Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amazing Grace (1974)/Good Fences

For those who are too young to remember the great Moms Mabley ("That man was so ugly, it hurt my feelings."), this film debut is not her best vehicle but it would be her last before passing on the following year. However, this brand of humor is rare in AA/Black cinema and I'd recommend it for anyone who looking for more something a little more cerebral or just tired of the 'Yo Mama' jokes.

The late Moses Gunn plays a pawn in a political race with Rosalind Cash as his wife and Ms. Mabley and Slappy White play their snoopy neighbors. Butterfly McQueen and Steppin Fechit makes appearances as well.


Black to the Present (Somewhat)

Last weekend,  TV One presented Good Fences, an original Showtime movie from 2003 starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover.  This time, instead of fighting spouses (like in The Color Purple), they reunite in the 1970s as part of middle-class family that gets an address upgrade due to a high-profile case handled by sellout lawyer Tom Spader (Glover).  Once settled in Greenwich, CT they never quite fit in as the lone black family in the neighborhood but the stereotypes here are both funny and sad.  In the TV trailer, you get the impression that it's MOniques movie but her appearances are not only in the last half of the movie but seldom.  I must say it was one of the few roles she's done where I don't despise the character.

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