- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 26 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: October 17, 2000
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Packaging: Keep Case
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen Anamorphic
- Dolby Digital Surround - English
- Dolby Digital Surround - Spanish
Additional Release Material:
- Featurette - INDEPENDENT FOCUS: THE HUGHES BROTHERS (24 Minutes)
- Interview - 1. Albert Hughes - Director
- - 2. Allen Hughes - Director
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 06/12/2000
"...A terse, skillfully edited documentary..."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/16/2000
"...An eye-opening documentary exposé....Supple and engrossing..." -- Rating:B+
Box Office - 04/01/1999
Los Angeles Times - 06/09/2000
"...A documentary as revealing as it is disturbing, one that engrosses as it at times repulses, a film that shifts from one moment to the next from the outrageously funny to the just plain outrageous..."
Allen and Albert Hughes, best known for their work as feature-film directors (MENACE II SOCIETY, DEAD PRESIDENTS), present this revealing documentary that focuses on the myths and realities associated with the black urban pimp. Featuring rare, candid interviews with actual pimps, the film contains a brutal honesty that makes for quite an enlightening viewing experience. As they have done with their previous work, the Hughes brothers pull no punches in bringing their subject matter to the screen. AMERICAN PIMP is at once an important historical document and an entertaining documentary.
After their mainstream commercial successes (MENACE II SOCIETY, DEAD PRESIDENTS), this documentary from twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes feels like a labor of love. The subjects are pimps, and they don't mind the attention. In fact, it's not long before the jewelry, cars, clothes, and even women take a backseat to the barrage of explanations, instructions, and anecdotes unleashed by macks and players from all over the United States. That they are exploiting women--as evidenced by the testimony of white "squares" at the beginning of the film--is rationalized by the almost-all-black pimps, who live by their own code of ethics on the margins of a society that they claim needs them. Men with names such as Gorgeous Dre, Fillmore Slim, and Bishop Don Magic Juan (who proudly displays photographs he took with Donald Trump and Marion Barry) take the viewer through the origins of pimping, pimp style, and the ups and downs of dealing with the prostitutes--who don't even get a cut.
Through it all, the Hughes brothers intercut the blaxploitation films that not only popularized pimps in the public imagination but were based on the culture of real pimps and in turn inspired a new generation to become pimps themselves.
African American Culture |
Prostitutes / Whores |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical Release: June 9, 2000 (NY/LA)
June 16, 2000 (SAN FRANCISCO)
July 7, 2000 (KNOXVILLE)
July 14, 2000 (AUSTIN, HOUSTON)
September 1, 2000 (SAN FRANCISCO)
- AMERICAN PIMP generated controversy at Sundance '99 for allegedly glamorizing the pimp lifestyle. Despite buzz both good and bad, the film languished for a year and a half before its theatrical release.
- The Hughes brothers financed AMERICAN PIMP with $100,000 of their own money; in two years they went to 15 cities and filmed interviews with 30 pimps on 16mm film.