Cast & Crew
Twenty-five-year old Carter Fields, an idealistic young man, is hindered in his pursuit to find the meaning of life by his domineering mother and the lunacy of living in New York City. One day, while walking in Central Park, Carter is attacked by a fat black girl, then watches in dismay as a young hippie exposes his bare bottom to a woman shouting obscenities. While seeking refuge in the men's room, Carter is badgered by a garrulous drunk and a singing woman dressed in black lace. Carter's attempts at finding sexual fulfillment are stymied by the fact that he suffers nosebleeds during intercourse. Depressed, Carter attempts suicide by hanging himself but fails in this endeavor, too. Carter then tries to find help in a group therapy session, but finds that his group is composed of an assortment of neurotics, including Herby Moss, the mastermind behind a gang of Campfire Girl pickpockets. Carter finally finds happiness when he marries a lovely woman named Susan, becomes a father and is hired by an exclusive Madison Avenue advertising agency. Carter's contentment is short-lived, however, because soon after, he is fired for being incompetent, after which Susan leaves him. Taking his baby to the park, Carter forlornly sits on a park bench, hoping that one day he can find meaning in the absurdity of the world around him.
Joe La Vecchia
James Bernard O'toole
Julia Anne Stanley
Richard Pryor (1940-2005)
He was born Richard Thomas Pryor III on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois. By all accounts, his childhood was a difficult one. His mother was a prostitute and his grandmother ran a brothel. His father was rarely around and when he was, he would physically abuse him. From a young age, Pryor knew that humor was his weapon of choice to cut through all the swath he came across and would confront in his life.
After high school, he enlisted in the Army for a two-year stint (1958-60). When he was discharged (honorably!) he concentrated on stand-up comedy and worked in a series of nightclubs before relocating to New York City in 1963. In 1964, he made his television debut when he was given a slot on the variety program On Broadway Tonight. His routine, though hardly the groundbreaking material we would witness in later years, was very well received, and in the late '60s Pryor found more television work: Toast of the Town, The Wild Wild West, The Mod Squad ; and was cast in a two movies: The Busy Body (1967) with Sid Caesar; and Wild in the Streets (1968) a cartoonish political fantasy about the internment of all American citizens over 30.
Pryor's career really didn't ignite until the '70s. His stand up act became raunchier and more politically motivated as he touched on issued of race, failed relationships, drug addiction, and street crimes. His movie roles became far more captivating in the process: the piano man in Lady Sings the Blues (1972); as a wise-talking hustler in a pair of slick urban thrillers: The Mack (1973) and Uptown Saturday Night (1974); the gregarious Daddy Rich in Car Wash; his first pairing with Gene Wilder as Grover, the car thief who helps stops a runaway train in his first real box office smash Silver Streak (both 1976); and for many critics, his finest dramatic performance as a factory worker on the edge of depression in Paul Schrader's excellent working class drama Blue Collar (1978).
On a personal level, his drug dependency problem worsened, and on June 9, 1980, near tragedy struck when he caught fire while free-basing cocaine. Pryor later admitted that the incident, was, in fact, a suicide attempt, and that his management company created the lie for the press in hopes of protecting him. Fortunately, Pryor had three films in the can that all achieved some level of financial success soon after his setback: another pairing with Gene Wilder in the prison comedy Stir Crazy (1980); a blisteringly funny cameo as God who flips off Andy Kaufman in the warped religious satire In God We Tru$t (1980); an a ex-con helping a social worker (Cicely Tyson) with her foster charges in Bustin' Loose (1981). He capped his recovery with Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), a first-rate documentation of the comic's genius performed in front of a raucous live audience.
In 1983, Pryor signed a $40 million, five-year contract with Columbia Pictures. For many fans and critics, this was the beginning of his downslide. His next few films: The Toy, Superman III (both 1983), and Brewster's Millions (1985) were just tiresome, mediocre comedies. Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling (1986), was his only attempt at producing, directing, and acting, and the film, which was an ambitious autobiographical account of a his life and career, was a box-office disappointment. He spent the remainder of the '80s in middling fare: Condition Critical (1987), Moving; a third pairing with Gene Wilder in See No Evil, Hear No Evil; and his only teaming with Eddie Murphy in Harlem Nights (1989).
In 1986, Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system that curtailed both his personal appearances and his gift for physical comedy in his latter films. By the '90s, little was seen of Pryor, but in 1995, he made a courageous comeback on television when he guest starred on Chicago Hope as an embittered multiple sclerosis patient. His performance earned him an Emmy nomination and he was cast in a few more films: Mad Dog Time (1996), Lost Highway (1997), but his physical ailments prohibited him from performing on a regular basis. In 1998, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington gave Pryor the first Mark Twain Prize for humor. It was fitting tribute for a man who had given so much honesty and innovation in the field of comedy. Pryor is survived by his wife, Jennifer Lee; his sons Richard and Steven; and daughters Elizabeth, Rain and Renee.
by Michael T. Toole
Richard Pryor (1940-2005)
According to Filmfacts, the picture was filmed in and around New York City. You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It Or You'll Lose that Beat marked the first feature made by writer-producer-director Peter Locke, and the first onscreen credit of Wes Craven, who directed the 1984 film Nightmare On Elm Street and other popular horror films. Ruth Locke, who played "Carter's mother," and Daisy Locke, who played the "Old woman," were Peter Locke's mother and grandmother, respectively. Although The Ski Bum marked actor Zalman King's first released film, You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It Or You'll Lose that Beat was shot first.
Released in United States 1971
Released in United States 1971