Starring: Jim Brown, George Kennedy, Janet MacLachlan and Frederic March
Rated: Not Rated Action, Crime, Drama
Set in the late 1960s, Jim Price (Jim Brown) has recently been elected sheriff of his small town community, Colusa County. Price, an African-American, understands that, despite his monumental win, racism of some in his community runs deep still.
Nothing positive has impacted race relations in over one hundred years and his election strikes fear in Mary (Janet MacLachlan), Jim’s wife. Included in the collective of racists are the outgoing and disgruntled sheriff, John Little (George Kennedy), and the mayor, Jeff Parks (Frederick March). Price receives practically no support from these significant persons in power. In fact, he is undermined in trying to perform his new job. Even Little’s deputy, Bengy Springer (Don Stroud) violently assaults Price’s deputy, Bradford Wilkes (Richard Elkins).
Two particular instances test the efficacy of Price: the cases of John Braddock (Robert Random) and of George Harley (Bernie Casey). Braddock, who is White, is being investigated for the death of a young girl. Harley, who is Black, is detained after being accused of rape. Braddock’s father, John Sr. (Karl Swenson), is wealthy and attempts to use his power to bully the sheriff to free John. Simultaneously, more of the citizens are becoming more aggressive about their perceptions of Price.
As tensions build, instigated by Braddock, a regretful and conflicted Little accepts the open position of deputy. Will Price and Little be able to work together and solve both crimes to attain justice? Or will John Braddock Sr., his vigilantes and an ever-growing lynch mob exact their own vengeance? Time is quickly running out for Jim Price … tick … tick … tick!
Release by MGM in 1970, …tick…tick…tick… has become a cult classic for its dramatic presentation of race. Written by James Lee Barrett, it was filmed in California but the set was created to present a small town in a rural, Southern environment. This environment included a courthouse that had been used in the award-winning and critically-praised To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).
…tick…tick…tick… reunited Jim Brown and George Kennedy, as they both starred in The Dirty Dozen (1967). Brown, who led the Cleveland Browns (1957-1965), was also placed with Bernie Casey, who played with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams (1961-1968). These two men were lauded for their performance in the National Football League (NFL).
This was the final role for Frederic March. An acclaimed, award winning actor, March is only one of two actors (the other is actress Helen Hayes) who have won both the Academy Award for “Best Actor” and Tony Award “For Best Actor” twice. March received an Oscar for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and a Tony for Years Ago (1947) and Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956).