Blue Collar - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blue Collar Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 25, 2010
Paul Schrader's intelligent, well-observed, powerhouse drama about three Detroit production line automobile workers brilliantly played by Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto, who all deliver extraordinary dramatic performances, these three close friends find bills piling up and pressures bearing down on them, so they decide to rob their corrupt union office, but trio end up empty handed with no money, but find a suspicious ledger that links the union with organized crime, they try to blackmail the union for cash for the return of the ledger and find that they are way out of their league. Suddenly once loyal friendships turns to paranoia, betrayal, and murder. A serious underrated classic gem, and one of the last Hollywood films to explore the lives of the working class man. Schrader makes his impressive directorial debut with engrossing motion picture, which has a gripping screenplay by Paul Schrader & Leonard Schrader. A must-see! Highly Recommended.
lesleyanorton
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2010
Surprisingly good and gritty 70's drama about three carworkers, Yaphet Kotto, Harvey Keitel, & a straight-playing Richard Prior, trying to stick it to the man/company/union. .
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2012
"Blue Collar" proves yet again that Paul Schrader is one of the greatest, most underrated film makers out there; a man whose films are so consistently overlooked that it seems almost intentional. "Blue Collar" is the result of Schrader's excellence in writing and directing, and the performances that he musters from actors Keitel, Pryor and Kotto do his script a whole lot of justice. His film isn't as much a lesson in how to break free of the chains that blue collar workers find themselves in as much as it is a study in what living in those chains is like. It's tense and honest American film making, and it strikes a chord.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2010
Paul Schrader's debut picture and his first masterpiece. Although Schrader did have a very difficult time directing and breaking down his self esteem on set. Yaphet Kotto, Harvey Keitel, Richard Pryor are all brilliant. Showing the audiences the tough and stressful signs at working at a big automobile factory leading up to the nasty rat race in the workforce.
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2010
Powerful first film from writer Paul Schrader, and his best film to date. It's a good story that is carried by powerful performances by it's three main actors. Keitel is good, but you've seen him do better. Kotto and Pryor are flawless, and they carry this movie. It's about three auto workers who decide to steal from their union and how it affects their lives and friendship afterwards. What really makes this film different is that most of it is a comedy and then it turns dark real fast. It's a hard to find film, but if you get a chance watch it you wont regret it. Again I have to give it up to Kotto and Pryor for their comic and dramatic performance.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2010
A gritty, and brutally honest look at a Detroit automobile factory and their union.
The cast in this film is remarkable, its three leads Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto, and Richard Pryor really hit it on all cylinders as down on their luck line workers and friends who devise a plan to get back at their Union by robbing their vault. What unfolds is a story of corruption, betrayal, and murder and it is done in such a way that makes for one hell of a good movie.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2007
Paul Schrader's amazing debut starts out like a buddy comedy and turns into one of the most brutal films about the working class I've ever seen. It's hard to believe the cast, who worked so well together, despised one another. Pryor's greatest performance as well. Awesome.
May 2, 2016
Blue Collar (1978) ????
Punchy but criminally underrated movie about three struggling workers who plan to blackmail their union. Critics lauded, but for whatever reason not many people saw it.
November 28, 2013
If you are a fan of the late Richard Pryor, like me, who ranks him as my favorite "philosopher," you should see this movie. It's probably his best performance as an actor.
June 20, 2010
Another great gritty 70s drama, featuring the hallmarks of the era: superb acting, flawed characters, and an unhappy ending. This is a great film to understand the end of the union era in America. Richard Pryor is particularly good.
October 13, 2010
Powerful first film from writer Paul Schrader, and his best film to date. It's a good story that is carried by powerful performances by it's three main actors. Keitel is good, but you've seen him do better. Kotto and Pryor are flawless, and they carry this movie. It's about three auto workers who decide to steal from their union and how it affects their lives and friendship afterwards. What really makes this film different is that most of it is a comedy and then it turns dark real fast. It's a hard to find film, but if you get a chance watch it you wont regret it. Again I have to give it up to Kotto and Pryor for their comic and dramatic performance.
½ June 13, 2008
It's intense, well-acted, gives one a good idea about everyday factory life and offers a clear-sighted muckraking take on blue collar types
March 24, 2009
One of the best movies about the working class and in general that I've ever seen (the other being Barbara Koppel's documentary: 'Harlan County USA'). Schrader for some reason has remained tightly underrated throughout his entire career even though he contributed scripts to Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver', 'Last Temptation of Christ', and 'Raging Bull' and has taken upon directing precisely detailed and thought provoking films himself. But such like him are where (most of the time...all the time) you find some of the best works in cinema. Here, Schrader offers some of the best casting ever (and I mean EVER) with Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto (you know the black guy from 'Alien' and Richard Pryor (yes, he's funny in this movie, not serious the whole time!) and sets them against a story of three working class friends who are fed up with the unfair, cruel and degrading conditions of their demanding factory job which in turn just barely pays them the means to survive and support their families. They stage a robbery of a safe at the main office, and they're successful until they find the safe is full of petty cash but something much more important: a notebook filled with pages and pages of numbers anf percentages. Eventually they uncover the corrupt practices of the very own union they've defended and worked for. The movie doesn't lighten up after the fact. It shows how not anyone or anything can bring down a corrupt system. Bonds of friendship are tested, and bought out by manipulation and the corrupt poweers that be go as far as murder to cover tracks. The working man, no matter how much stepped on, when fed up and no matter how of much of an advantage he has over the powers that be just can't win. If the rumored Criterion release is true, I can't wait!
February 2, 2009
Easily the best film that Schrader directed. The film works on many levels but the script feels "on" with smart dialog and well constructed characters. All three of the leads especially Pryor are stellar and they all flush out the human moments of decent hard working men who just cannot get over due to the evils of their labor union. This weekend I had the honor of seeing Schrader present this film and he commented that it (Blue Collar) was a Marxist film but it was not his intention to make a specific political statement with his script, it was just the way the film worked itself out.
December 13, 2008
Excellent cast, story and direction. You get wrapped up in everything as you should w/ a good movie.
January 28, 2008
An absolute classic, with schrader's writing and direction possibly at his best. Everything about this movie is great, and it is a shame that it hasn't got the amount of exposure that it deserves.
August 30, 2007
I had great hopes when I saw the names PRYOR, KEITEL and SCHRADER. Blue Collar isn't a bad film, but it isn't anything special either. Nothing really happens, which is usually all right when Schrader's at the helm, but here the energy just goes stale. Most of the time, it's almost as dull as actually being blue collar.
July 29, 2007
One of the lost germ's of the 1970's Richard Pryor was never better than he was here. A politcal movie that's also brutally funny. I can't believe it's not currently available on DVD.
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