Before there was Sweet Sweetback, director Melvin Van Peebles used comedy to address the issue of race relations in America in the 1970 feature The Watermelon Man -- arriving on DVD from Columbia Pictures. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the feature is presented beautifully on this disc. In addition to solid colors and even skin tones, there is little evidence of digital artifacting, and the only trace of age is some minor grain inherent to the source materials. The closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack rings through loud and clear, with the music and dialogue perfectly balanced. Though it may have been nice to see director Van Peebles more closely involved in the production of this disc, viewers are treated to a brief introduction voiced by the director, in which he details the origins of the feature, talks about his struggle to get a black actor cast in the lead (the studios had only considered white actors), and discusses the controversy that arose when he opted to change the ending of the screenplay.