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Boss [WS] [DVD] [1974]

Release Date:10/21/2008
Fred "The Hammer" Williamson delivers a crash course in race relations to the Old West in this western, originally released in 1975 as Boss Nigger and given the less-confrontational title Boss for this DVD edition from VCI Entertainment. Boss (which still features the original title on screen and in its title tune, a handle Williamson explains and endorses in a text-only preface for this edition) has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed at 2.35:1 on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16x9 monitors. The image quality is good but not great; the print used is clean enough, but the colors are often muddy and the picture is a bit on the soft side, looking as if little had been done to improve the picture for this new edition. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, retaining the original monophonic sound mix, and the fidelity is about on a par with the image, not bad but not impressive either. The dialogue is in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options included. As a bonus, the disc includes a 27-minute interview with Fred Williamson in which he talks about his careers in football and motion pictures, two shorter interviews with Myrl Schreibman who discusses the making of Boss and working with director Jack Arnold, and the film's original theatrical trailer (as well as previews of three other blaxpolitation titles available from VCI). This edition of Boss leaves a bit to be desired technically, but fans of Fred Williamson's two-fisted screen persona will be glad to see one of his Seventies hits available again, and the bonus interview shows the Hammer hasn't lost a bit of his swagger or style.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

    Special Features

    • Original theatrical trailer
    • "A Conversation with Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson with Joel Blumberg
    • "A Boss Memory" with producer Myrl Schreibman
    • A Jack Arnold tribute by producer Myrl Schreibman


    Boss Nigger
    A black cowboy saves a frontier town from both the law and the bad guys in this western written by and starring Fred "The Hammer" Williamson. Boss (Williamson) is an African-American bounty hunter traveling though the Wild West with his best friend and sidekick Amos (D'urville Martin), gunning down wanted men and claiming the rewards when they make their way into town. When Boss bests a man in a gunfight, he discovers the victim had an invitation to become sheriff of San Miguel, a town under the control of notorious outlaw Jed Clayton (William Smith). Boss and Amos head to San Miguel, hoping to claim the hefty reward for capturing Clayton, but they discover the corrupt and venal Mayor Griffin (R.G. Armstrong) has to be bullied into making a black man sheriff. When Boss shoots two of Clayton's henchman during a barroom brawl, it brings the outlaw out of hiding, but it also makes life dangerous for anyone who dares to side with Boss, including Clara Mae (Carmen Hayworth), a beautiful woman he rescued from an ambush that claimed her father. Boss also finds time for a romantic assignation with Miss Pruitt (Barbara Leigh), the town's pretty schoolmarm, and Amos's new career as deputy allows him to interpret certain laws to his own advantage. Boss Nigger was also distributed under the less controversial title The Black Bounty Hunter, and has been released on home video simply as Boss. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Jerry Butler
      Jerry Butler
    • Image coming soon
      Mike Horner
    • R.G. Armstrong
      R.G. Armstrong - Mayor
    • Barbara Leigh
      Barbara Leigh - Miss Pruitt
    • Image coming soon
      D'Urville Martin - Amos

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.