IMDb > Wattstax (1973)
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Wattstax (1973) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.7/10   585 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Wattstax on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 September 1973 (Denmark) See more »
A soulful expression of the living word... See more »
Documentary covering a Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival with performances by Stax Records artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staples Singers, and more. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
(12 articles)
Anniversaries: Little Milton Born 80 Years Ago
 (From CultureCatch. 6 September 2014, 10:30 PM, PDT)

Mel Stuart obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 13 August 2012, 4:05 PM, PDT)

'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' Director Mel Stuart Has Died
 (From 10 August 2012, 10:35 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Richard Pryor and the Stax Records roster dominate Wattstax See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)
The Dramatics ... Themselves
The Staple Singers ... Themselves
Kim Weston ... Herself
Jimmy Jones ... Himself
Rance Allen ... Himself
The Emotions ... Themselves
William Bell ... Himself
Louise McCord ... Herself
Debra Manning ... Herself
Eric Mercury ... Himself
Freddy Robinson ... Himself
Lee Sain ... Himself
Ernie Hines ... Himself
Sonny Warner ... Himself (as Little Sonny Warner)
The Newcomers ... Themselves
Eddie Floyd ... Himself
The Temprees ... Themselves
Frederick Knight ... Himself
The Bar-Kays ... Themselves
Albert King ... Himself
Little Milton ... Himself
Johnnie Taylor ... Himself
Mel Hardin ... Himself
Tim McPherson ... Himself
Carla Thomas ... Herself

Rufus Thomas ... Himself
Luther Ingram ... Himself

Isaac Hayes ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Alexander ... Himself
Raymond Allen ... Himself
Andre Edwards ... Himself

Jesse Jackson ... Himself (as Rev. Jesse Jackson)
Erik Kilpatrick ... Himself

Ted Lange ... Himself

Richard Pryor ... Himself
Fred Berry ... Dancing guy (uncredited)

Ossie Davis ... Himself (uncredited)

Ruby Dee ... Herself (uncredited)
Billy Eckstine ... Himself (uncredited)
Felton Pilate ... Himself - musician (uncredited)

Melvin Van Peebles ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Mel Stuart 
Produced by
Al Bell .... executive producer
Forest Hamilton .... associate producer (as Forest Hamilton HNIC)
Michael Kelly .... associate producer (2003 restored version)
Scott Roberts .... associate producer (2003 restored version)
Larry Shaw .... producer
Mel Stuart .... producer
David L. Wolper .... executive producer
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo 
Larry Clark 
Robert Marks 
José Louis Mignone  (as José Mignone)
Roderick Young 
David Myers (uncredited)
Film Editing by
David E. Blewitt 
Robert K. Lambert 
David Newhouse 
Production Management
Wesley Buford .... unit supervisor: concert
Conrad Holzgang .... production executive
Buster Jones .... unit supervisor: concert
Larry McCormick .... unit supervisor: concert
Johnny Williams .... unit supervisor: concert
Phillips Wylly Sr. .... post-production supervisor (as Phil Wylly)
Bob Larson .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sid McCoy .... unit director: concert
Charles Washburn .... assistant director
Larry Clark .... second unit director (uncredited)
Sound Department
James Austin .... sound re-recording mixer (2003 restored version)
Bruce Bisenz .... sound consultant (as Bruce Bizans)
Anna Geyer .... dialogue editor (2003 restored version)
Leroy Joseph .... additional location sound
Michael Kelly .... sound supervisor (2003 restored version)
Ivan Kruglak .... sound consultant
Gene Radzik .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (2003 restored version)
Kevin Rose-Williams .... dialogue editor (2003 restored version)
Ed Rue .... additional location sound
Thomas Washington .... additional location sound
Richard Wells .... location sound
Gene Corso .... sound editor (uncredited)
Richard Portman .... dubbing mixer (uncredited)
Roger Sword .... sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David E. Blewitt .... photography: concert (as David Blewitt)
Joseph W. Calloway .... assistant camera
Michael Clark .... assistant camera
Harold L. Grier .... photography: concert (as Hal Grier)
Roy Lewis .... photography: concert
Richard A. Mention III .... assistant camera
Howard Morehead .... photography: concert
Lucian Smith .... assistant camera
Joseph M. Wilcots .... photography: concert
Editorial Department
Tom Christopher .... picture editor (2003 restored version)
Ed Fantl .... assistant editor
Tim Fox .... assistant editor (2003 restored version)
Chuck Montgomery .... assistant editor
Music Department
Ali Adelman .... music editor (2003 restored version)
Gabriel Gradney .... music supervisor
Stephen Hart .... music mixer (2003 restored version)
Wally Heider .... music recording
Artie King .... music supervisor
Terry Manning .... music supervisor
Dale O. Warren .... music conductor
Other crew
Johnny Baylor .... production staff
Jesse Boyd .... consultant (as Rev. Jesse Boyd)
Bea Dennis .... librarian
Matthew Ford .... production assistant
Carol Hall .... consultant
Lou Harris .... production assistant
Gary Holmes .... production staff
Jesse Jackson .... consultant (as Rev. Jesse Jackson)
Tommy Jacquette .... consultant
David Oyster .... production coordinator
Alex Pomansanof .... research assistant
John W. Smith .... consultant
Jim Stewart .... production staff
Teddy Stewart .... consultant
Melvin Van Peebles .... special staging
Cassius Weathersby .... production consultant
Sylvester Williams .... consultant
Edward Windsor Wright .... production staff
Raymond Allen .... special thanks
Elizabeth Cleveland .... special thanks
Andre Edwards .... special thanks
Patricia Henley .... special thanks
Erik Kilpatrick .... special thanks
Ted Lange .... special thanks
Richard Pryor .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Originally 'The Bar Kays' were going to enter the L.A. Coliseum riding in horse-drawn chariots. However, when the executives of Stax Records heard what the group had planned they ordered them not to do it. It turned out that the reason they didn't want the group to do it was so that they wouldn't upstage the concert's headliner, Isaac Hayes.See more »
Movie Connections:
SoulsvilleSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Richard Pryor and the Stax Records roster dominate Wattstax, 9 February 2012
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, La.

On August 20, 1972-the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots-a 7 hour concert of various musical acts from the Stax Records roster was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum in honor of that event. Among those artists put in the film include: The Stax Golden 13 warbling "Old Time Religion", The Staple Singers chanting "Respect Yourself", Kim Weston performing "Lift Every Voice and Sing", The Bar-Kays doing "Son of Shaft", Albert King singing "I'll Sing the Blues for You", Carla Thomas warbling "Picking Up the Pieces", Rufus Thomas performing "The Breakdown" and "Do the Funky Chicken", Luthur Ingram wailing "If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Want to be Right", and Isaac Hayes doing-of course-"Theme From Shaft". In addition, three young women called The Emotions perform in a church with "Peace Be Still". All are surrounded by Richard Pryor doing some hilarious monologues about growing up black as well as many Watts residents-one of which I recognized as Ted Lange, later Isaac on "The Love Boat"-also talking about pretty much the same thing. Director Mel Stuart also provides lots of documentary footage of the area as it was at the time and during the events this film addresses. The performances I saw were great and I was especially glad to see the Hayes sequence since it wasn't in the airing on Cinemax in the '90s when I first watched this. The version I saw just now was on YouTube with the first 49 minutes from a French broadcast and the other an Asian one though it cut off after Luther Ingram in the middle of Pryor's next segment so I had to look elsewhere on the YouTube site for Richard's remaining monologues and Hayes' restored performance (I've yet to see his other number "Soulsville"). Nonetheless, this was a great documentary with excellent musical performances all around. So on that note, Wattstax is well worth seeing. P.S. Both The Emotions and The Staple Singers were native to my birthtown of Chicago, Ill. Luther Ingram was the co-writer-with Mack Rice-of the Staples' "Respect Yourself". It happened to be Hayes' 30th birthday when he performed at this event. And I also noticed Ossie Davis and wife Ruby Dee among the audience members. Update: 6/8/13-I've now seen Hayes' "Soulsville" performance and it's a nice serious number about the struggles of his people living below their means with pertinent footage accompanying it.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (18 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Wattstax (1973)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I looooove this movie. hopscotch39
The Actor chatting with Ted Lange + Raymond Allen camille_8107
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee in the audience. emersoncf
Did you know? puffball97
Bought the 30th Anniversary DVD coreyj72
What time is it? kthad
See more »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.