Release Date: 4/11/1973 Genre: Drama/Crime Rating: R Director: Raymond St. Jacques Studio(s):Brut Productions, AVCO Embassy Pictures Running Time:81 mins.
Cast: Raymond St. Jacques, Philip Michael Thomas, Freda Payne, Hope Clarke, Willie Washington, Jr., D’Urville Martin, Doug Finell, Sterling St. Jacques, C. L. Williams, Jerry Leon, Gilbert Green, Irma P. Hall.
Story: Blueboy Harris and Dave Green are struggling to make a living as waiters in the deep South during the Depression. They assess their options and decide that there’s more money to be made on the shadier side of the law, so they set up a numbers racket. It proves to have been the right decision and things are going smoothly for them until a white crime boss finds out about their success which leads to struggles with the mafia, the KKK and a corrupt police force. Source(s): tcm.com; daarac.org.
Original Release Date:3/18/1970 Genre: Drama Rating:R Director: William Wyler Studio(s):Liberation Company, Columbia Pictures Running Time: 102 mins. Cast: Roscoe Lee Browne (L.B. Jones), Yaphet Kotto (Sonny Boy Mosby), Lola Falana (Emma Jones), Lee J. Cobb (Oman Hedgepath), Lee Majors (Steve Mundine), Anthony Zerbe (Willie Joe Worth), Arch Johnson (Stanley Bumpas), Barbara Hershey (Nella Mundine), Zara Cully (Mama Lavorn), Brenda Sykes (Jelly), Fayard Nicholas (Benny).
Details:Based on Jesse Hill Ford’s 1965 novel The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones. The novel, in turn, was based on events that happened in a Southern town where the writer lived. After he wrote the book, he was verbally attacked for writing about the events that had occurred in his town.
Story: Steve and Nella Mundine arrive in Somerton, Tennessee, where Steve is to join the law firm of his uncle Oman Hedgepath. Arriving on the same train is Sonny Boy Mosby, a young black man bent on avenging a childhood beating inflicted by white policeman Stanley Bumpas. Hedgepath is persuaded by Steve to accept the case of Lord Byron Jones, a wealthy black funeral director who is seeking a divorce from his considerably younger wife Emma, alleging she had an affair with white police officer Willie Joe Worth, whom he suspects is the biological father of her unborn child.
Emma contests the suit, hoping to receive a settlement sufficient enough to allow her to maintain her lavish lifestyle. Fearful of scandal, Worth demands that Emma not contest the divorce and severely beats her when she refuses to cooperate. Then, with the aid of fellow officer Stanley Bumpas, Worth arrests Jones on false charges after he refuses to drop the suit. Jones escapes the officers and they pursue him into a junkyard. They eventually corner him and he is handcuffed. With dignity Jones refuses to cooperate even at gunpoint, and Worth shoots him, with Bumpas casually watching. Worth, initially cool, is suddenly horrified by what he has done but Bumpas coldly hangs Jones’ body on a wrecker hook.
Bumpas then castrates Jones and removes the dead man’s shoelaces to make it look like it was done by other blacks in a revenge killing. Initially another black man and Emma are forced to confess to the murder, but Hedgepath quickly discovers that the man was in jail at the time of the murder and that the confessions were coerced. A remorseful Worth confesses but Hedgepath and the town mayor decline to prosecute the murderers. Sonny Boy Mosby avenges Jones’ murder by pushing Bumpas into a harvester, making it appear to be an agricultural accident. Despairing of southern justice, the Mundines leave town, departing on the same train as Sonny Boy Mosby.
Notes:Lola Falana was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year – Actress, the film marked her debut on the big screen. Also marks the film debut of Brenda Sykes. Sources: IMDB; tcm.com; daarac.org; quadcinema.com; Wikipedia.
Original Release Date: 5/27/1970 Genre: Action Rating:R Director:Ossie Davis Studio(s):Formosa Productions, United Artists Running Time: 97 mins.
Cast: Godfrey Cambridge as Gravedigger Jones
Raymond St. Jacques as Coffin Ed Johnson
Calvin Lockhart as Deke O’Malley
Judy Pace as Iris Brown
Redd Foxx as Uncle Budd/Booker Washington Sims
Emily Yancy as Mabel
John Anderson as Bryce
Lou Jacobi as Goodman
Eugene Roche as Anderson
J.D. Cannon as Calhoun
Mabel Robinson as Billie
Dick Sabol as Jarema
Cleavon Little as Lo Boy
Theodore Wilson as Barry
Leonardo Cimino as Tom
Details: Two black police detectives suspect a preacher’s “Back to Africa” movement is a scam. The film is based on Chester Himes’ novel of the same name. It was followed two years later by the sequel Come Back, Charleston Blue.
