Dolemite

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Dolemite
File:Dolemite.jpg
Original one-sheet poster for Dolemite
Directed by D'Urville Martin
Produced by Rudy Ray Moore
Screenplay by Jerry Jones
Story by Rudy Ray Moore
Starring Rudy Ray Moore
D'Urville Martin
Jerry Jones
Lady Reed
Hy Pyke
West Gale
John Kerry
Vainus Rackstraw
Music by Arthur G. Wright
Cinematography Nicholas Josef von Sternberg
Edited by Rex Lipton
Distributed by Dimension Pictures
Release dates
  • April 26, 1975 (1975-04-26)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000 (estimated)
Box office $12 million[1]

Dolemite is a 1975 American blaxploitation crime comedy film and is also the name of its principal character, played by Rudy Ray Moore, who co-wrote the film and its soundtrack. Moore, who started his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1960s, heard a rhymed toast about an urban hero named Dolemite from a regular at the record store where he worked, and decided to adopt the persona as an alter ego in his act.[2]

Plot

Dolemite is a pimp and nightclub owner who is serving twenty years in prison after being set up by a rival, Willie Green (D'Urville Martin) and framed by corrupt detectives (including John Kerry) and the mayor (Hy Pyke). Freed thanks to lobbying for a pardon by fellow pimp Queen Bee (Lady Reed), he attempts to rekindle his reputation on the streets while trying to get his "Total Experience" club back under control. He has to face Green (in league with the mayor to get Black votes in exchange for immunity from prosecution) alongside corrupt detectives and drug dealers selling to the community. In the meantime, he trains his women in kung fu before coming face to face with Green and the detectives while an FBI agent (Jerry Jones) lurks in the shadows watching the proceedings.

Cast

  • Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite
  • Lady Reed as Queen Bee
  • D'Urville Martin as Willie Green
  • West Gale as Reverend Gibbs
  • John Kerry as Mitchell
  • Jerry Jones as Blakely
  • Vainus Rackstraw as Creeper

Production

Moore first developed the character of Dolemite in his stand-up comedy routines, and later appeared on his 1970 debut album, Eat Out More Often,[3] which reached the top 25 on the Billboard 200. He released several more comedy albums using this persona. In 1975, Moore decided to create a film about Dolemite, paying for most of the production out of his own pocket, and using many of his friends and fellow comedians as cast and crew. The film was directed by D'Urville Martin, who appears as the villain Willie Green.[4]

Release

Critical reception

Reviews aggregate Rotten Tomatoes assigned the film an approval rating of 57% based on 14 reviews with an average rating of 5.32/10.[5]

Home media

Dolemite was released to DVD on September 13, 2005 by Xenon Pictures and also as part of a boxed set (The Dolemite Collection) on the same date. A widescreen, high definition remastered version, from an original print of the film, was released on Blu-ray disc on April 26, 2016 by Vinegar Syndrome. The Blu-ray also features the previously released open matte version as an alternate "boom mic" presentation.

Sequels

A sequel, The Human Tornado, was released in 1976. A second sequel, The Return of Dolemite, was released in 2002 and was later re-titled The Dolemite Explosion for DVD release. A quasi-sequel, Shaolin Dolemite, starring Rudy Ray Moore as Monk Ru-Dee, was released in 1999.

The action comedy movie Black Dynamite (2009) is not a direct sequel, but is loosely based on and parodies Dolemite.

In popular culture

The song "Glare" on Big Chief's album Drive It Off (1991) opens with a quote from the film: "I'm gonna let 'em know that Dolemite is my name, and f***in' up motha f***as is my game!"[6][7]

Snoop Dogg mentions Dolemite in his final verse on Dr. Dre's 1992 single "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang",[8] and the character has also been name dropped in songs by Wu Tang Clan, Easy E, Beastie Boys, Lupe Fiasco, and A$AP Rocky.[9] Additionally, a number of rappers, including Too $hort, Luther Campbell, Big Daddy Kane, and Del the Funky Homosapien have given testimony to Moore's influence on them and on rap generally.[9]

Comedian Aries Spears riffed on the Dolemite character during his time on MadTV.

A biographical film about Moore and the making of Dolemite, titled Dolemite Is My Name and starring Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, was released theatrically and on Netflix in October 2019.[10][11][12]

Schoolly D's "Signifying Rapper" was inspired by Moore's version.

A sample of Dolemite was used as the intro for the song "Wit My Crew x 1987" by Lil Uzi Vert, included on his 2015 mixtape Luv Is Rage.

See also

References

  1. "Jet". Johnson Publishing Company. December 11, 1975 – via Google Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Reid, Shaheem (April 1, 2002). "Dolemite Tells Dirty Jokes, Warns Snoop Of His Mic Supremacy - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Yamoto, Jen (October 20, 2019). "Rudy Ray Moore was his name, and 'Dolemite' is just one part of his legacy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 11, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Koch, Stephen (November 4, 2019). "Straight outta Westark: Rudy Ray Moore". Arkansas Times. Retrieved November 12, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Dolemite (1975)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "big chef - glare".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Big Chief". Discogs (in français). Retrieved July 13, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Dr. Dre (Ft. Snoop Dogg) – Nuthin' But a G Thang" – via genius.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Chow, Andrew R. (October 25, 2019). "Rappers Reflect on the Enduring Hip-Hop Legacy of 'Dolemite' Comedian Rudy Ray Moore". Time.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Galuppo, Mia (June 7, 2018). "Eddie Murphy to Star as Rudy Ray Moore for Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. McNary, Dave (June 7, 2018). "Film News Roundup: Eddie Murphy to Star in Biopic 'Dolemite Is My Name' for Netflix". Variety. Retrieved October 14, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. McClintock, Pamela (August 27, 2019). "Netflix Dates 'Marriage Story,' 'Laundromat' and Other Fall Award Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links