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Joshua (1976)

R | | Drama, Western | 1 March 1977 (USA)
A black soldier returns from fighting for the Union in the Civil War only to find out that his mother has been murdered by a gang of white thugs. He becomes a bounty hunter, determined to track down and kill the men who killed his mother.


(as Larry Spangler)


(story and screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
... Joshua
... Jed (as Calvin Bartlett)
Brenda Venus ... Sam's Wife
... Mexican Woman
Bud Stout ... Rex (as Budd Stout)
... Sam
Ralph Willingham ... Weasle
Kathryn Jackson ... Martha, Josh's Mom


A black soldier returns from fighting for the Union in the Civil War only to find out that his mother has been murdered by a gang of white thugs. He becomes a bounty hunter, determined to track down and kill the men who killed his mother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Rider  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joshua: Five? I killed nearly twice that many in the war.
See more »


Featured in Western Outlaws: 50 Movie MegaPack (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Not very well made... or presented
25 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

I remember seeing this movie years ago, and my memories of it were that it was a pretty decent western. So when I got the chance to see it again I took the opportunity. Sadly, time had faded the negative things about this movie.

To be sure, there are a few positive things I can say. Williamson is an imposing figure, dressed in black. The scenery, often covered in packs of snow, is impressive. Combining the scenery with the musical score makes for some haunting sequences.

But most of the movie doesn't work. To begin with, the characters. Williamson's character isn't well developed; he doesn't have that many chances to speak, or have an opportunity to make a character. The bad guys are even thinner characters, all of them seemingly alike.

There is also a lot of poor direction. Take the scene with the rattlesnake, for instance. There should be some tension and suspense with such a deadly animal, but there is NO feeling at all! It's presented in the dullest way possible, a feeling that keeps coming up in the rest of the movie.

Although some of the music is haunting, the low budget of the movie means that the same bars of music are played over and over, which becomes annoying. But a bigger problem (and the main problem I had with the movie) is that this movie is VERY slow and padded. Although it runs only about 82 minutes, a good chunk of this could easily been taken out with a snappier pace and some wise editing. Though this would probably resulted in a running time not qualifying for a feature-length movie.

One last thing I would like to bring up: The pan-and-scanning of this widescreen movie is TERRIBLE. You can't properly read the opening and closing credits, and when there is more than one character on screen, one of them is often cut off (sometimes ALL of the characters are chopped offscreen!) This movie needs to be seen in its full widescreen glory, but since the movie is now in the public domain, it seems very unlikely anyone would spend the expense to release this movie on DVD restored.

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