One Show Only: Feb. 16
Remembering Sidney Poitier
Perhaps Poitier’s first real knockout role and performance, from the '50s, is a prototype for the films that would find their full force in the more open '60s. When a prisoner transport crashes during a night-time storm, John 'Joker' Jackson (Tony Curtis) and Noah Cullen (Poitier) make their escape, chained together by the wrist. The director’s third feature, THE DEFIANT ONES, combines Stanley Kramer’s trademark liberal politics with a picaresque adventure that is deftly entertaining, tense and heartfelt. Poitier's most famous collaboration with Kramer was in the social comedy-drama GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, but it was THE DEFIANT ONES where the pair first worked together. Kramer was in many ways the definition of a Hollywood liberal – privileged, white and concerned with social justice. Historically, his films have been somewhat undervalued, but in the era of McCarthy and Hollywood blacklisting, there was an admirable directness to the filmmaker's approach to political messages. As a jailbreak romp, THE DEFIANT ONES weaves its social commentary through what is essentially an odd-couple comedy, throwing together a white racist and a black man to force them to work together.
Wednesday, February 16
Proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID-19 test) and masking at all indoor events is required