Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Pressman|
|Produced by||Robert K. Weiss|
|Written by||Bruce Jay Friedman
|Music by||James Brown (song, "Get up Offa That Thing/Dr. Detroit")
|Edited by||Christopher Greenbury|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release dates||May 6, 1983|
|Running time||89 minutes|
|Budget||$8 million|
Doctor Detroit is a 1983 comedy film, written by Bruce Jay Friedman, Robert Boris and Carl Gottlieb. The film stars Dan Aykroyd, Howard Hesseman, Lynn Whitfield, Fran Drescher, and Donna Dixon, with a special appearance by James Brown. The film was directed by Michael Pressman.
James Brown performed the theme song "Get Up Offa That Thing/Dr. Detroit." Devo performed the "Theme from Doctor Detroit" and had another track in the film, "Luv-Luv." There was an EP with the "Theme from Doctor Detroit," "Luv-Luv," and a remix of the theme released, as well as a music video incorporating footage from the film.
A shy, gentle man named Clifford Skridlow (Dan Aykroyd) is a professor of comparative literature at the financially strapped (fictional) Monroe College in Chicago. A chance encounter with four beautiful high class prostitutes at a restaurant changes his life forever. Smooth Walker (Howard Hesseman), their pimp, is in danger due to his enormous debt to the gruff "Mom" (Kate Murtagh), a Chicago mob boss. Smooth invents a fictitious business partner, the flamboyant "Doctor Detroit," in an attempt to save himself from Mom's wrath.
Through a series of comical misunderstandings, Cliff is conned into becoming Smooth Walker's patsy. He transforms himself into Doctor Detroit, embarking on a dangerous mission to protect the girls from Mom. He also must keep this secret from his straight-laced parents while simultaneously attempting to secure a large endowment for the struggling university. Cliff becomes a hero to the four women, but puts his life at grave risk.
The film was shot on location in Chicago during the summer of 1982.
- Dan Aykroyd — Clifford Skridlow/Doctor Detroit
- Howard Hesseman — Smooth Walker
- Fran Drescher — Karen Blittstein
- Donna Dixon — Monica McNeil
- Lydia Lei — Jasmine Wu
- T. K. Carter — Diavolo Washington
- Lynn Whitfield — Thelma Cleland
- Kate Murtagh — Mom
- George Furth — Arthur Skridlow
- Nan Martin — Margaret Skridlow
- Peter Aykroyd — Mr. Frankman
- Glenne Headly — Miss Debbylike
- Robert Cornthwaite — Professor Blount
- Parley Baer — Judge Robert E. Lee Davis-Jackson
- John Kapelos — Rush Street Dude
- James Brown — Bandleader (himself)
- Steven Williams — Junior Sweet
- Andrew Duggan — Harmon Rausehorn
- Blackie Dammett — Eddie Four Eyes
|Soundtrack album by various artists|
|Genre||New wave, R&B, synthpop|
A soundtrack album for the film was released on Backstreet Records. The track listing is as follows.
- "Theme from Doctor Detroit" – Devo 3:10
- "Hold Him" – Pattie Brooks, Dan Aykroyd 3:22
- "King of Soul" – James Brown 2:40
- "Yo Skridlow" – T. K. Carter, Dan Aykroyd 4:40
- "Working Girls" – Pattie Brooks, Dan Aykroyd 4:48
- "Get Up Offa That Thing/Doctor Detroit" – James Brown 3:23
- "Luv-Luv" – Devo 3:36
- "You Are the One" – Pattie Brooks 4:05
- "Get It on and Have a Party" – Pattie Brooks 6:09
Reaction and sequel
In her autobiography, Enter Whining, Fran Drescher comments that this film was expected to be a major hit for the summer of 1983, but that it fell short of that expectation; by the time the film ended its run in theaters, it had only managed to make US$10.8 million, on a budget of US$8 million.
The end titles promise the release of Doctor Detroit II: The Wrath of Mom, meant as a gag based on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, released eleven months previously. Aykroyd was said to have been writing the script; however, the project went unfulfilled due to poor box office results. 
- Doctor Detroit at the Internet Movie Database
- Doctor Detroit at AllMovie
- Doctor Detroit at Box Office Mojo
- Doctor Detroit at Rotten Tomatoes