A martial arts classic starring Chuck Norris as John T. Booker, a Vietnam Vet whose war actions have landed him at the top of the CIA's hit list. Now only a beautiful Senate investigator can help him unravel a treacherous ... more »plot - and maybe help keep him alive.DVD Features:
Chadwick H. Saxelid | Concord, CA United States | 11/22/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This low-budget 'gem' from 1977 (I even remember there being a novelization, got to look for it) was a modest hit and pretty much made Chuck Norris a star. Playing John T. Booker (the way the credit is listed mades me wonder if there would be more John T. Booker movies, alas not to be), Norris is a former CIA commando whose dark past comes back to haunt him when the politician that set him up in a raid turned death trap needs to erase that unpleasent part of history. This is an old school action movie, back when they bothered to have plot and mystery prior to the fist fights and car chases, and it will probably bore many expecting wall to wall kung-fu action. Nothing happens until nearly an hour into the movie, then the pay off begins. Good Guys Wear Black was sold on the strength of one big stunt, Norris (or a double) leaping onto a car and kicking through the windshield to get at the assassin driving. It was impressive then, today it is routine. As I said, it is a low budget movie, one with Southern California locations filling in for Vietnam (sandy trails and eucalyptus trees in Vietnam???) as well as East Coast locations. Pretty giggle inducing. But the movie still works when watched in the context of its era (70s exploitation) and director Ted Post (Hang 'Em High, Magnum Force, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, etc.) keeps the movie professional looking, at least. One shocking bit of trivia, one of the movie's screenwriters is Children of A Lesser God author Mark Medoff. Wow. Recommended only to Norris fans on a nostalgia kick."
CHUCK NORRIS WEARS BLACK
KEVIN THOMAS SKELTON | GREENSBORO, NC United States | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite DVD! The widescreen transfer is so clear that you will think you are in the movie. I want to say that they just dont make them like this anymore! Chuck Norris jump kicking through a oncoming car's windshield killing his enemy in slow motion is unforgettable. I watch that sceen over and over along with the parking lot fight sequence, it's amazing. Norris is one of a kind, a rare breed! His 70's and early 80's films have reached classic status. And they deserve it, next to the junk made today. This is my favorite film along with A Force Of One (the sequel to Good Guys Wear Black), The Octagon and Forced Vengeance."
Diehard Norris Fans Can't Afford to be Without This One
P. Burdick | Oneonta, NY United States | 05/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, this is a Grade-B movie in almost every sense of the term, but it gives the ardent fan a good glimpse into the beginnings of Chuck Norris' eventually fruitful film and television career.
Admittedly, the plot is weak, the pace slow, the scripting thin and the action--at a dearth--borders on the comic, yet I find myself watching Good Guys Wear Black again. Why? Is it the one, monumental flying kick that Norris' character, John T. Booker, administers through the windshield of an oncoming car to his would-be assassin (a Vietnamese operative disguised with a blond wig and a Van Dyke!)? is it Norris' patently poor acting in the closing scenes, during which he tries to convey masculine anger through that slightly effeminate, nasality and sizzle in his voice? is it simply to see Lloyd Hanes smoking a cigar? or Jim Backus playing a doorman? or James Franciscus portraying a villainous candidate for U.S. Secretary of State? or the film's tired, 70's ideology? Who knows? This film's merit may very well stem from its lack thereof, which moves it into the more exclusive realm of "classic" Grade-B.
In time, Chuck Norris has carved out a well-earned and well-deserved niche for himself in martial arts entertainment. Movies like Good Guys Wear Black serve as a gauge to measure just how far he's come--which is a long way. So, if you truly want to trace this development in Norris' acting career, this film is a must-see along the way.
Moderately good Chuck Norris film
the_review_guy | United States | 09/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Chuck Norris films, especially of the 70's and 80's you'll probably like this one. The DVD was unrated but I'd say it's about a PG-13. The DVD allows chapter access, English, French and Spanish subtitles and some bio info on the cast. No theatrical trailer was present. The film is generally well-preserved (no widescreen) but the colors fade in and out a little bit (probably the cinematography was a bit inconsistent).The film is definitely *very* 1970's. That means lotsa keyboard instrumental jazz music scored with the action, 3-piece suits, undercranked camera shots to make cars look like they're speeding (giving unnatural jerky motion), and half-witted dialogue. And Anne Archer, while lovely in the film, wears some awful-looking sunglasses (egads!).While there are several martial arts fight scenes (what else?) they are not nearly as sophisticated as those in 1973's Bruce Lee classic "Enter the Dragon" (this is a 1978 film).Major John Booker (Chuck!) leads a top secret team into Vietnam in 1973 to rescue some American POW's (boy, you never see THAT in a Chuck Norris movie, eh?) ... ahem ... Well, they were set up and several men died. Booker takes the loss philosophically and takes up test-driving Porsches and teaching Political Science at the local college (whatta guy!). Ah, but then a lovely young lady lawyer shows up and starts reciting all the top secret details of the 1973 mission to Booker. Booker must figure out what she's all about. At the same time all of Booker's buddies who survived the disastrous operation start dropping like flies.James Franciscus is the up-and-coming Secretary of State and boy does he cuss a lot (probably after seeing the script!), hence my PG-13 rating. And he's a very baaaaad man. Jim Backus (Gilligan's Island!) shows up as a protective doorman. And the ubiquitious Soon-Tek Oh is here. Not a bad film, on a par with other Chuck flicks such as "Hero and the Terror", "Invasion U.S.A." and "Code of Silence".Will Major Booker discover the truth and stop the bad guys? ... hmmm ... well, I'll let you buy the movie and find out ... (as if you couldn't guess) ... While you're waiting to find out, you can count all the green automobiles in the film ... There must have been a lot of automobiles painted green in 1978 because there's a green car in nearly every street scene (all shades!). Even the toy car at one of the politician's home is green. Generally OK, and we can overlook some of Norris' acting since it's one of his first films. It is hard to forgive the paisley robes, Harvest Gold appliances, and the wide collars on the shirts, but hey, that was the 1970's."
A Guilty Pleasure-I LIke this Poorly Made Film
K.H. | 01/04/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film, directed by Mike Post (Magnum Force) was Chuck Norris' second lead-starring role. It starts out as a movie of politcal intrigue put sputters on the direction. In the scene wear the plane blows up, one can see that right before the explosion, the plane is not even there. Just a small example of poor editing.I do, however, love this movie. The few fights scenes in this pitcure are fun (airport and parking lot) and it is one of Norris' better acting performance. The "jumping into the car scene" is actually Chuck's brother Arren. The other acting performances are also very good (Ann Archer, Lloyd Hayes, and Dana Andrews to name a few). The Chuck Norris fan may want to add this film to your collection."