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Five on the Black Hand Side (1973)

PG | | Comedy | 25 October 1973 (USA)
In contrast to most of the violence-laden "blaxploitation" films of the period, this low-budget effort eschews exploitation for humanity and domestic drama. Leonard Jackson plays a barber ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Brooks
Leonard Jackson ...
Mr. Brooks
D'Urville Martin ...
Booker T.
Preston (as Richard Williams)
Sonny Jim Gaines ...
Sweetmeat (as Sonny Jim)
Stormy Monday
Bonnie Banfield ...
Frankie Crocker ...
Rolls Royce
Tchaka Almoravids ...
Fun Loving
Marvin (as Carl Mikal Franklin)
Cal Wilson ...
Philomena Nowlin ...


In contrast to most of the violence-laden "blaxploitation" films of the period, this low-budget effort eschews exploitation for humanity and domestic drama. Leonard Jackson plays a barber who is also the domineering head of a middle-class African American family. Jackson is forced to rethink his values when his previously docile wife joins their three children in rebelling against her husband's retrogressive behavior. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've been coffy-tized, blacula-rized and super-flied - but now you're gonna be glorified, unified and filled-with-pride... when you see "Five on the Black Hand Side"








Release Date:

25 October 1973 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

"Five on the Black Hand Side" Written by H.B. Barnum See more »


Referenced in Disappearing Voices: The Decline of Black Radio (2008) See more »


Five on the Black Hand Side
Music by H.B. Barnum (uncredited)
Lyrics by H.B. Barnum (uncredited), James D. Cobbin (uncredited), Mexie Marlowe (uncredited), Ronald L. Murray (uncredited) and Jay Wilson (uncredited)
Performed by Keisa Brown and Prime Cut
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User Reviews

Five on the Black Hand Side provided an antidote to all those blaxploitation movies I've watched recently
11 February 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Just watched this on Netflix Streaming. John Henry Brooks (Leonard Jackson) is the patriarch of the family that includes wife Gladys (Clarice Taylor), and his grown children-Gail (Bonnie Banfield), Preston (Glynn Turman), and Booker T. (D'Urville Martin) though he prefers to be called Sharif. In a nutshell: Gladys is tired of her husband's treatment of her and vows to leave him to her friends Ruby (Virginia Capers) and Stormy Monday (Ja'net DuBois), Preston is in touch with his African roots, so is Gail who's about to marry Marvin (Carl Franklin) while Booker T...oops, I mean Sharif, gets hassled by his brother about dating white women. Most of what I just mentioned happens while John Henry is at the barbershop he owns cutting the breeze with his co-horts like Sweetmeat (Sonny Jim Gains) and male only customers which we're reminded of whenever a female tries to enter. I'll stop there and just say this was quite a refreshing change of pace compared to the mostly blaxploitation pics I watched the last several days. And while the characters seem mostly certain types, there's enough humor and love that one associates with them immediately. So on that note, I recommend Five on the Black Hand Side. P.S. Player Dick Anthony Williams-who's Preston here-is someone I was first familiar with when he played servant Abe Davis on "Homefront" some 20 years ago. I also just watched him in The Mack as Pretty Tony. He's a native of my birthtown of Chicago, Ill. Another one I just watched was D'Urville Martin in The Legend of N!gger Charlie. Virginia Capers was born in Jacksonville, Fla. which was where I once lived from 1987-2003. And I recognized Ms. DuBois from when she was Willona Woods on "Good Times" which she would portray a year after this movie. She's also recognizable to me as the singer of "Movin' On Up" theme of "The Jeffersons" of which Leonard Jackson once played Louise's father. And Ms. Taylor would eventually portray Cliff Huxtable's mother on "The Cosby Show"

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