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RICHARD PRYOR IN 'SOME KIND OF HERO' W/ MARGOT KIDDER

Release date: 1982
If Richard Pryor had only shaved that signature, comfortable, A-list mustache during the important catapulting Vietnam sequence that, within the page-turning James Kirkwood novel SOME KIND OF HERO there's a lot more dramatic and fleshed-out situations than what we have here: a film in which the main character's capture (shown on the poster, VHS cover and trailers) while taking a neurotic leak in the jungles of Vietnam seem like yet-another Pryor comedy...

RIP Margot Kidder May/2018
Though Richard's Eddie Keller and his friendship with fellow American captive Vinnie, played by the always-dependable Ray Sharkey, is a worthy half-hour… including  and especially an intense moment where Eddie lays down the law to his initially unglued, "tough-guy pretentious" cellmate, who threatens Eddie's only friend, a returning mouse…

Then Pryor's rhythm transfers somewhat smoothly as another, far more important progression occurs, turning HERO into an awkward dark comedy back home when, after his personal life hits a few giganic snags, including a cheating wife, a sick mother and what he had to do back in Vietnam haunting his future, Eddie becomes a bumbling crook to get the money he deserved for serving, and sacrificing for, his country... Then he sets his sites on something more reliable...

With Caren Kaye
Which makes those semi-funny Pryor antics more dramatically legit in the final act, ultimately rendering this HERO worthwhile – the story now centering on one particular heist, ranging from government agents to lethal mobsters, bringing out a desperate turn from the standup/acting legend who had already proven himself worthy of real drama in the 1970’s... fans of HIT and BLUE COLLAR know this all too well.

Pryor Unpantsed
Released in 1982, there are several elements from that previous era including a groovy soulful soundtrack: this was supposed to be the post-Vietnam decade, after all (yet there is a 1980's undertone). So beneath the mainstream mainline lies an edgy vibe while Margot Kidder’s heartfelt hooker doesn’t slow the pace like love interests often can. Seeming like she's been around the block more than once, she helps rather than hinders an even more experienced, put-upon war veteran seeking overall revenge.

Meeker-looking Jason
RATING: ***1/2
TRIVIA: The same year character-actor Peter Jason played the bartender who says the “Black Russian” joke to Eddie Murphy in the hillbilly bar, Torchy's, in Walter Hill's classic 48 HRS, he messes with Richard Pryor in this movie… also in a bar!

Making the fantastic, still relevant performer the only actor not only to play a guy who rapes Marcia Brady (in Gary Graver's exploitation TEXAS LIGHTNING around the same time), but a jerk who attempts bullying two of the most popular black comic icons ever, and the tables turn literally each time, not in his favor • And blonde beauty Caren Kaye, later known as the title hottie in MY TUTOR, shared (when the particular screen capture was uploaded onto her wall by yours truly) that it was a long day's shoot, being pregnant and all.
Margot Kidder Some Kind of Hero Margot Kidder Richard Pryor Some Kind of Hero Richard Pryor
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