Born in Birmingham, Duff Anderson, the father of a male toddler, who lives with a nanny, re-locates to a small town to work on the railroad. He meets with and is attracted to Josie much to the chagrin of her preacher father. The marriage does take place nevertheless, both re-locate to live in their own house and he gets a job in a mill. He decides not to bring his son to live with them. Challenges arise when the Mill Foreman finds out that Duff is attempting to unionize the workers, forcing Duff to quit, and look for work elsewhere. Unable to reconcile himself to working on a daily wage of $2.50 picking cotton nor even as a waiter, he gets a job at a garage. He is enraged at a customer for belittling him and Josie, and is let go. Unemployed, unable to support his wife and son, he gets abusive and leaves - perhaps never to return. Written by
This movie was no doubt completed with at most a very modest budget, but the finished product is so strong and moving--thanks to a very intelligent script and great acting. Although the film stars no "big names", it is chock full of some of the better Black character actors of the 1960s. The leading man, Ivan Dixon, proved he was a fine and competent actor--far better than the role he played on HOGAN'S HEROES. It's a shame that he didn't get more starring roles during his career.
The plot involves people living in a small Southern town in the mid-1960s--after segregation was no longer legal but was still very rampant. Dixon just wants to be treated like a man--no more, no less. He is not asking for handouts but respect. Unfortunately, the people living in this town are so used to the status quo that they just feel it is futile to buck the system. As a result, Dixon faces major uphill battles--mostly on his own except for his lovely young wife. In addition, there are subplots concerning fatherhood and responsibility that greatly enhance the movie's message.
This film would be wonderful for anyone--in particular kids, as they will realize in watching this just how far we have come. Most young kids today just don't realize how tough things were for Black Americans in this country and how acceptable this maltreatment was. It deals effectively with these issues without being preachy or heavy- handed. A great film.
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