Leonard Part 6

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Leonard Part 6
Leonard part six ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Weiland
Produced by Bill Cosby
Screenplay by Jonathan Reynolds (screenwriter)
Story by Bill Cosby
Starring Bill Cosby
Tom Courtenay
Joe Don Baker
Moses Gunn
Gloria Foster
Victoria Rowell
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Jan de Bont
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 18, 1987 (1987-12-18) (U.S.)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million[1] + $9 Million Prints and Advertising [2]
Box office $4,615,255 (USA)

Leonard Part 6 is a 1987 comedy film that parodies spy movies. It was directed by Paul Weiland and starred Bill Cosby, who also produced the film and wrote its story. The movie also starred Joe Don Baker and Gloria Foster, the latter of whom played the villain. The movie was filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America. It earned several Golden Raspberry Awards; Cosby himself denounced and disowned it in the press in the weeks leading up to its release.

Plot[edit]

Bill Cosby plays Leonard Parker, a former CIA spy. According to the opening sequence of the movie, the title refers to the idea that this film is actually the sixth installment of a series of films featuring the adventures of Leonard, as parts one through five were locked up in the interests of world security.

The movie starts with Parker being re-recruited by his former employers in the CIA to save the world from an evil vegetarian who brainwashes animals to kill people. The film ends with Leonard infiltrating the vegetarian base, fending off the vegetarians with magic meat he received from a Gypsy, freeing the captive animals and flooding the base using Alka-Seltzer. He escapes by riding an ostrich on the roof of the building, with the ostrich flying him down.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The movie received overwhelming negative criticism.[3][4][5] When the film was released in 1987, Bill Cosby said he was so disappointed with it that he publicly advised people not to waste their money on it.[6]

The Los Angeles Times wrote: "'Leonard Part 6' is a smug, tedious exercise in self-indulgence ... There's virtually nothing to laugh at in this film, and too much of everything else." The Times noted that, although Weiland was the director, "clearly Cosby, as star, producer and idea man (writer), is the auteur here."[7]

His direction of Leonard Part 6 resulted in Weiland's being nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director. Asked years later about his work on the film, Weiland recalled:

"It was a terrible mistake. ... When anyone gets into that position (Bill Cosby's position of power in the 1980s), they are surrounded by sycophants and no one tells them the truth. But Cosby just wasn't funny. I couldn't tell him directly. I'd say it feels slow, and he'd say 'You worry about construction, let me worry about funny'."[8]

Caryn James of The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Cosby and the director, Paul Weiland, were reportedly at odds while filming Leonard Part 6, which opens today at Cine 1 and other theaters, but there's plenty of blame for them to share. Mr. Weiland's direction, Mr. Cosby's story and Jonathan Reynolds's screenplay seem equally trite."[9]

Box office[edit]

The movie was a box office flop, and thanks in part to Cosby's advice on the film, it only grossed $4,615,255[6][10][11]—a mere fraction of its $24 million budget.[1]

Accolades[edit]

The movie won three Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds and Cosby). It was nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress (Foster) and Worst Director (Weiland). A few weeks after the ceremony, Cosby accepted his three Razzies on Fox's The Late Show. He requested that the three Razzies he earned be specifically made out of 24 karat (99.99%) gold and Italian marble. Cosby himself later brought the awards with him when he was a guest on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, happily displaying them and proclaiming, "I swept the awards!"[12] For the 2005 Razzies, the movie earned a nomination in the Worst "Comedy" of Our First 25 Years category.

Home media[edit]

Leonard Part 6 was released by Columbia Pictures (now owned by Sony) on DVD, on April 26, 2005.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 46). The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1769-0. Retrieved on November 28, 2010.
  2. ^ Kips, Charles (1989) "Out Of Focus" (p. 324) ISBN 0-688-09022-2 Retrieved on May, 7, 2014
  3. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1987-12-18). "Cosby's 'Leonard' a Super-Inane Superspy". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (1988-01-24). "Confessions of a Film Masochist Nothing Explains `Leonard Part 6'-That's Why It's Fun". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  5. ^ James, Caryn (1987-12-18). "Film: Bill Cosby's 'Leonard Part 6'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  6. ^ a b Broeske, Pat H. (1987-12-20). "Leonard RIP?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  7. ^ Kevin Thomas (1987-12-18). "Cosby's 'Leonard' a Super-Inane Superspy". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Simon Hattenstone (1994-09-22). "Through slick and thin Paul Weiland, adman turned Hollywood film-maker, talks about stars, egos and his latest movie, City Slickers II". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Caryn James (1987-12-18). "Film: Bill Cosby's 'Leonard Part 6'". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Mathews, Jack (1988-01-06). "Laughing Their Way to Bank Hollywood Accounts Swell From `Baby' and `Momma'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  11. ^ Mathews, Jack (1987-12-22). "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  12. ^ Razzie® Award Reel – YouTube
  13. ^ "Leonard Part 6". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Under The Cherry Moon and Howard the Duck
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
8th Golden Raspberry Awards
Succeeded by
Cocktail