Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Willie Dynamite (1974)

If the 2005 film Hustle & Flow taught us anything, it’s that “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”—the tune in the movie that won an Academy Award as Best Original Song. William Andrew Short (Roscoe Orman)—known to friends and the ladies in his employ as “Willie Dynamite”—is a testament to this; he’s the Avis… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Willie Dynamite (1974)

Bad Movies · Classic Movies

Mr. Bojangles

Southerner Jean Stratton (Anise Boyer) is willing to go to any lengths to find work in Harlem—even making a wish under the legendary “Tree of Hope” (the story goes that an actor did this under the same tree and learned upon returning to his boarding house a producer had a part for him).  Unfortunately, a… Continue reading Mr. Bojangles

Classic Movies

Buried Treasures: Gun Moll (Gang Smashers) (1938)

Harlem’s hottest night spot is The Cellar Cabaret, owned and operated by Gat Dalton (Laurence Criner).  (His mother was frightened by a gun when he was born, apparently.)  Dalton does all right with his nightclub business, but he really rakes in the big bucks with an enterprise known as the “Harlem Protective Association” …a fancy… Continue reading Buried Treasures: Gun Moll (Gang Smashers) (1938)

Movies

Guilty Pleasures: Friday Foster (1975)

In the 1988 Blaxploitation movie spoof I’m Gonna Git You Sucka the film’s villain is revealed to be character great John Vernon (no slouch in the cinema bad guy department, by the way) …and Vernon has a little fun winking at the camera with an explanation of why he’s taking the money and running.  “I know you're surprised… Continue reading Guilty Pleasures: Friday Foster (1975)

Movies

From the DVR: Greased Lightning (1977)

In 1947, Wendell Scott (Richard Pryor) is demobbed out of the (segregated) Army and upon returning to his hometown of Danville, Virginia, he decides to open up an auto-repair shop with his mustered-out pay.  He’ll have to save up for this dream, but the town of Danville doesn’t offer many opportunities for a black man save… Continue reading From the DVR: Greased Lightning (1977)

Movies

From the DVR: Aaron Likes Loves Angela (1975)

Set in Spanish Harlem in the mid-70s, Aaron Loves Angela (1975) is a tale of young love; the titular characters are Aaron James (Kevin Hooks), an African-American high-schooler who’s fifteen, and Angela Sanchez (Irene Cara), a Latina (Puerto Rican) who’s the same age.  The two of them meet during a basketball game—Aaron has high hopes of turning pro… Continue reading From the DVR: Aaron Likes Loves Angela (1975)