Bustin' Loose

Released 1981


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Movie Summary

Oz Scott
Bustin' Loose is a 1981 comedy that shows one teacher's dedication to save eight students, by taking them on a road trip across the county. In the film, Vivian Perry (Cicely Tyson) is a teacher for special needs students in the city of Philadelphia. When budget cuts force her school to close, the teachers must scramble to find appropriate homes for each of the students. With just days left, eight students remain with nowhere to go and Vivian convinces her aunt to let them come stay at her farm. The only problem is her aunt lives near Seattle, Washington on the other side of the country. Vivian finds a bus and now only needs a bus driver to help them get to Seattle. Vivian's boyfriend Donald (Robert Christian) is a probation officer, who enlists the help of ex-con Joe Braxton (Richard Pryor). Joe is supposed to say the bus cannot be repaired because Donald does not want Vivian to go. Through the course of events, Joe fixes the bus and they are set to begin their trip. The trips has it's ups and downs and Joe discovers that he has a soft side and the ability to work well with kids. Donald chases after them and tries his best to ruin things for everyone. Joe, Vivian and the kids hope they have formed a bond that cannot be broken.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson star in a thorougly likable comedy about an ex-con and a schoolteacher who take a bunch of ghetto kids to a farm in Washington. Some foul language ge...

  • 60

    Time Out London

    A warm-hearted comedy involving a bunch of orphan kids promises neither a rewarding evening nor the best use of Pryor's considerable talent. The plotting is sloppy at times and thi...

  • 60


    Bustin' Loose is obviously a personal project for Pryor, who produced and wrote the story, which has admirable ambitions but is also the film's greatest weakness. Still, Pryor is a...

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