The black sheriff

Submitted by AWL on 12 October, 2021 - 4:11 Author: John Cunningham
tick... tick... tick... poster

The story of the election of John Archer as the first black leader of a London council (Solidarity 608) brought to mind the oddly titled film …tick…tick…tick, made in 1970 and directed by Ralph Nelson (perhaps better known for directing Soldier Blue in the same year).

In the American Deep South the citizens of rural Colusa County, for the first time in their history, elect an African-American sheriff, Jim Price (Jim Brown). Many are determined that this will never happen again. Tensions rise when a white man, John Braddock, is arrested on a drink driving charge which results in the death of a young girl. Braddock’s father, an influential man locally, is none too happy about an African-American sheriff arresting his son. He threatens to cause trouble.

John Little (George Kennedy) the defeated white candidate for sheriff, who until this point has been hostile to Price, decides to throw in his lot with the new officer and the two men confront Braddock and his mob. The townsfolk go out onto the street and join Price and Little, causing Braddock to back down. It is the first major step in the acceptance of Price as sheriff by the white community.

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