6.9/10
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The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

Tired of the slave-like treatment of his team's owner, charismatic star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes to the road with his band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930's.

Director:

John Badham

Writers:

William Brashler (based on the novel by), Hal Barwood (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Dee Williams ... Bingo Long (P)
James Earl Jones ... Leon Carter, All-Star (C)
Richard Pryor ... Charlie Snow, All-Star (RF)
Rico Dawson Rico Dawson ... Willie Lee Shively, All-Star (RF)
Sam 'Birmingham' Brison Sam 'Birmingham' Brison ... Louis Keystone - All-Star - SS (as 'Birmingham' Sam Brison)
Jophery C. Brown ... Emory 'Champ' Chambers, All-Star (3B) (as Jophery Brown)
Leon Wagner Leon Wagner ... Fat Sam Popper, All-Star (1B)
Tony Burton ... Issac, All-Star (CF)(C)
John McCurry John McCurry ... Walter Murchman, All-Star (LF)
Stan Shaw ... Esquire Joe Callaway, All-Star (CF)
Otis Day ... Rainbow, All-Star (bat boy) (as DeWayne Jessie)
Ted Ross ... Sallison 'Sallie' Potter, Owner of Ebony Aces
Mabel King ... Bertha Dewitt, Owner of Charcoal Kings
Sam Laws ... Henry Dunbar, Owner of Baltimore Elite Giants
Alvin Childress Alvin Childress ... Horace Quigley, Owner of Atlanta Black Crackers
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Storyline

Tired of being treated like a slave by team owner Sallison Potter (Ted Ross), charismatic star pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) steals a bunch of Negro League players away from their teams, including catcher/slugger Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) and Charlie Snow (Richard Pryor), a player forever scheming to break into the segregated Major League Baseball of the 1930s by masquerading as first a Cuban ("Carlos Nevada"), then a Native American ("Chief Takahoma"). They take to the road, barnstorming through small Midwestern towns, playing the local teams to make ends meet. One of the opposing players, 'Esquire' Joe Calloway (Stan Shaw), is so good that they recruit him. Bingo's team becomes so outlandishly entertaining and successful, it begins to cut into the attendance of the established Negro League teams. Finally, Bingo's nemesis Potter is forced to propose a winner-take-all game: if Bingo's team can beat a bunch of all-stars, it can join the league, but if it loses, the ... Written by SL

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Daring, Dangerous and Downright Dee-lightful! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bingo See more »

Filming Locations:

Monticello, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Director John Badham had grown-up in Birmingham, Alabama and knew of the Birmingham Black Barons and the White Birmingham Barons. Both were teams who shared the Rickwood playing field. See more »

Goofs

In the 9th inning of the game to decide the fate of the All-Stars, Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) hits a 3-run homer to win the game 3-2. Unfortunately, he stepped out of the batter's box and over the top of home plate to hit the ball because the other team was trying to intentionally walk him. Rule 6.06(a) states that a batter is out if he hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter's box. Leon should be out and the score should revert to 2-0. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Snow, All-Star (RF): We'll start with something easy, like batting averages. See, you take the number of times a man been at bat, and you divide that by the number of times a man got a hit. Like me, I been at bat a hundred times, I got twenty-five hits. That's simple, right? Twenty-five go into a hundred four times. Gives me a batting average of four!
[realizing]
Charlie Snow, All-Star (RF): That's wrong. That ain't no way to do that. What you gotta do is the number of times a man's been at bat and got a hit. Divide that by the number of times ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie begins with an older version of the Universal Studios logo, as part of the opening news reel. See more »

Connections

References The Lone Ranger (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Razzle Dazzle
Music by William Goldstein
Lyrics by Ronald Miller
Performed by Thelma Houston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Says a lot-but with humor
3 January 2010 | by howardeismanSee all my reviews

This film got great reviews when it came out, but I had to go to a African-American neighborhood theater to see it. That was only where it was being shown. It was not marketed for a general (prodominently white) audience. I believe that it has been overlooked since for the same reason: it is believed to be a movie about African-Americans which can be appreciated only by African-Americans.

This is far from the case. It is a movie about individuals trying to do the work they love while being frustrated by irrational human attitudes and biases. It is a movie about adapting to the perception that your world is changing and the change will be good for others, but not be good for you. It is as good a movie ever made about finding your goals and persisting in reaching them, even as the value of the goal recedes before you.

And it is hilarious. It is done with sly humor as well as laugh-out-loud wild humor.


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