Starring: Ron O’Neal, Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier
Director: Gordon Parks Jr
Blaxploitation films were big in the 70’s, and none more so than this classic example. Priest is a smooth, well dressed cocaine dealer who realises that there’s no future for him in his current life and plans one last score to end them all, so he can retire. But the crroked cops and the mob in New York are not going to make it easy for him to get out of the life.
It’s a must see because: With it’s Curtis Mayfield score and some amazing cars and costumes, this film is such an iconic piece of it’s era. What I loved about it was that it was all rather over the top, with it’s glorified violence and it’s ghetto stock characters, which either parody or glorify violence and the life of crime, depending on how you look at it. A lot of it has really dated over time, and feels quite comical now, which makes it a fun watch and films like this one have been a big influence on film makers like Tarantino.
Looking back now, the film feels like it was trying to seek a image of black characters who were not bad guys but gangster, not victims, but downtrodden, and the ending feels very liberating for that reason. But it appears that a lot of black audiences at the time rejected it as showing a negative view of them.
Oh, and the overlong bathtub scene, delightfully awkward.
See It If: you love 70’s style, crime movies, or if you’ve ever wanted to stick it to the man.