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Thursday, May 29, 2008

PURLIE VICTORIOUS/aka: GONE ARE THE DAYS (1963)

With a cheery nod toward Synge ’s PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, Ossie Davis wrote himself (and wife Ruby Dee) a big hit in this comic fable about a Georgia Preacher Man who schemes to claim his rightful inheritance from a bigoted Southern plantation boss-man. This being a product of ‘60s Civil Rights Days, the deus ex machina turns out to be a forward-thinking white boy (Alan Alda, natch). That’s not all that’s dated in this low-budget adaptation that’s filmed like a 'Golden Age of Television' show, but with better lighting thanks to lensing legend Boris Kaufman. It’s a kick to see Ossie Davis in dynamic Sidney Poitier mode & any chance to watch Godfrey Cambridge should be grabbed, but it's mighty heavy going at times.

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