5.5/10
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52 user 39 critic

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Beetle
...
Hubert Scales ...
Mu-Mu
John Dullaghan ...
Commissioner
Wesley Gale ...
(as West Gale)
Niva Rochelle
Rhetta Hughes ...
Old Girl Friend
Nick Ferrari
Ed Rue
...
Biker (as Johnny Amos)
Ted Hayden
...
Young Sweetback / Kid (as Mario Peebles)
Sonja Dunson
Michael Augustus
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Storyline

Melvin Van Peebles wrote, directed, produced, edited, composed and starred in this powerful and inflammatory attack on White America. After the body of a black man is discovered, Sweetback helps two white 'acquaintances' in the police force to look good by agreeing to go with them to the station as a suspect. But he is forced to go on the run after brutally attacking the two policemen when they arrest and beat up a young black man. Written by David Claydon <dc6212@bristol.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film that THE MAN doesn't want you to see! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1973 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Sweet Sweetback  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$15,180,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No Hollywood studio would back this movie with an all-black cast, so actor/writer/director Melvin Van Peebles financed it himself, aided by a $50,000 loan from Bill Cosby. It became a hit, earning $15 million. See more »

Goofs

The fire truck that appeared at the end of the car explosion was not originally supposed to appear. Due to a permit still not filed, the fire department was unaware and proceeded to appear unannounced. See more »

Quotes

Beetle: Like you gonna have to kinda lay out, stretch out a little while, be real cool. Kinda lay dead. Ol' Beetle'll let you know what's happenin', what's goin' down. You don't have to worry about nothin'. If you need anything, anything at all, brother, just keep the faith in Beetle, ol' Beetle goin' to bring you through, cause this is just a skirmish. You know how the game goes, baby. But you keep the faith in me and you my man. You my favorite man. Can you dig it, baby? Together, you know, maintain....
See more »

Crazy Credits

Starring The Black Community See more »


Soundtracks

Sweetback Losing His Cherry
Written by Melvin Van Peebles
Performed by Melvin Van Peebles featuring Earth Wind & Fire
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Important film for the black community...
21 April 2001 | by (Evansville, Indiana USA) – See all my reviews

1st watched 4/22/2001 - 8 out of 10 (Dir-Melvin Van Peebles): Important film for the black community because it portrays the realities of how in many places blacks were treated by whites. This had never been done before in the movies before Sweetback. Prior to this, Hollywood preferred portraying blacks as ok as long as they acted white(aka. Sidney Poitier), otherwise they were minor bit players or charicatures of how the white community saw blacks. The film is paced by the Director like a journey that we as the viewers are on as we follow Sweetback as he runs from the police and meets up with various friends, lovers etc.(not unlike a road picture) after he killed a couple of white cops who unfairly beat up a black brother. We become more interested in him than what he's running from and I believe that was the intent of the filmmaker. The movie is filled with unique styling and music that works with the movie, with chanting for the main character and motivation for him to keep on keeping on. To me this seems like Van Peebles pushing the black community to do the same. Well needed and deserved pats on the back should have been given by all people for this film to Van Peebles.


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