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Penitentiary (1979)

A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's ... See full summary »

Director:

Jamaa Fanaka

Writer:

Jamaa Fanaka
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White ... Sweet Pea
Leon Isaac Kennedy ... Martel 'Too Sweet' Gordone
Thomas M. Pollard Thomas M. Pollard ... Eugene T. Lawson (as Thommy Pollard)
Hazel Spears Hazel Spears ... Linda (as Hazel Spear)
Donovan Womack ... Jesse Amos
Floyd 'Wildcat' Chatman ... Hezzikia 'Seldom Seen' Jackson (as Floyd Chatman)
Gloria Delaney Gloria Delaney ... Peaches
Badja Djola ... 'Half Dead' Johnson
Chuck Mitchell ... Lieutenant Arnsworth
Cepheus Jaxon Cepheus Jaxon ... Poindexter
Dwaine Fobbs Dwaine Fobbs ... Lying Latney Winborn
Ernest Wilson Ernest Wilson ... Cheese
Will Richardson Will Richardson ... Magilla Gorilla
Elijah Mitchell Elijah Mitchell ... Nut #1
Tony Andrea Tony Andrea ... Mook
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Storyline

A hitchhiker named Martel Gordone gets in a fight with two bikers over a prostitute, and one of the bikers is killed. Gordone is arrested and sent to prison, where he joins the prison's boxing team in an effort to secure an early parole and to establish his dominance over the prison's toughest gang. Written by page8701

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Too Fast, Two Fisted, "Too Sweet"! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jamaa Fanaka's Penitentiary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Insane Clown Posse mention the movie in the song "Never Had It Made" from their first Joker's Card (album) "Carnival of Carnage": "You act like you ain't seen Penitentiary." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Rod Stewart (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Kissy Face
Written, Produced and Performed by Mark Gaillard and the Slim and Trim Band
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User Reviews

Passionate and very intense cinema experience
3 June 2000 | by pwmosesSee all my reviews

I read in an article that "Penitentiary" is one of John Singelton's favorite films. I can see why. It is an film that is kind of like an "acquired taste". It has its own audience. Hard-hitting, intense, and memorable, with some very well done casting, especially bad-man Badja Djola as "Half Dead". The musical score takes great risks that ultimately pay off. There is one part during the terrific fight scene between Too-Sweet and Half-Dead where there is no score, just screeching. Another interesting point, in Penitentiary 2, Ernie Hudson is just as good as Half-Dead's replacement.


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