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Assassin Movies Starring Black Actors... w/ Geoffrey Fletcher's 'Violet & Daisy' Opening This Weekend

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 6, 2013 11:57 AM
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Forest Whitaker, "Ghost Dog"
Forest Whitaker, "Ghost Dog"

In consideration of tomorrow's long-awaited theatrical opening of Geoffrey Fletcher's teen assassin thriller, Violet & Daisy (also his feature film directorial debut), for the fun of it, with your assistance, I thought I'd come up with a list of previous assassin movies starring black actors (even though Violet & Daisy doesn't star black actors). 

Needless to say, pickings are slim with this criteria, which speaks to the already-addressed overall lack of variety in the kinds of roles and projects that black actors are considered for (especially within the studio system).

But here's what I could come up with:

1 - Forest Whitaker in Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Whitaker plays a hitman in the employ of the Mafia, who follows the ancient code of the samurai. The film is a homage to Jean-Pierre Melville's 1967 film Le Samouraï.

2 - Zoe Saldana in the Luc Besson-produced Colombiana. Zoe as Cataleya, who seeks revenge, after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child, becoming a hitwoman in the process.

3 - Another Jarmusch film - The Limits of Control, starring Isaach De Bankolé as a lone wolf assassin, carrying out a job in Spain.

4 - Another Forest Whitaker film - Diary Of A Hitman, which sees Whitaker star as a hitman named Dekker, on his last job to kill the wife of his client, but he starts to reconsider. 

5 - The Manchurian Candidate - Denzel Washington stars as Bennett Marco, a war veteran brainwashed into assassinating the newly-elected president. Jeffrey Wright makes a brief but powerful cameo.

6 - Shadowboxer - Lee Daniels' bizarre, but oddly captivating genre mash, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren as stepmother and son, who also happen to be lovers, as well as contract killers.

That's all I've got folks! Whitaker and Jarmusch dominate! Who'da thunk it?

And unfortunately for Violet & Daisy, any of the above six films are better weekend viewing choices than Fletcher's.

But feel free to add to the above list which I'm sure many will appreciate - films to add to this weekend's to-watch list - assuming you haven't already seen all the titles mentioned (or that will be mentioned by others).

Dig in...

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  • hiveship99 | June 9, 2013 6:01 AMReply

    I was with Forrest in his Samurai days even when others had given up hope. So glad I was vindicated.

  • Leon Breckenridge | June 7, 2013 11:25 AMReply

    This is about two white girls....with the tone of the Movie The Killers.

  • Richard | June 6, 2013 11:32 PMReply

    Left out 1 of my 2 favorites, "The Limits of Control" and "Smokin' Aces"
    If "Manchurian" counts, then does "Pulp Fiction"?
    Not a movie but But i would slip into depression if i didn't mention "The Wire" when given half the chance

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 6, 2013 11:41 PM

    Brother Mouzone?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 6, 2013 9:23 PMReply

    I own "Ghost Dog" and the book that inspired it -- The Hagakure. Everything about that movie -- from the quotes to the soundtrack to the crude, homemade silencers -- makes it a classic (and my favorite Jarmusch film).

    "Limits" lacked the narrative thrust of, say, "The American". I see them as similar films, but "Limits" is just a bit too meditative and slowly-paced. And the payoff leaves you... dissatisfied. [Neat factoid: My mother worked with Jane Jarmusch, Jim's sister, at the Dallas Times Herald when I was a kid.]

    "Colombiana" sucked. Nuff said.

    "Machurian" was all right -- but I prefer the original.

    I just love "Shadowboxer" because I'm into Helen Mirren. Have you ever seen "Caligula?" That woman is all in for whatever she does.

    I've never seen "Diary of a Hitman," but now I plan to.

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