Uptown Saturday Night
|Uptown Saturday Night|
|Directed by||Sidney Poitier|
|Produced by||Melville Tucker|
|Written by||Richard Wesley|
|Edited by||Pembroke J. Herring|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$6.7 million (US/Canada rentals)|
Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy film written by Richard Wesley, and directed by Sidney Poitier, who also stars in this film, along with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. Cosby and Poitier teamed up again for Let's Do It Again (1975) and A Piece of the Action (1977). Although their characters have different names in each film, the three films are considered to be a trilogy. It opened to positive reviews.
Steve Jackson (Sidney Poitier), a blue-collar worker at a steel mill, has just begun a two-weeks-long vacation. He is convinced by his friend Wardell Franklin (Bill Cosby) to go to a party that Saturday night at Madam Zenobia's, an uptown nightclub.
While the two are at the party, the club is robbed. The masked bandits force the patrons to strip to their underwear, then steal their money and jewellery, including Steve's wallet.
The following day, Steve is at home and reading his newspaper when he learns he has won the lottery. However, he realizes that the lottery ticket was in the wallet that was stolen from him, and Steve and Wardell spend the remainder of the film tracking down his wallet by consulting with crooked politicians, fake detectives, con-artists, and underworld crime bosses. As the ad for the film states: "They get funny when you mess with their money".
- Sidney Poitier as Steve Jackson
- Bill Cosby as Wardell Franklin
- Harry Belafonte as Geechie Dan Beauford
- Flip Wilson as The Reverend
- Richard Pryor as Sharp Eye Washington
- Calvin Lockhart as Silky Slim
- Rosalind Cash as Sarah Jackson
- Roscoe Lee Browne as Congressman Lincoln
- Paula Kelly as Leggy Peggy
- Lee Chamberlin as Madame Zenobia
- Johnny Sekka as Geechie's Henchman
- Lincoln Kilpatrick as Slim's Henchman #1
- Don Marshall as Slim's Henchman #2
- Harold Nicholas as Little Seymour Pettigrew
- Ketty Lester as Irma Franklin
- Jophery C. Brown as Geechie Dan henchman
- Gene McDaniels as Member of the Choir
- Ray Parker Jr. as Ray
- George Reynolds as Big Percy
- Richard Warren as Driver
Shortly after the film's release, NBC commissioned a pilot for a sitcom version of Uptown Saturday Night, starring Cleavon Little and Adam Wade, playing the respective roles played by Cosby and Poitier in the film. The pilot did not sell, though it was seen on NBC during the summer of 1979 as part of Comedy Theater, one of many showcases featuring unsold pilots.
In 2002, it was announced that Will Smith and his production company, Overbrook Entertainment, had secured the rights to the trilogy for remakes to star Smith and to be distributed by Warner Bros. Smith stated that he hoped to get Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and other famous African-American stars to be in the films. In 2012, it was reported that Adam McKay will direct the remake of Uptown Saturday Night, with Smith and Denzel Washington in the leads.
- "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
- Uptown Saturday Night (1979) (TV)
- VH1.com : Will Smith : Will Smith Secures Rights To Sidney Poitier/ Bill Cosby Flicks - Rhapsody Music Downloads
- Uptown Saturday Night (1974) - News
- Uptown Saturday Night at the Internet Movie Database
- Uptown Saturday Night at AllMovie
- Uptown Saturday Night at Rotten Tomatoes