OK, both, or one, or neither of the following movie trailers is fake. Can you guess which is phony and which is for real?
First, there’s the southern colonel who’s cooked up a recipe for revenge:
Then there’s the fugitive slave who’s gone out west for freedom, fame, and fortune:
The answers are below the jump.
The first movie trailer, featuring actor Mel Gibson, is phony, and hilarious. But the second trailer is for real.
Boss Nigger is the last of a trilogy(!!!) of films featuring “Nigger Charley,” a runaway slave played by Williamson. Character actor D’urville Martin also appeared in all three films as Amos, a fellow ex-slave and comic sidekick. After killing a brutal slave master, Charley heads to the Old West to live as a free man.
The first film of the trilogy, The Legend of Nigger Charley, was released in 1972, at the start of the blaxploitation craze. According to Wikipedia, Legend was one of Paramount Studio’s highest-grossing movies of the year. The second movie in the series was The Soul of Nigger Charley.
Movie poster for The Legend of Nigger Charley
In Boss Nigger, Charley and Amos are bounty hunters who come upon a small town in need of a sheriff. The town is having a problem with a band of outlaws led by Jed Clayton, who’s wronged Charley in the past. After a series of events, including the death of a young black woman, there’s a showdown that features the death of the bad guy in slow-motion glory.
The dialogue in the trailer seems silly, and that was partly intentional. The Nigger movies were a parody of classic and not-so-classic Westerns, but also, they were typical 1970s blaxploitation fare, rife with comical put-downs of stereotypical white characters.
The word “nigger” is used freely, for both its shock value and just as important, its mock value – in this context, the white folks who use the word are made fun of, and they suffer the ultimate degradation of being “bossed” by a nigger.
But when looked at through the prism of today’s values, the use of what is now called the “N word” is either absurdly funny (think Dave Chappelle funny) or outrageously offensive, depending on your mindset. It was movies like these that led to a backlash against the “N word” – I think it would be politically impossible to make this kind of movie today.
Boss Nigger was released in some areas under the title The Boss or The Black Bounty Killer. In 2008, the movie was released in DVD under the titled Boss.
- Hat tip to the blog Civil War Memory for The Colonel trailer.