Friday Foster (1975) Poster

(1975)

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8/10
Sexy Sexy Pam Grier!
billyjcoombsrogerscom27 October 2002
Sexiest black woman of all time Pam Grier kicks ass and looks great doing it. This film has everything you are looking for in a blaxploitation flick. Scatman Crothers and the bartender from the "Love Boat"; what else would you want? Great!
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6/10
Great fun, loaded with blaxploitation regulars!
DrSatan20 August 1999
Friday Foster is probably the most fun of all the 70's Pam Grier flicks. Though not as good overall as Coffy or Foxy Brown, both had a certain amount of serious content; not Foxy Brown. Here Pam's intrepid reporter discovers a dangerous plot to eliminate black leaders. She's aided by Yaphett Kotto, hunted by Carl Weathers, and along the way she runs into Scatman Crothers, the guy who played the villan in Bucktown and the hero in Blacula, one of the cast of Across 110th Street and the bartender from the Loveboat. The film is light, but very amusing...I recommend it for Pam Grier fans.
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8/10
Pam Grier holds her own once again
Casey-5211 November 2000
I'm sure many fans used to the action-packed Pam Grier flicks must have hated this film when it came out. FRIDAY FOSTER doesn't feature Grier kicking ass or cussing out a criminal, but does have a great cast, excellent acting by Grier, and a funky score.

Grier stars as Friday Foster (real name? who knows?!), a photojournalist who becomes involved in a scheme to kill off all the black leaders of the world. Chasing criminals, sleeping with politicians, and brushing elbows with hired assassins, Friday saves the day and solves the case in the end.

OK, no Pam Grier kicking ass. So what? Here, this is where Grier got her acting chops. While previously in films like BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA, COFFY & FOXY BROWN, Grier was just a vehicle for action, here she is given a vivid character to perform with and does a superb job. Besides Grier, there are plenty of other blaxploitation regulars to savor: Godfrey Cambridge as a gay suspect; Eartha Kitt as Madame Rena, a flamboyant dress designer (always fun to see her); Carl Weathers as a hired assassin; Thalmus Rasulala as the richest black man in the world; Yaphet Kotto as Friday's cop boyfriend (he's great!); Scatman Crothers as a dirty old man preacher (criminally underused); and "Gilligan's Island" regular Jim Backus in a cameo as a sleazy white politician. Also appearing is Tierre Turner, the annoying little kid from BUCKTOWN, as Friday's kid brother.

While FRIDAY FOSTER might not be action-packed and an excellent Grier action vehicle, blaxploitation doesn't get any better than this. I might even say this is Grier's best 70s film besides COFFY, if only because she does her best acting job here. Recommended.
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10/10
A Total HOOT! Yay Pam!
iago-67 December 2004
I don't understand all the negative reviews this film has received on this site--it's a total hoot. It may not have the story or grittiness of Coffy or Foxy Brown, but it has all the fun elements, and plenty of 'em. I watched Foxy Brown expecting a hilarious time capsule of black 70s style, slang, and b-grade action, and was surprised that it was actually a great movie. THIS is the movie I expected, and it is great just for being what it is.

My favorite scene of all is when Ted Lange (Isaac from Love Boat) drives up in his Cadillac, trying to persuade Friday to join his harem. Pam is hilarious in this scene, as is Lange, with his WONDERFUL speech about his ladies' fine clothes, ride, heavy blow, and best of all, they each have their own personal health and welfare plan! Then cut to the 'ladies,' who are THE skankiest trash you could imagine. Friday refuses, and Fancy says 'Well, at least you have to admit my sh*t is… HEEEEAAAAAAAVVVVVVYYYYYYY!' I'm sorry, who can resist this?

MINUTES after this we see Carl Weathers in his red-and-white plaid jacket with mirrored sunglasses! Then Chloris (friend of Friday's) throws MASSIVE shade at Friday for not running at her beck and call! Then Eartha Kitt delivers this speech about her new fashion collection, called 'the four seasons of S-E-X…. rrroooawwww!' As you can see the hits come fast and furious in this little gem.

