Review: Dolemite, 1975

Garrett Smith Film, Reviews Leave a Comment

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Director: D’Urville Martin
Writers: Jerry Jones, Rudy Ray Moore
Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, D’Urville Martin, Jerry Jones

Listen to Garretet’s full discussion of ‘Dolemite’ on his podcast, I Like To Movie Movie.

Well Dolemite was a fucking blast. Who knew Black Dynamite was specifically based on a specific movie, and not just the genre as a whole? (I assume a lot of people).

I’ve not seen much in the way of blaxsploitation, but this easily takes the cake as the best I’ve seen. Fun, funny, weird, and socially relevant. One of the things that I find so interesting about this genre is that it exists, to some extent, to exploit a black audience. But in doing so it gave black filmmakers and performers an avenue to use their voice. Whether audiences understood it or not, there’s a reason the ultimate villain is a white politician, and the removal of Dolemite from his community lead to it becoming a more dangerous place. These are the concerns of black Americans and the lens through which they see America, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking that it’s clear we haven’t really moved the needle on any of these issues in the last 40 years.

What’s also clear is that Samuel L. Jackson owes Rudy Ray Moore some royalty checks for his delivery of the word “motherfucker!”

Score: ★★★☆☆

This review originally appeared on Garrett’s Letterboxd. Follow him there for more ratings, reviews, and lists.

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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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