Watch Now: DETROIT 9000
Distinguished by great acting by Alex Rocco and Hari Rhodes, as well as its complex racial politics well ahead of its time, Detroit 9000 is a cops and robbers action film directed by the blaxploitation director Arthur Marks and written by Orville H. Hampton, who shared an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay with Raphael Hayes eight years prior (for One Potato, Two Potato).
Shot on location in downtown Detroit and featuring not only local geography but also well-known Detroit faces of the time, such as their police chief or radio personalities, this is a police procedural revolving around a simple and yet effective concept: a white detective and a black detective team up to investigate a theft of $400.000 at a local fund-raiser for a black politician. This crime sets the wheels in motion and leads the narrative into more depth than expected, simultaneously painting a detailed picture of the difficult life in 1970s Detroit.
As a big fan of the film, Quentin Tarantino gave Detroit 9000 a re-release through his Rolling Thunder Pictures in 1998, and Miramax released it on video only a year later. Tarantino didn’t stop there, however: at the same time when Django Unchained was released, Miramax and Lions Gate released a DVD set of three films under Tarantino’s label. Detroit 9000 was included along with The Mighty Peking Man and Switchblade Sisters.