Foxy Brown (1974) / Action-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for violence, nudity, rape, drug use, and sexual situations
Running Time: 94 min.
Cast: Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Kathryn Loder, Peter Brown, Terry Carter, Juanita Brown, Harry Holcombe, Sid Haig, H.B. Haggerty
Director: Jack Hill
Screenplay: Jack Hill
Review published November 19, 2004
A staple in any blaxploitation cinema loverís diet, Foxy Brown is perhaps Pam Grierís most popular in the genre. Grier (Black Mama White Mama, Jackie Brown) is Foxy Brown personified -- sexy, tough, and able to alternatively seduce or throw down with the baddest of men. Here she plays the girlfriend of an ex-undercover Federal Agent Dalton Ford ("Battlestar Galactica"), who was shot and presumed dead by the vicious local crime lords. A few weeks in the hospital and some plastic surgery later, Dalton can walk the streets again without fear under his new persona as Michael Anderson -- or so he thinks. Foxyís neíer-do-well brother, Link (Fargas, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka), has a price on his own head, and to square things up, he rats out Dalton. Dalton gets iced, Foxy gets pissed, and decides to infiltrate the crime syndicate responsible for the death of her boyfriend.
Foxy Brown is a cult favorite for many, especially for fans of Grier, Jack Hill (Switchblade Sisters, The Terror), or Black cinema in the 70s in general, but like many others in its class, the lack of quality acting never allows it to be realistically compelling. Instead, itís the kind of movie you love because of its flaws rather than despite them. The often horrendous dialogue, silly costumes, amateurish fighting, eccentric characterizations, and Pam Grier changing from one skimpy outfit to the next is what youíll see for the duration, and if thatís all it takes to entertain you, the goods are definitely delivered here.
Like the previous Hill/Grier collaboration, Coffy, Foxy Brown is very violent and bloody in parts, although it never really seems to be very serious in this regard. Thereís also quite a bit of T&A, as youíd expect in a film starring Grier, although Hill does a good job finding ways to work it in without being overly gratuitous. Itís a seedy movie about the seediest parts of society, so itís a very non-PC, racially charged, and foul-mouthed form of entertainment. Youíll need to know this before going into it to properly appreciate it.
Foxy Brownís reputation exceeds its actual quality, so if youíre looking for a good film, itís probably going to disappoint. However, if youíre just looking for action, titillation, ass-kicking, and a huge helping of 70s styles, Foxy Brown definitely fits the bill.
©2004 Vince Leo