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American Pimp

54 customer reviews

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(Oct 17, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Urban auteur filmmakers, the Hughes Brothers (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) hitthe mean streets with an "incredibly entertaining and charismatic" (Shout) expose on real-life pimps. A "snappy, stylish documentary" (The New York Post) containing "blunt, raw power and stylistic energy" (The Hollywood Reporter), American Pimp is "a primer on pimp craftand culture" (Shout) that takes you into the shadowy world of prostitution, "putting on the screen everything you ever wanted to know about pimps" (Nuart). Cutting straight to the heart of the world's oldest profession, this intimate portrait of infamous "mack-daddies" like Filmore Slim, C-Note, Gorgeous Dre and Rosebudd is eye-opening and shocking. From the dirty streets of New York, L.A. and San Francisco to the "Player's Ball" in Milwaukee, you'll walk the boulevard ofbroken dreams and hear every heart-wrenching story and hilarious anecdote. It's an exclusive ride you've never experiencedand won't soon forget.

There's a fascinating film to be made about the pimp culture and the myth of the outlaw sexual entrepreneur. American Pimp, a slick and entertaining but rather timid documentary by filmmaking brother act Allen and Albert Hughes (Menace 2 Society, Dead Presidents) isn't quite it, but it's a captivating document nonetheless. Flashy, garrulous real-life characters with names like Charm, Rosebudd, Too $hort, C-Note, and the "internationally known" Bishop Don Magic Juan take over their interviews with silver-tongued charm, spinning self-aggrandizing, often contradictory stories of life in the trade. The Hughes never challenge those contradictions and give only token representation to the women in the life (who have either bought into the myth or are too cowed to say differently). Apart from a few unguarded statements by less cagey subjects, the film avoids the seedy flip side to the so-called benevolent relationship between pimp and "ho." More to the Hughes' point is the fluid relationship between media image (as celebrated in such blaxploitation classics such as The Mack and Willie Dynamite) and street image. Simultaneously embracing and decrying their outlaw status, these pimps transform themselves into peacocklike fashion statements inspired by the very images they find so denigrating. They are undeniably dynamic characters playing out a bizarre fantasy of wealth, power, and swaggering sexuality, but if the film shows the cracks in their masks, it never manages to reveal the men under the money or expose the fallacy behind the fantasy. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Too $hort, John S. Dickson, Antonio Fargas, Heidi Fleiss, L. Hammond
  • Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
  • Producers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Kevin J. Messick, Spencer Franklin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630601232X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,617 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Pimp" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ed Trillo on October 10, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If this film can be summed up into one word, it's "Edutainment". Believe it or not, this film is not only immensely entertaining, but it is educational as well. All our lives we've seen images of pimps in TV shows and movies, dressed up in their purple snakeskin outfits and acting like clowns - but "American Pimp" illustrates what real-life pimps are really like.
Ok, so some of the pimps ARE a bunch of guys dressed up in purple outfits acting like clowns, but this documentary shows the side of "pimpin'" that you've never seen. You'll learn about "the game" and how pimps get "knocked" for not keeping tight reins on their "hoes." You'll also see how their girls work day and night making hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and then handing it all over to their pimps without even getting the slightest share in profits.
Why do the girls do this? Why to pimps do what they do? WHAT exactly are pimps? Well watch "American Pimp" and you'll be educated and entertained like never before on the age-old profession of "pimpin".
This documentary ranks up there with "When They Were Kings!" It's a MUST HAVE for any DVD collection!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnson on July 5, 2002
Format: DVD
Earlier this year,I happened to catch a HBO documentary on the lives of prostitutes in the Bronx area of Hunts' Point and was blown away.It was a rare showcase of the pysche of a hooker.
Most of the time,those type of documentaries are filmed from the point of view of the pimp not the prostitutes.
Hence,this documentary from one of my favorite directors,Allen
& Albert Hughes entitled "American Pimp".
"American Pimp" is both fasanating and disturbing.Showcasing years worth of famous pimps.From the well-known Bishop Don Magic Juan(glamourized by rappers such as Ice-T,Snoop Dogg,
Jay-Z,and Ludacris) and Too $hort to lesser knowns such as Charm and Rosebudd.
I found Bishop Don Magic Juan the most intresting pimp because
he seemed proud of his success.He even compares his wealth(courtsey of pimping) as "The American Dream".Which is a VERY intresting view.I also found it intresting when his mother and sister were featured and they were proud of his success as well.
Juan-like the other pimps featured-has a strange mix of charm,wit,self-assureness of dubious effects.You know that these men aren't to be exactly idolized yet they're charming and somewhat likeable.
Also noteworthy was the montage of the mainstream media's images of pimps.A lot of which borders on the offensive.
Blaxplotation films such as "Willie Dynamite","Superfly",and
"The Mack" glorified pimping.And rap artists have always adopted pimp tatics in their music and/or image to be cool.
Again,this is eyebrow raising stuff.
The Hughes Brothers pulled off this documentary well,I must say.
They didn't rely on tired sterotypes or cartoonish protrayals.
Altough I would've liked to have seen more commentary from the female/prostitute's prespective,"American Pimp" is a very intresting documentary that can't be missed.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Fennessy on August 23, 2000
Format: DVD
The Hughes Brothers ("Menace II Society") borrow a page from the Maysles Brothers ("Gimme Shelter") for this frank look at the life of the American pimp. There's no narrator telling us what to think about these guys--for better or for worse, they speak for themselves. Most are more articulate and intelligent than you might expect, but a few say some pretty disturbing things, like the gentleman who insists that if he didn't beat his women, they wouldn't think he cared (Terrence Howard's D-Jay says something similar in "Hustle & Flow"). Of course, not one of these men actually uses the word "women". They're all [...] and worse, with the exception of the "legitimate" pimp (the only Caucasian man in the film) who runs the Moonlight Bunnyranch and refers to his employees as "girls." Of the two women interviewed, one uses the word "ho" just as often as any of the pimps, so it seems it's just accepted terminology if you're part of "The Game."

In any case, this is an entertaining documentary with a bumpin' soundtrack and some well chosen film clips from a variety of blaxploitation classics ("The Mack," et al). Because the Hughes never say what they think about these guys, it's hard to know where they stand. I can only imagine they find them as intriguing yet repellent as I do (and a lot more glamorous than I ever could). I've gained no new respect for pimps having seen this film, but I did come away with a better understanding as to why some men choose this line of work and what their lives are like. Suffice to say that by the end of "American Pimp," almost every one of these cats has hustled himself right on out of the Game. As Big Daddy Kane once said, "Pimpin' ain't easy."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary is just that. A documentary, and it is very enlightening movie. I recommend that you watch the interview of the Hughes brothers before and after viewing the film. And like they say, you really have to watch the film twice to fully appreciate the messages, and allow a lot of the statements to really sink in. Remove all preconceptions about what you think this film is before you press the play button.
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