5.5/10
4,627
52 user 52 critic

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)

Trailer
1:30 | Trailer
After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

Director:

Melvin Van Peebles
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melvin Van Peebles ... Sweetback
Hubert Scales Hubert Scales ... Mu-Mu
John Dullaghan ... Commissioner
Simon Chuckster ... Beetle
Mario Van Peebles ... Sweetback / Kid (as Mario Peebles)
Max Van Peebles Max Van Peebles ... Sweetback / Young
Rhetta Hughes Rhetta Hughes ... Old Girl Friend
John Amos ... Biker (as Johnny Amos)
Megan Van Peebles Megan Van Peebles ... Kid (as Megan Peebles)
Wesley Gale Wesley Gale ... (as West Gale)
Lavelle Roby
Ted Hayden Ted Hayden
Sonja Dunson Sonja Dunson
Michael Augustus Michael Augustus
Niva Ruschell Niva Ruschell
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Storyline

Sweet Sweetback is a black orphan who, having grown up in a brothel, now works there as part of a sex show. When the police need a patsy for a murder in the black community, His employer gives him up to two white cops, whom he ends up killing. Suddenly the target of a massive manhunt, he decides to flee to Mexico. As he makes his way there, he is captured by, and escapes from, both the cops and a chapter of the Hell's Angels. Written by David Claydon <dc6212@bristol.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rated X by an all white jury See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of Earth, Wind, and Fire's early work. Melvin Van Peebles paid them with a check that later bounced. To this day, the band has still not been paid for their contribution to the film. See more »

Goofs

The fire truck that appeared at the end of the car explosion was not originally supposed to appear. Due to a permit still not filed, the fire department was unaware and proceeded to appear unannounced. See more »

Quotes

Beetle: Like you gonna have to kinda lay out, stretch out a little while, be real cool. Kinda lay dead. Ol' Beetle'll let you know what's happenin', what's goin' down. You don't have to worry about nothin'. If you need anything, anything at all, brother, just keep the faith in Beetle, ol' Beetle goin' to bring you through, cause this is just a skirmish. You know how the game goes, baby. But you keep the faith in me and you my man. You my favorite man. Can you dig it, baby? Together, you know, maintain....
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Crazy Credits

Opening Credits Dedication: "Dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters who had enough of the Man" See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2005 Region 2 DVD release from BFI Video has the opening sex sequences removed. A notice at the beginning of the DVD explains that the scenes were censored "in order to comply with UK law (the Protection of Children Act 1978)," See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Swinging Sixties: Movie Marathon (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweetback Getting It Uptight And Preaching It So Hard The Bourgeois Reggin Angels In Heaven Turn Around
Written by Melvin Van Peebles
Performed by Melvin Van Peebles featuring Earth Wind & Fire
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User Reviews

Brilliant mythological movie!
17 July 2001 | by magis_velimSee all my reviews

After reading some of the comments here, I wonder if we all saw the same movie. Nonstop sex and violence? Sweetback a radical? I don't think so. Sweetback is almost a nonentity who passively goes along with his environment -- ever notice how his hips never move while we has sex? He's hardly a part of the act and his so-called sexual prowess is a construct of the other person. He hardly speaks and is often spoken for, by Beetle the pimp, by the white cops. He snaps at long last and makes a statement against the whole crappy world around him. The transformation he makes is made while on the run, through the agony of always being on the run. I thought the cinematography and use of the choir chanting from afar was brilliant -- showing the world of his soul in painful transformation. Don't think blaxploitation, when you see this -- and see it you should -- but it is NOT a blaxploitation movie. It is mythology in the making.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 1973 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Sweetback See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Yeah See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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