On this day in comedy in on April 26, 1995 Friday was released by New Line Cinema.
This was rapper, Ice Cube’s first foray into comedy and he and co-writer, DJ Pooh knocked it out of the park. The story of a day getting high was a box office success and made co-star, Chris Tucker a movie star. Directed by F. Gary Gray (his first film), Smokey (Tucker), a low-level weed dealer has to pay the dope man (Faizon Love) $200 later that night and he’s just kicking it getting high with his newly unemployed buddy Craig (Cube) until he can figure out how he’s going to do it. That’s pretty much it with the rest being the hilarious antics that situation is bound to set up.
All the neighborhood characters are there. You’ve got the crackhead (A J Johnson) always looking to get some money for the sole purpose of hitting the pipe; the Pastor (Bernie Mac) who’s always lurking around to lay ‘hands’ on the sisters in need of ‘hands’; the unattended to or horny wife (Kathleen Bradley) who the Pastor lays his ‘hands’; the husband of the unattended wife (Tony Cox) who catches the one he said vows with and the guy they might’ve said them in front of involved in ‘hands’ laying; the fine-girl-in-the-ghetto (Nia Long) who Craig likes; the hood bully (Tiny Lister) who whoops you and takes your stuff or vice-versa; the poot-butt (D J Pooh) who gets his stuff taken from the bully and the girl who begs so much you’ve got to tell her ‘bye’ (Angela Means).
All fun and games aside Smokey is in a life or death situation. If he doesn’t come up with $200 – it’s curtains. Death for Craig, too by association. With his life on the line, Craig starts packing and gets caught by his dad (John Witherspoon) who tells him to fight with his hands, not a gun. Good advice, but it seems meaningless later when confronting the bully, but he gives the fists thing a try and is losing – badly. So Craig tries more than his fists – things like a brick and wins. Smokey steals the unconscious bully’s money and pays his dealer, the crackhead gets his shoes and Friday spawned sequels.
|Friday also featured the talents of Anna Maria Horsford, Regina King, Yvette Wilson, Reynaldo Rey, Paula Jai Parker, Ronn Riser, Terri J. Vaughn, WC, Meagan Good, Michael Clarke Duncan, Vickilyn Reynolds and Lawanda Page. On a budget of 3.5 million the film grossed $27,467,564 domestically and $748,354 internationally for a total worldwide box office gross of $28, 215,918.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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