6.4/10
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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?

Trivia

The car that Jones drives is a 1971 Jensen Interceptor Mk III; a hand-made British import powered by a 440 c.i. Chrysler engine. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Quincy: Come on back if you want some more! If you want some more, then come on back!
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

Referenced in E yu tou hei sha xing (1978) 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

 
I'd rather be dead than have no bread!
1 January 2016 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Black Belt Jones" is one of the most fun movies to come out of the 1970s. It's a rousing and funny mixture of martial arts action and blaxploitation as the cool-as-can-be title character (Jim Kelly) takes on all comers. BBJ works at a karate school run by cheerful Papa Byrd (Scatman Crothers, as wonderful as he's ever been). The Mafia wants the property, and one night they go too far and murder Papa. His long estranged daughter Sydney (Gloria Hendry) comes home to join BBJ and help him fight the good fight.

Film director Robert Clouse, who'd worked with Kelly on the martial arts classic "Enter the Dragon", doesn't try to reinvent the wheel here. He just serves up a lot of nifty combat (choreographed by Robert Wall) and other assorted set pieces, while combining all of it with a great deal of comedy. There's no graphic violence to offend some viewers, just a lot of good thrills and laughs. The movie is rated R mostly for profanity. The unqualified highlight is undeniably the amazing final battle because it's set at a car wash and many of the combatants end up covered in suds.

The characters are all very damn entertaining, too. Kelly is not a great actor but he is a great action hero. Sexy Miss Hendry is a feisty leading lady, and holds her own all the way through. You have to love her reaction when it's suggested that she "do the dishes". Eric Laneuville, Alan Weeks, Andre Philippe, Vincent Barbi, Mel Novak, and Nate Esformes are fine in support, but the show is largely stolen by Malik Carter as aggressive bad guy Pinky. At one point, he launches into a priceless rhyming routine about his love of money. Crothers is such a hoot as the rascally Papa. You haven't lived until you've seen him with that rug on his head, and watched him attempt to bust out karate moves. Marla Gibbs, Henry Kingi, and Ted Lange have uncredited bits.

A lively, invigorating diversion, underscored by superior music by Luchi De Jesus.

Now let's all go to McDonald's!

Eight out of 10.


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