Man and Boy (1971)

G  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  28 January 1976 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 8 critic

After the Civil War, a black ex-union soldier, his wife, and his son settle in Arizona Territory to homestead and build their lives. At first, Caleb Revers race doesn't seem to matter, but then things change.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Spell ...
Douglas Turner Ward ...
Robert Lawson ...
Jason Clark ...
Fred Graham ...
Jack Owens


After the Civil War, a black ex-union soldier, his wife, and his son settle in Arizona Territory to homestead and build their lives. At first, Caleb Revers race doesn't seem to matter, but then things change.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Bill Cosby comes to the big screen in a stunning switch from his TV and comedy portrayals to a starkly dramatic role!


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Release Date:

28 January 1976 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Ride a Dark Horse  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

A movie father and son should see
6 December 2004 | by (Pasadena, Ca) – See all my reviews

The thing I find very funny here is when ever a person of color takes on a role that you usually see a Caucasian actor play...people let the tan make them focus on things that have nothing to do with the film. It's like they are so used to seeing White people play everything and BE everything they can't except the story unless someone White is the hero. One poster mentioned the movie "Roots" being the motivation for Racism in America...he even suggested that Black people were the cause...for the life of me I can't figure out where he has been living. Not to mention, this movie wasn't about was about a father taking his son out to make him a man. Even the description of this film is wrong. Just goes to show you how WE are treated...the person who wrote the description about what this film is about didn't even pay attention. After you see it, then read the description about the film's pretty pitiful. With the way things were...a young Black male had to grow up quick...or not at all! It wasn't Bill's character's fault that ignorance was running rampant in America. Still, a man had to survive and had to raise his son. what makes this story so good.

For me, this film was very on the money. It was a simple yet sophisticated tale about how a father , during a very dangerous time in America (For Blacks) takes his son out and shows him what a man does. Racism was introduced in the film, but only to serve as a reminder of how dangerous it was for a Black male to wander outside of where he lived so close to after the Slaves were set free. There were still people that didn't agree with the slaves being free and owning land. This heightened the danger level when Cosby's character tells his wife he's taking his son with him to get their horse back after it was stolen. A lone man and his son wandering over the open range...looking for their horse. All of the people they encounter and the things that happen to them after the journey begins are fun and take the film in a different direction than expected.

To the guy who missed the whole film because he felt someone Black made it so they could concentrate on Racism...he needs to pay more attention. The two characters who disrespect Cosby's character more than any of the White characters happen to be two well written Black Characters. Hank (played by Yaphet Kotto) and Lee Christmas (a well known bank robber and horse thief) Hank was a well liked Black character and even had White friends that respected him and even drank with him in town. So if Racism was all over this could this colorful relationship happen? Thing is, Hank had issues with Bill's character. He was a balanced man and ended up getting the woman Hank wanted. Not only that, when Hank and Cosby's Character meet again...Hank sees that he had a child with the woman he wanted. This adds to his negative fuel against Bill's character. Needless to say, like two real men, they settle their differences like two cowboys...with a knock em out-jaw dropping scrap! No fancy stuff...just two real men fighting and then they get tired and keep on fighting.

Then there's "Lee Christmas"...another well written character. Lee was a very skilled and dangerous man. He could shoot a gun (which is cool because Black characters usually act or are written to act like they have never seen or used one in Westerns)...and had some White friends he was robbing and killing with. When he encounters Bill's character...he tries to get Bill and his son to join him on a crime spree...when Bill declines...we See Lee get a little Jealous that his character has a family to go home he abducts his son and we watch a loving FATHER (not a Black man)try and get his son back safely.

See, like most movies about Westerns, they make Latinos and Black characters seem like all they did was behave like good slaves...or you just hardly even see us at all. The truth is...there were cities where Black's and Latino's weren't frowned on. They owned land and were farmers and cowboys. This film assumes you have been educated on the real west and I liked the was well written, well paced and directed.

The only thing that leaves a sour taste in your mouth is when you read posts by people that are obviously living in caves. IF the hero is a Black can count on the posts to go all over the place instead of discuss the heart of a film. After all the negative in America's past...this films finds a spot in time and does a great job of balancing things and telling a good story. FOUR STARS!

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