Cast and Crew: Martha Reeves (Soundtrack); J. J. Johnson (Original Music); Alan Weeks
What It’s About: Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman) is a pimp who lives large, wearing the most astounding pimp fashions imaginable (gold lame duster, an outfit that looks like Elvis gone Shriner, huge fur hat and coat, and a hat and coat covered in more feathers than Big Bird) while running an ethnically diverse stable of hookers that specializes in convention trade. There’s only one problem-the cops, lead by Assistant D.A. Robert Daniels (Thalmus Rasulala) and detectives Pointer (Albert Hall) and Celli (George Murdock) are clamping down on the vice industry. Bell (Roger Robinson) calls a pimp meeting and convinces the pimps to organize but Willie D. will have none of it. Soon he’s facing harassment from the cops and the pimps, and it gets worse when social worker and ex-prostitute Cora (Diana Sands) gets on his case-and starts trying to get his youngest and most beautiful prostitute, Pashen (Joyce Walker) off the street and into modeling.
Why Watch it Today?: Roscoe Orman made today’s film shortly before his first appearance on Sesame Street as Gordon, which aired on November 4th, 1974. Anyone who grew up with Orman’s Gordon will find Willie Dynamite provides excellent cognitive dissonance.