Review: The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
Blu-ray: The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
Once again a Powerhouse Films release arrives here at 60MW Towers with an amazing cast starring in a film that I’ve never heard of. Have YOU watched, or even heard of The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings before?
Well if you have, you’ll be very pleased to hear that it now has a superb blu-ray release for you to enjoy. And, if like me, this is completely new to you, allow me to give you a little insight into what it is all about.
Based on the best selling 1973 novel of the same name by William Brashler, the narrative plays out around the segregated African American baseball league of the 1930s, following the titular teams travels across America as it tries to stay financially viable playing local teams across the country after the players have walked out on their respective former teams being unsatisfied with their conditions.
Directed with style by John Badham (Saturday Night Fever), each character is given enough onscreen time to shine through. Which includes Billy Dee Williams as the ever upbeat leader of the group Bingo Long, James Earl Jones as the big home run hitting Leon Carter, Richard Pryor as the aptly names Charlie Snow (a double double entendre relating to cocaine!): a man who is desperate to get into the Major Leagues by any means necessary, Stan Shaw as a young baseball protégé under the wing of Bingo, and many more, including Ken Foree as a bad guy.
You don’t need to enjoy baseball to enjoy The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, though it is a slight advantage when knowing what is happening mid-game. There are laughs, thrills, action, and even a bit of dancing to keep everyone in the family entertained as you sit back and see if Bingo and his talented team can overcome the odds and carve out a successful career for themselves.
One of the special features is There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace: Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues; a documentary by Craig Davidson chronicling life in the segregated Negro Leagues, narrated by James Earl Jones and featuring archival footage and interviews with numerous baseball players, and something which helps to give a bit of backstory to the world of baseball at the time the movie is set.
Not quite a home run of a movie, but it definitely slides into third base.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition remaster
- Original mono audio
- Audio commentary with director John Badham (2007)
- There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace: Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues (1983, 60 mins): documentary by Craig Davidson chronicling life in the segregated Negro Leagues, narrated by James Earl Jones and featuring archival footage and interviews with numerous baseball players
- Theatrical trailer
- John Badham trailer commentary (2013)
- Radio spots
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet featuring a 1978 retrospective article on the film by Michele Russell, an archival report on a promotional baseball match between the casts of The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings and The Bad News Bears, an archival interview with actor Billy Dee Williams, an overview of contemporary critical responses, new writing on There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings is released 30th August 2021.
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.