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The Legend of Dolemite (1994)

| Comedy, Documentary
Blaxploitation legend Rudy Ray Moore tells all in a retrospective of his illustrious career as the original "Godfather of Rap".

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Blaxploitation legend Rudy Ray Moore tells all in a retrospective of his illustrious career as the original "Godfather of Rap".

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The Man Behind the Bad, Bad DOLEMITE
28 August 2012 | by (Spring Hill, FL) – See all my reviews

Rudy Ray Moore is an accomplished comedian, musician, and film star. He's an icon of the blaxploitation era with his legendary roles as Dolemite, Petey Wheatstraw, and Tucker Williams, the Disco Godfather. Moore's films have always had a very personal quality to them, shot for cheap and distributed on their own dime. He's got a massive fan base, spanning decades with people drawing on the man for inspiration. THE LEGEND OF DOLEMITE is a short documentary that shares stories from Moore's career and the people that loved him. It explains his early career in dance and his chance meeting with a wino that inspired his most popular character: the bad, bad Dolemite. We learn of his highly successful career as one of the world's first X-rated comedians and the dozens of risqué comedy albums he's released. And, of course, the documentary touches on each of his major motion pictures, from DOLEMITE to DISCO GODFATHER. The movie interviews entertainment icons that heap praise on Moore for inspiring them in their own careers. There are featured interviews with Ice-T, comedian Eddie Griffin, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, and the late Eazy-E who sampled Moore's material in his music more than anyone else.

As interesting as it is to hear how much Moore's work meant to these people, the real interesting interviews come from those who worked close with him. Lady Reed (Queen Bee from the DOLEMITE movies) and Jerry Jones (frequent collaborative screenwriter and Detective Blakely from the DOLEMITE movies) give their personal accounts of how Moore approached them with dreams of entering the world of comedy. The movie is a bit light on material, but it covers a lot of ground in it's one hour run-time. There's a bit of time set aside to cover each of his movies and share a little bit of the background behind them. Really, this movie could've been stretched another 30-45 minutes and I wouldn't have minded. Moore and his crew may not have been runaway successes but they remain icons of a time when African- American cinema was finding its groove. His comedy is hilarious and his movies are unforgettable, and any chance I can find to learn about the man behind the Human Tornado is worth exploring. Fans of Moore and his film catalogue should find enough in THE LEGEND OF DOLEMITE to entertain while giving a taste of the people behind the scenes.


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