6.9/10
330
11 user 10 critic

Trick Baby (1972)

Two Phildelphia con men try to evade gangsters they have conned and cops who are trying to put them in jail.

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(novel) (as Iceberg Slim), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
White Folks
...
Blue Howard
Dallas Edward Hayes ...
Dot Murray
Beverly Ballard ...
Susan
...
Cleo Howard (as Vernee Watson-Johnson)
Donald Symington ...
Morrison
Don Fellows ...
Phillips
Thomas Anderson ...
Felix the Fixer (as Tom Anderson)
Clebert Ford ...
Josephus
Fuddle Bagley ...
Percy
...
Melvin the Pimp
Tony Mazzadra ...
Nino Parelli
David Thomas ...
Frascatti
Jim King ...
Duke
Anthony Charnota ...
Bobby
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Storyline

Two Phildelphia con men try to evade gangsters they have conned and cops who are trying to put them in jail.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes even the players get played. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1973 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Double Con  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire film was shot on location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See more »

Goofs

When Blue looks out the window & sees the cop walking into the building, it's still daylight. When the camera moves to street level with the cop, it's suddenly nighttime. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead Teenagers (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two con men overplay their hand
25 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After recognizing Mel Stewart, who is a very good actor, I watched "Trick Baby". I'm glad I did. It turns out that all the acting was very good and so was the script and the location work.

I classify this movie as 70s noir (which runs something like 1965-1980), falling between the classic noir of an earlier era that runs to about 1965 and the more intense neo-noir that starts up somewhere in the 1980s. The 70s noir category has movies like "Dirty Harry", "Lady in Cement", "Klute", "The Last Embrace", "Madigan", "Marlowe", "The Outfit", "The Outside Man", "Prime Cut", and "Play Misty for Me". They are in color, and they have a different look and feel than a black and white noir, but their story elements and characters are what contribute to making them noir. Photographic style and location work add too, but that's another factor that's more technical.

A noir movie often has main characters who are criminals or not fully on the up and up. Here we have two con men, who are likable and who play on people's greed so that the marks who are trying to cheat the con men seem deserving of their fate. A noir movie often has people trying to achieve a dream, like a big score, but then things go wrong, or their errors and emotions lead them astray, or rivalries and others intervene. That element is present here too. The result in many noirs is that there is no happy ending, and that happens here too. Then too, other noir elements are corrupt cops and grotesque side characters, and we definitely get these here. There is one blonde woman in particular who comes to mind who throws herself at the younger con man, who is black but looks white.

So, although the film plays as fun and light in the first third, it grows increasingly serious as it moves on, and that seriousness is a noir quality. Themes enter in having to do with race, racial fear and racial identity, greed and miscalculation, and police corruption.

Like blaxpoitation films from this period, it is set in a black neighborhood and the lead protagonist is black, but it does not at all glorify violence or run into stereotypes. That and its serious themes separate it from the blaxpoitation label. And that's why I think it's more accurate to think of it as in the 70s noir category.


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