It's hard to remember just how influential and how big of a box office smash that SUPER FLY was back in 1972.
Along with "Shaft", SUPER FLY launched the blaxploitation films of the early seventies and like Shaft, featured a ground breaking music score, this one by Curtis Mayfield.
With hits like the title song and "Pusherman" on the soundtrack, the film shows a very dark and dirty NYC. Ron O'Neal stars as Priest, a cocaine dealer looking to score one last major deal and then get away from the criminal life that he has built.
O' Neal is good at showing a man that desperately wants to escape his situation, but finds that all the crooked cops and thieves around him want to keep him where he is at for their own profits.
That being said, it's hard to have any empathy for Priest as he sells hard drugs, breaks the law at every turn and lives a lavish lifestyle funded by cocaine.
What the film really needs is an editor as some scenes have long moments in which you wait for characters to enter the frame or extras are standing still and then you start to see them move. It's pretty low budget and filled with gaffes!
As a capsule of the early seventies in NYC, its pretty entertaining. The fur coats, big caddies and pimp outfits generate more than a few laughs.
You'll root for Priest as he finds a way out. Curtis Mayfield's music is the best part of the movie and sticks with you long after the credits roll.
Followed by a successful sequel, Super Fly TNT, this film set trends and was a HUGE hit. Watching it now, its a curious time capsule of a very dubious time in fashion and a period ripe with the creation of anti-heroes in the post-turbulent sixties.
It gets a C- in our books, but we'll download Mayfield's music score immediately, it still sings.