Black Caesar (1973)

Rated R

Riding the wave of the Blaxploitation era, Black Caesar exploded on the scene, tantalizing Black moviegoers!  Black Caesar is considered to be a remake of the 1931 film, Little Caesar, which starred Edward G. Robinson as the titular character.  This remake centers upon the lead character, Tommy Gibbs (Fred Williamson). The film opens with Tommy, born into extreme poverty in the Harlem community, as a young teen in the late 1950s.  Willing to improve his lot in life at any costs, he becomes involved in a mob-related incident that causes him to be viciously assaulted by a corrupt and racist cop, McKinney (Art Lund).

This assault propels Gibbs towards a life of crime. He becomes the head of a Black crime family that serves under a branch, led by Cardoza (Val Avery), of the Mafia.  In building his own Black criminal syndicate, Tommy engages in clashes with Mafia members and other enemies, including McKinney.  In the midst of making multiple enemies, his closest personal relationships with his parents, Mama Gibbs and Papa Gibbs (Minnie Gentry and Julius Harris); girlfriend, Helen Bradley (Gloria Hendry) and best friends, Joe Washington (Philip Roye) and Reverend Rufus (D’Urville Martin) are tested.  Adding to the conflict are secret details that keep Gibbs in power … but for how long?!

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