Cinema: Quick Cuts

FIVE ON THE BLACK HAND SIDE concerns assorted comic crises in a black household that is edging gradually toward the middle class. The movie is predictable but energetic. The jokes are television sitcom, but they are about topics—Africa, black militancy—that up to now have been virtually smothered in sanctimony and good will. It is refreshing to have them treated, as they are here, with a little cordial disrespect. Director Oscar Williams emphasizes the broadness and artificiality of the material and encourages his actors to play big. Clarice Taylor, as a humiliated housewife, and Leonard Jackson, as her aggressively bourgeois husband, respond...

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