BUCK AND THE PREACHER
Director: Sidney Poitier Run Time: 102 min. Release Year: 1972
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Denny Miller, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier
With his rousingly entertaining directorial debut, Sidney Poitier, alongside actor-producer Harry Belafonte, helped rewrite the history of the western, bringing Black heroes to a genre in which they had always been sorely underrepresented. Combining boisterous buddy comedy with blistering, Black Power–era political fury, Poitier and a marvelously mischievous Belafonte star as a tough and taciturn wagon master and an unscrupulous, pistol-packing “preacher,” who join forces in order to take on the white bounty hunters threatening a westward-bound caravan of people recently emancipated from slavery. A superbly crafted revisionist landmark, Buck and the Preacher subverts Hollywood conventions at every turn and reclaims the western genre in the name of Black liberation.