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In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.

Bustin' Loose (1981)
There is no denying Richard Pryor is one of the funniest guys ever but, unfortunately, most of his movies are half-baked and moderately entertaining at best. Bustin' Loose is a typical Pryor vehicle. He plays an ex-con named Joe Braxton who violates his probation and, consequently, has to drive a busload of troubled children across county from Philadelphia to Seattle. The comedy mixes with some drama as Pryor and the gang triumph over adversity and learn a thing or two along the way. I'm not sure who the intended audience was for this movie as it is essentially a kid-power film but it is rated R so, for the most part, only adult Pryor fans would have seen it in the cinemas. Then again maybe the target demographic was kids who sneak into R rated movies. While not a particularly Seattle heavy movie, Bustin' Loose was shot entirely in Washington with our home state representing for the whole USA! Washington State does a pretty good job but there is one scene that is supposed to take place in flat Illinois however the hilly locale is very recognizable as being somewhere off Highway 2 near the Cascade foothills. Seattle stands in for Philadelphia in the film's beginning and does a fairly convincing job until you spot the old Nordic Cold Storage sign by Pioneer Square. Downtown Ellensburg impersonates a couple of different small towns and lots of nice location footage can be seen throughout the film. Bustin' Loose was shot in 1979 but the theatrical release got delayed because of Pryor's notorious freebasing accident.
-Spenser Hoyt

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