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Super Fly
Year:
1972
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Action
IMDB rating:
6.5
Director:
Gordon Parks Jr.
Ron O'Neal as Priest
Carl Lee as Eddie
Sheila Frazier as Georgia (as Shiela Frazier)
Julius Harris as Scatter
Charles McGregor as Fat Freddie (as Charles MacGregor)
Nate Adams as Dealer
Polly Niles as Cynthia
Yvonne Delaine as Mrs. Freddie
Henry Shapiro as Robbery Victim
K.C. as Pimp
James G. Richardson as Junkie (as Jim Richardson)
Make Bray as Junkie
Al Kiggins as Police
Bob Bonds as Police
Storyline: Super Fly is a cocaine dealer who begins to realize that his life will soon end with either prison or his death. He decides to build an escape from the life by making his biggest deal yet, converting the coke to cash and running off to start a new life. The problem is that the Mob does not have a retirement plan and will give him a choice of staying and selling for them or dying if they find out his intentions. Written by John Vogel
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x480 px 1283 Mb mpeg2video 4676 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
The Creme de la creme of the so called "blaxploitation" genre
SUPERFLY, starring the late RON O'NEAL is a film about a cocaine dealer who wants to leave his life of crime and retire, but not before making one last score. The film is gritty and not pretty and glossy. It is obviously low budget but this seems to work for this film because it brings a degree of realism. There are a lot of ironies in this film, one in particular is the fact that the main character's name is Priest and he uses a cross which doubles as a necklace and a coke spoon.

The seriously underrated RON O'NEAL is brilliant in his brooding performance as Priest. It's criminal that 1) He wasn't nominated for an acting award, 2) That he was not offered better subsequent roles-roles that were worthy of his talent. RON O'NEAL amazes me every time I watch this film. In less capable hands, the character Priest could have easily become a caricature. RON O'NEAL masterfully makes the character sympathetic, he personalizes PRIEST in a way that at times I could see myself in him. Equally criminal is Curtis Mayfield's music score which is probably that best I've ever heard, only being nominated for a Grammy and not an Oscar and not even winning the Grammy Award.

SUPERFLY is a GREAT film that deserves better recognition than it has gotten. Although it is considered a "blaxploitation" film, I think that is unfortunate because the term serves to discredit and marginalize the film.

SUPERFLY is an important film and has become one of my all time favorite films. It is in my permanent film collection and it should be in yours.
2006-05-29
Technically, it's awful.
The fact that Ron O' Neal actually comes off as a sympathetic character in this mess is pretty amazing. Even more so than "Shaft," this has not aged well. Wrapped in every early 70's urban cliché, you've got coke magnate Youngblood Priest tooling around town in a stereotypical pimped-out Caddy Eldo wearing pimp threads with no apparent thought given to keeping a low profile. Yeah, he wants out of the game after scoring $300K on 15 kilos but he's conflicted--- it's not enough money after splitting it with his partner and he's running up against some greedy (also stereotypically) corrupt cops. Gordon Parks Jr. has a lousy grasp of cuts and staging. You don't have to be a USC Film School grad to see how much superfluous padding was added to almost every scene to stretch out the running time. The acting itself ranges from barely competent to laughable with the fight scenes looking like outtakes. The mess is lifted considerably by Mayfield's score and the glimmer of O'Neal's acting talent. "Super Fly" was a monster hit and wrought the even worse "Super Fly TNT" sequel, but this one makes audiences appreciate "Shaft," directed far more competently by Park's father. I could rant about the ridiculous early 70's urban fashion sense, the lack of production values, etc., etc., but I have to acknowledge that based on the monster grosses, Super Fly hit a nerve with audiences. Music aside, it's a poorly rendered film and hasn't aged well.
2006-05-26
"Hard to understand/what a hell of a man/This cat of the slum/had a mind, wasn't dumb"
Realistic filming on the streets of Harlem, plus a groovy soundtrack courtesy of Curtis Mayfield, almost makes blaxploitation crime-drama worth sitting through. Ron O'Neal plays Priest, a cocaine dealer with a criminal record who loves the ladies, drives around New York City in a pimped-out Cadillac Eldorado, and snorts blow using the crucifix around his neck. Priest wants to retire from the life after scoring one last deal: selling 30 kilos of coke. He tells his girlfriend, "I wanna buy myself some time, baby. Time that isn't all f****d up with things we gotta do!" The ugly dialogue is a chore to listen to, but O'Neal cuts a suave, assured presence and there are some tense action scenes in the midst of the wayward drama and race issues (the abusive cops being all white). Made for $58,000, the film turned a $4,000,000 profit and was popular enough in urban markets to warrant a sequel the following year ("Super Fly T.N.T."), directed by the returning O'Neal. *1/2 from ****
2017-07-30
Blaxploitation at it's best
Superfly is not a great movie, perhaps not even a good movie, but as far as the onslaught of blaxploitation films were concerned in the early 70's, this rates as one of the best. All the trashy, campy elements are in place poor camera-work, long boring shots, over-the-top acting, bad script...But, for some odd reason, it all seems to add to the flavor of the movie. Ron O'Neal is perfect as superfly; cool, slick, and totally bad-ass. Curtis Mayfield's intense, moody score is the films best attribute and makes the film stand out much more than it should. Not a morality tale at all, but a lot of fun to watch.

