6.6/10
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American Pimp (1999)

Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant, pimping in various U.S. cities, bringing a woman into their group, taking a ... See full summary »

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A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

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Cast

Credited cast:
John S. Dickson ...
Himself (as Rosebudd)
...
...
Herself (archive footage)
L. Hammond ...
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Hugh M. Hefner)
Dennis Hof ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself / Goldie
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...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Kenny Redd ...
Himself (as K-Red)
Clarence Sims ...
Himself (as Fillmore Slim)
...
Andre Taylor ...
Himself (as Gorgeous Dre)
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Storyline

Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant, pimping in various U.S. cities, bringing a woman into their group, taking a woman from another pimp, and the rules and regulations of pimping. The men are clear: it's about money. The women work every night, hustle hard, turn over all their earnings, and steal anything they can from clients. We meet a few of the women, who tell us what they want from a pimp. We also listen to a women who's legally employed at a Nevada brothel; we meet her White boss, a legal pimp. He and the street pimps, some of whom are now retired, make the case for legalizing the trade. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive sexual content including dialogue, strong language and some drug related material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cafetão Americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,699 (USA) (11 June 2000)

Gross:

$287,724 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Referenced for jokes in Idiocracy (2006), particularly the spelling of Rosebudd's name and his philosophy of a "pimp's love" vs. a "square's love." See more »

Quotes

Kenny Red: They think I could of did a whole bunch of intelligent things with my brain other than try to send these bitches but this is what I chose to do. This is what I'm doing. I had it hard and I hasn't able to go to college and things like that but I will be. It takes time, it takes motivation, it takes willpower, it takes brains, it takes knowhow. Ya, understand and my brain could be used for lots of things. Until I get the money to do these things I'm not gonna stand in your McDonalds. Ya know, I ...
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Connections

Referenced in The World of Austin Powers (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Pimps talk game and are never pressed for the dirty detail – a waste of 90 minutes
2 November 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Hughes Brothers look into the world of pimping in America. They interview pimps and `ho's' from New York, Hawaii and all over the USA. Pimps share about how they came into the game, what they do, how they are perceived and what they are needed for among other topics.

I have watched many documentaries into the sex industry and have seen good and bad ones. The best ones are objective and they let the bad side and the good sides of any subject just come out without forcing the point or judging them. Louis Theroux is one of the better ones at this – he has done documentaries on pimps, porn and hip hop and has simply let his subjects talk – basically feeding them the rope as they want it till they eventually hang themselves without even knowing it!

With the Hughes Brothers attached to this documentary I had hoped it would be this type of thing. So I wasn't surprised when it started out glamorising the life. But I waited for the film to show me something that would hang the subjects on the bad sides of their lives. Even when the pimps talked about beating girls etc they were allowed free reign to defend themselves and were never pushed for details. Are they trying to be ironic I wondered? But no, instead the bad sides is only skated across when you compare to how much screen time is sent defending and glamorising the lifestyle.

The pimp life can't be too difficult to expose as cruel and exploitative can it? But here this documentary manages to do neither. Women are interviewed but only in the segments where their contributions are used to defend or support the glamorised version of events. But when the pimps talk about beating girls – no girls are there to put their side! Likewise I would like to hear more girls talk about how they feel to have the one man in their life called them `b*tches' all the time and taking their money.

The pimps all come out of it well despite being honest at times. The fact that all but one of the pimps are black made me wonder if it is only a black thing in America. Maybe this is the reason for the Hughes brothers bias – they are middle class and maybe their guilt makes them believe their `brothers' when they say `it was my only way up' etc. They manage to be so in awe of their subjects that they fail to bring anything of value out of this film. I know they must have been being careful not to judge or look down on their subjects, but their approach simply allows the pimps to talk – so do you really think we're going to get a full and honest picture about this business?

Overall I gained nothing from watching this and at best it bored me. The pimps simply talk game to cameras for 90 minutes and at the end of it I felt that they had been allowed to used me just like they use their `b*tches'. I expected more from the Hughes brothers.


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