Throwback: Trouble Man

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Trouble Man has gone down in history for its soundtrack written by Marvin Gaye. A series of blaxploitation films in the ’70’s including Shaft scored by Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly were more valuable because of their soundtracks. Ivan Dixon, who played the lead in Nothing But A Man, directed the Robert Hooks-starring Trouble Man. Hooks’s character T, was an alpha male fixer in a scandalous world of ghetto kingpins and his type was welcomed by Black audiences tired of seeing subservient roles. Trouble Man was inevitably compared to Shaft that came out a year earlier in ’71 and featured Richard Roundtree in a similar role as a private detective in the middle of a street war. Dixon’s film didn’t have the same pulse as Shaft and Superfly but really became known as a nice vehicle for Gaye’s music.

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