Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader made his directorial debut with 1978’s Blue Collar. The film is muscular drama with a multitude of different layers: friendship, politics, wealth, power, corruption. Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto play three factory who feel that their union is working hard enough for their rights. They decide to rob their local union office but things don’t quite go according to plan when they walk away with just a few hundred dollars.
The central trio do great work and their camaraderie is great – something which is even more incredible given that they couldn’t stand each other on set. Tensions ran high, drug abuse was apparently rampant – especially with Pryor who allegedly pulled on gun on Schrader during production.
This image shows Paul Schrader, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto and Richard Pryor on the set of Blue Collar. The film grossed $6.5 million at the US box office when it was released.