Some Things To Know About Trick Baby

By Sandra Mitchell


Films in the Blaxploitation genre can have unusual or common themes central to their plots. But often, and with the best of them, they usually nod at issues that are traditional elements of African American societies. These are different from usual exploitation films, which tend to be very derogatory about its subjects.

There is one film that might have risen above the rest, as differentiated by the common run of movies here. The film in question is Trick Baby, released in 1972, with a story taken from the novel of a famous black author named Iceberg Slim. The novel is really a very moving tale about African gangsters, something the feature was not able to be.

This movie is about two friends living and operating in Philadelphia, where they make a living deceiving people. The characters are called Blue Howard and White Folks, and being half white, folks could be somebody that is white. This fact helps them in their adventures to con people, and the movie is about their plan for their biggest con to date.

The racial tensions obviously propel this plot, but then it can be expected from the work of an author with very intense experiences in the African underworld, and his books were even bestsellers in his genre. Delineation of character was present in a watered down sense, and Folks was especially cited for having a ho hum and forgettable performance. There was no focus on being black and male, and that was something that could have really made the difference.

Folks is a product of the mating of a white man and a black prostitute, and so it became the title. It is an accident that is a focus in both works, but critics said that the book was very intense while the feature was not quite there. But then the production just went with the need for Hollywood products to work with easier subjects for film.

In this sense, the movie might be forgiven its being unable to really take advantage of the intensely dramatic idea of a biracial conman. However, no conflicts or friction arise from this, especially between Howard and Folks, and their relationship is mostly about the easier time they have of being able to get away with crimes. The cliched theme of black criminality was chosen above everything else.

Films from Hollywood will tend to be dehumanizing, concentrating more on great visuals than focusing on the story elements. This defect is something that is still present, and so whatever films there are that are found meritorious in a story sense will not end up successful, in comparison to those that tend to con people.

The said plan by the protagonists is nearly derailed by a man with Mafia connections they victimized before. The twist is a classic cliche that happens before endings, something that critics have to howl about, even as the producers will go with it in the end. Maybe there was the idea to provide impact for the film in the box office sense all the time.

The director for the movie was Larry Yust, who soft focused the many things that could have made it unacceptable with the general public. This organism is a very sensitive one that also allows and condones so many blasphemies. The Blaxploitation film can be very discomforting, and so the elements that make it so are often taken out.




About the Author: