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Kings of the Evening (2008)

5.9
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Homer Hobbs, home after two years in jail, discovers that life on the outside can be crueler than the back-breaking injustice of the chain gang. He returns to a bleak urban town caught in ... See full summary »

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Title: Kings of the Evening (2008)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Homer Hobbs
...
Gracie
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Clarence Brown
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Lucy Waters
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Benny Potter
...
...
Wilfred Cheedle
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Mr. Gamba
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Reginald Crump
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Counter Man
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Henry Nicholson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Stanley Kluntz
Paul Archer ...
Peddler
Meredith Beal ...
Bum
...
Pawnbroker
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Storyline

Homer Hobbs, home after two years in jail, discovers that life on the outside can be crueler than the back-breaking injustice of the chain gang. He returns to a bleak urban town caught in the depths of the Great Depression - no jobs, no prospects, no hope - where he is thrown together with four strangers, each struggling to survive as they scratch and scheme to dig their way out of poverty. Life is grim. But on Sunday nights, in a dingy hall in a forlorn neighborhood, the men of the ghetto piece together the finest attire their meager lives can beg, borrow or steal to compete in an underground contest like no other. The big winner will go home with the five dollar prize. The real prize - far less tangible, yet priceless - is the chance to feel like a king, if just for an evening. To men like these, the touch of a woman, the adulation of the crowd, the feel of a fine-looking suit are proof enough that a man might yet escape the debasement of the ghetto. And only one can emerge - King ... Written by Robert Page Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language throughout, some violence and smoking
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 January 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,724 (USA) (19 February 2010)

Gross:

$98,682 (USA) (27 August 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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 »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The contest in the film is based on a South African tradition called the Oswenkas, which the writers first read about in a newspaper article in 2002. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wasted Potential
31 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As another reviewer mentioned, Kings of the Evening doesn't really live up to it's hype. We're given a host of characters with rich potential but their stories never seem to move in any forward direction. Subplots are introduced then suddenly muted like a big tease.

The title refers to a weekly contest during The Great Depression that allows the menfolk of the town an opportunity to show that, despite the hard times they're living in, they can still dress sharp and still walk tall with dignity. However, this exhibition is the least substantive of the movie and it only serves as a teasing vehicle for fans of Tyson Beckford whose real claim to fame is as a fashion model and not an actor (ironically, he only features in the actual contest for a mere 7 seconds at the end of the movie). His lukewarm performance here only reinforces that reputation. He's mostly dead wood here. (He looks very out of place on the chain gang in the introduction).

The other performances try to shine to make the story stronger than it is. Lynne Whitfield as always is beautiful and passionate as ever in her role as the house landlady. Linara Washington, as Lucy, is pretty face I'm not familiar with since I don't watch a lot of TV where she's better known, but she gives a fine performance as one of the borders of the house. Reginald Dorsey outshines most of the cast as the fast-talking and dapper hustler and border Benny. I wish he had at least gotten more of a backstory or his own subplot. James Russo and Bruce McGill are their typical evil and venomous selves. But it's veteran actor Glynn Turman who eats up the movie. He shows almost everything here. His down-trodden and drunken Clarence is the greatest example of how many men of all persuasions felt during the era, unable to find work, hiding behind the bottle and ready to end it all to escape the weight of shame of not being able to pay your own way as a man.

Despite the negatives, the movie still manages to put elicit a few smiles between some decent performances and friendly gestures of kindness. There's also surprisingly little racism or racial animosity during a time when poverty had thrown all races and nationalities into the same financial binds. Accurate or not, it was good black movie that wasn't totally marred by the conflict of racial differences and allowed the viewer to be entertained.


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