Critical Condition
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Apted
Screenplay by
  • Denis Hamill
  • John Hamill
Story by
  • Denis Hamill
  • John Hamill
  • Alan Swyer
Produced by
StarringRichard Pryor
CinematographyRalf D. Bode
Edited byRobert K. Lambert
Music byAlan Silvestri
Ted Field – Robert Cort Production
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 16, 1987 (1987-01-16)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$14 million
Box office$20.2 million

Critical Condition is a 1987 American comedy film starring Richard Pryor and directed by Michael Apted. The film was released in the United States on January 16, 1987.


Kevin Lenahan is a con man who is framed in a jewel robbery. To escape custody, he fakes insanity before a judge and then poses as surgeon Dr. Eddie Slattery at a local hospital when he switches places with the administrator Arthur Chambers. During a flood and a power outage that follows, Kevin takes charge of the hospital and tries to maintain some order in his unorthodox way.



In 2014, Alan Silvestri's score was released on a limited edition album by Quartet Records, twinned with his music for Summer Rental.


Box office

The film debuted at No.1 with $5.7 million.[1][2][circular reference]

Critical response

The New York Times film critic Janet Maslin remarked, "No one in Critical Condition, which opens today at Loews State and other theaters, is working at top form, least of all Mr. Pryor, who looks haggard and agitated much of the time. Still, the film does have an interesting cast and an energetic tempo."[3] The Los Angeles Times wrote that Pryor's performance "is as good as anything he's done in a non-concert movie" but "it still somehow misfires".[4] The South Florida Sun-Sentinel called it a "misguided semicomedy" and wrote, "Judging from this lamebrained film, Richard Pryor's crown as a screen comedy king is slipping off his head."[5] The Chicago Tribune's Dave Kehr wrote that the film "adds, with what has become a glum predictability, one more disappointing title to Richard Pryor's credits". Kehr suggested that Pryor's stage persona, more able to work off immediate audience feedback, worked better than his film persona, with which he "musters only an unctuous sweetness".[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Critical Condition".
  2. ^ "List of 1987 box office number-one films in the United States".
  3. ^ "FILM: RICHARD PRYOR IN 'CRITICAL CONDITION'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  4. ^ "Movie Review : Pryor Fine, 'Condition' Weakening". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  5. ^ "Pryor Can't Save 'Critical Condition". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  6. ^ "Richard Pryor's Bedside Manner Hands Out Overdose Of Sugar Pills". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-06-10.