Brewster's Millionsis a 1985 comedy film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon . It is the seventh film based on the story, with a screenplay by Herschel Weingrod & Timothy Harris. It was directed by Walter Hill .
Montgomery "Monty" Brewster ( Richard Pryor ) is a second-rate minor league baseball pitcher with the Hackensack Bulls. One night after winning an important game, he and his best friend Spike Nolan ( John Candy ), the catcher for the Bulls, are arrested after a bar fight. The next morning, they are fired from the team and have to sit in jail because they can't afford bail . A stranger (posing as a photographer) offers bail and asks them to come to New York City with him. At the Manhattan law office of Granville & Baxter, Brewster is told that his recently deceased great-uncle Rupert Horn ( Hume Cronyn ), whom he has never met, has left him his entire fortune because Monty is his only living blood relative (by way of Monty's grandmother, Rupert's half-sister), but with several conditions.
Brewster is challenged to either take $1 million upfront or spend $30 million within 30 days to inherit $300 million. If he chooses the former, the law firm becomes executor of the estate and divides the money among charities (after taking a sizable fee). In the latter case, after 30 days, he must spend the entire $30 million within one month under the following rules:
1.) With the exception of those who saw the will reading, Brewster cannot reveal to anyone the will's terms. He may only tell everyone else he inherited $30 million.
2.) Brewster must spend the money on tangible items. If anything he buys accrues value, such as an investment that earns money, that is considered part of the money he inherited and he must spend that as well.
3.) Directly giving away money is capped at 10%, split between 5% in gambling losses and another 5% maximum to be donated to charity.
4.) Brewster may not willfully damage anything he buys with the money.
5.) After 30 days, he may not own any assets that are not already his.(in other words, nothing but "the clothes on his back")
If any of these rules are violated, the challenge is forfeited, all money goes to the law firm and Brewster will be left with nothing. Despite the tempting offer just to "wimp out" and walk away with the $1 million, especially after the law firm reveals that they already did a background check on him and showed that the highest annual salary he ever earned was $11,000 while a member of the Toledo Mud Hens , Monty decides to take the $30 million challenge. Angela Drake ( Lonette McKee ), a paralegal from the firm, must accompany him to keep tabs on all spending.
Brewster, who has little concept of big money, does well initially at blowing the money as per the rules, taking expensive hotel suites, hiring personal staff on exorbitant salaries, and placing bad bets. Spike, not knowing about the deal and concerned about his friend's free-spending, takes the liberty of hiring Brewster a financial advisor who makes wise investments and earns money even as Brewster is trying to spend it. Brewster, realizing he is "right back where he started", gets the idea to join the race for Mayor of New York and throws most of his money at a protest campaign urging a vote for " None of the Above ".
The two major candidates threaten to sue Brewster for his confrontational rhetoric, but they settle out of court for several million dollars. Brewster then hires the New York Yankees for a three-inning exhibition game against his Hackensack Bulls, with himself as the pitcher.He is forced to end his protest campaign when he learns that he is leading in the polls as a write-in candidate and should he win, the job would carry a $60,000 annual salary - considered an asset by the terms of the will. Blowing his last $38,000 on a party after the game, Brewster becomes fed up with money (the goal his great-uncle had wanted) and is heartbroken that Spike, Angela, and others around him don't (and can't) understand why he had to blow his money.
On the 30th day, he finds that the sycophantic treatment he received from his month-long entourage is gone, and he makes his way to the law office. Having withdrawn from the election, he learns that the city voted "None of the Above", thus forcing another election with none of the candidates running for office again.
Warren Cox ( Stephen Collins ), a junior lawyer at Granville & Baxter and Angela's fiancée, has been bribed with the offer of a full partnership in the firm to ensure Brewster fails to spend the entire $30 million. Moments before time expires, Warren hands Monty $20,000 previously thought to have been spent and informs him he is not broke, after revealing his duplicity to Angela. With seconds to go, Brewster punches Warren, who threatens to sue Brewster. Realizing he will need a lawyer, Brewster pays the $20,000 to Angela as a retainer , calling it an advance toward a law degree. At the very last second, Brewster has now complied with the conditions and inherits the whole $300 million while Roundfield announces that Granville & Baxter's actions will be investigated.