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|
|May 6, 1983|
|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.
Smooth Walker (Howard Hesseman),a pimp owes $80,000. debt to the gruff "Mom" (Kate Murtagh), a Chicago mob boss. Looking for a way to deflect the payment, Smooth weasels out of his financial responsibility, claiming his turf is being over-run by a violent madman, and invents a fictitious mobster, the flamboyant "Doctor Detroit. Ankroyd meets Smooth and his girls, played by Donna Dixon, Linda Lei, Fran Drescher, and Lynn Whitfield. He spends the night partying with them, and basically has the best night of his life. After finding out about their inherited troubles with Mom, he agrees to assume the role of Doctor Detroit in an effort to help them.
Meanwhile Monroe College is waiting for its anticipated coporate endowment, in the form of a check to be delivered by one of the executives, Harmon Rousehorn (Andrew Duggan). The film flips back and forth between Clifford's straight life, and his life as the Doctor. Ankroyd's Clifford character teaches literature at Monroe, and helps his nervous father played by (George Furth), secure the money for the destitute college. While his alter-ego Dr. Detroit, battles Mom, boogies with James Brown, and helps out 4 prostitues that previously worked for Smooth. It is all quite ridiculous and fun.
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