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Buck and the Preacher (1972)

A wagon master and a con-man preacher help freed slaves dogged by cheap-labor agents out West.

Directors:

Sidney Poitier, Joseph Sargent (uncredited)

Writers:

Ernest Kinoy (screenplay), Ernest Kinoy (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Buck
Harry Belafonte ... Preacher
Ruby Dee ... Ruth
Cameron Mitchell ... Deshay
Denny Miller ... Floyd
Nita Talbot ... Madam Esther
John Kelly John Kelly ... Sheriff
Tony Brubaker ... Headman
Bobby Johnson Bobby Johnson ... Man Who is Shot
James McEachin ... Kingston
Clarence Muse ... Cudjo
Lynn Hamilton ... Sarah
Doug Johnson Doug Johnson ... Sam
Errol John Errol John ... Joshua
Kenneth Menard Kenneth Menard ... Little Henry (as Ken Menard)
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Storyline

After the American Civil War, many freed slaves head out West in search of free land and a better life. Former slave and Union Army sergeant Buck becomes a self-employed wagon master to wagon trains of freed slaves heading West. Buck knows the region well and he charges fair wages from the wagon trains employing him. He also has a working relationship with the local Indian tribes that charge trespassing fees from the wagon trains heading West across Indian lands. In return, they allow the settlers to move across Indian territory unhindered and to hunt a few buffalo needed to feed the wagon train settlers. However, not everyone in the region is friendly toward the black settlers traveling West. Owners of Southern plantations, dismayed by the loss of slave manpower that previously worked the plantations for free, hire band of white rogues and outlaws to prevent former black slaves from going West. In order to achieve this aim, the hired bands of rogues attack wagon trains and destroy ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They'll take on the guns of the whole damned West after they take on each other See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1972 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Weg der Verdammten See more »

Filming Locations:

Marysville, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Poitier's third directorial effort Uptown Saturday Night (1974), in which he also co-starred like this film, also had Harry Belafonte as part of the cast. See more »

Goofs

When Buck ate part of Belafonte's rabbit, the meat was white. Wild rabbits don't have white meat, only dark. See more »

Quotes

The Preacher: Buck, you're just one man.
Buck: But I gave them my word.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The Civil War was over and by law the slaves were freed. But when the promise of land and freedom was not honored, many ex-slaves journeyed out of the land of bondage in search of new frontiers where they could be free at last.

They placed their hopes in the hands of the few black wagonmasters that knew the territories of the West.

None of this came easy, for for not only did they have to overcome a hostile wilderness, but nightriders and bounty hunters were hired by persons unknown to hunt them down and turn them back to the fields.

This picture is dedicated to those men, women and children who lie in graves as unmarked as their place in history. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poitier plays a wagonmaster who never gives up.
11 August 2004 | by GoatPodaSee all my reviews

Poitier plays Buck, one of few blacks who are qualified to be wagonmasters. It is after the Civil War and he is helping escort former slaves into the west. This is not an easy task. They face nature, bounty hunters, racist settlers, robbers, and Indians. The movie is brutally honest with the hatred that these brave men and women faced, but the film has a strong sense of hope. They are not quitters, they raise money workers for sharecroppers along the way. Harry Belafonte has the most colorful role as The Preacher - a reformed thief who befriends Buck when given no one else to trust. The movie is bleak, yet hopeful, well-acted, and exciting. It deserves to be remembered with the best of westerns from that era. Much more historical importance than its predecessor, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" with its sappy, happiness and handsome boy wonders. And Poitier rivals George Roy Hill as a director any day. Cool folksy-jazz score. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a fresh, historical angle with their westerns.


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