Original one-sheet poster for Dolemite
|Directed by||D'Urville Martin|
|Produced by||Rudy Ray Moore|
|Written by||Rudy Ray Moore (story)
Jerry Jones (screenplay)
|Starring||Rudy Ray Moore
|Music by||Don Cornelius|
|Cinematography||Nicholas Josef von Sternberg|
|Edited by||Rex Lipton|
|Distributed by||Dimension Pictures|
|Release date(s)||US July 1, 1975|
|Running time||90 min.|
Dolemite is a 1975 blaxploitation feature film, and is also the name of its principal character, played by Rudy Ray Moore, who co-wrote the film and its soundtrack. Moore, who started his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1960s, heard around that time a rhymed toast by a local homeless man about an urban hero named Dolemite, and decided to adopt the persona of Dolemite as an alter-ego in his act.
He included the character on his 1970 debut album, Eat Out More Often, which reached the top 25 on the Billboard charts. He released several more comedy albums using this persona. In 1975, Moore decided to create a film about Dolemite, using many of his friends and fellow comedians as cast and crew. The film was directed by D'Urville Martin, who appears as the villain Willie Green.
Dolemite is a pimp who was set up by Willie Greene and the cops, who have planted drugs, stolen furs, and guns in his trunk and got him sentenced to 20 years in jail. One day, Queen B and a warden planned to get him out of jail and get Willie Green and Mitchell busted for what they did to Dolemite. However, Dolemite is no stupid man and has a lot of "warriors" backing him, such as his call girls, who are karate experts, and many more.
- Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore): the protagonist of the movie. Dolemite is seen jailed in the beginning of the movie, followed by a flashback of detectives examining the trunk of his car in which stolen fur coats and drugs were found. It is obvious Dolemite was framed, but he spends time in jail nevertheless. Dolemite is later pardoned and released. Throughout the movie, as Dolemite attempts to rekindle his reputation on the streets and reclaim his pride and joy (the club referred to as "The Total Experience", which was a real-life club owned by music executive Lonnie Simmons) from Willie Green. He is constantly having run-ins with a pair of detectives, Mitchell and White, who framed Dolemite before (as seen in the flashback), and who are hell-bent on getting Dolemite back into prison.
- Queen Bee (Lady Reed): runs a whorehouse that references Dolemite as the part-time owner on several occasions throughout the movie. Queen Bee is the only woman in Dolemite's household whom Dolemite speaks to as an equal, rather than a pimp. While Queen Bee is very emotional about having Dolemite return home after time in jail, no reference of an intimate relationship is ever made during the film.
- Willie Green (D'Urville Martin): the antagonist. Willie Green is seen in the initial flashback as having a leading part in the framing of Dolemite. Willie Green takes over Dolemite's club "The Total Experience" while Dolemite is serving hard time. Willie Green and the city's mayor, Mayor Daley, have a peculiar partnership. The mayor will abuse his office in helping Willie Green avoid problems with the law, while Willie Green promises black votes for the mayor's upcoming re-election.
- Reverend Gibbs (West Gale): a black separatist with many connections, the Reverend leads a radical church in the "Fourth Ward." He tips off Dolemite regarding who set him up two years prior, as well as who is supplying drugs to the community.
- Mitchell (John Kerry): a corrupt detective who, under the direction of Mayor Daley and Willie Green, frames Dolemite and sends him to prison. When Dolemite is released, he and his partner White attempt to frame him again.
- Blakely (Jerry Jones): an FBI man who lurks in the shadows, and knows why Dolemite is out on the street. When the time comes, Blakely apprehends the corrupt detectives Mitchell and White and the corrupt mayor.
- Creeper (Vainus Rackstraw): better known as the Hamburger Pimp, he is recognized by his dingy "white-T", characteristic pimp stroll (as he pulls up his pants), and constant begging for spare change and free food. The Creeper takes Dolemite to his humble abode and is assassinated after explaining the murder of Dolemite's nephew Little Jimmy.
A sequel, The Human Tornado, was released in 1976. A second sequel The Return of Dolemite was released in 2002 and was later renamed The Dolemite Explosion for DVD release.
A quasi-sequel Shaolin Dolemite starring Rudy Ray Moore as Monk Ru-Dee was released in 1999.
- Reid, Shaheem (2002-04-01). "Dolemite Tells Dirty Jokes, Warns Snoop Of His Mic Supremacy - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.