CAR WASH (1976 US) D: MICHAEL SCHULTZ W: JOEL SCHUMACHER P: ART LINSON/GARY STROMBERG
An L.A. car wash is the setting for this plotless, rambling, feelgood multi-character semi-musical comedy (with a largely black cast). The Rose Royce soundtrack includes the hit title tune (heard several times). It lacks any real decent gags, but for some reason is a very likeable and fun watch. Main guest star Richard Pryor (Schultz directed him in GREASED LIGHTNING and WHICH WAY IS UP?) appears as capitalist preacher Daddy Rich. Working at the car wash are Frank Ajaye, Bill Duke (in his feature debut) as an angry Muslim, the late Ivan Dixon (who directed the fine films TROUBLE MAN and THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR) in his final feature as actor, a cross-dressing Antonio Fargas, and Clarence Muse shines shoes. With George Carlin as a cab driver, The Pointer Sisters, Tracy Reed, Tim Thomerson (feature debut) as a suave heartthrob (!), Pepe Serna, Prof. Irwin Carey and a cameo from Lorraine Gary. Brooke Adams was mostly edited out but can still be seen briefly. A tv edit that removed raunchier scenes (tame by today's standards) had additional footage (including Danny DeVito). Some prefer that version. It was remade (badly) in 2001 as THE WASH, a vehicle for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Schumacher (whose directorial feature debut after several tv movies, was THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN) also wrote the flop Motown WIZARD OF OZ remake THE WIZ.

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