The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Mighty Quinn (1989)

"The Mighty Quinn" (1989) is an action crime-thriller starring Denzel Washington and directed by Carl Schenkel. Hampton Fancher is responsible for the screenplay, which he adapted from the 1971 novel "Finding Maubee" by A. H. Z. Carr. The film has an established cast starring Robert Townsend, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mimi Rogers, James Fox, Esther Rolle, M. Emmet Walsh, Art Evans, and Norman Beaton. 

One of Denzel Washington's most underrated movies, "The Mighty Quinn," is a highly amusing film with much to offer. Filmed in Jamacia, the movie has a lush tropical vibe that draws you in with the upbeat Reggae music. Washington leads the way as chief of police in Jamacia, where he is investigating the murder of a hotel resort owner. Among the prime suspects is the longtime friend of the police chief. Throughout the movie, you get an experience of a simply entertaining performance from all involved. 

The movie features Michael Rose and Bob Marley's wife, Rita Marley, singing "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" and Sharyl Lee Ralph performing "It's a Living" with two of his daughters, Cedella and Sharon Marley." In addition, Washington gets down on the piano singing Taj Mahal's "Cakewalk into Town."

Robert Townsend plays Maubee well and charmingly. However, he deserved more time on the screen than he got. Esther Rolle was lovely and vibrant as Ubu Pearl. Her screen presence was as strong as ever. In addition, there are a couple of well-known international stars, such as Guyanese actor and longtime United Kingdom resident Norman Beaton and pioneering Jamaican actor and producer Carl Bradshaw. Many of the extras within the movie were natives of Jamacia. 

Overall, the movie is a fun who-done-it film. The cinematography is fantastic and colorful, and the music is energetic. It's a movie you can watch and enjoy. Of course, you can be critical of the accents of some of the American actors, but they did well, and it shows how dedicated they are to their crafts. So, if you're looking for a movie to watch and enjoy, "The Mighty Quinn" is it.

Director: Carl Schenkel
Writers: Albert Z. Carr, Hampton Fancher

Starring Denzel Washington, James Fox, Mimi Rogers, M. Emmet Walsh, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Art Evans, Esther Rolle, Norman Beaton, Alex Colon, Robert Townsend, Tyra Ferrell, Carl Bradshaw, Maria McDonald, Fitz Weir, Baldwin Howe, David McFarlane, Bernie McInerney, Keye Luke, Ron Taylor, Sharon Marley Prendergast, Cedella Marley, Rita Marley, Michael Rose

Police chief Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington) investigates the gruesome murder of Donald Pater, one of the wealthiest residents on a Caribbean island. He was found decapitated in his jacuzzi. Although the local political establishment, especially crooked Governor Chalk (Norman Beaton), insists that small-time thief Maubee (Robert Townsend) is responsible, Xavier doubts it. However, this view is complicated by the police chief's personal history with Maubee: The men have been friends since childhood.