Sheba, Baby (1975)
Sheba, Baby (1975)
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Critic Reviews for Sheba, Baby
Pam Grier's third outing as a tough 1970s Blaxploitation action lady is fun, although not as exhilarating as Coffy and Foxy Brown.
Audience Reviews for Sheba, Baby
The least of Pam Grier's big three films, but still entertaining.
This time Pam plays Sheba Shayne, a Chicago PI who has to return to her native Louisville because a group of gangsters are shaking down her father (Rudy Challenger) to sell his bank, which gives loans to poor African American businessmen in the inner city. To this end, in typical Pam Grier fashion, she takes the law into her own hands when her father gets injured and it's clear the police won't help. She goes after the local boss (D'Urville Martin) en route to taking out the big white man in charge (Dick Merrifield), and with the help of would-be lover Brick Williams (Austin Stoker), leaves a whole lot of mayhem in her wake. Will she succeed? I'd say that's the film except that you probably already know the answer. So the real film, as is the case with all of her true Blaxploitation films, is watching Pam fuck people up and look good doing it.
I guess the best way to describe SHEBA, BABY (William Girdler, 1975) is to say that it's a Pam Grier Blaxploitation movie with less sex and violence. The story is as simple as the stories in COFFY and FOXY BROWN (both by Jack Hill, in 1973 and 1974, respectively), but a lot less grotesque. The movie looks cleaner than those films, but to me, that's actually a drawback, as the grittiness of COFFY and FOXY BROWN made them fun to me. Pam made FRIDAY FOSTER (Arthur Marks, 1975) shortly after this, and that movie is, for all intents and purposes, a mainstream film. You can see Pam moving in that direction here. SHEBA, BABY is ultimately tame compared to her classics, and more or less conventional.
That doesn't mean it's without its charm, however. What I liked about SHEBA, BABY is that the simplicity of the storytelling shows, as Gene Siskel used to say, how it's really not that hard to make a good movie. The plot flows, hits every beat it's supposed to, and throws in a commentary about Black businesses. It contains all of the elements Pam Grier's audience expects - titillation, violence, a crime story, inept, if not outright crooked cops, and "da man" trying to hold Black people down. It's just a lot nicer about them, making this film accessible, potentially, to a broader audience. Obviously that's not for me, because I prefer films that are /not/ intended for the mainstream, but for what it is, it does its job, while retaining just enough of the charm of a Pam Grier action movie. Admittedly, the action sequences themselves aren't all that special, but at this point I think it was clear that people went to see Pam, not a directorial clinic or anything. For a true mainstream film, I'm obviously a lot harsher, but that's because mainstream films have everything at their disposal - they have no excuse for sucking. Here Girdler tries to make a Pam Grier movie for all audiences, and on that level, it works. While I like her other movies much better, I don't hate SHEBA, BABY, and definitely recommend it for Pam's fans for completion's sake if nothing else. B-
Pam as a private detective avenging her father's beating at the hands of local thugs trying to muscle him out if his bail bonds business.
It lacks some of the more lurid elements (nudity, drugs, etc.) of her other films from the same era, but is still a fun watch.
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000][/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]Sheba Shayne is a detective in the big city of Chicago. When Sheba hears that some local mobsters are bothering her father and his business back in Louisville Kentucky, she returns home to sort out these issues out. While Sheba begins her investigation to see who is responsible for these threats, some mobsters kill her father. Now Sheba wants more than just an identity of the mob leader, she wants revenge. [/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]?Have I bruised your masculinity??[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]?It would take more than one bitch to do that.?[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]William Girdler, director of Panic City, Asylum of Satan, The Mantou, and Abby, delivers Sheba, Baby. The storyline for this picture is mediocre and unimaginative. This was not the best use of Pam Greer, who while she looked stunning, had to rely on delivering her lines with conviction while partaking in unlikely fight sequences. Despite the action sequences being creative, it was hard for me to buy many of the scenes as being realistic.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]?You can?t lick no shadow, bitch. You can?t catch me!?[/color][/size][/font]
[size=3][color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]Sheba, Baby was one of three films that came in the ?Fox in a Box? DVD box set of classic Pam Grier pictures. Grier always delivers her roles with a sense of flare and style. She delivers the tough as nails character well; however, when the film relies on her beating up numerous men, at some point, the film losses credibility. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this film, but it was a far cry from being as good as Coffy or Foxy Brown. [/font][/color][/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]?You better be right or you two will be pushing up black daisies along with me.?[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000]Grade: C+[/color][/size][/font]
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