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Poster for Buck and the Preacher (1972) 4K Restoration
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Buck and the Preacher (1972) 4K Restoration

Opens on April 21

Director: Sidney Poitier Run Time: 102 min. Release Year: 1972

Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Denny Miller, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

“The rediscovery of black American cinema continues with the rerelease of… a terrifically enjoyable western adventure bromance”

—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Widely regarded at the time of its release as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) with a social conscience, Buck and the Preacher (1972) is an immensely satisfying Western which marked Sidney Poitier’s directorial debut, as well as his first screen pairing with superstar Harry Belafonte.

Poitier stars as Buck, an ex-Union Army Cavalry sergeant who becomes a scout for freed slaves heading to the Colorado frontier. Tagging along with him are his wife (Ruby Dee in a scene-stealing performance) and a Bible-thumping con artist known as the Preacher (Belafonte). Attacked by racist bounty hunters determined to return the former slaves to a life of sharecropping in Louisiana, Buck and his followers must summon all the courage they have in order to reach their destination and help settle the Wild West.

About the filmmaker:

Sidney Poitier was a Bahamian and American film director, one of the last major stars from Classic Hollywood cinema, and a pioneering Black voice in the film industry. He was the first Black actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Defiant Ones (1958) and the first to win with Lilies of the Field (1963). Among many other milestones, he also starred in the first mainstream movie to condone interracial marriages, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). His other acclaimed roles include Cry the Beloved Country (1951)Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and In the Heat of the Night (1967). He made his directorial debut and starred in the Western Buck and the Preacher (1972) followed by various comedy films such as Stir Crazy (1980) with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.

Poitier received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, an Honorary Academy Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film, and the American Film Institute included him on its 1999 list of greatest male Hollywood stars. He also received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. From 1997 to 2007, he was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan.

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