The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the... See full summary »
Roger E. Mosley,
A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her multi-millionaire husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt-style mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly.
The story, set in Kansas during the 1920s, covers less than a year in the life of a black teenager, and documents the veritable deluge of events which force him into sudden manhood. The ... See full summary »
LA cops Gould and Blake get in over their heads when they don't heed orders from above and go after a big crime boss. While higher ups in the police department want the cop duo to just ... See full summary »
Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at Johnny Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a... See full summary »
Dave and Rob, fresh from the Police Academy, enrage their captain because they want to do more than controlling the traffic. As penalty they are sent to Brooklyn. However they don't give up, but develop their own methods to fight against dealers, criminals and corrupt colleagues. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Gordon Parks, the prolific black Life magazine photographer, made a true ticking-timebomb of a movie here - one that does not mess around! Based upon the true story of two NYC cops - later dubbed Batman and Robin - who singlehandedly employed radical tactics to clean up their precinct neighborhood of drugs, this is a cop-buddy movie before that term became a repetitive formula. Lightning paced, there is not one unimportant throwaway scene here.
Man, early '70s NYC must have been a terrible place to be a police officer, from the looks of movies like this and "Serpico." These two cops start out as safety-division rookies, busting dealers in plainclothes in their spare time. But instead of receiving applause from the city police department, they receive nothing but resistance and antagonism from their peers. They have to singlehandedly navigate a minefield of police and legal corruption, boneheaded assignments meant to keep them from their work on the streets, ruthless drug kingpins, and a nasty ghetto neighborhood.
Both David Selby and Ron Leibman are fantastic in the leads; part of the entertainment is watching Leibman's eyes darting around crazily in every scene in what is a flawless comic performance, and Selby's acting is low-key and wry. These two make all the comedy aspects of the story work - displaying a palpable frustration mixed with gutsy determination. Director Parks, who was already known for his coverage of controversial subjects in his photography, does not shy away from the grittiness of the story. Rather, the movie is uncompromising in portrayal of the toughness of the world of police and streets criminals that these two men inhabit. Adding to this realism is the fact that the real Hantz and Greenberg acted as technical advisors for the film, and even appear in surreal cameo roles as two fellow officers who ridicule the protagonists. It is a real tribute to the effectiveness of Parks' direction that he manages to perfectly balance this depressing mileu with bright comedy.
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