Story: Cotton Comes to Harlem opens with a Back-to-Africa rally, led by the charismatic conman Reverend Deke O’Malley. O’Malley persuades hardworking families to pay $1,000 for the chance to return to Africa and escape white oppression. Deke raises $87,000, but before he can pocket the money, a group of masked white men hijack the money and flee the scene in a meat truck. O’Malley follows in an armored car, himself pursued by black police detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. During the pursuit, a bale of cotton, in which the hijackers hid the money, falls off the back of the truck and disappears onto the streets of Harlem. A junkman named Uncle Bud finds the cotton and stacks it onto his cart.
Back-to-the-Southland opens its headquarters in Harlem. The business is run by Colonel Calhoun, a Southerner who wants to convince black people to return to the South and pick cotton. Calhoun believes blacks need the steadying hand and guidance of whites to show them the way. The headquarters advertises for a bale of cotton as Calhoun was behind the theft of the money during the rally.
Grave Digger and Ed take on the case. Unaware of the missing bale of cotton or its significance, the detectives pursue Deke, who is in hiding, suspecting that he may have staged the hijacking to take off with the $87,000. They pursue leads that might led them to either the conman or the missing money with the help of “pigeons” (police informants), prostitutes, drug runners, and conmen.
Eventually the cotton ends up with Billie, an exotic dancer who intends to use it as a prop in her show. As she begins her act in Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Calhoun in blackface and O’Malley appear onstage in an effort to get to the cotton and the money. In doing so, the two are exposed and arrested by Coffin Ed and Grave Digger.
The detectives subsequently coerce a Mafia Don to compensate O’Malley’s disgruntled congregation for the elusive $87,000. Grave Digger and Coffin Ed learn that Uncle Bud absconded to Africa with the money, where he is enjoying a new lifestyle.
Notes: Cotton Comes to Harlem saw the film debut of Judy Pace, and Cleavon Little. It was also the credited debut of Redd Foxx, who was already well-known as a veteran night club comic, leading him to be considered for the TV Show Sanford and Son. Cambridge also starred as a white man who turns black in the motion picture comedy Watermelon Man, which opened the same day as Cotton Comes to Harlem. The film’s inspirational opening theme song, “Ain’t Now But It’s Gonna Be,” was written by Ossie Davis and performed by Melba Moore. Source(s): supersummary.com; tcm.com; blaxploitationpl.blogspot; daarac.org. Photo Sources/gifs: IMDB; daarac.org; tumbler; youtube.
Release Date: (1976) Genre: Action/Comedy Rating: R Director: Cliff Roquemore Studio(s): Comedian International, Xenon Entertainment Group, Dimension Pictures, Vinegar Syndrome. Running Time: 98 mins. Cast: Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite), Lady Reed (Queen Bee), Jimmy Lynch (Mr. Motion), Gloria Delaney (Hurricane Annie), J.B. Baron (Sheriff Beatty), Jerry Jones (Detective ‘Pistol Pete’ Blakeley), Herb Graham (Cavaletti), Ernie Hudson (Bo).
Story: Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore) is back and badder than ever in THE HUMAN TORNADO! After being run out of town by a racist sheriff, Dolemite returns to LA only to discover that Queen Bee’s (Lady Reed) club has been taken over by the mafia. On top of that they have also kidnapped two of Queen Bee’s top girls! With the law hot on his tail, Dolemite rounds up the toughest Kung-Fu fighting badasses in Southern California to take on the mob, culminating in one of the craziest surprise endings in blaxploitation film history! Source: Daarac.org.
Full Synopsis:In Citronell, Alabama, Dolemite performs his comedy routine to a rapt audience while a scantily-clad woman performs a provocative dance. Later, Dolemite drives to his hilltop mansion, where a party is in progress.
He leads Mrs. Bently into the bedroom and tells her that he will be with her later. In the living room, a man delivers the bad news that plans to build a home for boys have been abandoned. Dolemite offers his own home to the cause and receives an enthusiastic round of applause. Dolemite returns to the bedroom and tells Mrs. Bently that he needs to “get this shit over with.” She replies, “Dolemite, you’re worth every damn cent I pay you.”
