Synopsis by Paul Brenner
If a comedy is to be made from the plight of the homeless, who have to scrape through their days returning deposit bottles and cleaning car windshields to get their daily bread as the rich get richer and more heartless, it may as well be Mel Brooks' Life Stinks. The trademark Brooks humor dominates this fable about a ruthless billionaire, Goddard Bolt (Mel Brooks), who wants to obliterate a poor section of Los Angeles and build a high-tech commercial center in its place. His only problem is that he owns only half the land needed for the construction, the other half belonging to equally ruthless billionaire Vance Craswell (Jeffrey Tambor), who has his own ideas for the land. The two try to buy each other out until, finally, a deal is struck: Craswell bets that Bolt cannot survive a month on the streets as a homeless man. If Bolt makes it, he gets the property. If he doesn't, Craswell gets it. Bolt agrees and, as a poor man, he begins to feel the pain of being uprooted and alone, even meeting a friendly homeless woman, Molly (Lesley Ann Warren) with whom he forms an attachment.
riches-to-rags, tycoon, poverty, wager, homelessness, billionaire