Brewster’s Millions

April 29th, 2018 by

The Richard Pryor version is a remake of Brewster’s Millions, starring Dennis O’Keefe, which is based on a book by the same name written by George Barr McCutcheon.

In the Pryor version, Montgomery Brewster is a minor league baseball pitcher with dreams of making it big. Monty’s claim to fame is he can strike any batter out for three innings in a row. The game begins with the Hackensack Bulls defeating a rival team. Monty notices a man following him and Spike, and thinks he is a big league scout. Monty Brewster goes to a local bar with his buddy, Spike Nolan, played by John Candy, where they end up in a fight. While in jail Monty and Spike find out their careers are over. The Bulls do not have enough money to pay bail or pay the fines, plus the team feels Monty is no longer worth the investment.

Monty and Spike appear in court, the man who was following them turns out to be a private eye in the employ of a law firm. If Monty and Spike plead guilty to charges, the fines will be paid. The private eye informs the duo that they will be going to New York. Monty still under the delusion that it is a baseball team hiring him, thinks it is the Mets. When Monty arrives at the law firm, he is informed his great uncle Rupert died a very wealthy man, and Monty is his sole living heir. Monty is presented with a gamble. He inherits $30 Million, has to spend it all in a month, cannot tell anyone, cannot have any tangible assets for his money, and if he does all of that, he inherits $300 Million. Rupert explains how he was taught about not smoking by being forced to smoke a whole box of cigars, and Rupert wants Monty to hate wanting to spend money. Another catch is offered. Monty can take $1 Million in cash, and that is all. He can walk away. Still wealthy, but not extravagantly wealthy. Monty takes the bet.

Monty begins doing very cleaver things to lose money. Except some back fire, and he winds up going back to having $30 Million. Monty has two major things working where he would lose bundles of money. Monty spends money to help his former team, the Hackensack Bulls, which he wants to use to play the New York Yankees. Monty figures if he can strike out the Yankees in three innings, he might get a shot as a professional pitcher. Another thing Monty does is enter politics. He spends lavishly hoping to lose his bid for mayor of New York. When his opponents think Monty has besmirched them, they sue, only to find out Monty is happy to settle.

When it winds down to the end of the month, Monty is informed, he might actually win the mayor job, which under the will is a tangible asset. Monty drops out of the race. Which is interesting, since if Monty won, he would at least have a decent paying job.

Along his adventure, Monty’s friends think he is going crazy, and try to help Monty manage his money, but feel he is a lost cause. Monty cannot tell his friends what is going on. Warren Cox, the fiancee of Angela Drake is informed of what is going on with Monty. The law firm, Granville and Baxter would gain control of the $300 Million if Monty loses. The only thing Warren needs to do, in order to be a full partner in the law firm, is fix it so Monty has a little money left. Warren does this, and as the final minutes begin ticking away informs Monty he has $20,000 left. Monty almost gives up, then realizes he was set up, and punches Warren. He hires Angela to be his defense lawyer for the $20,000 and wins. Granville and Baxter are in big legal trouble for trying to rig the game.

Brewster’s Millions is a good comedy. It has it’s funny moments and ironic punch lines, but never goes to aggressively into social statements. Pryor does great in the lead roll. It is a nice Mid-1980’s comedy showcasing some of the talent from the era.

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