A pair of con men are obliged to help a social worker set some kids on the right track.
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The last, and least, film in the so-called Uptown trilogy, this 1977 buddy comedy is preachier than its more rollicking predecessors, Uptown Saturday Night and Let's Do It Again. It begins like The Sting, but then veers into To Sir, with Love territory, as Dave (Bill Cosby), a safecracker, and Manny (Sidney Poitier), a con man, are blackmailed by a retired detective (James Earl Jones, who would achieve pop-culture immortality that year as the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars) to work at a community-improvement center and inspire the delinquent youth to respect themselves and find jobs. An answer to the violent and militant blaxploitation films of the period, these films, each directed by Poitier, were the Barbershop of their day. Poitier and Cosby are a seamless team; their ease, charm, and integrity carry the film's more plodding patches, as does Curtis Mayfield's authentic score. Fans of these icons will want to get a piece of this action. --Donald LiebensonFrom the Back Cover:
They're back for a third fun-filled time! Following "Uptown Saturday Night" and "Let's Do It Again," Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby play Manny and Dave, two Chicago crooks skilled at ripping of rip-off artists who exploit the poor. They don't intend to give to the poor until a sly detective (James Earl Jones) anonymously pulls a con of his own: they must donate time to the community center or do time in the federal pen.
As selfish Robin Hoods evolving into selfless role models, the stars offer the pleasure the best screen teams effortlessly do, while a Curtis Mayfield score and Staple Singers soundtrack tunes make for easy listening. And as it glides toward a grand-finale sting, the light-on-its-feet caper becomes a piece of viewing action not to be missed.
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