Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up king of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »
Truck is a bounty hunter who gets a job to track down a guy named Gator. When he and his partner find him, a chase ensues and Gator is killed. This makes Gator's woman, Dorinda, very angry ... See full summary »
Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »
Friday Foster, an ex-model magazine photographer, goes to Los Angeles International airport to photograph the arrival of Blake Tarr, the richest black man in America. Three men attempt to ... See full summary »
Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips ... See full summary »
Raymond St. Jacques,
Last film of Ms. Diana Sands, as she was ill with cancer, at time of filming. See more »
When Willie is talking to Cora at the end of the movie, there is a light scar along his right cheek. As he's leaving her apartment, the scar not only gets noticeably worse, but additional scars also mysteriously appear on his forehead and nose. Yet when Willie comes out of the apartment building to see his car being towed, all of the scars are gone. See more »
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 »
One of the blaxploitation genre's most impressive works
As all fans of exploitation cinema will know, there were many, many blaxploitation movies released during the 1970s after Melvin van Peebles left an incredibly impression on black audiences with Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song in 1971. While many are rather enjoyable in a comical way, few works of blaxploitation were actually any good. Tony Award-nominated Broadway director Gilbert Moses' Willie Dynamite is incredibly under-seen, but is one of the genre's most impressive works, shunning the usual hyper-stylised, lightly comic beats in favour of something more serious and dramatic, while also touching on themes such as black identity, racism and police corruption.
New York pimp Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman) has built himself a mini-empire, training his girls to work like a production line to maximise profits and keep his many customers happy. While his clothes are utterly outlandish (there are some of most ridiculous outfits ever seen in the genre here), Willie ain't no lovable scamp like Super Fly (1972), but a real piece of s**t; he regularly threatens his girls with violence, underpays them, and fails to offer any help when they get themselves arrested. When he's late to turn up to court for his most recent arrival Pashen (Joyce Walker), prostitute-turned-social worker Cora (Diana Sands) takes a particular interest, and becomes intent on rescuing Willie's girls and ending his reign of terror.
For a genre normally so rich in exploitative traits, Willie Dynamite contains no nudity and little violence, earning its adult rating instead for language and drug use. The lack of sex and action scenes leaves plenty of room for drama and character building, and Willie's journey to discovering his place in society and ultimately redeeming himself is all the more engrossing for it. Anyone familiar with Sesame Street will be left shocked at the sight of Orman wearing some of the most garish costumes ever committed to celluloid and trying to keep his bitches in check, and it's a very convincing performance. But it is in fact Diana Sands, who sadly died shortly after filming, who steals the film as the force of nature with a gentle side. Ripe for re- discovery, there's much more to Willie Dynamite than I would have ever expected. Now, bring me some scratch.
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