One of the best pictures by former blacklisted director John Berry, this bright, underrated 1974 romantic comedy and social satire picks up a theme from his first important picture, From This Day Forward (1946)the thwarting of a young couple’s lives by government bureaucracyand really runs with it. (If you believe the neoconservative claim that radical leftists never criticize the abuses of big government, this is bound to be an eye-opener.) Here the romance is between a garbage man (James Earl Jones) and a young ghetto mother on welfare (Diahann Carroll), and Berry’s handling of the topic manages to be pointed without being condescending. On its own terms, the film is a revelation and a delight. 92 min. (JR)

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