Special mention must be made of the fashion show. Four women come out VERY dramatically, as this insipid music repeats its four-bar melody over and over and over. They never alter the expression on their faces, they engage in these vogue-type gestures that are stiff and ridiculous… after a certain point it becomes this sort of alien pantomime bearing no relation to anything human. Was this supposed, at one time, to be sexy? Is this what all our 'sexy' Britney's and co. will look like in 30 years? Take special note of the one in white--she looks like the creature from the black lagoon or that floating head from 'Zardoz,' and NEVER alters her living corpse expression.

Pam is great and fun as ever, and she has more to DO here than in Foxy Brown or Coffy, much as I love them. Here she plays more of a human with a sense of humor. There is also a parade of FIIIIINE-lookin' men ('You don't forget the fine-lookin' ones' says Friday), including Carl Weathers and Thalamus Rasulala.

There were also quite a few snappy little one-liners that went by so fast they're almost hard to catch. Anyway, not the best Pam Grier movie in terms of quality, but maybe the best in terms of fun, laughs, and just WAYYYY out-there 70s mojo.

--- Check out my website devoted to bad and cheesy movies: www.cinemademerde.com
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4/10
Not much of a movie...but what a crazy cast!
moonspinner5530 April 2008
Surprisingly mild vehicle for Pam Grier, targeted at the black urban audiences of the 1970s, isn't terribly good despite a varied roster of bemused supporting talents, including Jim Backus, Yaphet Kotto, Scatman Crothers, Godfrey Cambridge, Carl Weathers from "Rocky", Ted Lange from "The Love Boat", and Eartha Kitt, hamming it up as usual playing a breathless fashion designer. Grier (looking lovely) is cast as a professional shutterbug tracking down an assassination ring who target black politicians. Campy nonsense is hardly "The Manchurian Candidate", though it does have a fresh moment here and there. The assembly-line shootout-climax is tired, and the film's production seems cheesy, but Kotto just about steals the picture as Grier's sidekick. ** from ****
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Most lighthearted & enjoyable Pam Grier vehicle
JawsOfJosh30 August 2000
"Friday Foster" is certainly not as violent or as sexual as Pam Grier's most notable blaxploitation films, those being "Foxy Brown" and "Coffy". Still, "Friday Foster" is an enjoyable action romp for die-hard fans of blaxploitation films or Pam Grier. As the title character, Grier plays a photographer for a black fashion magazine who stumbles onto an assassination attempt on a prominent black politician at the airport. Soon she discovers a larger conspiracy out to eliminate other black leaders. The film features Yaphet Kotto as her do-good boyfriend, Carl Weathers as a menacing hitman, comedian Godfrey Cambridge as a gay club owner, Earth Kitt - purring as usual - as a fashion designer, and Ted Lange as a sweet-talking pimp. There are many other blaxploitation regulars scattered throughout the film. Grier naturally provides her obligatory nude scenes in obvious places. In this film; it's the shower, a jaccuzzi, and then a bed.

This film doesn't examine the dark side of street life, such as drug addiction or prostitution that was addressed in "Foxy Brown" and "Coffy", but it is still enjoyable if these films are your thing. There is still an abundance of funk music, crazy clothes & furniture, and that unmistakable 70's dialogue:

  • "Is she crazy or something?" - "No, she's just all woman." - "Damn... I need a beer!"


"Friday Foster" is a worthy rental or purchase for the hardcore fans.
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7/10
"Take my advice stay out of it. Get laid have a baby or something."
bensonmum223 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Friday Foster (Pam Grier) is a magazine photographer who is given the assignment of covering the airport arrival of the richest black man in America. But Friday gets more than she bargained for as this routine assignment turns into an assassination attempt. Because Friday was able to get some shots of the would be killers, her life is in danger. Soon, everywhere she goes, people end up dead. Friday's investigations lead her to corrupt government officials, a renowned preacher with an eye for more than the Bible, and something called The Black Widow.

