The Toy

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In this far from fair world, the larger a man's native talent, the higher the standard we set him, and so one's disappointment with successive Richard Pryor comedies has dragged the emotions from dismay to anger, forgiveness to apathy. While it's hard to be angered by this particular vehicle, The Toy (based on a 1976 French film, Le Jouet) is undeniably another wasted opportunity. The plot is fairly implausible: unemployed man (Pryor) is hired as a bauble for billionaire store-owner Gleason's nine-year-old son (welcome again to the New Depression). After virtually every imaginable stock comic situation, Pryor humanises both spoiled son and money/power fixated pop in a moral, weepy ending. Played straight, this could make some quite serious points about the predicament of the unemployed (Pryor as prostitute), but the film finds it easier to opt for cheap laughs.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Donner
Screenwriter: Carol Sobieski
Cast: Richard Pryor
Jackie Gleason
Ned Beatty
Scott Schwartz
Teresa Ganzel
Wilfrid Hyde-White
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