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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

During the infiltration of Don Steffano's winery, the picture taken to fool the security camera was taken with a Polaroid instant camera, which has a big white border at the bottom of the picture. The picture was taken with the camera right side up, which means that the border at the bottom would mean that the picture would be right side up. But on the rig they put on the security camera, it is shown that it is holding the instant picture with the white border at top, meaning the picture is upside down, but is shown as right side up through the security camera. See more »

Quotes

Lucy: Wesley, I'm gonna slap the black off you.
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

Featured in The Unbeatable Bruce Lee (2001) 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

It's Bruce Lee, only darker!
15 February 1999 | by ReplicahSee all my reviews

Black Belt Jones is a kung fu Brother out to protect the world from street scum. When Poppa Byrd (Scatman Crothers) gets killed by an increasingly hapless cast of villains spearheaded by a Mafioso named Pinky, Jones enlists the help of his karate school students to clean up the streets and show the bad guys their 'propers'. You can tell from the start that this cult classic is going to offer more grooves than moves, more day-glow than Tokyo, and hilariously sincere dialogue that will truly make you fall out of your seat laughing.

This film does feature good-looking martial arts action. Jim Kelly was previously best known for his performance in 'Enter the Dragon' as a martial arts champion who, along with Bruce Lee, discovers that there is more to the Invitational Competition than meets the eye. Black Belt Jones presents the same character-type elevated to Neighborhood Hero with the requisite heart of gold. His girlfriend, Sidney, takes no guff, the bad guys are easy to fool, the fight scenes mimic (exactly!) every Bruce Lee move ever recorded, and the brawls take place (somehow) in the local car wash.

One scene to watch for - the amazingly talented lights off / lights on 'Damage At The Dojo' sequence. Using nothing more than a light switch, a plaid hat, and fists of death, Black Belt Jones defeats the gun-toting Mafia by striking …. fear of the dark into them! Note how much effort it took to keep that beanie hat on top of his Afro. You really can't miss this one, so get your bell-bottoms on, call your friends and get funky!


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