Marita Mendez

Marita Mendez

Published: 06 Oct 2023


Are you ready to dive into the crazy world of the 1980 comedy film, Stir Crazy? This classic movie, directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, is a hilarious adventure that continues to entertain audiences to this day. In this article, we will explore 48 fascinating facts about Stir Crazy that will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, the talented cast and crew involved, and the lasting impact it has had on the world of comedy. From unexpected casting choices to memorable scenes and production challenges, get ready for a wild ride filled with interesting tidbits about one of the most beloved comedies of its time. So grab your popcorn, settle in, and let’s jump into these intriguing facts about Stir Crazy!

Table of Contents

The movie Stir Crazy was released in 1980.

At the turn of a new decade, Stir Crazy burst onto the scene, captivating audiences with its humor and charm. This comedy gem quickly became a fan favorite and left a lasting impact on the world of cinema.

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor reunited for this film.

Wilder and Pryor had previously worked together in the 1976 hit “Silver Streak,” and their on-screen chemistry was undeniable. Stir Crazy marked their second collaboration, and once again, the dynamic duo delivered outstanding comedic performances.

The film centers around two friends who are wrongfully convicted of a crime.

Harry and Skip, played by Wilder and Pryor, find themselves thrown into a maximum-security prison for a bank robbery they didn’t commit. The movie follows their misadventures as they try to survive and clear their names.

Sidney Poitier directed the film.

Stir Crazy marked the directorial debut of legendary actor Sidney Poitier. His skillful direction brought out the best in the cast, creating a memorable and entertaining movie experience.

The screenplay was written by Bruce Jay Friedman.

Friedman’s witty and clever writing ensured that Stir Crazy was filled with hilarious moments and memorable one-liners that still resonate with audiences today.

The film was a commercial success.

Stir Crazy struck a chord with moviegoers, earning over $100 million at the box office, making it one of the top-grossing films of 1980.

The iconic scene at the rodeo was unscripted.

During the filming of the rodeo scene, Wilder and Pryor decided to improvise. Their spontaneous actions and reactions added an element of surprise and laughter that made the scene unforgettable.

Stir Crazy was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.

The film received critical acclaim and received nominations for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy (Richard Pryor), Best Actress – Musical or Comedy (Jill Clayburgh), and Best Supporting Actor (Richard Pryor).

Quincy Jones composed the film’s score.

Renowned musician Quincy Jones lent his talents to the movie, creating a lively score that perfectly complemented the comedic moments and heightened the overall entertainment value.

The movie features an all-star ensemble cast.

Alongside Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, Stir Crazy boasts an impressive lineup of talented actors, including Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and Barry Corbin, who all deliver stellar performances.

Stir Crazy sparked a series of successful collaborations between Wilder and Pryor.

After the success of Stir Crazy, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor continued to captivate audiences with their comedic chemistry in films like “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Another You.”

The film was shot on location in Arizona.

The stunning landscapes of Arizona provided the backdrop for the movie. The picturesque settings added depth and authenticity to the story, making it even more engrossing.

Stir Crazy features a memorable dance number.

In one of the film’s most iconic scenes, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor showcase their dance moves as they entertain their fellow inmates. This comedic and energetic dance sequence is sure to bring a smile to your face.

The movie tackles themes of friendship and perseverance.

Beyond its comedic elements, Stir Crazy conveys a powerful message of loyalty, resilience, and the enduring bonds of friendship, which resonates with audiences of all ages.

It remains one of the most beloved comedy movies of all time.

Even after several decades, Stir Crazy continues to be celebrated for its timeless humor and unforgettable performances. It has stood the test of time and remains a fan-favorite among comedy enthusiasts.

Stir Crazy showcases Gene Wilder’s comedic genius.

Gene Wilder’s ability to embody complex and endearing characters while delivering impeccable comedic timing is on full display in Stir Crazy. His performance is a testament to his immense talent.

Richard Pryor’s wit and charm shine through in Stir Crazy.

Richard Pryor, known for his sharp improvisational skills and magnetic stage presence, brings his unique brand of humor to the film. His charisma and comedic talent make him a true scene-stealer.

The film incorporates elements of physical comedy.

Stir Crazy features slapstick moments, visual gags, and physical comedy that add an extra layer of humor to the storyline, ensuring that laughter is never in short supply.

It spawned a popular catchphrase.

The line “That’s right, we bad!” uttered by Gene Wilder’s character, Harry Monroe, became an instant catchphrase and is still used by fans as a hilarious way to express confidence.

The movie’s success led to the development of a Saturday morning cartoon.

“Stir Crazy” was adapted into an animated television series that aired on CBS from 1980 to The show aimed to capitalize on the popularity and appeal of the film’s characters.

Stir Crazy received positive reviews from critics.

The film was praised for its comedic timing, charming performances, and entertaining storyline. Critics recognized it as a standout comedy of the ’80s that continues to entertain audiences today.

The movie’s title refers to the daily monotony of prison life.

The term “stir crazy” is often used to describe the feeling of restlessness or extreme boredom that can come from being confined in a small space for an extended period. It perfectly captures the essence of the film’s premise.

Stir Crazy tackles social and racial issues with humor.

Amidst the laughter, the movie subtly addresses themes of racial injustice and stereotypes, shedding light on societal issues while keeping the audience entertained.

The film’s success helped pave the way for more diverse representation in comedy.

In an era where diversity in film was still a challenge, Stir Crazy broke barriers by featuring African-American leads in a mainstream, commercially successful comedy.

Stir Crazy shows the importance of finding humor even in the toughest situations.

Despite the hardships and challenges faced by the characters, they find ways to create laughter and joy, highlighting the power of comedy as a coping mechanism.

