Brewster's Millions (1985 film)
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Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Walter Hill|
|Produced by||Lawrence Gordon
|Written by||Timothy Harris
|Based on||Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon|
|Music by||Ry Cooder|
|Editing by||Freeman A. Davies
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 22, 1985|
|Running time||100 min.|
Brewster's Millions is a 1985 comedy film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon. It is the seventh film based on the story, with a screenplay by Herschel Weingrod and Timothy Harris. It was directed by Walter Hill.
Monty Brewster (Pryor) is a second-rate Minor League Baseball pitcher with the Hackensack Bulls. He and his best friend Spike Nolan (Candy), the catcher for the Bulls, are arrested and cannot afford bail. A stranger offers bail, if they will come to New York City with him. At the Manhattan law office of Granville & Baxter, Brewster is told that his recently deceased great-uncle Rupert Horn (Hume Cronyn), whom he has never met, has left him his entire fortune but with several conditions.
Brewster is challenged to either take $1 million upfront, or spend $30 million within 30 days to inherit $300 million. If he chooses the former, the law firm becomes the executor of the estate and divides the money among charities (after taking a fee). In the latter case, after 30 days, he may not own any assets that are not already his, and he must get value for the services of anyone he hires. He may donate only 5% to charity and lose 5% by gambling. And he is not allowed to tell anyone, even Spike. Brewster decides to take the $30 million challenge. Angela Drake (McKee), a paralegal from the law firm must accompany him to keep tabs on all spending.
Brewster, who has no concept of money (never having earned more than $11,000 a year), rents an expensive hotel suite, hires personal staff on exorbitant salaries, and places bad bets. But Spike invests his money wisely, earning Brewster money. Brewster, realizing he is "right back where he started," gets the idea to join the race for Mayor of New York and throws most of his money at a protest campaign urging a vote for "None of the Above."
The two major candidates threaten to sue Brewster for his confrontational rhetoric, but they settle out of court for several million dollars. Brewster then hires the New York Yankees for a three-inning exhibition against his Hackensack team, with himself as the pitcher. He is forced to end his protest campaign when he learns that he is leading in the polls as a write-in candidate and should he win, the job would carry a $60,000 annual salary which is an asset by the terms of the will. Blowing his last $38,000 on a party after the game, Brewster becomes fed up with money (the goal his great-uncle had wanted) and is heartbroken that Spike, Angela, and others around him do not understand his actions.
On the 30th day, he finds that the sycophantic treatment he received from his entourage is gone, and he makes his way to the law office. Having withdrawn from the election, he learns that the city voted "None of the Above," forcing another election with none of the candidates running for office again.
Warren Cox, a junior lawyer from the law firm and Angela's fiancée, has been bribed by the firm to ensure Brewster fails to spend the entire $30 million. Moments before time expires, Warren hands Brewster some money previously thought to have been spent and informs him he is not broke. Brewster punches Warren, who threatens to sue. Realizing he will need a lawyer, he pays Angela a $20,000 retainer. At the very last second, Brewster now complied with the conditions and inherits the $300 million. For its part, the firm's attempts to prevent Brewster from spending the entire $30 million prove to constitute fraud, and Cox is arrested on that charge along with the other partners in the firm who had so bribed him.
- Richard Pryor - Montgomery "Monty" Brewster
- John Candy - Spike Nolan
- Lonette McKee - Angela Drake
- Stephen Collins - Warren Cox
- David White - George Granville
- Jerry Orbach - Charlie Pegler
- Pat Hingle - Edward Roundfield
- David Wohl - Eugene Provost
- Tovah Feldshuh - Marilyn
- Hume Cronyn - Uncle Rupert Horn
- Joe Grifasi - J.B. Donaldo
- Peter Jason - Chuck Fleming
- Rick Moranis - Morty King
- Lin Shaye - Journalist at rally
- Yakov Smirnoff - Cab driver
- Grand L. Bush - Rudy (as Grand Bush)
- Conrad Janis - Businessman in Car
- Rosetta LeNoire - Judge R. Woods (as Rosetta Le Noire)
- Joseph Leon - Stamp Store Proprietor
- Robert Ellenstein - Mr. Carter
- Reni Santoni - Vin Rapelito
- Alan Autry - Biff Brown
- R. D. Call - Courtroom Guard
- Kip Waldo - Heckler at Rally
- Shaka Cumbuka - Heckler at Rally
- Brad Sanders - Luther
- Bill McConnell - Plaza Bartender
- Margot Rose - Torchy's Waitress
The movie received mixed reviews. The staff review in Variety said bluntly: "It's hard to believe a comedy starring Richard Pryor and John Candy is no funnier than this...". Janet Maslin, in her review for The New York Times, called the film "a screwball comedy minus the screws" which "does nothing to accommodate Mr. Pryor's singular comic talents." Director Walter Hill, she said, did not understand "the advantages of screwball timing," and the film's slow pace and lack of style gives it "a fatuous artificiality." She went on to praise the film's supporting cast, including John Candy, but said that the "flat" screenplay forces Candy to repeat himself.
- Brewster's Millions at the Internet Movie Database
- Brewster's Millions at the 80s Movie Gateway
- Brewster's Millions at AllRovi
- Brewster's Millions at Rotten Tomatoes
- Brewster's Millions at Box Office Mojo