Sheriff Bently and his deputies raid the party. Party guests Bo, Jimmy and Dough see the police car from the patio and run inside to tell the others, but none are able to escape, and Bently holds the group at gunpoint. When Bently and Deputy Charlie attack a young woman, she falls into the doorway of the bedroom, where Dolemite is with Mrs. Bently. On the sheriff’s order, Charlie kills Mrs. Bently, but Dolemite shoots Charlie, escapes through a back door, and tumbles down the hill to the road, where Bo, Jimmy and Dough are waiting in a car. Bently and Deputy Jethro give chase. After killing Jethro and destroying Bo’s car in a fiery wreck, Dolemite and his comrades travel on foot. Jimmy flags down an openly gay white man, and when Dolemite, shotgun in hand, demands a ride to California, the driver cheerfully obliges.
Along the way, Dolemite phones Queen Bee, who runs a successful nightclub in Los Angeles. She entices Dolemite with the news that dancer Hurricane Annie is pining for him. Meanwhile Mafioso and rival club owner Joe Cavaletti plans to eliminate Queen Bee, and sends three armed henchmen to her club. Master of ceremonies, Mr. Motion, and star attraction, Java, try to fend them off. The men beat Queen Bee and kidnap Java and a waitress named T.C. Cavaletti forces Queen Bee and her girls to work at his nightclub, the Twenty Grand while Java and T.C. are taken to Cavaletti’s torture house, where an insane old woman torments them with a live snake. Dolemite and his comrades discover that Queen Bee’s home and nightclub are both empty. After searching several nightspots, the group locates Hurricane Annie, who suspects that Queen Bee and her girls are Cavaletti’s prisoners.
They find Queen Bee waiting tables at the Twenty Grand, but she can divulge very little as she is being watched. Dolemite goes home with Hurricane Annie, who teases him about his recent weight gain. They remove their clothes and do exercises on the bed, which leads to sex. The next day, Sheriff Bently appears at the office of Police Captain Ryan, demanding the arrest of Dolemite for the murder of Mrs. Bently. Ryan assigns his Detective Pete Blakeley to the case.
Later, Dolemite learns that Mrs. Cavaletti is a nymphomaniac, and poses as a dealer of erotic paintings as a means to seduce her. After their lovemaking causes the bedroom to collapse around them, Mrs. Cavaletti divulges the location of the torture house. Queen Bee and her girls are staffing Cavaletti birthday party that night and they, along with Mr. Motion, Dolemite’s friends, and karate champion Howard Jackson, plan an attack. Meanwhile, Dolemite fights his way into the torture house. In the basement, a sadistic henchman puts a live grenade between T.C.’s legs, while a rack of spikes is about to fall on Java. Dolemite appears, breaks the henchman’s neck, and frees them.
At the party, Mr. Motion and Bo pose as caterers and sneak their comrades into the house. The forces of Dolemite and Queen Bee soon triumph over those of Cavaletti. Blakeley, Ryan and Bently arrive and find Cavaletti being eaten alive by rats, while Dolemite drives away. Bently gives chase, shoots Dolemite in the back and says, “Your career is over, stud,” before leaving. Dolemite sits up, opens his jacket, and reveals a bulletproof vest. Source: American Film Institute. Photo Source(s)/Gifs: Daarac.org, IMDB.
Release Date:1975 Genre: Drama Rating: R Director: D’Urville Martin Studio(s):Comedian International, Dimension Pictures, Vinegar Syndrome, Xenon Entertainment Group. Running Time:91 mins.
Cast:Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite), D’Urville Martin (Willie Green), Jerry Jones (Blakeley), Lady Reed (Queen Bee) and the Dolemite girls: Brenda DeLong, Terri Mosley, Marilyn Shaw, Lynell Smith, Vera Howard, Joy Martin.
Story: Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore), the baddest pimp in town, has just been released from prison, ready to take revenge on notorious gangster Willie Green (D’Urville Martin), who set him up on a phony drug charge and stole his club, The Total Experience. With the help of his friend Queen Bee (Lady Reed) and their band of Kung Fu fighting vixens, Dolemite takes on every “rat soup eatin’ motherf#%*er” in South Central. Source: TCM.
Full Synopsis: After serving a portion of his twenty-year prison sentence for possession of stolen furs and narcotics, Dolemite, an African American pimp, is offered the chance to exonerate himself if he cooperates with the prison warden in an undercover investigation. Dolemite is adamant that he was framed and deserves to be released from prison, so he agrees to help the warden, who says the crime rate in Dolemite’s neighborhood has spiked in his absence, and Dolemite’s nephew, Little Jimmy, was recently killed by gang members. The next day, three of Dolemite’s prostitutes pick him up from prison. When one of the women notices a group of thugs tailing their car, Dolemite orders the car to be pulled over and retrieves his gun. As the men pull up beside their car, Dolemite emerges from the roadside and shoots the pursuers dead.
