Black Caesar | Chicago Reader

Black Caesar

A 1973 American-International programmer by popular cult director Larry Cohen (It's Alive!, The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover). The idea, apparently, was to take the old Warner Brothers gangster formula and recast it for black audiences, yet what emerges is a very tortured, often incoherent cry of outrage against most of the precepts of American society—moral, material, and sexual. Fred Williamson is the Harlem shoeshine boy who rises to gangland power by mass murder, filling swimming pools with corpses. Cohen's technique is almost laughably crude, but a core of frightening conviction remains. 96 min.

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