Five on the Black Hand Side

Watch Five on the Black Hand Side

"You've been coffy-tized, blacula-rized and super-flied - but now you're gonna be glorified, unified and filled-with-pride... when you see"
  • PG
  • 1973
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 6.4  (480)

Five on the Black Hand Side is a 1973 comedy-drama film directed by Oscar Williams and produced by Michael Schultz. It is based on the play of the same name by Charlie L. Russell Jr. The film mainly focuses on the struggles of a black family living in a predominantly white neighborhood in Los Angeles. The story revolves around the Turner family, Ed (Godfrey Cambridge) and his wife, Ronnie (Clarice Taylor), along with their three children: L.T. (Leonard Jackson), Tina (Glynn Turman), and Jimmy (David Downing). The Turners are a middle-class family who strive to maintain a dignified existence despite the challenges presented by their surroundings.

Ed is the breadwinner of the family and works for a white-owned furniture company. He is also a devout member of the United Brothers and Sisters Association, a group led by Reverend Hill (Dick Anthony Williams) that encourages black pride and self-determination. Ronnie is a homemaker who becomes frustrated with Ed's constant involvement with the association, believing it takes too much of his time away from his family.

L.T. is the eldest of the three children and has recently returned from Vietnam. He is disillusioned with the concept of American freedom and doesn't understand why black people have to fight for the same rights that white people have always had. Tina is the middle child, and her main concern is her upcoming wedding to her white fiancé, Scotty (Tony King). Jimmy is the youngest and often finds himself caught in the middle of his parents' arguments.

The Turners face various challenges throughout the film, but their biggest threat comes from their new white neighbor, Mr. Peters (Frank Doubleday). Peters is a racist who takes great pleasure in tormenting the Turners by playing loud music, revving his motorcycle engine, and parking his car too close to their driveway. Despite their best efforts to ignore him, Peters' behavior eventually takes a toll on the Turner family's mental and emotional well-being.

The film's title is derived from the United Brothers and Sisters Association's secret handshake, which is referred to as the "Black Hand." The film explores themes of black identity, pride, and the struggle for equality in a white-dominated society. The United Brothers and Sisters Association provides a unifying force for the black characters, demonstrating the importance of community and solidarity.

The performances in the film are all excellent, particularly Clarice Taylor as Ronnie Turner. Taylor imbues Ronnie with warmth, humor, and strength, providing a nuanced portrayal of a woman who loves her husband but is frustrated with his priorities. Godfrey Cambridge is also noteworthy as Ed Turner, bringing depth to a character who is torn between his family and his desire to fight for black empowerment.

The film's direction and cinematography are engaging, utilizing a mix of static and handheld shots to convey the characters' emotional states. The use of close-ups during intense moments helps to highlight the actors' performances, while the use of wide shots showcases the Turners' environment and the challenges they face within it.

Overall, Five on the Black Hand Side is a compelling film that remains relevant today. Its themes of racial inequality and community empowerment are as important now as they were in 1973. The film offers a realistic portrayal of a black family and the struggles they face, providing a platform for viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and values.

Five on the Black Hand Side is a 1973 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Five on the Black Hand Side
Where to Watch Five on the Black Hand Side
Five on the Black Hand Side is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Five on the Black Hand Side for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (480)