A 12-year-old is traumatised by the murder of his friend, a star basketball player.

Director:

Joseph Manduke

Writers:

Ronald Fair (novel), Leonard Lamensdorf
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Moses Gunn ... Benjamin Blackwell
Rosalind Cash ... Sarah Robinson
Bernie Casey ... Officer Larry Atkins
Madge Sinclair ... Leona Hamilton
Jamaal Wilkes ... Nathaniel 'Cornbread' Hamilton (as Keith Wilkes)
Stefan Gierasch ... Sgt. Danaher
Charles Lampkin ... Fred Jenkins
Vince Martorano ... Officer John Golich
Logan Ramsey ... Deputy Coroner
Thalmus Rasulala ... Charlie
Antonio Fargas ... One-Eye
Laurence Fishburne ... Wilford Robinson (as Laurence Fishburne III)
Stack Pierce Stack Pierce ... Sam Hamilton
Tierre Turner ... Earl Carter
Bill Henderson ... Watkins
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Storyline

Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton was the black urban dream and a hero to youngsters Wilford Robinson and Earl Carter. Shortly before he would have become the first man from his community to go to college, he demonstrates his scholarship-winning running ability to his friends and admirers in the neighborhood. At the same time, the police are on a manhunt for an armed rapist. They mistake Cornbread for the rapist and shoot him dead in the street. In the aftermath of the community's shattered dream, and in the face of an intimidating police cover-up, Wilford is determined not to betray the memory of his hero. Written by SamBlob

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Had the Lightest Touch in a Heavy Town. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This blaxploitation film depicted the shooting and murder of an African American by law enforcement which has plagued the African American (and later the Hispanic community) along with racial injustice. (See also Sweet Sweetback's BaadAsss Song released a few years earlier.) Some researchers consider this film's plot similar to the real-life shooting and deaths of African Americans by law enforcement which the Black Lives Matter movement have exposed systemic racism when it concerns African American males and law enforcement - the shooting and death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 years after the film was released is deemed as life imitating art. See more »

Quotes

Wilford Robinson: ...they killed Cornbread and he wasn't doin nothin
[pause]
Wilford Robinson: all he was doin wuz jus goin' home...
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Connections

Referenced in Black-ish: Christmas in Theater Eight (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Wilford's Gone
Written by Donald Byrd
Performed by Donald Byrd with The Blackbyrds
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User Reviews

Early Comment on Racial Profiling
18 December 2000 | by hillariSee all my reviews

A kid witnesses the shooting death of the neighborhood basketball star. The basketball player had been mistaken by the police as a crime suspect. The kid is subjected to harrassment from the policement involved to keep quiet about what he knows. The cops even go so far as to intimidate his mother. This is an early film appearance of Lawrence Fishburne's. He was thirteen or fourteen when he did this movie. The always magnificent late Rosalind Cash plays his mother. The film makes a sharp comment about the conflicts people have with the very people who are supposed to be protecting them.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hit the Open Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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