Fed up with patriarch Mr. John Henry Brooks Jr.’s (Leonard Jackson, The Color Purple) tyrannical rule, Mrs. Brooks (Clarice Taylor, Play Misty for Me) and the Brooks children — Booker T. Washington (D’Urville Martin, Black Caesar), Gideon (Glynn Turman, Cooley High) and the soon-to-be-married Gail (Bonnie Banfield) are a family in revolt. But it’s the impending nuptials, along with fiancé Marvin’s (director Carl Franklin, One False Move) insistence that the wedding be a traditional African ceremony that’s the catalyst for all the dramedy. Adding to the fun is Ja’Net Dubois (Willona on TV’s Good Times) as firebrand Stormy Monday. With a colorful assortment of eccentric friends and neighbors, and topics ranging from black identity to gender equality, you have “a real clean scene with a lot of laughter in between.”
Five on the Black Hand Side is directed by Oscar Williams (The Final Comedown), written by Charlie L. Russell (based on his stage play) and co-stars Virginia Capers (What’s Love Got to Do with It), Dick Anthony Williams (The Jerk), Sonny Jim (Malcolm X) and Godfrey Cambridge (Friday Foster).