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Night Shift

1982 film directed by Ron Howard

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  • May 31, 2000
  • by
Pros: .....

Cons: ......

People getting off work when others are going in .... passing in hallways and on the street, seeing each other yet not seeing each other. Invisible souls wrapped in bodies with vacant eyes. These are the people working the night shift.

Chuck and Bill work at the morgue. Not a glorious job by far, but hey, somebodies gotta do it. Chuck (Henry Winkler) goes to work in a suit and tie, overcoat, scarf, gloves, ear muffs and a briefcase whereas Bill (Michael Keaton) looks like a refugee from Goodwill Industries. Chuck is staid and proper, Bill is wild and willful. Not a match made in Heaven but definitely made for this movie.

Bill is an idea man - he wants to can tuna with mayonnaise already in it, he uses the ‘company' car to chauffeur prom dates, debutantes and conventioneers. There is that better mouse trap out there and he is looking for it.

Chuck lives in an apartment building next door to a hooker (Shelley Long) that has lost her pimp, which by the way turns up in the boys morgue, thus starting their relationship. Enter Bill - idea man - they need a pimp, we need the money "Love Brokers" becomes a reality.

Pimps, hookers and a morgue do not a marriage make.

Constant interaction between Keaton and Winkler, often pushing Winkler over the edge. Keaton's incredible ability to adapt himself to any role, this one being an aggravating pain in the fanny. This contains probably some of the most unusual and funny scenes I have seen for a while - Chuck strapped to the table in the morgue with gunfire flying, Chuck leaving the police station, Bill laying in the drawer at the morgue playing that tape over and over, the look on Chuck's face when he walks into his kitchen and finds Long in her panties and tee-shirt.

What else did I like? The fact that although this is a very comedic movie, it is also very sad. Winkler is pretty much a low self-esteem person that cannot find much to live for. Educated but unable to excel at his work because he gets so intensely involved, he drops out of Wall Street and into the morgue. Quite a let down!

I also liked the way Keaton and Winkler play off each other although sometimes I have a hard time disassociating him from Fonzie in Happy Days - sorry.

Darn skippy I would! It even borders, in this day and age, on a family movie even though it has hookers and a little violence. It is funny, it shows determination, it shows the relationship between two men who are complete opposites but strive to make their lives work. With the tripe that we let our children watch today this is darn near Disney! Well, wait, I just heard the ‘f' word!

Directed by Ron Howard, he pulls fantastic performances from both Winkler and Keaton. Although from Keaton this is never a trial. Winkler goes from wimpy boy to super boy in a way that makes you stand in his corner and root for him. Keaton is the brass, big mouthed boy that is so damn irritating he is loveable.

Shelley Long, normally somewhat wimpy and boorish, is cute playful and perfect for this part. Not so darn cute she gets every guy but just cute enough to get Winkler. The other ‘girls' are funny and fantastic and really add charm and piazza to an otherwise ordinary flick. After all, without the ‘girls' where would the guys be? Stock full of great old music, something we aren't getting anymore boys and girls.

Also starring: a quick peek at Richard Beizer as a bad guy (huh, whoda thunk it?), a YOUNG Kevin Costner (barely mentioned or seen) as one of the ‘tricks' and my favorite for this showing - Badja Djola

"Hey Chuck, here ya go - microwave clothing! That way you can keep warm ..... " aggghhh! "Will you just please for five minutes SHUT UP BILL!!!!!!"


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review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
night shift
What Pompted You to write a Review?When i was in school I was too young to see it at the show.When it came to on tv the first way us bumkins in the country could see real movies at home i had to see it.It was considered realy racy at the time.I thought it was great to see fonzi in a difrent type of role.I still like to watch it but my wife and her friens never heard of it and don't want to give it a chance.        How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   The …
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Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: june 1982
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Runtime: 106 minutes
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