See No Evil, Hear No Evil
is a comedy thriller about disability that teeters perpetually on the brink of execrable taste, but more often ends up being bland. Brash blind Wally (Richard Pryor) and mild-mannered, cute deaf Dave (Gene Wilder) form a working partnership based partly on mutual regard and partly on desperation. A man is killed at the counter of their cigar store and neither of them can quite account for their actions or identify the killer, Eve (Joan Severance). They find themselves arrested and subsequently on the run. Eve and her henchman--a surprisingly sinister Kevin Spacey--pursue them remorselessly, searching for a gold coin that is more and less than it appears. Mild sexual chemistry between Wilder and the villainess is perhaps one of the few elements here not entirely watered down from late-period Hitchcock. Playing disability for slapstick is perhaps not the most enlightened way to increase sympathy for the disabled: this is a crass film whose good intentions are more than usually fragile.
On the DVD: the disc includes a rather smug featurette and filmographies of the two stars. --Roz Kaveney