Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips ... See full summary »
Raymond St. Jacques,
Film version of Melvin Van Peebles' Broadway musical. A pair of devil-bats take human form and crash a Harlem house party in an attempt to break it up. But somehow, their attempts to ruin the party fail.
Truck is a bounty hunter who gets a job to track down a guy named Gator. When he and his partner find him, a chase ensues and Gator is killed. This makes Gator's woman, Dorinda, very angry ... See full summary »
In 1964, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest...parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the ... See full summary »
Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight ... See full summary »
Robert Downey Sr.
Jeff Gerber, an insurance agent, lives in a typical suburban neighborhood. He is also both racist and a fitness freak. But Jeff's bigoted world of taunting and harassing black people on and off the job is turned upside down when his skin inexplicably turns dark overnight. As Jeff tries to come to terms with this unexplained phenomenon that has befallen him, he soon becomes the victim himself when all of his friends and neighbors suddenly shun and harass him. This puts a strain on his marriage and loyal wife Althea, who begins to crack under the pressure. When all medical attempts to change his skin back to his former color fail, Jeff accepts that Kharma has caught up with him. Jeff tries to see the light of being a persecuted black man in this cruel and segregated world with the help of some of some new black friends, some of whom were people he, as a white man, taunted and harassed. Written by
Melvin Van Peebles' big Hollywood film is a very smart, funny, and in the end tragic satire of race relations in America c. 1970. Today, it doesn't get nearly the hoopla that "Sweet Sweetback" does, but in a lot of ways it's a better movie. Biting satire is often a better way to express righteous anger than simply getting all righteous, and this is an example: under the laughs, this is a deeply angry film.
Godfrey Cambridge is magnificent in his two-tone role, and the supporting cast (including a couple of routines by the great Mantan Moreland) is also very fine. The rage underpinning the whole story doesn't find full, overt expression until the very last scene, which presages Van Peebles' leap into more obviously black revolutionary politics in "Sweetback." A very good, very funny, important film that deserves to be much better known today than it is.
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