Friday Foster is literally a Who's Who of 70s black actors. In addition to the always delightful Pam Grier, the movie features Yaphet Kotto, Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers, Carl Weathers, Ted Lange, Godfrey Cambridge, Thalmus Rasulala (what an awesome name), and more. While many members of this large cast have little more than cameo appearances, it was a fun to see them all together. I especially enjoyed seeing Kotto work with Grier. I wish the pair had made more films together. They have a good on screen chemistry. Plus, regardless of how silly the situation, Kotto brings an air of credibility to the proceedings.

Unlike some of Grier's other films, Friday Foster has a decided lighthearted tone in comparison. That's not to say there aren't plenty of killings, but it never feels as depressing, downbeat, or serious as something like Coffy. It's a nice change of pace to see Grier laughing and joking with Kotto in many of the film's scenes. The action scenes are also good. One of my personal favorites is the rooftop chase with Kotto and Weathers. Very nice.

I'm a fan of 70s Blaxplotation (and Pam Grier in particular) and Friday Foster is a welcome addition to my video library.
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It's no wonder Pam Grier's career quickly went down the toilet after lame movies like this and 'Sheba, Baby'!
Infofreak19 June 2004
Jack Hill's brilliant 'Coffy' is one of the 1970s best exploitation movies and remains the definitive Pam Grier role. It's such a pity that within two years Grier was forced into making something as mediocre as 'Friday Foster'. It's no wonder he career quickly went down the toilet after lame movies like this and 'Sheba, Baby'! 'Coffy' is a classic revenge movie and actually had some element of realism. Hill's next collaboration with Grier 'Foxy Brown' stepped away from that, and I didn't enjoy it as much, but compared to this it's a masterpiece. In 'Friday Foster' Grier is getting even closer to 'Cleopatra Jones' territory, but without the fun and style of that movie or its sequel. This movie actually has one of the best supporting casts of any blaxploitation film, but even that fails to satisfy. Yaphet Kotto plays Grier's detective buddy, and Julius Harris is her boss. Plus there's Scatman Crothers ('Black Belt Jones'), Thalmus Rasulala ('Blacula'), Godfrey Cambridge ('Cotton Comes To Harlem'), Paul Benjamin ('Across 110th Street') and Carl Weathers ('Rocky'), as well as Eartha Kitt, Isaac the bartender from 'The Love Boat' (Ted Lange) and even inexplicably 'Gilligan's Island's Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus)! As much as I love Grier and Kotto, 'Friday Foster's paper thin plot didn't hold my interest for very long and I was bored way before the climactic shootout. I regard this and 'Truck Turner' (which funnily enough also co-stars Yaphet Kotto) as the two most disappointing blaxploitation movies I've seen. If you want to see Pam Grier at her best watch 'Coffy', then follow it up with 'Foxy Brown' and 'Jackie Brown'. All three movies wipe the floor with this limp effort.
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7/10
Your Above Average 1970s Blaxploitation Flick
gavin69427 February 2014
Friday Foster (Pam Grier), an ex-model magazine photographer, goes to Los Angeles International airport to photograph the arrival of Blake Tarr, the richest black man in America... and things go awry.

I love blaxploitation films and I love Pam Grier (which is pretty much necessary given how much the two overlap). Here she is made out to be a very strong woman in a variety of ways -- head-strong, smart as a whip... and someone who sexually knows what they want (this is a fine line between "easy" and "determined", and Foster walks it well).

Is it the best of its kind? Probably not. But well worth a watch for fans of the genre, with some great supporting actors -- including Scatman Crothers, Eartha Kitt and Carl Weathers, among others. Unfortunately for us, this was Grier's final film with American International Pictures.
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7/10
Solid Pam Grier
bart-11729 August 2006
Pam Grier is back in action in the big screen adaptation of 'Friday Foster'. Friday Foster debuted in January 1970 as the first comic strip to star a black woman. It was syndicated and featured soap operatic story lines drawn in a realistic style, similar to Mary Worth, and starred an ex- model turned photojournalist somewhat like Diahann Carol.

I think a lot of blaxploitation fans have a hard time getting their heads around this movie because it's a different role for Pam Grier than the gritty asskicker she played so well in movies like Coffy. Nonetheless, this film gives Pam an opportunity to show range as an actress. I think Pam Grier is one of the most beautiful actresses in the history of film with real star charisma. It's good to see her getting credit.

