Blue Collar

1978

Blue Collar

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,268
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Movie Info

Three guys, two African-American and one Polish, work on the production line in a Detroit automobile factory, and they are fed-up with the conditions. It dawns on them that their workers' union is doing them no greater good than their screwed-up bosses. So the trio pulls off a clumsy robbery at union HQ, in which they only gain access to some suspicious documents that point to union links with organized crime. Suddenly they're out of their league: violence, paranoia, rivarly, and recrimination erupt around them.

Cast

Richard Pryor
as Zeke Brown
Harvey Keitel
as Jerry Bartowski
Yaphet Kotto
as Smokey James
Ed Begley Jr.
as Bobby Joe
Harry Bellaver
as Eddie Johnson
Lucy Saroyan
as Arlene Bartowski
Lane Smith
as Clarence Hill
Cliff De Young
as John Burrows
Chip Fields
as Caroline Brown
Milton Selzer
as Sumabitch
Jimmy Martinez
as Charlie T. Martinez
Jerry Dahlmann
as Superintendent
Denny Arnold
as Unshaven Thug
Rock Riddle
as Blonde Thug
Stacey Baldwin
as Debby Bartowski
Steve Butts
as Bob Bartowski
Stephen P. Dunn
as Flannigan
Davone Florence
as Frazier Brown
Eddie Singleton
as Ali Brown
Rya Singleton
as Aretha Brown
Jaime Carreire
as Little Joe
Tracey Walter
as Union Member
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News & Interviews for Blue Collar

Critic Reviews for Blue Collar

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (9)

Audience Reviews for Blue Collar

  • Mar 01, 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.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 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.
    cody f Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2010
    Director Paul Schrader's film explores a little of what was wrong with the working class in the late '70s. Inflation, unemployment, corruption and how floorworkers in the auto-industry were continually fucked over. The film gives platform to a rock solid performance by Richard Pryor, which always seems to go unmentioned when most reflect on his career. This is a heist film that shows who is really being robbed. This is not a pro-union film such as Norma Rae. Here, the Union is inaffective and indifferent, at first, until truths are exposed as the story develops. Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto don't really come off as romanticized or even as anti-heroes, since their characters do drugs, cheat on their wives and commit petty crimes. When one of those petty crimes reveals more than expected, "THE MAN" works harder at tearing them apart than having them unite. Gritty character drama that deserves a little more recognition. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=bluecollar1978.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/bluecollar1978.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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. .
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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