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Superfly (1972)

Action & Adventure and Cult Movies movie directed by Gordon Parks Jr.

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"Superfly" helps represent the era of the Seventies.

  • Nov 15, 2006
Rating:
+3
This movie is outrageous. Gordon Parks Jr.'s "Superfly" is interesting enough with its cliches of drug pushers, users, pimps, hos, and the dismal life in the ghetto. Good performances are given by Ron O'Neal as Priest, the drug pusher who wants to do the unthinkable -- get out of the business, and Julius Harris as Scatter, Priest's former connection to "The Man". After a little "help" from his friends Priest discovers he can only trust his woman, Georgia (Shelia Frazier). But, Priest has masterminded a way to take him and Georgia away from this life to another.

A director today, for example, could never get away with making a movie like this. The movie moves along like a series of music videos, stopping periodically to insert some dialogue and characters and situations, after which it moves back into another music video. Even that sex scene in the bathtub seemed to go on forever, panning up and down and up and down and up and down the naked bodies in the tub, presumably long enough for the song to play out before we can move on to the next scene.

From a technical standpoint, the film is an absolute disaster. There's a foot-chase early in the movie during which a wire of some sort falls directly in front of the camera lens not once, but twice, the audio is numerous scenes does not even remotely match the video (the never-ending bathtub scene, for example), and the acting is abysmal.

Throughout the film, the enjoyment comes from Curtis Mayfield's superb soundtrack. It has a way of elevating what might be just another b film to a cult classic. From "Little Child Runnin' Wild" in the opening sequence to Curtis Mayfield's live performance of "Pusherman" in Scatter's club to the end credits with the title track, this is simply one of the finest pieces of music ever written specifically for a film. The soundtrack album, which produced hit singles with "Freddie's Dead" and "Superfly", stands with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" as perhaps the two greatest soul albums of the 1970's.

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More Superfly (1972) reviews
review by . August 27, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****    Priest (Ron O'Neal) is a NYC cocaine dealer trying to figure out where he stands in both the business and in life. On the business side of things, he is successful and reasonably wealthy; but he'd also like nothing more than to get out of it all-together and start a new life elsewhere with his girlfriend. Of course, when Priest (whose first name is Youngblood) expresses these desires to his friends and colleagues, they practically laugh in his face. As Priest's …
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The pinnacle of blaxploitation movies, the 1972Superflystars Ron O'Neal as a drug dealer who wants out of the business but decides to take out some enemies in the process. With its criminal hero, one might almost think this could be an existential crime movie, but no...it's really just an effective piece of pulp with a strong performance by O'Neal, grim settings, cool direction by Gordon Parks Jr., and a famous soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield.--Tom Keogh
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Details

Director: Gordon Parks Jr.
Screen Writer: Phillip Fenty
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2004
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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