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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.22%
Worth A Look: 25.93%
Pretty Bad: 7.41%
Total Crap: 11.11%

1 review, 21 user ratings

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See No Evil, Hear No Evil
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by MP Bartley

"But speak Good."
3 stars

Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder were one of the more bizarre comic pairings in film history. They were never, ever close to Laurel and Hardy but they were much better than Cheech and Chong, say. If they didn't get the right material they'd struggle, but when they do, like here, they'd make for a solidly entertaining time.

Wally (Pryor) is blind and David (Wilder) is deaf. A tough conversation at the best of times, but when they become involved in a murder revolving around a stolen rare coin and end up on a hit list, it makes their disabilities and reliance on each other all the more important.

After taking in 'Stir Crazy' I made it a Wilder/Pryor double-bill with this, and the difference between the two couldn't be more apparent. Whereas 'Stir Crazy' had nothing intrinsically funny about it, making it very hard to get the laughs, 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil' has a funny concept at the heart of the film, making it difficult to screw up. The first accidental meeting between Wally and David is a scream, and the two have great fun milking the comic potential out of the situation. Happily it never mocks their afflictions either and doesn't poke fun at them nastily, instead having quite a sweet charm to their characterisations. A conversation between the two in a park actually becomes quite touching as they reflect on their lives.

They're both much more comfortable with the material here and are much funnier as a result. There's no over the top weirdness to try and keep things interesting here. It may be no classic to make you laugh long and hard, but it's consistently funny and keeps you smiling. There are 3 moments that do provoke a loud laugh however - Pryor with a shotgun, Wilder encouraging Pryor to shout in his ear and Pryor as a Swede. Another big laugh may be the unintentational one - Kevin Spacey as the English villain of the piece. Seeing Spacey as a hammy bad guy is funny enough, but with a killingly bad cut-glass accent just makes it worse. But when you watch it, look out for the mysterious lump on the side of Spacey's face that threatens to obliterate everything in its path.
Jesus, Kevin what was that thing? Did you have an alien in there about to pop out? The thing's freaking HUGE.

But anyway...

The pace flags when the bothersome plot about the coin needs to be tidied up at the end, but other than that it's something to happily engage the laughter cells.

It isn't a comic gem or a forgotten classic, but it does showcase the talents of the leads and creates some good laughs. Although you can't get away from the feeling that the concept should still be funnier, it's an 80's comedy that has stood the test of time. And when there's so many that haven't. it deserves our attention.

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originally posted: 06/17/04 22:59:59
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User Comments

12/25/13 D.B. 1986 It's OK, but my favorite Wilder and Pryor movie is Silver Streak 3 stars
10/07/13 David It's OK, but my favorite Wilder & Pryor movie is "Stir Crazy". 3 stars
8/29/12 roscoe wilder and pryor are great, but the premise is stale. 4 stars
8/07/12 mr.mike Starts well then becomes a "Stir Crazy" rehash. 3 stars
1/23/11 LP Quagmire A riot! Pryor and Wilder are the last great comedy team! 4 stars
5/25/07 mark funny from start to finnish. 5 stars
9/17/05 undead really stupid but funny 4 stars
7/03/04 Ehigie Sam Funniest movie I have ever seen make you laugh to the end! 5 stars
3/18/03 Jack Sommersby Nifty and deft comedy. Timing is sometimes off, but the two stars are aces together. 4 stars
4/24/02 Monster W. Kung Not very funny at all. 2 stars
4/02/02 Noerf This movie is not that funny but see it because Kevin Spacey rocks and is hillarious again! 2 stars
3/24/02 NWO4LIFE bad reviews, but this is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. 5 stars
1/07/02 Jessica Davis I absolutely love the movie! it is so halarious, and they have the best actors for the movi 5 stars
12/06/01 LP Quagmire It's Wilder & Pryor --- What more could u want? 5 stars
10/25/01 Henry Ginsberg quite funny 4 stars
9/30/01 Andrew Carden It's Sad To Say How Bad This Was. 1 stars
9/09/01 Butterbean My favorite Pryor and Wilder collaboration. I loved Pryor's sex speech 5 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Clever, funny, well-acted, except for a few MINOR script flaws. 4 stars
8/04/01 sarah this is the worst movie I've ever seem, stay away! 1 stars
5/03/01 BrainPan my god, that chick has great tits. 4 stars
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  02-May-1989 (R)



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