MOVIE REVIEW: Five on the Black Hand Side 1973
The Brooks family is preparing for the upcoming wedding of only daughter Gail (Bonnie Banfield). Gail and her fiance' Marvin (Carl Franklin) have decided they will buck tradition and have an African-themed wedding, much to her parent's disapproval. Mrs. Brooks (Clarice Taylor) is having an epiphany of her own because of her husband's old-fashioned ways. He refers to her as "Mrs. Brooks", refuses to let her change her hair and will not let her hold a job. Mr. Brooks (Leonard Jackson) is a very uptight cat in every respect, preferring to wear suits every day to his job as a barber. Mrs. Brooks, with help from her modern girlfriends, plans a "protest" against her husband until he compromises. Meanwhile the Brooks' brothers are having their own crisis. The eldest brother Booker T. feels that he no longer relates to Black women and announces to his family that he will date White women only. This is horrible news to his pro-Black younger brother Gideon (Glynn Turman). Gideon is a militant young man who lives on the family's roof, talks back to his parents, and has not yet figured out what his life goals are. All the family pressure is very upsetting to daughter Gail. Will Gail cancel her big day or will she and Marvin continue with their African fantasy wedding? No more spoilers from me y'all!
This film was a great departure from the Blaxploitation that was a major part of the 70's Black movie experience. It depicts a strong Black family dealing with issues that were relevant at that time period. Several Black actors who later became famous for other roles graced this film, Clarice Taylor from the Cosby Show, Glynn Turman of A Different World, and Ja'Net DuBois, who was later Wilona of Good Times. Carl Franklin who played the role of Marvin went on to direct two Denzel Washington films, Devil In a Blue Dress and Out of Time respectively. Leonard Jackson, who played the role of Mr. Brooks was hilarious! His facial expressions were priceless..he reminded me of William Powell's character in the film Life With Father. The scenes from Mr. Brooks' barbershop are great as well. The patrons are a hoot, especially the pimp who has some of the funniest lines in the movie. This film is a great time capsule of the 1970's and a great film to watch with the entire family.
VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps
Labels: Movie Reviews