Warm December: Sidney Poitier’s Second Directing effort, Starring Him and Anderson

After the strong success of his debut, the Western Buck and the Preacher, actor Sideny Poitier chose for his second directing effort A Warm December, a romantic melodrama in which he also starred.

Poitier plays a widowed doctor, Matt Younger, who takes his young daughter to London where he meets and fall for Catherine (Jamaican actress Esther Anderson), who, it turns out suffers from an incurable disease that affects more blacks than whites.

A minor film, Warm December is most convincing as a family melodrama–the surrounding medical and political contexts are less compelling.

Predictably, Poitier’s daughter gets attached to Catherine, and is terribly upset upon learning of the latter medical condition.

Anderson’s role of an African princess won her the 1973 NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

Letta Mbulu sings “Nonqonqo” with an African choir a tune written by Miriam Makeba.

Taylor Perkinson composed and conducted the score.

Poitier’s Directing Career

Poitier has directed eight films, the most successful of which was Stir Crazy, a comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. 

His feature directorial debut was the Western Buck and the Preacher, in which Poitier also starred, alongside Harry Belafonte; Poitier replaced the original director, Joseph Sargent.

The trio of Poitier, Cosby, and Belafonte reunited, with Poitier again directing, in Uptown Saturday Night.

He directed Cosby in Let’s Do It Again, A Piece of Action, and Ghost Dad.

In 1985, Poitier directed the first popular dance battle movie, Fast Forward.