Although it has the elements of classic blaxploitation - car chases, shootouts - Friday Foster is fun, light hearted comic strip of a film. Definitely see it.
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6/10
Near the end for Grier in this genre
rosscinema29 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This would be one of the last in the infamous black exploitation films and this effort was definitely a step down from some of the others although it's still fairly entertaining. Story is of course about Friday Foster (Pam Grier) who's a former model but now works as a photographer for a magazine called Glance and she's assigned to go to the airport and photograph the arrival of Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala) who's a very successful black businessman. While snapping off some shots Friday is a witness to an attempted murder plot and Tarr is wounded but she gets the photo's of the whole event.

*****SPOILER ALERT***** Friday starts snooping around but she is the target of one of the assassins (Carl Weathers) who recognizes her and she enlists the aide of her good friend Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto) who's a private detective. Things lead to Senator David Lee Hart (Paul Benjamin) and Friday thinks that he may be behind the whole thing but as it turns out it's actually someone whom no one suspects and they're trying to kill all the other black leaders.

This film was directed by Arthur Marks (Bucktown, Detroit 9000) who has the experience in making these films but since he also wrote the story he can be looked at for most of the flaws here. This seems to lack the immediacy and raw edge of the other more affluent films such as "Coffy" and instead we're subjected to a film that is easily more comedic and convoluted. Kotto usually plays heavies and bad guys but in a change of pace he's regulated to being more of a sidekick here following Grier from one predicament to another. The script has Grier's character stopping at nothing to find out about who killed her friend and she steals a hearse at a funeral and later a milk truck. The story also has her going to bed with both businessman Tarr and Senator Hart without any qualms but she's still supposed to be attracted to Kotto's character Colt! Clearly the story could have been tightened up a bit but there are still reasons to view this including the familiar cast which has Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers, Ted Lange, Godfrey Cambridge, and a wheelchair bound Jim Backus. It wouldn't be a Pam Grier blaxploitation film without her nude scenes and she has about 3 of them which showcase her curvy and luscious body. Not one of the better films in this genre but one of the last which possesses enough fun and exploitation to satisfy it's fans.
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10/10
Friday the 13 (as in, on a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 13)
Lee Eisenberg6 February 2013
I had never heard of Pam Grier until she co-starred in "Mars Attacks!" and then got a lead role in "Jackie Brown". I later learned that she was a blaxploitation star in the '70s, and I've finally gotten to see an example. "Friday Foster" casts her as an ultra-cool photographer whose life takes a dangerous turn after she witnesses an assassination attempt. There's no shortage of fun stuff. Seriously, Pam Grier is one sh*t-kickin' babe! A particularly surprising thing is the cast. In addition to Pam Grier, there's Carl Weathers, Eartha Kitt, Godfrey Cambridge, Jason Bernard, Jim Backus, Scatman Crothers and Yaphet Kotto. Ergo, this movie contains Foxy Brown, Apollo Creed, Catwoman, Gravedigger Jones, Steve Martin's friend in "All of Me", Thurston Howell III, Dick Halloran and of the Alien's victims.

But anyway, it's just a really cool movie. I have no doubt that they had fun making it.

