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The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings

By Tom Keogh

This enjoyable 1976 film by John Badham (Saturday Night Fever) concerns the efforts of a barnstorming baseball team of African American players to work around the dominance of the Negro National League. Set in 1939, the swift, impressive, and entertaining troupe of personality-rich athletes easily make the viewer wistful for this level of spiritedness on a green field. While the story is a bit halting, the script intelligently reflects some of the difficulties and requirements of black players at that time to find success in the game. The excellent cast includes Billy Dee Williams, whose character is based on Satchel Paige, and James Earl Jones, whose part is suggestive of the tragic Josh Gibson, as well as Richard Pryor, Ted Ross, DeWayne Jessie, and Stan Shaw. Produced by Motown's old film division, the musical score, not surprisingly, is highly memorable.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Badham

Stars: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Stan Shaw

Released: November 17, 1976

Availability: DVD VHS


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