Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Something more than a onepicture wonder, something less than the major filmmaker he promised to be at one time, Van Peebles has had a career that can certainly be described as broadranging. After all, he has written a Broadway musical ("Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death") as well as a guide to commodities trading!
While living in France, Van Peebles made his feature-film debut as the director, writer, and composer of The Story of a Three Day Pass (1967), which generated sufficient interest to snare him a "mainstream" directing job, on the satirical comedy Watermelon Man (1970). But it was his self-financed, self-distributed Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), a potent slice of black street life, that cemented his reputation, and makes him to this day a figure for study in the field of African-American filmmaking. Unfortunately, his output since then has been erratic and largely undistinguished. Don't Play Us Cheap (1973) was an adaptation of his Broadway play; Greased Lightning (1977) was a disappointing studio scriptwriting assignment. Identity Crisis (1990), a comic farce made in collaboration with his son Mario, was an outand-out embarrassment. The elder Van Peebles has also appeared as an actor in America (1982), Jaws The Revenge (1987, with his son), O.C. & Stiggs (also 1987), and Posse (1993, with Mario). In 1995, Mario directed Melvin's screenplay Panther about the Black Panther Party.
Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.… Expand
Melvin Van Peebles' Scores
- By date
- By user score
|Peeples||May 10, 2013||Grandpa Peeples||4.6|
|Redemption Road||Aug 26, 2011||Elmo||7.0|
|Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha||Aug 21, 2009||Director / Producer / Writer||tbd|
|Gettin' the Man's Foot Outta Your Baadasssss!||May 28, 2004||Book "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song: A Guerilla Filmmaking Manifesto"||8.7|
|The Hebrew Hammer||Dec 19, 2003||Sweetback||7.0|
|Tales of Erotica||Feb 21, 2003||Director||7.4|