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Black Belt Jones (1974)

A Mafia buy out of Papa Byrd's karate school downtown ends in his death. Byrd's daughter, Sydney, refuses to sell, and wants revenge. Byrd's students call the Black Belt Jones for help. Jones reluctantly teams with Sydney in many battles.

Director:

Robert Clouse

Writers:

Oscar Williams (screenplay), Fred Weintraub (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Kelly ... Black Belt Jones
Gloria Hendry ... Sydney
Scatman Crothers ... Pop Byrd
Eric Laneuville ... Quincy
Alan Weeks Alan Weeks ... Toppy
Andre Philippe Andre Philippe ... Don Steffano
Vincent Barbi Vincent Barbi ... Big Tuna
Mel Novak ... Blue Eyes
Malik Carter Malik Carter ... Pinky
Eddie Smith ... Oscar
Alex Brown ... Plummer
Sonny Barnes Sonny Barnes ... Tango (as Clarence Barnes)
Earl Jolly Brown ... Jelly (as Earl Brown)
Jac Emel Jac Emel ... Marv the Butcher (as Jac Emil)
Wayne Musgrove Wayne Musgrove ... Brother Blake
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Storyline

The Mafia's Don learns that the City is planning a new civic center, and is buying the land where it will be, to make easy money when the city council will buy it. The one piece the Don doesn't have yet, is the old African-American karate school owned by Papa Byrd. Big Tuna, the Mafia Don's right hand man, goes to Pinky, their representative in that area and they tell him that he owes them $250,000 but instead of paying, they want him to get Papa Byrd's school. Pinky tries to muscle the karate master into handing out the property title, but he throws him out. A teacher calls Black Belt Jones, a friend of Papa Byrd, to talk to him about this, but before he does Pinky and his thugs accidentally kills Papa Byrd in a second visit. Before dying in friends' arms, Byrd says that the school belongs to Sydney - whom nobody knows. Black Belt Jones knows that Sydney is Byrd's daughter, whom he hasn't seen since she was a child. Black Belt asks a friend of his who works for the Government, to ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He clobbers the mob

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1974 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Freie Fahrt ins Jenseits See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Position of the thug on the police car hood. See more »

Quotes

Pinky: Who the fuck hit me?
Black Belt Jones: Batman, muthafucka!
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 1 min 27 secs by the BBFC with cuts to nearly every fight scene including heavy edits to groin kicks and neck chops. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Black Dynamite (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Black Belt Jones
Performed and Composed by Dennis Coffey (as Dennis Coffy) & Luchi De Jesus
Arranged by Dennis Coffey (as Dennis Coffy) & Mike Theodore
Courtesy of Sussex Records
See more »

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User Reviews

The most entertaining b-grade blaxploitation martial arts action movie ever made!
6 April 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

There's no way on earth I'm gonna argue that 'Black Belt Jones' is a great movie, even a very good one, but no matter how silly and cheesy it gets it's a hell of a ride and lots of fun! Let's face it this is b-grade exploitation fare deliberately designed to cash in on both the mid-70s blaxploitation boom and the success of Bruce Lee's martial arts classic 'Enter The Dragon'. Dragon's director Robert Clouse (who also made the hugely enjoyable post-apocalyptic potboiler 'The Ultimate Warrior') took karate champion Jim Kelly, who co-starred with Lee and John Saxon in that film, and tried to start a spin-off franchise with him. The big problem was that Kelly certainly had the fighting chops but his acting was only so-so and he was one of the least charismatic of all the blaxploitation leading men. Just compare him to Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree or Ron O'Neal and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, for one movie at least it didn't really matter. Kelly stars as Black Belt Jones who returns to the inner city karate school where he got his start after the death of his mentor Pop Byrd (the wonderful Scatman Crothers, who yes, kicks some butt before he is killed, a sight you'll never forget!). Jones teams up with Pop's estranged daughter Sydney (Gloria Hendry of 'Black Caesar' and 'Savage Sisters'), also a fighter, and his peeps to avenge Pop's death. The rest of the cast includes Eric Laneuville ('The Omega Man'), Earl Brown (Whisper from 'Live And Let Die'), and even Isaac the bartender from 'The Love Boat' as a Black Panther! This is a silly movie, but still loads of fun, with some very entertaining fight sequences, and some laughs, intentional and unintentional. 'Black Belt Jones' is mandatory viewing for all 1970s trash buffs.


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