A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich 1977
1h 47m | Drama | Release date: February 3, 1978 (United States)
Benjie is a troubled teen in Los Angeles, living with his grandmother, mother, and her new boyfriend. Traumatized by his father’s desertion and the situation at home, Benjie gets introduced to heroin. The downward spiral begins. At school he faces conflict between the two teachers he respects: Nigeria who emphasizes African history and is hostile to white teachers like Mr. Cohen, who pursues racial harmony. Benjie’s family must come to terms with the devastation he has created in his life and make changes which affect them all.
Let me exhale here for a bit. This movie was heavy. I could barely stand the weight of it, it was so heavy.
Let me get the accolades out of the way.
The script. Great. Cicely Tyson. Solid. Paul Winfield. Excellent. Larry B. Scott (whom I’d only known as Lamar in Revenge of the Nerds). Spectacular. He easily rivaled the performance of Timothy Hutton who won an Oscar for his role in Ordinary People.
This was a deep movie dealing with drug use in South Central Los Angeles. But it was more than that though wasn’t it? At the forefront was a 13-year-old Benjie (Larry B. Scott) who’s method of dealing with being fatherless was turning to hard drugs. There’s little sadder than a kid strung out on drugs.
The backdrop to that was his mother’s boyfriend, Butler (Paul Winfield), trying his best to fill the father void while constantly being rebuffed by Benjie. Sweets (Cicely Tyson), Benjie’s mother, was trying desperately to maintain a relationship with her son as well as her partner Butler.
And behind all of that was an environment of social justice as Black folks in the ghetto struggled to carve a niche out for themselves while fighting drugs, crime, and the man.
All of these plot elements plus the magnificent performances made for an awesome movie. It is jarring most times, angering other times, and down right sad sometimes. The moments of levity are few and far in between. You’ll beg for a happy ending while realizing that what brings happiness is relative.
Director: Ralph Nelson
Writer: Alice Childress (novel)
Stars: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Larry B. Scott
Country of origin: United States
Filming locations: South Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 960 MiB
Duration : 1 h 47 min
Overall bit rate : 1 247 kb/s
Links: iMDB | NFO | Screenshots backup