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The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | May 1971 (USA)
Fred Hampton was the leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. This film depicts his brutal murder by the Chicago police and its subsequent investigation, but also ... See full summary »


Howard Alk




Credited cast:
Skip Andrew ... Self - Attorney (archive footage)
Edward Carmody Edward Carmody ... Self - State's Atty Police (archive footage)
James Davis James Davis ... Self - Police Officer (archive footage) (as James 'Gloves' Davis)
Rennie Davis ... Self (archive footage)
Fred Hampton ... Self (archive footage)
Edward Hanrahan ... Self (Illinois State's Attorney) (archive footage) (as Edward V. Hanrahan)
Brenda Harris Brenda Harris ... Self (archive footage)
Deborah Johnson Deborah Johnson ... Self (archive footage)
Lawrence Kennon Lawrence Kennon ... Self - Cook County Bar Assn. (archive footage)
Don Matuson Don Matuson ... Attorney in trial re-creation
James Montgomery James Montgomery ... Self - Attorney (archive footage)
Renault Robinson ... Self - Pres., Afro-American Police Assn. (archive footage)
Bobby Rush Bobby Rush ... Self (archive footage)
Ronald Satchel Ronald Satchel ... Self (archive footage) (as 'Doc' Satchel)
Tom Streeter Tom Streeter ... Self - Maywood Councilman (archive footage)
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Fred Hampton was the leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. This film depicts his brutal murder by the Chicago police and its subsequent investigation, but also documents his activities in organizing the Chapter, his public speeches, and the programs he founded for children during the last eighteen months of his life. Written by Harvard Film Archive / submitted by Max Schaefer <mms@pobox.com>

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Did You Know?


My uncle was involved with this film. The cameraman, Mike Gray, had to go into hiding in CA for months with the film canisters because he fillmed the evidence of the real bedroom door with bullets going one way. He went behind the yellow police tape the day before Hanrahan's men switched to the false door that showed 2 way shooting. See more »


Featured in Underground (1976) See more »

User Reviews

Clear demonstration of murder by the capitalist state
18 April 2015 | by treywillwestSee all my reviews

Fantastic documentary- both a great piece of journalism and a beautiful example of verite-filmmaking. It shows the truly socialist character of the Black Panthers as they feed and educate oppressed people of many backgrounds.

The radical journalists who made this film make clear that the Chicago police felt the need to execute Hampton, an important Black Nationalist, potentially an important Marxist revolutionary leader, before he developed any more of a mass, multi-national following. The fact that Hampton was convicted of clearly trumped-up charges of robbery by an all-white jury shows that the general white populace feared Black people, yet the many white progressives and radicals in Hampton's circle shows that the racial divide was gradually declining in the near- revolutionary climate of the late-'60s, at least among young people. The film thus makes terrifyingly comprehensible the capitalist state's desire to quash Black Power before it could be equated with, in Hampton's words, "Brown Power for Brown people, Yellow Power for Yellow People..." and even "White power for White people."

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Release Date:

May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hampton See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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