Reviews written by registered user
ernieswanks_757

8 reviews in total 
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41 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
Outstanding Movie!!!, 11 April 2004

I would like to take the time to express what an OUTSTANDING MOVIE "Cabin in The Sky" is. As an African-American Male, I must say this Movie is really ahead of it's time in the way it depicted that whole setting with the "Soldiers of the Lord's Army", & "The Devil" (Lucifer Jr.), & his "followers".

That whole theory as it pertains (Biblically), to Men & Women "grappling" with their conscience to do the "Right Thing", dealing with the "forces" of "good vs. evil", really comes to light here.

You actually see "Lucifer Jr." arguing with the "General" of God's Army about the "rules" & regulations on how to get "Little Joe" (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson), to commit sin & do the wrong things.

I've been raised in the African-American Baptist Church, and for me, it just seemed as if these characters came to life just like it was taught in Sunday School & Church!!!

I'm also amazed at the "ethnic insight" of the Director Vincente Minnelli. He picked the "RIGHT" Black Actors to portray the various characters that had the ability to get the point(s) across effectively.

Considering this Movie/Musical was being shown to an audience in 1943 America, (WHICH WAS STILL VERY RACIST), Director Minelli seemed to make the "connection" without any problem at all.

Of course, the cast was an All Star, All Black cast which was good for the Actors/Actresses because it gave them much needed work. I could relate to the part of "Petunia" played by Ethel Waters. She reminded me of a really nice Woman who currently attends my Church.

Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Rex Ingram, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, & a host of others, came together to make this Movie one of the "Great Ones" in my opinion. These Actors/Actresses are all gone now, but their talent will remain in the hearts & minds of many fans as well as movie history which I'm sure will be kind to them.

"Cabin in The Sky!!" A great Movie that I would highly recommend for the entire Family.

Al Capone (1959)
11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A Great Movie!! The best "Al Capone" I've ever seen!!, 5 April 2004

This movie is the best presentation of "Al Capone" that I've ever seen. The movie is presented in a "Doccumentary" format which kept me "rivited" to the screen. This cast is an "All Star Cast" to say the least. Rod Steiger did an excellant job playing the character of "Al Capone" and as far as I'm concerned, has set the "standard" for other Actors to follow on how to play that particular character. I've seen the character of "Al Capone" played by Robert Di Nero, Jason Robards, Neville Brand, & Al Pacino, but NOBODY played him like Rod Steiger!!!

Also, when you have supporting cast members like Fay Spain, Martin Balsam & Neamiah Persoff, the production in my opinion can't help but be a hit. The way this Movie was put together gives it the ability to be relevant in just about any era. Even though it was filmed in 1959, it didn't show any signs of being "outdated" or "out of touch" in any way.

Once again, a great movie with some great acting in it. I would highly reccomend this movie to anyone.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Shades of a "Bygone Era.", 9 March 2004

This show reminds me of the days when I was a "Rookie" Police Officer for the City of Ventura, California. I could relate totally to the way Deputy Amonte was being treated like "Crap" by the other Officers. You got a sense of how you're not fully accepted into the group until you "Prove Yourself" to the other Officers that you work with. In that sense, the show was very realistic.

It was amazing to me that with all of the chase scenes, shootings, taking of hostages, fist fights, etc; I never once saw ANY of the Deputies show any type of Report Writing.

I realize that this is Hollywood & they try to show all of the exciting action type "stuff" but they need to show some type of realism because, all of the above mentioned situations requires some type of Crime Report, Incident Report, Traffic Report, etc.

Report Writing is the "Backbone" of Police Work, yet the show never even "skims the surface" of this important function.

Further, Deputy Amonte seemed to always get the "Pretty Women" & he was just a "Rookie". I KNOW that this NEVER HAPPENS during the period when you are a "Trainee." Another thing I noticed was the relationship between Deputy Amonte & his "Training Officer" Deputy Barns (Ernie Hudson), was for the most part "too friendly." especially as the series progressed into the later episodes.

When I was a "Trainee," there was NO relationship that even resembled anything like "Friendly," In fact, we HATED our Training Officers!!! When these "dynamics" began to be noticed, I felt it impacted the show in a "negative" way.

I guess that's the difference between playing the part of a Police Officer & actually BEING a Police Officer. I feel that in order for a Police Show to be "credible" it must show ALL aspects of Police Work & not just the "exciting" part of it.

The "ironic" thing about it is the fact that the person who only "plays" the Police Officer role as an actor gets more money than the person who's REALLY out there doing "REAL POLICE WORK"!!!

All of the other aspects of this show were portrayed pretty good for the most part.

9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
The Irony of "The Amos n' Andy Show"., 20 January 2004

The thought occurred to me that Freeman Gosden & Charles Correll made a lot of Money, gained a lot of noteriety & won many awards for their creation of "The Amos n' Andy Show". One of the awards that stand out in my mind was their names being cast in brass & set in concrete on the "Hollywood Walk Of Fame". I think that's good!!! Their names SHOULD be there because it was a GREAT SHOW!!! But what about the "Stars" for Alvin Childress, (Amos), Spencer Williams Jr. (Andy), Tim Moore (Kingfish), Ernestine Wade (Sapphire), Amanda Randolph (Mama), Lillian Randolph (Madame Queen), Johnny Lee (Algonquin J. Calhoun), & Nick Stewart (Lightnin)???