*** out of ****

Some other to check out... Shaft (1971) *** Shaft's Big Score (1972) *** Coffy (1973) *** Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) *** Blacula (1972) ** Mack, The (1973) **
2004-11-05
Classic Blaxploitation, Plain and Simple
Youngblood Priest (Ron O'Neal) is a cocaine dealer who begins to realize that his life will soon end with either prison or his death. He decides to build an escape from the life by making his biggest deal yet, converting the coke to cash and running off to start a new life.

You have to love the musical score from Curtis Mayfield; "Super Fly" is one of the few films ever to have been outgrossed by its soundtrack. And there are lots of interesting facts about this film: The film was shot by director of photography, James Signorelli, who would go on to become the film director at Saturday Night Live. The director's father, Gordon Parks, was the director of "Shaft", another blaxploitation classic, and financed this movie with the help of two dentists.

Does the film glorify drug use (particularly cocaine use)? I suppose that depends on your interpretation. Many say it does, the creators say it was intended to show the negative aspects of drug culture. I can see it both ways. I mean, gee, your hero is a drug pusher. But his life is hard... and yet, this hard life is presented as glamorous. Who knows?
2012-11-29
Not just a great blaxploitation movie, a great movie period.
'Superfly' is the best movie of the short-lived 1970s blaxploitation boom which gave the world the better known, but less substantial 'Shaft'. The 'Shaft' series are incredibly entertaining movies, no argument there, but most of the films from this period starring Richard Roundtree, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly,et al are essentially action movies which feature "a black Dirty Harry", "a black Bruce Lee", "a black Philip Marlowe" or even "a black James Bond". In other words they are genre action thrillers with black protagonists. 'Superfly' is very different from most of those movies because Ron O'Neal plays Priest, who isn't a private eye or a "righteous dude" but a DRUG DEALER. And while Priest is tired of "the life" and wants to retire the movie doesn't feature any knee-jerk anti-drug stance or moralizing. This meant that many in the black community at the time detested it and what they perceived as being the glamorization of drugs and drug dealing. All these years later, in an era that is in many ways even more conservative (or at least more hypocritical!), this is what gives the movie a genuine edge, especially when what is on the screen is given a musical debate by Curtis Mayfield's superb score, one of the greatest of all time. O'Neal is charismatic and super cool and displays some genuine acting talent. Which makes it such a shame that his career quickly went down the toilet with little more than small supporting roles in 80s garbage like 'Red Dawn' and 'Hero and the Terror'. O'Neal is supported by an excellent cast of mainly obscure actors such as the late Carl Lee and Charles MacGregor ('Blazing Saddles') as Fat Freddy. The best known face is veteran Julius Harris ('Live And Let Die') who has a pivotal role as Priest's former mentor Scatter. Director Gordon Parks Jr. went on to make 'Three The Hard Way' starring Fred Williamson and Jims Brown and Kelly, but never fulfilled the his potential before being cut down in a plane crash in the late 70s. What a pity. At least he left us with 'Superfly', which is not just a great blaxploitation movie, but a great movie period. Highly recommended to all fans of gritty 70s crime movies.
2002-12-05
CLASSIC Black Cinema
First this must be corrected. Superfly was directed by Gordon Parks Jr, not his father, Gordon Parks. Gordon Parks(who I had the pleasure of meeting) directed SHAFT! I wish the moderators of IMDb.com would more closely monitor these post-I visit the site regularly and rely on the information given as fact. Please IMDb, check the accuracy of the post, especially since you have the information on Gordon Parks here.

That being said, what makes Superfly such a great film are its imperfections-the editing, some of the spotty acting. It reads like a documentary in some ways. But the main performance of Ron O'Neal is one of the best the cinema has ever witnessed. He truly captured the paradox of Priest wanting to get out of the drug game by making one last drug deal. An Anti-hero, sure, but he knew he had to leave this lifestyle. That being said, I must say the opening scene where Priest is cruising up Park Avenue while "Freddie's Dead" is playing is extremely cool.

The Soundtrack! There are very few movies in which the Soundtrack not only propels the story forward, but also refutes any glorification of the drug lifestyle. The soundtrack serves to tell a counter-story, which works absolutely brilliantly. Curtis Mayfield is very important to me-a genius, a visionary, a humanitarian, and no one could have done a better job.

I have a cultural affinity for this film-maybe because I'm a black man, but I recommend it to all comers.

All of the main principles behind Superfly...Curtis Mayfield, Gordon Parks Jr. Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee, Charles McGregor, have all passed away. I'm so happy they were all a part of this classic piece of Cinema. The Statement that is made by this film warrants repeated viewing and consideration.
2006-03-25
Superfly tells it why!
You probably have heard all the negative rhetoric about the so-called "Blacksploitation" movies of the '70's, in some cases an applicable term, but not for this one!

