Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up King of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »
Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »
Super Fly is a cocaine dealer who begins to realize that his life will soon end with either prison or his death. He decides to build an escape from the life by making his biggest deal yet, converting the coke to cash and running off to start a new life. The problem is that the Mob does not have a retirement plan and will give him a choice of staying and selling for them or dying if they find out his intentions.Written by
John Vogel <jvogel@dgs. dgsys.com>
The foot chase at the beginning seems to be shot out of order. The junkie either has his hat on or he's holding it. See more »
Ain't I clean, bad machine; Super cool, super mean; Feelin' good, for the man; Super fly, here I stand; Secret stash, heavy bread; Baddest bitches, in the bed; I'm your pusherman, I'm your pusherman; I'm your pusherman...
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Ron O'Neal played the role of Youngblood Priest in 1972 movie SuperFly CONVINCINGLY well. Some people believed he was actually a drug dealer or hustler in real life, that's how good his performance is. O'Neal understood the character of Priest well enough to know what messages he believed Priest was trying to convey to Black America as well as to mainstream America about life in the ghetto (urban city), about how one's choices and options can be shaped by the socio-economic environment and then reshaped and changed by personal choices, and about the moral dilemmas one may experience during this process.
SuperFly is a form of art that imitates life. Its hard core portrayal of life in the ghetto (urban city) as experienced by victims and predators and just everyday folk shows how everyone is trying to survive in the game; it showcases how people find themselves responding and reacting to their circumstances and socio-economic environment, and when they believe they are not in control of their destiny, or when they believe they don't have options and choices in their lives. Some call the overall feelings in these communities as those of despair, hopelessness, or helplessness. Others say these communities are filled with bravado or defensive posturing.
In the context of survival in the ghetto, the character of Priest is viewed as a hero because something makes him realize he does have choices in his life. He comes to realize that he has a choice whether to continue dealing drugs or to get out of the business. He has a plan to get out, although he is not sure if it will actually work, but he is willing to die trying to become free. Priest is a hero when he realizes that he has to find the right kind of support and help for thinking about and acting on his choice of freedom, especially when his support system for sustained change is limited, as evidenced by those who don't believe he can get out alive and are willing to betray him for trying to leave the business. Priest recognizes that he is in a moral dilemma as he professes to be "tired of the life" and "never really liked it" but he needs to score one last time so that he can leave with something rather than with nothing. Indeed, Priest should be commended for wanting something else out of life even if he does not know what that "something else" is, especially in a social environment where there may not be much support for doing what Priest ultimately makes the decision to do. When making the choice to change, everyone has to start somewhere, and this is part of the message conveyed by O'Neal's commanding performance.
Let the viewer not forget the many issues that helped to influence the decisions that Priest had to wrestle with --- the socio-economic environment of the ghetto and its relationship to a corrupt police department, among its relationships with the many institutions of the white power structure.
Unfortunately, if the viewer focuses strictly on the cinematography, directing, and low budget issues of this movie, the viewer might miss the important individual and social messages that the movie is trying to convey.
Most importantly, Ron O'Neal's performance demonstrates his understanding of the character and why he took the risk and took on the role as Youngblood Priest at that time in his career, a career which began when he was cast as the lead role in Charles Gordone's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "No Place to Be Somebody", (a play which began on off-Broadway's Public Theater but later went to Broadway in 1969). Ron O'Neal won an Obie Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award for his work prior to SuperFly.
During an interview about three years ago, I heard Ron O'Neal say that he did not apologize for taking the role or making the movie that may have eventually compromised his career. Said he to the interviewer, "If I had not taken the role, would we be talking right now?"
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