|CLEOPATRA JONES (director: Jack Starrett; screenwriter: from a story by Max Julien/Max Julien/Sheldon Keller; cinematographer: David Walsh; editor: Allen Jacobs; music: J.J. Johnson/Carl Brandt; cast: Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones), Shelley Winters (Mommy), Bernie Casey (Reuben), Brenda Sykes (Tiffany), Antonio Fargas (Doodlebug), Bill McKinney (Officer Purdy), Dan Frazier (Det. Crawford), Hedley Mattingly (Chauffeur); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Bill Tennant; Warner Bros.; 1973)|
|"Plenty of low brow humor."
by Dennis Schwartz
lame blaxploitation urban drug
story that stars the sexy
six-foot-two former fashion
model Tamara Dobson, who
is stylishly garbed throughout the shoot. It's
helmed in a routine way by Jack Starrett ("Slaughter"/"Race
With The Devil"/"The Losers") and is based on the
story by Max Julien, who co-writes it with Sheldon
Keller in a campy comic book strip style. It
shoots for laughs more than anything else, but only
manages a few.
U.S. undercover federal agent Cleopatra
Dobson) blows up an opium poppy
field in Turkey worth $30 million. This upsets the
hammy LA drug crime boss Mommy (Shelley
Winters), a lesbian who operated that poppy field and
vows revenge on Cleo. Mommy brings Cleo home by paying
off the police to raid Cleo's pet charity
drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles. The
residents are falsely busted for heroin possession
that was planted by Mommy's minions. The rehab center
is run by Cleo's nice guy lover boy Reuben (Bernie
Casey). When Cleo returns to Watts, Mommy
schemes to kill her. Mommy must also deal with the
vain, dressed to kill, drug-pusher, renegade, Doodlebug
(Antonio Fargas), who breaks from her
organization to go on his own.
are shootouts, violent deaths, plenty of low brow
humor and a finale where Cleo takes care of Mommy by
giving her a fatal heave-ho.
Since the film was a commercial hit, there was a sequel.
REVIEWED ON 7/7/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