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      Bucktown

      R Released Jul 2, 1975 1 hr. 34 min. Action List
      40% 5 Reviews Tomatometer 51% 500+ Ratings Audience Score After his brother's death, Duke Johnson (Fred Williamson) travels to a small Southern town to organize his brother's funeral. During his stay, he decides to revive his brother's nightclub business. However, this venture quickly uncovers the thinly veiled racism and corruption that run rampant in the town. Duke and his friend Aretha (Pam Grier) face demands for bribes and violence from the police. With the arrival of Duke's pal Roy (Thalmus Rasulala), the situation only escalates. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Mar 01 Buy Now

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      Audience Reviews

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      Dante R Pretty straightforward. A tad soap operatic for my tastes. The change in adversaries halfway through was a nice touch. The cast and characters were a joy to watch too. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member I think this movie is a pretty good flick. I think Fred's character was awesome, and Pam was absolutely wonderful. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member Never put Pam Grier in a corner. To see her sidelined as a love interest in a blaxploitation feature is an odd phenomenon; to deal with Fred Williamson doing the dirty work while she exists solely to stand by his side is like watching Dolph Lundgren pretend to be a damsel in distress. It isn't fitting (even if she isn't defenseless, per se). I happen to like it when she's whirling shotguns about and seducing bad guys all in a day's work. So "Bucktown" is a minor blaxploitation feature, more in love with its violence than its accidental ability to protrude with comic relief. It is deeply formulaic, despite moments of originality. Williamson portrays Duke Johnson, a fundamental badass returning to his former neighborhood for the funeral of his brother, whose death remains to be all the more tragic due to the fact that it was brought on by corrupt law enforcement officers. Duke originally planned to visit for just a couple of days, but after seeing the sorry current state of Bucktown, he decides to not only purchase a middling bar but also take the law into his own hands. Calling upon an old friend, Roy (Thalmus Rasulala), a gang leader, to come onto the scene and rid the area of its dirty characters, the plan, at first, is prosperous. But before long, Roy becomes power hungry and Benedict Arnold's his original goal, forcing Duke to concoct a new blueprint that will strip Bucktown of its foes for good. "Bucktown" begins with a great deal of promise, going through the tired motions of a been-there-done-that plot that involves the "taking back" of a crime-riddled community with noticeable spark. But as it treads along, the proliferation of violence becomes distracting, too brutal and bloody to match the funky, lighthearted aesthetic the film wraps itself in otherwise. The ending, in particular, does not satisfy as much as it disturbs, the heroic fight between Williamson and a villain being so drawn out that all we can manage to do is wince in response. But Williamson and Grier overcome the material with a great deal more gusto that they should have to provide, making them the only real reasons to watch "Bucktown" in the first place. Arthur Marks's "Friday Foster," also starring Grier, is the film "Bucktown" should have been - adventurous, thrilling, and subtly comedic. Better stick with the latter. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member I'd only seen this film once before and didn't remember being all that impressed, but I ended up quite liking this film upon it's second viewing. Fred Williamson goes to the small town of Bucktown to burry is deceased brother, only to find that he was killed by local white cops and criminals for not paying protection money. Fred decides to reopen the bar with local girl Pam Grier and decides to take on the local criminal element, calling in his big city connections. Thalmus Rasulala brings in his heavies to take out the small town local crime lords and dirty cops, but when Rasulala wants to then take over the local crime scene, the story starts to get interesting. Director Arthur Marks never did all the much of note outside of "Detroit 9000" but writer Bob Ellison did a lot of memorable TV work, ranging from "Cheers" to the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." This isn't a classic blaxploitation flick, but it's a pretty good one. And look for a young Carl Weathers in his first credited film role. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I ain't no pimp. I'm Walt Disney and this is Disney World. Duke's brother owns a bar in a rough neighborhood. The brother is brutally murdered one night leading to Duke moving into the area to investigate matters. He quickly discovers crooked cops, gangsters, and numerous people taking advantage of the system. Duke hires his own goons and takes justice into his own hands. "Son, do you believe in God?" "Sure. Why not?" "Then you're in the wrong place." Arthur Marks, director of The Monkey Hustle, JD's Revenge, Detroit 9000, Class of '74, Friday Foster, A Woman for All Men, and Bonnie's Kids, delivers Bucktown. The storyline for this picture was pretty straightforward with a badass Robin Hood type there to clean the streets with his merry men. The acting was fairly average and the cast includes Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, and Carl Weathers. "Paying off the street scum is easy. Giving in to them? Impossible!" I was excited to find this on Netflix and decided to give it a viewing. I was a little disappointed by this picture and felt it wasn't as good as Coffee or Foxy Brown. Overall, this is worth watching if you're a fan of blaxploitation pictures but this is far from the best in the genre (Dolemite is still my favorite). "The lord help them that helps themselves." Grade: C Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review jack c Enjoy it for what it is - a Western stuffed into a blaxsploitation flick (think about it, man comes to a small town to bury his brother, he gets people who want to drive him out, he brings in his own people, they get driven out, then they start their own shit). Or perhaps a Blaxsploitation take on Animal Farm, whatever works. But hey it's got Fred WIlliamson, it's got Pam Grier, it's got fuckin Apollo Creed. It's fun, if not very filling as a full dramatic experience, and it ends on a fight that is so long somewhere Roddy Piper and Keith David are like "C'mon, man, wrap it up B!" Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (5) Critics Reviews
      Dmitry Samarov Chicago Reader This 1975 actioner is worth watching for its vintage dress and decor-that and Pam Grier, of course. Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Steve Warren The Barb (Atlanta) A standard blaxploitation film. May 9, 2023 Full Review Apollo Guide Rated: 70/100 May 13, 2005 Full Review David Poland Hot Button Rated: 4/5 Jul 26, 2002 Full Review Jon Lap Apollo Guide What began as a genre of films exploiting the black audience by taking their dollars to satisfy a need to see themselves succeed, wore itself thin by developing into a transparent set of conventions. Rated: 70/100 Dec 9, 2001 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis After his brother's death, Duke Johnson (Fred Williamson) travels to a small Southern town to organize his brother's funeral. During his stay, he decides to revive his brother's nightclub business. However, this venture quickly uncovers the thinly veiled racism and corruption that run rampant in the town. Duke and his friend Aretha (Pam Grier) face demands for bribes and violence from the police. With the arrival of Duke's pal Roy (Thalmus Rasulala), the situation only escalates.
      Director
      Arthur Marks
      Executive Producer
      Ric R. Roman
      Screenwriter
      Bob Ellison
      Distributor
      American International Pictures
      Production Co
      Plitt Theaters
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Action
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 2, 1975, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 16, 2008
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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