A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Lead character is a cocaine dealer trying to make a sale large enough to get out of dealing. The police are corrupt.
Violence & Scariness
Attempted mugging of the lead character. Lead character chases the mugger all the way back to his apartment and kicks him in the chest, causing the mugger to vomit. Character hit by a car and killed. Mugging at gunpoint. Guns pulled on characters, pointed at their heads. Police punch a suspect under interrogation. Fighting with punches and kicks. During a confrontation with militant African American community representatives, lead character talks of "killing whitey" and organizing an army to do it.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nudity (female breasts, buttocks). Characters have sex in a bath tub; moans of pleasure accompany slow-motion body caresses during an extended scene.
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Frequent profanity, including the "N" word. "F--k" and variations, "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," "f--got."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Regular cocaine use. Lead character deals cocaine. Marijuana smoking. Cigarette smoking. Alcohol, wine, and beer drinking. Police give one of the characters a fatal overdose of drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Super Fly is a 1972 movie about a cocaine dealer attempting to make a deal large enough to retire and get out of the business. (Click here to read about the 2018 remake.) Unsurprisingly, cocaine use is frequent. There's also marijuana and cigarette smoking and drinking. Frequent profanity, including the "N" word, "motherf----r," and "f--k." Lead character uses the word "f--got." Some violence, including one of the characters getting struck and killed by a car. Police rough up one of the lead characters, punching him repeatedly during an interrogation. The lead character contends with an attempted mugging; he chases one of his attackers all the way back to the attacker's apartment, catches him, and kicks him in the chest, after which the attacker vomits. There's brief female nudity (breasts and buttocks) and one extended sex scene in a bath tub; characters moan with pleasure as the camera moves in slow motion up and down their bodies. During a verbal altercation with militant African Americans in his community, the lead character talks of getting involved in their cause if it involves "killing whitey" and "organizing an army to do that." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While controversial among civil rights groups for its portrayal of African Americans as negative and antiheroes, this film has stood the test of time as a classic of the "blaxploitation" genre. Its initial success transcended the African American audience it was made for at a time when African American actors were hardly ever given lead roles in movies. Its comments on the lack of legitimate opportunity for African Americans in the inner city remains relevant -- relevant enough to bring on a remake of the movie 46 years after the original film's release. Furthermore, Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack remains one of the greatest movie soundtrack albums from the '70s or any other time.
As the lead character Youngblood Priest, the late Ron O'Neal brought a fresh take on the "man of few words" cinema archetype. There's a complexity to the character revealed through body language and facial expression in his reactions to everyone around him. He has a now-iconic charisma, "cool" in the classic sense of the word. The gaudy fashions might be as obsolete as the old crumbling '70s New York City that serves as the background to the scenes, but the substance of the movie has ensured that Super Fly remains something more than a relic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.