We’ve seen the musical, the horror film, the drama, the comedy, the spoof, the erotic thriller, the action film, and so on.
So now we knew it was time to pull together an all-time list. So for the past few months, we scoured the web, pulled out all the DVDs, even dusted off some old VHS tapes, and came up with our Top 9 Classic Moments In Black Movie History. There are moments you may love, moments you hate, and some you may not have ever seen before. But they’re all classic to us.
9. Lean On Me (1989)
Morgan Freeman’s take on real life school principal Joe Clark in the film Lean On Me helped propel Freeman to Hollywood stardom.
In this classic scene from Lean On Me, Freeman confronts a troublemaking student who Clark learns has a crack problem.
“Do it expeditiously!”
8. Boyz N The Hood (1991)
John Singleton’s directorial debut made him the talk of Hollywood and helped launch the acting careers of both Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
The gritty tale of life in South Central Los Angeles was a hit nationwide and earned Singleton an Oscar nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the pivotal scene where *SPOILER ALERT* Ricky, played by Morris Chestnut, is gunned down.
7. Harlem Nights (1989)
Harlem Nights had all the makings of a blockbuster film — an all star cast including Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Arsenio Hall, Della Reese, Jasmine Guy, and Danny Aiello, but ultimately theater goers were disappointed by the film.
The film fared much better in the home video market where it became a cult classic. Though it’s full of great quotables (the whole “Sunshine” sequence), the most memorable scene in the film has to be the fight between Eddie Murphy and Della Reese.
This clip contains a lot of fussin’ and cussin’. If that ain’t your thing, you do realize you’re on the internet, right?
6. Wattstax (1973)
Wattstax, documented a 1972 concert in Los Angeles featuring some of the largest acts in soul music. The film also consisted of several compelling interviews with people in the Watts neighborhood talking about the black experience.
While the concert performances are amazing in their own right, those interviews are some of the most memorable momemnts. Particularly this sequence about the relationship between black men and black women.
You would be hard pressed to get a bunch of black men and women to speak this highly of each other in in 2010.
5. Willie Dynamite (197?)
One of the most memorable scenes in the cult classic blaxploitation film Willie Dynamite is the “Pimp Council” scene. All of the major players in the city meet to discuss their future as pimps. The head of the council, Bell (portrayed by Roger Robinson), gives an overly dramatic speech about how they need to unite to survive the pressure they’re getting from the police.
“You gotta have VISION!!!”
FYI, the titular character in the movie is played by Roscoe Orman, who would later be known for playing Gordon on “Sesame Street.”
4. Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (1996)
One of our favorite Bernie Mac moments is his cameo appearance as Officer Self Hatred in the Wayans Bros. film Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood.
“I hate the back of Forrest Whittaker’s neck!”
3. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
In his directorial debut, Robert Townsend brilliantly skewered Hollywood’s treatment of African-American actors, most notably in the “Black Acting School” segment of the film.
2. Under The Cherry Moon (1986)
Though it was a critical and commercial failure upon release, Prince’s second film had it’s moments of brilliance.
The film’s most memorable scene involves Prince’s character and Jerome Benton’s character trying to bring Christopher’s spoiled rich girl love interest, future Oscar winner Kristin Scott Thomas in her first film role, “down to our world” by giving her a crash course in ebonics.
“If you wanted to buy a Sam Cooke album, where would you go?”
1. The Color Purple (1985)
This film really needs no introduction. And neither does this clip.
So that’s our Top 9 Classic Moments In Black Movie History. Did we leave any out? Let us know in the comments!