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Riverbend (1989)

 -  Action | Drama  -  1990 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 47 users  
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A black major (Steve James) and his men are on the run from a rigged court martial and hide out in a small Georgia town where a cruel white sheriff is terrorizing the black population. ... See full summary »

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Title: Riverbend (1989)

Riverbend (1989) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maj. Samuel Quentin
...
Bell Coleman
Tony Frank ...
Sheriff Jake
...
Sgt. Tony Marx
...
Lt. Butch Turner
Vennessa Tate ...
Pauline
T.J. Kennedy ...
Monroe
Linwood Walker ...
Fatman
Norman Colvin ...
Hugo
Keith Kirk ...
Mike
John Norman ...
Marcus Coleman
Jim Ponds ...
Jackson
Doug Sivad ...
Hammon
...
Gus
Derrell Craddock ...
Jones
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Storyline

A black major (Steve James) and his men are on the run from a rigged court martial and hide out in a small Georgia town where a cruel white sheriff is terrorizing the black population. Together with one strong-willed woman they formulate a bold plan to fight for freedom and human rights... Written by Anonymous

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When you're right... you fight!

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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1990 (USA)  »

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Riverbend  »

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User Reviews

 
Civil uprising, Steve James style
26 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The place: Riverbend, GA. The time: 1966 The mission: Combat racism in the old South

3 Vietnam combat vets are being transported to a court martial (for refusing to kill innocent villagers no less) and manage to escape, making their way to a small town where the African American segment of the community are being abused by the racist sheriff, racist mayor, and their racist cohorts. Initially the 3 soldiers want no part of the town's problem, but an attractive young widow persuades their leader Maj. Samuel Quentin (the late action great Steve James) to train the people in combat technique for a civil uprising. The Major's men are divided about the plan, Lt. Butch Turner (Alex Morris) is loyal to his commander, but Sgt. Tony Marks (Julias Tennon) follows along very reluctantly.

Riverbend is an action drama, so it's more dialog driven. It's also a low budget production so not all of the acting is on par with Steve James' performance. Also the action scenes are fairly standard, and the musical score varies between sappy and silly. But the film is worth recommending as it is one of the very few in which Steve James played the lead role (only Street Hunter comes to mind right now) and also one of the few films in the action genre dealing directly with race relations. So it's interesting to see a scene where the town's white population is rounded up, put in a church and held as hostages. A character named Jacob holding a rifle says to another, "....now you're a good man Mr. Cook, but you're white, and right now that's your problem". Given today's political climate and how security measures at airports employ everything from metal detectors to removal of shoes, yet avoid the use of profiling at all costs, it's interesting to see movie characters take this measure. At any rate, Riverbend is at times silly, like many grade B film, but it's also an interesting commentary on racism as well as an entertaining film.


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