Boss Nigger (1975)

Yes, I know some people will be appalled at me for not censoring the title of this film in the way its DVD distributor did, but I believe in calling a spade a spade… and yes, I am painfully aware what an unfortunate choice of words that was given what I’m discussing… Anyway, I’m still not really back into my film-watching mood—other things have been taking up my attention—but I was over at a friend’s place last night and he was up for watching something, so we decided upon this. It’s a blaxploitation western, and as I watched it I kept thinking of Blazing Saddles whose premise it somewhat apes: black bounty hunter (and sidekick) comes to bigoted white town menaced by local gang of outlaws, appoints himself sheriff in order to bring the leader of said gang in. I first discovered this via one of Synapse’s 42nd Street Forever trailer compilations, based upon which I suspected it’d be fairly unsophisticated but kind of fun, and when I saw Jack Arnold was the director I felt it would at least be reasonably well made; and I’d say those expectations were largely met, maybe even exceeded a bit. Only PG-rated so not mega-violent, although the film obviously takes some cues from the Euro-westerns of the decade or so preceding this one (particularly when it comes to the not exactly happy ending); this contemporary review describes Fred Williamson’s lead character as a parody of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name. That sort of feeling hangs over much of the film, which tells a pretty straightforward western story given a bit of a kick by the not overly subtle racial comedy; it is the B genre movie that Williamson and Arnold presumably set out to produce, and they did a pretty entertaining job with it too. Maybe not an undying masterpiece of the seventh art, but as I’ve said before that’s not what you always want on a Saturday night…

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One thought on “Boss Nigger (1975)

  1. alleyandthemovies September 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Nice review. I haven’t seen many Blaxploitation movies, but this one looks…interesting, to say the least.

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