Blue Collar Review

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Three car-plant workers, Zeke, Jerry and Smokey (Pryor, Keitel, Kotto) are pushed too far by union delegates who can't understand their plight and bosses who have their hands in the till. Enlisting mob help, the three desperados go about a robbery to restore financial parity. It'll all end in tears...


Paul Schrader, the writer of Taxi Driver, turns a creatively jaundiced eye over life on the production line in his directorial debut. Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto work in a Detroit car plant and get a very poor deal from both their bosses and their corrupt union reps. Deciding to pull a robbery on the latter, a connection with organised crime means that they're immediately way out of their depth. Some great foul-mouthed dialogue to rival Scarface and a fine sense of dead-end lives on the edge of poverty, this works both as unrelenting drama and as black comedy.

Suffused with the pessimism of Taxi Driver, Blue Collar is one of the most brutally honest films to have come out of 70s Hollywood.