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Brewster's Millions (1985)

  Directed by: Walter Hill
Written by: George Barr McCutcheon, Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Starring: John Candy, Richard Pryor
Links: Brewster's Millions on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 7.33 (3 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 95th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

"Ahh yes - this is what movies used to be like" - a review by pearly

Back in the eighties, before all the good movie ideas had been used up, before they only bothered to make sequels or remakes, there were films like Brewster's Millions. Brewster's Millions is a film like Brewster's Millions. It's got a clever concept, it's well executed, and it's a big pile o' fun.

Brewster's Millions isn't Oscar-worthy. It doesn't have any out-of-this-world performances, nor is the direction the best thing since sliced bread, or the cinematography mind-boggling. But you don't even notice any of that stuff, because you're too busy cheering on ol' Brewster through his quest.

In the film, Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor), an aging baseballer who is down on his luck, discovers that a rich uncle he never knew about has left him $300 million. However, there's a fairly substantial catch: he must first take possession of $30 million, and spend it all in 30 days, having nothing to show for it at the end of this time. To make things even more difficult, he must not tell anyone what he is doing. This, hopes his dead uncle, will give Brewster a healthier view towards money, and will stop him from turning into a totally different person.

And so, Brewster sets out on his task to spend the money. But for every good idea he has (purchasing a valuable stamp and then making it worthless by posting it to someone), he manages to screw something else up (like actually making money on longshot bets), and he begins to realise that this task is not as simple as he had at first thought. Will Brewster be able to achieve his goal?

Brewster's Millions is a film that has aged well, and is still as fun to watch now as it was when it first came out some twenty years ago. It's not the most amazing thing I've ever seen, and if you think about it too much, it starts to fall apart, but it makes you smile, and that's fine by me.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 18 Jan 2005

"Am I Brewster's only fan?" - a review by andy-j

I first saw Brewster's Millions when I was about 10 years old, and the fact that I still enjoy it shows that I really haven't come too far in the last 17 years. Monty Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a directionless minor-league baseball player, who, together with his best buddie catcher, Spike (John Candy), has reached the end of his luke-warm career. Just as everything is about to go down the toilet for him, he discovers that his great-uncle whom he never knew existed, has died and made Monty his sole heir, leaving him three hundred million dollars. But there's a catch. In order to get his inheritance, Monty has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days and, at the end of the thirty days, be without any assets whatsoever. He can't destroy anything of value, he can only give away and gamble a percentage of the thirty mil, he must get value for his money, and, most importantly, he can't tell anyone what he's doing.

So Monty starts spending up big-time, coming up with all sorts of ingenious ways of frittering away money. Without spoiling the movie too much, he does things like hiring people to do all sorts of useless things (he hires someone to repeat everything he says for example), getting his (hired) apartment decorated, then pretending to not like it and ordering it to be redecorated, and taking crowds of strangers out to expensive lunch. Things are complicated by the executors of his uncle's estate, who attempt to sabotage Monty's efforts, as they will get the three hundred million for themselves if he fails.

Brewster's Millions is fun. It's fun watching Monty spending money in ridiculous ways. It's fun watching his reaction when his friends make him a big chunk of his money back. It's fun to see the media react to his crazy ways. Monty is a lovable character, simple and honest and in a situation he is not entirely comfortable with. It slowly starts taking it toll on him, and as the movie progresses, he becomes more and more worn out by the attention he attracts and people questioning his sanity. Richard Pryor does it all in a nicely understated way, but at the same time, he doesn't get to be funny at all. John Candy, the other big star, who constantly chatters away in the background says a few funny things, but apart from that, there really isn't that much to laugh about. It feels like the two were wasted.

Brewster's Millions is still a fun film though. It's not without its faults (plenty of plot holes, the stars seems wasted and there's a general lack of laughs) and part of me says that this film is really half-baked. But another part of me says "who cares?". I can't deny that I enjoyed Brewster and his millions immensely.

andy-j gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 11 Dec 2003

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 2
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 7.33
Lowest rating: 7 (by timchuma, pearly)
Highest rating: 8 (by andy-j)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments


    Rating given: 9

    A comment from diego on Wed 14 Jan 2004 22:32 #

  2. Brewster's Millions is a remake of a movie from a few decades earlier, the sums of money were $1 million and $30 million in the original.

    A comment from nofreelist's own timchuma on Wed 19 Jan 2005 13:02 #

  3. film thats both fun and funny. R.I.P. to Richard Pryor the funniest person that ever lived. period.

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from 88drdre on Wed 04 Jan 2006 03:22 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.50 (2 ratings)

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