Black Belt Jones
From The Deuce
- He clobbers the mob!
- Released in 1974
- Running Time: 87 Min.
- Production Co: Sequoin Films | Sequoin Productions
- Distribution Co: Warner Bros. Pictures
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Robert Clouse
- Written by Alexandra Rose, Alex Ross, Fred Weintraub, Oscar Williams
- Starring Jim Kelly, Gloria Hendry, Scatman Crothers, Eric Laneuville, Alan Weeks, Andre Philippe, Vincent Barbi
- Produced by Paul M. Heller, Fred Weintraub, Oscar Williams
- Original Music by Dennis Coffey, Luchi De Jesus
- Cinematography by Kent L. Wakeford
- Film Editing by Michael Kahn
After an undercover agent is murdered while trying to infiltrate a mafia money scheme, the government bring in kung fu master Black Belt Jones (Jim Kelly) to take his place to find the hidden cash. When Jones hears about the circumstances surrounding the operation, he relents because hes no jive turkey whos gonna be one of many to be killed by the mob. It turns out the mafia, led by Don Steffano (Andre Phillipe) want to build a civic center in South Central Los Angeles, only theres one building right in the middle of the planned construction site that they dont own that must be removed. It just so happens its the very martial arts school where our hero Black Belt Jones works. The school is owned by an old fellow named Poppa Byrd (Scatman Crothers). Since the mafia don't want to get blamed for taking out Poppa Byrd's school, they instead hire one of their own clients they supply drugs to named Pinky (Malik Carter) to do the dirty work. After getting the message that its either do the deed or die, Pinky and his thugs quickly pay a visit to Poppa's school to scare him into leaving, but in classic kung fu style, they end up getting their asses kicked by the students. This creates even more tension and after Pinky and his thugs accidentally kill Poppa Byrd one night, the stakes are raised even higher. Enter Sydney (Gloria Hendry), Poppa's estranged daughter, who wants to find out exactly who killed her father. After finding out about Pinky, she pays a visit to his pool hall, where she confronts his soldiers and proceeds to wipe the floor with them. Now that Sydney has made it clear shes out for revenge, Pinky must come up with a new way to get the school closed. He decides to kidnap the youngest kung fu student Quincy (Eric Laneuville) and hold him hostage until he gets what he wants from Jones and Sydney. Jones then puts together a group to get into Don Steffano's mansion. Their plan is to to steal the money to use to pay off Pinky, and when the mafia find out its their own stolen money, they'll get rid of Pinky for them...
If youve seen Enter The Dragon, you'll know that Jim Kelly has his own brand of humor which he mixes with his blazing martial arts talent. Well, Black Belt Jones basically expands on that and injects it into every scene. None of the characters are overly serious, even the villains are sort of goofy, whether its Pinky or the mafia soldiers that work for Don Steffano. The dialogue is very funny/witty and its one of the main strengths in the movie besides the over the top action. One of the most exciting characters in the film is Gloria Hendry's Sydney who you wouldnt expect to be such a tough badass. She really has alot of energy and makes a nice foil for Kelly's Black Belt Jones. Its got to be noted that the score and sound effects by Luchi DeJesus and Dennis Coffey is one of the most funky from the Blaxploitation era. The movie is filled with intense brass horns mixed with Kelly's kung fu "Ki-ays" and laid over the sound of piercing bone crunches and snaps during the fight scenes. This was also the first blaxploitation-kung fu crossover and who better to kick it off than the legendary Jim "Dragon" Kelly? For those viewers new to the 70s Blaxploitation film craze, this is one of the essentials that you should check out. Recommended! --Pete R.
Pinky: Who the fuck hit me? Black Belt Jones: (using deep voice) Batman, muthafucka!
Pinky: Choose money over honey? Shiiiiit. Man, you can pull out my groin, just gimme that coin! Man, I'd rather be dead than not have any bread! Pinky's mama didn't raise no fool!
Quincy: Come on back if you want some more! If you want some more, then come on back!
Sydney: I'm gonna make you look like a sick faggot.