6.8/10
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Trouble Man (1972)

Things begin to unravel when a supercool black fixer is hired to straighten out some crooks.

Director:

Ivan Dixon

Writer:

John D.F. Black
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Hooks ... Mr. T
Paul Winfield ... Chalky
Ralph Waite ... Pete
William Smithers ... Captain Joe Marx (as Bill Smithers)
Paula Kelly ... Cleo
Julius Harris ... Big
Bill Henderson ... Jimmy
Wayne Storm Wayne Storm ... Frank
Akili Jones Akili Jones ... Chi
Vince Howard ... Preston
Stack Pierce Stack Pierce ... Collie
Lawrence Cook Lawrence Cook ... Buddy (as Larry Cook)
Virginia Capers ... Macy
Rick Ferrell Rick Ferrell ... Pindar
James 'Texas Blood' Brown James 'Texas Blood' Brown ... Wesley
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Storyline

It seems that masked men are knocking over the floating crap games of Chalky and Pete. Chalky and Pete hire the cool, loose, elegant Mr. T to fix things. Then, the masked manipulators set up the death of a collector for a rival gang lord. It looks like it's up to T to keep a gang war from breaking out, keep the police off his back, and earn his fee from Chalky and Pete. Then things get complicated. A pool hall, a boxing gym, women's well-furnished apartments, and the mean streets of L.A. give T room to sort out what seems from what is. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His friends call him Mr. T. His enemies call for mercy! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Complex magazine included this film in its 2009 list of "The 50 Best Blaxploitation Movies of All Time". See more »

Goofs

When Big is shot in the pool hall sitting in the chair, a small chain on his ankle is attached to the floor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bikini Baby: When am I gonna see you again, baby?
Mr. T: I'm gonna have to think about that, girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear at the beginning. Instead we get an opening credit saying "Twentieth Century-Fox Presents". See more »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 3 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Mess With Mister
T"" (uncredited)
Composed and performed by Marvin Gaye
Arranged by Jack Hayes and Leo Shuken
See more »

User Reviews

Solid genre film; cool but nothing particularly special
19 August 2013 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Mr T. (no, a different one) runs a small pool hall but his main work is as a local fixer and investigator. T gets approached by two local gang leaders – they run a joint craps game and they are getting hit by unknown others, robbing them and getting away clean. T agrees to investigate but nothing is as it seems and soon T finds himself in the middle of a gang war with the police looking at him for every body dropped.

Like many films of this genre and period, you could pretty much play bingo with a card full of things you expect to find. Trouble Man starts out strong in this regard; a soul soundtrack from Marvin Gaye, a tough black lead that the ladies love and the men respect/fear, villainous whites and so on; it does what you expect from blaxploitation, the only question is whether it does anything good with them. The answer is "sort of". The film has a decent enough plot and plenty of action but it delivers it too flatly and without enough genuine danger. T is cool and tough but it would have been good for him to at least break a sweat at some point. As it is everything can be handled and this smooth as silk effect means I didn't get too involved since I knew everything would always be fine.

The delivery is solid despite this, with sharp images and decent sets. The acting varies. Hooks is cool but doesn't quite have the presence I wanted – he is a bit too gruff without the charisma to back it up. Winfield is good as Chalky and plays well through the film. Bill Henderson is solid in support, as is Harris (who you'll recognize from Bond movie Live and Let Die). The goons do their thing but generally the main cast are OK – by the genre standards anyway.

Quite a decent genre film then; I would have liked it to do more than just tick boxes (which is sort of what it feels like it is doing) but it has enough solid moments about it to make it watchable if not actually memorable or particularly special.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1973 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Detective g See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JDF/B Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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