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Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song1971

  • 3.5
SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG is the story of a young hustler whose aimless pleasure seeking turns to radicalism after witnessing the beating of a black revolutionary by two white cops. Sweetback, driven to a state of blind rage, takes brutal revenge on the cops, forcing him into a desperate life on the run. Despite a humble opening at only two theaters followed by a torrent of negative reviews, SWEETBACK mushroomed to $10,000,000 at the box office, landing it on Variety's list of top-grossing independent films. It has been widely credited as the film that kicked off the so-called "Blaxploitation" film movement.

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1 member likes this review

Really significant film given the era and what the filmmaker was trying to do and that he was the first to try to do it.

Member Reviews (5)

Really significant film given the era and what the filmmaker was trying to do and that he was the first to try to do it.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

In a way, I admire this film more than I enjoy it, but that's because my admiration is immense. This is often flagged as a formative blaxploitation film, but it's only really blaxploitation in the loosest sense. Blaxploitation films were, generally speaking, conventional exploitation films that added black actors and occasionally some themes that were designed to appeal to black audiences. This film is entirely unconventional and is truly revolutionary in it's form and structure. If I enjoy it less than I admire it, it's because it tends to become overly repetitious after the first hour and doesn't seem to really know how to get to it's ending. It's potent stuff though.

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top reviewer

Sweet Sweetback's Badass nightmare! Great soundtrack!

beautifully scored with really poignant themes surrounding history, race, and racial identity in the us. a headtrip if anything, but carrying a heavyhanded critique of police misconduct and the nitty gritty behind how white supremacy and institutionalized violence operate at the ground level. ripe with stunning images and stylistic patterns we still see emulated, replicated, and updated today. strangely paced, quick moving plot makes for a total blaxploitation classic, if that title is even really applicable here.

This is one of those films that I see and appreciate film as historically and culturally important. I had no idea this stuff was being made at the time. Crazy. And very well made.