Twentieth Century-Fox’s answer to the black action cycle initiated by MGM’s Shaft (1971) was this crude and violent underworld melodrama starring Robert Hooks as Mr T, a super cool LA private eye and pool shark drawn into a gangland feud.
Chalky (Paul Winfield) and his business partner Pete Cockrell (Ralph Waite) try to frame T for the murder of one of the men of gang boss Big (Julius Harris), leaving our hero with a puzzle to solve and a murder charge over his head (Chalky makes sure the police are led to his door).
Fortunately, T is such a cool cat he can talk the cops out of locking him up and goes off on his own to work out what is going down.
In the hope of reproducing the success of the Richard Roundtree character, Fox even employed Shaft‘s producer, Joel Freeman, and one of its writers, John DF Black.
This was the first movie directed by actor Ivan Dixon, a former Hogan’s Heroes regular.
Captain Joe Marks