Year: 1990
UK: BFI (Collections)
Cast: Danny Glover, Paul Butler, DeVaughn Nixon, Mary Alice, Reina King, Cory Curtis, Richard Brooks, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Carl Lumbly, Vonetta McGee, Paula Bellamy, Wonderful Smith, Ethel Ayler, DeForest Covan, Sy Richardson, Davis Roberts, John Hawker, Julius Harris, Irvin Mosley Jr, Margueritte Ray, Rai Tasco, Lorrie Marlow, Jimmy Witherspoon, Carnetta Jones, Christina Harley James Grayer, Robin Scholer, Mark Phelan, Robert Terry Lee, Greta Brown, Sip Culler
Director: Charles Burnett
Country: USA
UK: 101 mins
UK Certificate: 12 contains infrequent moderate violence
UK Release Date: 28 June 2002 (Limited Re-release - London only)


Gideon (Paul Butler), now retired and living in Los Angeles, still keeps the family traditions from his roots alive and hasn't shaken off the old ways of the Deep South. He keeps chickens in the back yard; he worries about the loss of his 'toby' (a charm against devilment) and even his wife, Suzie (Mary Alice), is a midwife, fulfilling a traditional role.

His oldest son Junior (Carl Lumbly) is married to Pat (Vonetta McGee) and busy raising a family while the younger son Babe Brother (Richard Brooks) and his wife Linda (Sheryl Lee Ralph) are both career minded using the family for conveniently minding their only child Sunny (DeVaughn Nixon).

With family tension causing increasing friction Harry Mention (Danny Glover) an old friend of the family turns up to stay with Gideon and his wife. Increasing pandemonium ensues as Harry pries into everything. Caught up in a downward spiral, Gideon falls inexplicably ill and Babe Brother starts quarrelling with his wife treating her like a servant. But then Harry falls over Gideon's 'toby' and dies. Miraculously Gideon recovers from his illness and the household starts to return to normal.