Set in the Watts area of Los Angeles, a slaughterhouse worker must suspend his emotions to continue working at a job he finds repugnant, and then he finds he has little sensitivity for the family he works so hard to support.
An improvised late '60's short-subject student film, and debut movie of Director, Charles Burnett; done in the neo-realist, documentary film style. A day-in-the-life South Central L.A. tale... See full summary »
Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against influences which would dishonor and endanger him and his family.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
After Stan and his friend load the engine block on the truck, they drive away and it falls out, and a car is then seen parked along the curb. The car was not there when they carried the engine out. See more »
[to his older son]
You let anyone jump on your brother again, and you just stand and watch - boy, I'll beat you to death! I don't care who started what, or whether he was winnin' or losin'; well, you get a thick oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, a goddam brick, get *anything*, and you knock the shit out of whoever fightin' your brother! 'Cause if anything was to happen to me or your mother, you ain't got nobody except your brother. And this goes for him, too - and he knows! You're the one that keep ...
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I couldn't wait to see this movie when it came to town. I only read about it in magazines. I've never knowingly seen a movie before that has been declared a national treasury by the national film registry.
The first thing that stood out for me is the way the kids were playing. I pictured myself playing those games and wearing those clothes. The editing of the film is nothing like what happens in todays movies. Our attention span is much too short. There is a scene where two men are carrying an engine down a flight of stairs and into the back of a truck. The camera holds while the men struggle to carry it, pausing in mid-flight for a rest and then continuing on. This film is very real in the sense of how the neighborhoods looked back then and the struggles with money and staying on your feet. Even though I am not from the area, this film reminded me in some ways of how I grew up. I wasn't born yet when this film was in production.
My expectations were set very high for this film because of its previous awards. I started to wonder why it was selected for the national film registry. Possibly because it showed what the area looked like in the post-watts riot era, or was it a film that was created in the blaxploitation era but set itself apart from other films, or did it have to do with watching how kids grow up or how African-Americans were living at the time. I could be unfairly trying to compare this film with the movies that are block busters in our current time. Make sure you see this film.
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