Buck and Preacher Pittsburgh Courier 060372
'Buck and Preacher one of filmland's best By HAZEL GARLAND (Entertainment Editor) PITTSBURGH Just when I had come to the con - elusion that I would have to wait until the sequel to "Shaft" or "Cotton Comes to Harlem" appeared here before before seeing a good black film again, "Buck and the Preacher" Preacher" shows up. Sidney Poitier, who won an Academy Award for his acting in "The Lilies of the Field," then went on to become become a "super star" as one of filmland's biggest box office office attractions, makes his debut as a movie director in "Buck and the Preacher" in addition to sharing star billing billing with long - time friend and fellow actor Harry Bela - fonte. Belafonte plays the "Preacher" to Poi tier's "Buck" and the two, assisted . by an excellent supporting cast co - starring Ruby Dee and Cameron Mitchell, come up with one of the best films ever made. The excellent movie says for blacks what "Fiddler on the Roof" says for Jew s. Only difference is one is a musical while the other is pure drama. While whites might find the movie entertaining, it is one that blacks for the first time can really relate to. The movie, movie, as Poitier and Belafonte said during an interview on the television show "Soul," represents a "statement." Columbia Pictures gave them $2 - million to make the historically historically factual film. The two "super stars" made the film to show that blacks played a major role in building up the West. The part that blacks played has been excluded from history books but the film brings it all to light. After the Civil War as most of us recall, the slaves were promised their freedom freedom along with 40 acres and a mule. Although the law giving them their freedom was enacted, there were some former slave owners who were reluctant to let them go. Poitier plays "Buck" a wagon master who had served as a scout during the war between the states. While leading a wagon train of slaves West, he meets up with Belafoonte who plays an itinerant "preacher" out to fleece any and everyone, black and white. While scheming of a way to get the money away I r o m Buck's passengers, a group of night riders led by Cameron Cameron Mitchell, loot, rape and burn the slaves' wagons hi an effort to frighten them( into returning to Louisiana. That's when Belafonte decides decides to join the former slaves. It's an exciting film and as stated before, has an excellent excellent cast. Ruby Dee, one of the most underrated actresses, actresses, is simply superb. was surprised to find Julie Belafonte doing a more than adequate job as an Indian who helps the blacks. Veteran Veteran actor Clarence Muse is as expected, very good too. There is lots of gunfire and action with horses and Indians Indians to keep up the excitement. excitement. While there is of a necessity a certain amount of violence because of the era, there is no vulgarity and unnecessary nudity, as found in so many of the black films. A movie the entire family can enjoy, "Buck and tiM Preacher" is a MUST for youngsters because of its historical value.