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 ...
In 1939, to laugh, you listened to the radio, to cry, you went to the movies, for excitement, you went to the ballgame. But if you wanted all three, there was only Bingo Long.
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Did You Know?
In the newsreel that opens the movie, Leon Carter's team is identified as the Baltimore Elite ("e-leet") Giants. A team by that name existed, but its name was pronounced "e-light." See more
Leon Carter, All-Star
[after Esquire Joe bowls him over with a slide at the plate
Say, boy - does you do this constantly?
Esquire Joe Callaway, All-Star
No, suh. I does it all the time.
The movie begins with an older version of the Universal Studios logo, as part of the opening news reel. See more
Edited into Afro Promo
Music by William Goldstein
Lyrics by Ronald Miller
Performed by Thelma Houston See more