7.7/10
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18 user 28 critic

Wattstax (1973)

Documentary covering a Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival with performances by Stax Records artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staples Singers, and more.

Director:

Mel Stuart

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
The Dramatics The Dramatics ... Themselves
The Staple Singers The Staple Singers ... Themselves
Kim Weston Kim Weston ... Herself
Jimmy Jones Jimmy Jones ... Himself
Rance Allen Rance Allen ... Himself
The Emotions The Emotions ... Themselves
William Bell William Bell ... Himself
Louise McCord Louise McCord ... Herself
Debra Manning Debra Manning ... Herself
Eric Mercury Eric Mercury ... Himself
Freddy Robinson Freddy Robinson ... Himself
Lee Sain Lee Sain ... Himself
Ernie Hines Ernie Hines ... Himself
Sonny Warner Sonny Warner ... Himself (as Little Sonny Warner)
The Newcomers The Newcomers ... Themselves
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Storyline

Documentary with a selection from a non-stop 7-hour musical event at Watts, the Los Angeles Coliseum, August 20, 1972. It's a sort of Woodstock event but with black artists, namely the groups Dramatics, Staple Singers, Rance Allen Group, Emotions, Bar Kays, Mel & Tim. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Laugh! Cry! Sing! Hear! Feel! Dance! Shout! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1973 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Sort på hvidt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Dolby Digital (re-release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally The Bar-Kays were going to enter the L.A. Coliseum riding in horse-drawn chariots. However, when the executives of Stax Records heard what the group had planned they ordered them not to do it. It turned out that the reason they didn't want the group to do it was so that they wouldn't upstage the concert's headliner, Isaac Hayes. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2003 restoration includes the original ending; Isaac Hayes performing the songs "Theme From Shaft" and "Soulsville", which were removed from the film following the 1973 Los Angeles premiere due to the threat of a lawsuit from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) over the use of those songs in a motion picture. The replacement ending, Isaac Hayes performing "Rolling Down A Mountainside" (recorded on a Los Angeles soundstage months after the concert) has been removed and is included as extra material on the 2003 DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

We The People
Written by Chuck Brown and John Buchanan
Performed by The Staple Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please Release This On DVD
18 January 2003 | by Deceptikon225See all my reviews

I found this gem of a documentary on black culture in the early '70's one night on cable in '98 and was blown away. Having been born in 1972 and growing up in that era it warmed my heart to listen to people talk about what they loved about our culture and to be reminded of how we took care of ourselves and each other back in the day. That is something that is terribly lacking in all communities today. And the musical performances were nothing short of spectacular. Watching the Emotions rendition of "Peace Be Still", I'm not ashamed to say, brought tears to this big ol' Southern boy's eyes, I also enjoyed the late great Rufus Thomas' renditions of "Breakdown" and "Do the Funky Chicken" and the singing of the black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as they showed the audience filing into the stadium. I recorded it onto VHS the next time it came on and treasured it like the Hope Diamond, but a few months later the tape popped and I have never been able to find it anywhere else since. So I say to the producers of this great film, if you are reading this message, please do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and release this classic on VHS/DVD.


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