Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 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? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 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...

Talking About 'Honky'

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act June 21, 2013 at 12:08PM

So anyone who regularly reads S & A knows all too well that whenever a film or TV show that deals with interracial relationship comes up, for example, the recent Cheerios commercial or the Anchorman 2 trailer, it really gets a lot of people all riled up (or perhaps, more accurately, turned on).
3
Honky 1971

So anyone who regularly reads S & A knows all too well that whenever a film or TV show that deals with interracial relationship comes up, for example, the recent Cheerios commercial or the Anchorman 2 trailer, it really gets a lot of people all riled up (or perhaps, more accurately, turned on).

Even the recent Anchorman post caused one of our regular readers to even post a long list that dealt with an interracial coupling between a black woman and white guy that he could think of.

However, he forgot a major one, which may not be surprising since it most likely came out before he was born, and it hasn’t really been seen or even made available for decades. But it was something of a minor sensation when it first came out in the fall of 1971.

I'm talking about to Honky starring Brenda Sykes. John Neilson and William Marshall.

The film was an independently produced and distributed film, which probably, due to its touchy subject matter, no major Hollywood studio would pick it up for distribution. It was directed by William Graham, who had an over 40-year career directing TV network episodes and TV movies. Honky was one of the few theatrical films that he directed, and, not surprisingly, it’s efficiently done and solidly performed, although it has no real distinctive flavor to it.

True, in watching the film today, it may seem very corny at times and quite dated, but keep in mind it is very much a product of its time and reflective of the tenor of the times with its strong anti-establishment message, back when there were student protests against the Vietnam War and urban riots seemingly every week.

The film deals with, of course, an interracial relationship between two high schoolers, Sykes (who I think was one of the most gorgeous women in films at the time and better known as Perry King’s slave mistress in Mandingo) and Neilson, whose character’s nickname in the film is Honky.

The flip on the concept is that it’s Sykes who comes from a well-to-do successful family while Neilson comes from a poor, dysfunctional one, instead of the more obvious way around.

Of course their relationship brings out all sorts of anger and resentment from people, and the lovebirds eventually decide to run off together to California in the hopes of finding a better life without harassment.

The unexpected twist however, is the final climax. Unlike the accepted “peace and love and why can’t we all get along for a hopeful future” ending, the film ends shockingly and brutally, which stunned audiences at the time. No matter where they go, the ugly specter of hatred and racism would always find them

Years ago the film was available on VHS, but it’s never been released on DVD. But despite that, over the past few years, the film has begun to develop something of a minor cult following. 

It is worth watching, especially from the perspective and attitudes from 40 years ago and with the knowledge that, in many ways, things haven’t changed that much during all this time.

Here’s the trailer:


Shadow & ActNewsletter