Delivering the milk. Indeed!
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Blaxploitation for kids!
DJ Inferno12 July 2002
"Friday Foster" - the reputation of this work is more legendary than the film itself. I was quite disappointed when I saw it for the first time, because it didn´t deliver the typical kickass madness you normally get from a Pam Grier movie! The storyline is tame, the forced political correctness is only pesky and the whole stuff lacks in violence and sex, so prepare for blaxploitation in its mildest form! If you want to be entertained somehow watch out for the performances of genre greats like Yaphet Kotto, Carl Weathers, Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers or Thalmus Rasulala! Their fine acting improves this average film considerably. Main actress Pam Grier is convincing in the lead, but she´s not that sexy and tough as she was in "Coffy" or "Foxy Brown"! A quite unspectacular film, nothing special at all!
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4/10
Pretty lightweight action movie
Brian Ellis21 October 2003
Based on a comic strip, this movie was colorful and believable as one. Pam Grier as a fashion photographer getting mixed up in romance and intrigue sounds like a great idea but this movie never pulls it off. All I can recommend is the off the wall supporting cast. Not by casting unusual actors but the parts these actors play. With the exception of Eartha Kitt and Scatman Crothers playing what one would expect, the others play characters that they would not be known for in later years. Take Ted Lange: remembered for the happy go-lucky Issac on "The Love Boat", here he is the stereotypical pimp with the clothes and dialogue to match. Yaphet Kotto, is the comic sidekick; I don't think I have ever seen him smile as much as he did in this movie. Carl Weathers as the silent killer is also a little strange. Jim Backus gets prominent billing and he is in the movie for just two minutes! Well, it's a fast 90 minutes and there are worse things to watch.
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6/10
Not among Pams' best, but watchable.
Scott LeBrun18 June 2014
This comic strip adaptation stars delectable 1970s icon Pam Grier as the title character, a fashion photographer in Washington, D.C., who gets caught up in an assassination attempt at an airport. This is just the beginning of the troubles; after her model friend Cloris (Rosalind Miles) is killed during a show, she gets personally involved and does some sleuthing - ably assisted by her friend Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto), a private investigator. Eventually, she discovers a plot to eliminate various black leaders.

Pam truly was a queen of Cool during this time, but her charming personality - and ample assets - can only do so much to enliven what is an underwhelming script (by Orville H. Hampton, based on a screen story by producer & director Arthur Marks). There is some bloody squib action going on, but the action in this movie is largely perfunctory. As in any Blaxploitation flick of this period, there is a certain degree of fun in checking out the fashions and listening to that funky music. (However, the score by Luchi De Jesus leans a little too heavily on a talk box.) Kotto offers one of his loosest ever performances, and is a great match for Pam. Supporting them are an impressive assortment of familiar faces: Godfrey Cambridge, Thalmus Rasulala, an amusingly hammy Eartha Kitt, Jim Backus (who's wasted in what amounts to a cameo role), Scatman Crothers, 'The Love Boat''s Ted Lange, Paul Benjamin, Jason Bernard, Julius Harris, and Carl Weathers in a pre-"Rocky" featured role as a none-too- competent hired killer.

All in all, this is an okay viewing for fans of Pam, but there's nothing terribly distinguished or memorable about it.

Six out of 10.
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8/10
Witty, Powerful, Campy
afrocubanmommi20 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Friday Foster is an ensemble piece that portrays a broad spectrum of the African American community. When her childhood friend is murdered, Friday, a journalist turned detective sets out to find her killer, all while being pursued by someone who wants her dead because of something she's seen. I loved the idea of a film full of Black people who are funny and campy and intent when tackling the idea of powerful Black men unifying!
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4/10
Lacked Focus
Uriah4313 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Friday Foster" (Pam Grier) is a photographer for a magazine in Los Angeles who is sent on an assignment to get pictures of a reclusive billionaire named "Blake Tarr" (Thalmus Rasulala) who is arriving in secret at a nearby airport. Anyway, as she is photographing him from a hidden vantage point, three armed assassins suddenly appear and attempt to kill him. Although she is fortunate to get several pictures of this incident she also finds herself getting drawn deeper and deeper into a complicated and highly dangerous situation which has serious implications for everyone concerned. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that fans of Pam Grier will probably really like this particular film as she performs in an excellent manner. Unfortunately, she was plagued with a weak script, the plot lacked focus and the director (Arthur Marks) failed to utilize an exceptional supporting cast to their full advantage. Yet, while Pam Grier was able to rise above these obstacles to a certain degree I cannot honestly say the same for her other colleagues--especially Yaphet Kotto (as "Colt Hawkins") whose performance seemed both odd and uneven. In any case, I felt somewhat disappointed in this movie and I have rated it accordingly.
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6/10
Pam Grier's final AIP movie Friday Foster got plenty of smiles from me
tavm11 February 2012
What I'm reviewing now was the very last movie Pam Grier made for American International Pictures. She plays the title character as a photographer for a magazine who's on assignment to shoot the arrival of the "black Howard Hughes" Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala). Accompanying her on some of her assignments other than the one I mentioned above is private detective Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto). I'll stop there and just say how fun I found the whole thing and why not with a cast that includes Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers, Jim Backus, Ted Lange without his mustache that he became famous for when he was cast in "The Love Boat" a few years later, a pre-Apollo Creed Carl Weathers, and Godfrey Cambridge several months before his untimely death. I can't admit that everything that happened made sense but I found myself smiling if not always laughing the whole time I was watching. So on that note, Friday Foster is well worth a look.
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5/10
Thursday's a lot better
happyendingrocks12 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
While Friday Foster seems to have the same ingredients that make Pam Grier's other blaxploitation work so much fun, the film ends up really being a case of diminishing returns.

