Film Review: Dolemite (1975)

Release Date: April 26th, 1975
Directed by: D’Urville Martin
Written by: Rudy Ray Moore, Jerry Jones
Music by: Don Cornelius
Cast: Rudy Ray Moore, D’Urville Martin, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed, Hy Pyke, West Gale, John Kerry, Vainus Rackstraw

Dimension Pictures, Xenon Pictures, 90 Minutes 


Dolemite is not the best film to come out of the golden age of blaxploitation cinema but it is hard to find another flick in the genre that is more fun.

Rudy Ray Moore is a great American! Well, mainly because he gave us the great Dolemite character. For those who don’t know, Dolemite is one of the coolest, most bad ass motherfuckers in the history of motion pictures. If you don’t believe me, he has no problem telling you.

Dolemite was created and written by Rudy Ray Moore and Jerry Jones, who both star in the film. And no, it is not Jerry Jones the blood sucking Sith that owns the Dallas Cowboys. The film is directed by blaxploitation regular D’Urville Martin, who also stars in the movie as Dolemite’s nemesis Willie Green.

The story sees Dolemite, a pimp who is behind bars after being framed by Willie Green and corrupt cops, set free in an effort to stop Green and to expose the corruption of the local police force. Dolemite then spends 90 minutes talking in rhyme, kicking everyone’s ass and banging hoes. He even has a brief run-in with the Hamburger Pimp, watch the film and see.

From a technical standpoint, Dolemite has a lot of issues. The fight choreography is mostly horrible, the acting is bad, the direction is questionable and there are a lot of big mistakes – mics in the shot and objects obstructing the view.

Technical blunders aside, Dolemite is a delightful picture. It has a charm and charisma about it. Rudy Ray Moore is just a really likable guy, even if you have issues with his lifestyle choices. He is an urban anti-hero and while he may be involved in seedy businesses, he still wants the best for his people and his community.

Like all blaxploitation films, this one rides on the idea that the system is corrupt and racist and that a black hero needs to fight back and take down the man. Dolemite spends the majority of the picture, kicking the man’s ass and putting things right.

I have always loved Dolemite. It is a fun movie in spite of its flaws. It is utterly hilarious from beginning to end and it is a film that is smart enough not to take itself too seriously. It looked like a fun experience for all those involved and it really shows.

Rating: 7/10