Willie Dynamite

Willie Dynamite

Director: Gilbert Moses

Cast: Gilbert Moses, Jack Bernardi, Marilyn Coleman, Ted Gehring

     
 
Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman) is a Manhattan pimp whose life and career are documented in this blaxploitation flick. Willie makes it to the top of his precarious profession, only to hit rock bottom again in record time. In her last movie role, Diana Sands plays an ex-hooker who becomes a social worker. She

Overview

Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman) is a Manhattan pimp whose life and career are documented in this blaxploitation flick. Willie makes it to the top of his precarious profession, only to hit rock bottom again in record time. In her last movie role, Diana Sands plays an ex-hooker who becomes a social worker. She tries to get Willie to clean up his act before it's too late. Willie Dynamite was produced by Richard Zanuck and David Brown, who shortly afterward collaborated on a more upbeat project, The Sting.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Despite its focus on the title character, Willie Dynamite is not the kind of gangsta-glorifying blaxploitation opus one might expect. In fact, it's a surprisingly serious drama that downplays sauciness and comic-book violence to focus on the moral implications of ghetto crime and prostitution. However, Willie Dynamite never quite manages to live up to the power of its convictions due to an unfortunate tendency toward melodrama. For instance, the performances frequently go over the top: Roscoe Orman's otherwise compelling and energetic work in the title role is occasionally undone by some tough-guy excesses, and the many police and pimp supporting characters are a bit too broad to be fully believable. Diana Sands delivers the finest performance as Cora, managing to bring a genuine earnestness and flawed humanity to a character that could have been another bland do-gooder. Also, the script piles on tragedy after tragedy on its title character in a way that undermines the story's believability, before capping the tale with an attempt at an uplifting ending that fails to convince. Despite these problems, Willie Dynamite remains compelling viewing for African-American film enthusiasts thanks to inspired direction by Gilbert Moses. He makes great use of convincingly gritty New York locations and creates some energetic set pieces in the process, including a memorably suspenseful chase in a set of tenements. The film also boasts some above-average production values -- the sets, costumes, and vehicles that depict the pimp lifestyle are genuinely eye-popping. In the end, Willie Dynamite lacks the consistency and dramatic strength it aspires to but remains an intriguing time capsule for 1970s cult-film fanatics.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/11/2005
UPC:
0025192418129
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
28,513

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Bernardi Willie's Lawyer
Marilyn Coleman Connie
Ted Gehring Sergeant
Wynn Irwin Bailiff
Richard Lawson Sugar
Roscoe Orman Willie
Diana Sands Cora
Ken Lynch Actor
Marcia McBroom Pearl
Davis Roberts Judge
Mary Wilcox Scatback
Judy Brown Georgia
Ron Henriques Cyrus
Thalmus Rasulala Daniels
Joyce Walker Pashen
Roger Robinson Bell
George Murdock Celli
Norma Donaldson Honey
Juanita Brown Sola
Royce Wallace Willie's Mother
Albert Hall Pointer

Technical Credits
Gilbert Moses Director
David Brown Producer
Claire P. Brown Set Decoration/Design
Ron Cutler Screenwriter
J.J. Johnson Score Composer,Songwriter
Bernard Johnson Costumes/Costume Designer
John T. McCormack Art Director
Ronald Pierce Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Stanley Cinematographer
Aaron Stell Editor
Waldon O. Watson Sound/Sound Designer
Richard D. Zanuck Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Little Business (Main Titles) [5:28]
2. Willie's Passion [3:09]
3. Pimpin' Party [7:17]
4. Professional Affair [4:43]
5. First Time Offense [7:47]
6. Girl Talk [5:06]
7. Down on Luck [8:24]
8. Dirty Work [3:24]
9. Vanity Fair [5:23]
10. In the Spotlight [6:08]
11. "Welcome to the Bronx" [3:43]
12. An Object of Beauty [4:12]
13. Damaged Goods [2:15]
14. Sweating Bullets [8:18]
15. Judgment Day [5:57]
16. Stripper [3:52]
17. Loose Cannon [7:11]
18. Making Things Right (End Titles) [9:25]

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