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Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

JO JO DANCER, YOUR LIFE IS CALLING stars Richard Pryor as a well-known comedian at the peak of his popularity and the bottom rung of his self-esteem. Jo Jo has it all, Hollywood stardom, movie roles,platinum records. But the price he pays for fame and fortune is too great. He buckles under the pressures of success and suffers a life-threatening accident. Forced to examine his life, the film follows Jo Jo's compelling past through four decades from his upbringing in a brothel, to classic comedyperformances in cellar nightclubs, to ultimate stardom as a rowdy, irreverent comic. This film marks Pryor's directing debut with his personal vision of one man's odyssey of triumph and tragedy.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Pryor, Debbie Allen, Diahnne Abbott, Tanya Boyd, Virginia Capers
  • Directors: Richard Pryor
  • Writers: Richard Pryor, Rocco Urbisci, Paul Mooney
  • Producers: Richard Pryor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Mill Creek - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UPFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,493 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I've yet to read a positive review of this film. Let this be the first. This is a heartfelt, gut-wrenching film straight from Pryer's heart. If you're looking for comedy, you'll be disappointed. If you're looking for the result of one man's soul search--from hell and back--Pryor delivers here in spades. Pryor is not the best director in the world, but that matters little here. What matters--and what most critics fail to recognize--is that this is one of the most gut-wrenching and emotionally impactful autobioghapical film portraits ever set on film. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
Basically, my title sums it up. Richard Pryor plays pretty much himself here (why he chose the non de plume "Jo Jo Dancer" was probably to change the names of all characters in the film to protect the innocent). Aside from his army days and getting kicked out of school, as much of the major stuff that could be compressed in 2 hrs is here-growing up in the house of prostitution, the effect this had on his psyche, his troubled relationship with his father (it's really sad and embarrassing to watch a grown Pryor get cursed and slapped around by his Dad in front of his young wife), his early struggles in showbiz, drking and dope problems, etc. etc.

But Pryor's sermon near the end is a relavation and would have been a perfect coda to end his comedy career in films (this film was made at the time he began to get the symptoms of MS). Sadly, later abominations such as "Another You," "Moving," "Critical Condition," and "Harlem Nights" (REALLY tragic considering the talent involved) did not do well for his legacy. But if you stop here, this is a great way to remember the genius that was Richard Pryor (RIP).
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Watching "Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling" is a bit like being in a bar, sitting next to a total stranger who begins to tell you his life story. It's an uncomfortable situation and you find yourself alternately embarrased and appalled, but totally engrossed and ultimately sympathic to this man's plight. You begin to wonder how a man who has suffered so much can produce so many laughs.

The movie is autobiographical, with artistic license taken from time to time, but it really gets at the soul of the man who was Richard Pryor. Many Pryor fans may be shocked -- not at the language, but with the emotional frankness with which Richard reveals himself. And he admits that he has brought much sorrow on himself and the ones who have loved him.

Casual fans will probably be put off by the lack of laughs, but those willing to dig a little deeper will come away with an understanding of Pryor and the pain that he was able to forge into incredible comedy -- comedy that exposed more truth about society than many artists, philosophers, writers, or social reformers of the 20th century.
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Even though Pryor claimed this film was not an autobigraphical picture on his life, it actually is; it's just a quick overview of his story and although I remember watching this on cable tv(HBO) when I was a kid, I can see now why it wasn't a big hit at the box office and has been one of those "forgotten" flicks within his stand-up/film career. This film is designed for more deeper-rooted fans of Pryor and the screenplay sort of moves like a quasi-soap opera at times, with some bad acting and underdeveloped scripting; but it has some charm to it as well, esp. with the idea of flashbacking into his life as he's at death's door. Pryor, of course, does a great job being himself and I particuarly like the moments of his youth when he was just a boy growing up in Morton,OH and being raised by his grandmother. After many years, it was a treat to see this again, and I'm glad I own it, even though I may not frequently go back to it, its a decent enough film to have and see from time to time.
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By Mindmixx on September 27, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a true Richard Pryor fan from the time I was a child. I remember going to one of my friends house and his older brother would leave out the album (That N*****s crazy) and we would sneak and listen to it. I was hooked yI currently own most of his Vinyl records to this day.

What more could anyone ask but to have a entertainer tell his/her lifestory and also relive it all (good & bad) by playing the role of themselves. I haven't seen or heard of anyone doing this. other folks have either played them or it was a biography. Jojo Dancer is a true hit based on the life of the comedian. It really shows the depth of a man that grew up in hard times dealing with liquor houses, drug abuse, prostitution etc but he managed to be THE most influencial comedian of the 20th and now 21st century. I HIGHLY recommend this film. For true Richard Pryor fans I promise, you will not be disappointed.
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JO JO DANCER IS REALLY A EXTREMELY DEPRESSING MOVIE. IT WAS WELL MADE, BUT, IF THIS IS A TRUE DEPICTION OF THE REAL LIFE OF RICHARD PRYOR, THEN IT IS SAD AND EXTREMELY TRAGIC. MRS. DIONE L. WILLIAMSCRAYTON
CRAYTOND2000@MSN.COM; JULY 14, 2014
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Although I grew up in the south end of Peoria, I was not a big fan of Richard back in the day. As I got older I realized what a genius he was. I also worked in downtown Peoria when the movie was being shot. That was pretty cool. My old company is seen in the movie for a brief second. It was too bad he had such a terrible life. He was voted top comedian by 100 of todays comedians.
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