The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Bustin' Loose

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Bustin' Loose 1981 15

94 mins USA Director. Oz Scott

Richard Pryor sets out on the road to redemption as Joe Braxton, a repeat-offender given one last chance before jail; as part of his parole he’ll drive a bus-load of special-needs kids across the country. Naturally, a sequence of wild and unforeseen antics ensues, including a perilous run-in with a branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

Made in the middle of a golden run for Pryor, just after Stir Crazy, Bustin’ Loose is on the face of it a milder affair than some of his comedies. But despite its young cast, Bustin’ Loose is a much edgier and more interesting film than it first seems.

The film is often remembered because of an infamous off-set incident during its production, when a troubled Pryor set himself on fire, leading to six weeks’ hospitalisation. Whether the film’s themes of redemption and childhood deprivation (Pryor’s own was notoriously troubled) resonated so deeply as to accentuate his personal anguish, one can only speculate. But Bustin’ Loose deserves to be remembered as another shining example of Pryor’s matchless talent for screen comedy.

Start watching in: 30 days

Finish watching in: 48 hours

Directed by

Oz Scott


Cicely Tyson

Richard Pryor




Black Star Closed Captions







Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Blue Collar
Blue Collar
Watch from £2.98

Blue Collar 1978 18

Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel star in Paul Schrader’s great, gritty 1970s drama, one of the rare Hollywood films to tackle American labour.

109 mins USA Director. Paul Schrader

View Brewster's Millions
Brewster's Millions
Watch from £2.98

Brewster's Millions 1985 PG

Richard Pryor plays the everyman who inherits a vast estate with a massive catch: he’ll have to spend $30million in 30 days in order to inherit it all.

97 mins USA Director. Walter Hill

View Car Wash
Car Wash
Watch from £2.98

Car Wash 1976 PG

Richard Pryor, Bill Duke, Antonio Fargas are among the ensemble cast for the cult comedy set in a California car wash.

97 mins USA Director. Michael Schultz


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later