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Watermelon Man (27-May-1970)

Director: Melvin Van Peebles

Writer: Herman Raucher

Music by: Melvin Van Peebles

Producer: John B. Bennett

Keywords: Drama, Dark Comedy, Blaxploitation, Racism

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Howard Caine
Actor
2-Jan-1928 28-Dec-1993 Maj. Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes
Godfrey Cambridge
Actor
26-Feb-1933 29-Nov-1976 Cotton Comes to Harlem
Erin Moran
Actor
18-Oct-1960   Joanie on Happy Days
Mantan Moreland
Actor
3-Sep-1902 28-Sep-1973 Birmingham Brown
Estelle Parsons
Actor
20-Nov-1927   Character and TV actress
Paul Williams
Singer/Songwriter
19-Sep-1940   Just an Old Fashioned Love Song

CAST

starring
Godfrey Cambridge   ...   Jeff Gerber
Estelle Parsons   ...   Althea Gerber
co-starring
Howard Caine   ...   Mr. Townsend
D'Urville Martin   ...   Bus Driver
Mantan Moreland   ...   Counterman
Kay Kimberly   ...   Erica
Kay E. Kuter   ...   Dr. Wainwright
Scott Garrett   ...   Burton Gerber
Erin Moran   ...   Janice Gerber
with
Irving Selbst   ...   Mr. Johnson
Emil Sitka   ...   Delivery Man
Lawrence Parke   ...   1st Passenger
Karl Lukas   ...   Policeman #2
Ray Ballard   ...   3rd Passenger
Robert Dagny   ...   2nd Passenger
Paul Williams   ...   Employment Office Clerk
Ralph Montgomery   ...   Drugstore Boss
Charles Lampkin   ...   Dr. Catlin
Vivian Rhodes   ...   Gladys
Erik Nelson   ...   Doorman
Matthias Uitz   ...   Cab Driver
Rhodie Cogan   ...   Mrs. Johnson
Donna Dubrow   ...   Receptionist
Frank Farmer   ...   Andy Brandon
Hazel Medina   ...   Widow

REVIEWS

Review by anonymous (posted on 27-Aug-2005)

I own Watermelon on DVD and have viewed it about three or four times. I think that only an actor of Godfrey Cambridge's range and an actress of Estelle Parson's ability could have pulled this film off. Although it is somewhat dated, and certain aspects of it seemed kind of low budget, I think it is very funny yet serious at the same time. How people are perceived and treated in this society based on color is not a great deal different in 2005 than it was when this film was produced in 1970. For example, Godfrey's chracter; Jeff Gerber's wife Althea, who is initially a flaming liberal when it comes to racial issues, discovers deep down her liberalism is limited to a point (this becomes crystal clear when Jeff becomes Black). I think that this film illustrates that when it comes to bigotry, deep down we are not as tolerate as we think we are. This is especialy true when the issues of race really hits home. All in all, I think that this is one of Melvin Van Peebles most underated film. I think that it was perhaps one of the most underated films of that decade. My main regret is that Godfrey Cambridge died at such a young age, because I believe that he had a lot of years of good work ahead of him. I would highly recommend this movie, as I mentioned earlier, this film is very underated, and sadly seems to have been almost forgotten.


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