BREWSTER’S MILLIONS [1985] movie review

July 4, 2013 · Print This Article

One movie that I saw as a kid that has stuck in my mind more than most others is BREWSTER’S MILLIONS [1985], which I only rewatched today. I do not mean I can remember exactly how the story went, but I could remember three things very distinctly from it all these years later.

Richard Pryor plays a relief pitcher for a minor league (or lower) team. Little beknownst to him he has had a very rich great uncle who just happened to recently die and has contrived a challenge for Pryor if he really wants to inherit everything. I did not remember the terms correctly. I thought he had a choice of spending $30 million asset free in one month for a chance to inherit $300 million, and if he failed he could keep whatever was left of the $30 million. Turns out the terms were even harsher, he would get nothing. If he did not accept the challenge he could get just a measly $1 million cash. Obviously, for there to be a movie he accepted the challenge.

There is great energy watching Pryor go nuts the first two thirds of the movie throwing parties and coming up with very creative ways to spend money and have nothing to show for it largely by renting everything in site and hiring people to do basic services for him at astronomical pay rates. However, there had to be reasonable valuable for money, and as his uncle said, and a line that stuck in my mind for almost thirty years, “you cannot just buy some bimbo the Hope Diamond as a present.” He was very clever though in buying the world’s most expensive stamp, and using it to mail a postcard (though I would think he would have needed another stamp as its postal value could not have been enough).

An accountant is assigned to him to make sure he spends with no assets and of course it’s a woman and of course she is beautiful. Despite this I saw no reason for Pryor to immediately become focused on winning her approval and wooing her. It was good that he cared about that though as it gave the movie a much needed underlying story to go with his manic spending of cash.

The last half hour slows things down too much and I found myself missing the usual pacing. Still, the very end is tense and will have you screaming, “hurry up!” BREWSTER’S MILLIONS is an 80s nostalgia movie that holds up very well.


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