At his brothel, Dolemite learns from the madame, Queen Bee, that Willie Green took possession of Dolemite’s nightclub, The Total Experience, as collateral for money he lent to Queen Bee for police fines. Still owing Green $50,000, Queen Bee says the prostitutes have been forced to learn karate to protect themselves. After Dolemite has sex with one of the women, he drives into town, where he is approached by Mitchell, a plainclothes policeman, and his partner. Dolemite recognizes the pair as the officers who framed and arrested him. The officers frisk Dolemite and produce a bag of white powder, claiming it was under his passenger seat. Dolemite accuses the men of framing him once again and kicks them to the ground as they warn him to leave town.
Later, Dolemite runs into Creeper, a drug addict, whom he addresses as the “Hamburger Pimp.” Creeper complains that Green has raised the price of street drugs, so Dolemite offers to pay Creeper in exchange for information. They go to the flophouse where Creeper has a room. Creeper admits that he witnessed Little Jimmy’s murder, but when Dolemite demands to know who killed his nephew, two thugs burst in. One of the men shoots Creeper dead, but Dolemite steals the killer’s gun and beats the intruders just before Mitchell and his partner arrive. Seeing Dolemite in the middle of the crime scene, they arrest him for murder. Dolemite is bailed out of jail and picked up by a woman named Pinky, who takes him to her house where they engage in sex. Dolemite retrieves $50,000 in cash that he hid before going to prison, which he hands to Green’s henchmen, telling them to pass it along to Green with instructions to leave town in the next twenty-four hours.
Green alerts Mayor Daley, that Dolemite is causing trouble, and Daley promises to have him killed. At the re-opening of the Total Experience, Green says Dolemite still owes him $100,000 in interest, but offers to waive the interest in exchange for a partnership. When Dolemite refuses, Green instructs his thugs to tear up the club and goes after Dolemite. Using their karate skills, Dolemite’s prostitutes fight Green’s men as Blakely, an FBI officer, arrives and joins the fray. Green shoots Dolemite in his dressing room, and Dolemite punches him in retaliation, then rips out his entrails. Blakely finds Dolemite injured, then shoots Green in order to take the blame for his death. Dolemite is taken to the hospital, where Mayor Daley sends a hired killer to murder him.
Traveling to an airplane hangar, Blakely shoots Daley as he attempts to climb into a small airplane. Arriving at the hospital, Blakely tells Dolemite that assassins are on their way, but he has a plan to protect him. When the assassins arrive, the receptionist provides the wrong room number, and Dolemite and Blakely ambush the men as they shoot at an empty hospital bed. Believing Dolemite is alone, Mitchell and his partner arrive and begin to arrest him, but Blakely appears and accuses them of corruption. More police arrive, but, at Blakely’s behest, they arrest Mitchell and his partner instead of Dolemite. Source: American Film Institute. Photo Source: DAARAC.org. Gif: Giphy.com.
Details Year of Release: 1976 Genre: Blaxploitation/Action/Comedy/Drama Rating:R Runtime: 108 mins. Studio(s): Comedian International Distributors, Dimension Pictures,
Xenon Pictures, Xenon Entertainment Group Director: Cliff Roquemore
Cast: Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite), Lady Reed (Queen Bee), Jimmy Lynch (Mr. Motion), Gloria Delaney (Hurricane Annie), Ernie Hudson (Bo).
Synopsis: In this sequel to the cult smash Dolemite, we find our hero on the run from a redneck sheriff who has caught Dolemite messin’ with his woman. He and his posse (including a young Ernie Hudson) dodge the sheriff and his bullets in a high-speed chase that takes them to L.A. Upon Dolemite’s arrival, he learns that Queen Bee (Lady Reed) and her Kung Fu Girls have been pushed out of the nightclub business by a ruthless competitor who has ties to the Mob. With two of the girls held hostage, the Queen and her bees are forced into slavery for their nemesis.
Enter Dolemite! Following a scene described by Rudy Ray himself as “sensational and sexsational,” Dolemite gets the lowdown on the gang’s hideout. It’s highspeed kung fu Dolemite-style as the rat soup eatin’ motherf***ers get their collective ass kicked. But the redeneck sheriff is still hot on Dolemite’s trail – can even a Human Tornado fight two battles at once? Source/Photo Source: Blaxploitation Pride.