Trouble Man (film)

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Trouble Man
Trouble man poster.jpg
Theatrical film poster
Directed by Ivan Dixon
Produced by John D.F. Black
Joel Freeman
Written by John D.F. Black
Starring Robert Hooks
Paul Winfield
Paula Kelly
Music by Marvin Gaye
Cinematography Michel Hugo
Edited by Michael Kahn
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 1, 1972 (1972-11-01)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Trouble Man is a 1972 Soul Cinema Classic film produced and released by 20th Century-Fox. The film stars Robert Hooks as "Mr. T.", a hard-edged private detective who tends to take justice into his own hands. It is still of note today for its successful soundtrack, written, produced and performed by Motown artist Marvin Gaye.

(Hooks' character is often referred to as the "Original Mr. T", to distinguish him from the real-life actor of the same name.)

Like Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield before him, Gaye became the next in a line of soul music stars who recorded soundtracks for films aimed at African American audiences. The Trouble Man soundtrack and single became successes for Gaye.

Plot synopsis[edit]

An inner-city point man is on the run from both the cops and the crooks in this streetwise drama. T (Robert Hooks) is a combination pool shark, private detective, and all-purpose ghetto fixer who operates out of a billiards parlor in South Central Los Angeles. T has done well for himself—he drives a fancy new car, wears expensive suits, and lives in an upscale apartment. But, he also looks out for folks on the block, has lukewarm connections with both the police and gangsters, and knows how to tell the good guys from the bad guys on either side of the law. T is approached by Chalky (Paul Winfield) and his partner, Pete (Ralph Waite), who run a floating dice game in the neighborhood. Chalky tells T they've been ripped off by a band of thieves several nights running, and they want to hire him to find out who the masked stick-up men are. T takes it as a routine assignment and is willing to do the job for the right price. However, it turns out Chalky and Pete are trying to take down rival crime kingpin Big (Julius Harris) and have pinned T with the killing of one of Big's underlings who is shot during a dice game robbery (T was present at the hold-up). T is blamed for the crime by both Big and police captain Joe Marx (Bill Smithers), setting off a series of cunning twists and confrontations T is determined to survive, at the expense of the rival groups.




The film was featured in the 1978 Michael and Harry Medved book, The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.

New York Times reviewer Vincent Canby described it as "a horrible movie, but worth thinking about."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IMDB Su majestad el hampa (1972) Trouble Man (original title)
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (2 November 1972). "'Trouble Man' Arrives". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 

External links[edit]