Cool Breeze (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) (1972)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

RAYMOND ST. JACQUES, ONE WHO SURVIVED The road to success, has in no way been easy for Black actor Raymond St. Jacques. “| had to fight for my life,’’ he explained. ‘‘In 1955 they were doing a play about the Korean War, from which | had just returned. Being a soldier, | asked the producer for a part in the play. He said there was nothing in it for me, but! asked him if he had been there lately? We were all over there fighting and dying together. Fortunately, the producer realized his mistake and gave me a part. But | was just a token nigger.” St. Jacques feels that the Black man was never really cast until 10 or 15 years ago. ‘‘We were always playing stereotype buffoons, never characters with any depth of feeling. Things began to change with ‘Pinky’ and ‘The Defiant One,’ but it was still the white man’s viewpoint of what it was all about.” Currently starring in the Gene Corman Production for MGM, “Cool Breeze,’’ St. Jacques is one of the few talents of the fifties fortunate enough to maintain his career, and emerge as one of the leading Black actors in Hollywood. “Cool Breeze,’’ produced by Gene Corman, and directed by Barry Pollack from his original screenplay, also stars Thalmus Rasulala, Judy Pace, Jim Watkins and Lincoln Kilpatrick. St. Jacques plays Mercer, ‘‘papa hustler’’ and manipulator of BOTH SIDES OF LAWS “I dig acting, but singing is my first love,’’ says Sam Laws who is featured as the owner of a small downtown Los Angeles men’s store that is the front for a bookie joint in MGM’s ‘‘Cool Breeze.”’ The action drama is the story of a group of Black brothers who execute a three million dollar diamond robbery. Born in Delaware and raised in Washington, D.C., Laws explains, “‘| started in show business as a singer with the army band at Fort Lewis. When I| was discharged in 1947, | headed straight for New York and stayed there for 22 years.”’ During that time, in addition to his numerous night club appearances, Laws appeared in stage productions of ‘‘Cabin In the Sky,”’ “Come Yesterday,’ ‘‘Who’s Got His Own.’”’ He was in the London production of ‘‘Blues for Mr. Charlie,’ and more recently in the Los Angeles productions of ‘‘Murderous Angels” and ‘‘The Blacks.”’ For his phenomenal ability to imitate such illustrious talents as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae and Pearl Bailey, he has earned the title of ‘‘Mr. Stylist.”’ When he decided to try the West Coast, he found fertile fields for his talents both on television and in motion pictures. He has appeared in ‘‘The Pawnbroker,’”’ ‘‘The All American Boy,” ‘‘The Grissom Gang,” ‘‘Up Tight,’’ and now his current role ‘‘Cool Breeze.” Television audiences will recognize him for his guest portrayals on “‘Ironside,’’ ‘‘Daniel Boone,” ‘‘Days of Our Lives,’”’ ‘‘Mannix,” and two specials with Harry Belafonte and another with Gene Kelly. Of his role in ‘“‘Cool Breeze’ produced by Gene Corman and directed by Barry Pollack, Laws feels it is one of the most stimulating of his career, adding, ‘‘Working with Thalmus Rasulala, Judy Pace, MAKE BELIEVE WORLD Pamela Grier portrays one of the women in the life of a man who masterminds a $3 million jewel heist in MGM’s ‘‘Cool Breeze.” MAT NO. 1J Pamela Grier, who co-stars with Thalmus Rasulala, Jim Watkins, Judy Pace, Lincoln Kilpatrick and Raymond St. Jacques in MGM’s “Cool Breeze,’’ was a world traveler by the time she was 13. Her father was in the Air Force and the family moved frequently. In fact, after one tour of duty in England, Pamela was kidded about her accent by school friends when they moved back to this country. “‘Perhaps all that traveling and exposure to different kinds of people and places gave me the first idea of becoming an actress,”’ says Pamela, “it was kind of like make-believe each time we moved.’’ She also has a very famous cousin, the former football player-entertainer-actor, Roosevelt ‘‘Rosey’’ Grier, who was working in another MGM film, ‘‘Skyjacked’’ while Pamela toiled in ‘‘Cool Breeze.” Pamela portrays one of the women in the life of the man who the fast buck, who agrees to supply the front money for a three million dollar diamond robbery. “It is important that Black people start doing their own pictures,’’ St. Jacques stated. ‘“‘As a Black man | can’t do a picture about Italians even though | speak the language well and have lived in Italy. If you are going to do a realistic Black picture it should be made by Blacks.”’ St. Jacques went on to say that early next year he will be producing, directing, and starring in ‘‘The Book of Numbers,’’ from a novel by the Black author Robert Dean Pharr. St. Jacques knows how difficult it can be to break out of the slums, having grown up in such an area in New Haven, Conn. He started upward as a young boy working for the Boys Clubs of America, and eventually became camp counselor. He then worked with the YMCA, and from there went into the theatre. Never forgetting his origin, St. Jacques spends much of his spare time as artistic director for Watts’ Mafundi Institute, teaching acting techniques, scene study and fencing. ‘‘| am very concerned about the young ‘brothers’ in the ghetto,’ said St. Jacques. “They don’t know right from wrong, or what’s going to become of their future. | think we as Blacks must look to ourselves to find a way to write, to solidify ourselves as a people, in order to have a direction. That’s what I’m striving for at Mafundi Institute.’’ Questioned about his own affluence, St. Jacques says, ‘‘You can’t be dishonest with the people. It is important that the brothers see a Black image that has come from the ghetto and succeeded. | park my Bentley right out in front of the place, and | think it inspires them, because they know where | came from.” Jim Watkins, Lincoln Kilpatrick and Raymond St. Jacques was really a pleasure. Each character has a sense of realism that is rare in Black films. None are phoney. And more important, ‘Cool Breeze’ is entertaining.”’ Lt. Knowles (Lincoln Kilpatrick), a policeman who operates successfully on both sides of the law, in MGM’s ‘‘Cool Breeze”’ gives Finian (Sam Laws) a treatment of police brutality in an attempt to secure a confession. MAT NO. 2D masterminds a three million dollar jewel robbery in ‘‘Cool Breeze’ which was produced by Gene Corman and directed by Barry Pollack. This role represents her tenth in motion pictures since her debut in ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.’” Her most recent films, some yet to be released include, ‘‘Blackula,’”’ ‘‘Twilight People,’’ ‘‘The New England Vampire,”’ ‘‘Mistress of Rose Hill,’” and ‘‘Women in Cages.” Her first leading film role came with ‘‘The Big Doll House.” She was also allowed to display another of her talents for that picture singing the theme song. “I started singing early in my life, and while in high school became part of a Gospel Choir that had its own weekly television show,’’ explains Pamela. That talent has not been idle even while she pursues her acting career. While doing legitimate stage roles in ‘‘Blues for Mr. Charlie’ and ‘‘Carnival Island,’’ she sang background vocals for recording artists like Bobby Womack and Lou Rawls. She’s also appeared on cousin Rosey’s television show, and provided music for some tv commercials. Looking back on her high school days, Pamela remembers that she was always active in drama and music societies, adding, ‘‘My grades were pretty good, but | did have to visit the dean’s office occasionally for having a hot temper. “l entered Metropolitan State College with every intention of becoming a doctor, but | always managed to have a drama class in my schedule somewhere. | just couldn’t give it up.”’ After one year in college, she entered the Miss Colorado Universe Pagant and won first runner-up. An agent approached her and suggested Hollywood. ‘‘He didn’t paint any rosy picture,’’ she says, “‘he told me I’d have to work hard and after a while, | really began to love the smog, cheap hamburgers, temporary office jobs and unemployment.” After only a year of study, she was in her first motion picture. Now with ‘‘Cool Breeze’ as her tenth film, she feels, ‘‘Nothing can stop me now.”’