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Black Caesar (1973)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  7 February 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,751 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 41 critic

Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »



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Title: Black Caesar (1973)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Lund ...
D'Urville Martin ...
Reverend Rufus
Julius Harris ...
Mr. Gibbs (as Julius W. Harris)
Minnie Gentry ...
Momma Gibbs
Philip Roye ...
Joe Washington
William Wellman Jr. ...
Alfred Coleman
James Dixon ...
Patrick McAllister ...
Myrna Hansen ...
Virginia Coleman
Omer Jeffrey ...
Tommy as a Boy
Michael Jeffrey ...
Joe as a Boy


Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his vengeance, he rises to power in Harlem, New York. Angry at the racist society around him, both criminal and straight, he sees the acquisition of power as the solution to his rage. He performs a free-lance hit on a Mob contract to attract the attention of the head of a Mafia family. Reluctantly accepted into 'The Family,' he grows increasingly autonomous and aggressive, eventually starting a gang war. Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

criminal | power | gang war | mob | mafia | See more »


Hail Caesar, Godfather of Harlem...The Cat with the .45-Caliber Claws!


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Caesar  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name Caesar is never spoken in the movie. See more »


When Tommy's henchmen are being assassinated, a bearded one wearing a Gray Apple-Jack hat is shot on the street and ends up dying on a two-wheeled cart. His dying act is not to clutch where he was just shot, but hold on to his rather large Apple-Jack hat as he rolls down the cart. See more »


Tommy Gibbs: You can sleep until noon, if you want anything, just press a button.
Mama Gibbs: Me? Live in this apartment? Why they'd hang me right off that terrace, Jew folks ain't even allowed here.
See more »


Spoofed in Coonskin (1975) See more »


The Boss
Composed by Charles Bobbitt, James Brown, Fred Wesley
Performed by James Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

Larry Cohen plus Fred Williamson equals movie dynamite!
12 April 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Black Caesar' is one of the most underrated movies of the early 70s blaxploitation boom. Fred "the Hammer" Williamson was one of the most charismatic and cool male stars of the period. Added to that writer/director Larry Cohen ('Q', 'The Stuff', 'Maniac Cop', 'It's Alive!, 'God Told Me To',etc.) and you've got yourself movie dynamite! This gritty rise and fall crime saga will not only appeal to fans of 'Superfly' and 'Coffy' but also to fans of 'Scarface', 'Goodfellas', 'The King Of New York' and even 'The Godfather' trilogy. Williamson plays Tommy Gibbs, a crippled ghetto kid who grows up with one thing in mind - revenge. He ingratiates himself with a local mobster Cardoza (Val Avery, 'The Anderson Tapes') then works his way up until one day he seizes power and becomes "the black Godfather". Along the way he uses and discards many people including his girlfriend Helen (Gloria Hendry, 'Black Belt Jones'), and creates many enemies, not least of which is corrupt cop McKinney (Art Lund, Junior Jackson's Dad in 'The Last American Hero'), a man he has a long history with. The supporting cast in this one is really strong and also includes Julius Harris ('Superfly') as Gibbs' estranged father and D'Urville Martin ('Dolemite') as his childhood friend, the now Reverend Rufus. 'Black Caesar' is gritty, exciting and raw. Williamson's performance is unforgettable and the whole thing is brilliant entertainment. Highly recommended!

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