Great Moments In Colored Cinema: “The Long Kiss Goodnight”

Whether he was Jules Winnfield, Shaft, Mace Windu or Nick Fury, over the last few decades Samuel L. Jackson has become synonymous with the phrase “bad muthfucka”. However, what people tend to forget is that Mr. Jackson also built his reputation via low-key roles where he absolutely stole the show and solidified his reputation as a bad ass. One of those famously overlooked roles is that of Mitch Hennessey (fantastic last name) in The Long Kiss Goodnight,  who’s a smart-mouth private investigator with a knack for serving the perfect punch line at just the right time to knock the wind out of your lungs with laughter.

In this particular scene, the character of Mitch is introduced with him doing his part in his personal sting operation. In the sting, he uses his own secretary to have sex with a mark for the purpose of blackmailing him. The greatness of this scene lies is how a deadpan faced Mitch delivers his threat to a naked, scared married white man who is seemingly at the mercy of a black man with an attitude, gun and a badge a.k.a. what Republicans call an “Obama.” Then you have that same black man with an attitude, gun and badge threatening the white guy with a 10-year sentence of being raped in jail, and “if the case gets thrown out because my arrest was too violent, I will personally hire a man to ass fu*k you for the next 10 years.” This threat turned promise worked on every level imaginable. You can only imagine that old naked white dude isn’t only scared that he’s about to take an ass whupping, but he’s about to experience his first ass raping by what he can only assume is going to be a barbaric human being who enjoys bringing the pain. He looks like the kind of old white dude that’s seen Deliverance and wants no parts of them waters. You take those things into account and this scene just works on every level.

The best part is this scene was simply a precursor to the rest of Mitch’s witty remarks and classic quotes. Then you throw in his little barbs with Geena Davis in the film and you have absolute hood classic. 

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