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Cleopatra Jones (1973)

During the 1970s, U.S. Special Agent Cleopatra Jones proves to be an invaluable asset to the local police forces in the war on drugs.

Director:

Jack Starrett

Writers:

Max Julien (screenplay), Sheldon Keller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamara Dobson ... Cleopatra Jones
Bernie Casey ... Reuben
Brenda Sykes ... Tiffany
Antonio Fargas ... Doodlebug Simkins
Dan Frazer ... Crawford
Bill McKinney ... Purdy
Stafford Morgan ... Sgt. Kert
Michael Warren ... Andy (as Mike Warren)
Albert Popwell ... Matthew Johnson
Caro Kenyatta Caro Kenyatta ... Melvin Johnson
Esther Rolle ... Mrs. Johnson
Keith Hamilton Keith Hamilton ... Maxwell Woodman
Jay Montgomery Jay Montgomery ... Jimmy Beeker
Arnold Dover Arnold Dover ... Art
Angela Elayne Gibbs ... Annie (as Angela Gibbs)
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Storyline

Cleopatra Jones is a United States Special Agent assigned to crack down on drug-trafficking in the U.S. and abroad. After she burns a Turkish poppy field, the notorious drug-lord Mommy is furious at the loss of her supply and vows to destroy Cleopatra Jones. Mommy uses her connections with bad cops on the force to cause trouble for Cleopatra's friends and set her up for an attack. Meanwhile, Mommy is having trouble with some of her pushers, like the renegade Doodlebug. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's "Ten Miles of Bad Road" For Every Hood in Town! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dynamite Jones See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cleo's car is a customized black and silver 1973 Corvette Stingray. When she opens the door to get out, the T-bar panel in the roof above the driver's seat automatically opens, so she can get out without squashing her afro. Five Corvettes were custom made for the film. One of them also appears in an episode of The Rockford Files (1974). See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film when the North American FJ-3 Fury attacks the poppy field, it is not carrying any ordnance under its wings, only the typical 200 gallon fuel drop tanks - which it still clearly has as it flies away doing a "victory roll". See more »

Quotes

Crawford: Hello, beautiful.
Cleopatra Jones: Hello Lou. Kert.
Crawford: Recognize him?
Cleopatra Jones: That's the cat at the airport. That one too.
Crawford: Baby Tony and a creep named Zap. We'll take care of 'em.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: The Men in Me (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hurts So Good
Music and Lyrics by J.J. Johnson
Performed by Millie Jackson
See more »

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User Reviews

The biggest afro in the business!
8 October 2003 | by El-StumpoSee all my reviews

Back in the Seventies, mainstream audiences still reeling from the one-two punch of Shaft and Superfly were subjected to a barrage of ghetto avengers - Black Caesar, Willie Dynamite, The Candy Tangerine Man and the rest - all covering depressingly familiar terrain. Black writer Max Julien (also an actor, playing the lead role in the pimpsploitation classic The Mack) offered AiP his script for a female alternative but passed. Warner was quick to snatch up the rights, and in 1973 foisted the first black superchick onto the American public: Cleopatra Jones.

The film opens with a blazing opium field somewhere in Turkey. Cleo Jones, hap-ki-do expert and international do-gooder, returns to America to report on her success as a 'special agent' in her one-woman war on dope. Lesbian drug baroness Mommy (Shelley Winters, fresh from Corman's Bloody Mama) is furious her poppy fields were torched, and threatens an all-out war between the Brothers and the Mothers. One of Mommy's uppity underlings, Doodlebug (Antonio Fargas, best remembered as Huggy Bear in Starsky And Hutch) is getting rich off stealing Mommy's coke, and provides a cautionary moral aside warning against living as a White Man's flunky (Cleo points to Doodlebug's white chauffeur, and asks "What next - two white jockeys on the lawn?"). With a "whacka-whacka" superfunk guitar in the background, Cleo does her chop-sockey routine on the coke dealers and crooked cops, and kicks Shelley Winters' portly ass for her wild overacting in the final showdown. Tamara Dobson as Cleo Jones reportedly stood 6"2, and that doesn't include what must've been the BIGGEST afro in the business! Despite her physical prowess, the script doesn't give Cleo any real motive for her cartoon crusade (unlike the later Coffy and Foxy Brown) and reduces her to a smug self-satisfied cardboard cutout. Add the sloppy direction by Jack Starrett and you get a surprisingly poor release by a major studio.


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