In honour of Black History Month, Hollywood Suite will feature a collection of over 30 films starring or made by Black creators this February. This expansive list includes titles from the 1950s through to today and includes more than a dozen Hollywood Suite premieres.
Hollywood Suite 70s
No Way Out (1950) Thursday, Feb 11 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – A pioneering film that deals with race relations, Sidney Poitier plays a doctor who tends to two racist white criminals who arrive at his hospital after being shot.
Carmen Jones (1954) Thursday, Feb 18 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – It’s the screen adaptation of the stage musical which was a modern reworking of the classic Bizet opera Carmen. Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge star in the drama that follows a steamy romance between a factory worker and a pilot.
Island in the Sun (1957) Thursday, Feb 18 at 10:50 pm ET – PREMIERE – Based on the Alec Waugh novel, this drama starring Harry Belafonte, Joan Fontaine, James Mason, Dorothy Dandridge and Joan Collins, is set in the fictitious island of Santa Marta and deals with race relations and interracial romance.
Buck and the Preacher (1972) Sunday, Feb 20 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Sidney Poitier’s directorial debut, the film stars Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Ruby Dee. Following the end of the Civil War, soldier-turned-trail-guide Buck makes a living by helping former slaves find settlements in the West. Along the way, a con artist Preacher joins the group and constantly clashes with Buck. But when a gang of bounty hunters attempts to round up the freed slaves to bring them back to Louisiana, the two put aside their differences to fight a common enemy.
Hollywood Suite 80s
Hanky Panky (1982) Saturday, Feb 6 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Director Sidney Poitier takes a comic turn directing Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner in this action-comedy about a man who is drawn into a web of government secrets when a woman carrying a mysterious package gets into a taxi with him. When she’s later murdered, he becomes the chief suspect and goes on the run.
Stir Crazy (1980) Saturday, Feb 6 at 10:55 pm ET – That’s right, they’re bad. Two best friends, who dress up like woodpeckers, are framed for a bank robbery and sent to prison. It’s the second of four on-screen collaborations between Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.
Clara’s Heart (1988) Wednesday, Feb 17 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – A young Neil Patrick Harris meets Whoopi Goldberg in this drama about a Jamaican housekeeper who becomes an unforgettable influence in the life of a young boy, providing him with affection, growth and gentle comic comfort to the harsh realities of his parents’ divorce.
The Color Purple (1985) Wednesday, Feb 17 at 10:50 pm ET – Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. The film stars Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Rae Dawn Chong, and Adolph Caesar and tells the touching tale of a woman who struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and husband over four decades.
Hollywood Suite 90s
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) Friday, Feb 5 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – This romantic comedy-drama, adapted from Terry McMillan’s best-selling 1996 novel, tells the story of a workaholic stockbroker who has an island fling on vacation but realizes even though he is half her age, they may have something deeper. The all-star cast includes Taye Diggs, Angela Bassett, Whoopi Goldberg and Regina King.
A Rage in Harlem (1991) Friday, Feb 5 at 11:10 pm ET – Dubbed The Sting Above 125th Street, this caper stars Gregory Hines, Forest Whitaker, Danny Glover and Robin Givens and tells the story of a gangster’s girlfriend who flees to Harlem with a trunk of gold after a shootout, unaware that the rest of the gang is on her trail.
The Five Heartbeats (1991) Friday, Feb 26 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Robert Townsend directed and co-wrote the script with Keenan Ivory Wayans, which follows the three-decade career of the vocal group The Five Heartbeats. The plot was based on the stories of several Motown groups, including The Dells, The Temptations, and The Four Tops.
Hollywood Suite 2000s
Love & Basketball (2000) Sunday, Feb 14 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan headline in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s directorial debut and cult classic about two next-door neighbours who grow up and pursue basketball careers before eventually falling for each other, proving all is fair in love and basketball.
Antwone Fisher (2002) Sunday, Feb 7 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Denzel Washington starred and made his directorial debut in a film about a young navy man who is forced to confront his past in therapy after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. Derek Luke, in his first lead role, garnered critical praise for his portrayal of Antwone Fisher.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Friday, Feb 19 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – A biopic starring Will Smith alongside his son Jaden Smith who makes his film debut as Gardner’s son, Christopher Jr. The film tells the astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street.
The Secret Life of Bees (2008) Friday, Feb 26 at 9:00 pm ET – PREMIERE – Adapted from the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, the film is set in South Carolina in 1964. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father T-Ray, 14-year-old Lily flees with her caregiver to a South Carolina town. When she enters the lives of the Boatright sisters, April, May and June, she discovers they hold the secrets to her past. Features stellar performances from Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo.
Note: All above titles will be available on demand starting February 1.
Hollywood Suite is available to over 10 million households across Canada, exclusively through Canadian television service providers and Amazon Prime video channels. Visit hollywoodsuite.ca for more information.
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