- Movie Rating -

Doctor Detroit (1983)

| May 13, 1983

Doctor Detroit is a movie that makes for a very strange balance.  It is funnier than I expected it to be and also not nearly has funny as I hoped it might be.  It’s somewhere in the middle – I had a good time but it is hard to recommend without getting angry correspondence.  I’ll just settle on this: I laughed part of the tie, sat stone-faced for most of it and walked out glad that I saw it.  That said, let’s move on.

Much of the reason that I had my good feelings about the movie were because of Dan Ackroyd.  He has that quality of being so brilliant and yet so clueless at the same time.  He reminds me of one of those doctors who knows human anatomy better than you can navigate your living room, but is incapable of running a household microwave.  He plays Cliff Skridlow, an introverted professor of Comparitive Literature at Chicago’s Monroe College, which is probably helped by the fact that he is the son of the University President.

Meanwhile, a pimp named Smooth Walked (Howard Hessman) how a lot of cash to a vicious mob boss who goes by the name of Mom (Kate Murtaugh) lies to her and tells her that a cat named “Doctor Detroit” has been muscling in on his territory. Of course, there is no Doctor Detroit, so Smooth hires Clifford to pose as the nefarious Doctor, which he agrees to after a night of partying with his girls.  One thing leads to another, Smooth skips down and now Clifford is stuck with the girls and debt.  This means that he has to invent the Doctor Detroit character.

That’s really all the plot that you need.  You can decide for yourself if you think that this sounds like an appealing evening at the movies.  As I say, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, not really for the jokes but largely for the comic energy.  This is a fun movie just to watch.  It isn’t great cinema but you don’t feel ripped off afterwards.  That’s high praise. 

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1983) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy