IMDb > Trick Baby (1972)

Trick Baby (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Robert Beck (novel)
A. Neuberg (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Trick Baby on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1973 (Denmark) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sometimes even the players get played. See more »
Plot:
Two Phildelphia con men try to evade gangsters they have conned and cops who are trying to put them in jail. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A very good film about the merits and the risks of lying See more (11 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Kiel Martin ... White Folks
Mel Stewart ... Blue Howard
Dallas Edward Hayes ... Dot Murray
Beverly Ballard ... Susan

Vernee Watson-Johnson ... Cleo Howard
Donald Symington ... Morrison
Don Fellows ... Phillips
Thomas Anderson ... Felix the Fixer (as Tom Anderson)
Clebert Ford ... Josephus
Fuddle Bagley ... Percy

Ted Lange ... Melvin the Pimp
Tony Mazzadra ... Nino Parelli
David Thomas ... Frascatti
Jim King ... Duke
Anthony Charnota ... Bobby
John Aquino ... Frank

Jan Leighton ... Carlson
Byron Sanders ... Parkview Hotel Clerk
Dick Boccelli ... Vincent
Jim Mapp ... Doc Harris
Bob Brooker ... DuSable Hotel Clerk
Ronald Carter ... Bartender
Celeste Creech ... 1st Hooker
Deloris Brown-Harper ... 2nd Hooker
Jacqueline Weiss ... Aunt Rose
James Kelly ... Priest (as Father James Kelly)

Charles Weldon ... Tough
Charles G. Clarke ... Cab Driver
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Directed by
Larry Yust 
 
Writing credits
Robert Beck (novel) (as Iceberg Slim)

A. Neuberg (screenplay) &
T. Raewyn (screenplay) and
Larry Yust (screenplay)

Produced by
Marshall Backlar .... producer (as Marshal Backlar)
James Levitt .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
James Bond 
 
Cinematography by
Isidore Mankofsky (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Parasheles 
 
Makeup Department
Kenig Glubin .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Don Goldman .... production manager (as Donald Goldman)
John Zane .... production supervisor
 
Art Department
Kenig Glubin .... props
 
Sound Department
John Brasher .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Colwell .... grip
Skip Karnas .... electrician (as Skip Karness)
Zohrab Kazanjian .... still photographer
Melton Maxwell .... gaffer (as Mel Maxwell)
Lee Shamburger .... grip
Stuart A. Spohn .... second assistant camera (as Stuart Spohn)
Steven Wolper .... assistant camera
 
Music Department
Baker Bigsby .... recording engineer and mixer
James Bond .... conductor
Ed Michel .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Nina Kleinberg .... assistant to director
Rick Nulman .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Kiel Martin did all of his own running in the foot chase sequence.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
A very good film about the merits and the risks of lying, 12 March 2003
Author: manuel-pestalozzi from Zurich, Switzerland

Frankly, this film bowled me over. Do not think of blaxploitation but of one of David Mamet's better movies or Federico Fellini's "Il Bidone". It is perfect in every sense of the word. A good, concise story, thrilling from the first second to the tragic ending, unforgettable dialogue, artful location shooting in Philadelphia, interesting editing, fabulous performances by largely unknown actors and a character that should enter the annals of great screen heroes: The hustler and compulsive liar Blue Howard, brilliantly played by Mel Stewart (actors got Oscar nominated for less).

Trick Baby starts with a beautifully minimalistic setting - a stage really for a con trick: In a dreary hotel room that has seen better days, Blue, an elderly African American, prepares the setting (screwing off light bulbs, distributing full ash trays). Then he receives his young partner White Folks ("he ain't white, he just looks it", insists Blue) who accompanies an old white man. Blue plays the part of a hard pressured hustler who has some stones to sell, White Folks the part of the tough guy representing a possible buyer, keeping the price low by menacing behaviour. The old white man falls for it and buys the stones - actually junk - for 10000 dollars.

Luck begins to change soon after that, and Blue and White Folks have to use their talents to keep alive. This does not prevent them from pulling a few con tricks in between. It is convincingly shown that they are actually addicted to it and instinctively spot a good opportunity every other minute. Lying by telling stories that are untrue is presented as an art form and as a strategy to get some meaning out of life. This is done in a moving way and less sarcastically than Mamet usually does. Blue does not hesitate to tell a preacher spontaneously an elaborate story about a fugitive from Down South he has to rescue in order to get the preacher's help - and you can observe how the desparate Blue draws life force from his very telling this lie (you need a lot of acting talent to convey this).

Although Blue and White Folks operate as a pair, Blue is the main character of Trick Baby. He is the leader of the team. He shows fatherly feelings towards his young partner who Blues claims is the son of a black mother. Blue feels responsible for White Folks when things turn ugly. It is Blue who tries to rescue White Folks who got wounded. He cons himself into an optimistic mood up to the tragic end of the movie and does not give up until his heart stops beating - which makes Blue Howard a hero in a twisted sort of way.

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