For some reason, Friday loses the sex and gore that give exploitation movies their crass charm, and instead amps up the humor and gunfire, neither of which are impressive enough to carry the film through its paces. While appearances from Yaphet Kotto and Carl Weathers certainly lively the party up a bit, fans of Grier's classics will find this outing tepid and disappointing.

The action setpieces are more ambitious than those in previous outings, but nowhere near as exciting. Grier shows a knack for chasing baddies in unique vehicles, and an extended car duel featuring Friday in a stolen hearse and a gangbusters scene of her storming the villains' fortress in a milk van certainly add a bit of flair. But this time out, Grier is notoriously absent from much of the gunplay, instead sticking to her rather subdued role as a photographer. Since we've grown accustomed to seeing Pam handing out beatdowns, it's definitely disappointing to see her doing little more than running here.

The humor seems a bit forced this time through, and sadly most of it is intentional. There are some great one liners throughout ("Damn, I need a beer!"), but some real groaners amp up the cheese factor and take away from any grittiness the film summons. The energy dims even during the most well-orchestrated bits of action, as in the climactic gun-battle, where automatic weapons rain fire in all directions, but don't seem to hit anyone. The gunmen in this film apparently miss a lot, and this is best demonstrated during a rooftop skirmish where Kotto shoots Weathers 5 times at point blank range, and somehow only makes two bullet holes in him.

In the end, the film isn't a complete waste of time, but there's little here that will draw fans back to this adventure instead of revisiting Pam in her defining roles. We know she's a lover, not a fighter. But she can certainly do more fighting than this.
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9/10
Pam Grier shines as sharp, classy Friday Foster.
sonya9002822 January 2009
Pam Grier plays fashion photographer, Friday Foster. The plot centers around a conspiracy to assassinate black leaders, which Friday Foster gets caught-up in. In this film, Pam uses her camera, fleet feet, and sharp wits to foil the bad guys. She's not a pistol-packin' mama here, like she was in her other films.

Sure, Friday Foster isn't as hard-boiled as Pam's other Blaxploitation films. But it has more humor, and finesse than her other movies. Friday Foster was a role, where Pam revealed a surprising dexterity, as an actress. She was also allowed to be more glamorous as Friday Foster, than she ever was in either Coffy, or Foxy Brown.

Also Friday Foster had a much better supporting cast, than any of Pam Grier's other films. There was the superb Yaphet Kotto, as Friday's private eye friend, Cole Hawkins, who helps her nab the villains. Yaphet is very talented, and he really helps to carry this film. Other wonderful supporting actors in the film, include Eartha Kitt, Ted Lange, Godfrey Cambridge, and Gilligan Island's Jim Bacchas, as a sleazy politico.

