Buck and the Preacher is a 1972 American Western film starring Sidney Poitier as Buck and Harry Belafonte as the Preacher. Buck is a trail guide leading groups of former slaves trying to homestead in the West, immediately after the American Civil War. The Preacher is a swindling minister of the "High and Low Order of the Holiness Persuasion Church". Together, they protect a wagon train from bounty hunters.
This is the first film Sidney Poitier directed. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said Poitier "showed a talent for easy, unguarded, rambunctious humor missing from his more stately movies".
The notable blues musicians Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee performed in the film's soundtrack, composed by jazz great Benny Carter.
Buck and the Preacher opens with deep rhythm and blues soundtrack reminiscent of a modern John Wayne Western that was given deep soul and harmony from the 1970’s. The camera then switches scenes into a camp of African Americans who were just freed from slavery and are traveling West for a better life. Suddenly, a band of men on horseback terrorize the camp by burning wagons and tents and killing men, women and children. The leader of these white bandits, DeShay