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Black Mama, White Mama

By Ali Davis

Pam Grier in a women-in-prison movie? Why did no one think of this sooner? OK, they did. Several times. But this one is different. Black Mama, White Mama is a bizarre update of The Defiant Ones with a little Cool Hand Luke and Chained Heat thrown in for good measure. Grier stars as Lee Daniels, a pimp-and-drug-lord's moll who's looking for a way to escape both prison and her thug boyfriend. The dynamic Margaret Markov ably backs her as rich-girl-turned-revolutionary Karen Brent. The two meet in the friendliest Third World prison ever (Tickling games in the shower! What girlish fun!), and before you can say catfight they're chained together at the wrist. A quick prison break later, our feisty ladies are being chased all over the undefined tropical island by the police, revolutionaries, and dueling pimps. Director Jonathan Demme shares the story credit for this one, and his craftsmanship shows--Black Mama, White Mama hits every mandatory facet of the genre, including butt kicking, gunfire, an Evil Lesbian Prison Guard, gratuitously scanty clothing, and dressing up as nuns. Absolutely not to be missed.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Eddie Romero

Stars: Pam Grier, Margaret Markov

Released: January 19, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS


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