like The Warriors, Southern Comfort, and Streets of Fire. All classics, all action packed. Well in 1985 he made his one and full-fledged comedy, Brewster’s Millions starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. A quick little known fact, its actually based on a book of the same name, and has been adapted into 13 films worldwide. It’s a fairly “Clean” comedy that received a PG Rating when it was released to moderate success.
Richard Pryor plays Monty Brewster, a baseball pitcher in a minor league team. John Candy is Spike Nolan, his best friend and catcher in the same team. One night the two get arrested after a huge bar fight and are bailed out my a lawyer from a high profile law office in upper Manhattan. They represented Monty’s great uncle Rupert who as it turns out has left him his entire fortune, but with a catch. See Rupert was a millionaire and has a fortune of 300 million dollars. Monty can inherit all of it under the condition he can spend 30 million in 30 days. He can also select to simply take 1 million dollars upfront. He accepts the challenge to try for the entire amount with the rules that he can tell no one. If he fails he gets nothing and it the law office will be placed in charge of the money.
So from there it becomes a pretty madcap outing with Monty spending money left and right. Making bad bets on purpose, renting a suite at the Plaza, running for mayor, even at one point hiring the Yankees to play an exhibition game against his minor league team. His buddy Spike who is unaware of the conditions of this starts actually making good bets and investments leading to Monty getting more money he must dump. And of course the law office wants the money so they have placed Warren Cox, a Jr Partner to sabotage Brewster so they can get the money for themselves.
I had not seen this film in over 20 years and I can honestly say its just as funny today as it was back then. Pryor and Candy have great chemistry together, with Pryor actually being more of the straight man of the two. It’s a shame they were not able to work together more. The film is also very cleaver. The ways Monty comes up with to dump money are hilarious. If you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil anything, but the part where he buys a priceless stamp and gets rid of it is classic in my opinion. It’s also like I said PG so it’s definitely something you can watch with the entire family.
Shout Factory, under their ever growing Shout Select Banner is releasing this on Blue Ray and I must say it looks and sounds great. The picture is crisp and vibrant and the audio is crisp and clear, everything you have come to expect from a Shout Factory release. The transfers they pull off are essentially works of art in terms of quality. And it even has special features
NEW Audio Commentary With Film Critics William Bibbiani And Witney Seibold, Hosts Of The Podcast Critically Acclaimed
NEW Interview With Screenwriter Herschel Weingrod
Brewster's Millions – 1945 Adaptation Starring Dennis O'Keefe And Helen Walker (1080p, 1.33:1, B&W, 79 Minutes)
This is a criminally underrated 80’s comedy that needs to be seen. Great cast, great story, and lots of laughs make this as good today as it was back then. If you’re a fan this is the version to own. If you have never seen it, pick it up. You will have a fun laugh filled evening to say the least.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!