Brewster's Millions [1985]

He's had some good performances in supporting parts, but Richard Pryor never starred in a film that captured his comic brilliance the way his concert films did--proving that magic isn't something you can bottle. This 1985 film is no exception, even though it was directed by Walter Hill three years after he turned Eddie Murphy into a movie star with 48 HRS. The seventh film reworking of a warhorse stage play, this movie stars Pryor and John Candy as a pair of minor-league baseball players whose best days are behind them. Then Pryor is informed that he's just inherited a fortune--$300 million. But it comes with a condition: he must spend $30 million in one month, with a number of rules about how much he can spend at one time and how many of any one thing he can buy. Both Pryor and Candy were at the top of their comedy game at this point in time but were utterly failed both by ham-handed direction and by a script that left them higher and drier than seems humanly possible, given the comic talents involved. --Marshall Fine

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