IMDb > Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) More at IMDbPro »

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song -- After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.


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5.5/10   3,470 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Melvin Van Peebles (written by)
View company contact information for Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 March 1973 (Netherlands) See more »
The Film that THE MAN doesn't want you to see! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The absolute beginning of a real "black" presence. See more (52 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Simon Chuckster ... Beetle

Melvin Van Peebles ... Sweetback
Hubert Scales ... Mu-Mu
John Dullaghan ... Commissioner
Wesley Gale (as West Gale)
Niva Rochelle
Rhetta Hughes ... Old Girl Friend
Nick Ferrari
Ed Rue

John Amos ... Biker (as Johnny Amos)

Lavelle Roby
Ted Hayden

Mario Van Peebles ... Young Sweetback / Kid (as Mario Peebles)
Sonja Dunson
Michael Augustus
Peter Russell
Norman Fields
Ron Prince
Steve Cole
Megan Van Peebles ... Kid (as Megan Peebles)
Joe Tornatore
Mikel Angel (as Mike Angel)
Jeff Goodman
Curt Matson
Marria Evonee

Jon Jacobs
William Kirschner (as Bill Kirschner)
Vincent Barbi
Chesley Noone (as Chet Norris)
Joni Watkins
Jerry Days
John Allen
Bruce Adams
Brer Soul
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edson C. Kurose ... Coronor (as Ed Kurose)
Max Van Peebles ... Young Sweetback
Maggie Bembry ... Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Melvin Van Peebles 
Writing credits
Melvin Van Peebles (written by)

Produced by
Jerry Gross .... producer
Melvin Van Peebles .... producer
Original Music by
Earth Wind & Fire 
Melvin Van Peebles 
Cinematography by
Robert Maxwell (director of photography) (as Bob Maxwell)
Film Editing by
Melvin Van Peebles 
Makeup Department
Nora Maxwell .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Clyde Houston .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jose Garcia .... second unit director
Clyde Houston .... assistant director
Sound Department
John H. Newman .... sound editor (as John Newman)
Arthur Piantadosi .... dubbing (as Art Piantadosi)
Clark Will .... sound
Luke Wolfram .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Cliff Wenger .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Jose Garcia .... camera operator
Robert Maxwell .... camera operator (as Bob Maxwell)
Editorial Department
Jeremy Hoenack .... assistant editor
Jon Kinyon .... archival editorial services (uncredited)
Music Department
Earth Wind & Fire .... orchestrator (as Earth Wind and Fire)
Other crew
Chic Borland .... production assistant
Skip Karnas .... production assistant
Winfred Tennison .... production assistant
Priscilla Watts .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sweet Sweetback" - USA (promotional abbreviation)
See more »
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:R | Canada:(Banned) (Nova Scotia) | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:R18 | UK:18 | USA:R (1974) | USA:X (1971)

Did You Know?

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 »
Miscellaneous: 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 »
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...See more »
Movie Connections:
Sweetback Losing His CherrySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
The absolute beginning of a real "black" presence., 3 September 2001
Author: Frederick Reeves ( from United States

I saw this movie in Boulder CO in 1971 in an audience that was half black and half white in a community in the mountains that was 99.4% white. Blacks in the audience obviously got the raucous humor only the blacks could get living in America...the white's didn't have a clue. As a Welfare Rights Organizer at the time i obviously identified with the black situation. This was the FIRST movie from the black point of view.

Von Peebles is to be commended for doing the impossible and i have used his example of forbearance and excellance for the past three decades. He had been in Europe for ten years prior to the film. He wanted to do the film. He didn't have the money. No one wanted to write it. He wrote it. Black actors of stature didn't want to be associated with it. He stars in it. He gets the financial backing. He gets an "X" rating because he would not have it submitted for a rating and because the only venue he could get was the "X" rated theatres. He still out grossed Easy Rider, which was the big history maker of low budget big return films.

Von Peebles was the first black man to tell it like it was at the time... and he blasted the black myths on and off the screen.

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See more (52 total) »


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