6.4/10
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21 user 20 critic

Willie Dynamite (1974)

A social worker tries to get a pimp to change his ways.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Diana Sands ...
Cora
...
Robert Daniels
Joyce Walker ...
Pashen
Roger Robinson ...
Bell
...
Celli
...
Pointer
Norma Donaldson ...
Honey
...
Royce Wallace ...
Willie's Mother (Emma)
...
Gorgia (as Judy Brown)
Marilyn Coleman ...
Connie
...
...
Jack Bernardi ...
Willie's Lawyer
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Storyline

A social worker tries to get a pimp to change his ways.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's tight, together, and mean. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1974 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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

Rosco Orman ('Willie D.') is perhaps best known to audiences, as Gordon, of Sesame Street. See more »

Goofs

At the 16:30 mark of the movie, when Honey calls Willie to say Pashen's been busted, Willie tells her he'll be right down, to sit tight, and keep doing business. The only thing, the pay phone she's calling Willie from has a small sign by the coin slot that says "You can dial any number in the Los Angeles area", when they are supposed to be in New York City. See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits, Richard Lawson is credited as playing the role of Sugar, when in fact it is Nathaniel Taylor who plays the role. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Legend of the Lone Ranger (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Willie D.
Music by Gilbert Moses & J.J. Johnson
Lyrics by Gilbert Moses
Sung by Martha Reeves (as Martha Reeves & The Sweet Things)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Can you tell me how to get to Easy Street?
18 September 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This Blaxploitation classic merits a viewing on at least two bases: one, you've got none other than Gordon of 'Sesame Street', a.k.a. actor Roscoe Orman, playing a pimp, and two, you have to love these COSTUMES! "Willie Dynamite" (Orman) is a capitalism-oriented flesh peddler with a wardrobe to die for. But he'll have a few thorns in his side: a pair of detectives (George Murdock, Albert Hall) out to righteously bust him, a mysterious enemy determined to screw him over, and a crusading social worker named Cora (Diana Sands), who acts as a patron saint to hookers.

Directed with style by Gilbert Moses, "Willie Dynamite" is generally engaging entertainment. Some viewers may be pleased to note that, although the rating is R, there's no excessive violence, and very little in the way of bare female skin. That doesn't mean, however, that it's not worth other peoples' time. It spins a decent yarn (screenplay by Ron Cutler, based on a story by Cutler and Joe Keyes Jr.) that unfolds at a respectable pace, gives us some agreeable action set pieces, and makes fine use of locations. There's a wonderful score provided by J.J. Johnson, and a rousing title theme song that gets you in the proper mood immediately.

Orman is great fun playing a charismatic antihero. The scenario lets you wait until the end to let you know whether or not Willie D. can be redeemed, leading to some poignant moments. Sands, sadly dying of cancer during this time, gives the best performance in the movie. Thalmus Rasulala is saddled with little to do as her attorney boyfriend. Similarly, there are other familiar faces here that are rather wasted. Judith Brown, Juanita Brown, Marcia McBroom, and Mary Charlotte Wilcox as some of Willie D.'s hookers mostly just take up space. The pretty Joyce Walker gets the lions' share of attention as novice ho Pashen. Roger Robinson, as an antagonistic pimp named Bell, is most amusing, but there may be viewers who will take offense to his stereotypical portrayal of a gay character.

"Willie Dynamite" is lively, funny, and sometimes touching. Blaxploitation completists will want to check it out, for sure.

Seven out of 10.


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