This is the story of a black man who has been elected sheriff in a U.S. southern county, due to the vote of blacks. He receives a huge amount of hostility from the non-tolerant white establishment, making his job very hard. The white former sheriff has his own struggle, as he balances his devotion to the law with his family and community relations. Things come to a head when the black sheriff puts a white man, the son of a wealthy land-owner of a neighboring county, in jail, and his daddy comes after him. Everyone around has to decide where their values really lie. Written by
Luis Carvacho <firstname.lastname@example.org>
...tick...tick...tick is the story of a county somewhere in the Deep South undergoing some radical changes in the wake of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the Sixties. A new black sheriff has been elected as a result of the Voting Rights Act and the organizers who came down from the North to see it enforced. But now that Jim Brown has the job, the organizers have gone back North and what to do now in a tense racially divided situation.
One person trying his best to deal with things is Mayor Fredric March who is a southern politician of the old school, but by no means a stupid man. March recognizes the old order is gone and the thing he fears the most is interference from the federal government. He will govern his town as best he can without any outsiders, thank you.
The key in the situation is former sheriff George Kennedy who is a good old boy, quite comfortable with the white power structure, but also an honest and fundamentally decent man.
Things come to a head quickly when a punk kid from another county runs down a little girl who happens to be white and leaves the scene. When Brown arrests Bob Random the kid's father who is a bigwig in the neighboring county threatens to invade Brown's jurisdiction, the new sheriff has a crisis on his hand. What will ALL the residents of Collusa County do in this situation?
In many ways this film is something of a successor to In The Heat Of The Night which covered many of the same issues. In The Heat Of The Night takes place in a time right on the cusp of the changes being voted in Washington. ...tick...tick...tick take place after those changes have taken place. Sad to say that the Academy Award winning In The Heat Of The Night has overshadowed this film, especially after it became the basis of a television series. ...tick...tick...tick in my opinion could also be readily adapted to the small screen.
One thing that In The Heat Of The Night has way over this film is a superior musical score. Whose brilliant idea was it at MGM to have Jim Brown chase Bob Random through the woods with the Mike Curb Congregation singing Gentle On My Mind? It was so out of place.
The three leads are superb in their performances and such folks as Clifton James, Dub Taylor, and Don Stroud play some of the good old boys who deal with the crisis in Collusa County in their different ways. Janet MacLachlan and Lynn Carlin are the supportive women in the lives of Brown and Kennedy respectively. And Bob Random plays one nasty little redneck punk.
...tick...tick...tick still has great entertainment value and it's a portrait of the new emerging American South, one of the best done by the American cinema.
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