Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Bill Cosby's Unlikely Tough Guy, Dramatic Role In His Feature Film Debut 'Man And Boy'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 11, 2013 at 3:33PM

Bill Cosby's Unlikely Tough Guy, Dramatic Role In His Feature Film Debut 'Man And Boy'
1
Man & Boy

As conversations about Slavery/Civil War/Post-Civil War/Western films and TV shows continue through 2013... remembering one that is maybe most memorable because it was Bill Cosby's first big screen role. But also because it gave us a Bill Cosby that we rarely get to see on screen, far from the comedic sire that most of us have come to know and love him as, but instead in a true dramatic tough guy role - 1971's Man And Boy

Prior to this, he was primarily a TV celeb. 

What we'd call a Western, occurring just after the Civil War, Cosby plays Caleb Revers, a man with a family (wife and son, played well by Gloria Foster and George Spell), whom he must protect from racist whites determined to scare them off their newly acquired homestead. But Caleb refuses to be bullied; he's fearless, carrying a loaded rifle, and shoots with intent to kill, more than a few times; and he won't be belittled or condescended to.

It's part road movie, part father/son bonding drama, with the search for a stolen horse, and a man's pride at the center of it all, as well as a colorful cast of friends and foes along the way. 

There's even quite a fight scene between Cosby and Yapphet Kotto, an apparent long-time nemesis in the film. It's not like the well-choreographed sequence between Bourne and Desh in The Bourne Ultimatum; but, for its time, it's a good one.

It's the 19th century American west (the Arizona desert, specifically), where the most feared and most wanted man is black (how often does that happen?), and he goes by the name of Lee Christmas, played by Douglas Turner Ward, who's also pretty crafty and surgical with a gun.

Overall, certainly not a top-notch work, but a solid drama about family, that I thought was heartfelt, and mostly engaging, with good performances all around.

It was initially difficult to get past the Bill Cosby we've all come to know and love (or hate, depending on your POV) over the last 25 years; but once I was sold, I believed him as this man-on-a-mission to protect what's his, even if it means giving his own life in the process. 

He was definitely convincing.

There is some humor in the film as well, but it's limited. This is a serious affair. 

You'll find it on DVD; it's not streaming on Netflix unfortunately.

Here's the trailer, which doesn't really do the film justice:


Shadow & ActNewsletter