Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Toy 1982

"I'm writing a book. That is a job!"

Jack Brown has trouble finding the money to keep his house and support his wife. Because there are no jobs available for black people in the city, especially at the newspaper where Jack dearly wants a job, Jack becomes a cleaning lady.

Throughout The Toy, Richard Pryor's character Jack Brown is a journalist and author struggling to find work and sustain himself in a white-dominated world. Now, that sounds like a pretty grave and serious movie, doesn't it? It's not. The spoiled son of the richest man in the city gets to visit every week and pick out something from the giant toy store. But, the kid is bored with all his toys and, to upset his father, his chooses Jack Brown.

The kid's name is Master Bates.

Richard Pryor displays some of his comedic genius here, but it's not really legendary stuff. However, there are a lot of racial and social issues that play into the plot and understanding of the film. Jack Brown appears to be nothing more than a modern-day slave, as, for one week, he can't go home to his wife and is stuck being a plaything for Master Bates.

In the end, Jack teaches Master Bates how to be a journalist and they print a small newspaper condemning the father and his immoral practices. The father, at final party, is revealed to have ties to the KKK. So, in a moment of kindness, he gives Jack a job at the newspaper.

Oh, did I give away the ending? Sorry--but it's more about the comedy than the racial undertones, anyway.


A Funny Richard Pryor Site

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