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Blue Collar

Paul Schrader's directorial debut is an artistic triumph. Schrader has transformed a carefully researched original screenplay penned by him and his brother Leonard into a powerful, gritty, seamless profile of three automobile assembly line workers banging their heads against the monotony and corruption that is the factory system.

Paul Schrader’s directorial debut is an artistic triumph. Schrader has transformed a carefully researched original screenplay penned by him and his brother Leonard into a powerful, gritty, seamless profile of three automobile assembly line workers banging their heads against the monotony and corruption that is the factory system.

It is a picture about the monotony and routine of factory life that isn’t monotonous, but is realistic. Regardless of where individual scenes are set – at the after-work tavern, at a bowling alley, at a worker’s home, in the union headquarters, or in a Detroit street – the factory dominates every frame of this film.

The film’s three stars – Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto – all turn in outstanding and disciplined performances.

Plot centers around the three workers’ attempts to confront and battle the reality of this system as Schrader views it. The three devise a plan to rob the union, which in the end turns into another helpless action.

Blue Collar

  • Production: TAT. Director Paul Schrader; Producer Don Guest; Screenplay Paul Schrader, Leonard Schrader; Camera Bobby Byrne; Editor Tom Rolf; Music Jack Nitzsche; Art Director Lawrence G. Paull
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1978. Running time: 110 MIN.
  • With: Richard Pryor Harvey Keitel Yaphet Kotto Ed Begley Jr Harry Bellaver George Memmoli
  • Music By: