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A Piece of the Action (1977)

2:08 | Trailer
A retired Chicago cop blackmails two rich thieves to "volunteer" helping juvenile delinquents change paths.


Sidney Poitier


Charles Blackwell (screenplay by), Timothy March (story by)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Manny Durrell
Bill Cosby ... Dave Anderson
James Earl Jones ... Joshua Burke
Denise Nicholas ... Lila French
Hope Clarke Hope Clarke ... Sarah Thomas
Tracy Reed ... Nikki McLean
Titos Vandis ... Bruno
Frances Foster Frances Foster ... Bea Quitman
Jason Evers ... Ty Shorter
Marc Lawrence ... Louie
Ja'net DuBois ... Nellie Bond (as Ja'net Du Bois)
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Barbara Hanley
Edward Love Edward Love ... Willie Mangum
Ernest Thomas ... John
Bryan O'Dell Bryan O'Dell ... Roscoe


Dave Anderson and Manny Durrell are two high-class sneak thieves who have never been caught. Joshua Burke is a retired detective who has enough evidence on the both of them to put them behind bars. Instead, he offers to maintain his silence if the crooks will go straight and do work at a youth center for delinquents. At first, the crooks are reluctant and unwilling (and so are the kids). As time goes by they gain the trust and admiration of the kids and they start to enjoy the job. All goes well until someone out of the past tells them they have to do one last heist...or else. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A delightfully delicious dilemma!


Crime | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This marks the third time Sidney Poitier directed Bill Cosby, after Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Let's Do It Again (1975). See more »


(at around 39 mins) The position of Manny's hand changes between shots. See more »


Manny Durrell: A job is like a ball team. You don't have to like everybody you play with but you play with them because the only way you'll get your piece of the action, your championship ring, is...
student: ...for everybody to get one!
Manny Durrell: That's what winning is - getting your piece of the action.
See more »


Edited into Afro Promo (1997) See more »


Chocolate City
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Mavis Staples
See more »

User Reviews

Cosby/Portier 3
5 June 2019 | by view_and_reviewSee all my reviews

Cosby and Portier team up for a third time. This time they are successful criminals that have done very well for themselves... but it didn't go unnoticed. In fact, they are blackmailed into helping underserved youth as a means of atonement.

Just like Uptown Saturday Night and Let's Do it Again, this was also cleverly written. In fact this movie was probably better than the prior movies in that there was an element of positivity in it. The challenge of helping the group of young African-Americans looking for employment was a nice positive feature. They took the challenge-with little choice in the matter-and were very creative in motivating the youth towards something different and better than what they were upon. This movie was as inspiring as it was fun.

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Release Date:

27 February 1978 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A Piece of the Action See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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