Movie Night Friday – Dead Presidents


This is not my absolute favorite movie (It’s not say, Lean On Me or Malcolm X) but its one of those I can watch over and over again nonetheless. Not to mention the sound track is off the chain.


I love movies that have a little bit of everything in it: Action, Drama, and Romance (well, kinda). I could be partial to this one since my husband is, after all, a veteran.  But, I will say it sheds some light on how Veterans are treated in this country. You go over there to fight for a country that won’t fight for you. So anyway, yall know on the streets they call money “Dead Presidents” or at least they used to back in the day. So this movie is obviously about some people after that bread, but that’s not why I like it. I like this movie because although it’s a sad one, its also very real. The struggle is real. “America, this be some kinda hard place for brown colored skin in the springtime.” And that hard time can make people do some crazy things. Here’s what the movie is about:

In the spring of 1969, Anthony Curtis (Larenz Tate) is about to graduate from high school, and decides to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps rather than go to college. He is sent to Vietnam, leaving behind his middle-class family, his pregnant girlfriend Juanita (Rose Jackson), and small time crook Kirby (Keith David), who is like a second father. Anthony’s close friend, Skip (Chris Tucker), later joins Curtis’ squad after flunking out of college, and his other friend, Jose (Freddy Rodriguez), is drafted into the Army. Once in the Marines, Curtis and his squad lose several fellow marines during combat, and commit several atrocities of their own, such as executing enemy prisoners and beheading corpses for war trophies.

When Anthony returns to the Bronx in 1973, after four years of service, he finds returning to “normal” life is impossible. He finds Skip is now a heroin addict, Jose is a pyromaniac, and Cleon (Bokeem Woodbine), a religious yet deadly staff sergeant that was in his squad, is now a devoted minister. After being laid off from his job at a butcher shop, Anthony finds himself unable to support Juanita (who had an affair while he was on duty) or his daughter. After an argument with Juanita, Anthony meets his girlfriend’s sister, Delilah (N’Bushe Wright), who is now a member of the “Nat Turner Cadre”, a revolutionary militant group. Anthony, Kirby, Skip, Jose, Delilah, and Cleon devise a plan to rob an armored car making a stop at the Noble Street Federal Reserve Bank of the Bronx.

What a plot! Whew. Although it is my thought that everybody and their mamas should have seen this movie already, I’m sure many of you have not. You have got to see this movie! What are you waiting on? Time to upgrade. (Meanwhile, I’m going to see the new Xman 🙂 ).

Movie Trailer:

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I write Black Historical Fiction, Poetry, and Inspirational Non-Fiction for the Freedom of all People. Visit me on the web at

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