I'd recommend Friday Foster to Blaxploitation film fans, who want to see Pam Grier in a classier, smoother role, than she was in either Coffy or Foxy Brown.
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5/10
Lesser Pam Grier vehicle, but still fun
gridoon201814 November 2008
Pam Grier looks desirable and gives a playful, likable performance as Friday Foster, another one of her patented liberated and resourseful heroines, but she leaves most of the physical stuff to her male co-star, Yaphet Kotto, this time around. These two make a great pair and it's a mystery why they didn't work together more often. The rest of the cast is solid as well, right down to the boy who plays Pam's little brother, who has some very funny line readings. The film itself is not among Pam's most exciting: the story is muddled, and some promising action sequences (like a car chase....in which she drives a hearse!) fall flat (kudos to the stuntmen jumping from rooftop to rooftop, though). But the well-chosen cast, the bright colors, and the funky dialogue & score keep it fun enough. (**)
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8/10
All-Star Black Action movie shines--
Warning: Spoilers
Friday Foster, based on the 1970's era comic strip by Jim Lawrence and Jorge Longaron, is about a young black woman magazine photographer. In the original strips, Friday was the assistant to a white photographer; in the film, it's Friday herself who's the shutterbug. Friday (Pam Grier) works for Glamour magazine, and her boss (Julius Harris) sends her to cover the airport arrival of Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala) a self-made billionaire, and apparently the richest black man in the world. Friday gets more than she bargained for as this presumably ordinary assignment turns into an attempted murder, with Tarr as the target. Friday got photos of the hit men, so she becomes a target as well. As it so happens, Tarr is organizing a massive meeting of influential African-Americans at his vast estate; it figures to be an agenda-planning affair for black America. The bad guys (who are for now anonymous) don't take kindly to a black think-tank getting traction, and Friday's misadventures lead her to discover that someone plans to murder everyone who attends this event.

Her partner in (fighting) crime is Colt (Yaphet Kotto), a private detective who likes Friday, but with him she keeps it strictly platonic. She reserves her romantic side for Tarr and for Senator David Lee Hart (Paul Benjamin). A pre-Rocky Carl Weathers (as the hit-man Yarbro) gives chase to Friday for much of the film, and a pre-Love Boat Ted Lange is a young pimp who openly pines for Friday to join his enterprise. Other notable actors in the film include Earth Kitt, Scatman Crothers, Godfrey Cambridge, and Mr. Howell himself, Jim Backus. The action in the film is fast and slick, and the narrative manages to maintain a certain knowing campiness, despite the presumably serious political intrigue of the plot.

Produced and released during the wane of the black-action film trend of the 1970's, the film met with modest response at the box office; the summer success of "Jaws" lit the fuse that would explode with "Star Wars" two years later, and Hollywood abandoned low-budgeted action fare aimed at ethnics for bigger-budget 'mass-appeal' blockbusters.
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5/10
Pure blaxploitation charm
sergio choren30 October 2006
"Friday Foster" is one of the best blaxploitation films in terms of time capsule. The clothes, the afros, the music , the cars and the overall feel of an era is really displayed here better than other movies of the genre, but sadly it's not a good movie if you consider the story, the plot, and the action. Half a comedy, half a detective story with less violence or sex than "Coffy", "Foxy Brown", "Shaft" or other similar movies. But the exceptionally good cast deserves attention: Yaphet Kotto (Alien, Live and Let Die) is a wonderful actor here in excellent form, both strong and funny, Carl Weathers, years before stardom in "Rocky", Eartha Kitt (the black Catwoman from TV's Batman), Ted Lande (the bartender from "Love Boat"!), Thalmus Rasulala, Julius Harris, Jim Backus, etc. Far from the best of Pam Grier, but a charming movie to watch.
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10/10
great action comedy of any era
winner5522 June 2009
Of the four films from the mid-'70s that starred Pam Grier in the heroic lead - Coffy, Foxy Brown, Sheba Baby, Friday Foster - this last film is undoubtedly the best - best screenplay, best direction, best production values, and an excellent cast delivering wonderful (campy but restrained) performances. So why is this traditionally given the lowest rating of these films? I suspect that this has to do with the expectations of the fans of the '70s "Blaxploitation" genre. "Friday Foster" toys playfully with Blaxploitation conventions, but doesn't adhere to them. The movie is actually targeted at a developing black middle class that was college educated and both aware of the stereotypes confronting them and ambitious to overcome these. Most enduring Blaxploitation fans now are actually white. politically left, and 40 or older; they secretly enjoy the stereotypes they argue are mocked in Blaxploitation, these remind them of an era when it was easier to deal with social classes rather than individuals.

But long after Blaxploitation is forgotten as a genre, "Friday Foster" will be an enjoyable action film. The violence and danger are real enough - and very well paced, but the script and the actors performing it are witty enough to avoid taking any of it too seriously. The political message is still there, but there's no attempt to beat us over the head with it.

