TO say Dudley Thompson lived a full life would be an understatement. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, was a respected lawyer and committed Pan-African, senator, government minister and ambassador.
He also did a bit of acting.
THOMPSON… played Police Commissioner Bowles in Marijuana Affair
The affable Thompson, who died last Friday in New York City at age 95, had a cameo in the 1975 film, The Marijuana Affair. He played police commissioner Bowles.
Filmed in Jamaica, The Marijuana Affair was directed by American William Greaves and produced by Jamaican boxing promoter Lucien Chen.
It starred Bahamian actor Calvin Lockhart, as well as Jamaican stalwarts Charles Hyatt, Carl Bradshaw and Basil Keane. Mark Ricketts, owner of the Island Premiere and Review Centre in Fort Lauderdale, told the Observer he
bought rights to the film from Chen two years ago.
The Marijuana Affair was shown at his 60-seater venue in October to enthusiastic audiences. Ricketts commented on Thompson’s performance.
“He didn’t have a major role but he did his thing.”
At the time, Thompson was a senior member in the ruling People’s National Party, led by socialist prime minister Michael Manley. The Marijuana Affair’s plot zooms in on corruption among government officials and high-ranking members of the police force.
Lockhart, who lived in St Mary for several years, played Richard Farrington, an American detective investigating the drug trade’s influence on violence in the country. Early in his career, the charismatic Lockhart was seen in some circles as the next Sidney Poitier. He was best known to Jamaican movie fans for his roles in popular ‘blaxploitation’ flicks of the 1970s.
Bradshaw co-starred as Boy Blue, Hyatt played Preacher and Keane had the role of Deacon. Bradshaw and Keane co-starred in The Harder They Come three years earlier.
The Marijuana Affair had a brief Jamaican run at the Harbour View Drive-in. Ricketts plans to release the film on DVD this year.