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Which Way Is Up? (1977)

Richard Pryor is playing three different roles here. The first being a poor orange picker named Leroy Jones who gets laid off when by mistake he joins the worker's union during one of their... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Schultz

Writers:

Lina Wertmüller (as Lina Wertmuller), Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Leroy Jones / Rufus Jones / Reverend Lenox Thomas
Lonette McKee ... Vanetta
Margaret Avery ... Annie Mae
Morgan Woodward ... Mr. Mann
Marilyn Coleman Marilyn Coleman ... Sister Sarah
Bebe Drake ... Thelma (as BeBe Drake-Hooks)
Gloria Edwards Gloria Edwards ... Janelle
Ernesto Hernández Ernesto Hernández ... Jose Reyes (as Ernesto Hernandez)
Otis Day ... Sugar
Morgan Roberts Morgan Roberts ... Henry
Diane Rodriguez Diane Rodriguez ... Estrella Reyes
Dolph Sweet ... The Boss
Tim Thomerson ... Tour Guide (as Timothy Thomerson)
Daniel Valdez Daniel Valdez ... Chuy Estrada (as Danny Valdez)
Luis Valdez Luis Valdez ... Ramon Juarez
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Storyline

Richard Pryor is playing three different roles here. The first being a poor orange picker named Leroy Jones who gets laid off when by mistake he joins the worker's union during one of their demonstrations. Afterwards he is forced to leave his wife and family behind which also includes Leroy's father (also played by Pryor) to go to Los Angeles. Leroy ends up working for the same company that fired him back home. He is a manager at the company but he is now distant from his former pals. He meets and falls in love with Vanetta who is a labor organizer which leaves him splitting time between his wife Annie Mae and Vanetta. When Leroy finds out that the Reverend Lenox Thomas (also played by Pryor) has got his wife pregnant while he was absent, he then make the moves on the reverend's wife. Written by mts77

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1978 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A munka gyümölcse See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning of the film Leroy (Richard Pryor) listens in on his father Rufus (also Richard Pryor) having sex in the other room. The sounds of his father and the woman, "Don't do that baby. Sock it to me. [moaning]", was sampled in 2 Live Crew's 1989 hit "Me So Horny" on the album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be". That song also features a sample from Full Metal Jacket (1987). See more »

Quotes

Annie Mae: Leroy, can't you just whisper sweet things into my ear?
Leroy Jones: [into her ear] Open yo legs, bitch!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in TruInside: The Jerk (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Which Way Is Up?
Words and Music by Norman Whitfield
Sung by Stargard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Pryor did multiple characters FIRST!
12 December 2005 | by BERGDORFSee all my reviews

I saw this movie at the theater when I was 12 or 13 and it took me from a naive child-woman to an aware black woman through comedy! I never laughed so hard in all of my life! Richard Pryor not only portrays three different characters flawlessly, he spins a story that has a moral and a conscious. The great soundtrack featured music from a group named STARGUARD who sang the title "Which Way is Up" and it was a big hit on urban radio in the 1979-80! This movie is a must-see for any and all fans of Richard Pryor - just to see how his comic-acting genius was as unique as it was effective. I know more people may have seen "Silver Streak" or "Blazing Saddles" (which he co-wrote the screenplay) but WHICH WAY IS UP is by far his best movie! It is unforgettable!


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