See No Evil, Hear No Evil is a crazy and hilarious comedy. Quite possibly one of the best comedies of the eighties. It features Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder doing what they do best, making us burst with laughter. After the success of their previous team efforts in Silver Streak and especially Stir Crazy, it wasn’t surprising to see them together again. At the first glance, it seems like a dumb comedy poking fun at people who are different. There is, however, an underlying story about overcoming obstacles and dealing with disabilities that’s very important. It introduces such a strange concept that all people are equal, and should be treated as equals even if they are blind or deaf. Furthermore, exactly by treating them as such, we don’t get those cringy scenes. Wilder actually rewrote the entire script to make sure it was spot-on.
Foulmouthed Pryor and confused Wilder make one hell of the couple, not to mention young Kevin Spacey and super-sexy Joan Severance. When you have this type of setup (blind, deaf) you can really go wild with the jokes. And this is not your modern, politically correct comedy but an eighties silly extravaganza. It’s filled with gags and hysterical dialogue. You also simply cannot predict where the story is going. This creates this adventurous and vibrant atmosphere making See No Evil, Hear No Evil even funnier. All you need to start laughing is just to see Wilder’s or Pryor’s faces. Remastered and featuring superior picture quality, this movie is available both on Blu-Ray and various streaming services.
Dave Lyons owns a shop in a mall where he sells newspapers and other stuff, oh yeah, and he’s deaf. Ashamed of his deafness he tries to pretend that he can hear everything and everyone. However, when blind Wally Karue, who answered his job ad, shows up, the two of them become inseparable friends. Although they are blind and deaf, together they are complete and this will come in handy when they are accused of murder. Now they must figure out how to prove that they are innocent and get the real criminals.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil features one of the most hilarious premises for a comedy ever. And it does it in such an empathic but never condescending way that it’s simply amazing. This a heartwarming comedy that will bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded cynics. I remember watching it as a kid and laughing my ass off. Fast-forward twenty years and I’m still laughing. With fast pacing and a specific type of humor, this is a perfect movie to drink a couple of beers and get high. It’s a part of high-concept comedy movies all released within a span of a couple of years. Movies like The Naked Gun, Weekend at Bernie’s, A Fish Called Wanda, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And while we’re recommending similar movies I must mention a couple of insanely funny French comedies Les Anges Gardiens and Les Visiteurs.
Director: Arthur Hiller
Writers: Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Eliot Wald, Andrew Kurtzman, Gene Wilder
Cast: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey, Anthony Zerbe, Hardy Rawls
Fun Facts: Gene Wilder went to the NY League for the Hard of Hearing to study for his role. There, he met his future wife, Karen Boyer.