First, there are many more than five reasons to admire Pam Grier, one of the greatest action icons of all time.
In the 70’s, two genres of film turned exploitation cinema upside down: “blaxploitation” and “women in prison” movies.
My first reason to love Pam Grier is that she ruled BOTH categories. First, time to head to jail.
1 – Pam’s Caged Heat!
Grier mesmerized exploitation buffs in Director Jack Hill’s classic “women in prison” epic, The Big Doll House.
“Their Bodies Were Caged – But Not Their Desires!”
This sweltering mix of hot young women – angry, violent and mostly naked – in prison was very popular at the time, and that leads to the second reason I love her:
2 – Black Mama White Mama
Ready for this plot? A Prostitute and a Revolutionary are chained together in a Latin America country. Together, they topple the military, mostly while wearing little or no clothing, and as usual in this film genre, the women took a lot of showers.
Grier used her popularity in this film to go on to star in one of the first “blaxploitation” films of the era, the third reason to love her:
3 – Coffy
This low budget action film was an early “blaxploitation” success, and Grier immediately went to work on the sequel, titled Burn, Coffy, Burn!
However, American-International Pictures decided at the last minute it didn’t want to make it a sequel, so a new action star was created, our fourth reason to love Pam Grier:
4 – Foxy Brown!
Here’s the very succinct – and very descriptive – description of “Foxy Brown” on IMDB:
“A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.”
Voluptuous indeed. Pam Grier had attitude, confidence, and street smarts – and she could kick ass when she needed to – and a generation of movie buffs grew up in love with her, my fifth reason to love Pam Grier:
5 – Quentin Tarantino
Director Quentin Tarantino was such a fan of Pam Grier and her iconic action status that when Pam walked in to audition for Tarantino, “there were all my posters from 20 years ago, when I was just a piss and vinegar kid,” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Did you put these up because I was coming over?’ And he said, ‘No. I was gonna take them down because you were coming over!'”
The original name of the character was Jackie Burke, but Quentin changed it to Brown as an homage to Foxy Brown.
There are five great reasons to celebrate this action icon – celebrate with this classic 70’s trailer for Foxy Brown, which begins with the classic line:
“When Foxy Brown comes to town, all the brothers come around!”