Trick Baby 1972

Trick Baby 1972

Directed by: Larry Yust

Actors: Kiel Martin, Mel Stewart, Dallas Edward Hayes, Beverly Ballard and Vernee Watson-Johnson

Language: English

Country: USA

Also known as: Geh zur Hölle, I megali apati, The Double Con, Trick Baby, Underverdenen hævner


Based on the novel by Iceberg Slim, Trick Baby is the story of veteran black conman “Blue” Howard (Mel Stewart) and his youthful white protégé “Folks” O’Brien (Kiel Martin). People is the “trick infant” of the name, the son of a black hooker and a white John who passes convincingly as white. “Blue” took the young guy in at a very early age and they also have a strong father-son bond that insures a strong trust while scamming the brief cash day in and day out. Simply as “Folks” decides to retire from the risky grind, he seizes an opportunity to attract $90,000 out of a group of racist bigwigs. But this final “sting” becomes more and more perilous as they have to keep one action ahead of a crooked cop (Dallas Edward Hayes) they shortchanged and the neighborhood mobster whom has put a cost on their heads for their involvement in the demise of his uncle following a con.

Aesthetically, the movie makes great usage of its rundown Philly environment, staging scenes in street corners, alleys, and elevated train stations during the grey times of winter. Information technology also features some very inventive editing that puts dialogue in counterpoint to the image and an extremely tense foot chase that works not therefore much because it’s so well staged but rather because the stakes are so large for the figures. This might be the key to why the film really works-the personal stakes are raised so large and however the movie keeps reminding the market that death is imminent. Folks can sense it and keeps trying to persuade Blue to forget the huge score and simply walk away. This is Standard Plotting Procedure for most crime movies but here there is a main feeling of mortality much like Arthur Penn’s Clyde and Bonnie. A seemingly random effort to pull a pigeon drop on a “naive” black businessman becomes quite dangerous as the man tells Blue that he’s going to destroy Folks for the hell of it. They make it out of that jam nevertheless the scene leaves a mark on the scenes to make and follow it clear that the ending will not be anything but tragic.

If that’s not sufficient to recommend it, Trick Baby additionally comes complete with Ted Lange (a.k.a Isaac the Bartender from The Love Boat) as Melvin the Pimp.

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