Another You is a 1991 American comedy film directed by Maurice Phillips and starring Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mercedes Ruehl, Vanessa Williams and Kevin Pollak. The film was released in the United States on July 26, 1991.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Maurice Phillips|
|Produced by||Ziggy Steinberg|
|Written by||Ziggy Steinberg|
|Music by||Charles Gross|
|Cinematography||Victor J. Kemper|
|Edited by||Dennis M. Hill|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
The film was a box office failure as well as a critical one, and it marked the final time Pryor and Wilder starred together in a series of four movies made between 1976 and 1991, starting with Silver Streak in 1976. It was also both actors' final leading role on screen and the last appearance of Wilder in a theatrically released film before their subsequent deaths, with Pryor dying on December 2005 and Wilder on August 2016 respectively.
Peter Bogdanovich was the original director, but he was replaced by the studio right in the middle of shooting in New York. After reviewing footage with the replacement director Maurice Phillips, it was determined that none of the New York City footage was usable, and the script was re-written to be shot entirely in Los Angeles, with Boganovich's footage being scrapped.
George (Gene Wilder), a former mental patient and pathological liar, is released from the hospital. He is quickly, purposefully mistaken for millionaire brewery heir Abe Fielding by a troupe of actors hired by Rupert Dibbs (Stephen Lang), an unscrupulous business manager. Rupert needs George to believe he is Fielding in order to kill him off and inherit the Fielding Brewery and family fortune.
Eddie Dash (Richard Pryor), a con man, tenuously befriends George due to a community service assignment. He attempts at first to capitalize on George's mistaken identity, but after being pressured by Rupert into killing George for profit, turns the tables on Rupert and helps George fake his death, only to come back to the land of the living and inheriting both the brewery and the Fielding fortune instead.
Along the way, Eddie and George turn two of Rupert's female associates into allies and partners, while getting themselves into plenty of comical chaos.
The film was released four years after Pryor revealed that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and his physical deterioration is evident in this film. Pryor later said he "got personally and professionally fucked on that film. They fired the director and hired another ego. I was told I wasn't going to have to reshoot scenes but the new ego had me do it anyway. That's when I discovered things weren't going well for me professionally."
Peter Bogdanovich was the original director, but he was replaced after five weeks of shooting in New York; On the last night of location filming, Peter Bogdanovich received a phone call from his agent around midnight, letting him know he was being replaced as director. After reviewing footage with the replacement director, it was determined that none of the New York footage was usable and the script was rewritten to be shot entirely in Los Angeles. The movie was shot and completed in LA, and none of Bogdanovich's footage was used.
On Gilbert Gottfried's podcast (Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast!) in 2016, Bogdanovich describes how he and Gene Wilder didn't get along because Bogdanovich devoted most of his time and energy to Richard Pryor, who was having health issues at the time of filming (he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986). Though Bogdanovich claims the film had only been green-lit because he had got Pryor involved in the first place (with the studio apparently not wanting Wilder to star alone), he believes Wilder successfully campaigned to have him replaced with another director. Gottfried himself was cast in the Bogdanovich version of Another You, but he was dropped from the film when it was reshot.
Another You was a box office failure. It ranks among the top ten widely released films for having the biggest second weekend drop at the box office, dropping 78.1% from $1,537,965 to $334,836. The film currently has an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "C" on scale of A+ to F.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times called the film "a frantically incoherent comedy" with a screenplay that "jabbers along in ways that even Mr. Wilder, who carries the brunt of the dialogue, cannot make amusing. Mr. Pryor's role is paltry and his dialogue scant. When all else fails, he is reduced to repeating obscenities." Joseph McBride of Variety wrote that "producer Ziggy Steinberg's feeble script is given slapdash direction by the man who replaced Peter Bogdanovich on what is billed 'a film by Maurice Phillips' (the best joke in the film)... Though Pryor shows old flashes of his old comic brilliance and charm, it's painful to see how his health problems have affected him in this role." Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Producer-writer Ziggy Steinberg's script is like a stone tied around the movie's neck that sinks it, despite all those gaudy, glossy balloons pulling it up." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film half of one star out of four, calling it a "completely worthless comedy" with "no laughs."
- Staff, Variety (1 January 1991). "Review: 'Another You'". Variety. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- theStudioTour - Another You (1991) thestudiotour.com
- Frolick, Billy (1992-10-25). "Back in the Ring : Multiple sclerosis seemingly had Richard Pryor down for the count, but a return to his roots has revitalized the giant of stand-up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Upton, Julian (December 10, 2017). "Extinguishing Features: The Last Years of Richard Pryor". Bright Lights Film Journal.
- "Richard Pryor". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. September 1993. p. 104.
- Peter Bogdanovich on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast! June 13, 2016 - gilbertpodcast.com
- Fox, David J. (1991-07-30). "Weekend Box Office : 'Mobsters' Is the Only Solid Opener -". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
- "Biggest Second Weekend Drops". boxofficemojo.com. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
- "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
- Holden, Stephen (1991-07-27). "Movie Review - Another You; A Reformed Liar and a Con Man". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
- McBride, Joseph (August 5, 1991). "Reviews: Another You". Variety. 92-93.
- Wilmington, Michael (1991-07-29). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Another You': Happy, Dopey, Snappy, Empty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
- Siskel, Gene (August 2, 1991). "Siskel's Flicks Picks". Chicago Tribune. Section 7, p. C.
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