Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

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Movie Info & Cast


Produced, directed, written, scored by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles, this landmark blaxploitation film was as controversial as it was popular for its then X-rated story of one African-American man's triumph over the Man. After beating a couple of white cops he witnessed brutalizing a local black revolutionary, sex show performer Sweetback (Van Peebles) has to go on the run. As he flees through decrepit South Central Los Angeles, Sweetback demonstrates his formidable potency through sex as well as violence, evading the police manhunt by any means necessary. As Sweetback runs off into the sunset, however, Van Peebles warns that the story, like the 1960s racial strife, isn't over.~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide


  • Simon Chuckster
  • Melvin Van Peebles
  • Hubert Scales
  • John Dullaghan
  • Wesley Gale
  • Niva Ruschell
  • Rhetta Hughes
  • Nick Ferrari
  • Ed Rue
  • John Amos

Did You Know?


  • Film debut of Mario Van Peebles.
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  • The fire truck that appeared at the end of the car explosion was not originally supposed to appear. Due to a permit still not filed, the fire department was unaware and proceeded to appear unannounced.


    • Beetle: Like you gonna have to kinda lay out, stretch out a little while, be real cool. Kinda lay dead. Ol' Beetle'll let you know what's happenin', what's goin' down. You don't have to worry about nothin'. If you need anything, anything at all, brother, just keep the faith in Beetle, ol' Beetle goin' to bring you through, cause this is just a skirmish. You know how the game goes, baby. But you keep the faith in me and you my man. You my favorite man. Can you dig it, baby? Together, you know, maintain. They can't bother you as long as Beetle's with you. Now you go on and hibernate like that ol' bear and don't go nowhere, can you dig it? Yeah? Ha! Mellow. Go out the back door, now. Speed along and don't let nobody know where you at. Let sleeping dogs rest. You dig it, baby? Ha, ha, yeah.
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Over 40 years after its release, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song still retains its shock value, but even more so, it remains distinct as a work that cannot be squarely placed within a singular category.

Metacritic review by Clayton Dillard
Clayton Dillard
Slant Magazine