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The Spook Who Sat by the Door

( 1 )

Overview

Sam Greenlee's cult favorite novel of political unrest was brought to the screen in this drama, which also earned a small but loyal following. A congressman hoping to attract African-American voters during an election year decides to make political hay by pointing out that the Central Intelligence Agency has no black agents. Bowing to subsequent public pressure, the CIA admits a number of black applicants to their training program, but they purposefully make the process difficult and unpleasant enough to winnow ...
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Overview

Sam Greenlee's cult favorite novel of political unrest was brought to the screen in this drama, which also earned a small but loyal following. A congressman hoping to attract African-American voters during an election year decides to make political hay by pointing out that the Central Intelligence Agency has no black agents. Bowing to subsequent public pressure, the CIA admits a number of black applicants to their training program, but they purposefully make the process difficult and unpleasant enough to winnow out nearly all the African-American students. Dan Freeman (Lawrence Cook), a strong, intelligent but soft-spoken man, somehow makes it through the gauntlet to become the black CIA agent; however, rather than being given important field assignments, Freeman is put in charge of the agency's copying machines and gives tours of their facilities to give the offices a progressive front for visitors. After a few years, Freeman leaves the agency to move back to his hometown of Chicago and do work with the community...at least that's what he tells his superiors. In fact, Freeman has used his time at the CIA collecting information on how to launch a political revolution, and not long after he arrives in the Windy City, he begins recruiting an army of leftist radicals and black nationalists fed up with the system. With their help, Freeman launches the first stage of an armed revolt with the stated goal of bringing the white-dominated power structure to its knees. The Spook Who Sat by the Door was a rare feature directorial assignment for Ivan Dixon, best known as an actor (he played Sgt. "Kinch" Kinchloe on Hogan's Heroes), Dixon has an extensive resume of directorial credits, but primarily in episodic television. Spook is his second theatrical release.
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Special Features

Introduction by USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham; One on One with writer Sam Greenlee; Robert Townsend commentary; Original theatrical trailer; Original TV commercials
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/27/2004
  • UPC: 723952076595
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: Monarch Video
  • Time: 1:42:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,970

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Special Commentary [3:58]
2. Give It to Me Straight [2:17]
3. Testing and Training [6:07]
4. Freeman [14:47]
5. Congratulations [2:31]
6. Let's Say Goodbye Right [1:58]
7. Freeman's Leaving Us [2:21]
8. Back in Chicago [3:01]
9. I Can Show You How [5:51]
10. Dawson's Back [4:20]
11. The Next Stage of Your Training [1:23]
12. Minister of Information [6:20]
13. Infiltration [4:26]
14. Nightmare [3:01]
15. Brains and Guts [5:38]
16. We Can Paralyze This Country [1:47]
17. Shorty's Dead [7:51]
18. Last Three Nights [4:02]
19. Gotta Go [2:13]
20. A Little Trip [5:45]
21. The Russians [2:22]
22. Baby Be Careful [2:57]
23. The Revolution [9:51]
24. Credits [1:10]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      One on One With Writer Sam Greenlee
      Robert Townsend Commentary
      Original Theatrical Trailer
      Original TV Commercials
   Chapters
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best kept secret in black cinema

    This has to be the most important film from the blaxploitation era yet hardly anyone seems to know about it. I read the book a few years ago but when I found the film, I just couldn't stop watching it. The acting is superb, so is the casting and wardrobe. This film is a masterpiece that offers an alternative look at what Black America should've been doing in stead of marching throughout the Civil Rights Era.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews