In the nineteen-seventies there was no female movie star who could hold a candle to Pam Grier. She was tough, sexy, and powerful. Her starring roles in soul cinema classics like “Coffy” (1973), “Foxy Brown,” (1974), and “Sheba, Baby” (1975), and many others featured in the MGM library, burnished her on-screen persona as action hero on a par with any of her male contemporaries including Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Burt Reynolds. August & September (2022) on MGM HD, we turn the spotlight on one of her best, “Friday Foster” (1975).
“Friday Foster,” is a breezy action-adventure movie complete with shoot outs, chases, and ominous heavies. Based on a comic strip of the same name, Friday Foster is a fashion model turned globe-trotting photojournalist. When an assignment causes her to witness an assassination attempt on Blake Tarr, the richest black man in America, Friday is drawn into a web of intrigue as she investigates a far-reaching conspiracy that involves her model friends, black nationalists, and Washington politicians.
As the titular character, Ms. Grier turns in one of her funniest and most charming performances. Friday is a strong and independent woman, who in her words “don’t hustle for nobody.” And just like James Bond in his films, she has the men in her life wrapped around her finger. In “Friday Foster,” those men include the late great Yaphet Kotto as her sidekick, detective Colt Hawkins who wants to be more than her friend, and Thalmus Rasulala as the above-mentioned handsome and seductive Blake Tarr.
The supporting cast is a who’s who of black actors, including the legendary Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers, Godfrey Cambridge, Julius Harris, Jason Bernard, a pre- “Love Boat” Ted Lange, and a pre- “Rocky” Carl Weathers. But throughout it all, Pam Grier remains in charge. By the mid-seventies, Ms. Grier was a trailblazer as both a cultural icon and as a movie star at the peak of her charisma and appeal.
As always, with movies from the seventies, the language and morality are specific to the era; “Friday Foster” is a visit to a time of relaxed hair, relaxed clothes, and relaxed attitudes. But most of all, it is a lot of fun.
So, for a good time, check out “Friday Foster” airing August & September (2022) on MGM HD.