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Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings
     

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings

Director: John Badham

Cast: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor

 

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Based on the novel by William Brasher, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings is set in the segregated south of 1939. African-American baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams), tired of being jerked around by the less-than-ethical managers of the Negro League teams, forms his own barnstorming ball club. His partner in this endeavor is black

Overview

Based on the novel by William Brasher, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings is set in the segregated south of 1939. African-American baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams), tired of being jerked around by the less-than-ethical managers of the Negro League teams, forms his own barnstorming ball club. His partner in this endeavor is black catcher Leon Carter (James Earl Jones). Though boycotted by powerful Negro League manager Sallison Porter (Ted Ross), the Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings flourish, gaining a loyal fandom with every new game and cutting into the League's profits. Finally, Porter offers Long a deal: if the Motor Kings can win one big game with the Negro All-Stars, Long's team will be allowed to join the League. Also appearing in Bingo Long is Richard Pryor as a ballplayer who tries to break through the big-league color line by pretending to be everything from a Hispanic to a Native American named "Chief Tokohama"; if Pryor seems to disappear for long periods during the film, it's because his role was written to accommodate his many nightclub appearances. The producers originally wanted young Steven Spielberg to direct, but -- inspired by the success of Jaws -- he turned this down in favor of doing Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Ever since its original 1976 release, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings has been warmly regarded but not wildly heralded. Seen years later, it remains a wonderful tale with effortless acting by a top-notch ensemble, but it's not a "big finisher" that stays with you for very long. As a baseball movie, Bingo Long is a superb collection of scenes from the days when African Americans were not permitted to play in major league baseball, so they banded together and barnstormed the country, having a lot of fun while doing it. This conviviality and the romantic aura of the period are the strongest emotions that come across. Billy Dee Williams and James Earl Jones star in that rarest of films, the nearly all-black cast, lighting up the screen with their antics. The story's structure wobbles a bit, and the drama of the end is obscured by the lack of a clearly delineated villain, but the movie has terrific appeal, particularly to baseball aficionados who will be awestruck by the idea that a pitcher would not let his team take the field in the first inning until after he had pitched to the first batter (apparently, Satchel Paige did this in reality). Try that, Roger Clemens.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/1995
UPC:
0096896605634
Original Release:
1976
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Dee Williams Bingo Long
James Earl Jones Leon
Richard Pryor Charlie Snow
Rico Dawson Willie Lee
Sam "Birmingham" Briston Louis
Jophery Brown Champ Chambers
Leon Wagner Fat Sam
Tony Burton Isaac
John McCurry Walter Murchman
DeWayne Jessie Rainbow
Ted Ross Sallie Potter
Mabel King Bertha
Sam Laws Henry, Owner of Elite Giants
Carl Gordon Mack
Ahna Capri Prostitute
John R. McKee Stranger
Alvin Childress Horace
Joel Fluellen Mr. Holland
Sarina Grant Pearline
Ken Foree Honey
Stan Shaw Esquire Joe Calloway

Technical Credits
John Badham Director
Hal Barwood Screenwriter
Jophery Brown Stunts
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Bill Butler Cinematographer
Michael Chinich Producer
Rob Cohen Producer
William Goldstein Score Composer
Berry Gordy Executive Producer
Berry Gordy Score Composer
Robert L. Hoyt Sound/Sound Designer
Bernard Johnson Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Joyner Asst. Director
Leonard A. Mazzola Set Decoration/Design
Ron Miller Score Composer
Lawrence G. Paull Production Designer
David Rawlins Editor
Matthew Robbins Screenwriter

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