MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

History books seldom mention the role blacks played in the settling of the Western frontiers of our country. POSSE weaves a fascinating story of a group of rugged men who served together in the Spanish American War. Evil Col. Graham (Billy Zane) chases the four black men and one white who escape from his command in Cuba. Though they served bravely during the war, the men are labeled as outlaws. They form a posse and head for the West. Their leader, sharp-shooter Jesse Lee (Mario Van Peebles), has a score to settle back in Freemanville. A group of former slaves led by Jesse's father built their own community which the Klu Klux Klan burned. Jesse's father died trying to protect the town. Unfortunately, we never learn much about the other posse members, except that they admire and respect Jesse. While Jesse is almost too good to be believable, the motley crew's adventures as they make their way West are the stuff old-fashioned westerns are made of - gunfights, gambling and wild, wild women.

Not so old-fashioned is the camera's lingering on the nearly nude women in bordellos and one very explicit love-making scene with nudity. Men bathing nude in the river would have not appeared in a Roy Rogers movie. Many gun battles and beatings play an important part of the story, though excessively bloody. However, the graphic public hanging of an Indian woman to illustrate injustices to Indians, though brief, is difficult to watch. A white mother instructs her little girl to "go watch the hanging" like we would say, "go outside and play." The villains are all white. Offensive language rolls off the men's tongues at a steady pace, including many obscenities. Some positive messages about loyalty, the importance of dreams and self-respect come through as these brave men try to save Freemanville from the evil white man. The underlying message, however, is that by examining the past, current racial conflicts might be better understood.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Gramercy Pictures, 335 N. Maple, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (16) times - Mild 5; Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (17) times (10 s-words; 7 s-words)

Profanity: Regular (2)

Violence: Many times - Severe and moderate (gun battles; point-blank shootings; bloody beatings; hanging; explosions; fires)

Sex: Once (graphic with nudity)

Nudity: Several times (breast; female rear; male rear and frontal briefly)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (women in bordello entice men; reference to genitals)

Drugs: Whiskey drinking several times

Other: Man shown urinating

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