It takes a street fighter to clean up the streets. It takes The Mack and his pack to do it right! Packed with raw power, The Mack takes an uncompromising look at big city street life and survival. Don't miss the action bec... more »ause the action never stops! Year: 1973« less
"a wad of cash so big your pockets look like they got mumps"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Mack (1973), probably one of the most referenced movies in the hip hop culture, on appearance has all the qualities of a blaxploitation film, but a closer and thoughtful look might give you a different opinion. Directed by documentarian Michael Campus and starring Max Julien, Richard Pryor, and Carol Speed, The Mack presents a portrait taken in time of a particular lifestyle not many ever get to see.The movie opens with two men, Goldie (Julien) and Slim (Pryor), involved in a gunfight in a junkyard. Seemingly out numbered, Goldie tells Slim to take off (wouldn't have been my choice as Slim is sporting what appears to be a M16 while Goldie's sporting a handgun). Slim manages to split, while Goldie gets picked up by the police, and subsequently sentenced to five years in a penitentiary. Serving some particular hard time, Goldie gets released, and tries to put the pieces back together. He visits his brother, Olinga, played by Roger E. Mosley (Magnum P.I.), who is involved in trying to educate and empower the community, in a character fashion after Black Panther leader Huey Long. Basically. Goldie is presented with two options; follow his brother in focusing on making a difference through psuedo-political means, or follow the path of the Mack, becoming a flesh peddler, and gaining empowerment through the acquisition of money. Goldie chooses the latter, hooking back up with Slim and taking advice from an older blind man, sort of a Obi Wan Kenobi of the underworld, who shares his knowledge with Goldie on how to deal with women in the Mackin' game, the importance of controlling their minds rather than just their bodies. Goldie soon recruits some ladies of the night, and has to deal with corrupt police detectives, rival players, and various other underworld characters during his meteoric rise (he gets chosen as The Mack of the Year at an annual players ball). As Goldie's popularity, or notoriety, increases, so does the pressures, both internal and external, along with the violence, and begins carrying over into his family, and forces Goldie to decide where it's at...The Mack certainly does seem to glorify these men who deal in the flesh trade, with their extravagant lifestyles, flashy cars, and great wads of cash, but the glamour is quickly overshadowed by the harsh realities presented as the stories progresses, and just how much one has to give up to be a success in that particular business. There are a lot of laughs to be had here, maybe not intentional, but the film is pretty dated. Between the dialog, stereotypes, and trash-talking criminals, there was an underlying sadness for me in the realness of the disgusting attitudes depicted towards the women, objectified to the point where they weren't even people anymore, merely tools of the trade, a means to obtaining material possessions through the sale of their bodies, and also how many look up to these men, idolizing them, thus perpetuating their activities. Shot on location in Oakland, and featuring actual individuals within the community, the film forgoes the slickness of a Hollywood budget, but gains a real grittiness one wouldn't be able to reproduce on a soundstage. The dialog, a lot of it improvised, and some indistinguishable, only adds to the realistic quality of the film, but also isolates it, in my opinion, within the time period in which it was made. The funniest part had to be when Goldie had his women at a planetarium, using the effects of the simulated stars and a microphone to subliminally enforce his will through their repetition of his player mantras. I did like how the film ended, nicely book ending the beginning, bringing the main character full circle.Presented here is a very good looking wide screen version of the film, which runs approximately 110 minutes. Special features include an original theatrical trailer, a commentary track featuring star Max Julien, producer Harvey Bernard, director Michael Campus, and actors Richard Anthony Williams, Annazette Chase, Don Gordon, and George Murdok, along with an excellent 38 minute featurette titled Mackin' Ain't Easy, which looks back on the making of the film, detailing all the problems and issues that arose, especially those filming on location within Oakland in the early 70's. To some extent, I found this almost more enjoyable than the movie. Cookieman108"
Something to see
cookieman108 | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not only have I viewed this movie several times, but I have gone down memory lane with family members who were close friends with known pimps who became "actors" so to speak after this movie. This movie not only used the real streets in Oakland, but used real pimps and hustlers in the movie as well. Not many would know that the Ward brothers really were pimps who committed serious crimes against individuals and turned into sort of primadonnas after being bitten by the movie bug. Living by the sword also caught up to them. Not many would know that some of the scenes in the movie were re-eactments of real scenes played out by hookers and their pimps at that time. Although the lead actors were big screen names, the supporting actors and actresses were pimps and hookers right off of the streets of Oakland and it's surrounding territories like Alameda and Richmond. Some may say that this movie is something to laugh at, and believe me I laugh loudly when watching the move, but it is definately something to see. take for what it is...a movie...a comedy drama meant to entertain people, but it can also be a useful piece of information that can be bought...the game wasn't written to be sold...only told!"
Witness the Smooth Pimpology of Goldie the original Mack
cookieman108 | 01/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Mack is probably my favorite blaxploitation film ever. It gives detailed insight into life as the godfather of pimps on the hard streets of Oakland in the 70's. Goldie gets released from prison and immediately begins working his master plan of becoming the biggest pimp-style baller in the oaktown. But his brother is one of the leading activist against exploiting black people to make money. The sub-plot helps magnify the reality of being a successful black man in a white world. If you like "Superfly", "Black Caesar", or "Shaft" then you'll love The Mack."
Get the DVD ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 11/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, if you haven't seen The Mack yet and don't own a million copies (videos, taped off cable whatever) either you're too young, or something is a matter with you... this is just one of THOSE films... and it is the epitome of everything cool and funky about the '70s... Hey its a film about Mackin', right ? But what gets this version worth having is the commentary, both by Julien, the Director and other people involved... apparenty the story behind the story is almost as interesting as the film... Its hard to believe that the film was pretty much based on a true story and amazing to hear the true story of Fred Ward - - the Mack and drug kingpin of the West Coast who acted in the film AND provided security... but was shot in the back of the head after filming... with the finger pointed according to SOME people to Huey Newtown and the Black Panthers (who certain cast members allege acted more like gangsters than the gangsters.) And then there's the story of some of Richard Pryor's bizarre behaviour.
As many times as I've seen the film, many of the scenes get better and better, and with the added commentary I can now see them in a separate way.
Max Julien is a great storyteller - - The Mack is - - well, THE MOVIE ! ! !"
The coldest pimp in history.................................
Nardsbaby | Westside Chi-town, IL United States | 10/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Mack comes with a documentary that shows you how "The Mack" was made! Financed by The Notorious Ass Ward Brothers (real pimps & hustlers),with small roles in the film.
Max Julien as Goldie, ex-con with 5 years in the pen kicking his nasty habit dream is to comeback to the game better, biggest Cadillac, and a track filled with the finest hoes any man would want.
It's all about the money! Right? Goldie teaches his fine and prime how to steal, trick, deceive, and above all else "remain a lady!" "Any man can control a woman's body, the trick is controlling her mind!"
With all the irony...evil white cops, a wisdom-spouting blind man, and more trash-talking pimps; there's a compelling message...All the money, all the things he attained what did it cost him?