This is my favorite of the Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier trilogy from the 70’s. The chemistry between these two is fantastic.
Cosby and Poitier are friends and lodge brothers who are trying to save their lodge from demolition. They decide to take the meager building fund and place bets on a boxing match. The catch? The fighter they are going to bet on is a 5 to 1 underdog, and a hapless Jimmie Walker. Walker keeps getting knocked out by his sparring partners! How do they hope to win? Hypnosis!
The actors are all first rate and there is fun all around. These films were a nice contrast to the “Blaxploitation” films of the 70’s, as they provided more positive roles for many black actors. John Amos and Calvin Lockhart are rival gangsters who take the bets and then go after Cosby and Poitier. Denise Nicholas shines as Cosby’s wife and the always great Ossie Davis is the leader of the lodge.
Fans of the Cosby Show may be surprised by Cosby in these films. There is a great scene where Cosby and Nicholas engage in a bit of “dirty” talk in a restaurant. This is not Cliff and Claire Huxtable!
Poitier directed these films and shows great ability. The scenes are staged well and the shots are never dull. It’s a shame he didn’t direct more.
This film is worth it, if only for the scenes of Cosby trying to pass himself off as a gangster. His outfit has to be seen to be believed. Check this and Uptown Saturday Night and A Piece of the Action sometime.