Boss Nigger (also known as simply Boss and The Black Bounty Killer) is a 1975 blaxploitation Western film written by and starring former football star Fred "The Hammer" Williamson.
The plot concerns the bounty hunters "Boss" and his Sidekick Amos coming to an entirely white town in the west, and taking up the vacant office of sheriff and deputy. They are ostensibly hunting for the large bounty on the head of the man who's been terrorizing the town, but not before laying down some laws of their own, reversing the double standards deeply ingrained in the racist white community.
This film provides examples of:
- And This Is for...: In the climactic battle between Boss and Jed: "And this is for Clara Mae!"
- Big Bad: Jed Clayton
- Bowdlerize: The DVD cover is simply Boss.
- Although the movie on the DVD uses Boss Nigger (with a caption card from Willimason saying that he is proud of the movie and notes that anyone calling him nigger in the movie gets their comeuppance.)
- Cliffhanger/Downer Ending: The film ends with Boss gets shot multiple times, and may be dying as Amos takes him from town.
- Death of a Child: Poncho, who is run over by a slow-motion horse.
- Dragon Their Feet: After Boss finally kills Jed Clayton, the battle seems to have ended and he leaves the bar, only to get shot multiple times (Possibly being fatally wounded too) by the corrupt Mayor, who he then manages to kill by throwing his knife at him.
- Expository Theme Tune: "They call him boss... Boss Nigger!"
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Boss never misses a shot, despite always firing from the hip.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: Say the title out loud in public, and see how many looks you get. Bonus points if you're white. note
- Ms. Fanservice: Clara Mae has little to do in the movie besides bathe, almost get raped, and distract a Mook with a provocative dance
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: All in all, the town is predominantly worse off (and much less populated) after Boss and Amos leave. Borders on Anti-Villain at times.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Amos is buried under rubble by several sticks of dynamite but emerges unharmed.
- N-Word Privileges: Boss and Amos use the word indiscriminately, but make it illegal for the "whiteys" to use it in public.
- In a meta-sense, this is one of the few films where you need these to say the title. When it was released on DVD, the title on the box was just Boss.
- Rated M for Manly: Part Legend. Part Devil. All Man!
- Refuge in Audacity: Look at the title of this movie. That actually happened.
- Although it's not all that audacious for the Blaxploitation genre. Fred Williams also starred in "The Legend of Nigger Charley" and "The Soul of Nigger Charley". Blaxploitation movies did this all the time.
- Sidekick: Amos is this to boss.
- Spiritual Antithesis: To Blazing Saddles. While Blazing Saddles featured a black sheriff in a white Wild West town and examined the racism of the time too, it was Played for Laughs and provided an optimistic Western where evil would be vanquished. Boss Nigger is decidedly more cynical in its story, portraying the town's racism unhumorously and with opportunistic heroes who are only marginally better than the villains.
- Spiritual Successor: To Williamson's previous Westerns, "The Legend of Nigger Charley" and "The Soul of Nigger Charley". A common, though unconfirmed theory, is that Boss is in fact the same character, Charley.
- Where Da White Women At?: Boss kisses a white schoolteacher "Just to satisfy her curiosity".
- Xanatos Gambit: Mayor Griffin wins whether or not Jed Clayton's gang gets wiped out. If Jed kills Boss, Griffin is still a Corrupt Politician, and life would be fairly comfortable for him at the expense of his constituents. If Boss kills Jed, then the town will be free of their tyranny, but Griffin is still their Ultimate Authority Mayor, and, when this happens at the end of the film, he can just kill Boss himself and not have to deal with a black sheriff undermining his authority. It would've worked if he hadn't taken a knife to the chest.