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Which Way is Up? (1977)

Richard Pryor , Margaret Avery , Michael Schultz  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

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Which Way is Up? + Moving / Greased Lightning + Richard Pryor / Gene Wilder Triple Feature (Stir Crazy / See No Evil, Hear No Evil / Another You)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Pryor, Margaret Avery, Lonette McKee, Morgan Woodward, Marilyn Coleman
  • Directors: Michael Schultz
  • Writers: Carl Gottlieb, Cecil Brown
  • Producers: Steve Krantz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063UR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,731 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Which Way is Up?" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    Richard Pryor plays three roles - a beleaguered, sex-starved farm worker named Leroy Jones; the farm worker's randy old father Rufus; and the hypocritical town preacher Rev. Lenox Thomas - and Pryor has never been so outrageously funny. The lives and love lives of these three men cross and crisscross as Leroy tries to get his life back on track. The fun kicks into high gear when Leroy moves from labor to management. He tries to juggle his wife and his girlfriend, but the only peace he can find is in the arms of the Reverend's wife! It's a case of too many women and too little time. No wonder he doesn't know Which Way Is Up?

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movies, Bare Bones Treatment February 9, 2006
    Format:DVD
    As you may know, comedian Richard Pryor passed away in December of 2005 following a massive heart attack. The award winning funnyman had also been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. On February 7th, Universal released a four movie collection titled The Richard Pryor 4-Movie Collection. Universal re-released Bustin' Loose on DVD last year as part of their Soul Cinema collection, so I was a bit curious as to why this film was being released on DVD again.

    The Richard Pryor 4 Movie Collection features the following films-Which Way Is Up, Brewster's Millions, Car Wash, and Bustin' Loose. This is a good collection of Pryor's funnier films. The bad thing about this collection is the bare bones treatment. There is no booklet, there are no new bonus features (as a matter of fact there are no bonus features at all), and there aren't even four discs. The movies are packaged on dual sided discs with two movies on each side of one disc. Each film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1).

    As for the movies, you may have seen them before on DVD. Which Way Is Up? was released on DVD in the past but has been out of print for awhile. This was one of Pryor's funniest vehicles. In this film he plays three different characters. Many critics have said that Eddie Murphy was inspired by this film because in later films Coming To America, and The Nutty Professor he juggled multiple roles. In this film Pryor stars as three different characters. Pryor stars as Leroy the orange picker, Leroy's father, and he stars as the minister who sexed up Leroy's wife while he was away working. Leroy himself also falls in love with another woman and finds himself juggling relationships.

    Car Wash is a classic film with a host of guest stars.
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    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Genius February 8, 2005
    Format:DVD
    " Which Way Is Up " , has been , and still is one of the funniest movies , that I've seen. From the beginning to the end , it's just down right hilarious. I'm smiling right now , just thinking about certain scenes. The script isn't original , by any means...but Richard Pryor's comedic talents take this film to unprecedented heights of humor. During a period of 1970's film making , when stereotypical images of Blacks , were the norm , this film is highly likely to offend people who are desiring political correctness.However , if you're able to except this film , for what it is .....you'll soon find yourself laughing at every ludricrous scene. I think the genuine qualities, of this film , are that it doesn't try to be something it isn't. It also doesn't attmept to be over-the-top, ridiculous. It simply tells the story of Leroy Jones's ( a young man , who leads a life of stagnant impoverishment), relocation to the big city. Motivated by the prospects of new romance , more money , and the threat of being killed for unknowingly starting a worker's strike ( in his hometown)...Leroy moves.Early and dedicated perfomances by Leonette Mckee ( Sparkle , Jungle Fever , Malcom X , ect ) , Marilyn Coleman ( Menace 2 Society , Looking for Mr. Goodbar, ect. ), and Margaret Avery ( Color Purple ), give this film an inescapable sence of truth. Honestly , if it weren't for the cast's ability to play their characters with an honest sense of seriousness , this film wouldn't be so funny. But that's the key to " Which Way Is Up". And that's why it's still hilarious, today. I highly recommend it and it will remain one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen.The dvd doesn't offer anything , but the ability to skip and choose scenes . However , this film, captures Richard Pryor ( playing three different charactors ) during his comedic prime , and that's well worth the money you'll spend.
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Pryor at his gut-busting best August 31, 2004
    Format:DVD
    He's an liar, and old man, a womanizer, a preacher, a husband, a lover and he's at the top of his game in every single one of them. RIchard Pryor was never the same after making "Which Way Is Up?" No doubt, producers saw this talent and decided to match him up with has-beens like Gene Wilder (Stir Crazy, Silver STreak, Hear no Evil See NO Evil)and gave him a lot of money to reduce his comic genius to slapstick and buffoonery instead of one lighters and facial expressions that have you rolling into the aisles. For instance, in one scene his character has boasted, to his wife (played beautifully by the sexy Marge Avery), that he has a mistress (his wife accused him of being a homosexual because he had not touched her in months). When this normally demure woman hears that, she snaps and uses every kitchen appliance to chase Pryor around the table. As she picks up a knife, the old man (also played by Pryor) is preparing to enter the kitchen just as she throws it. The knife sticks in the door, mere inches from the old man's head, and he shouts, "The bitch done gon' berserk!" This is, by far, one of the funniest parts of the movie.

    Richard Pryor is a standout in this movie and not to be missed should be the moral of the story: never sell out or you'll lose everything. Beautiful and black Lonette McKee is outstanding as Pryor's "lady on the side," and the settings are incredibly realistic, from a field of fruitpickers to the understated home, to the manufacturing plant itself. The film is a work of art and a classic. Invite your friends over, open up the Courvoissier and check out "Which Way Is Up?"
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