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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>
When the sheriff goes to arrest the rapist, he gets into a fight with the rapist and two of his friends. He is able to knock out the 2 friends with one punch each, yet the rapist takes 10 or 12 punches before he is subdued. The 2 friends remain conveniently unconscious until the rapist is cuffed. See more »
[Harley has just been locked up in jail with Braddock]
Welcome to the Colusa County jail, Sambo.
Shut your mouth. You red neck, peckerwood.
Oh, now what's the matter? You don't like us kindly white folk?
You tell it like it is, honky!
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A clock is ticking during the opening credits. With each tick one word of the credits is added. See more »
I recall seeing this film as a 16 year old in a theater in the Midwest and I was impressed and entertained. Now 45 years later I can relate to this film in a different sense of how brave it was to tell this tale during the late 60's. When this film was in production and filming racial tension in the Nation was worse than it is today, hard as it is to believe. The Black Panthers were demanding violent self defense for black Americans from police brutality. The NYPD was involved in a scandal on how it had treated black prisoners and framed several for crimes that they did not commit. Riots were common place in many large American cities during the summers.
I can easily see how with all that going on, how this small film could have been placed on the shelf, but to the producers credit they did not shelve it and went ahead and made and distributed the film. It does have a made for TV feel, but I suppose that has to do with some of the things that were going on they may have hedging their bets and hoping the Jim Brown's popularity as a football player would bring white folks willing to pay to see a black man taking a job from a southern sheriff.
Kennedy and March are solid in their roles and Brown is not all that bad considering he is a retired jock with few acting credits before this, Don Stroud is very good as the racist ex-deputy who is hell bent on taking out the new sheriff who he sees as a threat to white supremacists everywhere. Equally good is Clifton James as a good old southern boy who you get may or may not be in charge of the local Klan.
The ending is a bit predictable and the script could have been tighter and delved into why Price felt he wanted to become sheriff, but most of that is passed over here. The entire film only concentrates on two cases that the new sheriff has to investigate, one white and one black and how the new sheriff treats both with equal concern and compassion.
The one thing the film did avoid was actually filming in the south, instead they picked a northern rural California county, I guess they figured they were pressing their luck enough and didn't want to chance filming down south.
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