Buck and the Preacher

Buck and the Preacher with Gerald Early

Directed by Sidney Poitier
U.S / 1972
102 minutes

As a tribute to the legendary Sidney Poitier, who died on Jan. 6, this year's edition of Golden Anniversaries kicks off with a discussion of the actor's directorial debut, the Western "Buck and the Preacher." After the Civil War, Buck (Poitier) works as a trail guide for former slaves as they make their difficult way to settlements in the West. Con man Preacher (Harry Belafonte) joins the group and clashes incessantly with Buck, but when a gang of bounty hunters, led Deshay (Cameron Mitchell), attempts to round up the freed slaves to bring them back to Louisiana, the two put aside their differences to fight a common enemy. SLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Ruby Dee co-stars.

With an introduction and discussion by Gerald Early, Ph.D., professor of English and of African and African-American Studies, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, and editor of The Common Reader at Washington University.