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The Gods Must Be Crazy

Updated on December 14, 2012

Reviews And Random Thoughts About One Of The Most Underrated Comedies Ever Made

The Gods Must Be Crazy is a 1980 foreign comedy that was filmed primarily in South Africa. It became a huge box-office hit in that country and was quickly picked up for American distribution by 20th Century Fox. Word of mouth about the film made it one of the biggest foreign hits ever released in the U.S. as the public found it to be one of the funniest films of the year.

The film's success caused it to have four more sequels, though the second movie is the only one remotely as good as the original. In fact, the final three were actually made in Hong Kong and are a pale reflection in quality (and laughs) when compared to the others. The comedy seems to be constantly discovered by those looking for great films and hopefully this lens will convince you to take a look at it.

Photo courtesy of drmvm1 / flickr.

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The Gods Must Be Crazy Trivia

The scene in which Xi throws the bottle over a cliff at the end of the movie was shot at God's Window, located at an escarpment between the Lowveld and Highveld in the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Not long after its initial release (1984 in the U.S.), the film was picked up by the midnight movie circuit.

Although the film made over $100 million worldwide, N!xau was paid less than $2000 for playing Xi. Before the actor's death in 1996 his was given an additional $20,000 as well as a monthly stipend by director, Jamie Uys.

In Cupertino, California, at the Oaks Theater, the film ran for over 500 days straight. The only reason that it was pulled was that the film reels that they used caught on fire and became unusable. The theater decided that after such a long run on the big screen that it simply did not make good financial sense to have the reels replaced.

The Gods Must Be Crazy Trailer

I also threw in the trailer for part two, which is just as funny as the original in my opinion.

How I Discovered This Film - And why I recommend it to others.

I had a friend a few years ago that told me the basic story of this film and to be quite honest, I found her enthusiasm about it to be a little over-the-top compared to what she told me. I told her I'd give it a try (even though I knew I wouldn't) and said goodbye. Over the next month every time we saw each other she asked if I had watched it yet and I always came up with some kind of excuse about why I hadn't. She finally tricked me by setting me up on a double date that was to happen at her house, where the movie was going to be seen by all. I was interested in the girl, so I went through with the date. The movie was hilarious; we all had a great time that evening. The bottom line is that you may not be able to get people to watch this one by telling them the story. You may just have to tell them that they need to trust your judgement and watch it. I guarantee that they'll like it from the very start.

The Movie Poster - Tell me this doesn't want to make you see the movie.

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The Gods Must Be Crazy Review - Don't read this if you don't want to know a little about the film.

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The Talent

Writer and Director: Jamie Uys

Acting: N!xau (genuine bushman), Marius Weyers and Sandra Prinsloo.

The Storyline

The film is made up of three separate stories that all come crashing together towards the end. You need to watch the movie to find out all the details, but I'll still give you a little taste.

1-A Coke bottle falls out of the air and nearly hits a bushman; he takes it to his tribe where they find lots of uses for it, including causing pain to others.

2-A budding romance between a schoolteacher and a socially awkward scientist.

3-A small military group is on the run after a failed attempt at overthrowing the government.

The Verdict

This is a must-see film for anyone who appreciates funny movies, though it is nothing like the comedies made today. It stands up very well and you'll find yourself laughing through the whole thing. Be advised that some may not like the way the bushmen are depicted, but every character in the film is treated with the same comedic formula. This is an excellent comedy that you'll instantly fall in love with after you watch it, so don't miss out on a great experience. Watch it.

Be Sure To Also Check Out The Gods Must Be Crazy II

If you like the original, then you are sure to like part two. Some (like me) may even think that it is an even better film. Like the first one, the second may not be the easiest DVD to track down, but it's definitely worth it.

Why not share your thoughts about this hilarious movie? - Help others make up their mind about if they want to watch the film.

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    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      I've never see Part 2 but the original was hilarious. It occurs to me now, that Coke bottle may have been one of the earliest examples of overt product placement?

    • georgeac lm profile image

      georgeac lm 5 years ago

      I always wondered what happened to the actor from the movie. Thank you for the answer.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I believe they also made a 3rd and 4th film from this franchise, thought the first two are clearly the best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I thought part two was much better than part one and I had a huge crush on Lena Farugia (the girl who played Dr. Ann Taylor). The first two Gods Must Be Crazy are the only ones that should ever be mentioned as the others were terrible.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We were just in South Africa and visited the San Cultural Center all because of this movie which we loved so much.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 5 years ago

      I remember watching this when I was younger. I didn't realise it was published that early, though, because I remember seeing it in theatres in the late '80s. Maybe it took that long to create a French-Canadian version? I can't remember if it was the first or the second one that had the boy trapped in the water carrier. The scene with the gun never ceased to make me gasp!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'd forgotten about this film for the last 25 years. I remember The Gods Must be Crazy as an excellent spoof on the concept of property and the crazed concepts of capitalism. I must watch it again

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Think I may check this out.