Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Endangered List (Case File #70)


Ruby Dee (as Leah Matanzima)
Ossie Davis (as Ernest Motapo)
Greg Morris (as Red Salter)
Tom Aldredge (as Ben Amed)
Michael Ebert (as Charles Henderson)
Thomas Baptiste (as John Okello)
Jab Adu (as Juma Bakari)
Elsie Olusola (as Mamouda)
Funso Adeolu (as Marni)

Directed by
Ossie Davis

Produced by
Ladi Ladebo

Screenplay by
Ossie Davis
Al Freeman, Jr.
Ladi Ladebo

Story by
John Storm Roberts

Original Music by
Manu Dibango

Cinematography by
Andrew Laszlo

Released by
Columbia Pictures

MPAA rating: PG

Running time: 101 minutes

Re-released in 1978 as COOL RED


Film financing takes on a new dimension with this Columbia release backed by DST Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Delta Sigma Theta, the largest sorority of influential black women in the world. The Nigerian government and the Presbyterian Economic Development Corp. participated in the Arnold Stone-Bruce Graham production. Highly respected Ossie Davis directed, co-starred and wrote the script with Ladi Ladebo and Al Freeman, Jr. Scenario and film continuity are credited to George T. Norris and Alyne Model. Mrs. Davis, Ruby Dee, and TV action star Greg Morris head the predominantly black cast, which features an appearance by gold record-winning composer Manu Dibango, who wrote the score. Basically an action film, “Kusini” tells of fictional Fahari (actually Lagos), its liberator and a white militarist who realizes that the black man will one day rule Africa. There isn’t too much action and the ideas tend to become lost amidst the Dee-Morris on and off romancing, both being involved with whites. Most remarkable aspect is Miss Dee’s physical appearance, she being at least ten years older than Morris. Panavision color photography of Andrew Laszlo is poor. Original story and screen treatment by John Storm Roberts.

[Boxoffice BookinGuide, April 26th, 1976, p.4963]


Natives are oppressed by the colonialists in a 20-year African struggle. Revolutionary Ossie Davis leads the resistance. Colonel Tom Aldredge, who wiped out a village, works incognito for a Fahari import-export firm concerned with the country’s resources. He vows to kill Davis. Latter’s friend Ruby Dee is romantically involved with pianist Greg Morris, an American. British journalist Michael Ebert, an old friend of Dee, arouses Morris’ jealousy and the musician retaliates by obtaining a white girlfriend, Rosalind Corbett. After surviving a near-fatal poisoning, Dee involves Morris in Davis’ plan to obtain arms. Before the arms can be gotten from Joseph Layode, both Dee and Davis are arrested. Ebert rescues them, but is killed in a motorboat chase when Aldredge rams their vessel. Gambler Funso Adeolu, Davis’ nephew, sells out the revolutionary leader and arranges an ambush at a railroad junction near Kusini. Dee and Morris with followers kill Adeolu and Aldredge. A grateful Davis watches as Dee tells Morris that he is now part of the movement.

[Boxoffice BookinGuide, April 26th, 1976, p.4963]

1 comment:

Burl said...

Seems like a pretty bad movie from those reviews. Too bad - Ossie Davis was one cool shut-your-mouth.