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Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 26 July 1974 (USA)
At Madame Zenobia's illegal nightclub, when Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin get robbed of their wallets containing a winning lottery ticket, they set out to recover it.




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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Reverend
Sharp Eye Washington
Sarah Jackson
Congressman Lincoln
Leggy Peggy
Madame Zenobia
Geechie's Henchman
Slim's Henchman #1
Ketty Lester ...
Irma Franklin
Slim's Henchman #2
Harold Nicholas ...
Little Seymour Pettigrew


Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin sneak out of their houses to visit Madame Zenobia's: a high-class but illegal nightclub. During their visit, however, the place is robbed and they are forced to hand over their wallets. Steve's wallet turns out to have contained a winning lottery ticket, and together they must recover their stolen property. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They get funny when you mess with their money.


Action | Comedy | Crime


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 July 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Samstagnacht oben in der Stadt  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Harry Belafonte's performance is a send-up of Marlon Brando's in The Godfather (1972). See more »


The climactic chase at the end takes place on windy, rocky, mountainous roads. There is no area like that anywhere near Chicago, where the film is set. See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »


Uptown Saturday Night
Music by Tom Scott
Lyrics by Morgan Ames
Sung by Dobie Gray
Produced by Mentor Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent,Hilarious,Underrated Comedy Classic. Sidney Poitier And Bill Cosby At Their Best.
5 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Uptown Saturday Night is an excellent,hilarious and underrated Comedy classic that combines fantastic direction,a terrific cast,great laughs,a well-written script and a memorable score and theme song. All those elements make Uptown Saturday Night one of my favorite Comedies, great laugh out loud entertainment and Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby at their best.

Uptown Saturday Night tells the story of best friends Steve(Sidney Poitier)and Wardell(Bill Cosby),two working class guys who decide to go to Madame Zenobia's,an expensive and high class joint to have fun. While Steve and Wardell are there having a good time,Zenobia's is robbed by a group of thieves who take the money as well as peoples wallets including Steve's wallet which contains a winning lottery ticket. Now,Steve and Wardell are going to through the criminal underworld to get back the wallet and find the guys that robbed them with hilarious results.

Released in 1974,Uptown Saturday Night is a brilliant,offbeat Comedy that came out during the time when blaxploitation films were huge with Black audiences. Then at the height of Blaxploitation movies came Uptown Saturday Night,a Comedy that was the first of a Trilogy of Comedies starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby which also included the sequels Let's Do It Again and A Piece Of The Action,but with Uptown Saturday Night Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby crafted in opinion one of the funniest movies of the 1970s and of all time. From beginning to end Uptown Saturday Night is a movie that is a laugh riot that never stops giving viewers Comedy that is wild and quirky with jokes and laughter that will make you laugh with tears rolling down your eyes and Humor that is so funny your stomach will cramp. What I also love about the Comedy in USN is that the Comedy has a great balance of being over the top,subtle and smart using scenes and some of the main characters to generate laughs and when you watch the film the Comedy is done with amazing build-up and timing and the laughs are well-done with greatness and perfection. Despite having an all-star Black cast,USN is not a Blaxploitation film but a movie that Spoofs and Parodies not only Blaxploitation films but also serious Crime Dramas and Gangster Films that came out during the early to mid 1970s an you as you watch the film you will notice a lot of the Trademarks of Blaxploitation movies,Crime Dramas and Gangster Films turning the genres on their heads in an interesting way. The screenplay by Richard Wesley is impressive and well-written,with Wesley giving the movie great scenes and memorable dialog as well as interesting characters. As long as cinema has been around there have been great movie duos:Laurel and Hardy,Abbott and Costello,Cheech and Chong,Hope and Crosby,Newman and Redford and many more. Another duo that is up there with those tag teams is Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby who are in my opinion one of the greatest and most underrated movie duos in the history of film. What makes the duo of Poitier and Cosby is amazing and incredible is before USN Poitier was a great serious Actor and Cosby was doing Comedy and the Television show I Spy then came Uptown Saturday Night. In USN and it's sequels,the two play the classic straight man/funny guy combination with Poitier being the straight man and Cosby being the funny guy while having fantastic chemistry that feels funny,fresh and real. Poitier and Cosby use their characters in USN to trade off laughs and lots of lines with both actors being hilarious in their own ways and it makes the film work so well. Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby are a classic duo that you will never forget and will stay with you after the movie is over. The ending of Uptown Saturday Night is funny,thrilling and exciting and will put a smile on your face. An terrific conclusion to a classic Comedy.

The whole cast is amazing. Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby are excellent,hilarious and memorable as Steve and Wardell,with Poitier and Cosby having wonderful chemistry and scenes together. Harry Belafonte is amazing and funny as Geechie Dan Beauford,a local gangster with Belafonte doing a laugh out loud parody of Marlon Brando's Godfather role. Calvin Lochart is terrific and smooth as Silky Slim,a rival of Geechie Dan's. Filp Wilson is great and memorable in his small role as The Reverend. Richard Pryor is fantastic and hilarious as Sharp Eye Washington,a crooked private detective. Roselind Cash is good and beautiful as Sarah Jackson,Steve's wife. Lee Chamberlain is fine and sexy as Madame Zenobia,the owner of Zenobias. Roscoe Lee Brown is delightful as Congressman Lincoln,a politician. Paula Kelly is outstanding as Peggy Leggy,Congressman Lincoln's secretary. Harold Nicolas is sensational and funny as Little Seymour Pettigrew,a small,but tough gangster. Ketty Lester(Irma Franklin)and George Reynolds(Big Percy)give good performances as well.

The direction by Sidney Poitier is wonderful,with Poitier always moving the camera and giving the film a great pace and style. Fine direction,Poitier.

The score by Tom Scott is terrific,intense and light matching the tone of the film. Great score,Scott. There is also the fantastic theme song Uptown Saturday Night by Dobie Gray,which awesome and fits with the movie's tone. A catchy and memorable theme song.

In final word,if you love Comedies,Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby,I highly suggest you see Uptown Saturday Night,an excellent,hilarious and underrated Comedy classic that is Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby at their best and is a movie that you can watch again and again. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

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