IMDb > Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song -- After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

Overview

User Rating:
5.5/10   3,649 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Melvin Van Peebles (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 March 1973 (Netherlands) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Film that THE MAN doesn't want you to see! See more »
Plot:
After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
As long as you don't study it for its technique... See more (52 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Simon Chuckster ... Beetle

Melvin Van Peebles ... Sweetback
Hubert Scales ... Mu-Mu
John Dullaghan ... Commissioner
Wesley Gale (as West Gale)
Niva Rochelle
Rhetta Hughes ... Old Girl Friend
Nick Ferrari
Ed Rue

John Amos ... Biker (as Johnny Amos)

Lavelle Roby
Ted Hayden

Mario Van Peebles ... Young Sweetback / Kid (as Mario Peebles)
Sonja Dunson
Michael Augustus
Peter Russell

Norman Fields
Ron Prince
Steve Cole
Megan Van Peebles ... Kid (as Megan Peebles)

Joe Tornatore
Mikel Angel (as Mike Angel)
Jeff Goodman
Curt Matson
Marria Evonee
Jon Jacobs
William Kirschner (as Bill Kirschner)
Vincent Barbi
Chesley Noone (as Chet Norris)
Joni Watkins
Jerry Days
John Allen
Bruce Adams
Brer Soul
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edson C. Kurose ... Coronor (as Ed Kurose)
Max Van Peebles ... Young Sweetback
Maggie Bembry ... Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Melvin Van Peebles 
 
Writing credits
Melvin Van Peebles (written by)

Produced by
Jerry Gross .... producer
Melvin Van Peebles .... producer
 
Original Music by
Earth Wind & Fire 
Melvin Van Peebles 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Maxwell (director of photography) (as Bob Maxwell)
 
Film Editing by
Melvin Van Peebles 
 
Makeup Department
Nora Maxwell .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Clyde Houston .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jose Garcia .... second unit director
Clyde Houston .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John H. Newman .... sound editor (as John Newman)
Arthur Piantadosi .... dubbing (as Art Piantadosi)
Clark Will .... sound
Luke Wolfram .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Cliff Wenger .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jose Garcia .... camera operator
Robert Maxwell .... camera operator (as Bob Maxwell)
 
Editorial Department
Jeremy Hoenack .... assistant editor
Jon Kinyon .... archival editorial services (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Earth Wind & Fire .... orchestrator (as Earth Wind and Fire)
 
Other crew
Chic Borland .... production assistant
Skip Karnas .... production assistant
Winfred Tennison .... production assistant
Priscilla Watts .... production assistant
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sweet Sweetback" - USA (promotional abbreviation)
"Свит Свитбэк: Песня мерзавца" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Sweet Sweetback" - Japan (imdb display title)
"Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" - France
"Sweet Sweetbacks Lied" - Germany (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Canada:R | Canada:(Banned) (Nova Scotia) | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:R18 | UK:18 (video) | USA:R (1974) | USA:X (1971)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was one of Earth, Wind, and Fire's early work. Melvin Van Peebles paid them with a check that later bounced. To this day, the band has still not been paid for their contribution to the film.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: The fire truck that appeared at the end of the car explosion was not originally supposed to appear. Due to a permit still not filed, the fire department was unaware and proceeded to appear unannounced.See more »
Quotes:
Beetle:Like you gonna have to kinda lay out, stretch out a little while, be real cool. Kinda lay dead. Ol' Beetle'll let you know what's happenin', what's goin' down. You don't have to worry about nothin'. If you need anything, anything at all, brother, just keep the faith in Beetle...See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in American Grindhouse (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sweetback's ThemeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
36 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
As long as you don't study it for its technique..., 1 May 2003
Author: morakanabad from The Celluloid Pit

This is a film that has several things going for it, none of them technical. The idea of shooting a movie with a largely black cast on dark streets at night without any sort of extra lighting is... well, a bad one, and coupled with its mic-in-the-cameraman's-back- pocket sound mix, an awful lot of the first half of the movie is just shy of being incomprehensible. Add in an editing job that suggests somebody was busy talking on the phone during the cutting of several key scenes, and you could have a real patience- tester of a film on your hands.

Thankfully, the mood of the film is positive enough that its deliriously illogical plot actually works in its favour. Greasy kid Mario van Peebles (minus the "van" here) is transformed into strapping man Melvin van Peebles in a meaningful encounter with a hooker, and you can buy it. On-the-lam hero Sweetback is challenged to a duel by bikers, and nobody so much as blinks when he suggests that it should be a duel of sexual prowess... hell, they don't even seem to care that he doesn't need to move in order to drive his women wild. He's even brought back from the dead by the chorused voices of The Black Community, and it all sort of makes sense, kind of.

In fact, it isn't until the very last shot of the movie, when you realize that 90 minutes and change have built up to... well, nothing much, really, except maybe a shred of belief in the power of an act of will, and perhaps the promise of a sequel, that you feel like taking the movie to task for its gaping technical flaws again. Even then, it's made so earnestly that I don't really have the heart to slag it for its ineptly-blocked camerawork and dreadful acting. I've seen much worse from filmmakers who weren't trying to change the world by giving a damn, so instead I'll talk it up by calling it the spiritual ancestor of the basketball-teleportation ending to He Got Game, and pretty much everything in The Matrix, too. That it was largely the work of one hugely inspired guy makes it all the cooler, so struggling filmmakers, take note! As long as you crib your technique from other places, Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song should be an inspiration to you.

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