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Scarecrow on Seattle: BUSTIN' LOOSE

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter (you may have seen some of them when we had our Scarecrow on Seattle rental section up last year). We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Bustin' Loose (1981)
There is no denying Richard Pryor is one of the funniest guys ever but, unfortunately, most of his movies are half-baked and moderately entertaining at best. Bustin' Loose is a typical Pryor vehicle. He plays an ex-con named Joe Braxton who violates his probation and, consequently, has to drive a busload of troubled children across county from Philadelphia to Seattle. The comedy mixes with some drama as Pryor and the gang triumph over adversity and learn a thing or two along the way. I'm not sure who the intended audience was for this movie as it is essentially a kid-power film but it is rated R so, for the most part, only adult Pryor fans would have seen it in the cinemas. Then again maybe the target demographic was kids who sneak into R rated movies. While not a particularly Seattle heavy movie, Bustin' Loose was shot entirely in Washington with our home state representing for the whole USA! Washington State does a pretty good job but there is one scene that is supposed to take place in flat Illinois however the hilly locale is very recognizable as being somewhere off Highway 2 near the Cascade foothills. Seattle stands in for Philadelphia in the film's beginning and does a fairly convincing job until you spot the old Nordic Cold Storage sign by Pioneer Square. Downtown Ellensburg impersonates a couple of different small towns and lots of nice location footage can be seen throughout the film. Bustin' Loose was shot in 1979 but the theatrical release got delayed because of Pryor's notorious freebasing accident.
-Spenser Hoyt

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