In 1857, con man Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke swindle slave owners into buying Jason, who's a free man, and later share the profits when Jason escapes captivity.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay) (as Pierre Marton), (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason (as Lou Gossett)
Brenda Sykes ...
Neva Patterson ...
Mrs. Claggart
Mr. Claggart
George Tyne ...
Joel Fluellen ...
Napoleon Whiting ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Would you buy a used slave from this man ? See more »


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 February 1972 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de los picaros  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film marked the first time that Garner had returned to work for the Warner Brothers in more than ten years. See more »


Susan Clark's character explains to Quincy that there is to be a vote whether Kansas will join the Union as a slave state like Missouri or a free state like Nebraska. Nebraska wasn't admitted to the Union until 1867, 6 years after Kansas. See more »


Spoofed in The Frighteners (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

unique pre-Civil War master & slave con game film
12 March 2009 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

James Garner and Lou Gossett play Easterners who head west to con the gullible country folk in a scheme where Garner is a slave owner and Gossett is his slave whom he sells only to later escape together and then find another town. It's an interesting take on the institution of slavery, done as both comedy and drama, with an interesting portrayal of John Brown (played by Royal Dano in a full beard) storming into a Kansas town during a slave auction horsewhipping and shooting various people. In a film full of "N" words, Garner and Gossett keep the mood fairly light. However, when the game backfires Gossett is really sold into slavery and ends up on a Texas plantation owned by a rather cruel Andrew Duggan. The film goes into just enough whippings and violence to shock the viewer while also providing James Garner a familiar role he had perfected on TV's "Maverick" to sustain a lighter side as well.

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