Big Bad Behind the Scenes: Super Fly (1972) Print
Written by The Projectionist   
Monday, 23 July 2012 21:15

Click to View Larger... Click to View Larger...Big Bad Behind the Scenes: Super Fly - A 1972 Blaxploitation film starring Ron O'Neal, and directed by Gordon Parks Jr.

O'Neal stars as Youngblood Priest, a black cocaine dealer who is trying to quit the drug pushing business.

The film is one of the few films ever to be outgrossed by its own soundtrack. The soundtrack was written and produced by Curtis Mayfield.

The film's soundtrack was so well received, Mayfield was sought out for work on other film soundtracks. The songs "Freddy's Dead" and "Super Fly" both made the Pop Top Ten charts in 1972.

Ron O'Neal directed a sequel to the film that was released less than a year later, Super Fly T.N.T.

Super Fly producer Sig Shore directed a second sequel in 1990, The Return of Superfly.

The film's financing came from two black dentists and Gordon Parks Sr. who directed the blaxploitation classic, "Shaft."

The wardrobe was coordinated by Nate Adams. He still owns many of the suits, shoes, and hats.

The car Priest drives in the film us a customized 1972 Cadillac Eldorado. The car belonged to an actual hustler/pimp from Harlem named K.C. He was approached to use the car in the movie, and he agreed, but later tried to pull out of the deal, saying, "No niggers are making no movies."

The car was customized by Les Dunham Coachworks of New Jersey. Dunham modified the headlight covers, added the goddess hood ornament, lake pipes, and circular porthole windows.

The car helped start a trend of customization in the United States known as the "Pimpmobile." Aspiring drug dealers, gangsters, and pimps, both real and aspiring, modified their cars as a result of watching Super Fly.

The movie was controversial to say the least. Critics suggested that by glorifiying drug dealers the filmmakers were criticising the civil rights movement and its failure to provide a better life for blacks.

The filmmakers maintained that their desire was to show the negative and empty aspects of the drug subculture. (Priest communicates his desire to leave the business.)

Super Fly is available for streaming on Netflix.

The DVD is also available for purchase at

Thanks to Wikipedia for much of the above information.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2012 21:56