Today’s films are a trio put together by Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier: Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, and A Piece of the Action.
Uptown Saturday Night
Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy film written by Richard Wesley, and directed by Sir Sidney Poitier, who also stars in this film, along with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. Cosby and Poitier teamed up again for Let’s Do It Again (1975) and A Piece of the Action (1977). Although their characters have different names in each film, the three films are considered to be a trilogy. It opened to positive reviews and helped Poitier get into other films as star and director.
Steve Jackson (Sir Sidney Poitier), a blue-collar worker at a steel mill, has just begun a two-weeks-long vacation. He is convinced by his friend Wardell Franklin (Bill Cosby) to go to a party that Saturday night at Madam Zenobia’s, an uptown nightclub.
While the two are at the party, the club is robbed. The masked bandits force the patrons to strip to their underwear, then steal their money and jewellery, including Steve’s wallet.
The following day, Steve is at home and reading his newspaper when he learns he has won the lottery. However, he realizes that the lottery ticket was in the wallet that was stolen from him, and Steve and Wardell spend the remainder of the film tracking down his wallet by consulting with crooked politicians, fake detectives, con-artists, and underworld crime bosses. As the ad for the film states: “They get funny when you mess with their money”
Let’s Do It Again
Let’s Do It Again is a 1975 film starring Sir Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Jimmie Walker plus an all star black cast. The film, directed by Poitier, is about blue-collar workers who decide to rig a boxing match to raise money for their fraternal lodge. The song of the same name by The Staple Singers was featured as the opening and ending theme of the movie, and as a result, the two have become commonly associated with each other.
This was the second film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown Saturday Night, and followed by A Piece of the Action (1977). Although their characters have different names in each film, the three Poitier-Cosby pictures are considered to be a trilogy. Of the three, Let’s Do It Again has been the most successful both critically and commercially. Calvin Lockhart and Lee Chamberlin also appeared in Uptown Saturday Night.
Set in Atlanta, it follows Clyde Williams (Poitier) and Billy Foster (Cosby) as a pair of blue-collar workers who are trying to raise funds for the Brothers and Sisters of Shaka. They decide to rig a boxing match in New Orleans. They use hypnotism to convince underdog boxer Bootney Farnsworth (Jimmie Walker) that he is a highly skilled prize fighter. He fights and defeats the champion, 40th Street Black (Rodolphus Lee Hayden). Williams and Foster clean up after betting Farnsworth. The pair return home, and all is fine until the gangsters who lost money betting on the other guy figure out the scam and come to Atlanta, to get the pair to do it again…or be killed.
Unable to enter Farnsworth’s training room to dehypnotize him, which in turn would cause him to lose the fight, Williams and Foster decide to bet on the match being a draw, and place bets with both gangster groups. They then enter 40th Street Black’s training room and successfully hypnotize him. Both fighters end up simultaneously knocking each other out, and Williams and Foster are able to collect their bets before the gangsters discover what happened.
A Piece of the Action
A Piece of the Action is a 1977 comedy crime film starring Sir Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Poitier also directed the film. This was the third film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown Saturday Night and Let’s Do It Again, and Poitier’s last acting role for more than 10 years, as he focused his attentions on just directing. The film also stars James Earl Jones.
Dave Anderson (Cosby) and Manny Durrell (Poitier) are two high-class sneak thieves who have never been caught. Joshua Burke (Jones) is a retired detective who has enough evidence on the both of them to put them behind bars. Instead, he offers to maintain his silence if the crooks will go straight and do work at a youth center for delinquents. At first, the crooks are reluctant and unwilling (and so are the kids). As time goes by they gain the trust and admiration of the kids and they start to enjoy the job. All goes well until someone out of the past tells them they have to do one last heist…or else…