March, even at age 72, shines above the rest of the cast as the mayor of a small southern town in this weak drama. Kennedy plays the tough-but-honorable sheriff who retires, opening his office for an election. The newly elected sheriff happens to be a black man, Brown, and both men anticipate the transfer of power to be a shaky one. Though Kennedy is no bleeding-heart liberal, he swears to assist Brown in handling the wary locals if need be. Brown shows his evenhandedness by arresting both black and whites if they have broken the law. The town stays in a very uneasy holding pattern until Brown makes the mistake of arresting a young white man from another town for killing a small child in a hit-and-run accident. The jailed boy's father, a powerful man from the next county, organizes a white mob to get his son out of jail by force. With the help of March and Kennedy, Brown is able to mobilize the townsfolk and turn back the hostile whites. While the filmmakers' hearts are in the right place, the film has the feel of a bandwagon effort designed to capitalize on the success of films like GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER? and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. Thanks to March, the picture carries a certain class that would otherwise be missing.