Boss Nigger (1975)

Boss Nigger (1975)
6.6
  • 2138
  • PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1975 ()
  • Running time: 87 min
  • Original Title: Boss Nigger
  • Voted: 2138

Two black bounty hunters ride into a small town out West in pursuit of an outlaw. They discover that the town has no sheriff, and soon take over that position, much against the will of the mostly white townsfolk. They raise hell, chase women, and milk the locals for cash, while waiting for the opportunity to get their man.

#PersonCharacters
1Fred WilliamsonBoss Nigger
2D'Urville MartinAmos
3William SmithJed Clayton
4R.G. ArmstrongMayor Griffin
  • Funny comedy/western showcases "Boss" Williamson by 7

    This is a good, solid B movie; not a great western, but a satisfying "blaxploitation" flick mostly because the humor is well done. Not only do the actors bring out the best in the material, but the material (by Williamson himself, who would soon make the jump to directing but on this film hired veteran pro Arnold) is not bad itself.

    Boss Ni**er includes a blaring title track that includes the immortal lines "he's a boss niiiiiiiggggaa" in what sounds like a white dude's best impression of Marvin Gaye. Its story concerns the Boss and his sidekick, played to perfection by Durville Martin of Dolemite fame ("I love those fat women" says his character, never knowing the trouble he could get into.....), as ex-slaves who "decided to hunt white folks for a change" and went out West to become bounty hunters. The plot follows the Yojimbo mold, even including a hastily assembled opportunity for Williamson to be captured and beaten near to death by the villains, only to recuperate and return for the final bloodbath.

    Like so many of Williamson and Martin's films, the appeal of the film comes from their charisma and the humorous ways they interact with the other, more straight, characters of the film. Thus, even though the plot and structure are predictable, many individual scenes are very funny and entertaining. Unfortunately, the action is not very well done. There is a PG rating, and it's pretty violent considering this, but it keeps the film from rising into the realm of, say "Il Grande Silencio" or "Fistful of Dollars", to which it is very similar; Williamson and Co. seem to have gone instead for comedy.

    The film is a success at reaching its modest goals, a good time for the audience letting off some tensions with a historically based race battle.

    Also contains one of the greatest exit lines ever: "There's nothing worse for a black man that to drag around a white b*tch".

  • If This is How Blaxploitation Films Work, Make Mine a Double by 8

    Boss (Fred Williamson) and Amos (D'Urville Martin) are bounty hunters, riding into the city of San Miguel to collect a reward when they find there's no sheriff. Boss nominates himself the new sheriff, and the reluctant mayor (who is working with the local bandits) goes along with it. Now Boss and Amos must clean up crime, defend the poor and win some women's hearts.

    What's really amusing about this film is that it received a PG rating. There's some borderline nudity, and they use the N-word something like 200 times. But they never really swear otherwise, the violence is minimal by western standards and there's no sex (though it's hinted). Having seen other blaxploitation films (such as "Sweet Sweetback") I was surprised by the tameness.

    They play really heavily on the race issue, not surprisingly. They even institute "black rules" as the new police, which is awesome (including banning the n-word, despite its prevalent use in this film). But the film is not derogatory to whites or blacks, really. It offers an interesting view where white people must be protected by the black man, and things work out fairly well (much to the people's initial chagrin).

    Reviewer Vincent Canby of The New York Times described the film as "a pleasant surprise if you stumble upon it without warning." Canby characterized Williamson's acting as "an immensely self-assured parody of the Man With No Name played by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's films." I agree with the first part, although I think the second part might be giving this film just a little bit too much credit. But, perhaps not.

    Canby finished the review by pointing out what made the film notable among black Westerns: "Most black Westerns either ignore race or make it the fundamental point of the movie. (This movie) somehow manages to do both quite successfully." And on this we agree completely -- race was both the issue and yet completely removed from the real point of the film. Which is why it works; it plays on your insecurities while convincing you they don't exist.

