2001 drama “The Old Settler” starring Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Bumper Robinson and Crystal R. Fox.
Adaptation of John Henry Redwood’s play, set in Harlem in the 1940s, about two sisters whose lives are altered when a young Southern man takes temporary lodging in their apartment. Quilly (Debbie Allen), newly separated from her husband, has come to live with her never-married sister Elizabeth (Phylicia Rashad). She is dismayed to learn that her cash-strapped sibling has rented a room in their modest Harlem apartment to a handsome young boarder, Husband Witherspoon (Bumper Robinson). Husband has traveled from rural South Carolina to search for his hometown sweetheart, Lou Bessie. Husband soon learns that Lou Bessie has become a fast-living party girl known as Charmaine. Though he tries, Husband is unable to fit into her world. Desperate for real companionship, Husband reaches out to the much-older Elizabeth and convinces her that their romance can work. The two begin a love affair over the objections of Quilly and Lou Bessie, who dismisses Elizabeth as “an old settler” — a woman who has reached middle age with no prospect of marriage.