IMDb > The Final Comedown (1972)

The Final Comedown (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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Jimmy Garrett (play)
Oscar Williams (written for the screen by)
View company contact information for The Final Comedown on IMDbPro.
The man got down...the brothers were ready... You must see it! It's a mother! See more »
Black revolutionaries take action in the white suburbs. | Add synopsis »
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Not just "blaxploitation" See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Billy Dee Williams ... Johnny Johnson

D'Urville Martin ... Billy Joe Ashley

Celia Milius ... Renee Freeman (as Celia Kaye)
Ed Cambridge ... Dr. Smalls (as Edmund Cambridge)
Billy Durkin ... Michael Freeman
Morris D. Erby ... Mr. Johnson (as Morris Erby)
Pamela Jones ... Luanna
Cal Wilson
John Johnson

Nate Esformes
Richard Francis

Sam Gilman
Jon Scott
Marlene Czernin

Judy Morris

John Evans
Ernest Robinson
Clifford Choice
Clifford Strong
Paul Desmond
Rhonda Brown (as Rhoda Brown)
Vernon Waters
Nana Fitz
Jarrod Johnson
John Davidson
Herman Washington

Raymond St. Jacques ... Imir

R.G. Armstrong ... Mr. Freeman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Maidie Norman ... Mrs. Johnson

Andrzej Krakowski ... (uncredited)
George Wagner ... Car Theft Victim (uncredited)

Directed by
Oscar Williams 
Writing credits
Jimmy Garrett (play: "We Own the Night")

Oscar Williams (written for the screen by)

Produced by
Edgar Charles .... co-producer
D'Urville Martin .... associate producer
Mel Taylor .... co-producer
Oscar Williams .... producer
Roger Corman .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Wade Marcus 
Cinematography by
William B. Kaplan (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Van Enger Jr.  (as Dick Van Enger Jr.)
Art Direction by
Ulvis Alberts 
Costume Design by
Bill Whitten 
Production Management
Andrzej Krakowski .... production manager
Sound Department
John Curcio .... engineering assistant
Leslie Shatz .... additional sound recording
Richard Sperber .... sound effects editor
Alan Splet .... sound mixer
Alvin Tokunow .... sound recordist
Mary Ellen Tokunow .... sound recordist
Richard L. Anderson .... sound editor (uncredited)
Ernest Robinson .... stunt coordinator
Henry Kingi .... stunts (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator: additional scenes (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ulvis Alberts .... still photographer
Donald Edward Clark .... lighting consultant
Clifford Mosby .... second assistant camera
Robert Schoeller .... assistant camera (as Bobby Schoeller)
Robert Warden .... grip (as Bob Warden)
Roderick Young .... additional photographer
Editorial Department
Dennis Erkel .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Gene Bianco .... music contractor
George Butler .... musical director
Carol Campbell .... music secretary
Grant Green .... music played by
Don Hahn .... music supervisor (as Donald C. Hahn)
Edd Kalehoff .... musician: moog synthesizer
Wade Marcus .... music arranger
Michael McCroskey .... music editor (as Mike McRoskey)
Other crew
William Chappel .... assistant to the producer
Claire S. Copley .... script supervisor
Sophia Korzeniowski .... production assistant
Elzbieta Krakowska .... production assistant
Judy Morris .... production secretary
Michael H. Sommer .... assistant to the producer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Blast!" - USA (recut version)
See more »
83 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Planet X: Episode #2.1" (2006)See more »
The Final ComedownSee more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Not just "blaxploitation", 10 December 2009
Author: ofumalow from United States

Far more than the majority of exploitation-oriented releases that defined "blaxploitation," this 1972 is inspired by the prior "Sweet Sweetback" in its flashback structure and overt Black Power agenda. It's not primarily about violence and T&A, though there's some of both. Billy Dee Williams (in a role strikingly different to his in "Lady Sings the Blues" that same year) plays an angry young man gradually radicalized by racial injustices, leading to his being besieged by police as a Panthers-type leader in the present-tense framing sequences.

"Final Comedown" is no zenith of the cinematic arts--it's dated and crude at times. But it also makes an effort not to be cartoonish: There are scenes in which some white people (notably a Jewish couple, an employment-office secretary, and some SDS types) are outraged by the racism of other white people. There are also scenes that rather charmingly exist just to promote local (I'm presuming L.A.) black-owned businesses, a diner and Africanist clothes store included.

The film touches on a lot of then (still?) relevant points, from Vietnam War post-traumatic stress to drug addiction. It's not subtle or slick, but it really tries to articulate all complicated causes for Black Power rage, not just exploit them as a trendy attitude a la Superfly, Slaughter, Shaft, Rudy Ray Moore (much as I love that guy!), etc. Some eventual cruel ironies are well-judged, though it must be said the overall narrative shaping as well as the huge death-toll shootout sequences are pretty clumsy.

This isn't exactly a good film, but it reflects its precise cultural moment in ways more mainstream films seldom did/do. Despite all rough edges it's a more complicated and intelligent narrative airing of U.S. racial tensions circa 1972 than many better-known films. In that sense it's the antithesis of the terrific current parody "Black Dynamite," which made fun of the period's tritest "blaxploitation" films. This one isn't laughable--it's a serious statement. (Though the major histrionics by veteran actress Maidie Norman as Williams' mother are pretty humorous.)

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