Foxy Brown (film)

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Foxy Brown
Foxy Brown movie poster.jpg
Movie Poster for Foxy Brown
Directed by Jack Hill
Produced by Buzz Feitshans
Written by Jack Hill
Starring Pam Grier
Antonio Fargas
Peter Brown
Terry Carter
Music by Willie Hutch
Cinematography Brick Marquard
Edited by Chuck McClelland
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s)
  • April 5, 1974 (1974-04-05)
Running time 94 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000
Box office $2,460,000[1]

Foxy Brown is a 1974 American blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Pam Grier as the title character, described by one character as "a whole lot of woman" who showcases unrelenting sexiness while battling the villains.[2]

Plot[edit]

When her government-agent boyfriend is shot down by members of a drug syndicate, Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) seeks revenge. She links her boyfriend's murderers to a "modeling agency" run by Steve Elias (Peter Brown) and Miss Katherine (Kathryn Loder). Foxy decides to pose as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, and helps save a fellow black woman from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation. This leads Foxy to a variety of revenge-themed setpieces — often violent and sexual — that range from cremating sex slave dealers to castrating a foe and presenting his severed genitals to his girlfriend.

Cast[edit]

  • Pam Grier as Foxy Brown
  • Antonio Fargas as Link Brown
  • Peter Brown as Steve Elias
  • Kathryn Loder as "Miss" Katherine Wall
  • Terry Carter as Michael Anderson
  • Harry Holcombe as Judge Fenton
  • Sid Haig as Hays
  • Juanita Brown as Claudia
  • Bob Minor as Oscar
  • Tony Giorgio as Eddie
  • Fred Lerner as Bunyon
  • H.B. Haggerty as Brandi
  • Boyd 'Red' Morgan as Slauson

Production[edit]

According to director Jack Hill, this was originally intended to be a sequel to his Coffy (1973), also starring Pam Grier, and in fact the working title of the film was "Burn, Coffy, Burn!". However, American-International Pictures decided at the last minute it did not want to do a sequel, even though Coffy was a huge hit. Therefore, it is never said exactly what kind of job Foxy Brown has -- "Coffy" was a nurse and since this was no longer to be a sequel, they could not give Foxy Brown that job and did not have time to rewrite the script to establish just what kind of job she had.

On the audio commentary on the film's DVD release, Hill also mentioned that he was initially against the outfits that the wardrobe department chose for Foxy Brown. Since Pam Grier had become a star in her prior film Coffy, there was an impetus to present the actress as even more stylish than she had appeared in the previous film. But Hill, by his own account, initially felt that the outfits were too trendy and specific to the time period, and within a few years would cause the film to look dated and obsolete. In the years since the film's release, however, Hill has reversed his opinion on Foxy's clothes, particularly in the wake of not only Foxy Brown's ascent into pop culture icon, but also the '70s nostalgia movement that started in the mid-1990s.

Hill also mentioned that the character of Foxy Brown became something of a female empowerment symbol that seemed to transcend the time period of the film. As such, Hill believes, Foxy's 1970s clothes and hairstyles merely add to the charm of the character.

Reception[edit]

Foxy Brown was a moderate commercial success. Produced on a budget of half a million,[3] it grossed $2,460,000.[1]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 56% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie received a negative reception from Variety magazine.[4] The film has been a cult favorite amongst Blaxploitation fans.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's songs were written and performed by Willie Hutch, and a soundtrack album was released on Motown Records in 1975.

Release on DVD & HD[edit]

  • In 2001 it was released on DVD.[5]
  • In 2010 it was digitized in High Definition (1080i) and broadcast on MGM HD.

Influence[edit]

Foxy Brown is one of the most influential blaxploitation films; Pam Grier's character is often considered to be the female archetype of the genre. The film has directly influenced or been mentioned in many other films, including, but not limited to:

It is often noted by film historians as one of the first blaxploitation films to provide a portrayal of a strong and independent woman; until Pam Grier, women often existed exclusively to support their men for a small part of the film.

Additionally, Foxy Brown and the preceding film Coffy are unique for their establishment of pushers and pimps as villains. Before these films, the blaxploitation genre often espoused empathy for the social positions of such individuals.

Pam Grier titled her memoir Foxy: My Life in Three Acts (2010), clearly influenced by this film.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 202
  2. ^ "Pam Grier looks back on blaxploitation: ‘At the time some people were horrified’". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  3. ^ Box Office Information for Foxy Brown. IMDb. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  4. ^ "Foxy Brown". Variety. 1973-12-31. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Foxy Brown". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  6. ^ "Austin Powers In Goldmember". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  7. ^ Lee, Felicia R. (2010-05-04). "Pam Grier's Collection of Lessons Learned". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]