    If you can get your hands on this one (I don't know how easy that is), I give it a very high recommendation. My only concern is that someone really needs to get a good transfer with quality picture and sound. The quality I saw was a VHS transfer with grainy footage and mediocre sound. This did nothing to take away from the brilliance of the film, but a smart action film like this one deserves better. Give me digital remastering and a Fred Williamson audio commentary.

  • They call him Boss. by 7

    Two black cowboys ride majestically across the American plain. The music is a kind of funk-Morricone, with a singer enthusiastically explaining that "They call him Boss. BOSS N*GGER!" A black woman is being assaulted by a group of white cowboys, our black heroes intervene and save this damsel in distress.

    A blaxploitation Western was bound to happen eventually, and its a good thing Fred Williamson got there first. What Boss N*gger lacks in technical proficiency and skill it makes up for in heart and soul. The music is funktacular, especially the catchy theme tune, and the acting from our heroes is wonderful. Boss N*gger also boasts some very funny lines, such as Boss kissing a white woman, before going, "that's just to satisfy your curiosity."

    It's slow at parts, but the idea of two black bounty hunters coming to a white town and setting their own rules is appealing, and the film pulls it off. There are also some great shootouts, especially the finale, which is really quite exhilarating, and features a remarkable, almost downbeat ending. This film is by no means a masterpiece, but it is one of the best blaxploitation films I've seen, and an admirable effort on a small budget.

  • Fred Williamson hunts the white man by 8

    I saw the trailer for this on you tube and I laughed for 10 minutes straight ! I decided then to purchase the DVD . I like Fred Williamson , but I have found his filmography to be hit and miss. This movie is quite enjoyable actually and delivers the goods with the action and comedy. Plus we get an awesome Shaft like theme song, while there are better westerns and black exploitation films . This is a solid b movie with a great supporting cast . D'Urville Martin is great as Boss 's sidekick. Not to mention William Smith and R.G. Armstrong are great villains . In less p.c times this was considered fun for the whole family . So round up the whole family and watch Fred Williamson stick it to the man!

  • He's so baaaaaad, they call him boss, boss ?um? Afro-American! by 6

    I love the prototypic and legendary Blaxploitation classics, such as "Black Ceasar" or "Shaft" for example, as much as the next cult cinema fanatic, but I must admit I always had a slight preference for– what I call them – "Blaxploitation with a plus" movies. I refer to the Blaxploitation films that simultaneously also venture into a totally different genre, like horror ("Blackula", "Abby") or psychedelic ("Ganja and Hess") or even Western. "Black Bounty Hunter", which is the alternative title that I'm forced to use because the website doesn't allow the usage of the titular N-word, is one of the only existing Blaxploitation westerns ever made! That little trivia aspect alone makes the film worth tracking down, and then I haven't even mentioned the fact that it is written by and starring the almighty Fred Williamson and directed by B-monster movie veteran Jack Arnold ("Creature from the Black Lagoon", "It came from Outer Space"). The film is fundamentally a parody of the western genre, but with plenty enough violence and action to satisfy hard-boiled genre fanatics, and with stellar acting performances and a funky swinging soundtrack atop. Whilst on the tail of wild west villain Jed Clayton, Boss and his loyal right hand Amos ride through the insignificant and Sheriff-less little town of San Miguel. Without consulting the townsfolk, and much against the will of the cowardly mayor Griffin, Boss declares himself Sheriff and Amos his deputy. They upset the conservative locals with their new laws and freshly invented money penalties, while patiently waiting for Jed to cross their paths. The comedy doesn't always work, except for a few notable moments with D'Urville Martin at his best, but the western action is old-fashioned good! Terrific supportive roles for R.G. Armstrong as the sleazy mayor and the stunning Barbara Leigh as one of Boss' romantic interests.

#PersonCrew
1Robert Caramicocinematographer
2Leon Moorecomposer
3Jack Arnolddirector
4Eva Ruggieroeditor
5Gene Ruggieroeditor