Watermelon Man (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Watermelon Man (1970)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Watermelon Man Photos

Movie Info

When racist white insurance agent Jeff Gerber wakes up one morning to discover that his skin has turned black, he experiences bigotry first hand as his family, neighbors, and employers react to his transformation. Now suffering from the effects of racial discrimination, Jeff must reassess his priorities in life.

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Godfrey Cambridge
as Jeff Gerber
Estelle Parsons
as Althea Gerber
Howard Caine
as Mr. Townsend
D'Urville Martin
as Bus Driver
Mantan Moreland
as Counterman
Kay E. Kuter
as Dr. Wainwright
Scott Garrett
as Burton Gerber
Erin Moran
as Janice Gerber
Irving Selbst
as Mr. Johnson
Emil Sitka
as Delivery Man
Lawrence Parke
as 1st Passenger
Robert Dagny
as 2nd Passenger
Ray Ballard
as 3rd Passenger
Karl Lukas
as 2nd Policeman
Paul Williams
as Employment Office Clerk
Ralph Montgomery
as Drugstore Boss
Charles Lampkin
as Dr. Catlin
Matthias Uitz
as Cab Driver
Rhodie Cogan
as Mrs. Johnson
Donna Dubrow
as Receptionist
Frank Farmer
as Andy Brandon
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Critic Reviews for Watermelon Man

All Critics (4)

Pawing for attention.

July 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Problem is it hammers home its point about racism being alive and well in America until it becomes annoyingly repetitive and preachy.

June 21, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

It is not the most stalwart ethnological study of its time, though it is significant for its heritage, its confrontation, and its violation of taboos.

November 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Watermelon Man


It's blatantly obvious that we're supposed to be confronted with the social problems of race in America from a mixture of comedy and drama, but I couldn't help but keep myself from asking how in the world he got turned into a black guy in the first place. The ridiculousness of the answers given by him and the others in the film on that problem just irked me. I was so hung up on the how that I didn't enjoy the rest so much. But I will say that it gives a nice look at the differences between the way people are treated depending on their skin color, it's pretty funny, and not a very bad movie over all.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The film Melvin Van Peebles made before he did Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song. Set during the 60's/0's race riots, Jeff Gerbler is a white gung-ho, un-self-aware and un-popular insurance-selling family man who wakes up one morning to find he's turned black. Cue panic, surpise, adverse reactions from the neighbours etc etc. Godfrey Cambridge carries the whole film, and his move from denial to acceptance is punctuated by a running stream of dryly sarcastic and very funny dialog. Excellent, .

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer


classic message laden movie..Cambridge's signature role...funny and insightful and a cool soundtrack to boot....

alan jay
alan jay

Super Reviewer

Watermelon Man Quotes

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