Saturday, July 21, 2012
Take a Giant Step (1960)
Johnny Nash (the 'See Clearly' singer, above) plays a typical a-hole of a teen. He adores and talks smack to his grandmother (the typical ride-or-die grammie who later dies, which messes his head up). He finds he only has one real friend (who is not part of the gang of 'nice White kids' at school that the mother tries so hard to appease). His father is a stuffy bank teller (my Grammie can tell you this was a big deal back in this period when she worked at BofA in the 50/60s).
After being kicked out of school for speaking out against a teacher/smoking in the bathroom, he sets out into the world only to end up at the local bar when he meets 4 pros.
He finds that one who looks the most like Dorothy Dandridge has too many issues after a proposal of courtship/marriage.
Then he ends up at one pro's place with rent issues and not much to eat in her kitchen. Getting the hell out of there means paying her a toll charge of $2.83 ($7.17 more to go!).
So this leaves a gorgeous Ruby Dee that plays the family maid. And it turns out that all of his pent-up frustration just means that he's horny - and naive.
Since Mrs Ossie Davis isn't trying to mess up her money or catch a case, she leaves shortly after he proposes a booty call arrangement since he confesses to being a virgin to her.
Anyway, I'm going into some detail because this does drag a little but it's not a bad movie at all. General descriptions read something like "Black teen tries to adjust in White neighborhood". I think coming-of-age tale is a better fit.