Foxy Brown (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 dates
  • 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] The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Truck Turner.

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]

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 financial 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 among 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 with a commentary track by director Jack Hill.[5]
  • In 2010 it was digitized in High Definition (1080i) and broadcast on MGM HD.
  • In 2015, Olive Films released a region A/1 (US only) Blu-Ray with no extras.
  • In 2015, Arrow Video released a region B/2 (UK only) Blue-Ray with the following extras:
    • Restored High Definition Blu-ray presentation (1080p)
    • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • Audio commentary with director Jack Hill
    • "From Black and White to Blaxploitation" actor Sid Haig speaks about his long and influential friendship with Jack Hill
    • "A Not So Minor Influence An Interview with Bob Minor", the first African-American member of the Stuntman s Association, and co-star of Foxy Brown
    • "Back to Black" Legendary actors Fred The Hammer Williamson (Black Caesar) and Austin Stoker (Sheba Baby, Assault on Precinct 13 ), alongside Rosanne Katon (Ebony, Ivory, and Jade) and film scholar Howard S. Berger speak about the enduring popularity of the Blaxploitation film
    • Photo gallery of behind-the-scenes and publicity images
    • Original Theatrical Trailer
    • Trailer Reel Trailers for all the major works by Jack Hill including Foxy Brown, Coffy and Switchblade Sisters
    • Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

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]