Apple TV ‘s “The Banker” Provides an In-Depth View into the 1960’s Banking Systems and Jim Crow Laws

A few days ago, I decided to add Apple TV to my monthly streaming subscription services. As I looked through the movies and tv shows, I started to give up hope in finding anything interesting until this gem of a movie caught my attention. The movie is called The Banker, and it stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, who have starred in countless Marvel Studio films we all know and love. In the banker, we are introduced to the characters of Bernard S. Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) two successful African American businessmen in Los Angeles during the Jim Crow era. After experiencing discrimination in wanting to expand their businesses outside of the African American area, the men devise a scheme to purchase white real estate and banks in order to move African American families in better homes . The two men hire a white man named Matt Steiner (Nicholas Holt) as the face of their empire to obtain these businesses and homes. A year of success causes Mr. Garrett to expand to his hometown in Texas, where many poor blacks are in a worse state than their Los Angeles counterparts. Soon Garrett, Morris, and Steiner’s plans to buy real estate and distribute bank loans to African American businesses through white banks fall through. The trio are no match for Jim Crow south, FDIC, and the large banking systems of the 1960s.


It all sounds too good to be true! Yet this movie is based on the actual accounts of Bernard S. Garrett, Joe Morris, and Matt Steiner. The film was directed and adapted by George Nolfi. He wrote and directed 2011’s The Adjustment Bureau and co-wrote 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum. This film has Nolfi written all over it with the elements of bank heist schemes, government fragmentation, and the choice of doing the right thing with questionable motives. Along with George Nolfi producing, Brad Feinstein is producing along with his company Romulus Entertainment .

All in all, The Banker is worth watching if you are fans of Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson. Also, if learning about an unknown piece of African American history interests you. Although the characters did break the law with their scheme, the audience can see their heart was in the right place at least. You can find this gem of a movie streaming on Apple TV.

(Librarian Ninja Girl )

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