15 user 10 critic

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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sheryl Lee Ralph's film debut. See more »


When Manny lays back on the couch, the position of his right hand changes between shots. See more »


Dancer in the Disco: David Anderson, you haven't danced with me all night. Now, if you don't dance with me, I'm a gonna holler "Rape"!
Dave Anderson: Is that a request?
Dancer in the Disco: What, the rape or the dance?
Dave Anderson: Don't make no never mind to me.
See more »


Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »


'Til Blossoms Bloom
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Mavis Staples
See more »

User Reviews

Three times too many
25 February 2008 | by notlobg68See all my reviews

This film is the third and final installment of the fine collaboration between Poitier and Cosby. Unfourtuately,it suffers from the first two films being great comedies of their time, so comparison is inevitable. The movie fails because they've taken our two players out of their working class element and portrays one as a sophisticatated con man and the other as a high class thief. It also never explains how Police detective James Earl Jones'discovers them as either.Where the film works is with Poitier's interaction with the troubled youth in the classroom sequences. Some good young actors are on display here and Poitier seems right at home reminiscent of "to sir with love".But once again then the film regresses back to the caper portion of the film which is as bland as bleach. And Cosby, who was the comic catalyst in the previous films was nothing more than a shell of his former form. The films message is mostly positive, but it terms of big laughs. It falls short.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed