Buck and the Preacher - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Buck and the Preacher Reviews

Page 1 of 2
August 27, 2017
Buck and the Preacher is an excellent film. It is about a wagon master and a con-man preacher who help freed slaves dogged by cheap-labor agents out West. Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte give incredible performances. The screenplay is good but a little slow in places. Sidney Poitier also did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the adventure and drama. Buck and the Preacher is a must see.
½ August 13, 2017
I lost interest in a hurry with the contrived plot and pointless motivations.
August 10, 2017
Very good movie, great cast
March 19, 2016
Thoughtful western, but one true to its cinematic genre, so there's a good mix of gunplay and gritty no-nonsense characters whilst making its point, which in this case is both historically and contemporary relevant. Harry Belafonte puts in a fine performance alongside a steady one from Poitier - it's not his best, but is still pretty good.
June 6, 2015
Okay western that gets credit for making telling a western story from a black perspective and not a blaxploitation/Fred Williamson type of grind house hyperbolic perspective. Sidney Poitier plays a wagon master who gets hooked up with a con man posing as a preacher. The two then help lead a wagon train of freed slaves to a safe homiest and protect the group from unscrupulous bounty hunters. The film has a comedic light touch, but does also manage to include social commentary that's pertinent to the modern race relations. Cameron Mitchell plays the main baddie and Benny Carter provides a catchy harmonica based score.
January 26, 2015
Sidney Poiter's directorial debut sees himself as one-half of an odd couple fighting against white supremacists who want to return Negroes back to the fields as slaves. Poitier is, as always, a solid and commanding screen presence as Buck and is complimented by Harry Belafonte who, as an unconventional preacher, is the only complex character here. The rest of the cast are relegated to two-dimensional roles, thus the film fails to compel when not relying on the otherwise excellent action sequences or sparring between the two leads.
July 24, 2014
Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte make this slightly dull western interesting.
March 2, 2014
An alternative western; complete with guns, rifles, Indians, horse-thieving, and a small dusty town with a whore house. Typical Poitier stuff. With a grand performance by underrated Belafonte.
January 28, 2014
It's cheesy, it's dumb but it's fun to watch and I promise you will have a good time but only worth a rental unless you can find it cheap.
Super Reviewer
½ June 27, 2013
For reasons I don't feel like listing, I think it's fair enough to say that, while this COULD be called a blaxploitation film, it's not really necessary to. I see it as just a decent western,

Set in the Kansas Territory in the late 1860s, this was Sidney Poitier's directorial debut, and he also stars as Buck- an ex-Union army soldier scouting out locations for former slaves who want to settle out West. He reluctantly teams up with a Preacher (Harry Belafonte) who is actually a con man, to fight off the villainous DeShay, an ex-Confederate soldier trying to force the former slaves back into a life of servitude in Louisiana.

It's a pretty straight forward tale, but it score points for being revisionist, and not completely in a wish fulfillment way. It's reasonably well paced, there's some decent action, and I enjoyed the concept. The music was okay, but could have been better.

Poitier is fine, and it's good seeing him branch out from his more dignified roles. Belafonte is an absolute delight, and I like Ruby Dee as Buck's wife as well. The film could have done a little more in terms of development, but we get just enough to keep things from being totally pointless.

Give this one a look. It's not the best, but it's pretty decent, and worthy of more attention.
August 7, 2012
great first director 4 sydney
½ June 12, 2012
120611: This should've been a good movie. Really enjoyed Belafonte as the Preacher. Neat character and fun acting. Liked Poitiers firearms (will have to look those up in IMFDB) but found his, and his movie wife's, acting a little unconvincing. Same with the Indian Interpreter. She was almost annoying each time she appeared. Decent costuming with typical early 70s western gunfighting - acceptable but a bit corny. Some cool villains with the lead bad guy, Deshay, going down surprisingly early. Decent pace but found myself continually looking at the time remaining. Kept wondering if the movie I had was missing the ending but they managed to jam a lot, too much, into the final 10 minutes. It felt rushed and anticlimactic, sort of like Deshay's death and sort of like the whole movie.
½ June 26, 2011
Belafonte in particular is pretty good here, but it's a very standard western with little to hold your interest.
March 8, 2011
Have'nt seen this in a long time
November 2, 2010
Yes, There Were Black People in the Old West

I don't know if this was the [i]first[/i] blaxploitation Western. Indeed, Wikipedia doesn't include it in their list of blaxploitation films at all, though I'd say the list should not be taken as all-encompassing in any way. However, I would argue quite strongly that it fits into the category. It's true that the movie takes place about a hundred years earlier. It's true that it's rural, whereas most blaxploitation is urban. And the closest we get to drug trafficking is a few drunk people. However, we do have a Righteous Black Man (and a less-righteous one) going up against The Man on the behalf of his people. There's a woman who just wants her man to be safe and doesn't understand why he has to get involved. There's even ineffectual law enforcement.

Our Righteous Black Man is Buck (Sidney Poitier), a Civil War veteran taken to helping wagon trains of black people go West and out of sharecropping and the Klan. There are, on the other hand, White Men Whose Names I Couldn't Determine who want all those black people to go back to, in this case, Louisiana and do the work raising cotton, leaving the wide-open spaces of the West to white men. (The Indians are pretty surly about this, as you might expect.) Buck encounters The Preacher (Harry Belafonte) while on the run from them. In fact, Buck steals his horse. But they get all that sorted out, and they decide to take back the money those white men stole from a wagon train and help its travelers safe through Indian territory and out the other side. As you might expect, there's some shooting involved.

Also Ruby Dee as Ruth, Buck's woman. She would like Buck to give up all this and run away to Canada with her. She doesn't think there's anywhere in the United States for black people to live without becoming slaves in fact if not in name. (She's not far wrong, given when she was saying this.) There's so little slave heritage in Canada as makes no difference, at least as far as African slavery is concerned, and it was abolished there long before it was here. Most Canadians had never even seen a black slave. At the beginning of the movie, she's nearly murdered by men trying to get at Buck through her; really, at their reunion, she's as surprised to see him as he is to see her. He's doing good work helping those people, but how much good work can he expect to keep doing before he gets shot?

Late in the film, Buck tries to raise common cause with the Indian chief (Enrique Lucero) through his interpreter, Sinsie (Julie Robinson). They are both oppressed by the White Man, he argues; surely they can work together and fight them. The first point the chief raises is that his people used to work side-by-side with the White Men, too, and now, they need their guns to fight against the White Man instead. He also points out, quite sensibly, that Buck himself used to be in the White Man's army. Buck concedes the point. It is, however, a good example of how "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is at best an oversimplification and at worst just plain wrong. During the Civil War, Buck had common cause with the Union, which the Chief is all the White Man there is. On the other hand, now that the war is over, the White Man has had more interest in reconciling with Confederates than helping the slaves the Union freed. And either way, the wagon train is full of more settlers hoping to farm on Indian land.

High art it ain't, to be sure. Harry Belafonte seems not unfond of a bit of eye-rolling, and I really want to know what's going on with his teeth. It has hallmarks of both blaxploitation and Western-on-the-cheap. There's the mismatched antiheroes thrown together to fight against corruption. Well, that's common to both genres, and to several other besides. It also seems to me, on further reflection, that the theme of defending the poor and helpless through superior firepower is a common goal in both genres. The difference may be as simple as skin colour and social consciousness, though of course in the '70s, not all Westerns-on-the-cheap were free of either of those. It's all in the attitude, I guess.
August 31, 2009
Buck and the preacher is a classic fun to watch with a hint of comedy and also a hint of slickery. All for the greater good of helping others. all the character had a cool damenor about them. Buck, the hunters and the Indians. I love Harry Bellafonte he was trying to get in where he could fit in. LOL. I give it five stars
June 15, 2009
Best Western Ever Made
½ February 22, 2009
Wonderful film on the old west! This classic was made in Mexico(Hollyweird again) because they could'nt get proper funding!! Just in case you thought there no Black cowboys in the old west just let this film wet your appetite! Then go to your library and study!!
July 18, 2008
Entertainment done right
Page 1 of 2