Save the Children (1973)

G | 123 mins | Documentary, Performance | September 1973

Director:

Stan Lathan

Producer:

Matt Robinson

Production Designer:

Charles Rosen

Production Company:

Stellar Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The onscreen credits for this unviewed documentary were taken from a cutting continuity. The continuity indicated that the title card bore a 1973 copyright for Stellar Productions, Inc., but the film was not registered for copyright. One of Matt Robinson’s onscreen credits reads: “Narrative written and spoken by.” The list of performers up to Jackie Verdell appeared in the opening credits, and the remaining performers were listed in the end credits. The end credits listed song titles with the name of the song’s music publisher. Later in the end credits the record labels of the songs heard in the film were listed as part of an acknowledgment, but without reference to specific songs. The end credits closed by thanking the record companies, as well as the Ford Foundation, the PUSH Foundation and “all persons associated with Operation PUSH.”
       The summary above was compiled from reviews and the studio production notes. The Var review reported that the film had a monoaural soundtrack, and used filmic devices such as split screen, still montages and non-concert footage in a “sparing” but effective manner. As noted by Robinson in the production notes, Save the Children was intended to be a celebration of life and hope in musical and narrative form.
       The annual Black Exposition began in 1971 and was held at the Chicago Amphitheater, located in the old stockyard section of the city. The exposition was sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), which was founded in 1971 and presided over by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. The theme of the exposition for 1972 was “Save the Children,” but each year offered a different ... More Less

The onscreen credits for this unviewed documentary were taken from a cutting continuity. The continuity indicated that the title card bore a 1973 copyright for Stellar Productions, Inc., but the film was not registered for copyright. One of Matt Robinson’s onscreen credits reads: “Narrative written and spoken by.” The list of performers up to Jackie Verdell appeared in the opening credits, and the remaining performers were listed in the end credits. The end credits listed song titles with the name of the song’s music publisher. Later in the end credits the record labels of the songs heard in the film were listed as part of an acknowledgment, but without reference to specific songs. The end credits closed by thanking the record companies, as well as the Ford Foundation, the PUSH Foundation and “all persons associated with Operation PUSH.”
       The summary above was compiled from reviews and the studio production notes. The Var review reported that the film had a monoaural soundtrack, and used filmic devices such as split screen, still montages and non-concert footage in a “sparing” but effective manner. As noted by Robinson in the production notes, Save the Children was intended to be a celebration of life and hope in musical and narrative form.
       The annual Black Exposition began in 1971 and was held at the Chicago Amphitheater, located in the old stockyard section of the city. The exposition was sponsored by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), which was founded in 1971 and presided over by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. The theme of the exposition for 1972 was “Save the Children,” but each year offered a different theme. (For example, according to the production notes, the 1973 theme was “Save the Black Colleges.”) The event offered live concerts by African-American artists, as well as a worship service, lectures and “county fair-type booths” on various subjects related to African American identity. Proceeds from the event were used to fund charitable projects, such as sending food to Central West Africa, which had been suffering a multi-year drought.
       According to the production notes, in 1971, executive producer Clarence Avant suggested to Matt Robinson that the acts featured during the exposition should be filmed, and they discussed the idea with director Stan Lathan. However, the 1972 Save the Children exposition was the first to be filmed due to financing complications caused by presenting performers from multiple record labels. The problem was resolved by bypassing sponsorship from commercial organizations and receiving a Ford Foundation loan, which, according to the HR review, totalled $750,000. According to the production notes and reviews, the performers paid their own expenses and put on the live show for free. The production notes reported that the editing of 240,000 feet of film shot at the exposition took six months from the end of shooting to the completion of a rough cut.
       According to the NYT review, the film opened at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem for an audience of children hospitalized at several local medical institutions. According to the Box review, the original soundtrack was available on the Motown record label. A 13 Jan 1975 Box reported that the concert portion of the original film was re-released under the title Brothers and Sisters . Some modern sources list the re-release title of the film as Brothers and Sisters in Concert . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Oct 1973
p. 4630.
Box Office
13 Jan 1975.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1973.
---
Daily Variety
18 Sep 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1973
pp. 3-4.
Los Angeles Times
25 Oct 1973
Section IV, p. 14.
New York Times
19 Sep 1973
p. 40.
Variety
19 Sep 1973
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
Narrative wrt by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Principal photog
Lighting dir
2d unit photog
2d unit photog
2d unit photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Lighting asst
Lighting asst
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
Artwork by
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Audio dir
2d unit sd
2d unit sd
Sync specialist
Sd ed
Re-rec
Re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opticals by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Equip coord
Film stage mgr
Concert stage mgr
Asst to the prod
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
PUSH Expo coord
Gen. chairman
Art and cultural exhibit coord
Bus exhibit coord
Stage prod coord
Asst stage coord
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
Stage prod
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Hummin'" by Nat Adderley
“Country Preacher” by Josef Eric Zawinul
"People Make the World Go Round" by Linda Epstein and Thomas Randolph Bell
+
MUSIC
"Hummin'" by Nat Adderley
“Country Preacher” by Josef Eric Zawinul
"People Make the World Go Round" by Linda Epstein and Thomas Randolph Bell
"Killer Jo," by Quincy Jones and Benny Golson.
+
SONGS
"Save the Children,” music and lyrics by Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland and Marvin Gaye
“Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me,” music and lyrics by Bill Withers
"Are You Sure?" music and lyrics by Ike Cargill
+
SONGS
"Save the Children,” music and lyrics by Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland and Marvin Gaye
“Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me,” music and lyrics by Bill Withers
"Are You Sure?" music and lyrics by Ike Cargill
“Oh Happy Day,” music by Edwin Hawkins, lyrics by Philip Doddridge
“Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” music and lyrics by Barrett Strong and Norman Jesse Whitfield
“Walk Tall,” music and lyrics by Esther Marrow, James R. Rein and Josef Eric Zawinul
“Oh, Girl,” music and lyrics by Eugene Record
“Everybody Plays the Fool,” music and lyrics by Ralph Bailey, Rudolph Clark and Kenneth Williams
“Sunshine,” music and lyrics by Phillip L. Hurtt and Walter B. Zigler
“Stormy Monday,” music and lyrics by Aaron Walker
“This Child of Mine,” music and lyrics by Zulema Cusseaux
“What’s Happenin’, Brother?” music and lyrics by James Nyx, Jr. and Marvin Gaye
“We People Who Are Darker Than Blue” and “Give Me Your Love,” music and lyrics by Curtis Mayfield
“I’ve Gotta Be Me,” music and lyrics by Walter Marks
“On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever),” music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” music and lyrics by Barrett Strong and Norman Jesse Whitfield
“(They Long to Be) Close to You,” music and lyrics by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
“The Greatest Performance of My Life,” music and lyrics by Robert I. Allen, Oscar Petri Anderle and Roberto M. Sanchez
“A.B.C.” and “I Want You Back,” music and lyrics by The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards and Alphonzo Mizell)
“I Wanna Be Where You Are,” music and lyrics by Arthur Ross and Leon Ware
“What’s Goin’ On?” music and lyrics by Alfred Cleveland and Marvin Gaye
“I’m Too Close to Heaven to Turn Around Now,” music and lyrics by Alex E. Bradford, Jr.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Brothers and Sisters
Release Date:
September 1973
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 16 September 1973
Production Date:
27 September--1 October 1972 in Chicago
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Lenses/Prints
Prints by Movielab
Duration(in mins):
123
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
23760
SYNOPSIS