The film’s screenplay went through several rewrites.

Before its final version, the script underwent multiple revisions to ensure that the humor was finely tuned and the story was engaging from start to finish.

Stir Crazy features memorable and quotable lines.

Throughout the film, there are numerous lines that have become iconic and are still quoted by fans today, cementing their place in the comedy lexicon.

It showcases the talent of the supporting cast.

From the prison inmates to the prison staff, every character in Stir Crazy adds depth and humor to the story, creating a well-rounded and enjoyable ensemble.

The movie’s soundtrack features popular songs from the era.

With its ’80s setting, Stir Crazy incorporates catchy tunes that transport viewers back in time and enhance the overall nostalgic experience of the film.

Stir Crazy was a collaboration between Columbia Pictures and Hannah-Barbera.

The partnership between the film studio and the renowned animation company allowed for creative synergy that brought the animated TV series to life.

The film’s physical comedy sequences required extensive rehearsal.

To ensure that the comedic moments were executed flawlessly, the cast and crew dedicated time to practicing and perfecting each slapstick and humorous routine.

Stir Crazy brought comedy to new heights.

The movie’s success and enduring popularity paved the way for more adventurous and boundary-pushing comedies in the years to come.

It remains one of Sidney Poitier’s most successful films as a director.

Stir Crazy solidified Sidney Poitier’s reputation as a talented filmmaker and further showcased his versatility as an artist.

The film’s costumes were designed to reflect the characters’ personalities.

From the prison jumpsuits to the outrageous outfits worn during the rodeo scene, each costume choice helps define the characters and adds visual flair to the film.

Stir Crazy is filled with memorable comedic set pieces.

From the courtroom scene to the prison basketball game, each set piece stands out as a comedic highlight that adds depth and excitement to the narrative.

It was Gene Wilder’s idea to have Pryor play the role of Skip.

Gene Wilder recognized Richard Pryor’s talents and believed he would be perfect for the role of Skip, leading to their successful pairing once again.

Stir Crazy features a blend of physical and verbal comedy.

The movie strikes a perfect balance between visual gags, physical hijinks, and witty banter, ensuring that the humor appeals to a wide range of comedic preferences.

The film’s release coincided with a surge in popularity for buddy comedies.

Stir Crazy arrived at a time when movies showcasing the comedic chemistry between two lead actors were becoming increasingly popular, further cementing its place in the genre.

It was a breakthrough film for Richard Pryor.

Prior to Stir Crazy, Pryor had mainly been known for his stand-up comedy. The success of the film propelled him into mainstream cinema, solidifying him as a comedic force to be reckoned with.

Stir Crazy was an international success.

Not only did the movie captivate audiences in the United States, but it also gained popularity around the world, establishing itself as a global comedy phenomenon.

The film’s runtime is 111 minutes.

Within these 111 minutes, Stir Crazy manages to pack in non-stop laughter, heartwarming moments, and an engaging story that keeps viewers entertained from beginning to end.

The movie was initially titled “Jail Birds.”

Before settling on Stir Crazy, the film went through various title iterations, with “Jail Birds” being one of the early options considered.

Stir Crazy broke racial barriers.

The film showcased the comedic talents of African-American actors in leading roles, challenging Hollywood norms and paving the way for more inclusive representation in the industry.

It explores themes of friendship and loyalty.

As Harry and Skip navigate their way through the challenges of prison life, their unwavering friendship and loyalty become key elements of the storyline, showcasing the power of camaraderie.

Stir Crazy is a perfect blend of laughter and heart.

Through its comedic moments and heartfelt scenes, the film strikes a balance that keeps viewers engaged emotionally while providing non-stop laughter.

The movie features memorable cameo appearances.

Stir Crazy surprises audiences with unexpected cameos from notable actors, adding an extra layer of excitement to the viewing experience.

The film’s success led to a remake in the 2000s.

In 2009, a remake of Stir Crazy was released, starring Eddie Griffin and Antonio Fargas, paying homage to the original while introducing a new generation to the comedic brilliance of the story.

Stir Crazy continues to entertain audiences today.

With its timeless humor, remarkable performances, and memorable moments, the movie remains a must-watch for comedy lovers of all generations. The enduring legacy of Stir Crazy is a testament to its impact on the world of cinema.

Now that you know these 48 fascinating facts about the movie Stir Crazy, it’s time to revisit this comedy masterpiece and experience the laughter all over again. Whether you’re a longtime fan or discovering the film for the first time, Stir Crazy is sure to leave you in stitches and remind you of the enduring power of comedy.


In conclusion, the movie “Stir Crazy” is a timeless comedy that has captured the hearts of audiences for decades. With its hilarious plot, talented cast, and memorable moments, it continues to be a favorite among movie lovers of all ages. The film showcases the comedic chemistry between Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, who deliver exceptional performances that will leave you in stitches. “Stir Crazy” is a perfect blend of comedy, adventure, and heart, making it a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the laughter-filled journey that “Stir Crazy” offers.


Q: Who directed the movie “Stir Crazy”?

A: “Stir Crazy” was directed by Sidney Poitier, who is also known for his acting career and being the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Q: When was “Stir Crazy” released?

A: The movie was released on December 12, 1980.

Q: Who are the main stars of “Stir Crazy”?

A: The film stars Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, who play the roles of Harry Monroe and Skip Donahue, respectively.

Q: Where was the movie “Stir Crazy” filmed?

A: The majority of the movie was filmed in Arizona, specifically in the town of Apache Junction.

Q: Did “Stir Crazy” receive any awards and nominations?

A: While the movie didn’t receive any major awards, it was well-received by audiences and remains a classic in the comedy genre.