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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

5.5
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Reviews: 48 user | 37 critic

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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Title: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Chuckster ...
Beetle
...
Hubert Scales ...
Mu-Mu
John Dullaghan ...
Commissioner
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:

Sweet Sweetback will never die a natural death. 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Mario Van Peebles. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the movie a "warning" for the white community appears: "Watch out - a baad assss nigger is coming to collect some dues." See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cinema of Melvin Van Peebles.
27 August 2005 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song (1971) was a independent marvel from Melvin Van Peebles. It also influenced the so called black exploitation movement of the seventies. According to Mr. Peebles, after the surprise success of this film, the producers of SHAFT changed his character into a black man. Even beyond Hollywood, Mr. Peebles still has some creative control. Before he made this film and the small success of WATERMELON MAN, several Hollywood Studios wanted him to be a Black expert. They wanted him to doctor some scripts and make them "black" (the term he used can be found in his back about the making and selling of Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song (1971). This book is cool, it also has a lot of vital information, a script to the movie and a copy of the soundtrack.

Mr. Van Peebles used a lot of French new wave style of film making when he shot this movie. The many unique editing and camera angles can be found scattered throughout the movie. He also composed the brilliant soundtrack which also comes across as a concept album. You can listen to the movie on record! This movie was more of a statement to the White Establishment. That a black man can make a unique film without the restraints of the studio system and not have to answer to investors and anxious producers.

I have to give a hand to Mr. Van Peebles. He never gave in to the studios and make terrible sell-out projects. Like him or loathe him, you have to give him all the kudos he deserves and then some.

Highly recommended.


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