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Five on the Black Hand Side (1973)

Godfrey Cambridge , Clarice Taylor , Oscar Williams  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Price: $29.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Godfrey Cambridge, Clarice Taylor, Leonard Jackson, Virginia Capers, Glynn Turman
  • Directors: Oscar Williams
  • Writers: Charlie L. Russell
  • Producers: Brock Peters, Kay Korwin, Michael Tolan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2001
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N7Z5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,788 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Five on the Black Hand Side" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

You've been Coffy-tized, Blacula-rized and Superflied. Now prepare to be glorified, unified and filled-with-pride with this "breakthrough film" (Variety) that delivers "enough solid laughs forany audience" (Boxoffice)! With "a combination of seriousness and warmth that is rare in anyfilm" (Players) and a sense of family that anyone can relate to, "Five on the Black Hand Side" is "a wisely entertaining film" (New York)! In the Brooks family, Papa may rule with an iron fist but Mama's about to slap him down with her open hand! Tired of being told what to do and when to do it, she goes to war! Swapping her old housedress for army green duds and combing her tidily coiffed head into a ceiling-scraping 'fro, she takes to the roof on strike until her browbeating, penny-pinching, gas-passing husband agrees to meet her bill of rights!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soul Cinema Classic May 28, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The summary of the movie on the back of the video cover says it all--glorified, unified, and filled-with-pride. "Five on the Black Hand Side" portrays an African-American family going through changes during the 1970s. The older brother Booker T. Washington Brooks is a socialist who talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. His younger brother Gideon, is a black revolutionary who defies the father and everyone around him. Their sister is getting married and the mother, Mrs. Brooks has had it with her husband. She doesn't really want out of her marriage but she wants some change in their marriage, which not only means her, but her husband. Mrs. Brooks goes to war with help from her neigbors and children. Mr. Brooks wants the best for his children but he is too controlling of how they should live their lives which creates a friction between Gideon and him. He is also resistant to change.
This movie during its period dealt with the issues of gender within the African-American community as well as racism and socialism. I wonder if "Barbershop" got their idea from this movie!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Film Classic May 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a true film classic. Comedy or not. It was written by Charlie Russell, who also was a counselor in the S.E.E.K. college program at City College in New York. His brother is the Basketball star Bill Russell. All this to say that, Charlie may have surprised many people who did not know he was a writer and who eventually made such a classic true comedy. It is based on the trials and liberation of 'Mrs Brooks' from 'Mr Brooks'. All of this is done without exploiting the lifestyle of Black folks. You just must see this film to see what a true comedy is like, Black or is a true "Classic".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real good family film January 11, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
During the 70s, when Blaxpoitation films were of the norm, you had such films as this, "Amazing Grace" and of course, "Cooley High". In this film, you had a family about to marry off their only daughter in a Afrocentric wedding ceremony that the father disapproves of; Matter of fact, the father is a barber who goes to work in suits(with the appropriate smock put on at work). Consults an organizer(as well as his wife's); and is as tight reined with his family as he is with himself; He's got one son out of his house and living on the roof and being afrocentric; the other son cannot get with no one but white women; He dictates to his wife(Clarice Taylor, later known as Cosby's mom on the Cosby show) as to what to wear as well as what to do, and she is SICK of it!! so she hatches a plan along with her friends(Virginia Capers and Janet DuBois later of "Good Times") to demand a list of things that she want from her husband; Oh, and then is when the good times roll!! Good family film; a bit dated but real good;
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I can remember seeing "Five On The Black Hand Side" as a teenager in Los Angeles California at the Baldwin Hills Movie Theater in 1973. This movie gave me a sense of being very proud of my blackness, It gave me hope in being who I am...To walk with dignity and hold my head and not be ashamed of who I am. Every human being on this planet earth regardless of race, color or creed should be proud of their heritage and most of all, be very proud of THEMSELVES and to go for your positive dreams..This movie represents just that.I strongly suggest this movie to be purchased from AMAZON and add it to your movie collection.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking is not the word. July 31, 2008
Most blacks I know love this movie, even the most Europeanized. It is the first film that I am aware of to depict such a pro-African mindstate for African Americans. How groundbreaking this was in 1973 is lost to the people of today who can not comprehend the extent of anti-Africanism in American culture and what it was like for these first years when African Americans formally became full citizens in America. This film has yet to be followed up as it drowned in the mist of blaxploitation.

Though I'm sure some African Americans out of touch will not get this movie, but it is interesting to note that the only person who rated it low on here was icebergslims, who I know to be white, though many of his reviews show an interest in Africana studies. Many of his reviews are spot on and insightful, though his distance from the experience is evident and an obstacle to depthful comprehension.

However, because the black experience is experienced and not read about or watched on TV or even from black friends, there is an ineffable reality of the black existence in america that has aspects of it that are esoteric to the black community. Such esoteric experiences are common in any marginalized group. It crosses over to gender or sexuality,etc. For example, no matter how much I respect women there are many things about there existence I wont get, simply because I am not one. Likewise, some nonblack people will be unable to get the lure of Five on the Black Hand Side. Sure they know there is a meaningful message but it does not overide the "corny" aspect of the film. Corny because it's not full of the typical dolemite, of which Icebergslims admits to be a great fan of, or richard pryor bambozzled humor?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical!
Powerful and genuine at a time when it was needed! and will always be needed in all communities!! Old school for sure!
Published 2 months ago by Kenneth Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!!!
Loved it. I love most old school movies, but I really enjoyed this one. It was funny, interesting, full of pride, & a few lessons as well. Check it out for yourself.
Published 8 months ago by Shawn D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks again
I have already given a review for this dvd but I will do it again. Thanks for being a professional at your trade. I is so important in times like these.
Published 8 months ago by Geri Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars yawn
The quality and sound of the movie were fine considering the genre The movie was rather corny and the stereotypes were overly exaggerated
Published 17 months ago by Laurence Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars good 70's movie
good movie takes you back to the 70's all the clothes and hair styles it was just a simpler time
Published 18 months ago by Elaine Waite
5.0 out of 5 stars this movie is the dopest
I just saw this for the first time this weekend. I don't know how this one slipped past me all this time. Read more
Published on April 15, 2012 by Frassy
5.0 out of 5 stars I received exactly what I expected. Thank you
It is really nice to get what you ordered. I look forward to ordering from you again in the future. Thanks
Published on December 1, 2011 by bbisme
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be on B.E.T. regularly!
I can't believe I never heard of this film until I found it on Amazon! This is probably the "Blackest" movie I've ever seen (besides "The Spook Who Sat By The Door", of course)! Read more
Published on July 16, 2010 by Bruce Ervin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Flick!
I absolutely adore this movie. Caught it on tv for like the 4th time and realized I needed to purchase the DVD. Read more
Published on March 2, 2010 by Jill Haynes
2.0 out of 5 stars More Corn & Cheese Than A Bag Of Cheetos Mixed With Doritos
Anyone in their right mind, especially a black man/woman would find this movie degrading and insulting. Read more
Published on September 13, 2009 by Carlos A. Cook
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