Ron O'Neal and his supporting cast deal with the reality of street life as it was "back in the day", especially from the drug dealing/club life standpoint. Right or wrong, cocaine was the new drug of choice and money was to be made selling it, which made that especially attractive to unemployed young Black men who had a knack for the fast life out on the street.

But lo and behold, "Priest" shows signs of ambivalence toward his highly lucrative life style! His street toughness is now juxtaposed with his more sensitive side, wanting to get out of the game and settle down somewhere nicer with his main woman. And Ron O'Neal does a masterful job of showing the audience his multi-dimensional persona.

The supporting cast, e.g., Carl Lee (his right hand man), Scatter, (his so-called mentor) and many others meet the demands of their respective roles and add to the realism of big-city street life in the early '70s. Some of the actors seem to have been hired straight off the street and seem a tad stiff and unprofessional, but what do you expect when you are trying to work within the confines of a shoestring budget?

Also, the movie's impact would be sorely diminished were it not for Curtis Mayfield's outstanding score! His was at least as good as Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" soundtrack, but "Superfly" didn't seem to get the same recognition as "Shaft's" score. The mood and dynamics of the movie would have suffered without Curtis Mayfield's soulful renderings.

If you have never seen it, check it out. If you saw it a long time ago, check it out again: It's worth it!
2004-01-21
Just some thoughts
I was a young kid when this movie came out but, I remember how "cool" everyone thought he was.

I too wanted to be a pimp and a player.

Then I watched it a few years ago and realized how "cheesy" the movie looked.

I mean don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but,...

Anyway, it's worth adding to your collection if your a true movie fan.

I would really recommend you get the sequel to this one too. Super Fly TNT.

That one I can't really remember much about but, hey, if you're going to get one...why not both.

This movie fits right in there with "The Mack","Shaft" (the original),"Come Back Charlston Blue", and my other "Black Movies of the 70's"

So get out there and find them. And if you can find any of them, there great to just kick back with your friends and have a few good laughs while you compare the film style of the 70's to that of today's.
2007-03-30
Art Imitating Life
Ron O'Neal played the role of Youngblood Priest in 1972 movie SuperFly CONVINCINGLY well. Some people believed he was actually a drug dealer or hustler in real life, that's how good his performance is. O'Neal understood the character of Priest well enough to know what messages he believed Priest was trying to convey to Black America as well as to mainstream America about life in the ghetto (urban city), about how one's choices and options can be shaped by the socio-economic environment and then reshaped and changed by personal choices, and about the moral dilemmas one may experience during this process.

SuperFly is a form of art that imitates life. Its hard core portrayal of life in the ghetto (urban city) as experienced by victims and predators and just everyday folk shows how everyone is trying to survive in the game; it showcases how people find themselves responding and reacting to their circumstances and socio-economic environment, and when they believe they are not in control of their destiny, or when they believe they don't have options and choices in their lives. Some call the overall feelings in these communities as those of despair, hopelessness, or helplessness. Others say these communities are filled with bravado or defensive posturing.

In the context of survival in the ghetto, the character of Priest is viewed as a hero because something makes him realize he does have choices in his life. He comes to realize that he has a choice whether to continue dealing drugs or to get out of the business. He has a plan to get out, although he is not sure if it will actually work, but he is willing to die trying to become free. Priest is a hero when he realizes that he has to find the right kind of support and help for thinking about and acting on his choice of freedom, especially when his support system for sustained change is limited, as evidenced by those who don't believe he can get out alive and are willing to betray him for trying to leave the business. Priest recognizes that he is in a moral dilemma as he professes to be "tired of the life" and "never really liked it" but he needs to score one last time so that he can leave with something rather than with nothing. Indeed, Priest should be commended for wanting something else out of life even if he does not know what that "something else" is, especially in a social environment where there may not be much support for doing what Priest ultimately makes the decision to do. When making the choice to change, everyone has to start somewhere, and this is part of the message conveyed by O'Neal's commanding performance.

Let the viewer not forget the many issues that helped to influence the decisions that Priest had to wrestle with --- the socio-economic environment of the ghetto and its relationship to a corrupt police department, among its relationships with the many institutions of the white power structure.

Unfortunately, if the viewer focuses strictly on the cinematography, directing, and low budget issues of this movie, the viewer might miss the important individual and social messages that the movie is trying to convey.

Most importantly, Ron O'Neal's performance demonstrates his understanding of the character and why he took the risk and took on the role as Youngblood Priest at that time in his career, a career which began when he was cast as the lead role in Charles Gordone's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "No Place to Be Somebody", (a play which began on off-Broadway's Public Theater but later went to Broadway in 1969). Ron O'Neal won an Obie Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award for his work prior to SuperFly.

During an interview about three years ago, I heard Ron O'Neal say that he did not apologize for taking the role or making the movie that may have eventually compromised his career. Said he to the interviewer, "If I had not taken the role, would we be talking right now?"
2004-05-30
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