Buck and the Preacher (1972) … Portier, Belafonte and Nelson Mandela

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … 

Strange things happen to me. Sometimes it seems like some giant hand is orchestrating events around me … of which I am a mere puppet.

How so? Well … about a week ago I made a posting on this Blog for the movie Murphy’s Romance (1985) (one of My Favorite Westerns). This was spurred by an very recent inquiry about the movie from my brother Bruce …  

After my post on Murphy’s Romance, I figured I better follow up with a Bio on James Garner (I’m not finished it yet) who starred in the movie (with Sally Field) – since Garner has had an extensive Western Film career going all the way back Maverick in the late 50’s, early 60’s …

As part of the Bio, I posted a James Garner Western Filmography – that included a Western called Duel at Diablo (1966) which Garner starred in with Sydney Portier. Under this I noted that although I’d heard of Duel at Diablo, I didn’t know much about it because I’d never seen it. To this, Rick (of Blog: Surrounded by Imbeciles http://surroundedbyimbeciles.wordpress.com/commented that Duel at Diablo was one of his “favorites”. I then responded that I’d better have a look at it it – to fill in this gap in my Western Movie education. And after some skulking around the net, I found the movie and downloaded it. (Haven’t watched it yet – will do so in the next couple of days.)


So … I come home today and plunk myself down on the couch – flip on the TV. And guess what’s showing? Nope, not Duel at Diablo (that would REALLY have been something!) – but a Western called Buck and the Preacher (1972) starring Sydney Portier … and Harry Belafonte. (As far as I know) Sydney Portier only made 2 Westerns: Duel at Diablo and Buck and the Preacher – so this is quite a coincidence – and I had never seen it either. So I figured ‘Wow, I better watch this’ …

As I’m doing so, I notice there is a LOT of social commentary in Buck and the Preacher – namely quite a bit about racism – not just toward Black Americans, but to Native Americans (Apaches). And I start to recall that both Portier and Belefonte were HUGE social activists (still are) – particularly on racial issues – going way back to the early 60’s where they were among the vanguard in the Civil Rights Movement.

And all this, of course comes upon the recent death of Nelson Mandela – probably the greatest political, social, and racial activist of our day.

Upon further investigation, I discover that both Portier and Belafonte had met and had knew Mandela – and were both active opponents in the anti-Apartheid movement.

So … everything seems to just seamlessly tie together – and is topical to the moment. ???

Anyway …


Buck and the Preacher (1972)

Syndey Portier

Directed by Sydney Portier – the first movie that Portier Directed.

Buck and the Preacher
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buck and the Preacher is a 1972 American Western film starring Sidney Poitier as Buck and Harry Belafonte as the Preacher. Buck is a trail guide leading groups of former slaves trying to homestead in the West, immediately after the American Civil War. The Preacher is a swindling minister of the “High and Low Order of the Holiness Persuasion Church”. Together, they protect a wagon train from bounty hunters.
This is the first film Sidney Poitier directed. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said Poitier “showed a talent for easy, unguarded, rambunctious humor missing from his more stately movies”.
The notable blues musicians Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee performed in the film’s soundtrack, composed by jazz great Benny Carter.”

Syndey Portier 1

Syndey Portier 2

Harry Belefonte 1
Why didn’t Harry make more movies ? He was good.

Harry Belefonte 2

Cameron Mitchell
The last time I saw Cameron, a blue-eyed Apache (Paul Newman) was blowing his head off in Hombre (1967)

Production / Wikipedia

Buck and the Preacher was one the first films directed by an African American and to be based on a band of African Americans fighting against the White Majority. Sidney Poitier directed the film and it was produced by Belafonte Enterprises, Columbia Pictures Corporation and E & R Productions Corp. The film was recorded in Durango, Mexico, as well as in Kenya. It was released in the United States in 1972.”

Buck and the Preacher IMDB
Not a Classic, but worth a watch.
Buck and the Preacher Rotten Tomatoes
“No Reviews Yet” ?? How long does it take exactly ?

Buck and the Preacher posters 1

Buck and the Preacher posters 2

Buck and the Preacher posters 3

Buck and the Preacher 5
Belafonte, Ruby Dee and Portier


Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Charlelton Heston at the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Charlelton Heston at the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963

Nelson Mandela and Sydney Portier
Nelson Mandela and Sydney Portier
Harry Belefonte and Nelson Mandela
Harry Belafonte and Nelson Mandela
Portier, Belefonte, Martin Luther King
Portier, Belafonte, Martin Luther King