Documentary covering a Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival with performances by Stax Records artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staples Singers, and more.

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Dave Chappelle, Yasiin Bey, Lauryn Hill
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

From more than eight million feet of newsreels, amateur footage, tape-recordings and more, David L. Wolper presents a priceless detailed account of the time and events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Richard Basehart, John Brewer, Raymond Buck
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy
Drama | Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When his friend injures a little girl in a small southern town while driving drunk, country singer Paul agrees to state in court he had been driving. But his lawyer betrays him, and he ends... See full summary »

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Gregg Henry, Kay Lenz, Scatman Crothers
Certificate: M Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The humorous adventures of a group of American tourists taking an eighteen-day guided bus tour of nine European countries.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Suzanne Pleshette, Ian McShane, Vittorio De Sica
Woodstock (1970)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
Stars: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution.

Director: Ivan Dixon
Stars: Lawrence Cook, Janet League, Paula Kelly
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A young surgeon becomes bored with his wife and family, he has a very successful career, but even with having so much in life, he feels empty and goes through a series of brief and meaningless relations with attractive women.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Elliott Gould, Brenda Vaccaro, Angel Tompkins
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
The Dramatics ...
Themselves
The Staple Singers ...
Themselves
Kim Weston ...
Herself
Jimmy Jones ...
Himself
Rance Allen ...
Himself
The Emotions ...
Themselves
William Bell ...
Himself
Louise McCord ...
Herself
Debra Manning ...
Herself
Eric Mercury ...
Himself
Freddy Robinson ...
Himself
Lee Sain ...
Himself
Ernie Hines ...
Himself
Sonny Warner ...
Himself (as Little Sonny Warner)
The Newcomers ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

Documentary with a selection from a non-stop 7-hour musical event at Watts, the Los Angeles Coliseum, August 20, 1972. It's a sort of Woodstock event but with black artists, namely the groups Dramatics, Staple Singers, Rance Allen Group, Emotions, Bar Kays, Mel & Tim. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A soulful expression of the living word... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1973 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Sort på hvidt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the artists who were scheduled to appear at the concert but couldn't due to various reasons were Little Milton, The Emotions, Johnnie Taylor and Luther Ingram. In fact, Ingram's performance was actually performed on a sound stage a few weeks later with various crowd shots interspersed throughout his performance and the other acts were filmed at various locations in Los Angeles in the weeks following the concert. See more »

Connections

Edited into The N Word (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key and music by John Stafford Smith
Performed by Kim Weston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Richard Pryor and the Stax Records roster dominate Wattstax
9 February 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, LA) – See all my reviews

On August 20, 1972-the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots-a 7 hour concert of various musical acts from the Stax Records roster was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum in honor of that event. Among those artists put in the film include: The Stax Golden 13 warbling "Old Time Religion", The Staple Singers chanting "Respect Yourself", Kim Weston performing "Lift Every Voice and Sing", The Bar-Kays doing "Son of Shaft", Albert King singing "I'll Sing the Blues for You", Carla Thomas warbling "Picking Up the Pieces", Rufus Thomas performing "The Breakdown" and "Do the Funky Chicken", Luthur Ingram wailing "If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Want to be Right", and Isaac Hayes doing-of course-"Theme From Shaft". In addition, three young women called The Emotions perform in a church with "Peace Be Still". All are surrounded by Richard Pryor doing some hilarious monologues about growing up black as well as many Watts residents-one of which I recognized as Ted Lange, later Isaac on "The Love Boat"-also talking about pretty much the same thing. Director Mel Stuart also provides lots of documentary footage of the area as it was at the time and during the events this film addresses. The performances I saw were great and I was especially glad to see the Hayes sequence since it wasn't in the airing on Cinemax in the '90s when I first watched this. The version I saw just now was on YouTube with the first 49 minutes from a French broadcast and the other an Asian one though it cut off after Luther Ingram in the middle of Pryor's next segment so I had to look elsewhere on the YouTube site for Richard's remaining monologues and Hayes' restored performance (I've yet to see his other number "Soulsville"). Nonetheless, this was a great documentary with excellent musical performances all around. So on that note, Wattstax is well worth seeing. P.S. Both The Emotions and The Staple Singers were native to my birthtown of Chicago, Ill. Luther Ingram was the co-writer-with Mack Rice-of the Staples' "Respect Yourself". It happened to be Hayes' 30th birthday when he performed at this event. And I also noticed Ossie Davis and wife Ruby Dee among the audience members. Update: 6/8/13-I've now seen Hayes' "Soulsville" performance and it's a nice serious number about the struggles of his people living below their means with pertinent footage accompanying it.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page