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The Monkey Hu$tle (1976)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  December 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 201 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

A new highway threatens a Chicago neighborhood, so to protest the residents throw a block party.



(screenplay), (story)
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Title: The Monkey Hu$tle (1976)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daddy Foxx
Kirk Calloway ...
Baby 'D
Donn C. Harper ...
Tiny (as Donn Harper)
Lynn Caridine ...
Patricia McCaskill ...
Lynn Harris ...
Sweet Potatoe
Rudy Ray Moore ...
Rosalind Cash ...
Fuddle Bagley ...
Mr. Molet
Frank Rice ...
The Black Knight
Carl W. Crudup ...
Joe (as Carl Crudup)
Duchyll Martin Smith ...
Beatrice (as Duchyll Smith)


A new highway threatens a Chicago neighborhood, so to protest the residents throw a block party.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


It ain't legal an it sure ain't safe...but it do seem worthwhile! See more »


Comedy | Drama






Release Date:

December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Monkey Hustle  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


In the beginning of the film, when Foxx steals the quart of milk, the carton is closed. While running across the street, the carton of milk is suddenly open when Foxx has not had sufficient time to open it. See more »


Referenced in Arthur's Kids: A Conversation with Arthur Marks (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Avoid this "jive-turkey" :-)
26 May 2004 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

If a white producer and a white screenwriter got together to produce a film for a black audience anytime before the bicentennial, then this would be the product. The language and expressions are so exaggerated as to be excessively comic, then again perhaps this was the intended effect (though I doubt it).

I'm reminded of the final scenes of Robert Townsend's "Hollywood Shuffle," where he plays a struggling actor who just got the lead in a low budget blaxpoitation production "Jive Time Jimmy's Revenge." Townsend is supposed to have an uncredited bit part in "The Monkey Shuffle," and one is almost certain that he was referencing the ridiculous direction given the actors in "The Monkey Shuffle." A true homage to demonstrate how shallow cross cultural understanding was at the time. An understanding made clear in this film.

With lines like "You sho-is bad!" and "Yo my main man!" one can't help but wonder how the guys at MST3K missed "The Monkey Shuffle" (probably because of the race angle; it being bad form and all to make fun of a black, or blaxpoitation, film). The story revolves around a band of two-bit hustlers, shuckin' and jivin' their way to the big time. Only they're supposedly stymied by a municipal urban renewal plan, that bulldozes their base of operations. A plan that's supposed to put a highway through the neighborhood. Too bad this wasn't played up in the film, because if you miss the few minutes of dialogue and other exposition given to the plot you'll miss it entirely. Not that you really need to know it, because it's hardly significant in the story.

There's lots of character development, but it's all one dimensional. The haircuts and costumes are laughable, and the plot doesn't come into play until the end of the film. Much of the movie is spent exploring the petty exploits of the "players," and "players" in training, and does nothing to develop either plot or story.

Well, it's been a while since I've heard expressions like "sho 'nuff" or "turkey" or even "sucka," so from a linguistics point of view it was kind of fun seeing paleolithic jive talk in action, but beyond that there's not much to offer here.

The film itself is supposed to be some kind of comedy, but I found myself hard pressed to laugh at anything other than the dated speech, costumes, and extreme mannerisms given by the characters.

If you want to see Blaxpoitation, then rent one of the better known Pam Grier, Jim Kelley, or Shaft films. Your brain'll thank you for it.

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