When their old neighborhood in Gary, Indiana, falls prey to an epidemic of gang violence, the now-middle-aged founders of the gang return to clean up the streets. An action film tempered by a conscience, this film stars several icons of the 1970's Blaxploitation era.
Richard Roundtree - American actor, SHAFT (1971)
Jim Brown - Football star turned film star
James Nathaniel Brown - Football star turned film star
Dru Down - Actor
Pam Grier - American Actress
Larry Cohen - Director/Screenwriter, IT'S ALIVE (1974), PHONE BOOTH (2001)
Isabel Sanford - Actress, THE JEFFERSONS
Fred Williamson - Actor/Director/Producer
Charles Napier - American Character Actor
Chuck Napier - American Character Actor
Paul Winfield - American actor
Christopher B. Duncan - Actor
Set in Gary, Indiana, this film stars many popular actors from the "blaxploitation" era in a tale of revenge and good vs. evil. The premise involves John Bookman, who escaped from the ghettos of Gary years ago and is now a successful pro football coach in L.A. But when John's father is killed, the innocent victim of gang violence, John returns home to Indiana. After burying his dad, John rounds up his old cronies, and sets out to clean the streets of the punks who have ruined his old neighborhood -- a task much easier said than done. Can John and company defeat their younger, violence-prone adversaries?
Released theatrically in the USA May 10, 1996. Produced by Fred Williamson's Po' Boy Productions. Color by Deluxe, in DTS sound. Additional cast: Eddie Bo Smith Jr. (Damien), Shyheim Franklin (Dink), Bushwick Bill (Party Cigar Smoker), Luniz (Customers at Thelma's Cafe). Additional credits: Aaron Holden (set decorator), Lisa Moffie (costume design), J. Byron Smith (sound), Forrest Futrell (assistant director) Also included are 3 music videos from the film's soundtrack: "The World is a Ghetto" by the Geto Boys "Inner City Blues" by Ideal "The War is On" by Almighty RSO The soundtrack also features the music of Luniz, E-40 & The Click, Junior Mafia, Mobb Deep, MC Ren, and H-Town. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification. Copyright 1996 Orion Pictures Corporation.
"...The ending offers hope for a future informed by the lessons of the past, but made whole by the realities of the present..." - 10/01/1996 Sight and Sound, p.49-50
"...[A] contemporary shoot-'em-up with a conscience....OG works as an action flick, but also as an effective lament for a lost generation..." -- Rating: B+ - 05/24/1996 Entertainment Weekly, p.77
"...A solid action entry....Satisfying..." - 05/13/1996 Variety
"...[The film] speaks eloquently....Plenty of sense underlies ORIGINAL GANGSTAS..." - 05/11/1996 New York Times, p.C14
"...There is nostalgic glee in seeing these stars..." - 05/14/1996 Chicago Sun-Times, p.34