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This 1975 Coming of Age film has been described as "The Black American Graffiti." As The Other Wiki puts it, the story explores the adventures and relationships of Leroy "Preach" Jackson and Richard "Cochise" Morris, two black high school students at Edwin J. Cooley High School whose carefree lives take a turn for the worse through several twists of fate.
Set in 1964, the film features an all-Motown soundtrack, including the original version of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" which was later Covered Up by Boyz II Men.
A TV series was planned, which actually ended up being retooled into the nearly-unrecognizable What's Happening!.
This movie provides of examples of the following tropes:
- Anachronism Stew: Several of the songs used in the film were released after it is supposedly set
- Author Avatar: Preach wants to go to Hollywood and become a screenwriter.
- Chase Scene
- Downer Ending: Cochise dies.
- High School
- Hollywood Nerd: Preach wears Nerd Glasses and is teased for writing poetry. On the other hand, the glasses are the only nerdy looking thing about him, and he is not exactly hurting in the romance department.
- Libation for the Dead: Early in the movie, Preach jokingly pours out wine To Absent Friends, and is scolded for wasting it. At the end, the trope is played seriously as he pours it over Cochise's grave.
- Nerd Glasses: This is how you know Preach is the "smart one" of the group.
- Nothing but Hits: And how!
- N-Word Privileges
- Older Than They Think: There really are a lot of people who think that Libation for the Dead didn't become a trope until the late 80's gangsta rap scene. This movie is proof to the contrary.
- Present Day Past: A lot of the clothing, hair, and cars in this movie look more like 1975 than 1964.
- Random Events Plot
- Spiritual Successor: What's Happenin'.
- Stern Teacher: Mr. Mason.
- Tear Jerker
- The Sixties: When it takes place (but you often can't tell because of all the Present Day Past).
- The Seventies: When it was made.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Played completely straight, just like in American Graffiti. This was probably before this trope became a stock parody.
- Wild Teen Party