The Spook Who Sat By the Door
This rarely seen classic of blaxploitation cinema is director Ivan Dixon’s 1973 incendiary filmic rendering of Sam Greenlee’s novel about a black former CIA agent who turns the government’s methods against itself while leading a group of “freedom fighters” through the streets of Chicago. Larry Cook plays soul brother Dan Freeman with all of the revolutionary charisma of a man consumed with bringing justice and equality to his people. Pulled from cinemas by the FBI weeks after it opened to sell-out crowds, “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” is a document of social revolt that still bristles with a timely, and timeless, impression of righteousness and intelligence. Ivan Dixon’s guerilla filmmaking tactics give the film a rare brand of immediacy. The film is a crucial piece of the blaxploitation cannon.
Rated PG. 102 mins. (B) (Three Stars)