Finally, it has to be noted that with this film Pam Grier at last came into her own as an actress. While her range is still limited by her age and experience, she has learned to push this range to its envelope and toy with expanding beyond it. Her inflection and diction in delivering her lines, along with her careful use of of her eyes and expression, are subtly rich in wit and focus, revealing as much of the character as the script itself.

"Coffy," Grier's best known film of that era, is not really a good film, and is not amusing enough as "bad but funny" for multiple viewings. "Friday Foster" is not "bad but funny" at all, it's just a good, well-made, fun action comedy.
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3/10
Weak...seriously you guys....(to quote Cartman)
MartinHafer5 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Just a couple years earlier, Pam Grier starred in COFFEY--one of the best of the so-called blaxploitation films. Then, she made FOXY BROWN--a very similar film but still very watchable nonetheless. Now, by 1975, she was making lousy films like SHEBA BABY and Friday FOSTER--films that were just pale imitations of these earlier successes.

Friday FOSTER finds Ms. Grier as a hot-shot photographer for Glance magazine. She gets a lead on the arrival of some big-wig and sneaks onto the runway at the airport. However, she walks into an attempted assassination! After that, she's pulled into all kinds of intrigue that never really scores. Too bad her character is more like a Black Barbie doll instead of the usual bad @ss she played in her good films. All her brashness is replaced by high fashion clothing and a by-the-numbers plot that could have been a "Charlie's Angels" plot--seriously.

Now this film could have been a lot better. After all, it had a very good cast (including Carl Weathers, Julius Harris, Yaphet Kotto and Godfrey Cambridge. However, it all just seemed so unreal and poorly written. Pam with a camera instead of a gun just didn't pack much entertainment punch. Heck, you know it's lame when instead of blowing away bad-guy Weathers, she shoots him with pepper spray. Lame! And, when the evil assassins strike, they only chose methods with the lowest probability of success!!! Knives, runaway cars that inexplicably miss the heroine and explode and gunmen who can't hit anything make for one of the weakest gangs in film history! The only good hit (and it was GREAT---almost worth seeing the film just for this one) involved a phone booth and a huge truck--but naturally this was aimed only at a minor character and not Ms. Grier.

If there was a reason to watch this movie, it's so you can see the zombie fashion show about 25 minutes into the film! It's a high fashion show starring a strange Eartha Kitt (by her performance, I think she thought she's supposed to be Catwoman). As she introduces the models, each comes out in atrocious 70s dresses and moves about exactly like the undead as Kitt purrs like Batman's rival---seriously! It is meant to be hot, but frankly it's one of the funnier scenes in a bad blaxploitation film you can find.

Another possible reason might be to see Ted Lange (from "Love Boat") playing a completely stereotypical 70s pimp. Instead of mixing drinks and dispensing wisdom, here he spouts Huggy Bear-like dialog that can't help but elicit laughs. I really wish he'd acted this way on "Love Boat"--it would have been hysterical! Or, perhaps people who hate Godfrey Cambridge would want to see it because this film couldn't help but sink his career. His mincing homosexual routine is pretty embarrassing--as well as awfully offensive when seen today--at least to some in the audience. Others might just laugh at its lack of subtlety.

A final reason to see the film is to witness the most amazing and warmest winter in Washington, DC history. I grew up there and was amazed to see all the trees were filled with green leaves and people were dressed like it was May! I was there in 1975 but somehow missed out on this anomaly! My recall is that the temperatures were in the 30s...like every other winter in this city!! I also loved the mountains in the outskirts of DC (and no, I am NOT talking about the Appalachians). Strange how they looked like the same ones in Los Angeles! Great continuity, huh?!

However, other than for laughs or curiosity or a hatred of Mr. Cambridge, I just can't see why you'd want to see this until you've first seen and enjoyed GOOD blaxploitation films! Trust me--you can do a lot better than this overly-polished but bland film.

You know this is a REAAALLLY lame film where "Mr. Big" turns out to be Jim Backus!! So apparently THAT'S how Thurston Howell III got all that money!!
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