New Yorkers, Skip Donahue and Harry Monroe, have no jobs and no prospects. They decide to flee the city and find work elsewhere, and land jobs as woodpeckers to promote the opening of a bank. When their feathery costumes are stolen and used in a bank robbery, they no longer have to worry about employment -- they're sent to prison! Soon our heroes, imprisoned with a wild assortment of inmates, are trying to make the best of a bad situation. With 120-year sentences, it certainly doesn't look as though they're getting out anytime soon.
STIR CRAZY represents some of Poitier's best directorial work, and has become an American classic. His pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor makes for an unforgettable duo whose humor is unrestrained and natural. The use of memorable character names like "Slowpoke" and "Caesar Gironimo" are signature touches of Poitier's.