The Watermelon Man

The Watermelon Man

Director: Melvin Van Peebles Cast: Godfrey Cambridge, Estelle Parsons, Howard Caine



Before there was Sweet Sweetback, director Melvin Van Peebles used comedy to address the issue of race relations in America in the 1970 feature The Watermelon Man -- arriving on DVD from Columbia Pictures. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the feature is presented beautifully on this disc. In addition to solid colors and even skin tones, there is little evidence of digital artifacting, and the only trace of age is some minor grain inherent to the source materials. The closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack rings through loud and clear, with the music and dialogue perfectly balanced. Though it may have been nice to see director Van Peebles more closely involved in the production of this disc, viewers are treated to a brief introduction voiced by the director, in which he details the origins of the feature, talks about his struggle to get a black actor cast in the lead (the studios had only considered white actors), and discusses the controversy that arose when he opted to change the ending of the screenplay.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/14/2004
UPC: 0043396050532
Original Release: 1970
Rating: R
Source: Sony Pictures
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:38:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Introduction by Melvin Van Peebles; Previews

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Godfrey Cambridge Jeff Gerber
Estelle Parsons Althea Gerber
Howard Caine Mr. Townsend
D'Urville Martin Bus Driver
Mantan Moreland Cashier
Kay Kimberly Erica
Kay Kuter Dr. Wainwright
Ray Ballard 3rd Passenger
Rhodie Cogan Mrs. Johnson
Robert Dagny 2nd Passenger
Donna Dubrow Receptionist
Frank Farmer Andy Brandon
Charles Lampkin Dr. Catlin
Karl Lukas 2nd Policeman
Hazel Medina Widow
Ralph Montgomery Drugstore Boss
Lawrence Parke 1st Passenger
Emil Sitka Delivery Man
Paul Williams Employment Office Clerk
Erik Nelson Doorman
Mae Clarke Actor
Scott Garrett Burton Gerber
Erin Moran Janice Gerber
Irving Selbst Mr. Johnson

Technical Credits
Melvin Van Peebles Director,Score Composer
John B. Bennett Producer
Malcolm C. Bert Art Director
Les Fresholtz Sound/Sound Designer
John Burton Set Decoration/Design
W. Wallace Kelley Cinematographer
Carl Kress Editor
Ben Lane Makeup
Sydney Z. Litwack Art Director
Leon Mirell Executive Producer
Herman Raucher Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Sheldon Schrager Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [8:32]
2. "I'm Not Hateful" [7:34]
3. Nightmare About His Sunlamp [11:05]
4. "You'll Be White Again" [5:56]
5. A Heck of a Tan [5:28]
6. Sunlamp Delivery [8:34]
7. Out of the House [3:15]
8. A Chance in Mr. Gerber [3:03]
9. Trip to the Doctor [8:34]
10. "You're A Negro" [8:34]
11. Uncerninng Property Values [7:20]
12. Skin Deep [8:06]

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