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Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke have pulled off every dodge known for conning a well-heeled sucker, but it wasn't until they hit on the old skin game that they started to clean up. The game is simple. Jason, though born a free man in New Jersey, poses as Quincy's slave as the pair ride through Missouri and Kansas in 1857. Quincy picks a likely mark in each town, sells Jason to him for top money and rides out of town. Then Quincy and Jason get back together on the road to another town, because if Jason can't just run off after dark, Quincy finds a way to spring him loose. Written by
James Garner ever since he made his first big hit in the television series of Maverick refined the playing of a con man who's no better than he ought to be into a fine art. Quincy Drew is a further refining of the Bret Maverick character.
James Garner can be serious when he wants to be, but I've always gotten the feeling he enjoys being Maverick or Jim Rockford far better than playing it straight. He has to enjoy it more, he's so darn good at it.
Here he's got a racket going with Lou Gossett, Jr. During the days just before the Civil War in the 1850s he and Gossett work this con where Garner keeps buying and selling Gossett as a slave. Of course Gossett escapes and then they move on to the next town.
Trouble is with that kind of a con, your reputation is bound to catch up with you. Gossett, who was born in New Jersey and is a free black man, gets a view of slavery he didn't bargain for. Along the way he meets Brenda Sykes.
Garner also meets up with Susan Clark who's also a grifter. She aids him in his search for Gossett.
Gossett and Garner don't exactly redeem themselves in the end, but you know this is not a racket they will be trying any more.
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