Roscoe Orman, Diana Sands
Directed by Gilbert Moses
Originally released 1974
Arrow Video Blu-ray 2019
Willie Dynamite is my all-time favorite Blacksploitation movie and also one of my favorite movie from the seventies. There are few movies you can remember seeing for the first time and Willie Dynamite is one of those few for me. Willie Dynamite is finally available on Blu-ray with an interesting enough commentary track by film critic Sergio Mims.
Roscoe Orman went on to play Gordon on Sesame Street for more than twenty years. Before than he played Willie Dynamite, a flashy New York City pimp who drives a purple and gold Cadillac and runs his stable of women like a business. He likes to say that every seven minutes there is another satisfied customer.
Willie Dynamite’s nemesis is social worker and former prostitute Cora (Diana Sands) who has her heart set on saving the women in Willie’s stable. She specifically wants to save the newest member, Pearl. Willie is doing just fine until he goes against the wishes of another pimp named Bell. Bell wants the pimps to unite. Willie wants to remain an independent player, convinced he is the top dog in the business.
This is where and why things start to fall apart for Willie.
For a seventies blacksploitation movie, Willie Dynamite has survived well. Yes, in retrospect the characters are cliche, they were even then. Granted, some of the acting, especially Roger Robinson’s (Bell) is over the top and there are other actors who indulge in some scenery chewing. However, this does not take away from the movie even some 45 years later. The story has also survived very well.
I am really happy Arrow Video has released a crisp remastered copy of Willie Dynamite on Blu-ray.
Other great Blacksploitation movies