This documentary is a record of the Black Exposition held in Chicago from 27 Sep –1 Oct 1972, organized by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). The theme of the convention, “Save the Children,” was a plea to help black youth to survive and prosper. During the event, noted African-American performers from all over the country were featured. In the film, shots of the performers on stage are interpolated into montages about black progress and urban living. Marvin Gaye sings the title song and returns later to sing, “What’s Going On?” as stock footage from Vietnam, Africa and America show children at risk. Bill Withers sings the song “Lean on Me,” as a film montage shows elderly men living in ghetto streets. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet perform a tribute to Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of Operation PUSH. Rev. James Cleveland leads the PUSH Mass Choir singing gospel music. Footage of the market fair-style exhibits at the exposition, featuring African-American artists and businesses, also appears in the film and is narrated offscreen by producer Matt Robinson. The family of the youthful rock group The Jackson Five is shown leaving the Saturday morning church service held during the event. The film closes with Jackson leading a prayer, and a presentation of a Mississippi family given shelter in Chicago by PUSH ... +


This documentary is a record of the Black Exposition held in Chicago from 27 Sep –1 Oct 1972, organized by Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). The theme of the convention, “Save the Children,” was a plea to help black youth to survive and prosper. During the event, noted African-American performers from all over the country were featured. In the film, shots of the performers on stage are interpolated into montages about black progress and urban living. Marvin Gaye sings the title song and returns later to sing, “What’s Going On?” as stock footage from Vietnam, Africa and America show children at risk. Bill Withers sings the song “Lean on Me,” as a film montage shows elderly men living in ghetto streets. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet perform a tribute to Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of Operation PUSH. Rev. James Cleveland leads the PUSH Mass Choir singing gospel music. Footage of the market fair-style exhibits at the exposition, featuring African-American artists and businesses, also appears in the film and is narrated offscreen by producer Matt Robinson. The family of the youthful rock group The Jackson Five is shown leaving the Saturday morning church service held during the event. The film closes with Jackson leading a prayer, and a presentation of a Mississippi family given shelter in Chicago by PUSH volunteers. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.