Superfly [DVD] [1972]

Along with Shaft and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Superfly was one of the first and most historically important films in the blaxploitation explosion of the early '70s, and this DVD release gives the movie both the respect it deserves and the funk it demands. Superfly has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has also been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The source material is clean and the colors are rich, with the transfer leaving in just enough grain to honor the film's realistic visual style. The original monophonic sound mix has been preserved in Dolby Digital Mono, which accurately reflects the film's original sound, but is also a bit crisper than Superfly's previous VHS incarnations. The original English soundtrack is included, as well as a dubbed French version with subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. The most notable bonus feature is a new documentary on the making of Superfly, which covers how the story made it to the screen as well as its importance and influence in an informative and breezy manner. A profile on leading man Ron O'Neal, produced at the time of the film's initial release, is also included, as well as another featurette with costume designer Nate Adams showing off some vintage threads used in the movie, the original theatrical trailer, and an illuminating audio-only interview with the late Curtis Mayfield in which he discusses composing the film's famous score and how it impacted his life and career. Finally, author and professor Todd Boyd contributes a lively audio commentary track, though he stops to identify Priest's outfits and quotes Mayfield's lyrics a bit more often than necessary. All in all, Superfly has been given a top-shelf release at a mid-line price. blaxploitation followers will definitely want to check this out.
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Superfly (DVD)  (Enhanced Widescreen for 16x9 TV)  (English/French)  1972 - Larger Front
  • Superfly (DVD) (Enhanced Widescreen for 16x9 TV) (English/French) 1972
  • $9.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • "One Last Deal: A Retrospective" documentary
  • Commentary by Dr. Todd Boyd, U.S.C. professor of cinema and television and author of "Am I Black Enough for You: Popular Culture From the 'Hood and Beyond"
  • "Ron O'Neal on the Making of Super Fly" vintage featurette
  • Costume designer Nate Adams goes behind the threads
  • "Curtis Mayfield on Super Fly" audio-only bonus
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Superfly
An African-American man finds that leaving behind his life of crime is harder than he imagined in this groundbreaking crime drama. Priest (Ron O'Neal) is a stylish and successful cocaine dealer who drives a fancy car, commands a small army of street salesmen, and lives a life of luxury. However, Priest is just smart enough to know that there's no real future in dealing coke, and one day he makes a proposal to his partner Eddie (Carl Lee) -- they take their 300,000-dollar savings, buy 30 kilos of cocaine, and use their street team to move it out in four months, leaving a million dollar profit for both Priest and Eddie, allowing them to get out of the business for good. Eddie is wary but willing to go along, but Scatter (Julius Harris), a former dealer who set Priest up in the cocaine trade, is both unwilling and unable to sell them that much product. As Priest looks for a new source for his big score, one of his underlings, Fat Freddie (Charles McGregor) is picked up by the police, and under violent interrogation, Freddie tells the cops about Priest's underground empire. When Priest is confronted by the police, however, he learns they're less interested in putting him behind bars than in making him a partner. While Superfly was a box-office smash and (along with Shaft and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song) one of the key films of the nascent blaxploitation movement of the early '70s, it's best remembered today for the soundtrack composed and performed by Curtis Mayfield, which included the hit songs "Freddie's Dead," "Pusherman," and the title tune. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Ron O'Neal
    Ron O'Neal - Priest
  • Carl Lee
    Carl Lee - Eddie
  • Sheila Frazier
    Sheila Frazier - Georgia
  • Julius Harris
    Julius Harris - Scatter
  • Charles McGregor
    Charles McGregor - Fat Freddie
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