The Import Corner: Foxy Brown (1974) Steelbook Blu-ray Review (U.K. Import)

Released by: Arrow

Release Date: April 5th. 1974 (Theatrical)
                        June 24th, 2013 (Blu-ray)

Region Code: REGION B (locked)

Run Time: 1h 32m

Audio: LPCM 2.0 English

Video: 1080p (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)

Bobbie: Listen skinny, before you start talking tough, I'd better warn you I've got a black belt in karate. So why don't you get out of here quietly, while you still got some teeth left in that ugly face?
[Foxy knocks her down with a barstool]
Foxy Brown: And I've got MY black belt in barstools!


Foxy Brown title card

Audio Commentary with Jack Hill

Hill is a wonderful commentator, filling the entire track with information about the film and the production. Foxy Brown was not supposed to be its own film, but a sequel to Coffy called Burn Coffy Burn,  but AIP decided at the last minute that they didn’t want a sequel, despite Coffy being a huge hit. We also learn that the film had a very short shooting schedule, but Hill was able to complete the film on time and on budget. There is a lot more information to learn here.

From Black and White to Blaxploitation (19m 53m, HD)

Here we have an interview with actor Sid Haig, which covers his career with Jack Hill. He tells the story about how the two met and became great friends. He also speaks about Lon Chaney Jr, who worked with Haig on Spider Baby. Chaney would give Haig acting tips during breaks and eventually became Haig’s mentor. Haig then talks about the films that he worked on with Pam Grier. He speaks warmly about working with her and how she wanted to be taken seriously as an actor. Haig closes out by talking about how Coffy was one of the first films to open the doors to allow black actors to get leading roles in films.

A Not So Minor Influence (18m 57s, HD)

This is an interview with Bob Minor who talks about being one of the first black stuntmen. He talks about how he became a stuntman as well as his first film (Beyond the Valley on the Dolls). He was hired by Jack Hill to a stunt coordinator on Coffy, which was the first time a black man had ever held that role. He also talks about the stunts of Foxy Brown and him being the first black member of the Stunt Man’s Association.

Back to Black (25m 7s, HD)

Here we have a look at the Blaxploitation subgenre of film with interviews with Austin Stoker, Fred Williamson, Rosanne Katon, and film scholar Howard S, Berger. Sweet Sweetback’s Baaaad Aaassssss Song was the film that proved to Hollywood that black audiences wanted to see more black actors on screen. This lead to a time in the 70’s where black actors could work with other black actors (which was very common).  We learn that Fred Williamson made a brand for himself which helped him keep his career going long after the Blaxploitation films stopped being made, which came about because the films were not bringing in the money that they used to. They were losing money, but the studios wanted the film to bring in more money, but they didn’t and the films were not made anymore.

Trailer Reel (19m 50s, HD)

This should have been called “The Jack Hill Trailer Reel” because all of the trailers here are for the films that Jack Hill directed. In fact, I think that this is all the films that he directed. We get trailers for Spider Baby, Pitstop, The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Swinging Cheerleaders, Switchblade Sisters, and Sorceress.

Image Gallery (10 Images)


I am reviewing the steelbook packaging for Foxy Brown, but there is another set that Arrow released that is just like their normal releases. 14mm clear case, reversible cover art, etc. The disc is the same in both packages.

This is the regular version
The is the first Arrow steelbook that I have bought and I am impressed so far. The entire steelbook is white with a matte finish, which I like because it doesn’t absorb every fingerprint it comes into contact with.

The front cover features Pam Grier as Foxy Brown in the green dress she wears in the film. She is looking over her shoulder at us while pulling a gun from the small of her back. The title is done in the film’s style and is the same green color as her dress. The cover is not overloaded with images. It is nice and simple.

The back cover features Grier in various poses that connect. Every different movement has her as a different color (ie red, blue, yellow, etc) with the film’s credits and copyrights at the bottom of the case.

Inside the case, underneath the disc holder and booklet holder is a still from the film with Grier holding her gun up against a woman coming at her with a knife (?).

The disc art features the same green title from the front cover. Here we see not only Grier holding a woman in a headlock, but many of the women from the film fighting.

Also inside the case is the standard Arrow booklet. Featuring many color photos, this booklet also features an essay from Josiah Howard, an interview with Pam Grier conducted by Calum Waddell, who is an author and film critic who used to work with Arrow. Finally, we get information about the transfer.

The disc is REGION B (locked)


Foxy Brown and the Mummy talking to someone off screen

This is another winner for Arrow. The film looks the best it has since its theatrical release in 1974. There is a thin layer of grain and all of the colors look correct. We also get the film’s correct aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is just as important as how the film looks. I am tired of companies cropping (and sometimes opening the mattes) of 1.85:1 films to 1.78:1. Warner Brothers and Paramount are notorious for doing this. Sure, the black bars are tiny and most people don’t care, but I do. Anyways, the film looks great.


Pam Grier looking gorgeous

The film’s mono soundtrack is nice, with no distortions or hissing. Dialogue is crisp and clear and the music makes a great impression.


pam grier and another woman in the underwear

Coffy was a revelation. Here was a film that starred a strong black woman who doesn’t take shit from white people and tries to get the drugs off of the street. The film gave Pam Grier the starring role that she so very well deserved and paved the way for how the Blaxploitation genre would work.

Foxy Brown, while a good film, is not as great as Coffy is. This could be due to the fact that, while the film’s budget was similar to that of Coffy’s, the shooting schedule was cut by ten days. This made director Jack Hill work faster and cheaper, resulting in a film that is all over the place.

Grier stars as Foxy Brown, a woman who is out for revenge when her boyfriend , who is a government agent, is gunned down gangster. Brown goes out and becomes a prostitute for the people who killed her boyfriend so that she can destroy the origination from the inside out.

The bad guys find here out and send her to the farm, where two guys shoot her up with heroin and rape her. Finally, Brown comes to and kills the farm guys before gathering up everyone she knows to wage a war against the ones who have been doing her wrong.

I think the problem with the film is that it was rushed out and you can see this. The lead character of Foxy Brown is not that memorable. Just ask how many people have heard of the name Foxy Brown, and then ask them where they heard it from. Most will say the rapper and some will say “that movie with the black chick from the 70’s. That is what the film is most remembered for and it shows that the film is not that well remembered.

As I watched the film, I found myself not liking it as much as Coffy. Coffy had a life to it. Coffy went around and kicked a lot of ass. She didn’t care just as long as she got her man and kicked a lot of ass.

Foxy brown tied to a bed, high off of smack

I think that may be the underlying problem with the film: the lack of action scenes. There are action scenes here, but the film wants to be taken more seriously, but not. The action has more of a consequence to it in this film than it did in Coffy. There are scenes, like the Farm scenes, that are just really dark in tone.

Then there are scenes, like the scene where Grier and another woman go to a judge’s hotel and embarrass him. I found this scene to be out of place with the tone of the rest of the film.
Foxy Brown is a lessor film than Coffy. It takes itself too seriously while trying to be goofy at the same time. Foxy Brown is also not as strong a character as Coffy. Brown jumps into action with hesitation and makes almost no mistakes (and yes, I said ALMOST), whereas Coffy makes mistakes, but takes them in stride and learns from them. Also, Coffy has the captain from Robocop as a pimp and Foxy Brown doesn’t. Foxy Brown is not that fun of a film. I wanted to like it more, but it just doesn’t sit with me as well as Coffy does. Maybe I need to watch the film again. Until then, Coffy is a better film and a better character.

OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Pam Grier is Foxy Brown

Arrow has landed another hit. While I found problems with the film, I ultimately liked it and will keep the copy that I have. The picture and sound quality are fantastic and the special features are worth every penny. The steelbook is a sight to behold and one of my favorite steelbooks of all time. If you can still find this set, then pick it up. It is worth the money. 

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