In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
A rare blaxploitation classic starring Vonette McGee & Max Julien, Thomasine & Bushrod was intended as a counterpart to Bonnie and Clyde. This pair of thieves, who operate in the American ... See full summary »
Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up king of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »
Producer/director Jules Dassin wanted to remake The Informer (1935) with an all-black cast, set in inner-city America. The original Liam O'Flaherty story was based on the Irish rebellion against the English in the early 1920s. Dassin felt it mirrored black-white relations in the US in the 1960s. See more »
One thing about me and my love of movies is that I very rarely prefer remakes. However, this movie is an exception--a film far superior than the original. Now that might surprise you, as Victor McLaglen received the Oscar for Best Actor AND the great John Ford the Oscar for Best Director. Yet, I STILL liked the remake better. Much of it is that "The Informer" has not aged well and is dated. In particular, McLaglen's performance seems over-the-top--very, very unsubtle indeed. Also, while it's hard to imagine someone making a film better than John Ford, it's not as surprising when you learn that it's Jules Dassin--one of the best film directors of the 20th century but whose career was severely affected by the Red Scare--when he was forced to move to Europe and managed to STILL keep making great films.
Dassin decided to remake the story and set it in black America--in 1968. The film was VERY timely, and is set just after the murder of Martin Luther King--a time when black men and women were understandably talking about revolution. While the term 'Black Panthers' was never used in the film, clearly the film is intended to be about them...and their weakest link, a sad and worthless individual named Tank. Also, since time had past since Dassin's exodus from Hollywood, he was now able to return to the States to make a film and this one was made in Cleveland. This locale was great--adding to the realism. In addition, while most of the actors are unknowns (apart from folks like Roscoe Lee Browne and Ruby Dee), they did a great job--and Dassin got the most from them. Overall, a very hard-hitting and enjoyable film--and a nice update to the original.
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