Give It All Away (Brewster’s Millions, 1985)

Brewsters_Millions_PosterBack in 2008, Bill Gates retired from the day to day of Microsoft and had the plan to devote his fortune to charity. Twelve years of giving charitably, Bill Gates is now worth more than he was in 2008.

Monty Brewster is a down on his luck minor league baseball player who discovers he had a long lost rich uncle.  Monty is the last living relative and is set to receive $300 million on one condition.

Monty is required to spend $30 million in thirty days. At the end of thirty days, he can only have the clothes on his back.

Monty takes the challenge, but finds quickly discovers the odds are against him. The Law Firm dispensing the money will gain all of the estate if they fail, and so they set about trying to sabotage him. His friends enjoy spending the money with him, but Monty has the problem that people assume he does not want to go broke and he cannot tell them why he is spending like a madman.

The seventh adaption of a book from 1902, this version is written by Timothy Harris (who wrote Trading Places, another “rich men put the poor through the ringer” story) and directed by Walter Hill (48 Hours and the Warriors), this version is a vehicle for the late Richard Pryor.  And it is a fun vehicle.  The antics as Monty tries to spend his way to being broke is supported by terrific cast.  John Candy is Spike, Monty’s best friend.  This is pure Candy charm at work, emphasizing a nice and goofy nature with just a hint of being a womanizer.  Lonetta McKee is the person assigned to keep track of Monty’s spending, but unaware of his full situation, she is repulsed by his squandering of money when it could be used for good.

Thirty five years later, Brewster’s Millions still holds up as a fun comedic farce.


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