Sidney Poitier makes his directorial debut with the 1972 Western Buck and the Preacher, set during the end of the Civil War. Poitier stars as Buck, an ex-Army soldier who is scouting sites for the former slaves that want to settle out West. The villainous Deshay (Cameron Mitchell) rounds up his gang to try to stop Buck because he wants to keep the slaves working down in Louisiana. Buck meets up with the Preacher (Poitier's real-life good friend Harry Belafonte), who is really a con man in disguise. Although they don't get along at first, they eventually team up against Deshay and his murderous gang of outlaws. Also starring Ruby Dee. Jazz bandleader Benny Carter composed the soundtrack.