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Panther1995 movie poster.JPG
The movie poster for Panther.
Directed by Mario Van Peebles
Produced by Preston L. Holmes
Mario Van Peebles
Melvin Van Peebles
Screenplay by Melvin Van Peebles
Based on Panther by Melvin Van Peebles
Starring Kadeem Hardison
Bokeem Woodbine
Joe Don Baker
Courtney B. Vance
Marcus Chong
Tyrin Turner
James Russo
M. Emmet Walsh
Music by Stanley Clarke
Cinematography Edward J. Pei
Edited by Earl Watson
Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Release dates
  • May 3, 1995 (1995-05-03)
Running time
123 minutes
Language English
Box office $6,834,525

Panther is a 1995 film directed by Mario Van Peebles, from a screenplay adapted by his father, Melvin Van Peebles, from his novel of the same name. The film portrays the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, tracing the organization from its founding through its decline in a compressed timeframe. Creative license is taken but the general trajectory of the Party and its experiences is factual.

The film is notable for its strong cast: including US actors Angela Bassett, Chris Tucker, Bobby Brown and Chris Rock, who later became prominent in film and TV. Critics noted the strong resemblance of Marcus Chong to the historical figure, Huey P. Newton, whom he played.

Plot summary[edit]

The film focuses on the rise and decline of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, known as the Black Panthers, during the era of Black Power and disenchantment with passive resistance as a tool in the civil rights movement. It explores the FBI's COINTELPRO program, which was a farflung effort to track and disrupt African-American political movements.

The drama alleges that various Mob networks cooperated directly with U.S. intelligence (FBI/CIA) agency representatives to "flood" inner-city ghettos, which contained majority black populations, with hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The ending's structure and concluding voice-over alleges that The Mob (possibly Italian) in the United States agreed to produce and distribute quantities of these types of drugs on an unprecedentedly large scale. Purportedly, only agreed-upon "problem areas" of Black Panthers' potential support would be targeted, so as to "pacify" those populations.

The movies further suggests that the huge quantities of drugs quickly spilled out of the "problem areas" and became the drug epidemic in the U.S. of the 1980s and 1990s. The final lines shown in the film's closing note that in the 1970s, there were hundreds of thousands of hard-drug addicts, a number that had increased to the "3 million" of "yesterday". It is dedicated to the Black Panther Party's main figures, the communities that supported them, and those who might continue the struggle today.


Numerous actors who appear in the film later became prominent in the industry. Angela Bassett had gained praise for her portrayal a few years earlier as Betty Shabazz in Spike Lee's film, Malcolm X.


Main article: Panther (soundtrack)

A soundtrack containing R&B and hip hop music was released on May 2, 1995, by Mercury Records. It peaked at 37 on the Billboard 200 and 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was certified gold on July 25, 1995. Featured on the soundtrack was the single "Freedom (Theme from Panther)", a collaboration among more than 60 female R&B singers and rappers that peaked at 45 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Reproduction and sales[edit]

Panther is noted as being very difficult to locate and buy on DVD or VHS tape, although both versions do exist. Most copies are in Australian or other non-U.S. formats.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_(film) — Please support Wikipedia.
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529 news items

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 09:08:02 -0700

With a nod to the Fourth of July, Ava DuVernay announced over the long weekend that she would not be directing the action film “Black Panther,” telling Essence magazine: “I guess I'll declare my independence from this rumor.” The prospect of a black ...

Tech Times

Tech Times
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:14:37 -0700

During a panel at New York City's recent BlogHer conference, Selma director Ava DuVernay discussed talks she had with Marvel, which led her to turn down the position of directing the upcoming Black Panther film. In the panel, DuVernay spoke about being ...

E! Online

E! Online
Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:11:15 -0700

Selma director Ava DuVernay won't be directing Marvel's upcoming Black Panther film after all, following rumors. The 42-year-old revealed the news on Friday, a day before the Fourth of July, to Essence magazine at the 2015 Essence Festival in New ...

Comic Book Movie

Comic Book Movie
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Black Panther is coming to the MCU. He will soon debut in next years Captain America: Civil War. But, his 2018 solo film may be more substantial for the character. Here are my ideas on characters, story beats and plot for the Black Panther solo film.

Venture Capital Post

Venture Capital Post
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 05:56:15 -0700

Another interesting thing that the "Black Panther" film would provide is its distinct setting. It is known that most superheroes usually defend huge skyscraper-filled cities like New York, Chicago or London. Indeed, the falling buildings or crowded ...

New York Post

New York Post
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:05:16 -0700

If they did a Black Panther film and cast a white person in the role I'm sure people would be upset. Same thing if they decided to white wash every other ethnic super hero/villain character - Storm (Kenyan), Thunderbird or Warpath (who are Native ...

Daily Beast

Daily Beast
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 19:25:29 -0700

In front of a sold-out crowd of geriatric radicals and their dippy young acolytes, Nelson matter-of-factly acknowledged that Vanguard of the Revolution is a “pro-Panther” film and expressed surprise that at previous screenings “no one stood up and said ...


Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:03:45 -0700

The actor was in London to work on the script of a sixth Pink Panther film. The series, in which he played the inept Clouseau (pictured below) had been a huge box office success, though Sellers was prouder of his performance in the 1979 film Being ...

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