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The Spook Who Sat By the Door
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Based on Sam Greenlee's controversial novel, THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR is a hard-hitting shocker that depicts a world in which the long-suppressed black man fights back with a vengeance. Director Ivan Dixon's uncompromising adaptation was relegated to bottom-rung status upon its release, and it subsequently slipped into oblivion for decades until the film was rediscovered and released on DVD in 2004. Lawrence Cook plays Dan Freeman, a head-nodding, smiling African-American who impresses his CIA cohorts with his winning demeanor. What they don't realize is that Freeman's friendly facade is nothing more than a mask for a deep seated hatred of white people. When he returns to his Chicago hometown, Freeman uses his newly acquired knowledge to organize an underground militant movement that revolts against the very army that trained him.
Dixon's matter-of-fact approach to the material makes the film an even more powerful experience. It also manages to transcend the Blaxploitation genre by making a broader statement about the devastating effects of death and war. Featuring an impassioned performance from Cook (COLORS, POSSE), THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR is a frightening, but important, cautionary tale.
One of the most important Black films ever made --Tim Reid (Director of Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored, Asunder and For Real)
Possibly the most radical of the blaxploitation films of the 70s, this movie was an overnight success when released in 1973, then was abruptly taken out of distribution for reasons still not entirely clear. --Jonathan Rosenbaum (The Chicago Reader)
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