|Title:||Uptown Saturday Night|
|03.02.07||Internet|| I'm ending my sort-of series of blaxploitation movies tonight with a triple feature of Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby movies: Uptown Saturday Night, Let's Do It Again, and A Piece of the Action. I've heard all three of these are good if not great and I'm excited to see them all for the first time.|
I guess Bill Cosby's more or less a joke nowadays but back in the 70s he was still cool for sure. Here, he's sporting a beard just as bushy as his afro playing a cab driver and friend to Sidney Poitier's working-class dude. To celebrate Poitier's vacation, Cosby persuades his buddy to go uptown to Zenobia's, a hot after-hours club that they can't really afford but what the hell. They get there, start having a good time, start winning some money at the craps table, then the place is held up. Cut to the next day when Poitier, glancing at the paper after dozing through the church sermon, finds out that he's won 50 grand in the lottery. Just one problem: his ticket's in his wallet which was stolen last night. And off they go.
I really liked this movie because it was a comedy. They deal with local gangsters and there are still gunfights and elements of danger and violence, but it's all pretty light. Harry Belafonte does his best Brando Godfather impression as the Mr. Big-type and mostly it's just two guys trying to get a wallet back, getting caught up in hijinx and whatnot along the way. Poitier and Cosby have obvious chemistry together on-screen and really carry a lot of the physical humor in their mannerisms and behavoir. Especially the scene where Cosby roughs up the guy at the bar and a little later when they're being dragged outside to be killed. Sounds weird to say it but funny stuff.
I liked this one on the same type of level as Cotton Comes to Harlem. It's a really solid good movie that's also made for black people. It doesn't feel exploitive at all... just funny.