These "Pioneer" Actors & Actresses were THE MAIN REASON why Gosden & Correll were so successful!!! The Radio Show was very successful. When the Radio Show changed to the Television Show, it was even MORE SUCCESSFUL!!! Now these "voices" turned into "real people" that we could see!! The images of these Actors/Actresses became firmly "entrenched" in our minds as the actual characters of "Amos n' Andy".

The Television Cast of this show had just as much to do with the success of the series as the Creators. Even though Gosden & Correll played the parts of "Amos", "Andy", & "Kingfish" on Radio, they are NOT the people that come into your mind when you speak of this program.

I therefore, feel very storngly that the Television Cast of the "Amos n' Andy Show should have THEIR NAMES on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame along with the Creators of the Show. This is the "Irony" of this show that I can't understand. I suppose this is just another in a

"long line" of "injustices" that has to be "endured" by the African-American Entertainer.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
No No Racial Boundries. One could imagine themselves in the story., 18 January 2004

I watched the program as a child in 1960. I was in the 5th Grade. I was TOTALLY INVOLVED in every episode. I saw myself on that Dairy Farm with the Brown Family. During an era when there were racial divisions among us, somehow, this program didn't convey any of that at all. It was wholesome, & refreshing.

This Program allowed me to come out of myself & really make an attempt to identify with the characters in the cast.Being African-American did not matter in terms of relating to the characters. I STILL felt the compassion & the emotional "up's & down's" with this Family. I found that I even had a "crush" on the "Velvet" character. I found it amazing that I could have those feelings just as if the Brown Family were my neighbors. I also felt a sense of "freedom" that I could experience those feelings of "passion" & "compassion" for this Family without having to be "Socially Regulated" just because I was black. THAT FELT GREAT!!!

This show (like so many others of that time), really made me curious as an African-American. It made me want to see how people of other ethnics lived, thought, functioned & reasoned about things such as life in general. It truly sowed the seeds for me to broaden my ethnic horizions, & let me see that ALL people go through periods in life of happiness, sadness, anxiety, grief/loss, life & death.

So this show really touched me in a big way & I'm thankful for it.

12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Great Show!!!, 5 January 2004

I watched "The Amos n' Andy Show" when I was a Child back in the 50's. There was some "Classic" comedy here. The roles that were played by Tim Moore (Kingfish), Spencer Williams Jr. (Andy), Alvin Childress (Amos), Ernestine Wade (Sapphire), Amanda Randolph (Mama), Johnny Lee (Algonquin J. Calhoun), Nick Stewart (lightnin), Lillian Randolph (Madame Queen), reminded me of alot of people that I knew as an African-American growing up in the Black Community. These Black Actors/Actresses were "pioneers" that made it possible for the "New Generation" of Black Actors that we see today. If nothing else, these "pioneers" PROVED that Blacks COULD ACT, Blacks COULD ENTERTAIN. They showed the dynamics of the Black mind. Furthermore, we as Black People understood that these were Actors playing ROLES, in fact, we laughed at them and laughed at their roles!! What is the problem!! We can laugh at ourselves!! Why do we have to try and "justify" a good feeling when we are entertained by some quality "clean cut" comedy that brings laughter that dosen't hurt anyone?? This show in the 1950's kept the Country Laughing & was rated #1 in 1951. Everybody I knew watched Amos n' Andy AND THEY LOVED IT!!! As I said earlier, If it were not for these "Pioneers", there would be no Denzel Washington's, Samuel L.Jackson's, Morgan Freeman's, James Earl Jones's, or Sidney Poitiers on the Big Screen today.

16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Historical, Informative, & Interesting., 30 December 2003

I enjoyed the manner in which Mr. George Kirby set the whole thing up with some historical information. I further enjoyed the old footage from various shows. It further told a little bit about each actor i.e. Alvin Childress(Amos), Spencer Williams Jr. (Andy), Tim Moore (Kingfish), Ernestine Wade (Sapphire), Amanda Randolph (Mama), Johnny Lee (Calhoun), Nick O'Demus (Lghtnin), Lillian Randolph (Madame Queen).

The important thing that I learned was that these actors were extremly popular & they were the "pioneers" that made it possible for Black actors/actresses to gain future roles of great significance. It's clear in my mind that had it not been for this show & the opportunities it gave to African-American Actors for steady employment really makes me feel good.

Two White Men had a vision & they took it & ran with it. It worked & Gosden and Correll became millionaires. There's no reason why some Black people can't accomplish the same feat for themselves.

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Good Show that provided good "role model" images., 24 December 2003

As an African-American I really enjoyed "The Bill Cosby Show" primarily because of the image that "Chet Kincaid" portrayed which was a very positive one. The character was well respected in both the School as well as the Community he lived in. He was always giving some advice or helping some youngster with a school or social problem. He was also well respected by his co-workers on the Teaching Staff at the School. He & Joyce Bulifant always seemed to get along together in their exchanges of dialogue together. It was a good feeling for me to see an African-american Actor such as Mr. Cosby play a role that was not that same old "Run of the mill" Stereo-typical Black Man.

This show came at at a time when African-American Actors were trying to get more meaningful roles that would send a much more powerful & positive image to the viewers.

This show was able to accomplish that & for that reason, It should be commended.