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Zakes Mokae television 1970s
Mokae moves to America and repeats his British success in America with a small role in Starsky and Hutch, building up his American profile.
Starskey & Hutch with a two part episode Murder at Sea (2.2), directed by George McCowan in 1975. The usual Starsky and Hutch cop story, this time on a cruise ship with lots of bikini clad girls. The murderer appears in a mask.
Mokae has a short scene in jaunty mood and announces he has been "tattooing the Liberty Bell on a lady's derriere". He only appears in the first of the two episodes, though he is credited in both.
The cruise ship is ready to depart and Starsky and Hutch go with it to catch the killer.
They spot gang leader Crazy Joey Fortune, played by Jose Ferrer, and spy on him through a porthole.
But they also spot a girl with a gun attempting to kill Crazy Joey.
The first episode focusses on a murderer, but the second changes tack and follows gangleader Joey. The two seem like different stories and whereas the first episode is a bit predictable, the second does become improbable.
David Soul, playing Hutch, moved on to roles such as in Stephen King's Salems Lot, and had a career has a succesful pop star. After taking British nationality his projects include performing Lorca's poetry (highly recommended) and helping restore Ernest Hemingway's car.
All images from the DVD of the episodes.
One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story
Directed by Winston Graham, 1978. A true life baseball story. Ron LeFlore as a child gets involved in crime and is soon in prison. Here things starts badly but soon (a few minutes later) he starts playing baseball and becomes the prison's star convict, eventually emerging as a famous baseball star.
LeFlore is played by LeVar Burton who later played Geordi la Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Mokae is a fellow prisoner PeeWee Spencer serving 27 years in the next cell. They initially talk with Mokae using a mirror to see him.
Later Mokae roots for him in front of a prison television as LeFlore moves to baseball stardom. There is a sub-plot as LeFlore's younger brother falls into drug use.
This is a poorly directed film, with no flow, stilted scenes and sentimental "no mamma, no more food" type goody goody dialogue.
Mokae looking worried in the prison.
The film is based on LeFlore's autobiography Breakout, with teleplay by Stanford Whitmore, director of photography Jordan Cronenworh.
Images from the DVD of the film.
The series Roots The Next Generations, the follow-up to Roots in 1979. The last episode directed by John Erman with screenplay by Ernest Kinoy.
Alex Hayley, played by James Earl Jones, is given an assignment to interview Malcolm X, played by Al Greeman Jr., of the Nation of Islam. The performance of Malcolm X does not convey the complexity and depth of the man, compared with Denzel Washington's film.
Malcolm X is protected by his watchful security.
Alex Hayley then interviews George Lincoln Rockwell, played by Marlon Brando, the founder of the American Nazi Party.
Rockwell says thay he and Malcolm X want the same goal, separation of the white and black races.
Mokae appears in the last episode, along with James Earl Jones and
Marlon Brando, though he doesn't share any scenes with Brando. He has worked
with Jones many times, and also with Brando on A Dry White Season.
The minister helps Alex in his search.
A convincing performace by Mokae.
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