[box cover]

Night Shift

Ron Howard's first outing as a Hollywood director resulted in this offbeat, often funny character-based comedy about unlikely pimps operating out of the New York City morgue. Howard cast good pal Henry Winkler as the anti-Fonz, Chuck Lumley, a mousy morgue night clerk whose quiet, unambitious life is reluctantly shocked into life by his new partner, Billy "Blaze" Blazejowski (Michael Keaton). Keaton's energetic performance as the self-proclaimed "idea man" was a star-maker, and rightly so. His big idea: provide a humane stable for a pimpless gaggle of hookers led by Shelley Long (yes, Shelley Long). Although Night Shift verges on overlong, the solid character building and sharp comic performances give it an edge over most of the raunchy '80s genre of "novice pimp" comedies. This was Howard's first of many teamings with producer Brian Grazer and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Good transfer, presented in both 1.85:1 widescreen and pan-and-scan, and 2.0 Dolby Surround.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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