Case Number 01939: Small Claims Court


Universal // 1985 // 102 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // June 7th, 2002

The Charge

You don't have to be crazy to spend $30 million in 30 days. But it helps.

The Case

Minor league relief pitcher Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor, The Toy) is about to get the opportunity of a lifetime when his mysterious great-great grandfather (Hume Cronyn, Cocoon) passes away leaving him $300 million in inheritance! However, like every good thing in life there's a catch: first Brewster must spend $30 million in 30 days or else forfeit his inheritance! The rules are fairly concrete: Only minute portions may be given to gambling and charities, and by the end of the month Monty must not retain even a single asset! With his best friend Spike (John Candy, Delirious) along for the ride, Monty tramps around the Windy City on a spending spree of nearly epic proportions! Along the way he'll attempt to woo his attractive accountant (Lonette McKee, Malcolm X) who's engaged to an unscrupulous attorney (Stephen Collins, 7th Heaven) looking to thwart Monty's plans! Let the spending begin!

This 1985 remake of Brewster's Millions just doesn't cut the butter. While Richard Pryor is a funny guy -- stuttering and stammering are his best qualities -- the script doesn't include enough laughs to warrant its 102 minute running time. Maybe it's due to the film's friendly PG rating, or maybe this just wasn't a good idea to begin with (it had been already been made five times earlier, so you'd think someone had already gotten it right). As directed by Walter Hill (48 Hrs., Streets Of Fire), Brewster's Millions is an often slow, languishing film that doesn't pick up nearly enough speed until its predictable ending. Some scenes, including the purchase of an iceberg strapped with a motor for sailing, are funny, though these chuckles are few and far between. However, the film isn't a total loss -- Rick Moranis (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Morty King, a man whose paid services include repeating whatever you say, is worth at least a few minutes of the viewer's time. Otherwise, this is one of the more forgettable comedies to come out of the 1980s.

Originally released by Goodtimes on DVD, this new Universal release sports a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film. The image quality is above average with solid colors and black levels, save for some dirt and grain in a few key scenes. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and sounds muddy and very dated. If nothing else it would have been nice to have seen Universal put a little more time into this mundane sound mix. Extra features for Brewster's Millions are limited to a few scant production notes, some filmographies on the cast and crew, and a theatrical trailer for the film.

Review content copyright © 2002 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

* English
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 102 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks
* Production Notes
* Theatrical Trailer
* Cast and Crew Filmographies

* IMDb