Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Mighty Like a Wardrobe

I think my favourite piece of Cleopatra Jones' wardrobe is this bonnet. The feather arrangement reminds me of a feather hand with an oversized feather thumb.

This is a nice 1973 blaxploitation film, an hour and twenty eight minutes long with an over two thousand word Wikipedia entry, exhaustively comparing her to James Bond and analysing her significance to feminism and race relations in America. Though I guess to really be analogous to James Bond, she would have to treat men like some little boys treat ants with magnifying glasses.

She's a just a nicer person than James Bond. She comes home from burning poppy fields on the other side of the planet to look in on the community she grew up in, where people battle poverty and drugs, a status quo enforced by crooked cops and a delightfully over the top Shelley Winters as a Ma Barker type.

Wikipedia says showing a hypersexual lesbian mob boss is homophobic. Hey, how about the guy named Doodlebug, doesn't that say people who absent-mindedly draw things in notebooks are insects? Personally, I like hypersexual lesbian mob bosses.

Antonio Fargas, who played Doodlebug, also played Huggy Bear on Starsky and Hutch. I wonder if another actor has a goofier list of character names on imdb. Looking at his imdb page now, I see Fargas has also played guys named Bishop Titus Kingston, Jimmy Lipps, Shoop Summers, Smitty Rollins, Slick, Old School, Flyguy, El Gato Negro, Finesse, Monsieur Henri, Jerry Blackmore, Sweetstick Weldon, and, oh, I've seen him already in Pretty Baby as Professor. Now that's a résumé to be proud of.

He's pretty solemn and quiet in Pretty Baby while in Cleopatra Jones he's a funny, over the top gangster so he has range.

Tamara Dobson has Cleopatra Jones herself is also really good, beautiful and with an effective air of cool authority. One doesn't quite buy her skinny limbs beating up big guys, but she never breaks stride or loses confidence, even riding a motorcycle with this blouse.

The action in the film isn't bad. A car chase isn't on the level of Bullitt, though it seems to have been influenced by it, as perhaps all car chases at the time were. But it's better than a TV show. Mostly the movie is a nice reason to drink in the majesty of Ms. Jones and her wardrobe that almost rivals the Cleopatra played by Elizabeth Taylor.

Tags: antonio fargas, blaxploitation, cleopatra jones, feminism, movies, shelley winters, tamara dobson
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