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A Hero Ain't Nothin But A Sandwich
A Hero Ain't Nothin But A Sandwich
Actors: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Larry B. Scott, Arthur French, David Groh
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
PG     2009     1hr 47min

Faced with the harsh reality of growing up in the ghetto, 13-year-old Benjie (Larry B. Scott) turns to heroin to escape. After Benjie hits rock bottom, his mother (Cicely Tyson) and her boyfriend (Paul Winfield) must sacri...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Larry B. Scott, Arthur French, David Groh
Creators: Frank Stanley, Tom McIntosh
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Drama, Family Films
Studio: KOCH VISION
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1978
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1978
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Misses a lot of the spirit of the book
Frank | Stockton CA | 01/14/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of those book adaptations which leave the viewer wondering why the screenwriter (here, the book's author), made the changes that were made.
The 1973 book describes the life of 13-year-old Benjie Johnson, an African-American who lives in an apartment with his mother Rose, grandmother, and mother's boyfriend Butler, in an apartment house with "dark, stinky hallways" in a "tough block." For Butler to take Rose out by taxi is "their fine way of going out." The pusher's (Tiger's) apartment is "one fine-lookin place" because it has "a good record player and a TV" plus wall-to-wall carpet and drapes at the window. A crisis occurs when Benjie steals Butler's good suit for drug money.
By the time the 1978 movie was released, the setting had changed. Benjie and family are living in a middle-class single family home, and their own car. Benjie and friends frequently take walks on the beach. It's just a quick walk, apparently, to the walk-up graffiti-covered apartment roof where Benjie first smokes marijuana. Tiger's apartment now has wood paneling, two aquariums, an inlaid coffee table, a treadmill, rowing machine, and weights. The crisis is now Benjie stealing Butler's inherited sapphire-and-diamond cufflinks.
And, a happy ending, not present in the book, is glommed onto the last scene in the movie. There's a unnecessarily-protracted scene showing the nude Benjie being put into the Indigo Blue bath.
It's natural, and beneficial, for a movie to telescope some of the book's plot, and eliminate marginal characters. Yet, the sudden relative affluence of Benjie's family takes away from the immediacy of the many pressures facing the family, just as the "happy ending" validates the fear the school's principal expressed in the book: when an ex-addict is portrayed as a heroic figure, some students may see drugs as something to use and then bravely give up, because the speaker doesn't mention that he is the one in a hundred to be able to kick the habit.
Some of the language (although appropriate in context) and some scenes are more intense than the usual PG movie.
I recommend that folks stick to the excellent book."
"Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich (1977) ... Tyson & Winfie
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 12/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Koch Vision present "HERO AIN'T NOTHIN' BUT A SANDWICH" (1977) (107 mins/Color) (Dolby Digital) --- Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield performances are very warm, heart felt and exceptional --- It's like the perfect combination on how to balance out character film development --- This is an excellent portrait of a family in the ghetto just trying to make it, with many temptations along the way including drugs and crime --- Larry B. Scott does a fantastic portrayal of "Benjie"--a good student turned junkie --- When Benjie had to go to drug rehab, his experiences were shown through a series of sepia-tone photographs --- This was very effective in showing Benjie's progress --- With facial expressions, a wide range of emotions could be seen, from the terror of withdrawal to the joy of interacting with others --- Of course, Cicely Tyson is wonderful as his caring mother and Paul Winfield as his "stepfather." --- A special mention Helen Martin of "Good Times" fame, as Wanda --- A very realistic film about a family dealing with some very tough issues --- There needs to more films like this to help families that have been victimized by drug abuse.

Under the production staff of:
Ralph Nelson - Director
Robert B. Radnitz - Producer
Alice Childress - Screenwriter / Book Author
Frank Stanley - Cinematographer
Tom McIntosh - Composer (Music Score)
Fred A. Chulack - Editor
Walter Scott Herndon - Production Designer
Cheryal Kearney - Set Designer
Nedra Watt - Costume Designer
Wiliam L. McCaughey - Sound/Sound Designer
Reuben Watt - First Assistant Director

SPECIAL FEATURES:
BIOS:
1 Cicely Tyson
Date of Birth: 19 December 1933 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

2. Paul Winfield
Date of Birth: 22 May 1939 - Los Angeles, California
Date of Death: 7 March 2004 - Los Angeles, California

the cast includes
Cicely Tyson ... Sweets
Paul Winfield ... Butler
Larry B. Scott ... Benjie
Helen Martin ... Mrs. Bell
Glynn Turman ... Nigeria
David Groh ... Cohen
Kevin Hooks ... Tiger
Kenneth Green ... Jimmy Lee
Harold Sylvester ... Doctor
Erin Blunt ... Carwell
Claire Brenner ... Social Worker
Arthur French ... Security Guard
Bill Cobbs ... Bartender
Sheila Wills ... Admissions Clerk
Arnold Johnson ... Patient

Great job by Koch Vision and their staff --- looking forward to more high quality releases from them--- if you enjoyed this film, why not check out Koch Vision where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.

Total Time: 107 mins on DVD ~ Koch Vision ~ (01/27/2009)"
A hero aint nothin but a sandwich
C. L. hodge | TEXAS | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"paul winfield stepfater and cicely tyson struggle to give 13 year-old benjie all they can to help him to stop doing drugs a powerful gritty film"