Film and Television

What Is a Western? Film Series Buck and the Preacher (1972)

Part of the series What is a Western? Film Series

Saturday, July 31, 2021, 1:30 p.m.

The Autry in Griffith Park

Free for Members | Included With Museum Admission
Reservations Recommended | Space Is Limited

About the Event

Released amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Buck and the Preacher helped audiences rethink ideas of race within American Western films. See Sidney Poitier's directorial debut in 35mm. Set after the Civil War, the film follows a wagon master and a con-man preacher as they help recently emancipated Black settlers out West. The performances by the film’s stars reflected themes more often found in Blaxploitation films of that era, which allowed African American audiences to see Black experiences recentered through a cinematic lens. 

Screening introduced by Tyree Boyd-Pates, Associate Curator of Western History. 

Directed by Sidney Poitier | Starring Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Ruby Dee 

Screened in 35mm

This ongoing series explores the wide range of movies that can be considered Westerns, and the ways in which they shape our understanding of the American West. Each screening includes a guest lecturer who will introduce the film and explains its significance in the genre.