7.2/10
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18 user 19 critic

The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)

A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Mel Clay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence Cook ...
Dan Freeman
Janet League ...
Joy
...
Dahomey Queen
...
Dawson
Paul Butler ...
Do-Daddy Dean
Don Blakely ...
Stud Davis
David Lemieux ...
Pretty Willie
...
General
Jack Aaron ...
Carstairs
...
Senator Hennington
...
Mrs. Hennington
Beverly Gill ...
Willa
Bob Hill ...
Calhoun
Martin Golar ...
Perkins
Jeff Hamilton ...
Policeman
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Storyline

In order to improve his standing with Black voters, a White Senator starts a campaign for the CIA to recruit Black agents. However, all are graded on a curve and doomed to fail, save for a soft-spoken veteran named Dan Freeman. After grueling training in guerrilla warfare, clandestine operations and unarmed combat, he is assigned a meager job as the CIA's token Black employee. After five years of racist and stereotyped treatment by his superiors, he quietly resigns to return to his native Chicago to work for a social services agency...by day. By night, he trains a street gang to be the vanguard in an upcoming race war, using all that the CIA has taught him... Written by Baroque

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cia | training | senator | gang | race war | See All (154) »

Taglines:

Their first mistake was letting him in. Their biggest mistake was letting him out! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

De zwarte CIA-agent  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included in the 2012 list of motion pictures for the United States Library of Congress Nationl Film Registry. See more »

Quotes

[after being told he and the other light-skinned gang members are to rob a bank]
Pretty Willie: All the yellow nigga's, right?
[His anger coming to a slow boil]
Pretty Willie: Look, man, I am TIRED of that! I am not passing! I am BLACK! Do you hear me, man? Do you understand? I am BLACK! I am a NIGGA', you understand me? I was BORN Black, I -LIVE- Black, and I'm gonna die, prob'ly -BECAUSE- I'm Black, because some Cracker that -KNOWS- I'm Black, better than -YOU-, Nigga', is prob'ly gonna put a BULLET in the back of my head!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Black Dynamite (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Greatest guerrilla movie ever made
26 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the undiscovered treasures of cinema people, if you haven't seen it you need to. They never paid for one permit and they did this movie for about $90,000USD, but they don't skip a beat. Same editor as Schindler's List; if you watch the movie you can tell why Spielberg uses this guy, he is a master.

Even if you don't agree with the films message you have to agree that this is one of thee finest made independent films in existence, and considering the subject matter it is a surprise this film was ever shot, because the book had a pretty hard time getting published too.

I think this film is everything Melvin Van Peebles wanted SweetBack to be.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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