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Black Caesar

By Sean Axmaker

Shot on the streets of New York, writer-director Larry Cohen captures the bustle and color of the city in this violent, low-budget crime film. Ambitious Tommy Gibbs (a swaggering, self-confident Fred Williamson) has risen from shoeshine boy to Harlem crime lord, but he wants a bigger piece of the pot. With a racist, high-ranking cop (Art Lund) in his pocket, he begins his expansion with a bloody takeover bid but finds himself betrayed from within and the target of both the cops and the mob. Cohen invests this fast-paced tale (partially inspired by the 1930 gangster classic Little Caesar with a touch of Scarface) with colorful characters (notably a hustling religious leader played by D'Urville Martin), high energy, and a scruffy style. Black Caesar is one of the most entertaining movies to come from the Super70s explosion of low-budget black cast genre pictures, more commonly known as "blaxploitation" films.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Larry Cohen

Stars: Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry, Art Lund

Released: February 7, 1973

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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