Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'  Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus' Finds a Distributor, Gets Release Date, Poster, Synopsis Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus' Finds a Distributor, Gets Release Date, Poster, Synopsis Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) 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