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Night Shift

Year: 1982
Production Co: The Ladd Company
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Ron Howard
Producer: Brian Grazer
Writer: Lowell Ganz/Babaloo Mandel
Cast: Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Joe Spinell
Way back before the assured hand of Ransom, Cinderella Man and The Da Vinci Code, this was Ron Howard's baby steps effort, to make sure he could wield a camera and concoct a story.

Casting a very young, on-form Michael Keaton and Howard's Happy Days pal Henry Winkler (who we'd never seen as a nerdy loser before), Night Shift is a comedy about mild mannered morgue worker Chuck (Winkler). When the comely, friendly Belinda (Long), a neighbour of Chuck's and a lady of the night, is beaten up by a client after her pimp Franklin is thrown through a window, Chuck wants to do something.

Encouraged by his wild new co-worker Billy (Keaton), the two start sidelining as pimps, giving Belinda and her friends a much better work environment than they've ever had before, complete with dental and health care plans.

With Chuck's former career as a finance executive, the profits start rolling in, but they inadvertently get the attention of some of Franklin's former competitors and before they know it Chuck and Billy are way out of their depth, all the while Chuck falling deeply in love with Belinda.

There's no subtext or depth, and it's not the funniest movie in history, but you feel for the perpetually neurotic Chuck, laugh with Billy and fall in love with Belinda every time. Lots of memorable add-ons like Billy's endless hare-brained ideas and some very quotable dialogue - mostly by Keaton 'Know what this tape player's for? It's to tape things' - make it one to enjoy more than once.

Apparently if you're quick enough you can see Kevin Costner and Shannon Doherty are in there somewhere.

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