Black Caesar
Black Caesar (1973)

Cult director Larry Cohen (It's Alive) directed this violent blaxploitation film. Nasty racist John McKinney cripples a black shoeshine boy, who grows up to be Tommy Gibbs (Fred Williamson), the Godfather of Harlem. The crimelord now… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 7, 1973
DVD Release Date: January 9, 2001
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 58% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Time Out

Unfortunately it all remains too crude to convince one of its better intentions.

Full review…
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

not a political movie per se, but it certainly taps into the raging sense of racial injustice that the Civil Rights Era had not managed to fully eradicate.

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It plays to urban black audiences' fears and fantasies.

Full review…
New York Times

Mr. Williamson, in short, can't be blamed for the plot contrivances that hinge mostly on action and bloodshed.

Full review…
Josh Larsen

"Paid the cost to be the boss," declares James Brown on the soundtrack, and Black Caesar functions as an itemized bill.

Full review…
TV Guide

Writer-director Larry Cohen's clever and entertaining paean to traditional gangster films (a la Little Caesar) updates the genre to contemporary Harlem and was a major hit with urban audiences.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Cohen's technique is almost laughably crude, but a core of frightening conviction remains.

Full review…
Cole Smithey

a distinctive pastiche of the tough cynical attitudes held by oppressed minorities the world over.

Full review…
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

Suffused with socio-political resentment and enlivened by James Brown's classic soul-funk soundtrack.

Full review…
More reviews for Black Caesar

Flixster Audience Score: 64% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
This is inextricably linked to the blaxploitation era that it came out during, and it does fit into that area, but I feel like calling this a a blaxploitation… More
Byron Brubaker
I have yet to see Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar, but after reading about that movie and other gangster films in the book We're in the Money:… More
Cassandra Maples
This film is great. Immortalised by Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube on "Burn Hollywood, Burn" from the Fear Of A Black Planet LP, as soon as… More
Daniel Hetteix
Fred Williamson is one of the best actors of the Blaxploitation era, and his performance here is on par with his other work. As a spin-off film, taking… More