Combustible Celluloid Review - The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976), Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, based on a novel by William Brashler, John Badham, Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Rico Dawson, Sam 'Birmingham' Brison, Jophery C. Brown, Leon Wagner, Tony Burton, John McCurry, Stan Shaw, Otis Day, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Sam Laws, Alvin Childress, Ken Foree, Carl Gordon, Ahna Capri, Joel Fluellen, Sarina C. Grant, Jester Hairston
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With: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Rico Dawson, Sam 'Birmingham' Brison, Jophery C. Brown, Leon Wagner, Tony Burton, John McCurry, Stan Shaw, Otis Day, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Sam Laws, Alvin Childress, Ken Foree, Carl Gordon, Ahna Capri, Joel Fluellen, Sarina C. Grant, Jester Hairston
Written by: Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, based on a novel by William Brashler
Directed by: John Badham
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 110
Date: 07/13/1977
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The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Blackball

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of the rare movies set in the world of the Negro Leagues of the 1930s, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings mentions some real players by name (Josh Gibson), but is purely fictional. Tired of the awful treatment by team owners, Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) decides to form his own team, and recruits pals Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) and Charlie Snow (Richard Pryor) to join him. (Charlie plans to break into the white leagues by pretending to be Cuban.) They end up a "barnstorming" unit, putting on shows of skill with lots of humor, and they become so popular that the legit owners begin to lose out on ticket sales. John Badham's direction is sometimes a bit flabby, but the movie has a lot of spirit.

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