The MACK 1973
One of the most popular Blaxploitation movies of the time whose popularity has grown an even stronger cult fan base over the decades, The Mack is a favorite of many artists, musicians and filmmakers.
The film follows the recently released pimp Goldie, played by the underrated Max Julien, who has come back from jail strong and is ready to make the biggest empire in the city. He makes his mark by getting the highest quality women, looking out for his own and being the coolest hustler in town.
He is not unrivalled, however, and he has to deal with conflicts from his brother, an anti-crime black activist, rival pimps and two corrupt cops who are out to get him. Luckily, he has the respect of the community and his friend Slim, played by Richard Pryor, to help him.
While in popular culture, the film is mostly remembered for Goldie’s cool, powerful composure and the depiction of the high life of the crime world, the social portrait that The Mack shows is much more layered and complex, delivering a powerful commentary as well as a great gangster story.
The film addresses the many different ways that the black citizens of Oakland try and get by and better themselves. The hustlers like Goldie are trying to get out and use their money to help others, the revolutionaries are trying to get rid of the criminals to make the neighborhoods better and the drug dealers are trying to keep everyone hooked to make money.
Although it may seem like there are many others like it, The Mack is a truly unique film that mixes lampoon with grittiness, exposing the reality of urban life.