• tokyo5

    ★★★½ Watched by tokyo5 22 Aug, 2015

    In 1944, a black U.S. soldier is murdered just off-base in segregated Louisiana. The lead investigator is a black Army officer sent in by Washington DC who meets resistance as he tries to find the murderer(s).


  • Not Dave Kehr

    Added by Not Dave Kehr

    Norman Jewison recycles elements of his Academy Award-winning In the Heat of the Night for this didactic drama welded to a thriller format. The sadistic sergeant of a black platoon is murdered at a Georgia army base during World War II; a black officer (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) is sent to investigate, and encounters what appears to be a racist cover-up. Jewison's lack of interest in developing anything other than his rather debatable ideological point (somehow, it appears, this uppity…


  • James Wade

    ★★★½ Watched by James Wade 13 May, 2015

    I've never seen Adolph Caesar before and wow! He's fantastic in this movie. It's great to watch him and Denzel verbally go head to head in a particularly charged scene and his character offered a sad perspective on race relations.

    The white characters' racism seems a bit cartoonish at times (though maybe that's accurate to the times), but it's an interesting story and, having been adapted from a play, gives the characters a lot of room to interact and plays out slowly and deliberately.


  • Frankie_L4_87

    ★★★½ Added by Frankie_L4_87

    An African American soldier, drunk on leave, is murdered in mid 1940s Louisiana... Norman Jewison (a good director) is a safe pair of hands and does a good job with a simple but effective plot. The cast is good and it uses it's southern setting well. Worth digging out for anybody interested in America's race history, the south or it's notorious Jim Crow segregation laws. Also worth noting it has a score by Herbie Hancock.


  • Mynt Marsellus

    ★★★★ Watched by Mynt Marsellus 24 Apr, 2015

    This is a well made detective story with interesting political implications that don't often get dealt with. It takes white racism as a given and prefers to explore the intricacies of race dynamics from within the black community. Its not a great film, Norman Jewison isn't capable of making a truly great film, he softens his content too much. But it is a very good film, featuring three excellent core performances and a whole whack of great supporting roles.


  • Podcasting's Brock

    ★★★ Watched by Podcasting's Brock 27 Mar, 2015

    The early supporting movie role for Denzel Washington is why I watched this 1984 Best Picture nominee, and Denzel's trademark presence is here to spare in his pivotal few scenes.

    The late Howard Rollins was quite the respected actor in his own right, but while watching him I couldn't help but think what Denzel would have done with his role. In addition to Washington, Art Evans and David Alan Grier were welcome surprises to see in the supporting cast.



  • Gregory Sahadachny

    ★★★½ Watched by Gregory Sahadachny 13 Feb, 2015

    a milestone black prestige picture that really started an era of Oscar-bait cultural examination. great cast all around. Caesar is amazing. the story of external and internal racism still feels fresh and prescient. but many elements date the film, including the music and Jewison's overly compassionate movie-of-the-week style.


  • lisadoris

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by lisadoris 03 Feb, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I am not a fan of war films but what sets this film apart is the fact that it's actually a film about war. Yes the film takes place during World War II and the prospect of actually fighting in the war is foremost in the minds of the black soldiers we are following. These are men who enlisted but because the armed forces were segregated and not particularly welcoming toward black folks at the time, the men were restricted…


  • M.D. Perkins

    ★★★★ Watched by M.D. Perkins 17 Aug, 2014

    Despite a few frustrating aesthetic decisions (that awful score!), Jewison mostly stands back and let's the material and the performances carry the film with limited interference. As the film unravels the mystery, the complex inner dialogue on race is teased out and what begins in typically simplistic fashion has moved to a very human point by the end.


  • Matt Conti

    Watched by Matt Conti 16 Jun, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Decent socially conscious procedural. Made in the vein of Jewison's own In the Heat of the Night except in that the racism is the center of the investigation instead of the conflict impeding it. Not sure I can talk much about this film without going into spoilers, but it is worth watching.


  • TJ Duane

    ★★½ Watched by TJ Duane 14 May, 2014

    Firstly, I need to say that Adolph Caesar and his character, Waters, is a fascinating at self-hate and self-identified-racial hate. His character is frightening, intense, and completely memorable. His arc is a bit on the nose, but every moment he is in this film is at least vaguely interesting. Denzel Washington, in a very early role, is also strong here.

    Literally everything is a tonal mess that is both disinteresting and noticeably low budget. This was a film Jewison struggled…


  • washington

    ★★★★½ Watched by washington 02 May, 2014

    With all sincerity this couldn't be a more perfect Martin Ritt film had the man himself made it. The movie itself is a pretty basic chamber mystery with a cool enigma opening all of the wounds that could have lead to the killing. That that wound is a racial one is incidental to the point of being quietly essential. It's such an unassuming and natural way to delve into these problems that its a shame it isn't the usual way…