IMDb > Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
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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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Melvin Van Peebles (written by)
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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:
From Another Era See more (49 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

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
J.F. 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?

Though it only earned $4 million, it was the top-grossing independent movie of 1972.See more »


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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
From Another Era, 27 August 2006
Author: momohund from United States

This movie, when first watched by people from my generation (Gen X), doesn't seem to be very coherent. Something strange and psychedelic from a weird era. However, if you watch this movie and then watch How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass, which is a movie about making Sweet Sweetback, you'll see why this was so damn revolutionary. This was the first time Black America told White America on screen that the days of "kissing up to Shirley Temple's ass" were over. It was a political movie about Black America and even Minority America being tired of whiteness, as well as stating that Black America now has its own identity and society. It took some pretty strong courage to make this move when you consider the time frame that it came out in; the early seventies, a period that saw a shift from "I have a dream" to "By any means necessary." I believe this film opened the doors to allow black artistic media to be critical about white America, society, politics and corruption that generally would have been censored before. Sometimes I wonder if this helped pave the way for people like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and even Dave Chapelle. My father, a white man, told me that when he went to see this film back in 1971, the audience screamed and cheered during the opening scene when across the screen it read to "all the Brothers and Sisters who are tired of being held down by the Man." Nowadays people wouldn't really respond to that, not even black society I don't think, but back then it could have gotten you lynched, even in 1971. So when people screamed and cheered in the movie theater when they saw this, I think you can imagine how important a film like this must be in film history. No minority had ever dared to say that on the silver screen before.

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Things I learned while watching this movie kidpsycho_1999
Worst movie ever made... jcouncil-1
He didn't really seem like that great of a lover kidpsycho_1999
anybody know about it's inital release? Immanuelcant
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